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February 23
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
El Nino


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Nov 10, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

Oh, no! I’ve got to do some shopping. This year it is pretty simple. Gift cards. They fit inside a Christmas card and are always liked. At least that is my theory. I don’t have to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Stores don’t have sales on gift cards.

That is a problem solved, so I’ll go on to more important items. Not sure what they are right now. How about, health care? I see real problems with that. You see, we were sold a pack of lies. No, not the recent ones by the current king – er, president – but the one that started, “We have to fix the health care system.”

What system? Did we have one? Not that I can tell. Did that system that didn’t exist need fixing? Can’t fix what isn’t there. But we all went down that road, thinking we had a system for health care in this country. Well, we still don’t … and the fix for the system that didn’t exist is worse than the nonexistent system. It is another fine mess our elected officials got us into.

Like new roundabout or traffic circle or whatever being constructed in Newhall. We had a system. It was working mostly, and now we are getting a new system. What was really broke?

Then we have the beautification efforts on off-ramps from our freeways into the city of Santa Clarita. They look pretty. What was the problem? Guess something else needed fixing when it wasn’t broke.

Don’t even start me on red-light cameras. What have they solved? At $490 per ticket, it looks like a city of Santa Clarita revenue enhancement system. Heck, they are processed in Arizona. What problem was solved?

Once in a while, the citizens win. Remember the back-in parking places on Main Street in Newhall? That was a problem the city started and actually fixed. I like that.

Anyone remember the Las Lomas project at the intersection of the 5 and 14? High-rise apartments and an underground train station for the Metrolink. The city of Santa Clarita and L.A. County have stopped that. They own the land now, or soon will. It shall remain open space. Cool move. The people won another one. So did all of the critters that live there.

There is a new problem coming up. The much vaunted “cross-valley connector” that was supposed to speed traffic between the 5 and 14 and the north end of the SCV is starting to look like Soledad Canyon Road with all of the stoplights. It is providing a place to catch more speeders. Guess it is a great method to enhance revenue, too. I’m to the point that I just take Soledad. Like days of old.

How many of you know where to find Hi-Chic curve? How about Solemint Junction or Honby? Castaic Junction?

Here is an amazing fact, The Old Road between Magic Mountain and Calgrove Boulevard isn’t the “old road.” Old Highway 99 is under the southbound lanes of I-5. And what was the original name of Magic Mountain Parkway when it was still a two-lane street?

You see, some problems got solved, and others were made up so the politicians would have something to do.

Now we have a president who has become an insurance salesman. Sorry, I didn’t mean to slander those in the insurance industry. I’m really worried that once we see the product he is trying to sell, we won’t have any health care in the USA.

We heard there is a problem with the health care system, and Congress and the president rushed to fix it. I hope they respond like Santa Clarita did with the parking in downtown Newhall. That was a good fix. The City Council reversed the parking spaces. Can Congress reverse the ACA?

But this is a government problem, so we must remember how an elephant comes to mind in government solutions. You know – fixing something in the government is like mating elephants: It is done in high places with a lot of noise and takes 12 months to get results.

Please remember that what was wanted, was to fix something that really only affected those who didn’t have health insurance. Now they have to buy it, even if they don’t want it.

It could have been fixed with a mouse-sized solution. Once again, we got the elephant solution.

How do we keep forgetting that an elephant is just a mouse made to government specifications?

And if a traffic circle in Newhall is such a good idea, why didn’t we keep the one that was there until 1932 or so?

 

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. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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3 Comments

  1. Carol says:

    Right on!

  2. Dennis O' says:

    They changed a stop-signed intersection in Silverdale, WA to a roundabout to improve traffic flow. People can’t seem to figure out the difference between “stop” and “yield” so they all still stop. Whether anyone is in the roundabout to their left or not. Friday night backups have not been changed one iota. Yep, yep, yep, gummint strikes again.

  3. Miss Jayne says:

    Agree, agree and agree again. On Veteran’s Day, don’t forget what Americans are all about. And I am guessing most Americans aren’t about the way the politicians are going now. As for the roundabouts, shelve them. Everyone in my family, including one professional race car driver, hate the darned things and know Americans can’t figure them out easily!

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