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January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]


Sen. Steve Knight

Sen. Steve Knight

Legislative Update

The California Legislature officially adjourned the first year of the 2013–2014 legislative session on Friday, September 13th, 2013. I am proud to say that of the original 15 measures I introduced this year, one has already been signed into law and three bills are awaiting signature from Governor Brown. Additionally, six bills will continue through the legislative process in January of next year and pick up where we left off this year.

The three bills that are currently on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law are Senate Bills (SB) 290, 328 and 582. SB 290 provides that veterans stationed in California one year prior to an honorable discharge will receive in–state tuition rates at four–year institutions. SB 328 provides an additional tool for counties to receive bids for major projects and development plans. SB 582 asks the state to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the success of a web portal for taxpayers to access necessary forms from the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board and the Employment Department Development.

My staff will be diligently researching for next year’s legislative package through January 2014. Although the Legislature is in interim, the fall is a great time to continue working on the remaining legislation, gain stakeholders opinion, and draft meaningful proposals to help the residents of Senate District 21, as well as the State of California as a whole.

Play Ball!

Legislators met up on a different battleground one evening before session ended this month for a little fun in off work hours. Rather than the floor of the Senate or Assembly, we faced off on the baseball diamond at Raley Field, home of the Sacramento Rivercats, minor league farm team for the Oakland Athletics. The final score was 4–2, with Republicans edging out the Democrats in the final inning of the matchup. The game, slated to go 7 innings was tied 2–2 at the end of regulation. Our Republican team scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning, earning bragging rights for the year. I played third base for most of the game, switching over to second base with a few innings left. Not only did we have fun and bring home the win, we were able to raise approximately $20,000 for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento.

 

Senator Knight taking a break between innings of the Annual Democrat vs. Republican softball game

 

I Welcome Your Legislative Ideas

My top priority as a Legislator has always been to serve the people I represent in the best way possible. My district staff works tirelessly and diligently to assist constituents with local matters and my capitol staff is exhaustively dedicated to ensuring that the voices of my constituents are heard on a statewide level in Sacramento. That being said, with the 2013 legislative session having come to a close, fall is the time when my staff and I start to prepare for the upcoming year. We will research legislative ideas, evaluate our options, and finalize our decision for the legislative package we will carry in the 2014 legislative year, which commences in January. Always wanting to keep in touch with my constituents’ needs and priorities, I welcome input and ideas that will improve life in the Antelope, Victor, and Santa Clarita Valleys. Each year since I have been elected I have used ideas straight from the district, and I continue to do so. So please contact my offices, send me an e–mail, or contact me through my website to submit your legislative ideas. I look forward to hearing your input.

Dr. Dianne Van Hook Celebrates 25 Years with College of the Canyons

At the end of August my Santa Clarita District Representative Sarah Tyndall presented Dr. Dianne Van Hook with a Senate Resolution honoring her achievements of the past 25 years with College of the Canyons. Dr. Van Hook is the current Chancellor at COC, and through her vision and leadership has put College of the Canyons on the map for community colleges. She has gone above and beyond when it comes to the students of the college and has made a lasting impression on all who work with her. The numerous contributions she has made have allowed the school to grow from 4,000 students in 1988 to 27,000 students today, along with the college’s budget growing to $181 million. There is no doubt that Dr. Van Hook will only continue to help COC achieve remarkable benchmarks.
Photograph of Michele Jenkins, Joan MacGregor, Dianne Van Hook, Bruce Fortine, Steve Zimmer, and Michael Berger
From left: Michele Jenkins, Joan MacGregor, Dianne Van Hook, Bruce Fortine, Steve Zimmer, and Michael Berger.
Photo courtesy of College of the Canyons.

Remembering the “Good Old Days”

Lillian (Stratton) Pratt, the very first Miss Hesperia and Rodeo Queen of 1948 made the long journey from her current residence in Washington state to graciously serve as Grand Marshal of the Hesperia Days Parade, which was quite befitting, considering the theme of this year’s parade was “Good Old Days.” Hundreds of residents lined Main Street to cheer on their school bands and R.O.T.C., and to observe the hard work local businesses displayed with their floats. I would like to thank the City of Hesperia, Hesperia Parks and Recreation Department, local officials, and the parade presenters, Hesperia Kiwanis Club International, for once again presenting a spectacular event in the High Desert.

Parade watchers take in the floats and sights of the Hesperia Days Parade.
Parade watchers take in the floats and sights of the Hesperia Days Parade.

