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Lila Littlejohn: Train station makes a move

From the Signal archives

Posted: February 26, 2010 10:38 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Editor's note: As The Signal celebrates 91 years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, we offer this peek into the SCV of days past. Following is from the Feb. 27, 1980, Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

Apathy reigns
Those who are critical of the historic poor voter turnout for City Council elections wouldn't be encouraged by a report in the Feb. 27, 1980, Signal that said only 19 people turned out "to participate in their civic future(s)."

Seems the city formation movement, headed by a Board of Directors, was looking to elect a new nine-member board to carry forth the effort.

However, since turnout at the meeting was so low, no election was held. "Too few people were in attendance for a representative body to be chosen to steer the city formation drive," The Signal reported.

Despite the "raging apathy," as The Signal put it, the city of Santa Clarita managed to be founded in December 1987, approved by a majority of voters who bothered to turn out to vote.

Not an ‘E' ticket ride
Another front-page story reported that Magic Mountain had settled out of court with a visitor who said he was injured when a toilet he sat on fell off the wall at the amusement park.

The Las Vegas resident hired a lawyer and sued, saying he suffered "mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering" when the commode cut loose from the wall in June 1976.

"Upon plaintiff's so sitting," the legal document droned, "the commode immediately broke away from the wall to which it was affixed, fell upon the floor and broke into numerous pieces. Plaintiff fell with such commode, with great force and violence."

The incident occurred before Six Flags bought Magic Mountain from The Newhall Land and Farming Company.

Train station to take a ride
The Feb. 27 issue included a story noting the Saugus Train Station - which used to be in Saugus - had been approved for its move next to Hart Park in Newhall.

Los Angeles County officials and the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society together agreed to the new location.

The train station had stood next to the railroad tracks near the Saugus Cafe for more than 90 years. Southern Pacific retired the building and agreed to donate it to the Historical Society - on condition that it be moved off the SP right-of-way before June 30, 1980.

Take the bus
An excessively optimistic headline titled "Buses running on schedule" noted that county supervisors had just approved commuter bus service to link the Santa Clarita Valley to points south.

Supervisors agreed to accept bids for the service, which would provide two buses making daily runs to Los Angeles and back.

A far cry from today's commuter service from the SCV, which includes bus and/or train service to North Hollywood, Los Angeles, Century City, Warner Center and Lancaster/Palmdale.

Two by two into the ark
The Signal of the '80s carried a gossip column by mystery writer Mimi, which was mostly a collection of anecdotes from folks around town.

"The pouring rain had wreaked some damage on freeway signs when Jerry Reynolds drove over Newhall Pass last week," one entry reads.

"He was startled to read: ‘ARK LANE - 2 OR MORE PASSENGERS. ...' ‘I knew it was wet,' Jerry commented, ‘but not THAT wet.'"

Or is it Sautaic or Casgus?
Another gossip column entry offered possible names for the new city bandied about during the poorly attended city formation commission meeting mentioned above. One resident suggested "‘Valhalla' - a combination of Valencia-Newhall, with overtones of Norse gods. And he readily admitted the source of his inspiration: the sign at Valencia Liquors on Lyons Avenue."


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