[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | CEMEX Not Extending Truce | 05-31-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
64°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 23
1963 - First stretch of Antelope Valley 14 Freeway opens from east of Solemint Junction in Canyon Country to Red Rover Mine Road in Acton. [story]


The so-called “truce” between CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita has expired according to city officials. The agreement was initiated in 2007 after an acrimonious public debate began escalating between the city and CEMEX.

“Before the truce? It was contentious. There was a war of sorts going on,” said Gail Ortiz, Communications Manager, City of Santa Clarita.

The city waged an unsuccessful battle in court, and another in the court of public opinion with large billboards denouncing the Soledad mega-mining project.

“It was from the public relations war where we saw the fruit of having the truce,” said Ortiz.

Now it would seem CEMEX has had enough and doesn’t want to extend the truce. They gave no reason for not extending, but stated they will be “exploring their options” over the next several months.

Ortiz agreed this was an ominous and vague response.

“This definitely is a change. The fact that we’ve had this truce for 5 ½ years, we no longer have a truce. It does make the potential for mega-mining in Soledad Canyon more imminent,” said Ortiz.

Imminent as in the first shovelful could be scooped tomorrow?

“Theoretically, they could. They need permits, but theoretically they could start mining tomorrow if they wanted to,” said Ortiz.

Sara Engdahl, Director of Communications for Cemex USA, says that while they are looking at different options they will continue their communication with the city to find a “mutually beneficial” solution.

When asked about the number of jobs that would be created if the mine were operational, Engdahl said she didn’t have the figures on hand but the mine would have “a positive impact on job creation.”

At their May 22, meeting the Santa Clarita City Council adopted a resolution calling for 25th District Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon to arrange a meeting with House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Richard “Doc” Hastings, to explore legislation that can be introduced during this session of congress that resolves the issue and does not come in conflict with the Republican lead House rules relating to earmarks.

“This should not be construed by anybody as a partisan issue. And Buck has got to start thinking of his constituency as opposed to the party line,” said Andrew G. Fried, President, Safe Action For the Environment, (SAFE) Inc.

SAFE is a non-profit organization created because of the CEMEX issue to protect the environment in the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys. Fried doesn’t think the CEMEX decision was completely unexpected and thinks they are trying to send a message to Congressman McKeon.

“Work it and help resolve this issue. The community doesn’t want it. We’re willing to give up the asset. We just need to be made whole. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. Get off your Buck and do something,” said Fried.

Fried believes CEMEX wants a change in leadership on the issue.

“I don’t think it was coincidental that they reached this decision immediately prior to the primaries,” said Fried.

McKeon says his opponents have taken advantage of the CEMEX issue.

“This has been a campaign issue that people have beaten me up on and they’re not factual they’re not correct,” said McKeon.

One issue he takes exception with is the idea that he is following the party line by not bucking the House rules regarding earmarks.

“I’ve heard my opponents, people that are trashing me on this issue, saying that I’ve just kowtowed to leadership and I just won’t put the bill in. That’s nonsense. You have to follow – you even said – rules can be broken, that’s not correct, not factual,” said McKeon.

McKeon says opponents are always try to paint him as not caring about the people of Santa Clarita and caring more about the leadership in Washington.

“Hey, I am in leadership. I’m the chairman of one of the most important committees in congress. I don’t have to kowtow to anybody. And I don’t,” said McKeon.

Two weeks ago KHTS AM 1220 co-sponsored a trip to Washington, DC where McKeon set up meetings for local business people and decision makers. One of those meetings included a sit down with Congressman Hastings. McKeon did not sit in on the meeting, but was told by Hastings that he’d explained to the delegation that due to House rules preventing earmarks the CEMEX bill could not be introduced.

“Didn’t have much effect, y’know? They didn’t pay much attention to what he told them. They went to the city council, and Bob Kellar (Santa Clarita City Council Member) was in that meeting and the next week they passed a resolution saying that we should work together to make this happen, well, they just either don’t understand or don’t want to accept the facts and it’s more politically expedient for them to make it out like I’m not doing my job,” said McKeon.

Kellar, who has endorsed another candidate for McKeon’s seat, says he understood the rules about earmarks.

“I will not debate the issue as to whether or not it is an earmark. But I will say we have a responsibility to work and do what’s right for the citizens that elect us and send us to whatever level of government we have been elected to. And I just simply interpret this as a failure to do what is needed for the citizens and the protection of our families,” said Kellar.

