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Monday, September 22nd, 2014 - 8:30am
  • In Case You Missed It: While seemingly garnering little press coverage after the news was dropped at the end of the day on Friday, this is a big deal. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 1263, which would have closed the loophole in the system abused by school district such as Acton-Agua Dulce's that's approved charter schools operating within other districts' boundaries. The Signal
  • About Development: Vista Canyon, an 1,100-home development coming to the Sand Canyon area with 90,000-square-feet of commercial space, doesn't sound particularly unique. What the developers say will set it apart will be an onsite water reclamation plant to recycle wastewater. The Signal
  • Giving Veterans a Pass: Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is proposing waiving Castaic Lake's $11 recreation fee for vets. SCVNews 
  • Also on Friday: In other end-of-the-week news, while there's no word yet from Val Verde, the Castaic Area Town Council voted to accept Chiquita Canyon's offer of thousands of dollars in public benefit funds annually as it focuses on expanding its landfill that only gets about 20% of its trash from the SCV. KHTS
  • Paying Tribute: Nice feature in The Signal about the Hart district's teacher of the year, who is a driving force behind the district's independent learning program. The Signal
  • Do You Have a Problem?: In case you want to keep track of how obsessively you check your smartphone, there's an app for that. Gizmodo
  • Hey Guys, Remember Me?: Undersheriff Paul Tanaka insists that he's still running for L.A. County Sheriff. Daily News

Posted by Josh Premako   |   Post a Reply »
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Friday, September 19th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Guilty: "We applauded the prosecutor and the jurors. The jury was crying. I couldn’t believe it.” It took a jury about two hours to find Eric Earle guilty of murdering his girlfriend in 2011. He faces 25 years to life in prison. The Signal
  • SCV Woman Sentenced for Manslaughter: A little over a year after the incident, an SCV woman was sentenced to four years in prison after the car she was driving struck a motorcyclist who died in the hospital. The Signal
  • Money Matters: Among the defense companies likely to benefit from Congressman McKeon's amendment to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS are top lobbying spenders Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. National Law Review
  • Investing in Canyon Country: On the City Council's agenda for Tuesday night is the possibility of signing off on the $4.75 million purchase of about 6 acres near Soledad and Sierra for a Canyon Country community center. Agenda
  • But What About Roundabout Statues?: The City Council is also poised to OK a $75,000 contract with the San Diego-based Cultural Planning Group, to develop an arts master plan for SClarita. According to CPG's proposal, "the five identified issues for consideration are public art, arts funding, the Newhall Arts District, arts facilities and the creative economy." Agenda
  • City Eyeing a Deal: Come Tuesday night, the Council make OK a $1.8 million check for 114.2 acres of open space near Towsley Canyon. That's a significant drop from the potential selling price of $3.5 million in 2009. Agenda
  • Brown Ups the Credit: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law yesterday an increase in annual film tax credits aimed at stemming runaway production, to the tune of $330 million a year. LA Register
  • Prepare for Disaster: The city is offering a few disaster-readiness classes this month. Always worthwhile here in Quake Country. KHTS
  • I'll Just Dump This Here: "They voted to remove their own First Amendment rights in all matters concerning the dump. So if the smells in Val Verde from the dump are bad, or after expansion they reach Castaic, the Town Council can’t complain or it will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars." Darryl Manzer continues to write about the ongoing saga of Chiquita Canyon's intent to expand the landfill it operates just across the freeway from Santa Clarita. (And, in case you forgot, only about 20 percent of its trash comes from Santa Clarita Valley.) SCV News

Posted by Josh Premako   |   Post a Reply »
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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 - 10:39pm
The website for Yes on Measure S is up. Where to begin?
The exaggerated $191 million figure? Maybe I could point out that the guy behind this website shares an office with Tony Strickland in Westlake.
Or what about the impropriety of Bob Kellar plugging this website that's paid for by a PAC run by the same people who brought petition blockers to town?
All good topics, and there's many more, but for another day. The topic for today is Photoshop. 
The centerpiece of the site is a before & after slideshow that ostensibly shows what certain stretches along the railroad would look like if Measure S were to pass. It's a clever idea – though I suspect it would be a bit more clever to simulate the digital billboards that Measure S would build (two words: animated GIFs). 
The problem is, the these shots are just dishonest. Here's an example:
There's the cheap lie: the "before" pics have gray skies muddy colors, while the "after" pics have blue skies and boosted colors. And then there's the really awful lie: many of the disappearing billboards are those that coming down as part of a separate deal passed minutes after the ordinance (we now know as Measure S) was passed by the council. These boards that are coming down no matter what, even if Measure S fails.
So with that in mind, here's a new feature I'm calling "Truth in Photoshop"
There's an important distinction to be made: since the original ordinance was passed a few minutes before they passed the deal to remove the Edwards billboards, the measure says 118 billboard faces. By law, the measure has to say what the referendum says, so it's not dishonest for that language to appear on the ballot. But it's absolutely dishonest to campaign as though it's literally true. Whenever a proponent says that 118 billboards would come down from Measure S, they are lying, because about a third of those are coming down already.  

