[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
99°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 3
1975 - Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital opens with 100 beds [story]
HMNMH


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Friday, Dec 26, 2014

JenniferFischerThis is the time of year for reflection. I’ve read some great A-Z lists lately, my favorite being “A to Z of Women In Film 2014” in Indiewire’s Women and Hollywood blog. I’ve decided to use the A-Z format, as well.

Here’s the first part of my A-Z of this past year’s news, highlighting the headlines that jump out at me as I look back on the year and reflect.

A is for Australia – The recent hostage situation and deaths in Australia reminded me of what a small, small world it is, and of how fragile life can be; of how we never know what might happen. It also demonstrated the ways tragedy can bring people together. Following the event, the hashtag #IllRideWithYou flooded Twitter feeds as Australians offered to ride with fellow Muslims who feared they might be harassed as they rode public transportation in their head scarves. I was moved by this gesture. So often, an act by one person in a group can lead people to make generalizations about that entire group, but in this case, that didn’t happen. Well done, Aussies. Well done.

B is for Blackfish – The documentary film, “Blackfish,” which highlights the controversy of holding orca whales in captivity with a focus on the deaths of SeaWorld trainers because of the actions of these whales, may have been released in 2013, but its impact reverberated well into 2014 for the aquatic water parks. The company’s stock price has plummeted. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the SeaWorld, and recently the chief executive of SeaWorld Entertainment resigned as attendance at parks and revenues continued to decrease. As a filmmaker, the ability of this film to create actual change stands out as nothing short of remarkable.

C is for Cosby – More and more accusations cropped up this year against Bill Cosby from women who allege he drugged and raped them. The number of women who have come out about this certainly makes the accusations hard to ignore and have meant, for most, the fall of an iconic TV father. The entire experience reminds me of how a different code of ethics often exists for those with privilege in our society, and of how far we still have to go regarding equal rights and safety for women.

D is for Domestic Violence – Various high-profile domestic violence cases, most notably the case of NFL player Ray Rice, who was caught punching out his fiancee on tape, underscored the realities women face. And once again, how different consequences exist for those with privilege as the NFL struggled to handle this issue in a way that anyone felt was proper. Amid a year of so much turmoil, this incident also feels connected to larger issues in our society regarding excessive violence and disregard for the value of all lives, as certain lives seem to be given more importance than others.

E is for Ebola – Ebola has taken thousands of lives in West Africa and will no doubt continue to do so. While at times it has caused fear and panic in other countries, including in the U.S., it also has brought attention to significant inequalities around the world regarding healthcare, demonstrating how these inequalities can affect us all. I tipped my hat this year to the healthcare workers of Doctors Without Borders (and similar agencies) which have not hesitated to go to Liberia and other West African countries to help.

F is for Francis – It seems that daily, Pope Francis says or does something that surprises the world and demonstrates his mission of reforming the Catholic Church. He started by clearly showing the Catholic Church would be honest about its history relating to child sexual abuse (and would not tolerate or cover for priests anymore). He has moved on to stress that the church has overemphasized certain issues – homosexuality, abortion, contraception – at the expense of focusing on the marginalization of the poor, and he has called for a truly inclusive church that is open to all.

G is for Grand Juries – Many Americans began to question the value and validity of the grand jury system this year as cases from Ferguson to New York displayed that perhaps this aspect of our criminal justice system is deeply flawed. Grand Jury results sparked protests across the country against police violence and brutality – protests that seem linked to larger issues of privilege and oppression in our nation.

H is for Hackers – Hackers made their presence known, particularly with the Sony hack and the debacle surrounding “The Interview,” which had many people questioning the choice to not release the film. Though ultimately its release moved forward online, it was certainly one of the odder entertainment stories of the year.

I is for India Space Mission – The photos from India’s successful first mission to Mars were some of my favorite photos of the year, particularly the images of the researchers, engineers and scientists celebrating their success. India became the first nation to orbit Mars successfully on the first attempt, and theirs was also likely the cheapest mission to Mars. It was an inspiring story in a year that often felt bleak.

J is for Justice – Justice was a recurring theme this year – in the news and in my personal work as my primary research focused on the use of solitary confinement in the United States and our criminal justice system in general. The U.S. leads the world with 2.2 million individuals in prison or jail. Further, 2 million children in the U.S. are growing up with a parent behind bars. California took a bold move to reduce this number with Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for certain non-violent crimes. In general, it was a year in which many began to discuss exactly what justice is and began to examine our current criminal justice system more thoroughly. I expect more changes to come in the new year, as well.

K is for Kidnapping – Notable kidnappings grabbed headlines this year. The 200-plus girls and young women kidnapped by Boko Haram last April are still missing, and recently (Dec. 18), CNN reported that Boko Haram kidnapped at least another 185 women and children and killed more than 30 in a recent raid. Boko Haram has been terrorizing villages in Nigeria since 2009, and sadly, there seems to be no end in sight. Mexico was also flung into the spotlight with high-profile kidnappings. More on that next time.

Many of the stories that stuck out for me were stories of sadness, loss and injustice. Yet, there were some rays of light in there, as well, and the responses that many around the world had to the loss and injustice offer hope as many around the world stood together and called for the release of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria, spoke out for accountability, and raised their voices to help those in need – whether in Australia, Mexico, the U.S., Nigeria or elsewhere.

