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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 15
1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]


LaureneWeste

The following letter was sent by Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste to U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon after Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday without legislative language in it to block gravel mining in Soledad Canyon.

 

 

December 4, 2014

 

The Honorable Howard P. “Buck” McKeon

Member of Congress

26650 The Old Road, Suite 203

Santa Clarita, CA  91381

 

Dear Representative McKeon:

 

We are writing to implore you to once again consider inclusion of the language contained in your H.R. 5742 within a legislative vehicle before the adjournment of the 113th Congress.  While we were disappointed that you were unable to include the provision with the other public lands provisions in the National Defense Reauthorization Act, we remain hopeful that with your 22 years of experience and leadership position in Congress, you will find an opportunity to satisfactorily resolve this issue during the final days of this congressional session and your term as Santa Clarita’s representative.

As you well know, the resolution of the 15-year old dispute between the City of Santa Clarita and CEMEX is an important issue to the community with long term ramifications.  Should the mine go forward, the health and safety of Santa Clarita residents and those of the surrounding unincorporated communities will be adversely impacted; most notably affecting children, the elderly, and individuals with existing health problems.  We are concerned that daily commuters using State Route 14 and our region’s business community, particularly the film industry, will also be negatively impacted.  Furthermore, the ability to preserve and protect important ecological natural resources in the Upper Santa Clara River area will likely be lost forever; negating the consistent findings of several important and costly federal studies that have identified the need to conserve critical natural resources in the region.

You have repeatedly expressed your commitment to seeking every opportunity to bring this long-standing and complex problem to a satisfactory resolution.  While the rules of the House of Representatives relating to earmarks have precluded you from sponsoring legislation to assist your constituents, you have consistently maintained your commitment to advancing legislation in the event that a zero score could be reached.  A zero score has been reached.

At your suggestion, we have worked with California’s two Senators to move forward on this issue and develop bill language that scores at zero.  We appreciate your participation in last year’s hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.  As you noted during your testimony, “Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked endlessly to find a solution.”  We applaud your personal commitment, as evidenced by your bringing CEMEX and the City together in partnership and through the introduction of nine different bills, reaching back to the 106th Congress.

The challenge over the past few years has been to develop bill language that will definitely score at zero.  H.R. 5742 meets that difficult threshold as it does not violate House Rules, otherwise you would have been unable to introduce it.  As we discussed with your staff during our visit to Washington on November 20, 2014, one of the intents of having legislation introduced so late in the session is to take advantage of any opportunity for resolution of this critical issue during your term of office.   There is now bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation in the form of your H.R. 5742 and Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein’s co-sponsored S. 2938 and there is clearly no better time to act.

The National Defense Reauthorization Act was unexpected in its provisions to include a wide-range of public lands and energy bills, thus making it the de-facto largest omnibus lands bill since 2009, in spite of its primary goal to address the nation’s defense and military needs.  While the language of H.R. 5742 would have been an appropriate addition to the bill, we are disappointed in your reluctance to seek an amendment, given your previous efforts related to including Elsmere in an omnibus lands package and your attempt to include mining preclusion language over a decade ago in a defense authorization bill.

As the House of Representatives heads into its final week of session, we continue to urge you, as we have previously discussed, to take advantage of any opportunity through the appropriations process to insert the required language.  With the existing budget authority set to expire on December 11, 2014, we are hearing that there is a desire to pass omnibus appropriations language to fund the government through the 2015 fiscal year.  Additionally, we understand that there may potentially be other legislative vehicles upon which to attach H.R. 5742.  The health, safety, and natural environment in a valley of over 250,000 constituents is in peril without this legislative solution that everyone wants.

Although it has been a long and difficult road to reach this point of having zero-score legislation that has no known objection, save the Bureau of Land Management, we urge you to employ your skills and leadership in securing a lasting solution to this critical issue and securing your hard fought legacy of service to the community, which has been your home for 50 years.

 

Sincerely,

 

Laurene Weste

Mayor

 

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.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Perera Linda Perera says:

    this one is a real piece of work

  2. Suzi S Smith Suzi S Smith says:

    Howard “Dick” McKeon is too busy getting his retirement lined up to read….

  3. Then, for GOD’s sake let him retire soon!

Leave a Comment


LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) will hold its first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan 11, 2019
Thirty-six non-profit organizations will receive funds as part of the 2019 Community Services and Arts Grant Program approved by Santa Clarita City Councilmembers at their meeting on Tuesday.
Friday, Jan 11, 2019
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, has installed a new EVConnect electric vehicle charging station at the Santa Clarita Metrolink Station.

