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January 21
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
Scott Newhall


Los Angeles County will only buy cars from automakers that comply with California’s clean air laws, joining the state’s boycott of companies like General Motors and Toyota that have sided with the Trump administration in the high-profile bout over emissions standards.

The order prevents the approximately $30 million the county spends annually on its fleet from going to automakers that are supporting the Trump administration’s push to revoke a waiver that gives California the ability to set its own emissions standards rules.

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says the decision is necessary to protect public health and uphold the state’s climate change policies.

“We have a choice and we’re taking our buying power elsewhere,” Kuehl said Wednesday, one day after the board approved her motion. “We don’t want to go back to Smogville.”

The decision will go into effect early 2020 and makes Los Angeles the first county to align with the state’s boycott of GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan.

Last month Gov. Gavin Newsom hit back at the automakers for aligning with the president and announced the state would no longer buy their vehicles. He went a step further by ordering state agencies to only buy sedans that are electric or hybrid models.

“Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California’s buying power,” Newsom said of the move.

The state and county boycotts are the latest developments in an increasingly hostile showdown between the Trump administration and California officials over climate change.

The federal government is attempting to revoke a Clean Air Act waiver that Congress first granted the state in 1970, something no other administration has attempted. The EPA has granted California more than 100 waivers for emissions standards.

But in August 2018, in a move that stunned state officials, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was scrapping Obama-era vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards that were intended to nearly double passenger vehicle’s fuel economy and halve their carbon emissions by 2025. After months of back and forth with the state, settlement talks stalled and the EPA officially revoked California’s waiver this past September.

The EPA defended its decision and cast California’s standards as regulatory burdens that were preventing automakers from producing cheap cars, calling for one uniform standard. Meanwhile Trump claimed the move would lead to a rush of “less expensive cars” and be a boon for consumers and workers.

“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Trump tweeted.

California predictably responded with a pair of federal lawsuits that are pending in the District of Columbia, joined by 22 other states. The states dispute that the EPA has the right to revoke a waiver intended to improve air pollution in the first place.

Automakers have been forced to pick sides: Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen reached a deal with California this past July, while GM, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler have aligned with Trump. In response to California’s deal, the U.S. Justice Department started an antitrust investigation into Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen.

California’s emissions laws, which have been adopted by a dozen other states, have forced automakers to produce cleaner, more efficient cars to help clear California’s infamously smoggy skies. The clean air laws are also a critical component of the state’s ambitious climate change goals, as tailpipe emissions are the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Kuehl says the strict emissions laws have been a particular success in Los Angeles, where smoggy skies regularly plagued residents throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

“There were days where kids couldn’t go to school and people would walk around downtown with masks,” Kuehl said.

While the county and state are hoping to prove a point by taking their business elsewhere, some are wary of the boycotts’ potential to cause automakers real economic harm.

David Vogel, professor emeritus of business ethics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley, said the boycotts are mostly “symbolic” at this point.

“I don’t think it will have any impact on the companies and their decisions,” Vogel said in a phone interview.

If the courts eventually rule against California, Vogel says it wouldn’t necessarily result in a flood of smog-belching gas guzzlers on California freeways. State officials could go around the federal government by passing new taxes and registration fees to discourage high-mileage cars, along with the likely possibility that automakers continue improving fuel efficiency in lieu of an order to keep up with changing consumer tastes.

“It’s unclear what the rescinding of the waiver matters because companies obviously will continue to move towards electric cars. The market is sort of moving in that direction anyway,” Vogel said.

Nonetheless, Vogel believes California has a “very strong” argument and could end up winning in federal court. He noted the Trump administration has ventured into “new legal territory” by targeting California’s waiver and that it has a burden of proof to meet for the revocation to stand.

As the fight over California’s clean air laws plays out in courtrooms nearly 3,000 miles away, Kuehl hopes the county’s move will be adopted by other states and local governments.

“By channeling our investment dollars, we can protect public health, particularly at-risk children and the elderly,” said the former child actor and state senator.

— By Nick Cahill

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, Jan 20, 2020
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Angel Reinosa has been charged with falsely reporting that he had been shot by a sniper while in the parking lot of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on August 21, 2019, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Friday, Jan 17, 2020
Nearly three years after his conviction on federal obstruction charges, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was ordered to begin serving his three-year prison sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take his appeal.
Friday, Jan 17, 2020
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva will host a town hall meeting at The Centre in the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Wednesday, February 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan 16, 2020
California Credit Union invites college-bound students in Los Angeles County to submit an application for its annual College Scholarship Program.
Friday, Jan 10, 2020
The 69 polished recruits of Academy Class 443 lined up on the stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Friday in what would be their final platoon formation as academy classmates.

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Residents and visitors rely on Santa Clarita Transit to get where they need to go, and riders will soon be able to expand their transit opportunities, thanks to the new bus transfer station at the Vista Canyon development located south of the 14 Freeway.
Jan. 27: Vista Canyon Bus Transfer Center Groundbreaking
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a Business Meeting Wednesday, Jan 22, starting with a closed session at 3:30 p.m. and followed by an open session at 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 22: Santa Clarita Community College District Business Meeting
A woman and a man were both arrested on Sunday on charges related to an attempted murder investigation.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday the creation of a new NonProfit Council designed specifically for local 501c(3) nonprofits who are members of the Chamber to keep our local non-profits on the forefront in charitable giving, advocacy and regulations.
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LOS ANGELES – The second annual Los Angeles Kings Festival – in which Kings Season Ticket members and fans can meet the entire Kings team – will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Staples Center.
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A multivehicle traffic collision on Highway 14 resulted in all southbound lanes closed for more than two hours Monday night.
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Castaic Union School District is excited to announce that online Kindergarten enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now open.
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1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
Scott Newhall
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board unanimously voted to recognize the week of Feb. 3-7 as National School Counseling Week across the district during Wednesday night’s board meeting.
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Did you sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan last year only to find that it doesn’t meet your needs? Not to worry.You still have time to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chinese School hosted its annual Chinese New Year celebration with food, games and crafts at the Old Town Newhall Library on Saturday afternoon.
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The Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m.
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Valencia, California-based Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Australia which has pledged $1.9 million in total to various bushfire relief efforts in Australia.
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The Hart High School Baseball Program will host its annual Alumni Game and 2020 Hart Baseball Team Preview at the Hart baseball field in Newhall on Sunday, January 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Jan. 26: Hart High Baseball Alumni Game, Team Preview
The Santa Clarita Valley Man & Woman of the Year Committee has set Friday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. as the deadline for nominations to the community's premier volunteer recognition event.
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The man who died after being found unresponsive at his home in Saugus on Saturday has been identified as Daniel Brett Bennett, according to Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office officials.
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A 37-year-old man whose legal name is Sexy Vegan has entered a no-contest plea in connection to a video he posted with a dog, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Sexy Vegan Pleads No Contest for Video With Dog
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Angel Reinosa has been charged with falsely reporting that he had been shot by a sniper while in the parking lot of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on August 21, 2019, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
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1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
Dee Dee Myers
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
Kirk vs. Gorn commander
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe
John Musella, President and Chief Strategist of The Musella Group, a full-service communications and public affairs firm, has been accepted into Forbes Agency Council.
John Musella Named to Forbes Agency Council
The world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will swing into the Santa Clarita Valley for a special one-night-only event at the West Ranch High School Theater on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
March 10: Glenn Miller Orchestra to Swing at West Ranch
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