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   2 Comments »
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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • It's a Forum, Not a Debate: The Canyon Country Advisory Committee hosted a meet-and-greet with Steve Knight and Tony Strickland, with a Q&A portion netting "nearly identical" answers from both. The Signal
  • A Big Boost: The beleaguered Acton-Agua Dulce school district received a bit of a boost, in the form of $14.4 million for a new high school. Officials broke ground on the new school in May, and would replace a temporary campus that's been in place since 1999. The Signal
  • Running Hog Wild in Newhall: Deputies responded to Newhall yesterday to capture a couple of real pigs who were hoofing it down side streets. KHTS
  • Crowdfunding for the Families: A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $13,000 for the families of teens killed when a truck went down a 200-foot embankment at Rowher Flats last week. Burbank Leader
  • Closing Arguments: "He had to hold her neck and a pillow over her face for three to four minutes before she died.” The prosecution and defense made their closing arguments in the case of the SCV man standing accused of murdering his girlfriend. The Signal
  • Step Inside Utopia: The "pioneers" of Fox's show "Utopia" are inviting the public to a fair they're hosting this weekend, at the Sand Canyon Ranch where the show has 15 people figuring out how to shape their own world. KHTS
  • The Bug is Back: After some repairs, the much-commented-upon butterfly sculpture is returning not to the Bouquet Canyon Road median but inside Central Park. And because people are dumb sometimes, it will be surrounded by fencing. KHTS

Posted by Josh Premako   |   Post a Reply »
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 - 9:07pm
Citing Knight's no-exceptions stance on abortion, recent no vote on AB 2444, and his association with Tim Donnelly, Dr. Lee Rogers has announced tonight that he's no longer supporting Steve Knight's candidacy. But instead of backing Strickland, he's urging Democrats to abstain from the race.
Here is Rogers' statement:
“I consider Steve a friend, but I’m just appalled at what appears to be his tone-deafness in regard to what our neighbors find appropriate.  In a district where Democrats will decide the next representative, Knight has given Democrats nothing to vote for, and instead, everything to vote against.  His rigid stance against abortion without exception has rankled me and many of my Democratic colleagues.   But his recent vote supporting the sale of paraphernalia bearing the Confederate flag in California state buildings shows an insensitivity that is far out of touch with our district and California.  He was one of only 3 legislators in the state to support the sale of these items.  One of the others who believes the Confederate flag is free game on state property is assemblyman and former gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly.  Wherever Donnelly goes, he leaves behind a wake of racially-fueled or xenophobic statements and he’s too extreme for even most Republicans.  According to Donnelly and the LA Times, he and Knight are campaigning together.  I’m happy that Knight has subsequently distanced Donnelly as a surrogate, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they both publicly cross-endorsed and they support the same awful measures in the state legislature.”
“Some Democratic leaders in our district have been advocating for abstention in voting in the congressional race for 2014.  Initially, I rejected this plea, because I thought that one of the two Republicans had to be better than the other.  Plus, it just seemed undemocratic not to vote for either.  But recent events have proven me wrong.  To Democrats, I can’t in good conscience recommend either candidate for the office and now, I will also abstain from voting in the congressional race.  Democrats didn’t expect much from either Republican in this race, but we certainly didn’t expect to be slapped in the face.”

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   4 Comments »
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 - 12:52pm
  • Digging Deeper: Perry Smith followed up on the audit of the troubled Acton-Agua Dulce school district, and spoke to the district superintendent, who said the district's approval of charter schools as a revenue source is a model for success. KHTS
  • A Mixed Bag: There have been mixed reponses to the idea of running California's bullet train through the San gabriel Mountains. The Signal
  • Earle Takes the Stand: "She fell down the stairs, I picked her up, brought her to bed. I woke up and she was dead.” Accused of killing his girlfriend, Eric Earle took the stand and was questioned by the prosecution this week. The Signal
  • Time for a Makeover: Officals broke ground on a four-year renovation of LAX's Terminal 1, part of a more extensive $7.4 billion overhaul of the tired airport. LA Register
  • The McKeon Amendment: "As I said from the start, this ISIS hysteria is all about regime-change in Syria through the back door. If ever there was a time to call your congressman, and urge a no vote on the McKeon amendment, that time is now." Justin Raimondo on the move to arm Syrian rebels. Antiwar.com
  • The Signal is Concerned: The Signal's editorial board is questioning whether it's a good thing for City Councilman Dante Acosta to be working for Sen. Steve Knight. Actually, they said they're "disappointed." The Signal
  • Oz Comes to Newhall: Senses rolls into downtown Newhall tomorrow, with an "Emerald City" theme. Fun fact: the band Skinny Little Twits played a role in my foray into journalism. One of the first pieces I pitched as an intern was about them, back when they were a regular act at Java n' Jazz (RIP). City Briefs
  • Talking About Health: “As an employer, a manager or a supervisor, it’s not your job or your responsibility to diagnose a mental health problem in your workplace. However, being aware of the signs that suggest someone might be experiencing a mental health illness is important.” Yesterday's Valley Industry Association luncheon featured a presentation on mental health. The Signal
  • The Really Deep End: In case you were wondering, the deepest swimming pool in the world is really deep. Sploid
  • Have an iPhone 4S? Don't Install iOS 8: The latest iPhone operating system is out, but you might want to pass on upgrading to it on your older phone. Slate