McKeon suggests people look to the city and county for answers not just the federal government.

“What the city could do is, y’know, they’re not helpless, they’ve spent, my understanding is over $10 million fighting this. They’ve lost lots of court cases. But the county has permit authority and they’ve done a lot of mitigation. Like there are numbers being used of how many trucks can be on the road, and how the air quality would be affected. The county has mitigated most of that away,” said McKeon.

McKeon responded to the suggestion that people are turning to him for help and their frustration is with him.

“No, tell ‘em to turn to themselves a little bit too. They turn to me, y’know, I’ve been working on this. Some of them are saying I’m not doing anything. I’m not helping my constituents. Well, I’m saying we’re all in this and we all need to be working on it. You can’t just, they can’t just pass it all off to me,” said McKeon.

McKeon does say that since he’s been in office no digging by CEMEX has begun.

If you would like more information on SAFE and signing a petition, click here.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Edmond Prins says:

    Not only does the City’s Communication Director need grammar lessons, but so does SCV News. Mega-mining is not “eminent” but it might be “imminent”. The first shovelful could be “imminent.”

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
Related Content
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017
‘Dark Money’ Bill Moves to California Senate
Efforts to illuminate “dark money” in politics took a step forward Wednesday, as California lawmakers brokered a deal to move a disclosure bill to the state Senate next week.
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017
Six Flags Magic Mountain Goes Year-Round in January
Six Flags Entertainment today announced its Southern California flagship property, Six Flags Magic Mountain, will be open 365 days a year starting January 1, 2018.
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017
Bad Air Rising in SCV Thursday
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday, the AQMD warns.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Today on NewsBreak, a COC student has been arrested and charged with rape. The SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Crime Impact Team and Special Assignment Team conducted a joint bicycle patrol in Canyon Country and Newhall Tuesday evening.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Efforts to illuminate “dark money” in politics took a step forward Wednesday, as California lawmakers brokered a deal to move a disclosure bill to the state Senate next week.
‘Dark Money’ Bill Moves to California Senate
The school year is about to commence at California State University, Northridge. Saturday classes will start on Aug. 26. and weekday classes will begin on Aug. 28.
CSUN Fall 2017 Classes Start Saturday
Zonta Club of SCV's September 'LifeForward' workshop for women, focusing on how to better deal with conflict and anger issues, is set for the Savia Community Center in Newhall on Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
September 16: Zonta Conflict, Anger Workshop
Six Flags Entertainment today announced its Southern California flagship property, Six Flags Magic Mountain, will be open 365 days a year starting January 1, 2018.
Six Flags Magic Mountain Goes Year-Round in January
The Ekata Training Center in Valencia will host a Fitness Fun Day and open house on Saturday, September 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
September 16: Ekata Training Center Fitness Fun Day
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday, the AQMD warns.
Bad Air Rising in SCV Thursday
A five-week project to install a reinforced concrete box storm drain under Railroad Avenue in Newhall to improve drainage in the area will start Monday, August 28.
Railroad Ave. Storm Drain Project Begins August 28
Nine cancer survivors and their physicians will take the field at Dodger Stadium on Saturday evening to kick off City of Hope’s ThinkCure! Weekend.
Dodger Fans Help Strike Out Cancer This ‘Think Cure’ Weekend
Deputy Natalie Hidalgo is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's newly appointed school resource officer for Golden Valley High School, Sierra Vista Junior High School and Sequoia School.
Natalie Hidalgo New School Resource Deputy in Canyon Country
Starting Tuesday, Aug. 29, College of the Canyons students can leave their brown-bag lunches at home on Tuesdays because COC's Institute for Culinary Education (aka iCuE) Café will resume its weekly lunch service.
August 29: COC’s ‘iCuE’ Lunch Service Resumes
College of the Canyons has launched the Resources for Individual Success in Education program, dubbed RISE, to help improve access to higher education for current and former foster or homeless youth.
COC Launches RISE Program to Aid Foster, Homeless Youth
International contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth launched an exchange program for post-MFA students from CalArts and the Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University in the UK.
Hauser & Wirth’s Artist Residency Exchange at CalArts and Bath School
