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Santa Clarita CA
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Today in
S.C.V. History
December 17
1925 - Jenks Harris robs Piru bank of $11,000 [story]

“Bully,” a gut-wrenching documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch chronicling the bullying epidemic in America’s schools, opens in theaters across the country Friday, but not in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Released by the Weinstein Company, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 and opened for limited engagements in Los Angeles and New York March 30. “Bully” is set to expand into a total of 55 markets on Friday.

However, managers at both the Edwards Valencia and Edwards Canyon Country theater complexes, owned by the Regal Entertainment Group, confirmed Thursday and today, respectively, that the movie won’t screen at either location.

“The corporate office decides what we get,” said Audrey Watts, Edwards Valencia manager, adding that Regal’s decision is based on how well the company thinks the film will do at the box office. “We usually don’t get the more artsy or documentary films.”

“We’re the designated arts theater in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Katriana Lahero, Edwards Canyon Country manager. As of Tuesday, though, “Bully” was not on the schedule of films opening there Friday.

“Bully” has earned generally positive reviews in its limited engagement. It was released to theaters unrated after the Motion Picture Association of America wanted to assign it an R (restricted) rating due to a half-dozen instances of the f-word being used by school bullies. After much controversy that called into question the relevance of the current movie ratings, a compromise was reached. The filmmakers edited “Bully” to soften the f-bombs, and the film was granted a PG-13 rating.

Thirteen million students will be bullied in the United States this year, and three million kids are absent each month because they feel unsafe at school, according to statistics on the “Bully Project” website.

“I think everyone should see ‘Bully,’ because it shows in graphic detail what it’s like to be bullied, and I think that bullies should see the impact they have on kids,” said Marisa Watkins, who has Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

A graduating student at Sequoia Charter School and in the Transitional Learning Center program at College of the Canyons, the 18-year-old Stevenson Ranch resident was taunted, mocked and physically bullied in junior and senior high school (Rio Norte, Golden Valley and Canyon), and has been involved in anti-bullying efforts at local schools for several years.

“Some kids get bullied so much, they don’t want to live anymore,” Watkins said. “They just want to stay home from school. They’re afraid. They build up phobias about going to school. That’s where I was, basically, last year.” After a bullying incident at Canyon High, she said, “I didn’t want to go to school for three months.”

With help from a therapeutic behavioral therapist, Watkins was able to recover from the most recent episode and get back into school, but at Sequoia, in Saugus. “There’s no bullying at Sequoia,” she said. “I’ve never been bullied there.”

A Special Olympics athlete and coach with 53 gold medals in a variety of sports, including snowboarding and skiiing, Watkins serves as the organization’s Global Ambassador, speaking at schools and fundraisers designed to raise awareness of its services and resources for special-needs students in and around the Santa Clarita Valley.

She is also a coordinator for Project Unify, a Special Olympics-related inclusion program at West Ranch High School that combats bullying, both physical and verbal. Project Unify is mounting a “Spread the Word, End the Word” campaign to stop people from using the “R-word” (retard). West Ranch students also started a club called the “Special Olympics Society” that helps with volunteering and fundraising.

While the “Bully” documentary focuses on special-needs students terrorized in schools in the American Midwest and South, it’s a national problem, and as Watkins and her peers can tell you, bullying is just as prevalent in the Santa Clarita Valley as anywhere else.

“Most of the time when they’re bullied, some kids react,” Watkins said. “Autistic and Asperger’s kids get bullied the most because they’re either stuck in a conversation or they become different because they stick out if they’re having a meltdown,” Watkins said. “That’s when they get bullied the most, because some people with autism are non-verbal. They make noises, and that’s how they try and communicate.

“And kids say, ‘What’s wrong with this kid? Are they a freak?'” she said. “Or they use the R-word. The R-word is ‘retard,’ but the new R-word is ‘respect.’ Every kid with special needs, and adults, needs to have respect.”

Watkins urges students who are being bullied to tell their school administrators.