Posted by Josh Premako   |   1 Comment »
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 - 6:53am
Let's begin with a little (rough) math. This June, 42% of primary voters didn't vote for either Knight or Strickland, and somewhere between two and three times as many people will vote in November than voted in June. This means that only about 20% of voters in November would have voted for either Knight or Strickland. And of that remaining 80%, over half would rather be voting for a Democrat. 
With that in mind, imagine my surprise this morning when I see that Jean Merl of the LA Times reports this morning that none other than Tim Donnelly, the Minuteman-turned-Assemblyman who was nearly the GOP gubernatorial nominee, will be knocking doors with Steve Knight on Saturday right here in Santa Clarita. 
It's timely, as Tim Donnelly has the distinction of being the only member of the Assembly to vote against AB 2444, the bill that, if signed by Gov. Brown, will prohibit the state from displaying the Confederate battle flag or selling items depicting it. When that bill came to the Senate a few months later, Steve Knight voted with Donnelly, to the astonishment of many, myself included.
Knight also endorsed Donnelly for Governor in this year's primary. Despite being the frontrunner for much of the race, Donnelley's website only claimed the endorsement of four members of the State Assembly, and just two State Senators: Steve Knight and Joel Anderson – who happens to be the other guy who voted no on AB 2444 (and the lone member of the Legislature who voted to keep homosexuality classified as a mental illness).
Then there's this: rumors have been circulating that Donnelly has his eye on Steve Knight's Senate seat, should Knight win in November. 
Apart from being one of the most rightward politicians in Sacramento, Tim Donnelly is a little nuts.
In April, Buzzfeed got their hands on a 2006 speech of Donnelly's which contained the following gems (follow this link for the full audio):
“In the name of diversity, we are bringing millions of people into our country who want nothing to do with diversity,” he said. “Their creed is for anyone in the Hispanic race: everything. For anyone outside it, nada. Nothing.”
“I am a decedent of Jim Bowie, who died at the Alamo,” Donnelly said. “It is rumored that he took a dozen Mexican soldiers to their deaths before they finally killed him. How many of you will rise up and take his place on that wall?”
He said there was “a growing insurgency, right here in Los Angeles” and other cities, and compared it to insurgencies in cities like “Baghdad, Samarra, and Tikrit.” 
Oh boy.
More recently, Donnelly accused his primary opponent Neel Kashkari of "submitting" to Sharia law, which was an especially odd charge as Kashkari is not a Muslim, but a non-practicing Hindu.
This led Darrell Issa to rip him to pieces: "As far as I'm concerned, this type of stupidity disqualifies Tim Donnelly from being fit to hold any office, anywhere. Donnelly is no longer a viable option for California voters."
I'm unsure why Knight would endorse a fringe character like Donnelly, much less trumpet his endorsement. But I'm completely stumped as to why he'd actually invite Donnelly to town, at this point in an election which will likely be decided by as-yet-undecided Democratic voters.
Update: Here's a screenshot Donnelly's email:

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   12 Comments »
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  Recent Comments:
Rickey writes:
bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!...
posted: ~ 7 hrs. ago.
TimBen Boydston writes:
Excellent work Mr. Devlin. Thank you for helping to get the truth out. Measure S is a bad deal for...
posted: ~ 3 days, 19 hrs. ago.
Bill Board writes:
It takes a filthy photo-shopper, to bust a filthy photo-shopper. Darn right it does....
posted: ~ 3 days, 24 hrs. ago.
timothymyers02 writes:
Vote for both and spoil your ballot!!!...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.
Bill Reynolds writes:
What's up with Lee Rogers!? Encouraging citizens to avoid the democratic process? Say it ain't so!...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.
bruce writes:
I'm glad Dr. Rogers finally came to his senses - there is nothing to vote for in the 25th CD. And...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.
I'm A Love Doctor writes:
Is Lee Rogers a real "Dr" even? I read somewhere that "foot doctors" aren't "real" doctors....
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
anthony mark writes:
I think SCV needs a Dave and busters and a Krispy Kreme :)...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
timothymyers02 writes:
Andie: I must (reluctantly :) ) agree with Bill Reynolds. I probably disagree with nearly all...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
David Barlavi, Esq. writes:
Welcome. Where do I send the bill?...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.

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