Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 - 7:36am
- Christmas bonuses for everyone! The City's labor union-backed employees got a long overdue 5% COLA bump during the City Council meeting last night following over a year of negotiations between the City & SEUI. Also, our Chief Executive Ken Striplin got a nice fat raise of about 5%, or about $11k/year. Other than that, get used to "Mayor Weste," we're getting our own Business Incubator project site at the old old Town Newhall Library building, and sign ordinances: What's Old Is New Again. I HEART with a great write-up, SIGNAL
- Mayor Kellar's final statement as Mayor this year: "“There’s no limit to what we can accomplish here in Santa Clarita and I’m just proud to be part of the team,” he said. “And thank you very, very much.” Mayor Weste also spoke of "teamwork" too, which kind of drives me crazy but I'll get into that later. SIGNAL
- Oh come on!!! How do you let Baby Jesus get stolen Westfield? I mean seriously? Alas it's true; Mary and Joseph are currently staring down at a holy & beatific....empty cradle. Someone stole Jesus (Petz-gold:They took the Christ out of Christmas) Mike Devlin is said to be pursuing Social Media leads (does stolen Baby Jesus have a Twitter/Instagram trail yet?) while Westfield -who lost Baby Jesus in 2009 after all- apparently can't figure out how to wire up a Holy Family Wifi camera and merely says they hope thief returns Him, swaddled or not.. SIGNAL, KHTS
- Stolen Baby Jesus makes for some great material though. One Signal commenter: "Maybe he is the new art piece for the middle of the roundabout." Another wonders if Baby Jesus is as important to us as our DUI stops: "Perhaps we should lay down a dragnet, DUI stop style?" And finally, let's not be too harsh on Westfield, for, as this biblical literate commenter points out, "Mary & Joseph lost track of him once too. Maybe he'll pop up again." To the synagogue! SIGNAL
- And in not so funny criminal/holiday religious news, a small church in Val Verde was sacked over the weekend by burglar/vandals, who stole everything of value in the church and tore up bibles & trashed the place for good measure. Pretty sad; hope the vandals are caught soon. SIGNAL
- Several women have been strong-armed and robbed of their purses in Newhall by what appears to be a pair of men, possibly accompanied by a woman. But that's clearly not the headline (The women did not suffer lasting harm it appears), this is: "Four women walked into the store, refused help from store employees and then grabbed about $1,000 worth of high-end bras from a display near the entrance and shoved them into what were possibly large “booster bags” that the women were carrying, according to Sheriff’s Station records." KHTS
- Dino Roy Guglielmelli, the health company CEO who allegedly tried to off his estranged wife, is granted bail. But he still has to raise 10% of the $10 million bail. The DA thinks he's a flight risk. Also, Guglielmelli was caught by LASD Detectives in the Major Crimes Bureau who used a wire. This story just keeps getting better and more interesting. KHTS
- I Heart on Christmas Trees: "The traditional Newhall Memorial Christmas tree was a Deodar Cedar--they're expensive and regal and classic. The new tree is a Mondale Pine--they're cheap and utilitarian and dull. By way of analogy, if a Deodar Cedar is the Cadillac of conifers, then a Mondale Pine is the Kia....Why is doing a Christmas tree so hard Santa Clarita, why?!?" I HEART
- Some moving and very well done pictures of the Walker/Rodas memorial last weekend by a local talented SCV photog. PHOTO SITE
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 - 10:16am
Sorry folks, the morning just got away from me and my fingers are simply too cold even now to write up a daily brief.
Also, I discovered this fact: A one year old squeeking and giggling as he crawls all over you, grabs your hair, and snuggles up against you in your warm and cozy bed is a great way to derail your plans for the day. You just don't want it to end!
I'll return tomorrow, warm cocoa cup in hand to do the Brief.
Monday, December 9th, 2013 - 8:47am
- What just happened here? I'm still digesting the incredibly massive and peaceful turnout yesterday for the unofficial, ad-hoc Paul Walker & Roger Rodas memorial. It seems the death of the pair a week ago Saturday touched a nerve in many, and day by day, more stories about Walker trickled out and in death he grew into something more than he was in life. And yes, the comparisons to Jame Dean are already happening, though few know about Dean's supposed last meal in the SCV (except our own Dr. Alan Pollack). DAILY NEWS, SIGNAL, SIGNAL 2, KHTS
- Only one arrest: Some bloke from Arizona was visiting the memorial and walking down the street when Deputies noticed he had what appeared to be a handgun in his waist band. He was arrested. KHTS
- I went to the memorial and a car show broke out: Some great pics of the amazing, suped-up cars that memorial attendees drove in to the site. LAIST
- Also, some guy (can't find the link sorry) says he's going to organize a petition to get the City to rename Constellation & Hercules drive to Paul Walker Memorial parkway or something similar.
- "If you're not careful, it will chop your head off." -Jeremy Clarkson of popular Brit TV auto show Top Gear on the Porsche Carrera GT in 2008. YOU TUBE
- No letup in the crashes: Sunday morning crash ends with at least one car on its roof in Saugus. SIGNAL
- In happier news, Hart High school defeated the Valencia Vikings in Friday night's huge matchup for the CIF Northern Section division crown. Hart will play Chaminade Saturday in a state bowl game. KHTS
- A Saugus man named Robert Arkow is suing former SUSD Board Candidate Chris Trunkey for robo-calling him during the run-up to the November election. Difficult not to cheer this guy on; Arkow drops suits right and left against organizations and companies that call him. “It is a passion of mine,” Arkow said. “I’m sick of it and I’m not alone.” And he's not taking it anymore. SIGNAL
- It begins: One of the local Republican groups says thanks but no thanks to Tony Strickland in a formal declaration at their meeting Friday night. FACEBOOK
Friday, December 6th, 2013 - 10:21pm
You probably heard of the case of the guy getting arrested for (allegedly?) stealing the roof
of the Roger Rodas's Porsche, right from the tow truck that was carrying the car away from the accident that killed Rodas and Paul Walker on Saturday.
Here is an Instagram shared on Saturday by Jameson Witty, the 18 y.o. who was arrested yesterday:
From the LASD's inmate lookup system, it appears that Witty is still in custody and may appear in court on Monday, which might explain why this picture is still online
. He may be looking grand theft and evidence tampering charges.
In Perry Smith's article
, there's a report of a possible pending arrest of a second suspect, who's out of the state right now. The user mentioned in Witty's post @anthonyjanow
isn't exactly pleading the 5th. Here's his post
from earlier today:
Friday, December 6th, 2013 - 11:29am
- Council Agenda: Last meeting (I think?) for the City Council of the year next Tuesday and it feels like a "let's get some stuff done and go on break" kind of meeting. Except it's not. The old Newhall library is going to get ADA compliant if the Council approves that item, there's some vector & fire & sanitation and landscape maintenance district stuff and then one odd new business item: a mid-year budget adjustments in the amount of $29million on the revenue side and $12m on the expenditure side. The budget was only approved six months ago, how'd they miss it by that big of a target? And it looks to me like fees & taxes are going up on some things normal pay for ($1.5m sales tax, $500,000 in property tax), while taxes on businesses are decreasing. Somebody call TimBen this feels like a lump of coal in my City stocking. AGENDA
- Also, Ken Striplin will have a happy holiday season: the City manager is getting a fat 5% raise effective January 2014 according to the same new business item.
- Finally this adjustment spreadsheet is a bit odd. Maybe it's Friday but I've been staring at it for 10 minutes and can't make sense of the budget adjustments listed. SPREADSHEETS FOR BEDSHEETS
- A Canyon Country 18 year old man allegedly stole the damaged roof of the rare Porsche that Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas were driving in when they were killed last weekend. In fact the 18 year old man somehow stole it within a few hours of it being removed from the site the day of the crash. But Deputies tracked him down and have arrested him. Signal commenters say items from the crash site are appearing all over eBay. SIGNAL
- The legend grows: I almost thought of Paul Walker as a B movie actor but post-mortem, stories like this keep coming out and his stature only grows.
- Also NorthPark church will open its parking lot to mourners at the ad-hoc memorial scheduled for Sunday. SIGNAL
- Constantly embattled DCFS workers are on strike throughout LA County. SIGNAL
- Big game tonight. The Indians' 9th CIF title is on the line. SIGNAL
- Sadface: Metrolink cancels its popular Holiday Toy Train due to funding gaps. SCVNEWS
- There's a hole in this cake: Lady Ducayne reviews a new bundt cake place in the SCV LADY DUCAYNE
Thursday, December 5th, 2013 - 9:26am
Sorry for the late brief, I was too busy clearing icicles off my Lexus this AM so I could safely navigate the treacherous Newhall Pass. It's way too early in the season to see ice form on your car.
- Whereas Roger Rodas died of trauma to his body following the car crash, Paul Walker died both of that and from "thermal" causes, a kinder way of saying he burned to death too. I hope he was at least unconscious. SIGNAL
- Meanwhile, Perry Smith reports that "thousands" may attend a memorial for Walker & Rodas that's being held on Sunday at the crash site from noon to 5pm. The memorial is being organized on Facebook. Browse the page and realize that on Sunday, perhaps a significant amount of Southern California's car racing & enthusiast population will descend on the SCV. KHTS
- Even I'm going to visit the Walker site: A woman from Thailand found me through this blog and has offered me $100 to buy flowers, visit the site, leave a note, and place the flowers at the crash site in her name and send her pictures as proof. I'm not above taking money for that kind of task.
- Would you be willing to trade all the ugly, occasionally offensive, and just plain tacky billboards along Railroad Avenue for three potentially bright & distracting electronic billboards along Highway 14 and I5? That's the question the City is pondering after getting a proposal from Metro, and they're asking for your input by (what else?) standing up a new website called BillBoardsSanta-Clarita.com. Allison Pari @ KHTS has a good report giving background on the proposal KHTS
- I think it's a great idea. Motorists who drive through -but don't pay tribute do the proper ThinkSCV thing and stop for a bite or what have you- the SCV on I-5 or Highway 14 should pay a cost for noise & emission pollution. And we SCVers shouldn't have to pay with our eyes as we drive along Railroad. This is an insider vs outsider thing.