“Bully” is now showing at the Arclight Hollywood, Landmark and AMC Century City theaters in Los Angeles. Santa Clarita Valley residents may “demand” that “Bully” be screened here by voting online.

Kim Goldman, SCV Youth Project executive director, understands the film not opening here may be a business decision. “But from an emotional side, from someone who’s in the community, who sees the value of it…I just watched the trailer. It’s powerful. I’m sitting in my car, crying, watching, because it’s so incredibly powerful, and it”s all out of the mouths of babes, it’s from their voice. It’s so touching. And it’s a shame that our community, being as youth-focused and family-focused as we are, would miss the opportunity to pull ourselves together as a community and to take care of each other and talk about something that all of our kids are actually faced with.”

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Friday, Dec 15, 2017
Valencia-based Princess Cruises, voted the #1 international cruise line in Japan, announced its 2019 program featuring Japanese-built Diamond Princess returning for her sixth season, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.
Friday, Dec 15, 2017
Valencia-based Princess Cruises released its 2019 Canada and New England cruise schedule, featuring Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess on the line’s largest fall deployment and the opportunity to visit Greenland roundtrip from New York
Thursday, Dec 14, 2017
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday:
Thursday, Dec 14, 2017
This Friday and Saturday (Dec. 15-16), The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance brings their annual Winter Dance Concert to the REDCAT stage.
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017
The Caribbean is back, better than ever, and Valencia-based Princess Cruises is offering the best fares of the season during the “Exclusively Caribbean Sale,” on 7-, 8-, 10-, 14-day sailings departing February through April 2018.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1925 - Jenks Harris robs Piru bank of $11,000 [story]
1902 - Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Gen. E.F. Beale's Syrian camel driver, dies at Quartzsite, Ariz. [story]
The National Weather Service has called a Fire Weather Watch for this weekend for Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys including the Santa Clarita Valley due to gusty northeast wind and low relative humidity.
Weekend Fire Weather Watch Called for SCV
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a 21-year-old man who had an outstanding warrant and was allegedly in possession of cocaine in Canyon Country early Thursday.
Bicyclist Arrested for Warrant, Cocaine in Canyon Country
Valencia-based Princess Cruises, voted the #1 international cruise line in Japan, announced its 2019 program featuring Japanese-built Diamond Princess returning for her sixth season, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.
Princess Cruises Unveils 2019 Japan Cruise Program
Valencia-based Princess Cruises released its 2019 Canada and New England cruise schedule, featuring Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess on the line’s largest fall deployment and the opportunity to visit Greenland roundtrip from New York
Princess Cruises Sets Fall 2019 Cruises to Canada, New England
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department looks back at five years of work by its Domestic Highway Enforcement Team, which has disrupted the operations of the drug cartels by confiscating millions of dollars in illegal drugs and drug money.
Elite LASD Drug Enforcement Team Disrupts Cartel Operations
College of the Canyons quarterback Andrew Brito, wide receiver Desean Holmes and linebacker KJ Latu have been named to the 2017 Region III All-California Community College Football Team.
Brito, Holmes, Latu Represent Cougars on All-State Team
Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's 2018 awards ceremony and installation of new officers at Tournament Players Club in Valencia on Friday night, January 26.
Jan. 26: SCV Chamber of Commerce 2018 Awards, Installation Gala
Sponsorships are now open for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation's 2018 Economic Outlook Conference, set for Thursday, March 8, 2018 at a location to be announced shortly.
SCV 2018 Economic Outlook Conference Tickets, Sponsorships Open
SetPoint Medical, a Valencia-based biomedical company developing therapy for chronic inflammatory diseases, has received approval from the FDA to initiate a pilot trial in the U.S. for patients with drug-refractory rheumatoid arthritis.
FDA OK’s SetPoint Bioelectronic Therapy Study for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., representing the United States - and states and regions leading on climate across the globe - joined world leaders at the One Planet Summit Tuesday, the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
Brown in Paris: ‘We Can’t Wait for White House to Wake Up’
The regular Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 19 has been canceled, according to a notification from the city of Santa Clarita today.
