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S.C.V. History
October 21-22
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,356 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Buckweed Fire


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to overhaul the county’s response to residents having health crises, directing officials to design a system that dispatches experts in health and de-escalation — not police — during emergencies.

Advocates for L.A. County residents experiencing homelessness have long argued that having unarmed workers skilled in addressing substance abuse and mental illness respond to certain 911 calls would be a safer and more appropriate crisis response alternative.

L.A. County residents who call police during a mental health crisis have for years faced the uncertainty of either being provided medical attention or experiencing an aggressive, and sometimes deadly, response from law enforcement.

Supervisor Janice Hahn said during the board’s meeting Tuesday the county’s current alternative to a police-only response is falling short.

Hahn cited a Los Angeles Times article on Eric Briceno, a man experiencing mental illness who was killed by LA County Sheriff’s Department officers this past March, as evidence of a breakdown in the system.

The department’s Mental Evaluation Team, a program that pairs an officer with a licensed mental health expert to answer emergency health calls, failed to respond to Briceno’s family’s call for support.

Briceno was beaten, pepper-sprayed and hit with a Taser at least seven times in his room by officers.

“This is a problem,” said Hahn. “It’s a tragic failure and we need to fix it.”

Hahn has spearheaded the county’s efforts to revamp its health crisis response system, introducing a motion approved this past March to begin shaping a new plan with input from social service groups and health, fire and law enforcement agencies.

The new health crises response system will be rooted in the county’s “care first, jail last” framework, a set of governing principles recommended by the board’s Alternatives To Incarceration workgroup.

The work group — composed of community organizations, health experts and police accountability advocates — points to fatal police shootings of homeless people with mental illness, such as the 2015 killing of Charly “Africa” Keunang in L.A.’s Skid Row, as evidence of a system beyond reform.

In June, the Board of Supervisors voted to develop a public phone number similar to 911 that residents can call during a health crisis in order to access both medical and social services.

L.A. County Department of Mental Health director Jonathan Sherin told supervisors during the virtual board meeting Tuesday that his department now has a direct phone line that police can call during health emergencies to connect residents with services.

Sherin said his department will study how 911 call management can move to a non-police agency that receives calls and determines where to send unarmed, medically trained crisis response units.

“Institutional inequality is at play in big fashion when it comes to how we respond to communities,” Sherin told the board. “We need to meet health and human service needs in our communities with health and human service responses. We need to help people who are suffering and get them services, not punishment.”

In a report to the board last month, Sherin said a “regional crisis call center” is one of the three components of the county’s revamped health crises response system.

The other two components are a mobile team of trained crisis responders and a network of facilities where people in crisis can be stabilized before being connected to other services.

Under the motion approved Tuesday, the county will hire a consultant to audit its existing crisis response system and propose immediate changes as well as strategies for securing long-term state and federal funding.

The motion calls for a report to the board in 60 days.

In another board action, supervisors approved $72 million in initial funding to launch the Alternatives to Incarceration initiative, which will be led by former L.A. County Superior Court Judge Songhai Armstead.

The project will divert thousands of people away from jails and into health and social service programs, an effort supervisors believe will reduce harm to communities of color and save the county money.

Supervisors cited a University of California, Los Angeles, study released last week found that in 2019, the county spent $154 million booking Black people — who make up 8% of county residents but represent nearly one-third of the jail population — into police custody.

“For far too long, the county has been lopsided in its resource allocation — despite knowing that no one gets well in a cell,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement after the vote. “This budget represents a significant step towards balancing investments in community services, health services, as well as accountable and responsible law enforcement services.”