Outstanding Small Business – Jaqua & Sons, Masonry Center

I had the pleasure of honoring Randy Jaqua of Jaqua & Sons, Masonry Center in Lancaster as a 2013 Outstanding Small Business. Jaqua & Sons has been a family–owned business for more than 60 years and is now owned by the 3rd generation. Randy and his staff will be happy to help you with all your masonry needs.

Senator Steve Knight presents Outstanding Small Business Award to Randy Jaqua.
Senator Steve Knight presents Outstanding Small Business Award to Randy Jaqua.

Speaking at Santa Clarita Women Federated

While the legislature is in interim break I have the opportunity to attend meetings in the district that I am not typically able to attend due to my responsibilities in Sacramento. This month I was invited to give a legislative update to the Santa Clarita Chapter of Republican Women Federated. With all that has happened in the last month in Sacramento, I had many updates to share with the group. I was asked many questions about recently passed bills regarding the State Budget, giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants and the changes to student privacy in restrooms.

Senator Knight accepts a certificate from SCRWF President, Paige Weaver. Photo courtesy of Tammy Messina.
Senator Knight accepts a certificate from SCRWF President, Paige Weaver.
Photo courtesy of Tammy Messina.

Fire Fee Town Hall

An issue that I have found to be of great concern for many of my constituents is the recently enacted California Fire Prevention Fee. I understand there are many questions and frustrations regarding the tax, and my aim is to aid and assist my constituents in whatever way possible. With this in mind, I co–hosted a Fire Fee tele–townhall along with Board of Equalization Member George Runner, Senators Tom Berryhill and Anthony Cannella, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, and Assemblymembers Frank Bigelow, Shannon Grove, Jim Patterson and Scott Wilk. I wanted to have a free and open dialogue to provide answers as well as present the most up–to–date and accurate information. Here are the top 5 points everyone should know about the fee:

  • What is the SRA Fire Fee?
    The Fire Fee is a new tax that charges homeowners up to $150 per “habitable structure” located on property within the State Responsibility Area.
  • Are ALL structures assessed the fee?
    The fee is not assessed on all structures. Barns, woodsheds, outbuildings, commercial buildings, and other structures not used for human habitation are not assessed the fee.
  • What if I’m already protected by another fire agency?
    The fee is discounted $35 per habitable structure if the structure is within the boundaries of a local agency that provides fire protection services. In these cases, the fee will be $115 per habitable structure. 98% of the structures within the SRA are served by either local fire districts or county fire departments.
  • How do I file an appeal or protest my Fire Fee bill?
    Taxpayers who wish to file an appeal may do so by filing a petition with the state. The petition must be filed within 30 days of the billing date. More information is available on our How to Appeal page.
  • Is the Fire Fee a tax deductible item like property taxes?
    In January 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an opinion that fire fee payments are not tax deductible because the fee is not a tax under California or federal law, and because it is assessed only against specific property to provide a local benefit. For a detailed explanation, follow this link.
From left:  Board of Equalization Member George Runner, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, Senator Steve Knight, Assemblyman Jim Patterson and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway
From left: Board of Equalization Member George Runner, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, Senator Steve Knight, Assemblyman Jim Patterson and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.

Outstanding Business – Victorville Motors

I am honored to recognize Victorville Motors as an Outstanding Business in the 21st Senate District. Victorville Motors has been selling cars for decades in the High Desert and undeniably takes great pride in supporting our local schools, foundations, and community projects. In fact, they actually give away new cars to winning 9th – 12th grade students with perfect attendance at participating high schools throughout the High Desert. The incentive program, “It’s a Gas to go to Class,” is expanding to teachers as well, with “It’s a Gas to Teach Class!” I see that high school attendance is up in the High Desert, which increases school revenues as well. I’m sure that the incentive of winning a new Dodge Dart has something to do with it! Thank you Billy Mack and Jeff Smilen for your dedication. Chet Watts, President, and Tim Watts, Chief Operating Officer of Victorville Motors, say it best, “We’ve been honored to be a part of the High Desert since 1970, and we are passionate about continuing to do our part to make the Victor Valley a better place to live and work.”

Billy Mack, Director of Sales, and Jeff Smilen, Sales Manager/Team Leader.
Billy Mack, Director of Sales, and Jeff Smilen, Sales Manager/Team Leader.