Keep Up With Our Facebook
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Keep Your Medicare Costs Down
An oil painting demo by Lynne Fearman will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, at the meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA).
Feb. 18: Oil Painting Demo by Lynne Fearman
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $500,000 in funding to repair the 1.8-mile-long Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center, which sustained major damage following the Sand Canyon Fire in 2016.
Placerita Nature Center to Undergo Repairs from Sand Fire Damage
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Jan. 16: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
SCV Water's Public Outreach and Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 17: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) will hold its first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 16: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Board of Trustees will hold its next business meeting at College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus on Wednesday.
Jan. 16: COC Board of Trustees Business Meeting
A flash flood watch is in effect in the Santa Clarita Valley until Tuesday evening. The following is from the social media account of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station:
Flash Flood Watch in Effect, Bouquet Canyon Road Closed at San Francisquito
Forty-five amateur chefs are sweating it out in the kitchen, preparing to compete in the 7th Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-off. People’s Choice and Judges Choice prizes will be awarded to the top three chili’s in each category.
March 21: Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off
MESA, Ariz. – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (6-11; 4-1 Cal Pac) earned their fourth conference win on Saturday afternoon, handily defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (13-7; 2-3 Cal Pac), 92-75, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference men’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Pioneers Cruise to 4th Conference Win
MESA, Ariz. – After a late rally, the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (14-4; 4-1 Cal Pac) would go on to win in overtime on Saturday, defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (5-9; 1-4 Cal Pac), 77-74, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference women’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Lady Pioneers Rally Past Benedictine University
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around these outlets after a rainfall.
Beach Water Advisory Extended Until Thursday
Valencia-based Bioness, Inc., the leading provider of advanced, clinically supported medical devices for the treatment of chronic pain of peripheral nerve origin, has launched the first and only Patient Registry for peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) using its StimRouter Neuromodulation System.
Valencia-based Bioness Intros First Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Registry
The DECA Chapter from Valencia High School recently competed in the 2019 Southern California Career Development Conference.
Vikings Earn Top 3 at So Cal Career Conference
NORTHRIDGE - After leading CSUN Men's Basketball to a pair of road wins to start conference play, sophomore Terrell Gomez has received Big West Player of the Week accolades, the league office announced on Monday.
Matadors Sophomore Earns Big West Player of the Week
This year, Le Chène French Cuisine will be hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner on Valentine's Day, Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 14: Le Chène’s Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery Dinner
Evacuation centers are now open for the Woolsey Fire burn areas.
Evacuation Centers Now Open for Woolsey Fire Burn Areas
Unified Command has identified properties in the Woolsey fire burn area that may be subject to a high volume of mud and debris flow. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will be out to give residents at the identified properties advance evacuation notice. Mandatory evacuations began at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Mandatory Evacuations Underway for Portions of Woolsey Fire Burn Area
The SCV Water Board of Directors confirmed Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s appointment of former Assembly member Dante Acosta to its Board of Directors at its special Board meeting, Monday, Jan. 7.
Acosta Confirmed to SCV Water Board
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 15: Santa Clarita Planning Commission Regular Meeting
Caltrans urges motorists to be prepared and use caution when driving this winter. Taking action and being proactive can help reduce the risk of injury and even death on the highways during the upcoming storm. Operators of vehicles must use their best judgment in all types of weather.
Caltrans Offers Winter Driving Safety Tips
1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]
A 22-year-old Palmdale man died on Bouquet Canyon Road early Monday morning in a solo crash believed to be caused by excessive speed, according to the California Highway Patrol's Newhall Area office.
Palmdale Man Dies in Solo Crash on Bouquet Canyon Road
All half, the ball had been flying out of Darryl McDowell-White's hands and diving into the bottom of the net.
Men’s Hoops: McDowell-White, Johnson Lead Master’s over Westmont
Surging to an early lead and showcasing a dominating defense that has been the squad's hallmark over the past 10 games, the No. 21-ranked Mustangs led wire-to-wire in a 58-48 win over No. 15 Westmont.
Women’s Hoops: Stingy Mustang Defense Keys Win Over No. 15 Westmont
Newhall School District officials are hosting a series of parent information nights this week about the district's Dual Language Immersion Program for English- and Spanish-speaking students.
Jan. 14, 16: Newhall School District Info Nights on English-Spanish Dual Immersion
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the registration period for Los Angeles County residents affected by the recent wildfires to apply for disaster assistance to Jan. 31.
FEMA Extends Wildfire Aid Application Deadline to Jan. 31
The Cougars had four players score in double figures and shot a combined 48.2 percent from the field, but could not hold off the Ventura Pirates in an 86-81 loss on Friday in the Cougar Cage.
Men’s Hoops: Cougars Fall 86-81 to Visiting Pirates
College of the Canyons will offer a Google IT Support Professional Certificate course in March, at no cost to anyone.
COC Offers Free Online Course for Google IT Support Certificate
To better assist high school seniors with the transition to collegiate life, College of the Canyons will offer information nights on Jan. 15 and 16 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center and at Canyon High School on Thursday, Jan. 17.
Jan. 15-17: COC Sets Info Nights at Pac, Canyon High School
Officers from the California Highway Patrol Newhall Area station have closed northbound Interstate 5 at Parker Road in Castaic due to snow in the Grapevine and Tejon Pass.
Grapevine Snow Prompts CHP to Close I-5 Northbound at Parker Road
Magnified by a 2016 case in which doctors removed an infant from life support over the parents’ objections, a fight over California’s longstanding standard on brain death sharpened Monday at the Ninth Circuit.
California Brain-Death Standard Debated at 9th Circuit
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign has been established to help the nonprofit Santa Clarita Artists Association replace equipment damaged or destroyed in a storage locker fire on Jan. 7.
GoFundMe Campaign Set Up to Aid Santa Clarita Artists Association
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Jan. 14-20, 2
‘Goliath,’ Anjelica Video, ‘F.U. Guys’ Feature Now Filming in SCV
To ensure that Los Angeles County's most vulnerable residents receive their critical monthly CalFresh benefits without interruption, the county's Department of Public Social Services will issue February CalFresh benefits to eligible households on Jan. 16, 2019.
LA County to Issue February CalFresh Benefits Early