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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 16
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [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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Monday, Oct 16, 2017
CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct 16, 2017
A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
Friday, Oct 13, 2017
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 44th Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills Thursday night.
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017
CSUN Art Gallery will feature the Great Wall of Los Angeles: Judith F. Baca’s Experimentations in Collaboration and Concrete Oct. 14 – Dec. 16, 2017, with a reception Saturday, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. It will be curated by Mario Ontiveros.
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017
Over the summer, the Santa Clarita Public Libraries did something a little different - it ran an Escape Room, one at each branch.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Governor Brown signed off on a new bill that will change local water retailers distribute water in SCV. Plus, a spicy and savory Saturday for charity. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 16, 2017
The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
Oct. 17: Newhall School District Considers Newhall Family Theater OK
Master’s and Westmont College needed more than 90 minutes again Saturday to settle a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Santa Barbara.
Master’s Men Soccer Players Fall to Westmont in OT
Leaders from the CLWA and NCWC will meet in October, November and December to discuss their merger, which creates the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency as of Jan. 1.
Next Step: Water Agency Officials to Share Merger Details
Master’s women soccer players and coaches alike were adamant after Saturday’s top-10 matchup that Westmont’s 5-2 win wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score suggests.
Westmont Tops Master’s Women’s Soccer 5-2
Although Friday the 13th is a day generally associated with bad luck, CalArts turned the superstition on its ear as the community celebrated the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
CalArts Inaugurates Ravi S. Rajan as Fourth President
CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Oct 16: ‘Double Vision’: Recent Films by Janie Geiser at REDCAT
The promising signs the Mustangs showed in their Missouri opener paid off in the evening Friday when Master’s women’s volleyball picked up its first road win of the season.
Master’s Rallies on the Road, Nets Season’s First Win
College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets.
No. 11 Canyons Sweeps West L.A. at the Cougar Cage
Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country will host a fundraiser for local victims of the October 1 Las Vegas shootings on Saturday, October 28, from noon to 4 p.m.
Oct. 28: Route 66 Hosts Benefit for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
Oct. 16-20: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's October mixer is set for Wednesday, October 18 at Atria Senior Living in Newhall starting at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: SCV Chamber October Mixer at Atria
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will host a series of "Great Futures" tours for local residents in an effort to get the word out about the club's programs and services.
SCV Boys & Girls Club Hosts ‘Great Futures’ Tours
A special meeting of the Santa Clarita City Council, the Planning Commission, the Parks, Recreation and Communnity Services Commission, the Arts Commission, and the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel is set for Tuesday, October 17 at City Hall.
Oct. 17: Harassment, Abusive Conduct Prevention Training for City Officials
The Hart Indians outscored the Canyon Cowboys 35-18 at Harry Welch Stadium Friday, October 13, in the teams' 50th matchup, and Kevin Karzin, president of the SCV Photographers Association, contributed photos from the game.
Photo Gallery: Hart Indians Beat Canyon Cowboys 35-18
Gov. Brown has vetoed a President Donald Trump-inspired proposal that would have required presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the statewide ballot.
Brown Vetoes Bill Requiring Candidates Release Tax Returns
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills on Sunday calling for criminal justice reforms, including reduction of penalties for some gun and drug crimes and changes to the Megan's Law sex offender registry.
Brown Signs Bills for Criminal Justice Reforms
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]
With the stroke of his pen Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated the Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District and replaced them with a new water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley.
Brown Signs Wilk Bill Merging SCV Water Agencies
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises celebrated the New York premiere of “Born to Dance,” the latest offering from its first-of-its-kind partnership with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and famed director/creator Daniel C. Levine.
Princess Cruises Celebrates NY Premiere of ‘Born to Dance’ With Schwartz, Levine
1980 - Phillies beat Royals in Game 1 of World Series; Hart grad Bob Walk is winning pitcher [story]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 44th Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills Thursday night.
Medalists Revealed at 2017 Student Academy Awards
The Los Angeles Dodgers will play host to the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the 2017 NLCS at Dodger Stadium on Saturday starting at 5:08 p.m.
National League Championships Open at Dodger Stadium Saturday
Santa Clarita ranks No. 5 among Los Angeles County's 88 cities in the assessed value of all taxable real property and business personal property, according to the 2017 Annual Report released by County Assessor Jeffrey Prang today.
Santa Clarita No. 5 Highest Valued City in LA County
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and a coalition of other law enforcement agencies and community organizations will host the 9th Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, October 16 from 8:25 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
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Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, locals found out what it is like to be a school principal. Plus, there are some great events to head out to this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 13, 2017
Starting Monday night, Oct. 16, the California Department of Transportation will paint new temporary lanes on a section of Interstate 5 aka the Golden State Freeway in and near the city of Santa Clarita.
New Temporary Lanes Coming Monday on Interstate 5 in SCV
The William S. Hart Union High School District is looking for someone to become a personnel commissioner to serve a three-year term beginning December 1, 2017.
Hart District Seeks Personnel Commissioner for Classified Employees
The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 at COC's Cougar Field in Valencia on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oct. 21: COC Baseball, Playa Vista Orioles Youth Classic
An alumna of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Cinthya Medrano, is the first recipient of a Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship.
Cinthya Medrano Earns First Duane R. Harte Memorial Scholarship
The non-profit Santa Clarita Coalition has created a Facebook page to aid the Evans family after the mother of six children died in a car crash on Golden Valley Road.
Facebook Page Created to Aid Evans Family
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Golden State Gateway Coalition Issues Fall 2017 Newsletter
The Castaic Lake Water Agency's Budget and Rates Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m.
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A "Tip-a-Cop" fundraiser for the Special Olympics Santa Clarita Valley is set for the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews restaurant in Valencia on Thursday, October 19, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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California Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak on Friday, and the L.A. County Department of Public Health is on the case.
Governor Brown Declares Statewide Hepatitis A Outbreak