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Today in
S.C.V. History
October 26
1970 - Permanent COC Valencia campus dedicated [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Friday, Jan 23, 2015

darrylmanzer_blacktieI had lasted a few days without mentioning the Chiquita Canyon Landfill until last Wednesday evening. I attended the Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting and was most gratified to see that the folks voted to oppose the expansion of the dump. How cool is that? All the way across the valley and they see the problems with the expansion. Of course, folks in Canyon Country are very much used to a large company wanting to pollute the air and water because of Cemex.

So there is my mention of the day. I’m very happy the good folks of Val Verde are so involved, along with many of the other politically active folks in our valley. What started as a David vs. Goliath battle is slowly becoming a more even and balanced bout.

Driving down the 14 Freeway Thursday, there was another ladder on the road. There has to be a reason folks can’t tie down their ladders better. I’ll bet the same folks used to let go of the kite string when they flew a kite … if they could fly a kite. If you attach a camera to a kite, is that a form of drone and banned from city parks?

I think the movie company filming up in Mentryville had better look at the lack of security it has. Someone made off with some “film equipment.” Let me see how this plays out. A gazillion cameras around and security guards, too, guarding the set. One road in and out of the place, and at night, a locked gate half a mile from the county road. Can we say, “Misplaced filming equipment?” Or maybe the ever-popular “inside job?” Just some thoughts here, folks.

All that money to film, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority still hasn’t followed the contract and the promise it made to restore the Pico Cottage and the other buildings. It must be following the Chiquita Landfill model of contractual compliance. “Don’t do it unless you get forced to do it.” I’ll bet the authority is spending the filming funds on some really great things in Mentryville. Like maybe some stuff down in Malibu Canyon or at the MRCA headquarters in Beverly Hills.

If the MRCA needs money, I suppose if they write a letter in support of the landfill, good ol’ Waste Connections will be sure and give them a boatload of the green stuff. They certainly like to spray green stuff as a sealing coat every night.

But seriously, Dot is looking for a nice home. Call the Castaic Animal Shelter at 661-257-3191.

But seriously, Dot is looking for a nice home. Call the Castaic Animal Shelter at 661-257-3191.

Yesterday I learned I really am 65 years old and shouldn’t attempt to keep up with some young adults helping to clean up Heritage Junction. Don’t tell them, but I didn’t scream in pain until they were a few blocks away. Some minor pain meds helped, along with a good dinner at Siam Rice II in Saugus. Excellent food and service.

Heritage Junction is getting spiffed up a little. Nice to have folks come by and see the progress. I’ve got this habit of opening up the train gate so kids can ring the bell on the big engine. I love that. So do the kids. Not sure the parents like it, but I am a grandfather. I could give the kids something full of sugar and maybe a kitten before they head home. Now that would be fun. Maybe I could work a deal with the local animal shelter. “Step right up and ring the bell. Take home a puppy, too.”

I love this job.

No, I’m not handing out puppies or kittens. I do like the idea that kids need pets or some creature to care for and to learn to be responsible for it in the process. It seemed to have been good for me when I was growing up. Can’t do that with a computer game or just watching TV.

We can do that for people, too. If you can take care of an animal properly, it tells me you’ll have a chance in society. God’s critters are smart. They can teach you without being able to say a word. Sometimes that is the best kind of learning, because you have to learn by the actions of an animal.

I think it was a little over a year ago that a man in Ventura County poured charcoal lighter fluid on a dog and lit it on fire just to watch the dog run around burning. He was caught and given that maximum fine and jail time. There is a special place in hell for folks like that, I’m sure. I just cannot fathom what type of childhood that man had that taught him to be so cruel. Makes me sick just to think about it.

Taking care of a critter is vital to our just plain growing up. Maybe those of y’all who don’t have a pet, but might think about getting one, should do some reading about what kind of pet you want. Figure that out, and then read all about that kind of critter.

I’ll bet our local shelter in Castaic has the perfect match for you. Check it out.

Just remember, you shouldn’t have a goat in a one-bedroom apartment. Trust me on this.

It could be fun – for a few seconds. The cleanup would really stink.

It is still true that experience contains all of those mistakes you don’t want to make again.

One last thing: That billboard with the ad for the strip club would be gone if Measure S had passed.

Have a great day.



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, where he serves as executive director of the SCV Historical Society. 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].

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  1. Steve Petzold says:

    The billboard that Manzer references at the end of hisdiatribe is outside of the Metro ROW and was not subject to the removal provisions of Orfinance 14-02. Please correct this erroneous and misleading statement immediately.

  2. PJ says:

    No, you’ve got the wrong, Daryl. The billboard with the ad for the strip club would NOT be gone if Measure S had passed because that billboard isn’t on the METRO right-of-way. The digital billboard deal would take down billboards on the train track side of Railroad Ave and Soledad only.Additionally, if the Measure S, the digital billboard had passed, potentially they could have strip club ads on them. The digital billboard deal prohibited obscenity but a strip club ad does not meet the legal category of obscenity or they wouldn’t be allowed anywhere. Billboard companies are very litigious. They’re fighting court battles all over the country on the basis of their constitutional right to free speech. And they’re winning. The best way to protect a community from their intrusive messages is to never allow them in the first place.

  3. PJ says:

    You’ve got that wrong, Daryl. The billboard with the ad for the strip club would NOT be gone if Measure S had passed because that billboard isn’t on the METRO right-of-way. The digital billboard deal would take down billboards on the train track side of Soledad Canyon Rd and Railroad Ave only. Additionally, if Measure S, the digital billboard deal had passed, potentially there could be strip club ads on them. The digital billboard deal prohibited obscenity but a strip club ad does not meet the legal category of obscenity or they wouldn’t be allowed anywhere. Billboard companies are very litigious. They’re fighting court battles all over the country on the basis of their constitutional right to free speech. And they’re winning. The best way to protect a community from their intrusive messages is to never allow them in the first place.

  4. Greg Kimura says:

    I couldn’t make it to the Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting, but I am glad to hear that they listened to the residents and voted on what they thought would be best for the SCV.

  5. Greg Kimura says:

    Here are some things I’d like people to consider:
    1. Household trash is one thing. Yes, we throw out some toxic things in our trash and we shouldn’t, but we do. This trash does need to go somewhere and if it’s generated in the SCV, then it could go to a landfill here.
    2. Construction waste could also come from the SCV, so it could be okay if it gets dumped in the landfill.
    3. Should we be the dumping ground for Southern California? Over 80% of the trash taken to Chiquita Canyon Landfill originates outside of the SCV.
    4. If we allow the landfill to expand – maybe triple the tonnage they currently take in – our share of the trash will drop well into the single digits. So the future plans are to use our resources to satisfy the needs of Southern California.
    5. And what about “cleaned” waste from Rocketdyne – the city of Simi Valley doesn’t want it, so why should we take it? Or tainted dirt from Malibu – not safe for the kids in Malibu, but okay for Val Verde? Sludge from Santa Barbara? Or any other unwanted commercial waste? Should we be the dumping ground for Southern California?

  6. Greg Kimura says:

    6. I just found out that Chiquita Canyon Landfill took in 33 Thousand Tons (a ton is 2,000 pounds) or 66 million pounds of contaminated soil back in 2009. This contaminated soil came from a new high school LAUSD built. So, if it isn’t safe to be near high school students, then why should it be safe near our residents. Yes, we do have kids here too!

    And by the way, why weren’t the residents of Val Verde warned that this contaminated soil was coming in. The residents could’ve told their kids to stay inside, no barbecues, indoor only YAL, no soccer games or practice, no baseball or softball, no bike riding, no walking to a friend’s house, no driving with your windows down, keep all the windows in your house closed, replace your air conditioning filter, dust your home often and no outdoor activities.

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