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October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


[City of Palmdale] – Despite attempts from plaintiff’s attorneys Kevin Shenkman and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris to halt Palmdale’s municipal election through a voting rights lawsuit, voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and re-elected Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford and Councilman Tom Lackey, as well as selecting new Councilman Frederic Thompson.

“Although they caused immeasurable confusion and angst among our residents, the plaintiffs were unsuccessful in court in their attempt to stop Palmdale’s election and our residents had their say at the polls,” said Palmdale’s Communications Manager John Mlynar. “The next step in the process is for the Court of Appeals to handle the Certification of the election, which will most likely happen in December or January.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our citizens’ determination to make their voices heard despite multiple attempts by plaintiff’s attorneys to stifle their right to vote,” said Ledford. “They not only went to the polls, but they elected a member of a ‘protected class’ to the City Council not because of the color of his skin, but because of the quality and merits of the candidate. This is exactly what Dr. King envisioned when he boldly proclaimed, ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’

“Our residents deserve the right to vote and I vow as Mayor to ensure their rights are protected,” added Ledford.

 

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Thompson, a retired community college dean who formerly served on the Palmdale Planning Commission and Palmdale School District board, became the first African-American to win a City Council seat but not the first minority candidate to win a Citywide election.

“Fred Thompson’s victory spits in the face of the plaintiff’s ridiculous argument that a minority candidate cannot win a Citywide election in Palmdale,” Ledford said. “He is the latest in a long list of minority candidates who have won citywide elections in Palmdale, including school and water boards.”

“The citizens of Palmdale didn’t vote for me because of or, in spite of, the color of my skin – or theirs,” Thompson said. “They voted for me on Tuesday for the same reasons they voted for me over thirty years ago: I understood the voters’ issues, I made myself known in the community, I had the support of other community leaders, I put the work in to get my message to the voters, and I ran an effective campaign. What part of that formula is this lawsuit trying to ‘fix?’”

“I understand the impulse to explain elections based on a single factor, in this case race, but you can’t do that in Palmdale,” added Thompson. “You certainly can’t explain Tuesday’s elections in Palmdale using race. In the race for Palmdale School District you had white candidates both win and lose, you had Hispanic candidates both win and lose. You had African-Americans elected to both the City Council and the Palmdale School Board.”

“The voting rights lawsuit gives the impression this is a racist community, and it is not. There isn’t a neighborhood in Palmdale that you can drive into that isn’t integrated,” Thompson said.

Meanwhile, the City is awaiting the decision of the Superior Court judge as to the remedy for the original ruling in the voting rights case. “Undoubtedly we will appeal that decision as well,” Ditzhazy said. “We believe our residents – all of them – are best served by an election process in which the voters have full say over all the candidates, rather than in a district situation where voters have their say over one candidate, while 4 other council members have power over them.”

“I’ve been asked if there is a racist motive behind plaintiffs’ efforts to prevent an African-American from being seated on our council,” said Palmdale City Attorney Ditzhazy said. “I don’t think so. I think they need to prevent Mr. Thompson from being seated on the council because it undermines their pretext for bringing this suit. This case isn’t about bringing diversity to the City Council – it’s about plaintiffs’ attorneys leveraging a poorly drafted statute for political power and easy money. Everyone in this state should be paying attention to what is going on here, because eventually it’s coming to your town and it’s going to cost the tax payer plenty.”

“Californians finally woke up about the abuse of the American with Disabilities Act, where attorneys were taking advantage of laws designed to ensure access to all Americans,” said Palmdale’s Deputy City Attorney Noel Doran. “Well, now these plaintiffs’ attorneys have traded in their tape measure for a statistician who will testify that there is ‘racially polarized voting’ in your town. In our case, the plaintiffs’ statistician testified that he hadn’t seen an American election without ‘racially polarized voting since the 1800’s,” Doran stated.

“It’s clearer now more than ever that the plaintiff’s concern isn’t about black, brown or white – it’s about green,” said Ledford. “These interlopers who do not live in our city have come here to rob our citizens of their hard earned tax dollars through a frivolous lawsuit that has no merit.”

“In addition to the money grab, you have to wonder why Parris doesn’t push for districts in his own city like he is pushing for them in Palmdale,” Ditzhazy said. “If he’s such a big believer in having 5 districts with the mayor’s position annually rotating amongst the council – like he’s proposing for Palmdale – why not do it in Lancaster for the April 2014 election? It’s just further proof that this lawsuit has nothing to do with the rights of minorities. People are seeing through this charade and quite frankly, they’re fed up with Parris and his ‘do as I say, not as I do’ behavior.”

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
Friday, Oct 13, 2017
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.
Friday, Oct 13, 2017
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will address issues related to homelessness and the Hepatitis A outbreak among other agenda items in their meeting Tuesday, October 17 starting at 9 a.m.
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017
The Los Angeles County Fire Department extends thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the devastating fires in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Orange counties.
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017
Welcome in the fall season with a horseback ride during Barger’s Trail Blazers ride on Sunday, Nov. 12, led by Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
The fall 2017 Star Party at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country campus on Friday, Oct. 27 will focus on the pathways to space exploration that exist for star-gazers who are captivated by the many mysteries of the universe.
Oct. 27: Star Party at COC Canyon Country Campus
Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
Supes Consider Entity for Probation Reform Guidance, Oversight, Accountability
Alexia Cina of Canyon Country was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a mother of six children in a head-on crash on Golden Valley Road on October 6.
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The 22nd annual Santa Clarita Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017, following the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.
Nov. 4-5: 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Events
The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series following Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field.
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The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
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SCV Deputies Catch Window-Smash Burglars in the Act
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Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
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COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oct. 21: 2017 College and Career Fair at COC
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
Oct. 28: Sheldon Figoten ‘Light Fields’ at COC Art Gallery
The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Names Winners in 2017 Art Classic
Here is the Castaic-Val Verde Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 25 through October 1.
Crime Blotter: Arson, Burglary, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California and New Mexico launched a fresh challenge Tuesday against the Trump administration’s repeal of higher royalty payments to states for oil, gas and coal leases on public lands.
California, New Mexico Challenge White House Favors to Oil, Gas, Coal
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
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CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
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Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
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A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
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The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
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Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
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