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From The Signal Archives: Frontier days and pay TV

Posted: October 8, 2009 7:59 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 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 Oct. 7, 1979, Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

Pay-TV blues
A front-page story on Sunday related the problems with unscrambling pay-TV signals.

Seems only residents of Newhall, Saugus and Castaic could get Valley County Cable Television, but the converter boxes that unscrambled the TV signals weren’t good enough, according to Bill Rasmussen, VCCT-TV manager.

“‘The company would have waited to improve the reception before offering the service,’ Rasmussen said ‘but chose not to because of the high public demand for it,’” The Signal reported.

Rabbit ears apparently served most of the rest of the valley.

Not in our backyard
Another story reported the Santa Clarita Valley was unsuitable for the hazardous-waste dump that a large disposal firm had planned for Sand Canyon.

“Earlier this year it became known that IT Corporation of Wilmington proposed to build a hazardous-waste disposal site on 720 acres near the Princess tract area of Sand Canyon,” the story reported.

“This proposal was made possible by the site’s designation on the county solid waste management policy map, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1977. That map pinpointed the area as a possible Class II waste disposal site.”

Then came the spoilsports with the State Water Resources Control Board, who nixed the hazardous-waste dump for Sand Canyon and some other Southern California locations. Oh, darn.

Back in the Frontier Days
The Oct. 7 issue reported a rousing success for that year’s Frontier Days parade, with a marching band from as far away as Montebello joining the festivities. Among the entries: The First Christian Church of Canyon Country’s old-fashioned baptism float, conducted in a barrel filled with water on the back of a trailer.

The church won first place in the “non-commercial float” category. The Sweepstakes award went to the Slender Set Figure Salon, which featured a frontier “saloon” scene complete with dance hall girls.

Never heard of Frontier Days, you say? It was an annual event in Canyon Country back in the ‘70s and usually included a rodeo as well as a parade.

“Who took it?”
“Who made off with the Arroyo Seco Junior High School sign?” asks a short story on page 2.

Seems the school sign disappeared — the story doesn’t say when — and sheriff’s deputies suspected a student prank. The paper included a description of the missing sign: “It is about 12 by 18 inches with gold lettering and valued at $60.”

Try pawning that.

Suds and restraint
One story in that Sunday issue under the headline “More suds go down” reported that beer sales were up 7 percent over the first nine months of the year.

On another page, a different story reported: “California college students, underage drinkers and persons who drink and drive are the target audiences of a new, nationwide Alcohol Awareness program which has been announced by the United States Brewers Association.”

Reaching everybody

A nearly page-sized ad touted the new “Full-Circulation Friday Signal.”

“Our new expanded Friday paper will be delivered to all 26,000 homes in the Santa Clarita Valley,” it said.

Ms. and Mr.
Another ad announces the first annual “Accent on Women” special section under the headline: “A Ms. is as good as a Mr.”

“Business Men ... This is the perfect opportunity to publicly salute your female employees ‘for a job well done,’” it reads, adding:
“Advertising costs are within reach of everyone.”

— Lila Littlejohn


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