Kaiser Permanente Celebrates 10 Years in Palmdale

My Antelope Valley Representative Lisa Moulton recently presented Department Administrator Virginia Farley and Physician–in–Charge David Bronstein, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Palmdale Medical Offices with a certificate of recognition for the outstanding work Kaiser has done for the community of Palmdale. It is vital for good, quality healthcare to come into a community and be successful in not only providing their services, but also educating the public on numerous health concerns; and Kaiser has done just that not just in Palmdale, but the entire Antelope Valley.

District Representative Lisa Moulton, Department Administrator Virginia Farley and Physician-in-Charge David Bronstein, MD.
District Representative Lisa Moulton, Department Administrator Virginia Farley and Physician–in–Charge David Bronstein, MD. Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente.

AVBOT–XCOR Meeting

The Antelope Valley Board of Trade (AVBOT) Aerospace Committee met with Khaki Rodway, Director of Payload Sales and Operations of XCOR Aerospace in Mojave this month. XCOR is another great company regrettably moving out of California to Texas due to the high cost of doing business in California.

Members of AVBOT meeting at Mojave Air and Space Port.
Members of AVBOT meeting at Mojave Air and Space Port.

9/11 — We Remember

My staff was honored to attend the Remembrance Ceremony at the Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Antelope Valley Mall. Representatives from the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, U. S. Forest Service, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation took part in the ceremony honoring the fallen heroes that gave their lives on September 11, 2001.

The Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony remembered the people who died that day in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Let us never forget!!

The American Flag flies proudly from an engine of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The American Flag flies proudly from an engine of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley

One of the great opportunities of my job as State Senator is meeting with caring people like Sue Page and Donna Gaddis of The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley. The Children’s Center is a private non–profit organization located in northern Los Angeles County that provides a continuum of services to child victims of abuse, children at risk of abuse, and their families. The staff and volunteers are recognized community leaders in areas relating to the welfare and safety of children. Thank you all for your care and support for the families of the Antelope Valley.

Meeting with Sue Page and Donna Gaddis at The Children's Center of the Antelope Valley
Meeting with Sue Page and Donna Gaddis at The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley.

Rancho Raviri Tour

My staff and I toured Rancho Raviri with owner Lee Baron and learned about the finest almond barques in butterscotch, dark, milk and white chocolate, as well as a variety of savory and sweet almonds, flavored to perfection. For over 60 years Rancho Raviri Almond Gifts has been a great place to buy a gift for a special occasion. With the holidays coming up, remember Rancho Raviri has a wonderful selection of gifts and gift baskets. Thanks to Lee and his staff for all their hard work and commitment to the Antelope Valley.

Senator Steve Knight presents a Certificate of Recognition to business partners Lee Baron and Susan Jankowski.
Senator Steve Knight presents a Certificate of Recognition to business partners Lee Baron and Susan Jankowski.

Small Business Information Fair

There will be a Small Business Information Fair on October 4th, 9:30am–1:30pm at the San Bernardino County Government Center Rotunda, located at 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino. Government and small business agencies will be available at this free event.