— By Martin Macias Jr., CNS

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020
Congressional Candidates Talk COVID, Federal Aid, Assembly Bill 5
With only two weeks left before the November election, candidates Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, honed in on their priorities during a virtual forum Tuesday.
Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020
Wednesday SCV Air Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive Individuals, Groups
Air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley and the East San Gabriel Valley Wednesday, October 21, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic Blamed for 300K Excess Deaths in U.S.
Nearly 300,000 more Americans have died so far in 2020 than in a typical year, with the excess deaths including the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 plus deaths indirectly tied to the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection said Tuesday.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday honored 18 student Academy Award winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 47th Student Academy Awards ceremony, held virtually for the first time
Medalists Revealed in 2020 Student Academy Awards
With only two weeks left before the November election, candidates Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, honed in on their priorities during a virtual forum Tuesday.
Congressional Candidates Talk COVID, Federal Aid, Assembly Bill 5
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a special virtual program titled “ACCESSIBILITY/VISIBILITY: Breaking Down the Barriers for People with Disabilities in Media,” going live October 26 at 5 p.m.
Academy Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act
Air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley and the East San Gabriel Valley Wednesday, October 21, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Wednesday SCV Air Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive Individuals, Groups
Nearly 300,000 more Americans have died so far in 2020 than in a typical year, with the excess deaths including the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 plus deaths indirectly tied to the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection said Tuesday.
COVID-19 Pandemic Blamed for 300K Excess Deaths in U.S.
A group of Black Lives Matter activists who rang Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s doorbell earlier this year were met by her husband holding a loaded handgun.
Black Lives Matter Sues L.A. District Attorney, Husband Over Gun-Pointing Incident
The California attorney general has asked a judge to enforce subpoenas served on the California Republican Party, to order the removal of unofficial ballot drop boxes placed across the state and to turn over the names of voters who used the boxes.
California AG Asks Court to Intervene in Ballot Box Fight With State GOP
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,356 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Buckweed Fire
The daily COVID-19 report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was not available as of deadline Tuesday due to technical issues with the County's system.
Henry Mayo Reports Hospital’s 30th COVID-19 Death
A member of the William S. Hart Union High School District community has tested positive for COVID-19, district officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
COVID-19 Hits Hart District Community
The coronavirus has created at least one unexpected benefit for The Master's University men's golf team.
COVID-19 Precautions Lead to Unexpected Benefit for Mustangs Golf
While the announcement did not take place in a star-studded ballroom of a Beverly Hills hotel, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has awarded California State University, Northridge a total $80,000 to support the university’s film students, with $20,000 specifically designated to help students adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Hollywood Foreign Press Awards CSUN $80K to Help Film Students Impacted By COVID-19
California will not allow Six Flags Magic Mountain and other large theme parks, such as Universal Studios and Disneyland, to reopen until their respective counties enter the least restrictive tier under the state’s metrics, officials announced Tuesday.
Magic Mountain, Large Theme Parks to Remain Closed Under CA’s New Reopening Guidelines
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang released the 2020 Annual Report, reflecting growth and increases in the assessed value of all taxable real property and business personal property countywide. The report includes an updated ranking of the County’s 88 cities, including the highest valued cities and those with the highest percentage change from the prior year.
County Assessor: Pre-COVID Data Shows Santa Clarita Top Five Highest Valued Cities
A two-vehicle crash took down a traffic light in Santa Clarita late Tuesday morning.
Two-Vehicle Collision Leads to Downed Traffic Light
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting virtually Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 21: Hart District’s Governing Board Virtual Regular Meeting
Medical examiners with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified Murdewiyanti Finn, 48, of Lancaster, as the woman killed in a traffic collision on Highway 14 in Newhall Sunday evening.
Coroner Identifies Woman Killed in State Route 14 Fatality
For the second year, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel were given the opportunity to trade out their regular patches for pink ones for October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Personnel Take Part in Pink Patch Project
Air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley will be unhealthy for sensitive groups/individuals Tuesday, Oct. 20, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco (75 square miles of SCV) for $33,000, or 69 cents an acre, in a sheriff's sale [story]
souvenir title report
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 1 new death and 923 new positive cases of COVID-19, as the Santa Clarita Valley counts 6,782 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 70 deaths from the virus since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic on March 11.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Nearly 300K Cases in L.A. County, 6,782 in SCV So Far
The Santa Clarita Valley YMCA will host a UCLA Health blood drive at 26147 McBean Parkway in Valencia on Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m.
Oct. 20: YMCA to Host UCLA Blood Drive in Valencia
Festival of Trees, Santa Clarita’s premier kickoff to the holiday season and annual benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, will continue in person and online this year from November 18-24.
Nov. 18-24: Festival of Trees, Lights Gala to Benefit SCV Boys & Girls Club
SCV school districts have prepared the necessary paperwork to submit in-school waivers, which would allow lower grade levels to return to campus, but the higher grade levels will have to wait for the county to allow it.
SCV School Districts Cannot Fully Open Until County Gives OK
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