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1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Saturday, Jan 3, 2015

darrylmanzer_blacktieDid all y’all make any resolutions for the new year? How many are you going to keep? Not those you want to keep, but what you actually will.

Did you keep those resolutions from last year. I did. I kept them close but usually forgotten. Guess I’m somewhat normal in that.

I do have some hopes for 2015. Some may seem a little familiar to everyone, while others are more obtuse.

Here goes:

I hope our new congressman, Steve Knight, will submit another bill to close the Cemex mine in Soledad Canyon. Maybe this time it can make it through the Senate.

The hope that Cemex will no longer be in the Soledad goes along with getting the path of the high-speed rail boondoggle moved to miss our whole valley. It isn’t going to stop here anyway, so keep it out. No, we don’t want the train to stop in the SCV. In reality we don’t want it at all.

Another hope is that the Chiquita Canyon Landfill folks will keep with the contract they signed in 1997. I hope they just close in 2019 and go away. Our trash from the SCV can go someplace else. Only 20 percent of what goes into Chiquita now is from our valley.

I hope more people can see the duplicity of the folks at Chiquita. They aren’t giving out all of that money to charity because they are nice folks. They do it only to get the expansion. Good neighbors? Ask the Ukraine about its good neighbor, Russia. Same thing.

I hope we all can seek to understand that our city and county do the best they can. Our system isn’t perfect, but it works pretty well. So, do we need to wear really tacky and stupid T-shirts at council meetings? We use words to express our ideas, not just words that make slogans. I think folks who use slogans may lack the innate ability to express themselves in a coherent fashion.

Another hope is that those who don’t like our valley will just move out. Sorry. I had to say that. The folks who see everything as a conspiracy of council members who supposedly own land near something or someplace. Those who think members of the council are “on the take” from some developer or whatever else. If they really think that, show the documents that prove it.

We are seeing billboards being removed. We would have had a way to balance the cost of that. I hope folks will get over that issue. I hope they like the remaining billboards as they are gradually converted to electronic-digital types. Can’t wait for that.

So, is Sharon Runner going to run for the recently vacated state Senate seat in the 21st District? She sounds a lot like a candidate. I’m not betting she will because it is an even-money chance. That means even without much money, she’ll run and win. Just what candidate do the Democrats have? Would Tony Strickland consider switching districts and party to run? It would sound pretty normal for Tony. I hope he does. That way he can prove beyond all reason that he can’t win an election anyplace.

But we don’t need to see that. If he did run and lose, it might set a new record.

How about we send the mayor of Lancaster to Sacramento? Sorry, I was just looking for a way for him to leave the area.

How are we going to vote for Hart District officials? Have they decided yet? I hope this year it works, what with the threatened lawsuit.

There was a time when local school districts got to decide for themselves what was best for local students. What the students were taught. What hours the school was teaching. It was from schools like that, that the great accomplishments of the 20th Century were possible.

Now we are lucky if they can read when they graduate from high school.

And folks are worried about how we elect our school boards? When do we get back to teaching the kids?

I hope that happens this year. Our future needs that. Their future needs that.

I hope for all of this and more. I’ll work for all of this and more.

Will you?

 

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, where he serves as executive director of the SCV Historical Society. 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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