header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail


Today in
S.C.V. History
July 18
1928 - L.A. City makes first payment on death & disability claim arising from St. Francis Dam disaster [report]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieDoes everyone read the entire voter’s information guide that is mailed out each election? I didn’t think so. It might be something the drug companies want to use as a sleep aid. About halfway through the second page, I was starting to doze.

So I stood up and read through the vote-by-mail instructions. Not nearly as sleep-inducing as the guide.

I sort of nodded off as I read through the list of judicial candidates. Some 16 positions and only two of them have two candidates running. The other 14 are running unopposed. Either nobody else was qualified, or someone saw the job and decided not to run.

Sometimes I think England has a good way of saying a candidate is on the ballot. There someone “stands” for election. Here our politicians “run.”

For Los Angeles County Sheriff, we’ve two gentlemen on the ballot. I think one of them has at least 21 indictments. How does one get a grand jury so angry? It appears that Paul Tanaka knows how to do that. I mean really, folks. Do we want a sheriff with that many charges against him before he even starts? It might be some kind of record. They guy in charge of the jail could be sitting in it for an extended time. At least we’d know what he was doing.

My father was a deputy sheriff in the early 1950s. I don’t remember much about that time, but he stopped his law enforcement career before I was about 5 years old. I do remember going to the dairy at the Honor Farm. Its cows were the best and won many awards in various contests across the state. There were a couple of bulls that were considered mean. The inmates worked hard to make sure the cattle were well cared for.

Wayside Honor Farm, or Honor Rancho, is what became the jail we have in Castaic today. Things got a whole lot worse as the population of the place changed. It used to be almost all minimum-security. Inmates were on their “honor” not to run away, and they didn’t, especially in the rainy season. It was a place they could spend the winter in warmth before being returned to the streets of Los Angeles where most were homeless “winos” and “drunks.” They had a place to call home with three meals, a warm bed and at least 90 days to dry out. Some of those men carried on like that for years, it was said.

jimmcdonnell_scvtvToday things are a whole lot different. Most are repeat felons and state prisoners working their way through the court system for serious and violent crimes. They’re locked in cells most of the time and there isn’t a farm for them to work anymore. The land is leased out to be farmed by commercial interests.

I don’t think my dad would like the place today. He had a lot of pride in what those inmates did with the dairy herd. I think he looked on the men and the cattle as a special place that he could take his family to see. Many times there were other kids I saw with their “deputy dads” at the Honor Farm. No more.

Over the years as the inmate population got more violent and the place became less of a farm, the dairy herd was sold off and the “deputy dads” had to worry about attacks by the inmates. No more trips for kids to see the cows and horses and sheep and other animals and equipment.

We always knew the inmates were just that. They couldn’t leave, and we felt safe around them. It was a time when child molesters and other sex offenders had a short life expectancy on the “inside.” They tripped, fell, were trampled, kicked by a cow or horse and otherwise punished by the other inmates.

That was then. This is now. Over time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department seemed to get more and more political. Our last sheriff was one of the most political men to hold that office. Lee Baca was so good at being political, he started to think he didn’t have to follow the law. At least it seemed that way.

And his good friend and undersheriff, Mr. Tanaka, is reaping what together they have sown.

So I’m reading the ballot and can only come to one conclusion: I want a sheriff who can come in and stop the political BS that runs through that department. I want a sheriff who isn’t going to end up jailed in Castaic.

I see that in the other guy standing for the office of sheriff. I actually got to meet him the other day. I must say I am impressed with the gentleman. For starters, he is not “in” the LASD. He is the city of Long Beach Police Chief. He knows Los Angeles County and wants to see it improve. To do that, he has to be elected so the LASD can be professional from the top down again. All of those great deputies need and deserve the leadership Jim McDonnell can provide.

Yes, Jim McDonnell. Not connected with the “good ol’ boys” of the LASD, most of whom are gone now. A man who can and will set the LASD on a course that will earn the respect of all of us again.

What a concept. Our sheriff isn’t going to have any indictments hanging over his head. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that.

Welcome to the LASD, Jim. We’re behind you 100 percent.

Well, the other guy can vote for himself, so how about 99.9999 percent?


