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Gina Nordenstrom: MRF conflict made from air

SCV Voices

Posted: July 27, 2009 9:58 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Regarding Carole Lutness' "Nordenstrom needs to do some homework" Opinion column in the July 23 Signal: Apples are still apples, no matter how many times you try to make them oranges. Everyone knows what happens when you make assumptions based on appearances.

The Val Verde Civic Association and the Community Benefits Funding Committee are not linked. Period, paragraph. One is not a committee of the other or vice versa.

Yes, there was a brief experiment by one Community Benefits Funding Committee board four or so years back at having members on both boards. The experiment was ill-fated and short-lived, because their missions were at total odds with each other.

You did correctly assert (as I stated in my July 11 Opinion column in the Signal, "Lutness, Noltemeyer need to do homework on MRF") that the Val Verde Civic Association is the entity that fought (never sued) the Chiquito Canyon Landfill expansion and we accepted an agreement for the benefit of our residents.

Most of your July 23 column repeats the brief history I gave in my July 11 column. However, you obviously didn't finish reading or dig far enough into the newspapers. You would have caught the story about the two organizations becoming separate entities in September 1997.

And a small reminder here: Just because something is in the newspaper doesn't automatically make it factual. Cherry-picking quotes that seem to support your position from news articles can be ill-advised and do not change the facts.

An example of cherry-picking that was incorrect is the information put forth by Daily News reporter Amy Collins, who didn't give a complete picture and got her facts wrong.

The Civic Association formed a committee of 20-plus residents to put together the by-laws of the newly founded Community Benefits Funding Committee throughout the summer of 1997. A provisional board was appointed by those committee members to make sure the first election held in 1998 followed the agreement.

Those are the facts, which are a little different from what Collins wrote.

The Val Verde Civic Association has not participated, created, condoned or been responsible in any form for any activities of the Community Benefits Funding Committee, since its separation from our board in 1997.

I have not been associated in any way, means or form with the Community Benefits Funding Committee for more than four years. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a voting director of that committee.

Just as an FYI - the landfill has a weekly tonnage limit they cannot exceed per the agreement; it does not matter how the tonnage is produced, whether it is trash, compost, building materials, concrete or recyclables.

I am glad Ms. Lutness didn't mean to disparage either Maria Gutzeit or myself; she sure managed to do so in a roundabout way.

As I said before, the decision of who is involved in the MRF committee belongs solely to the city of Santa Clarita, and trying to manufacture conflicts out of air does nothing but damage the process.

I also believe that as the closest community to the landfill and the community to be most impacted should the committee decide on it as a potential site, as noted by Ms. Lutness in her column, that Val Verde should definitely have a seat at the table in any decision made with that regard.

As with any new development near our community, we have a definite stake in seeing the result and what the impact will be on our residents and community.

I appreciate that Ms. Lutness would like to have Lynn Plambeck on this committee, but manufacturing conflicts does not do anyone any good at all.

Ms. Lutness, please note that Ethel Bonier, whom we chose to represent our community on this committee, is not on the board of either the Val Verde Civic Association or the Community Benefits Funding Committee.

She is a life-long resident of Val Verde with a love and a pride for this community and is a person of integrity and intelligence. That said, I don't think there is anything further to debate.

This is a very serious issue and one everyone who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley will have to live with, no matter where an MRF is located, but to spend this much time defending against nonsense is just that, nonsense.

Everyone in the Santa Clarita Valley will have an opinion when the decision is made as to where the MRF is going to be built, whether they are part of a committee or not. I hope in the end, all voices will be heard. That is the most important issue of this discussion.

Gina Nordenstrom is a 20-year Val Verde resident and secretary of the Val Verde Civic Association. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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