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July 23
1982 - Vic Morrow & two child actors killed in helicopter crash at Indian Dunes during filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" [story]


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced actions it will take to address challenges and issues identified by the Government Accountability Office when it placed VA on its High-Risk List.

The move is designed to address lingering deficiencies in VA’s health-care system once and for all.

Every two years, GAO calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk as a result of vulnerabilities and in need of transformation.

VA is currently in the midst of a department-wide modernization that will build capacity for long-term management of GAO High-Risk List activities and strengthen VA’s foundational business practices.

“We thank GAO for its review and for highlighting practices that VA needs to improve,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Under President Trump, we are serious about doing business differently to improve Veterans’ care and we are holding ourselves accountable to the nation’s Veterans and to American taxpayers who entrust them to our care.”

GAO identified five specific risk areas when it added VA health care to the Federal government’s list of 32 high-risk agencies and programs in 2015: ambiguous policies and inconsistent processes, inadequate oversight and accountability, information technology challenges, inadequate training for VA staff, and unclear resource needs and allocation priorities.

VA recently delivered a comprehensive action plan to GAO that includes these crucial steps the agency has taken to address these risk areas for VA health care, along with a number of others to improve business operations:

Reducing ambiguity and red tape. Eliminated outdated policy documents. VA has already purged more than 235 expired directives and 85 percent of all outdated manuals.

Eliminating bureaucracy and streamlining decision making: VA has reduced central office staff positions by 10 percent and consolidated its policy and operations functions in mental health, primary care and geriatrics to improve support to field activities and Veteran-facing services.

These restructuring actions allow VA to become more efficient by pushing decision rights to the lowest appropriate level.

Strengthening internal oversight and accountability: The Veterans Health Administration established the Office of Integrity to consolidate its compliance, ethics, and oversight programs under a single executive. The office moved swiftly to establish an internal audit function and associated governance committee that provides the Under Secretary for Health with an independent and objective way to assess operations.

Modernizing information technology support: VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization program will enable seamless care and full interoperability with the Department of Defense’s EHR modernization solution, and enhance the ability to exchange Veteran health data with community health partners.

Clarifying resource needs and priorities: VA established a centralized manpower management office to integrate staffing processes and transformed its financial management methods to improve resource planning and allocation.

In addition to addressing the GAO high-risk areas, VA continually responds to GAO recommendations on VA operations throughout each year. At any given time, there are 80 to 100 open recommendations about VA health care. Overall, VA has succeeded in closing approximately 377 recommendations since 2009 and is committed to closing as quickly as possible all 22 recommendations that GAO has identified as high priority.

VA expects the next GAO report to be released in early 2019.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jul 23, 2018
Triple-Digit Heat in SCV Through Thursday, Weather Service Warns
As daytime temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees for most of the week, the National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning Sunday night for much of Southern California including the Santa Clarita Valley that's in effect from 10 a.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Monday, Jul 23, 2018
SCV Crime Beat: Guns Seized, Animals Aided
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's Summer Enforcement Team on Friday recovered several firearms from a male adult probationer who was barred from owning or possessing any, and on Saturday aided dogs in two separate incidents.
Friday, Jul 20, 2018
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
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As daytime temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees for most of the week, the National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning Sunday night for much of Southern California including the Santa Clarita Valley that's in effect from 10 a.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Triple-Digit Heat in SCV Through Thursday, Weather Service Warns
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's Summer Enforcement Team on Friday recovered several firearms from a male adult probationer who was barred from owning or possessing any, and on Saturday aided dogs in two separate incidents.
SCV Crime Beat: Guns Seized, Animals Aided
1982 - Vic Morrow & two child actors killed in helicopter crash at Indian Dunes during filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" [story]
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has announced $4,518,000 in two-year grants to 216 nonprofit arts organizations through its Organizational Grant Program, and the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival are among the grantees.
Santa Clarita Philharmonic, Shakespeare Festival Win County Arts Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
College of the Canyons men's basketball player Robert Moss will continue his playing career at University of Saint Katherine after committing to join the Firebirds program.
COC Hoopster Robert Moss Commits to University of Saint Katherine
When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income, according to new Census Bureau research.
Census Research: Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
University of California Cuts Tuition for First Time in 20 Years
The William S. Hart Union High School District and Spirit Holding, developers of Castaic High School, will host a community kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. celebrating the one-year countdown to the grand opening of the new school, currently under construction.
Aug. 3: ‘Countdown to Castaic High’ Public Celebration
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Heat Alert Called for Monday, Tuesday
The Lancaster JetHawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but two late home runs from Stockton's Sandber Pimentel led the Ports to victory in a 5-4 final on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Lancaster Can’t Stop Pimentel, Ports
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Justice have made public the government's plan for the court-ordered reunification of children ages 5 years and older who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Feds Detail Plan to Reunite Immigrant Children with Parents
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon