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

Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 21
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

darrylmanzerI got a call today to perform a civic duty. For once it wasn’t jury duty. The call was from the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder, asking if I would work at a polling place Nov. 4. I hope they pick me. I can do it at least once just to see what happens.

I’ve seen the poll workers in five states. They seem about the same all over the country. Each and every one I ever met was polite and helpful.

I must admit I’ve never seen any “voter fraud” in any place I’ve voted. For sure the only fraud I’ve ever seen in a polling place was already on the ballot. That includes candidates for office and the various items one is asked to vote for at any given time.

How come we don’t get to vote for the truly important things? Instead we get to vote to “stop billboard blight” by keeping billboards that were going to be removed.

For those of you who signed the petition to place Measure S on the ballot, can you remember what you were asked to sign? Please remember that a lot of folks were out there gathering signatures not because they had any belief in the subject. No, they were gathering signatures because they were being paid between $5 and $7 for each signature they got on the paper. On the last day signatures were collected, some of the paid folks were getting up to $10 per signature.

“Do you want to see more billboards?” was one question I was asked. Not electronic billboards … just billboards. Folks were not asked if they wanted to see existing billboards removed. No, they were asked to sign if they didn’t want more billboards.

Just as repulsive as folks being paid to gather signatures was the other side paying folks to stop people from signing the petition. These were called “blockers.” Lets face it, both sides of the issue used some strong-arm tactics, and those doing it were not residents of Santa Clarita for the most part. Is this what we wanted? Is this any way to wage a debate in our city?

It all goes back to individuals who didn’t want some incumbents to get re-elected. It may have also been from individuals who were running for election and needed a campaign issue. Billboards in Canyon Country were a good topic.

“We can get a better deal” is the cry we heard then and now. Folks, we elected the City Council to do a job for us, and a few, just a few, folks didn’t like that job and started spreading rumors about campaign finance problems, conflicts of interest and real estate profits that those officials were supposedly going to realize from this agreement. Once again I ask the folks of Citizens Against Billboard Blight to show us the proof. Documentation can prove your points. Lacking that, CABB is left with a conspiracy theory of wishful dreams of power.

Hindsight is always 20-20. Of course they can get a better deal. That is always how it goes. “I could have done better” … OK, do better. Get elected and make changes. Barring that, let’s allow those elected to do the job.

What the heck, I could have got a better deal when I bought my Jeep or RV. Maybe I should have asked the folks at CABB to get me a better deal. Makes about as much sense.

So we’re going to vote on billboards, judges, a congressman and a bunch of other items. By the way, how do you vote for a judge? I don’t know one from another. Maybe I should just do what I’ve always done: If I haven’t heard the name, it is because that judge is doing a good job and stays out of the media spotlight.

I also like to think that someday I might have to stand before the one I voted for and say, “Your Honor, I voted for you, so I hope my judgment in doing so was as good as your judgment of the reason I’m standing before you.” I could do that except for those stupid revenue enhancement tools known as red-light cameras. They make a lot of money for the folks who own them but just don’t seem quite legal. I want to see the guy from Arizona who signed the review of the picture before our local law enforcement folks did. Just ain’t right, I’m thinking.

Hey, Santa Clarita City Council, you want to do something really great? Get rid of the stupid red-light cameras. For a bunch of folks who claim usually to be on the Republican side, you sure seem to like George Orwell’s vision of the world. Maybe you could remove the cameras and leave all of the signs and boxes, thus making folks think they are still there. No, be honest. Just take them out of our city.

And speaking of stoplights – Lyons Avenue. Timing the lights. Please.

So this is another fine mess I’ve gotten us into. Stand by for stuff about Pico and Mentryville soon. Umm, does anyone know if Agent Orange and Round-Up have any similarities in chemical composition? Just a question. I do mechanical engineering, not chemical. Just want to figure out that weed killer in my favorite canyon.

Happy Tuesday to each and every one.


Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed by clicking on his byline above. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].



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.

