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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 22
1923 - Newhall Chamber of Commerce organizes community cleanup day [story]
cleanup day

Teresa Mathis Savaikie

Teresa Mathis Savaikie
January 7, 1961 – July 21, 2021

Longtime environmental activist Teresa Savaikie passed away at her home on July 21. She was 60 years old.

Teresa began loving the birds first, those in her back yard in the lush native habitat she made for them, and then in the larger world. Her love of small creatures lead to her many years of environmental work in the SCV and her prominent place in the hearts of all that care about our valley and the creatures that inhabit it.

“She had a pure energy that I miss” said Peter Galvin of the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center was one of the first national organizations that Teresa contacted in her efforts to save local endangered species. “She was tireless in her river protection efforts, attending meetings, doing press, writing letters. She was on fire with her activism, all while raising a family. She had kind of transformed from a regular suburban mom into a super activist with the passion and drive that is so very rare. In a sense, she was like one of the rare species on the river that she fought for.”

It most likely all started two decades ago when a hike along the river was disturbed by strange buzzing horns. It turns out they were noise makers placed there by Newhall Land to scare away the rare nesting birds that might have slowed their building plans. After Teresa contacted wildlife agencies, the noisemakers were removed and Vireos could return to their nests in peace. That was only the start.

A strange smell from the sanitation outflow to the Santa Clara River prompted a discovery that water with excess ammonia was being discharged into the river. That quickly ended with a phone call or two.

She took a fish bowl into a Council meeting to show the Council living proof of the local fish (an arroyo chub) that would be destroyed along with red-winged black birds’ nesting areas if the wetland was not protected.

She hiked the proposed CEMEX mine area with a herpetologist who discovered the presence of arroyo toads, prompting new surveys and slowing the process for the CEMEX mine which has now been stopped completely. She documented the presence of rare toads in fast disappearing wetland areas throughout our valley, hoping to save their habitat from development.

In 2005, American Rivers listed the Santa Clara River as among the most endangered in the country. Teresa was instrumental in organizing the huge press conference and rally to announce this National listing and bring attention to the many rare creatures whose habitat was disappearing.

After helping to negotiate a settlement with the Auto Mall over its banking of the Santa Clara River, she was able to see part of her long time dream of restoring Bouquet Creek come to fruition. The negotiation resulted in a $25,000 donation towards creek restoration planning. Now with this project (located on the east side of Central Park) nearly complete, we believe the City should place a memorial bench there or even a bronze plaque on the bridge abutment to commemorate the person that originated the idea of this beautiful place. And, of course also to honor her many other actions to protect the our local environment, the Santa Clara River and all the creatures that live in our valley.

The Kids Rally at Bridgeport Lake that stopped the homeowners association from poisoning the migrating birds, including Coots and ducks was yet another news worthy event that had two City Council members speaking up for her actions. Calls to the City to object to tree trimming during nesting season prompted City Hall to change the trimming routine away from the nesting season and look for nests before cutting.

Teresa believed the river and its creatures were a gift to our valley that should be loved and cared for.

And she did all this while raising a family and battling cancer.

The death of her son, 14 year old son Wyatt, hit by a car near her home six years ago, was devastating to her, taking a physical and emotional toll from which she never really recovered. However, she turned her grief to civic activism, fighting for lower speed limits and better signage.

These last few years were not kind to Teresa. Painful health issues made her life difficult. Now she has left for a brighter new day.

Good bye Teresa Savaikie.

We will miss you.

And so will all the birds and other small creatures that you worked to protect.

A memorial service will be held at Eternal Valley on Saturday, Aug. 14, beginning with visitation at 12:30 p.m. It will be a community led remembrance.

Teresa Savaikie Crowd

Teresa Savaikie Crowd

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1 Comment

  1. waterwatcher says:

    RIP Teresa. I hope other people will learn what can be accomplished from your example. There is still so much to be done.