Whenever I see news that breaks my heart, I think of the words of Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” This is what I like to do, too. The helpers are always there.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, Aug 3, 2020
In his August message, Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth urges residents to prepare for and help prevent dangerous brushfires.
Friday, Jul 17, 2020
We must change our paradigm and the way we think. It’s not enough for us to avoid being racists. We must become warriors against racism and combat it wherever it rears its ugly head.
Saturday, Jul 11, 2020
Gray hair allows a triage doctor to withhold medical care at their discretion, should they feel your life expectancy might not be longer than 5 years. It’s called Crisis Standards of Care, and the physician is absolved of liability. Look it up.
Thursday, Jul 2, 2020
It seems like many things in our lives have been flipped upside down in the past few months. However, work continues, as planned, on the two major projects within our Santa Clarita 2020 Strategic Plan. Throughout the Safer at Home order, construction projects continued to progress.
Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020
July is filled with warm, sunny days and one of the city of Santa Clarita’s favorite holidays - the Fourth of July.
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020
Attempting to care for mental health problems, homelessness, and other social ills should not be placed in the realm of law enforcement.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County firefighters are battling a brushfire, dubbed the Elsmere Fire, that broke out near Newhall Avenue and Highway 14 in Newhall early Monday afternoon.
‘Elsmere Fire’ Breaks Out Near Newhall Avenue and Highway 14
The 2020 Santa Clarita Marathon, presented by Parkway Motorcars, has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related public health concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers, staff and event partners.
Santa Clarita Marathon Canceled for 2020 Due to COVID-19
Single-use plastics do not break down and contribute to a large portion of the waste found in landfills and in our rivers and oceans.
How to Reduce Waste from Single-Use Plastics
In his August message, Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth urges residents to prepare for and help prevent dangerous brushfires.
Mayor Smyth’s August Message: Help Prevent Dangerous Brushfires
Recently, Santa Clarita business partners came across something new and useful in the fight against COVID-19: a nano copper film, which provides an extra layer of protection from bacteria and viruses on high-touched surfaces.
Nano Copper Film: A New Weapon in Battle Against COVID-19
A fast-moving brush fire dubbed the Post Fire scorched more than 100 acres in Gorman Sunday night, while parts of northbound Interstate 5 and Highway 138 remained closed Monday morning.
Post Fire Held at 120 Acres, Continues to Slow Traffic on Interstate 5
California’s plan to address a backlog of about 1 million unemployment benefit claims could take two months to clear.
SCV Lawmakers Respond to Newsom’s Plan to Clear Backlog of Unemployment Claims
A fast-moving, 170-acre brush fire near Castaic Lake dubbed the Castaic Fire reached 50% containment by Sunday morning, according to Angeles National Forest officials.
Castaic Fire Burns Nearly 180 Acres, 50% Contained
1975 - Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital opens with 100 beds [story]
HMNMH
1935 - Newhall deputy Archie Carter sentenced to 1 year in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after his wife fatally shot his 20-year-old mistress (the age of majority was 21). [story]
Archie Carter
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday 50 new deaths and 2,303 new cases of COVID-19, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two additional COVID-related deaths to date, bringing SCV’s total to 48.
Saturday COVID-19 Roundup: 2 Additional Deaths at Henry Mayo; California Surpasses 500,000 Cases
Fast-Moving Castaic Fire Erupts to 160 Acres
Fast-Moving Castaic Fire Erupts to 160 Acres
The first shutdown in March was tough for longtime hairdresser Mona Huckaby but the second and current one is worse, she said Saturday.
SCV Salon Workers Hold Reopening Rally
1963 - Leona Cox Community School breaks ground in Canyon Country [story]
Leona Cox
California State University, Northridge administrators informed educators, students and staff Friday that they may have all been affected by a massive security breach suffered this spring by Blackbaud, CSUN's third-party technology provider.
CSUN, Others Possibly Affected by Massive Hack of Tech Provider Blackbaud
Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses, on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight have been dubbed heroes.
Henry Mayo’s Darby Kyhl: Frontline Hero of a Different Kind
L.A. County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 69 new deaths and 2,652 new cases of COVID-19, with 4,380 cases confirmed to date in the Santa Clarita Valley, including 2,152 in the city of Santa Clarita, as California marked the first death of a teen COVID patient.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 4,380; California Marks First Teen COVID Death
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites city residents of all ages to join the “Imagine Your Story” Photo Contest, with entries due by Monday, August 24.
Santa Clarita Public Library Hosts ‘Imagine Your Story’ Photo Contest
Santa Clarita city mascot Sammy Clarita is excited to participate in the city’s Recycle Hero campaign to break down recycling misconceptions and encourage residents to help the city win the fight to recycle right.
Sammy Clarita is Santa Clarita’s Newest Recycle Hero
A new charter school, Eagle Collegiate Academy, is coming to Acton after the state Board of Education approved the school's petition earlier this month against the recommendation of local, county and state education officials.
Eagle Collegiate Academy Approved as New SCV Charter School
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau have started an investigation after the body of a man was found at William S. Hart Park Friday morning.
Man’s Body Found in Restroom at Hart Park; Detectives Investigating
The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Friday extended the public review period for the Burbank to Los Angeles Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement an additional 31 days to Aug. 31, 2020, bringing the total comment period to 94 days.
High-Speed Rail Extends EIR Review Period for Burbank-L.A. Section to Aug. 31
Those working with the Santa Clarita Valley’s homeless population fear the county’s annual count of people in need of housing is once again lower than the actual figure, despite having 30% more people helping in the count.
LAHSA Continues to Struggle with L.A. County Homeless Population Count
A 39-year-old Encino woman was arrested Thursday in Newhall on suspicion of stealing a Budget rental moving truck — the kind of crime that local law enforcement officials say is on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Woman Arrested on Suspicion of Grand Theft of Budget Rental Truck
%d bloggers like this: