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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 21
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]


UPDATE: The “Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015” passed in the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon with overwhelming bipartisan support.

But language from another McKeon bill to block the planned Cemex gravel mining project in Soledad Canyon was not included in it – even though the omnibus defense spending bill included dozens of other public lands and energy bills.

All told, the NDAA puts 250,000 acres under “wildnerness,” saves 400,000 acres of public land from development, and creates or expands 15 national parks.

 

 

[KHTS] – City officials and an incoming congressman took additional steps Thursday to try to convince Congress to kill a massive gravel mining project before the current legislative session ends.

Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste said she was sending an email Thursday to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, urging him to amend his latest Cemex bill into the National Defense Authorization Act.

Meanwhile, Congressman-elect Steve Knight also contacted House Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, to discuss what many consider a last-ditch effort. There had not yet been a vote on the NDAA as of early Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, on SCVTV's "Newsmaker of the Week" show, Nov. 27, 2012.

Incoming U.S. Rep. Steve Knight

Knight, who’s set to take McKeon’s seat in January, expressed concern about the bill’s future, noting the NDAA, an omnibus bill that included about 60 public land use and energy bills, was the best chance to find a legislative solution for Cemex and the Santa Clarita Valley.

When asked why Wednesday night why the legislation was left out of the package, McKeon said he was unaware of the bipartisan effort to include the legislation in the NDAA.

Knight questioned that claim Thursday afternoon.

“I can’t believe that the committee chairman didn’t know about this bill package,” Knight said. “That’s what stresses me now — we had an opportunity to put this to rest once and for all .”

Knight also said he was aware of what’s known as a “manager’s amendment,” which would allow McKeon, as the chairman for the House Committee of the bill’s origin — the House Armed Services – to add the Cemex language to the legislation.

McKeon’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

However, there’s certainly precedent for such a move, according to city officials.

Soledad Canyon mining area | Photo: SAFE Action for the Environment

Soledad Canyon mining area | Photo: SAFE Action for the Environment

With Elsmere Canyon, Congressman McKeon, successfully inserted language into an omnibus bill package that aided the city in its effort to fight a large landfill from area that’s now part of the city’s greenbelt.

Knight said he would like to be optimistic and act on the legislative effort to keep the mine out of the Santa Clarita Valley as soon as he could once he takes office, but he’s worried it might be too late.

Sen. Knight, R-Palmdale, said information given to him indicated Cemex is looking to satisfy its mining rights if no solution is found this legislative session. Councilman Bob Kellar made a similar claim in front of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, during testimony last year for a past iteration of the bill.

Santa Clarita officials have lobbied for years to stop a sand and gravel mine from moving into Soledad Canyon, working cooperatively with Cemex for the last seven years, because Cemex has mineral rights to land owned by the city.

Cemex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Weste praised the efforts Thursday of Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., for their work and support in the legislation. She was hopeful that Cemex would continue to be a partner in the effort to satisfy their contracts.

The city estimates its spent in excess of $10 million lobbying to stop the mine from going into land the city purchased 10 years ago.

The legislation that was authored by Sen. Barbara Boxer last month would compensate Cemex, which owns two 10-year contracts to mine the Santa Clarita Valley, with lands in Victorville.

Boxer’s bill obtained a zero score — meaning there is no cost to the federal government – when she introduced it mid-November. The cost concern was cited as a past obstacle to the bill’s passage, which has garnered bipartisan support.

City officials were surprised to Wednesday night, before a vote scheduled for Thursday, about the Cemex bill being left out of the omnibus bill package.

Councilman Bob Kellar, who discussed the situation with McKeon on Wednesday evening, has indicated the bill’s passage is unlikely as a stand-alone piece of legislation.

McKeon and Cemex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

 

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.

5 Comments

  1. Kevin D. Korenthal says:

    Washington D.C. must exist in another dimension. The House Republicans can see their way to rob native Americans of land that will be given to a mining operation and put thousands of acres of land out of use under the “wilderness designation” but they can’t see their way to ending a gravel mine just minutes from a major residential community.

  2. Joseph says:

    Republican’t voters sent McKeon back to Congress term after term and he never accomplished the one thing we needed him to do. What a surprise.

  3. David Warburton says:

    You get what you vote for. Or voted for over and over again. Why should this come as a surprise to folks? The greatest “do nothing Congress” of all time is just doing what it does best — nothing.

  4. Jennifer Kilpatrick says:

    This seems to be Congressman McKeon flipping a final bird to loyal Republican Santa Claritans for reasons I just don’t understand. Frankly, I’ve never seen a Member of Congress who was repeatedly re-elected be so vindictive towards his district.

    • Kevin D. Korenthal says:

      Republicans in the SCV were anything but loyal as displayed by the loss of his hand-picked successor.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts Street Closures
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.
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
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.
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
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.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

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