City Cancels Dec. 19 Planning Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, December 19, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 19: L.A. County Board of Supervisors Meeting
L.A. County's Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force officials unveiled their final recommendations, endorsing a plan to use a voluntary system of trackable bracelets to find people prone to wandering, like those suffering from Alzheimer’s or autism.
County Task Force Calls for Tracking Bracelets to Locate Lost Individuals
The Community Development Commission of the county of Los Angeles looks back on 35 years of advancing its core program areas: affordable housing and housing, community and economic development.
County Community Development Commission Marks 35th Anniversary
Metro is seeking two new members to join the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee.
Metro Seeks 2 New Measure M Oversight Committee Members
The California Air Resources Board approved a $663 million low-carbon transportation plan Thursday to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses and freight equipment.
Air Resources Board OK’s $663 Million for Clean Vehicles
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its public safety and crime information report for Saugus (Zone 4) for December 4-10, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Petty Theft in Saugus
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s illegal attempt to suspend the 2015 Clean Water Rule for two years.
California AG, 10 Others Oppose Feds’ Suspension of Clean Water Rule
Conservation groups on Friday lobbied a federal judge for permission to join a fight between the federal government and a ranching association over a trio of California amphibian species.
Conservationists Lobby to Join Fray Over Frog Habitat
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]
With an offense that challenged the program’s single-season goals record, The Master’s University women’s soccer team was almost almost never out of any game it played: The Mustangs were always within striking range.
Lady Mustangs Within Range of Directors’ Cup Top Spots
When Ed Jackiewicz met Tera Trujillo in spring 2015, she was studying at a desk she’d carried to the corner of the California State University, Northridge soccer field, in a “time out” of sorts, unable to practice because she’d just earned a D in an economics class.
CSUN’s “Under Armour Faculty” Promotes Academic Success in Student-Athletes
When Rafael Munoz recalls his time at the Layer 8 Computer Security Club at California State University, Northridge, he feels proud and thankful.
CSUN’s Tech Education Makes Top 10 List
The city of Santa Clarita Arts and Events division is currently seeking proposals for solo exhibits for 2018 in the gallery space at The MAIN, the City’s newest arts venue in Old Town Newhall.
City Seeking Artists for 2018 Solo Exhibits
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.---CSUN Men's Basketball returns to the road for the final time in the non-conference season this weekend.
CSUN to Face-Off Against Formal Rival Eastern Washington
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday:
Dec. 15: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
This Friday and Saturday (Dec. 15-16), The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance brings their annual Winter Dance Concert to the REDCAT stage.
Dec. 15, 16: Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Concert at REDCAT
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved naming Dr. Collyn Nielsen as Chief Administrative Officer and Jan Hayes-Rennels as Director of Special Programs and Staff Development.
Hart Appoints Nielsen, Hayes-Rennels to District Office Positions
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The CSUN men's volleyball team was picked to finish third in the inaugural Big West Men's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll announced Thursday.
Big West Pre-Season Coaches Poll Puts Matadors Volleyball at No. 3
A 44-year-old transient was arrested by SCV Sheriff's Station deputies Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly tried to pick up his 8-year-old niece from a school in Santa Clarita.
Suspect Arrested in Attempted Kidnapping
It was a night to honor exceptional mentors at California State University, Northridge, but the five recipients of the 2017 Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards just wanted to talk about their students.
CSUN Pays Tribute to Mentors Who Have Made a Difference
The words leapt right off the page and hung in the air, heavy, encircling the audience. Their creator stood, offering his gifts of verse — shared in a powerful baritone voice.
Literary Star Power Comes to CSUN
While critical fire conditions continue through Friday, the final numbers for the Rye Fire have been released.
Officials Release Final Numbers on Rye Fire
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board held it’s annual reorganizational meeting Wednesday night, naming Steve Sturgeon as Board President.
Steve Sturgeon Named 2018 Hart Board President