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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
SCV Carjacking Suspect Crashes on 210, Leaving 1 Dead
A suspected carjacker from Santa Clarita caused a wrong way crash on the 210 freeway Monday, killing one person and injuring several others.
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
Upgrades at SCV Sheriff’s Station Dispatch; Non-Emergency Calls May Be Delayed
From the Facebook Page of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriffs Station:
Monday, Jan 22, 2018
Man Allegedly Tries to Kill Ex-Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire
A Castaic man was charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire in one of three domestic violence incidents in the SCV Friday and Saturday.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
State and Federal Disaster Assistance Programs are now available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for eligible homeowners, renters and business owners in Los Angeles County who suffered damages or losses due to the December 2017 Creek, Rye and Skirball wildfires.
Federal Disaster Aid Now Available to Victims of Recent Southland Fires
Starting on Monday, Jan. 29, the city of Santa Clarita will begin work on a federally-funded project which includes the installation of a pre-fabricated steel truss pedestrian bridge over Sierra Highway north of Golden Valley Road, traffic circulation improvements, and trail connections.
Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge Construction to Begin Jan. 29
A suspected carjacker from Santa Clarita caused a wrong way crash on the 210 freeway Monday, killing one person and injuring several others.
SCV Carjacking Suspect Crashes on 210, Leaving 1 Dead
The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will swing into the Santa Clarita Valley for a special one-night-only event to be held at West Ranch High School on Monday, Mar. 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 19: Glenn Miller Orchestra at West Ranch High School
Back by popular demand, Princess Cruises is offering up to 35 percent off select sailings during the redux of the line’s “Exclusively Caribbean Sale,” on select Spring 2018 Caribbean cruises departing March through May 2018.
Princess Cruises “Exclusively Caribbean Sale” Underway
From the Facebook Page of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriffs Station:
Upgrades at SCV Sheriff’s Station Dispatch; Non-Emergency Calls May Be Delayed
Disney/Pixar's "Coco" earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, a film which CalArts alumnus Adrian Molina co-wrote and co-directed along with Lee Unkrich.
CalArts Alum’s Film “Coco” Earns Oscar Nomination
Friends of the Santa Clarita Public Library will hold Antique Appraisal Day on Feb. 10, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Old Town Newhall Library Community Room.
Feb. 10: Antique Appraisal Day at Old Town Newhall Library
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
A Castaic man was charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire in one of three domestic violence incidents in the SCV Friday and Saturday.
Man Allegedly Tries to Kill Ex-Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire
College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus officials will break ground on the Science Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: Science Center Groundbreaking at COC Canyon Country Campus
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named Canyon High School sophomore Lluvia Partida the 2018 Youth of the Year.
Lluvia Partida Named SCV Boys and Girls Club 2018 Youth of the Year
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host five grand openings for local businesses in February 2018 - Fantastic Sams, Bodhi Leaf Coffee, Kaiser Permanente, Farmers Insurance and Open Trails E-Bikes.
February: SCV Chamber Hosts 5 Grand Openings
California State Parks is taking reservations for the spring tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi, site of a Kawaiisu Native American village.
Reservations Open for Tours at Tehachapi Native American Village Site
The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve will be open March 1 through May 13 (Mother’s Day) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
March 1: California Poppy Reserve Center Opens in Antelope Valley
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve’s two-day volunteer training for the 2018 spring wildflower season will be held on February 3 and February 10, both Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Feb. 3, Feb. 10: Poppy Reserve Volunteer Training for 2018 Wildflower Season
The 2017 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey again ranked Santa Clarita among the best cities for doing business in Southern California.
Survey: Santa Clarita Among County’s Best in Cost of Doing Business
Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia is being delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. today due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
Small Plane Landings for Movie Shoot in Valencia Until 4 p.m. Today
Adam Rubio's game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning resulted in TMU's 5-4 win over Marymount California University Saturday.
Mustangs Rally to Beat MCU in the Eighth
With Robert Winslow on the mound, TMU won 13-0 over visiting Marymount California University at Master's in the second game of Saturday's double-header.
Master’s Baseball Team Wraps Opening Series in Dominating Fashion
The No. 4 Mustangs men's basketball team scored a 74-71 win over Westmont before a capacity crowd Saturday in the team's 18th straight victory, and fifth straight to open Golden State Athletic Conference play.
Master’s Holds off Westmont for 18th Straight Win
Hannah Forrar scored 16 points Saturday night but The Master's University women's basketball team still lost to Westmont 62-55.
Westmont Rises Over Mustangs 62-56
It’s not too late to register for the College of the Canyons spring 2018 semester, which will run from Monday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, June 1.
Not Too Late for COC Spring Registration
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies caught and arrested two men and two women from Bakersfield allegedly using credit cards stolen in Santa Clarita to purchase items at a Centre Pointe business.
4 Alleged Credit Card Thieves Arrested on Multiple Charges
Caltrans has reopened U.S. Highway 101 in between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara after nearly a nearly two-week closure due to mudslides.
Caltrans Reopens Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara
A 38-year-old man was arrested on charges including theft and forgery in Stevenson Ranch early Thursday morning.
Man Booked for Alleged Theft, Forgery in Stevenson Ranch
L.A. County health officials have extended a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley through Monday night due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures.
SCV Cold Weather Alert Extended Through Tonight
In the ninth inning Friday, with Master's well on its way to a 15-7 season-opening win over Marymount California University, Coach Monte Brooks sent Josh Robison to the plate if for no other reason than to see what would happen.
TMU’s Robison Hits 3 Homers in Season-Opening Win
Here is the Castaic/Val Verde public safety and crime information report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of January 1, 2018
Crime Blotter: Theft, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic-Val Verde
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, capping off an eight-year stint leading one of the largest metropolitan police forces in America.
L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck Abruptly Announces Retirement
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard will be delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, January 22 due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia to Prompt Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo