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From The Signal Archives: No crosses, annexation, spray

From The Signal Archives...

Posted: September 17, 2009 9:11 p.m.
Updated: September 18, 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. Following is from the week of Sept. 12, 2004, published in The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

No crosses allowed

County supervisors were set that week to approve a new seal for the county, removing a cross from the seal that had been in use for decades.

Despite a Michigan-based Christian legal group’s efforts to preserve the Latin cross — which defenders of the old seal said represented the county’s mission heritage — supervisors would agree to the new seal, replacing the cross with a stylized depiction of Mission San Gabriel.

Other changes were made, as well.

“Adding to the controversy over the removal of the Latin cross from the seal, Signal Hill oilmen said the replacement of the oil derricks neglects the region’s historical role as a major supplier of crude oil,” The Signal reported on Sept. 14, 2004.

Leave the pepper spray at home
Wiley Canyon Elementary School was evacuated during a districtwide sale and rental of musical instruments. Someone brought pepper spray to the session and either accidentally or deliberately released some.

The event on a Monday evening ended abruptly as two dozen people were overcome by coughing fits and one girl vomited.

One parent observed that diehard music boosters stayed behind in the multipurpose room to complete their clarinet or flute purchases, despite orders to evacuate.

Bonuses draw ire

Some College of the Canyons instructors were irate after the Board of Trustees agreed to split $120,000 in bonuses among 26 college administrators.

“It’s a travesty that these people, in a time of a budget crisis, think that they can somehow justify this,” journalism instructor Chuck Whitten was quoted in the Sept. 16, 2004, issue of The Signal.

Trustee Bruce Fortine justified the expense, saying the college was short seven administrators, and awarding bonuses rather than filling those positions saved the district money.

The Signal noted that the $120,000 payout followed by four months a raise for President (now Chancellor) Dianne Van Hook to $246,000 a year.

It also followed an increase in tuition from $18 a unit to $26 a unit, but those funds then — as now — go directly to the state.

Just saying ‘no’ to annexation

Castaic Area Town Council members were drawing a line in the sand and objecting to the annexation of the Valencia Commerce Center into the city of Santa Clarita.

Council members authorized “Welcome to Castiac” signs to clarify the boundaries between the community and its incorporated neighbor — and they planned to plant one right in front of the Commerce Center.

“What it appears they’re doing is going in and looking for additional tax money by annexing an industrial business tax space, and excluding the surrounding (residential) areas that would be a cost to them,” Town Council member Bob Lewis complained about Santa Clarita’s move.

“It would be like Castaic going in and saying, ‘We want to take Auto Row on Creekside and make it part of our city but want to exclude the rest of Santa Clarita,” he said.

Hilton comes to Wal-mart
Paris Hilton was at the Valencia Wal-mart that week, signing her new book, “Confessions of an Heiress.” Residents lined up out the door of the store to get her signature.

Canyon High unbeaten
It was early in the season, but Canyon High School was on a roll, beating Burroughs-Ridgecrest in a come-from-behind 51-34 football victory to leave the Cowboys unbeaten.

— Lila Littlejohn


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