Mail Thieves Hit Two Streets: Detectives are investigating after thieves reportedly emptied the mailboxes on two local streets. The Signal
Naan Of Charges Pursued after Tandoori Grill Arrest: The D.A. declined to file charges after the owner of Tandoori Grill was arrested this week. The arrest came after a tip that the cook was being forced to work against his will. Daily News
Hart District Moving Ahead With Bowman Demo: The Hart district is moving ahead with its plans to demolish the former Bowman High School site near Canyon High. The Signal
Vereen Presented With Key to the City: "You never can be fully prepared when your moment comes, but you can be as prepared as possible." Super Bowl champ and SClarita native Shane Vereen talked to hundreds of locals over lunch Thursday. KHTS
Good News for Seniors: The SCV Senior Center's 2015 Celebrity Waiter Dinner raised a reported $80,000 for the local nonprofit organization. KHTS
Tower Talk: "If you want to get away from all of the energy that bombards us every day, dig a very deep tunnel, move into it, and stay there." Newhall resident Bill Blowers respond to those arguing against a series of cellphone towers to assist emergency responders. The Signal
State Loosens Sex Offender Rules: The Department of Corrections is no longer enforcing blanket restrictions on sex offenders living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, which George and Sharon Runner are not happy about. LA Times
More Dam Insights: The SCV Historical Society and the CSUN Archeology Department are holding a symposium on the St. Francis Dam disaster tomorrow, including a speaker who figured out how the dam failed. City Calendar
Say Goodbye to Red Light Cameras: With a 3-2 vote (Weste and McLean voting no) the SClarita City Council decided last night to finally get rid of red light cameras in the city when the current contract expires at the end of the month. The Signal
Charter Report Draws Rebuke: “There is no proactive system to monitor for fraud, waste and abuse. California set up a system that prosecutes fraud rather than prevents it.” A report calling for more oversight of charter schools has drawn rebuke from the state's charter school association. LA Times
Ski Season Comes to an End: "It’s really tough to be in the ski industry these last couple of years. It’s the worst possible thing for us and we would much rather be open until April.” Though some resorts took full advantage of what snow did fall this winter, ski season is coming to an early end. Daily News
Supes Put the Brakes on Cell Towers: After outcry residents, the county Board of Supervisors voted to slow construction on a series of cell towers intended to help emergency responders. The Signal
Wilk's Got Questions: "My constituents have questions about the implications DWI might have on real estate values, earthquake insurance, and the incidence of seismic activity generally." Assemblyman Scott Wilk sent a letter to state officials, raising questions about the impact of deep injection wells in the SCV. KHTS
Searching for Her Daughter: An Indiana woman believes her runaway teen daughter is living in the SCV, and is seeking the community's help in finding her. KHTS
Getting Ready to Stock the Shelves: "Haggen talks about themselves as more upscale than what Safeway used to be. But are these neighborhoods searching for more upscale?" A bit more on Pacific Northwest grocer Haggen's move into the Southland, with one slated to open in the Valencia Pavilions location. LA Times
Passing on the Offer: "I’m not comfortable with somebody looking over my shoulder and having to report my time in six-minute segments with billable hours.” Not new, but an interesting tidbit on how former Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon passed on joining one of the largest grossing law firms. Legal Times
Deciphering the Code: Some three-letter airport codes are more obvious than others, but here's an interesting bit of trivia behind how major airports got their distinctive codes. Slate
Closed: The SCV's only homeless shelter closed its doors last week, ending another winter season of providing the community's homeless residents with a safe place to eat, sleep and have access to resources for getting back on their feet. KHTS
Cigarette Fire Leaves 9 Homeless: An apartment fire on Oak Ridge Drive sparked by a cigarette wound up leaving nine people without a home Saturday afternoon. The Signal
Asking Questions: "If the governor, the state Assembly, a superior court judge and a slew of attorneys can’t get AADUSD to keep charters schools within the district’s own boundaries, what makes me think I can get a proper response to a request for records the public is entitled to?" Acton resident Ken Pfalzgraf keeps asking questions about the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District. SCVNews