1 Comment

  1. Lee says:

    Mr. Manzer…revisionist history ain’t your strong suit. This wasn’t a case of “hindsight.” The City Council was presented with the reality that a better deal could have been brokered BEFORE they voted on this deal. During Council meetings leading up to the election and before the first vote by Council, it was revealed that better deals were there for the taking…but the CC chose to negotiate with one partner and one partner only. That does a huge disservice to the city.

    You want your proof, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8kilN9e380

    I applaud you, though, Mr. Manzer…you finally mentioned the concerted effort by the Yes on S crowd (AllVision and the CC) to “block” people from signing petitions, but I’d like to know more about the “strong arm tactics” of the No on S crowd. I think you felt you needed to say that for some unknown “fair and balanced” reason. But as someone who encountered both petition signature collectors and blockers, the tactics from each side were very very different. And you are merely stirring the pot in making baseless accusations.

    Not wanting certain Councilpeople to be re-elected is the byproduct of this lousy deal…while they will always be toed together, they were separate issues…unfortunately, they remain in office…we can only hope that the voters of the SCV see the error of their ways and decide to vote out their stinky deal.

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...
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
There may come a time in your life when you need mental health care. Your Medicare covers a wide variety of such services, in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin previews Year 4 of the city's five-year Strategic Plan in his monthly message for January 2018.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
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]
On Monday, January 22, 2018, traffic on McBean Parkway, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, will experience delays intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at Valencia Country Club. It is anticipated there will be fewer than five brief closures throughout the day and each will last for approximately two to five minutes.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts 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
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in L.A. County, But Still Widespread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement calling out Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for requesting a total of $0 for the agency's second-quarter budget.
State AG: ‘Trump Officials Treat Consumer Financial Protection as a Joke’
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: City Council Regular Meeting
Amazon announced its list of top 20 finalists for their new headquarters Thursday, and the Los Angeles area -- including the Santa Clarita Valley -- was named among them.
LA, Including SCV’s Newhall Ranch, In the Running for Amazon’s HQ2
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
In an exciting conclusion of events, approximately 40 inmates who participated in the Education Based Incarceration program received either a high school diploma or certificate of completion for vocational training.
Largest Class of Inmates in Education Based Incarceration Program Graduates
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has selected its inaugural leadership to preside over the launch of the newly formed water provider.
SCV Water Selects Inaugural Leadership
Well V-205, located near McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., was voluntarily removed from service in April 2012 when perchlorate was detected in low concentrations, below the Detection Level for Reporting (DLR).
Perchlorate at Out-of-Service Well Reaches Actionable Level
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing the 4,598-square-foot building Roger Dunn Golf Shop building in Newhall when the council meets next week.
City Eyeing Purchase of Roger Dunn Building
Here are the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Jan. 20 and Jan. 25:
Jan. 20, 25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
CSUN Alumna Nabs Teacher of the Year
Legendary Band, "The Chieftains," will celebrate their 55th Anniversary with a performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (SCPAC), Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Chieftains 55th Anniversary Tour
SEATTLE - Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.
Los Angeles on Short List of Amazon’s HQ2
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Meeting Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 19: SCV Sanitation District Regular Meeting
Kevin Young has been selected as the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Young will conduct workshops with CalArts students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present public readings, which will be held at CalArts on Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. and at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The New Yorker’s Poetry Editor Selected as CalArts 2018 Writer-in-Residence
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
Here is the Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety report for the week of Jan. 1:
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Valencia
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Attempted Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Newhall (Zone 6) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglary, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft in Newhall
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
The dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to mail packages of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana from California to traffickers in Pennsylvania since at least April 2016 - and the arrests of five leaders who spearheaded the corrupt organization, including two from the Santa Clarita Valley - were announced Wednesday by Montgomery County (Penn.) District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
2 from SCV Netted in Major East Coast Drug Bust
With The Master's University's 2018 baseball season about to begin, TMU Sports Information Director Mason Nesbitt offers a preview.
TMU Previews Mustangs’ 2018 Baseball Season