- Health products CEO Dino Guglielmelli will stand trial for allegedly trying to hire an acquaintance to "take care of" his estranged wife for about $80k. But Guglielmelli's acquaintance sang like a canary and thus, we'll have a trial and a woman is still alive. Great play by play in pre-trial hearings at KHTS
- The eight major candidates for City Council next year gathered for a forum in front of about two dozen folks at the offices of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. Money has brief summaries of each candidate's talk before the group and it's pretty good. SIGNAL
- Excellent piece in the Signal today on a controversial topic: concussions and the risks of tackle football in the SCV. For years the risks of playing pro football have been increasingly evident and under discussion, now it's filtering down to high school football. For what it's worth, two SCV high school football coaches say they wouldn't have a problem letting their own children play football, but other SCV high school football coaches don't even have kids. I'm with Andrew Sullivan on this: it's all an academic debate until insurance companies decide otherwise and raise rates on schools that have football programs. SIGNAL
- Want to be the SCV's Congressman ? Plan to route your career through some powerful and shadowy interests in...Maui...of all places. CAL NEWS ROOM
- "When you think about skunks, you think about the smell, and certainly they use that as their main weapon. They have two glands on each side of the anus that can spray, with good accuracy, a strong and offensive stream as far as 10 feet. The spray is irritating and can even cause temporary blindness, so it is highly effective. The smell is so strong that it can be detected up to a mile away," writes Eveleyn Vandersande in another great example of SCV nature writing. GIVE SKUNKS A CHANCE
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 - 8:20am
Wow so much news I almost need to do twice-Daily briefs to keep up. Here goes and pardon the brevity:
- Politico calls it: McKeon is officially pondering retirement next year. I guess even an Animal Husbandry major couldn't keep that horse in the barn, especially after GOP stalwarts from both the east and west of the SCV were outed and/or announced that they would seek to replace our Congressman. That's right Steve of the Knight klan, hailing from AV, will take on Tony "Beanstalk" Strickland, dragging his carpet over from Ventura. GOP feathers to fly. Also McKeon endorses Thornberry as head of HASC since even if he ran again in 2014, he's termed out of the powerful Chairperson role. POLITICO, SIGNAL
- Doh: The City of Santa Clarita increased the speed limit on the street where Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were killed Saturday during a review of speed limits city-wide last year. Also, the CHP tells the LA TIMES that officers themselves can hear drag races going on on Rye Canyon all the time. But you know, they can only do something if they catch them. LA TIMES
- Valencia, Built as Promised: Quote from the Times piece: "“It’s a great road for racing your car up and down because it’s a sweeping curve," Lyon said. "If you come up here at 10 or 11 at night, you’ll hear the performance cars racing in the area.”He said that if people are going to race, the street is probably the safest place to do it because it's so quiet and there are no pedestrians."
- In other Walker news, his sister is outraged at talk that people think Walker may have been enjoying spirited motoring prior to his death, Deputies are going to start ticketing people because mourners are parking in a hazardous way and driving poorly, Vin Diesel made an appearance yesterday at the roadside memorial and the paparazzi flew helicopters to capture the sad scene, Tyrese Gibson will organize the funeral for his friend Walker, automotive experts at TMZ suspect a power steering failure may have caused the crash, we may learn autopsy results today, and finally, the Signal has advice for you on how to talk to your children about the death of Paul Walker.
- Almost forgot: There will be big memorial on Sunday for Walker and Rodas. Race fans are organizing and it'll be held at the crash site. FACEBOOK, Smith @ KHTS
- How did a Jeep come to be stuck on the railroad tracks near the Newhall train station? Well it did, and it was empty thankfully, but a Metrolink train struck it Monday night. Car is ruined but no one was hurt in the train or on the ground. SIGNAL
- Shenkman, the attorney who spoiled Palmdale's party and just might have succeeded in getting their municipal election tossed out, says he may repeat the same process against Santa Clarita ahead of our April 2014 election. Which would be incredible. You thought 2012 was dramatic? SIGNAL
- Really now: The big Hart/Valencia game on Friday evening won't be held at COC but rather Valencia High's substandard field because Valencia should get "home" advantage. Valencia's stadium isn't subpar exactly, it just can't hold as many crazy high school football fans as COC, 2000 less to be specific. And come on, COC is every high school's home stadium. Hey Refs, let the fans attend! SIGNAL
- Friend and sharp open space financial accountability panel member Jim Farley was somewhat taken aback at a recent Planning Commission meeting when he saw Commissioners delay approval for a cell phone tower that looked like a Eucalyptus tree. Why'd they delay? Well, some SCVers protested the cellular tower installations because they're afraid of cancer rays. Here here to Jim's point! Science people. You do know that microwave radiation is all around and passing through you everywhere you are, right? From wifi to cosmic rays, there's no escaping it. So please let the cell companies build their awesome camoflauge-faux-Eucalyptus-tree-towers so we can all have more precious 4G. FACEBOOK
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