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October 24
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
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| Friday, Nov 15, 2019
A workman in a cherry picker works on power lines that were blown down in high winds in Newhall on October 13, 2019. | Photo: Dan Watson / The Signal.
A workman in a cherry picker works on power lines that were blown down in high winds in Newhall on October 13, 2019. | Photo: Dan Watson / The Signal.

 

California regulators voted Wednesday to commence a formal investigation into the recent and controversial public safety power shutoffs that have left communities in the Santa Clarita Valley and across the state blacked out during fire season.

The California Public Utilities Commission’s unanimous decision allows it to investigate whether investor-owned utilities, such as Southern California Edison, took the proper steps to prioritize public safety during outages and to ascertain what can be done in the future.

Wednesday’s special meeting brought on verbal and written comments from the public that urged commissioners to take action, including a letter from the Santa Clarita City Council.

“We wanted to specifically say that we want the (Public Utilities Commission) to direct utilities so that they can accelerate upgrades to their infrastructure, so we sent out a letter,” Mayor Marsha McLean said Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, the City Council gave staff direction to prepare the letter and added that legislative action should take place if the commission did not open an investigation.

“I don’t think most people want to live in the 1800s, but that’s exactly what happens the minute they shut down all the power, and it’s cruel if you’re on medication or medical devices — you’re in serious trouble,” Councilwoman Laurene Weste said on Tuesday. “If it isn’t resolved tomorrow, there needs to be strong legislative action.”

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, took the initiative last week, calling for a special session of the Legislature to investigate the power outages via a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Calls for the PUC to investigate these shut-offs is like asking the fox to audit the hen house,” he wrote in a prepared statement last week. “The investigating agency must be completely independent from undue influence of both the administration and (investor-owned utilities).”

As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no sign of an approved special session but an oversight hearing of the state Senate on the power shutoffs is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 18, according to Wilk’s office.

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, who also wrote a letter to Newsom, said Wednesday that “(r)ecent public safety power shutoffs have endangered the lives of our neighbors, particularly those living in rural communities and the medically fragile. I am pleased to see CPUC vote to investigate investor-owned electric utilities.”

She is expected to be in attendance, as well as Southern California Edison representatives, to discuss the shut-offs at an Agua Dulce Town Council meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Agua Dulce Women’s Club.

In a prepared statement, Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn said, “Southern California Edison will be actively participating in the CPUC process that seeks to address this very important topic for all of our customers and for the safety of the communities we serve.”

Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth said the issue is “clearly about liability and unfortunately, nothing else.”

“Edison staff were telling customers that it was the city’s decision (to shut off power) and sending customers to call us,” Smyth said on Tuesday, and called it a “misdirection” by the utility company.

The decision, however, “is 100% with us,” Edison spokesman Robert Laffoon-Villegas said, adding that he did not know the specifics related to Santa Clarita but that the utility company does communicate with local government prior to a planned outage.

In Santa Clarita, more than 10,000 households experienced power disruption on Oct. 30, just one of the seven days the area has undergone power shut-offs since Oct. 1, according to the city.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Oct 23, 2020
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 296,821 L.A. County Cases, 7,000 in SCV
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 23 new deaths and 2,773 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 56 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Oct 23, 2020
Sixth Round of ‘Homekey’ Funding Includes $24M for L.A. County
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a major injection of new Homekey funding made possible by the Legislature to expand and support the state program, helping thousands of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness find permanent, long-term housing solutions.
Friday, Oct 23, 2020
Santa Clarita 2020 ‘State of the City’ Highlights Resilience Amid Challenges
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
brochure
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 23 new deaths and 2,773 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 56 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 296,821 L.A. County Cases, 7,000 in SCV
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a major injection of new Homekey funding made possible by the Legislature to expand and support the state program, helping thousands of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness find permanent, long-term housing solutions.
Sixth Round of ‘Homekey’ Funding Includes $24M for L.A. County
The Santa Clarita City Council has posted its agenda for a regular meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday, October 27.
Oct. 27 Meeting Agenda: Santa Clarita City Council
The city of Santa Clarita has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
City of Santa Clarita Earns National Financial Reporting Award
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will host a National Drug Takeback Day event on Saturday, October 24, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Oct. 24: SCV Sheriff’s Station to Host Drug Takeback Day
City of Santa Clarita officials delivered the 2020 State of the City event Thursday in true COVID-19-era format: virtually, while shining a light on local essential workers who have toiled tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic.
Santa Clarita 2020 ‘State of the City’ Highlights Resilience Amid Challenges
Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the retirement of California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley, and the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Amanda Ray to succeed Stanley.
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Parolee, Woman Arrested in Valencia on Felony Drug, Weapon Charges
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Southern Hotel
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FEMA Application Now Open for L.A. County Residents Affected by Bobcat Fire
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County Officials Warning Residents of COVID-19 Property Tax Scam
Los Angeles County is providing a second opportunity for financial assistance to businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have been allowed to reopen by the State, but ordered to remain closed by the County of Los Angeles Health Officer Order as of Sept. 4, 2020.
L.A. County Announces Second Round of Funding for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 18 new deaths and 3,600 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, including 6,944 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley and a new fatality in the city of Santa Clarita.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 73rd SCV Death; Local Cases Up to 6,944
SCV Water is undertaking multiple planning efforts designed to effectively manage the water supply for our customers, ensuring they have access to reliable water today and tomorrow.
SCV Water Undertaking Multiple Planning Efforts to Enhance Water Reliability
With L.A. County’s Project Roomkey coming close to an end, Bridge to Home officials announced Thursday a new initiative to house more than two dozen local homeless individuals, but it will require help from the community
Bridge to Home’s New Initiative Pledges to House 30 Homeless People by January 5
Santa Clarita Artists Association will hold its last virtual oil workshop of the year on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., with Rich Gallego, entitled, "Using a Modified Zorn Palette to Create Harmonious Landscapes."
Nov. 15: Last SCAA Virtual Oil Painting Workshop of 2020 with Rich Gallego
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center will host a virtual open house event on Friday, Oct. 30 for prospective students interested in earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree through the center’s partner institutions.
Oct. 30: Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center Virtual Open House
Santa Clarita homeless task force members are exploring options to start a local overnight parking program akin to those in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
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The William S. Hart Union High School District will likely not return to campus until January, Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said during the district’s governing board meeting Wednesday.
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Oct. 24: Free Household Hazardous Waste & E-Waste Recycling Roundup
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