Job Numbers Up in California: In the 12-month period that ended Jan. 31, California reportedly gained nearly a half-million new jobs. Meanwhile, state watchdogs say the "underground economy" is sapping nearly $10 billion a year from the state by avoiding taxes. LA Times
Post-Retirement Accolades: "It takes a ton of people to make a school district successful. The superintendent just gets a lot of attention.” Recently retired Newhall School District superintendent Marc Winger was recently named for an award from the Association of California School Administrators. The Signal
COC Student Pushing for Resource Center: Citing observations of increased bullying in high school and college, a COC student is trying to raise community support for an LGBTQ resource center on campus. KHTS
Veterans Neighborhood Nearing Opening: The Habitat for Heroes housing tract being built off Centre Pointe Parkway is close to opening its first phase of 26 homes. KHTS
Low Numbers: It's difficult to exactly tell what the immunization situation is like in Los Angeles County preschools and day care centers, because so many of them are failing to submit the data required by the state. Daily News
Still No Trial in 2013 Murder Case: Two years after a Hart district teacher was shot and killed in her home, her daughter is still behind bars and has yet to go to trial. KHTS
Giving Them Power: "We want the students to be able to empower themselves and each other.” The Domestic Violence Center of SCV has launched a program aimed at helping students recognize and avoid unhealthy relationships, domestic violence and sexual assault. Side note: Shoutout to KHTS' Perry Smith, who's joined the board of the DVC. The Signal
Not Guilty Plea from Ex-Einstein Coach: The former Albert Einstein Academy coach arrested on charges he molested several boys pleaded not guilty. The 28-year-old could face 30 years in prison if convicted. KHTS.
More Millennial Musings: "And to be clear, this young man is not dumb, he had simply never mailed a letter in his life. The big blue metal box on the sidewalk was as mysterious to him as the Kardashians’ wealth and fame is to me." Dennis McCarthy on the generation that will inherit our future. Daily News
On the Agenda: In addition to the much-discussed consideration of whether or not to renew the city's red light camera contract, Tuesday's City Council agenda includes the possible approval of another open space acquisition for SClarita, this time 173 acres near the Newhall Pass for a price of about $1.9 million. SCVNews
Paying Up: "His position is that the disease is 'a psychosomatic illness' caused by 'traumatic separations.' In 2011 a german biologist bet $100,000 the measles virus doesn't exist. Well, it's time to pay up. LA Times
Testing the Limits: "It’s offensive to anybody with a rational mind, but I don’t know that it necessarily rises to the level of an ethics violation." For less than the cost of an iPad, a Huntington Beach attorney has launched a conversation about California's ballot iniative process. SacBee
A year ago, in the unbelievably late hours following the City Council's final approval of the blockbuster digital billboard agreement that would later come undone with Measure S, the council took up the matter of the red light cameras.
Longtime friend of SCVTalk Jim Farley fought hard last year to get the council to give the cameras a second look before their contract renewed. It was Jim's contention that the yellow light times were unreasonably short for the long turn pockets we have at major intersections, and those short times were to blame for most tickets. We took a look at his fight against these cameras right before that meeting (Area Man Gives Yellow Light to City's Red Light) and summarized the situation like so:
People who just barely run a red light – perceptible sometimes to only our robocops – are receiving fines that were based a more serious offense. Right now the city makes about $90,000 per year from the program, from $675,000 in tickets. But if they were to ticket only those drivers who missed the red by more than a split second, the program would fall deeply in the red.
That night, the council moved to a month-to-month contract with the camera operator (Redflex) and agreed to revisit within a year. Meanwhile, the city experimented with longer yellow light times and hired a consultant to study our intersections and come up with scientifically-justified yellow light timings.
The results are in, and it doesn't look good for the future of the red light cameras. After increasing yellow lights by a second or less, violations have plummeted, and the consultant's study found that the city should increase yellow light timing even more. Now the city is looking at a net cost of $210,000 to keep the cameras next year, and the cameras are riding a money-losing streak going back to November of 2013.
So on Tuesday, the council will revisit the contract (agenda item here). The city staff gives them three options: yank the cameras, suspend the program for two years, or keep on with the current (money-losing) program.
