Month In Review – Snapshots from last moth’s most significant news and developments – May 2017

by | Apr 26, 2017 | Community

 Former COC Board of Trustee to Become Director of the Selective Service System

It’s Official; Former COC Trustee and Washington State Legislator Donald Benton will be sworn in as the new director of the Selective Service System (SSS). After only eight weeks at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), President Trump nominated Benton for his new role in the SSS. The Washington Post reported that he and Scott Pruitt, the new EPA administrator, had several ‘clashes’. Brenton is said to manage the 124 full-time paid employees of the organization. He is no stranger to high profile positions, he served his alma-mater on the College of the Canyons’ Board of Trustees for two terms. For 20 years, Brenton served as a Senator in the Washington State Legislature and a single term in the Washington State House of Representatives.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Last Month was declared the National Distracted Driving Awareness month. Alongside community partners: California Highway Patrol (CHP), Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) passionately worked to enforce safety on the roads. This crusade raises awareness to one-day end distracted driving. The focus is to alter bad driving habits of motorist through education and planning, ultimately saving lives. During the week of April 3rd-9th several presentations were shown at local high schools to teach the repercussions of distracted driving. To make this initiative more realistic, AT&T provided their virtual reality simulator, also to promote their IT CAN WAIT campaign.

Congressman Knight Proposes Equal Pay Legislation

April was marked with another milestone in gender equality. Santa Clarita Valley’s own Steve Knight has introduced the Workplace Advancement Act. Reaffirming Congressional commitment with this act, Knight plans to allow individuals, a retaliation-free space, to negotiate their salaries more effectively. Knight commented that: “Today is a reminder that we still have a long way to go in ensuring equality in the workplace.” The Congressman’s proposal would not require employers to divulge salaries nor create new federal regulations. However, it will enforce a prohibition on the retaliation of employees seeking comparative wages by employers. Knight continued with, “While we have made some Progress on this issue, we must keep striving to increase economic opportunities and address the barriers that many women still face today.”

Meet our New Parks, Recreation and Community Service Commissioner: Victor Lindenheim

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Victor Lindenheim was appointed the new Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commissioner. He replaced former Commissioner, Kevin Korenthal, after his resignation early April. Lindenheim is the executive Director of the Golden State Getaway Coalition, a non-profit transportation, education, and advocacy organization based in the Santa Clarita Valley. Recently this organization played a monumental part in raising funding for Measure M Project approved this past November.

Fraud:  A Home Loan Story!

In early April, Carlo Hamrahi of the Santa Clarita Valley, was sentenced to three years state prison and ordered to pay $140,000 in restitution on two felony counts of grand theft and a white collar crime enhancement from losses that exceeded $100,000. For some time, Hamrahi was operating a fraudulent home loan modification scheme, under the alias Roberto Colleoni and the Colleoni Enterprises. The bogus company, based in the SCV, would issue checks to unsuspecting homeowners for loan modifications. His angle was to promise his unsuspecting victims up to 50 percent reduction in their mortgage balances, a two percent decrease in their interest rate, and extending their loan term to 40 years. Hamrahi required upfront payments, while providing falsified documents that gave the appearance that the modifications were approved. He would then provide false checks consisting of stolen identities, which were returned as fraudulent. After several checks came back returned, totaling over $900,000, the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force began an investigation. TRaCE obtained a warrant and uncovered incriminating evidence that lead to Hamrahi convection on April 6, 2017 in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Norwalk.

Philanthropy Has No Age Limit!

At the age of ten, Braedon Criner, founded his first non-profit event to raise money for cancer research. He was inspired to jump in the fight when he saw a visual demonstration from families that lost their loved-ones to cancer at the Michael Hofflin Foundation walk. With a heavy heart he proclaimed, “I want to stop this!” He began running ideas by his parents, Nathan and Shauna Criner, who have long served the Santa Clarita Valley, as active members in the Jaycees. Young Criner told his mom that he was going to take all his books and sell them at the end of the street, like a lemonade stand. Working with his parents they came up with a bake/book sale to raise money for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. On April 15th over 50 volunteers and shoppers came to the Boys and Girls Club to support Braedon’s efforts.  His mom states, “I am so proud of Braedon and all he has done.  We raised almost $500. We cannot thank the community and our volunteers enough for making this so successful”

The Santa Clarita Valley is the “City of the Future”

According to the Foreign Development Investment (FDi) American Cities of the Future assessment the Santa Clarita Valley was voted fourth in the “Small American City of the Future” category. The selection process measured the cities on several data points: economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness, connectivity, and business friendliness. What this does for the SCV is publicizing profitability and success to potential business partners and foreign investors.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital CFO and Senior VP Retires

After serving 16 years as Henry Mayo’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President C.R Bob Hudson announced his retirement last month. Since 2001, Hudson has played an enormous role in reconstructing Henry Mayo’s image and financial foundation. During his years Henry Mayo has grown into a 238-bed and will add an additional 142-bed tower in 2019.  Hudson “played a substantial role in serving this hospital and the Santa Clarita Valley” says Henry Mayo’s Chief Executive Officer and President Roger Seaver. He not only has served the hospital through his work efforts but has supported the community through several charity events such as the annual Toyota Drive Safe Golf Classic. Money raised for this event supports emergency services for the Santa Clarita Valley. His dedication to his job and determination for Henry Mayo’s brighter future has aided in completing several of the hospital’s projects: Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, the Kim and Steven Ullman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Expansion of the Emergency Department, and several others. CEO Seaver said, “Bob’s wise, no-nonsense style…will be missed.”

Senator Wilks Hosts a Women’s Self-Defense and Safety
Workshop

April was the Month of Sexual Assault Awareness. Santa Clarita Valley’s very own, Senator Scott Wilk hosted a women’s safety and self-defense Saturday April 22 at the Newhall Community Center. Senator Wilk alongside Bonnie Formia of Krav Maga Self-Defense, not only raised awareness but gave women vital knowledge they will need to foresee potential dangers and how to avoid troubling situations. This course established a foundation of simple techniques to avoid assault.

College of the Canyons to Host a Human Rights Symposium

College of the Canyons’ Anthropology Club presented a Spring Student Symposium that showcases verbal, poster, visual/art forms that bring to the fore human rights issues. The conference will highlight key issues that fall under these categories: Liberty, Autonomy, Welfare, and Animal/Non-human. Anthropology student and founer of the Anthropology Club, Candise Vogel, will be a keynote speaker and lecture on academic confidence and as a student how to make a difference in the community.

In Memoriam of Former Andy Gump CEO, Barry Gump

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that former Andy Gump CEO, Barry Gump, passed away on April 17, 2017 at the age of 74. Family members reported that Gump passed away in his sleep. Close friend and General Manager of Andy Gump, Tony Watson stated that he had just celebrated Easter with family, after recovering from a minor surgery. His death was very unexpected for those close to him, Watson continued. Gump has been a long time philanthropist and community leader in the Santa Clarita Valley for the past several years. “Andy Gump suffered a huge loss today, his friends and family certainly did and the community did, as well” Watson expressed.

Planners Discuss New Hotel on Rye Canyon

Santa Clarita Planners discussed a five-story hotel that would have two separate hotel brands in one structure. The two brands will include a 78-room Hampton Inn and 107-room Homewood Inn and Suites. The proposed structure will be 124,000 square-feet located on Newhall Ranch Road, on the corner of Rye Canyon Road and Vanderbilt Way. City Officials shared that the new structure will stand 69 feet tall and be placed next to the existing Oakmont Senior Living Facility on Rye Canyon Road.

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