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. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Thursday, Jul 18, 2024
Summer is here! With the season in full swing and kids starting their school break, the city of Santa Clarita welcomes youth to one of its most popular and long-standing programs:
Monday, Jul 15, 2024
Santa Clarita consistently earns recognition as one of the best places to live in the nation, boasting a high quality of life, strong safety record and a business-friendly atmosphere.
Thursday, Jul 11, 2024
Santa Clarita is known, not only for its scenic open spaces and family-friendly community, but also for its commitment to nurturing the arts and fostering a thriving, dynamic environment where creativity can flourish.
Monday, Jul 8, 2024
I am pleased to say that during our last City Council meeting in June, our City Council adopted yet another on-time, balanced budget for the 2024/25 Fiscal Year.
Friday, Jul 5, 2024
Growing up in the 1980s, I have many fond memories of spending time with friends at the Skate-N-Place on Soledad Canyon Road.
Monday, Jul 1, 2024
By day, the sounds of music and laughter fill the streets as we celebrate Independence Day in true Santa Clarita fashion with the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
In celebration of Zonta leadership in the Santa Clarita Valley, ten past presidents of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley hosted the Installation of Officers and Directors for the 2024-2026 biennium on Monday, May 20 at the beautiful patio of Salt Creek Grille in Valencia.
Zonta SCV Installs 2024-2026 Leadership
Summer is here! With the season in full swing and kids starting their school break, the city of Santa Clarita welcomes youth to one of its most popular and long-standing programs:
Marsha McLean | Santa Clarita Community Centers’ Summer Camps
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued an excessive heat warning for the Santa Clarita Valley Friday, July 19 through Wednesday, July 24 as triple digit temperatures have been forecast.
Excessive Heat Advisory Issued for SCV
Toby Lite, a middle infielder from Saugus High School has signed his national letter of intent to play baseball at The Master's University.
Saugus High Infielder Toby Lite Signs with TMU Baseball
The Outlets at Tejon are helping kids get ready for the new school year with its Back-to-School Bonanza happening Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 1 p.m.
Aug. 3: Back-to-School Bonanza at Tejon Outlets
Every summer, The Master’s University sends students across the world to partner with missionaries, pastors, and church planters in sharing the gospel and serving local bodies of believers.
TMU’s 2024 Global Outreach Team Travels the World
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is asking for the public's help in identifying grand theft suspects in a crime that occurred in Valencia.
LASD Asking for Public’s Help in Identifying Grand Theft Suspects
The Sierra Hillbillies Square and Round Dance club invites the community to a "Back to the Beach" themed square dance Sunday, Aug. 4, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Valencia United Methodist Church.
Aug. 4: Sierra Hillbillies Hosting ‘Back to the Beach’ Square Dance
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board unanimously approved the appointment of Susan Kim as the newest assistant principal at West Ranch High School.
Hart District Appoints Susan Kim New West Ranch Assistant Principal
Several Kaiser Permanente hospitals across Southern California, including Panorama City Medical Center which serves the Santa Clarita Valley, are among the best in the nation and state for delivering safe, high-quality care based on U.S. News & World Report’s 2024-2025 Best Hospitals analysis. 
Kaiser Panorama City Among Best Hospitals for 2024-2025
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cautions residents who are planning to visit the following Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards when last tested.
High Bacterial Levels Continue at L.A. County Beaches
1928 - L.A. City makes first payment on death & disability claim arising from St. Francis Dam disaster [report]
A Death Cafe Coffee, Cake and Conversation will be held Tuesday, Aug. 6, 630-8:30 p.m. in the Milk and Honey Room at the North Oaks Church of Christ.
Aug. 6: Death Cafe Coffee, Cake, Conversation
The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library is hosting a “Summer Bag Sale” event at the Valencia, Canyon Country and Newhall branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library, during normal operating hours from Saturday, Aug. 3 to Sunday, Aug. 11.
Aug. 3-11: Friends of the Library Summer Bag Sale
Ryan Mathiesen, the power-hitting, power-throwing pitcher/third baseman for The Master's University baseball team, has been chosen by the Houston Astros in the 14th round of the MLB Draft.
TMU’s Mathiesen Drafted by Astros in 14th Round
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the 76th Annual Emmy Awards on Wednesday, July 17 at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. Several California Institute of the Arts alums were recognized for excellence in television across 118 categories.
CalArtians Earn 2024 Emmy Award Nominations
The WiSH Education Foundation Cocktails on the Roof fundraiser will be held Friday, Sept. 6, 7-10 p.m. to benefit student programs in the William S. Hart Union School District.
Sept. 6: Cocktails on the Roof Benefits Hart District Student Programs
The California Competes Tax Credit application periods, amounts available, and committee meeting dates for fiscal year 2024-2025 have been posted here. 
July 22: CalCompetes Tax Credit Applications Begin
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cautions residents who are planning to visit the below Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters:
Ocean Water Warning for July 17
Providence has molded a promise, know me, care for me, ease my way, from ­­­its centuries-old mission of outreach to those most in need.
Providence Earns National Award for Health Equity Program
For the 30th year in a row, the city of Santa Clarita has received an Investment Policy Certificate of Excellence Award from the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada for its Investment Policy.
Santa Clarita Receives Nationally Acclaimed Finance Award For 30th Year
ARTree Community Art Center has released their schedule for the upcoming fall 2024 season. 
ARTree Releases Fall 2024 Class Schedule
The SCV Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to introduce an exciting new initiative from that's designed to revolutionize the way you do business: SCV Business Hub.
SCV Chamber Announces the SCV Business Hub
Businesses that pay use tax may be eligible to direct a large portion of Use Tax back to Santa Clarita’s general fund for public safety, parks, libraries, infrastructure and other city services and receive a cash rebate on a portion of the Use Tax remitted to the City. 
Santa Clarita Use Tax Rebate Program