Month in Review – Snapshots from February 2017 month’s most significant news and developments
Former SCV Sheriff’s Station
Captain Gets Promotion
by Kyle Shannon
Roosevelt Johnson, captain at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station since 2014, has recently been promoted to commander.
Born and raised in Port Author, Texas, Commander Johnson spent four years in the United States Navy before joining the police academy. Some 26 years ago, shortly after he was given his first assignment, Commander Johnson decided to move to the Santa Clarita Valley.
“It was one of the best moves,” states the Commander. “I liked what I saw out here, and thought it would be a perfect place to plant roots.”
In 2005, Commander Johnson was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to Lennox Station, Custody Operations Division Headquarters. In 2009, he was promoted to Lieutenant at North County Correctional Facility, Altadena Station and North Patrol Division Headquarters as an Executive Aide. Finally, after 23 years of service in the LASD, he was made captain and assigned to the valley he’d lived in for more than two decades.
“We need to get out and be proactive in this community. Santa Clarita is known for being one of the safest communities in the country, and I don’t intend for that to change on my watch,” said Commander Johnson in 2014, shortly after being assigned to Santa Clarita.
While assigned in Santa Clarita Valley, Commander Johnson started numerous programs, such as “Scoops for Safety,” which rewarded children with ice cream coupons for wearing appropriate safety gear while riding bikes, skateboards and scooters.
On February 1, Ken Wiseman, the Chief Executive Officer at AMS Fulfillment, commented on Captain Johnson’s promotion: “So fortunate are we that were inspired and mentored, along your path of leadership to those that serve, and those you protect. Thank you!”
Commander Johnson’s replacement has yet to be announced, and it is unknown when his replacement will become known, according to KHTS.
Rep. Knight Releases Statement
on Executive Order
Rep. Knight made the following statement on the President’s recent Executive Order: “As a member of the Houses Armed Services Committee, no issue is more important to me than protecting our communities from foreign and domestic threats. This includes strengthening our vetting process for individuals attempting to enter our country, particularly coming from places where we cannot always obtain thorough background information on individuals. Let me be clear, I do not in any way support a ban on individuals entering our country based on their religion. I understand that the recent Executive Order on this issue is causing anxiety for many people and families, which is why I am pleased with Secretary Kelly’s announcement that holders of green cards will not be denied entry into the United States. My priority is always helping members of our community who need assistance in dealing with the federal government, and I urge those who are taking care of family members and loved ones that are currently struggling with the process to contact my office for help.”
State Sen. Wilk Introduces TBI Assistance Bill
State Sen. Scott Wilk announced the introduction of Senate Bill 283 (SB 283), a measure which will allow young Californians who have suffered a traumatic brain injury between age 18 and 22, to access regional center disability services. This measure will bring California into conformance with the federal threshold and that of 38 other states. Currently these services are unavailable in California if a developmental disability, such as traumatic brain injury, occurs after the age of 18.
“I can’t even imagine the horror a family goes through when a child suffers a traumatic brain injury; let alone to discover your child is ineligible for services simply because he or she is over 18 years old,” said Wilk. “The medical community believes the brain continues to develop until at least 22 years of age, so it makes sense for California’s eligibility threshold to match scientific data.”
The need for SB 283 came to Senator Wilk’s attention from a meeting he had with James O’Hara of Castaic, a constituent whose son suffered a severe injury to his brain in a devastating car accident shortly after his 18th birthday, which made him ineligible for even the basic rehabilitation therapy services needed to restore normal functioning such as speech, walking, and self-care.
“My son was a gentle soul, a talented sketch artist and model student who worked two jobs to buy his first car at age 16,” said O’Hara. “At 18 his brain injury reduced him to a vegetative state. As a parent, imagine the pain. You can’t. It was so far beyond anything I thought possible to endure. I knew I’d never experience joy again. I was wrong. After years of exhaustive rehabilitation efforts, sometimes creating resources that weren’t available to us, my son is coming back to us in steps. Imagine the joy.”
Current California law defines a developmental disability, such as autism or traumatic brain injury, as: one that originates before an individual attains 18 years of age; continues, or can be expected to continue, indefinitely; and constitutes a substantial disability for that individual. SB 283 would modify the developmental disability definition to raise the age of onset to 22 years.
Rep. Knight Reintroduces Bill for Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness
Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) reintroduced a bipartisan resolution on Monday that would raise awareness and support research for a form of pediatric cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.
Knight’s resolution renews an effort that the Congressman led last year with Janet Demeter, an Agua Dulce resident who lost her son Jack to DIPG in 2012. After his passing, Demeter founded an organization called Jack’s Angels, which promotes funding for scientific research, raises public awareness, and supports children afflicted with DIPG.
Lady Gaga Halftime Show Lit Up by
On Super Bowl Sunday, pop superstar Lady Gaga graced Houston’s NRG Stadium stage for the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. Her 12-minute performance, which included snippets from her hits and tributes to Americana, such as Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” drew an estimated 111.3 million viewers.
In a Super Bowl first, Lady Gaga performed under a canopy of several hundred coordinated aerial drones, which formed shapes and emitted color combinations over the stadium. Longtime Super Bowl Halftime Show lighting designer and CalArts alumnus Robert Barnhart (Theater BFA 87) was responsible for the stunning light display.
Supervisor Barger Introduces Motion for Dam Oversight
Supervisor Kathryn Barger introduced a motion directing county agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine any potential threats to public safety in the county’s system of dams, spillways and other water collection and diversion assets.
Barger, who represents the district with highest number of dams and other drainage facilities, said, “the Oroville situation reminds us of the need to proactively evaluate our county’s risk with regard to dams and other facilities which may be prone to failure from storms, earthquakes or other foreseeable events.”
Additionally, Barger’s motion will instruct the Department of Public Works to work with other county agencies as well as State and Federal partners to develop a list of priority infrastructure projects by district.
Sand Canyon Evacuated for Flooding
On Sunday, January 22, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department ordered mandatory evacuations, that remained in place throughout the night, for residents in the Sand Canyon area impacted by the Sand Fire and other burn areas, including: Placerita Canyon Rd. to the south, Sand Canyon Rd. to the west boundary, and Iron Canyon Road on the northern boundary.
The National Weather Service advised the Santa Clarita Valley was under a Flash Flood Watch through Monday at 6 p.m. A strong storm system impacted the area and scattered thunderstorms carried through to Monday. Rainfall triggered flash flooding in the watch area. Flash flooding and debris flows were a particular threat in and below the recently burned areas.
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