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From The Signal Archives: divisions and campaigns

Posted: May 28, 2009 6:11 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Editor’s note: As The Signal celebrates 90 years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, we offer this peek into the SCV of days past. The following is from the last week of May 1994, The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

A divisive time in the valley
“Group rallies behind jailed friend,”  was the headline on a front-page story about the Santa Clarita Valley Peckerwoods, “a local white-power gang” whose members rallied at a local jail over the arrest of Jace Edwards, who was charged with felony possession of a deadly weapon.

Edwards’ bail recently had been raised to $500,000 on the suspicion that he was behind local racially charged incidents between gang members and students in Canyon Country.

Several members of the group claimed the SCV Peckerwoods were not a gang, but a family, and therefore authorities had no right to treat Edwards as a gang member.

“‘We’re a family, just like the Waltons,’ one of the members said, adding, ‘Jace is a friend of the family.’

“‘Back in the old days, everyone was a redneck,’ said 17-year-old D.J., a member of the SCV Peckerwoods.

“‘I lived here for 17 years and there was no problem. ... I ain’t scared of them. I just think we should keep it white out here.”

Council ready for smokers’ ban
“The fate of the city’s smokers will be decided Tuesday,” read the lead on a front-page story about an ordinance to ban cigarette-vending machines, smoking in most work places and mandate restaurants post their individual policies.

“Mayor George Pederson stands alone in his opposition to the current version of the law. ‘I wanted a complete ban in workplaces and restaurants,’ he said, ‘But I will eventually be vindicated. State and federal legislation will do what we have failed to do here.’”

No boot camp?
“A $1 million grant that would pay for the nation’s first boot camp for girls here has been denied, federal officials said Friday.”

The article suggested “President Clinton’s crime bill could make the transformation of Camp Scott — a county girls’ detention facility in Bouquet Canyon — into a military-style training camp a 99-percent certainty in 1995,” according to a Department of Justice spokeswoman.

City runs an ad blitz, version 1.0
“In an effort to lure shoppers, tourists and filmmakers back to the Santa Clarita Valley after the Northridge quake, the city has started an advertising and media blitz in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles as part of an earthquake recovery plan.

“Newspaper and radio ads — paid for by the city, Newhall Land and Farming Co. and the Santa Clarita Association of Realtors — began running this week in various Los Angeles papers and on radio stations.

“The ads tell readers Santa Clarita businesses are still open and the valley is no longer cut off from the rest of the Southland by broken freeways.”

City plans to keep commuter buses
“The city is so pleased with the response it got for its San Fernando Valley commuter bus runs established after the Jan. 17 tremblor that it plans to continue it to next year.

“However, that’s going to wind up costing the city some extra bucks — about $800,000 more.

“But don’t worry. It won’t come out of the fare box or higher property taxes. Instead, Public Works Director Jeff Kolin has figured out a way to fund the extra service with existing income and at the same time garner more local control over the future of commuter bus service.”

—Perry Smith


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