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Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
Well more than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway Saturday to enjoy time with friends and family — and raise funds for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.
Monday, Sep 13, 2021
The Santa Clarita Master Chorale is proud to announce its annual benefit event - Cabaret and Cabernet - will be held Saturday, Oct. 16, at 5:00 p.m., in the Bridgeport Clubhouse.
Monday, Sep 13, 2021
The American Cancer Society is holding a Relay Rally on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., at Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021
Following the announcement that the Gibbon Conservation Center would be leaving its Saugus home of more than 40 years this summer, officials said they are planning to stay a bit longer.
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita's LifeForward Virtual Workshop entitled, “Awareness – Recognize Behaviors that Lead to Sexual Harassment-Assault! Emotional Impact for High School Students, College Students & Adults,” will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium, SCEEC, will virtually host the 2021 Green STEM Summit on Saturday, Oct. 9 with the purpose of introducing students to green careers.
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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced a vision for ensuring that every California student will learn to read by third grade by the year 2026 during a virtual press conference on Tuesday
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In an effort to keep adopted pets from returning to the shelter, the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has launched a free online resource center to help pet owners who can no longer keep their pets.
Pets Get A Second Chance With New Rehoming Program
The population of the city of Santa Clarita grew by 22.9% between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census data released Monday that will be used to redistrict boundaries for various political offices in California. 
Santa Clarita Population Has Grown Over 50,000 In Ten Years
A federal court handed international mining conglomerate Cemex a win last week in its decades-long battle to establish a mining operation in Soledad Canyon.    
Court Rules In Favor Of Cemex Over Bureau Of Land Management
The American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley held a Relay Rally at Westfield Valencia Town Center Saturday afternoon to raise awareness about its annual Relay for Life of the Santa Clarita Valley event on Saturday, Oct. 2. 
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1923 - Newhall Chamber of Commerce organizes community cleanup day [story]
cleanup day
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 32 new deaths and 1,238 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,326 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Additionally, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials confirmed one new death bringing the total deaths since the pandemic began to 167.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: Officials Confirm 167th Death at Henry Mayo; 35,326 Total SCV Cases
A gunshot victim was reported in Canyon Country Tuesday evening, prompting a response from both law enforcement and paramedics.
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced Christian Raigosa with Kaiser Permanente to serve as the 2022 Chair of the Board of Directors.
SCV Chamber Announces New Chair of the Board
Members of the community are invited to provide their input on a draft plan for long-term management of local groundwater resources by Oct. 15.
Public Input Sought on Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan
City of Santa Clarita Transit officials were forced to temporarily pause two trips on Monday after 20 employees, including bus drivers and call dispatchers, called out of work due to COVID-19-related reasons.
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1974 - COC's new Cougar Stadium opens for first game of football season; Harbor beats COC, 26-21 [story]
Cougar Stadium
Both classified staff and teachers in the William S. Hart Union High School District voiced their displeasure with the ongoing negotiations regarding employee pay during Wednesday night’s governing board meeting, saying morale is low across the board for site staff.
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The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the 12 productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Sept. 20 - Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021:
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Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported an additional death Monday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 166 since the onset of the pandemic, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports 166th Death; SCV Cases Total 35,280
College of the Canyons, No. 6, remained unbeaten on Saturday with the Cougars' defense coming away with four turnovers — including three straight interceptions to end the game — to defeat No. 8 Fullerton College 22-17 at Nathan Shapell Stadium.
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WiSH hosted several very popular informational college webinars during the ’21-’22 academic year; this year they have expanded the program to meet the needs of all students considering college as an option.
WiSH Foundation Expanding College Webinar Series
Three local business leaders discussed the ways their organizations survived the COVID-19 pandemic during a panel discussion organized by the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. as part of its semi-annual Economic Outlook event held Friday morning at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.
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Hundreds of Santa Clarita residents convened on a large dirt lot behind a shopping center on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country Saturday morning to join the annual effort of cleaning up the Santa Clara River.
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Santa Clarita Valley residents awoke Monday morning to the smell and sight of smoke, but officials say the hazy air is being blown in from a fire north of the area.
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1954 - C-46 cargo plane crashes at Saugus Drunk Farm; Civil Air Patrol chaplains parachute to safety [story]
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