Artists and CalArts alumni Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle (Art, Critical Studies MFA 12) and Scott Benzel (Art MFA 01) will take part in The Getty’s 'Friday Flights' on Friday, August 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
August 25: CalArtians to Perform at The Getty’s ‘Friday Flights’
Another COC student has been arrested and charged with rape in an accusation unrelated to an on-campus assault reported Monday, this time for an alleged sexual assault that took place off-campus in June.
Another COC Student Charged in Alleged Sexual Assault
California's Assembly Appropriations Committee plans to review the Santa Clarita Valley Water District bill, SB 634, on September 1, Assembly officials said Wednesday.
Assembly Committee to Review SCV Water District Legislation
The city of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit Tuesday to intervene in California and San Francisco’s actions against the Justice Department’s new conditions on sanctuary cities.
L.A. Joins Sanctuary Cities’ Fight Against Justice Department
The SCV Sheriff's Station's Crime Impact Team and Special Assignment Team conducted a joint bicycle patrol in Canyon Country and Newhall Tuesday evening, and arrested four people on drug charges.
SCV Deputies’ Bicycle Patrol Nets 4 Arrests for Drugs
The 21st annual "Heart of the West" fundraiser for the non-profit Carousel Ranch horse therapy program for children will take place at the ranch on Saturday, August 26 starting at 6 p.m.
August 26: ‘Heart of the West’ to Benefit Carousel Ranch
Beatles tribute band The Sun Kings headline the final show in the 2017 Concerts in the Park series on Saturday, August 26, starting at 7 p.m.
August 26: Sun Kings Beatles Tribute Band at Central Park
Garrett Hampson delivered four hits and the Lancaster JetHawks held off a late rally by the Inland Empire 66ers in a 9-8 victory on Tuesday night at The Hangar, the JetHawks' fifth win in a row.
Hampson’s 4 Hits Propel JetHawks Over 66ers
The California League has named three Lancaster JetHawks as Postseason All-Stars -- Garrett Hampson, Yonathan Daza and Wes Rogers.
Three JetHawks Earn Post-Season All-Star Nods
The Santa Clarita City Council recognized the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's two Employees of the Month, Deputy Bob Garcia and Custody Assistant Manny Ramirez, at the Council's meeting Tuesday night.
City Council Honors SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees of the Month
1963 - First stretch of Antelope Valley 14 Freeway opens from east of Solemint Junction in Canyon Country to Red Rover Mine Road in Acton. [story]
With funding from Measure H, Los Angeles County and its cities are teaming up to quickly place thousands of homeless people into permanent housing that comes with the supportive services, rental subsidies and other assistance needed to thrive.
Permanent, Supportive Housing for Homeless Thanks to Measure H
A Domestic Violence Center, Senior Center and homeless shelter partnership is looking for solutions to the countywide homelessness crisis in Santa Clarita.
Three Local Non-Profits Look to Tackle Housing Crisis
The Gibbons Conservation Center is holding a Back to School special. Buy your 2018 membership today and get the rest of 2017 free.
Gibbons Conservation Center Holding Back-to-School Special
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, CHP is investigating a fatal collision that happened early Tuesday morning near Castaic. Plus, photographers can get ready to submit their Santa Clarita-centric photos for the Fall 2017 Photo Contest. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, August 22, 2017
WiSH Foundation Executive Director Amy Daniels is about climb for education.
WiSH Foundation’s E.D. to Climb Kilimanjaro for Public Education
Registration for the Fall session is now open.
Lil’ Kickers Fall Registration Underway
The CSUN Art Galleries are pleased to present part two of an exhibition featuring artwork made by full and part-time faculty in the Department of Art. More than thirty artists showcase current bodies of work, using a variety of materials and processes.
CSUN Faculty Artwork on Display in “Full and Part (Two)” Exhibit
Here are the upcoming times and dates for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Series:
Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Series Resumes Wednesday
Mayor Cameron Smyth, Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste and Councilmembers Bill Miranda, Marsha McLean and Bob Kellar cordially invite you to party like it’s 1987 at the 2017 State of the City Luncheon to be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
Oct. 26: State of the City 30th Anniversary Luncheon
Join The Painted Turtle on October 14, 2017 for the 8th annual bike ride and 2nd annual walk/run/roll to benefit the non-profit.
Oct. 14: Tour de Turtle, Turtle Trek Bike Ride
Here is a round-up of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 25-26th.
Aug. 25-26: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
The 2017 CIF Southern Section Football Pre-Season Rankings have been released and a local team finds itself at the top of its division.
CIF Pre-Season Rankings List Saugus Football No. 1 in Division