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January 18
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe


A legless lizard. This one showed up recently in Placerita Canyon State Park. Photos by Ron Kraus | Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates.

A legless lizard. This one showed up recently in Placerita Canyon State Park. Photos by Ron Kraus (Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates).

[KHTS] – The unexpected sighting of a North American legless lizard halted construction of an overpass for Highway 126 in the Santa Clarita Valley, a county official said Thursday.

County officials are now waiting for word from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife on whether the constuction may be permitted to continue, said Kerjon Lee, public affairs manager for Los Angeles County.

“We’ve submitted our permit and we haven’t received comment based on the application,” Lee said. “The minimum that (state officials) are allotted to review our application is 20 days and (Wednesday) marked 20 days.”

A permit from the department would allow officials to proceed with laying the foundation for the project, Lee said.

Santa Clarita Valley construction company C.A. Rasmussen earned the winning bid on the project, which was stopped in October when the legless lizard was found.

The legless reptile, which has been called “deceptively snake-like” by animal experts, differs from a snake in several ways.

The presence of eyelids, which a snake lacks, and the way the creature maneuvers, are a few of the ways the lizard can be differentiate from a snake.

leglesslizard2_ronkrausThe legless lizard was not expected to be present at the site, based environmental impact study that was conducted before construction began, according to project officials.

There have been four new species of the legless lizard discovered in the last four years alone, and in the past, scientists have expressed difficulty in finding and tracking the reptiles.

County officials have already taken extensive measures to preserve the local habitat, which has been a multi-agency effort, Lee said.

“ L.A. County Public Works recognizes the intrinsic value of the region’s natural resources and has worked closely with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a plan for proceeding with environmental sustainability as a top priority,” he stated in an email.

“The widening of (Highway 126) and realignment of Henry Mayo Drive will be mitigated with an extensive 3:1 tree replacement plan that includes the restoration of 4.5 acres of on-site riparian habitat and wetlands creation. Invasive plant species will be removed and replaced with native and riparian habitat, and a biologist will be on site during construction to monitor the work and minimize impacts to sensitive plants and animal species.”

The next step of construction, once permits are attained, is to drive 136 piles into the grounds, Lee said.

“Those piles would make up the foundation of the bridge,” he said, “and they’ll be driven about 40 feet into the ground.”

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1 Comment

  1. Berlina says:

    These little critters are really cool. We have them in Green Valley.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert Monday night due to the potential of extreme Santa Ana wind and fire weather conditions in much of the county late Monday night into early Wednesday.
Friday, Jan 15, 2021
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
Friday, Jan 15, 2021
Los Angeles County officials announced five additional mass-vaccination sites set to open next week which include Six Flags Magic Mountain and California State University, Northridge.

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The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
COVID-19 Variant First Found in Other Countries, States Now in California
Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
Barger, Hahn Call for Expanded COVID Vaccination Effort in L.A. County
As Americans celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work to expand voting rights and representation, Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. Senator and the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s first African American Secretary of State.
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A federal class action filed Friday claims Bank of America failed to secure debit cards containing unemployment benefits for millions of Californians, leading to widespread fraud and making some cardholders unable to access needed funds during a pandemic.
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The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert Monday night due to the potential of extreme Santa Ana wind and fire weather conditions in much of the county late Monday night into early Wednesday.
L.A. County on High Alert for Strong Wind, Fire Weather Conditions
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]
bridge
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Newhall Community Hospital
The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 2 million on Friday and the World Health Organization warned the global health crisis may get even worse as people weary of restrictions let down their guard and contagious strains of the virus spread around the globe.
Pandemic Death Toll Hits 2 Million Worldwide
At least once a month, residents of the Cali Lake RV community, nestled in a quiet canyon off a rural part of Soledad Canyon Road, have had their power shut off due to Southern California Edison’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Residents Mostly Impacted by Power Shutoffs Express Concern Over Ongoing Events
Late Friday afternoon, a group of parents and student-athletes gathered in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District office to urge the district to bring athletic-conditioning back to school campuses.
Parents, Student-Athletes Gather to Urge Hart District to Bring Athletics Back
A future open space trailhead in the Tesoro area will be named after a founding Santa Clarita city councilman, and a portion of land in Newhall after a family who has donated several acres of land to the city for open-space preservation.
City Council OKs Dedications in Tesoro Area, Newhall Pass Open Space
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Cases Near 1 Million Countywide; 258 New Deaths in County
Jim and Anita Lombardi of Federal Escrow, Inc. donated $50,000 to the Boys and Girls Club to help the organization continue providing COVID-19 relief services in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Boys and Girls Club Receives $50,000 Financial Gift from Federal Escrow, Inc.
The Castaic Union School District governing board appointed a new president during its annual organizational board meeting last month.
CUSD Board Appoints Mayreen Burk as New Board President
The California Supreme Court declared Thursday that worker classification standards set forth in its Dynamex decision should apply retroactively to a labor class action from 15 years ago, as well as all non-final cases that predate the 2018 landmark ruling.
California High Court Makes Landmark Independent Contractor Ruling Retroactive
Los Angeles County officials announced five additional mass-vaccination sites set to open next week which include Six Flags Magic Mountain and California State University, Northridge.
Six Flags, CSUN Set to Open as Mass Vaccination Sites
Waste Management has extended its temporary residential green waste pick-up schedule for customers in Santa Clarita, with regular service anticipated to resume the week of Jan. 25.
Waste Management Extends Modified Green Waste Pick-Up Schedule
The College of the Canyons ‘Canyons Promise’ free tuition program for new students is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 year.
COC’s Canyons Promise Program Now Accepting 2021-22 Applications
The ice rink in Valencia, which the City acquired last year, is currently undergoing renovations prior to its highly anticipated grand reopening later this year.
Renovations for Highly Anticipated City-Owned Ice Rink Continue
The MAIN is set to host eight weeks of free virtual productions from around the world from Jan. 22 through March 12 via Zoom for the Stage on Screen Theatre Fest's International Edition of online theatre.
Jan. 22-March 12: The Main’s Stage On Screen Theatre Fest Goes International
1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]
Henry M. Newhall
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 287 new deaths and 17,323 new cases of COVID-19, with 20,918 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: County Surpasses 13,000 Deaths; SCV Cases Total 20,918
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