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Today in
S.C.V. History
June 24
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Heritage Junction [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Top: Postings made on SCVNews.com by "Steve Roter," alias Vanessa Brookman (above), who chairs the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee, a county-appointed panel which serves as the official liaison between the landfill operator and the community. For violating the published SCVNews.com terms of service (see above right) - perpetrating a fraud by repeatedly using a fake name to make "libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements," only a sampling of which appear here - the user has been banned.

darrylmanzer_blacktieOK. I admit it. I was wrong. What I wrote yesterday was not entirely accurate. What the heck, when it comes to writing about the expansion of Chiquita Canyon Landfill, it isn’t easy to be accurate. So much has been said and printed and rumored.

In all the many times I’ve written about the dump in the last couple of months, I kept thinking all the folks involved had at least a little bit of honor and ethics left. I’ve found out I was wrong on that, too.

Each year the folks from Chiquita Canyon Landfill give many thousands of dollars to various groups in and outside of Val Verde. It appears they have spread a lot of money around to mask some of the things they are really doing.

You name the charity or other organization in need, and there is the dump. There are some political campaigns and services for political concerns that they have helped. We may never know how much they are spending on the charities they help. It looks like a hefty price. The money they give to Val Verde this year is $340,000, and it could nearly double if the expansion is approved.

The Castaic Area Town Council has negotiated a contract to have a benefits fund created just like the one in Val Verde (see below). This is the subject about which I was wrong. You see, I thought the only folks who couldn’t disagree with the landfill expansion were the members of the Castaic Area Town Council and their families. What I as wrong about is that the contract they approved says, and I quote from Item 20 of the contract:

“20. In the event that the CATC, any officer, director, employee or agent of CATC, including any family members or co-habitants or any person or entity whose residence or business is located in the Castaic Area initiates any appeal of any project approval or joins in or supports in any way any appeal of Project approvals, including without limitation an appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors or filing any administrative or judicial challenge to the Project or the EIR or any Project approvals including those required by the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), this Agreement shall be voidable and of no further force and effect in CCL’s sole discretion.”

So I was wrong. You see, it says ANYONE who lives or operates a business in the Castaic Area cannot do anything to stop the expansion of the landfill. The Castaic Area Town Council not only gave up the First Amendment for themselves; they did so for the whole area, as well. I’ll try not to be so inaccurate next time – well, this time.

Here is another item in the “Memorandum of Agreement,” or contract, which states in Item 11.d:

“None of the 9 seats can be filled by a Val Verde resident or an owner of property in Val Verde.”

Item 11 is how the CCCCCBF, or Chiquita Canyon Castaic Community Benefits Fund, shall be created. (All dictated by the dump.)

So nobody within the area that is covered by the Castaic Area Town Council can say anything ill about the landfill or its expansion, and Val Verde cannot be on the Castaic Benefits committee. All this for something entirely in the confines of Val Verde’s traditional boundaries.

Let me state that even more plainly: It isn’t a problem for Castaic, yet they want some money. What a crock of bovine scatology this is, my friends.

So all y’all who live in the Castaic Area can’t say anything good or bad about the dump unless you want to be blamed for preventing a lot of money going to the Castaic Benefits committee.

We’re also told the new agreement proposed for Val Verde will read about the same way. I wonder who is going to approve it?

I want to thank Steve Roter, aka Vanessa Brookman, for dashing any hopes I had that most folks in this discussion had some remaining honor. I could never figure out what Steve Roter was writing about. Brookman – the Antonovich appointee who chairs the existing Val Verde benefits committee – publicly admitted Friday that she is “Steve Roter,” and now we all know. Her duplicity in the comments she posted on my articles is exceeded only by the way she degraded the residents of Val Verde in and out of meetings. I feel sad that someone would stoop so low. I hope she can get some help.

This tale just gets more and more twisted. There are books that don’t have as many twists in plot and characters. It isn’t over yet.

Stay tuned for another chapter of “As the Dump Smells.” Coming soon. Don’t miss it.



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 [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].


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  1. msc545 says:

    I am expecting a lawsuit will be filed over this by someone ? Hopefully ?

  2. Steve Lee says:

    Wow, I am the resident from Val Verde that she called a fear monger, tool, and idiot. I am just one of the ones that she cares so much about. I agree that help is needed. Too sit on a board that is suppose to listen to its residents and to call them names the entire time is disturbing. There are free groups out there somewhere that could help her. That would be a start.

  3. Kathy Howse says:

    Should it even be possible for a few to vote agreeing to something that will affect many? Something this impacting should be voted on by the whole community. Are the people in Castaic even fully aware of what has happened and what it means?
    The concern should be why is there even a need to restrict anyone’s comments concerning the landfill? Could it be the landfill knows there will be complaints and concerns? something Castaic hasn’t experienced yet.
    Listen to the comments from Val Verde and think about it.

  4. Thank you Darryl Manzer, a one-man csi, for digging into this messy issue. I think your findings are probably very accurate and that we scv dwellers will regret this dump expansion forever more.

  5. Thank you Darryl Manzer, a one-man csi, for digging into this messy issue. I think your findings are probably very accurate and that we scv dwellers will regret this dump expansion forever more.

  6. C4CCLC says:

    If you want to see footage of the video please visit: http://chiquitalandfill.net/audio-partial-video-catc-917-meeting/

    There is also a link there to a pdf of the agreement.

  7. The problem is, too much garbage from too many people going to too few dumps that are filling up too fast. Most cities are suffering the same plight!politics and Darryl’s rant, are just a cover up for the “we don’t want your garbage in our back yard”mentality. Use less plastic,recycle more, make a compost pile,use cloth diapers too, then you’ll make a difference. Otherwise grow the dumps!

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