The cameras are, at their heart, a public safety device. The city's studies show reduction in collisions at the intersections with cameras. But it seems that the public has turned against their over-zealousness, and many cities got rid of them years ago. It's hard to see the council sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year to keep these running.
It might be a little premature to congratulate Jim, but we're awfully close.
Apologies for the afternoon briefs this week, folks. I've been fighting whatever cold or flu it is making its way around the office and running on fumes this week. By Monday we should be back on our regular morning schedule.
Fatal Golden Valley Crash Still Under Investigation: More than half a year after a local high school girl was struck by a car and killed while jogging, the cause of the crash is still under investigation. KHTS
Dubin Makes Detective: Sheriff's Deputy Josh Dubin, who's made great strides to improve the SCV Sheriff's Station's social media presence and interaction, is hanging up his social media hat to become a detective. KHTS
Groundbreaking News: SClarita officials pulled out the golden shovels and broke ground on the widening of the Golden Valley Road bridge over Highway 14. KHTS
Fatal Crash Victim ID'd: The man killed in Tuesday's head-on collision in Castaic has been identified as 46-year-old John Owen, of Canyon Country. The Signal
Money for Relief: Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are pushing emergency drought relief spending to the tune of $1 billion. Daily News
How Bad It's Become: As if you needed a reminder. But anyways, here's a drought map showing how bad the situation in California has become in the past few years. LA Times
Career Possibilities: Hundreds of girls and their parents got a hands-on look at the possibilities of careers in science and technology during a event at Golden Valley High School. The Signal
Developer Discusses Rail Concerns: Jim Backer, the developer behind the Vista Canyon project, gave a presentation during this week's Valley Industry Association luncheon, and discussed concerns about how the will-it-ever-happen high-speed rail project may affect the Canyon Country development. The Signal
The Big Payback: Target is establishing a $10 million fund to compensate victims of its 2013 data breach. Slate
Of Avocados and Gravel Mining: "I wonder how long Cemex would suffer some 500 or 1,000 Santa Clarita moms and kids blocking their grading operations before throwing hands up." Gary Horton opines on groundwater cleanup and Cemex mega-mining. The Signal
Pot Legalization Discussed During Joint Experts' Presentation: California needs to get ready for the possibility of legalized marijuana within the next few years, according to experts who spoke with the KHTS bus delegation to Sacramento this week. The Signal
Mr. Smith Goes to Sacramento: Perry Smith with more deets on this week's K-HITZ Sacramento roadtrip. KHTS
Runner Heads Back to SacTown: As the only candidate on the ballot yesterday, Sharon Runner easily captured the Senate seat previously held by Steve Knight. The Signal
It's Time to Get Tough: "It is time for California to join the decent people in the rest of the Western United States, where residents have the sense to let their lawns go dormant during the dry season. When the water that falls from the sky is not enough to perpetuate your yard's emerald hue, it is not okay to spew your hose upon it for hours at a time." The state passed some water restictions but needs to be a bit more aggressive, one writer opines. Gizmodo
Decisions: The State Water Resources Board voted unanimously to approve statewide water restrictions that will go into effect in 45 days. SacBee
Secrets of Graphene: I know that might sound like this summer's blockbuster follow-up to "Owls of Ga'hoole" but scientists have figured out how to produce a material that's one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel. Daily News
Sheriff Gathers the Faithful: "Law enforcement spends much of its time responding to calls for service, yet these cries for help are often the symptom of deeper, underlying social challenges." Sheriff Jim McDonnell presided over a talk with two dozen interfaith leaders. SCVNews
City to Paint the Town Green: St Patrick's Day festivities continue with an Irish-themed Senses block party in Newhall tomorrow night. City Briefs
That's a Lot of Homes: Local Realtor Neal Weichel was recently awarded by the 9,000-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors for his career success, which includes a whopping 3,500 homes sold. SCVNews
There's Money in the Water: California rice farmers are being offered up to $700 per acre foot to send their water south to the Metrpopolitan Water District. Some of them are making more selling their water than growing rice. LA Observed