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September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]


(From left) Valencia Valley School parent volunteer Debbie Wolpert and Pico Canyon School Principal Laura Banda work the phones for Measure E on their own time.

[Yes On Measure E Committee] – The Citizens for Newhall School District/Yes on Measure E Committee has organized a grass roots effort to convince voters to vote yes for their cause and the campaign is entering its final weeks. In the last month thousands of voters in the district have received a personal phone call from a parent volunteer, teacher, school administrator, or school board member to talk up the measure’s benefits for the students in Newhall.

“We are so grateful for our volunteers,” said Measure E campaign co-chairperson Christy Smith, who has organized the callers. “Four nights a week and on Sunday afternoons we’ve had people on the phones talking to voters.”

The volunteers, armed with a list of facts to share with voters, soon learn to make the appeal their own. In a two minute phone call they remind voters that the bond is designed to not raise taxes, but extend previously approved tax rates. The money garnered from the sale of the bonds will help the district move forward with classroom technology for the next ten years. It will be invested in energy efficiency projects that will reduce utility bills and free up operational dollars for the classroom. It will fix leaky roofs and replace many of the older portable building throughout the district and it will allow the renovation of auditoriums and multi-purpose rooms.

No argument was filed against Measure E but campaign organizers are not assuming anything.

“Every school in Newhall will benefit from this bond and it’s easy to get parents to understand that,” stated Mike Shapiro, co-chairperson of the Measure E campaign committee. “But we also know that we need to convince voters who do not have kids at our schools that this is good for the community at large. Academically excellent, modern, and well equipped schools like ours can maintain home values in the community.”

And now the campaign enters a critical phase. Absentee and by-mail ballots are already being sent back to the Los Angeles Registrar of Voters, so the callers are continuing their work to convince voters. In the days just prior to the election the campaign committee will again call on its small army of volunteers to remind voters to cast their ballots on November 8th if they have not already done so.

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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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