Month in Review Snapshots from last month’s most significant news and developments – October 2017
City Supports Habitat for Humanity
The City of Santa Clarita continued support of Habitat for Humanity’s Santa Clarita CalVet Residential Enriched Neighborhood (REN) and has contributed $350,000 to the development of the community. A formal dedication and check presentation was done late September. The event was open to the public and featured remarks from Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth, Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Donna Deutchman and Board Chairman Hunt Braly. The City became involved in the project in June, committing financial support to help complete the final phase of construction and allow Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV to provide services and other resources for residents.
Newhall School District Gets Proactive with Local Sheriffs
Principals, assistant principals and school resource deputies met Friday morning at the Newhall School District Office with SCV Sheriff’s Captain Robert Lewis and Superintendent Paul Cordeiro. Many schools hold pre-arranged lockdown drills School Resource Deputy Tom Drake explained. “We’re going to start holding ‘impromptu’ drills at elementary schools, “ said Drake, “because in real life you never know when staff is going to get a moment’s notice to lockdown.” Newhall District Superintendent Cordeiro reached out to SCV Sheriff’s Station to arrange additional training for his staff at ten different elementary schools within the district. He wants to make sure that in case of an emergency lockdown, his administrators and teachers know exactly what to do.
Rain or Shine our Deputies Persevere!
Our Traffic Office conducted a speed enforcement operation in the city of Santa Clarita. All five of our motor deputies and a traffic patrol car were working the operation, with the additional assistance of three motor deputies that came from other patrol stations. When they held their afternoon briefing prior to deploying in the field, they had no idea that shortly after embarking on their mission, there would be fires, rain, and then more fires! During their operation, six of the motor deputies were pulled for 4 hours from the field to assist with traffic control at the site of the fires! Despite the disparities that was thrown their way, they were still able to cite 53 violations.
A Hero Remembered
It has been sixteen years since Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. Jake was shot and killed in the line of duty while assisting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms during the service of a search warrant in Stevenson Ranch in the summer of 2001, he was 40 years old. Jake, was a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and had been assigned to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station since 1995. Jake was an avid motorcyclist and after serving in many other capacities at the station had been assigned as a motor officer in the Santa Clarita Valley for six months prior to his untimely death.
COC Launches Program to Help Reduce College Costs
In a continued effort to reduce college costs, College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise (FYP) program this fall. It is designed to create a pathway that provides increased opportunities for new full-time college students to achieve their educational goals, through a $750,000 grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO). “College of the Canyons is widely recognized for its commitment to institutional effectiveness, data-driven initiatives, and sustained efforts to make college more affordable for more students” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “We are very excited by the early success of the First-Year Promise program and look forward to partnering with the community to expand the reach and impact of the program.”
The Library Puts on a Silent Auction
The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library hosted a silent book auction benefiting the Santa Clarita Public Library. The auction took place during business hours at Friends bookstores located at all three Santa Clarita Public Library branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia. The public was invited to come and bid on unique, rare and collectible books. The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library supports the library through advocacy, volunteer service, supplemental funding and fostering a close relationship between the library and the community. The proceeds from the silent auction and all three Friends bookstores support programming for the Santa Clarita Public Library.
The MAIN Features “A View”
The gallery in The MAIN featured a new exhibit of watercolor pieces by artist, president and founder of ARTree Community Arts Center, Bob Hernandez. “A View” is a selection of paintings inspired by Hernandez’s solitude moments both physically and emotionally. An artist of many mediums, Hernandez chose watercolor for this exhibit because it allowed him to experiment with opacity, translucency, brush strokes, bleeds, saturation, form, depth and movement. The exhibit also displayed a sprinkling of acrylics and oils. “I never stop searching. I like trying different mediums and approaches that challenge me to communicate in a real way,” says Hernandez.
The City Wins Two Prestigious Awards
The City of Santa Clarita has won two prestigious League of California Cities Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence in the category of Public Safety for the program Heroin Kills, and in the category of Internal Administration for its Employee Development program. City Councilwoman Marsha McLean accepted the awards on behalf of the City of Santa Clarita at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo in Sacramento. “We are thrilled to be honored once again for not one, but two innovative projects,” remarked Councilwoman McLean.
COC Hosts a Human Trafficking Conference
To raise awareness on human trafficking, an issue that has become increasingly prevalent in California, College of the Canyons hosted the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking”. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 705 cases of human trafficking have been reported in California this year. Tika Thornton, an advocate against sex trafficking and a survivor herself, was the conference’s keynote speaker. As a mentor and speaker, Thornton provides one-on-one peer counseling to at-risk youth and works to provide sex trafficking survivors with job skills and resources.
SCV Celebrates Constitution Day
Community Leaders, including two Hart District board members, administrators, a city representative and business partners, gathered together in celebration of U.S. Constitution Day to mentor adult students preparing for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services civics test. Mentors shared apple pie and an American perspective on subjects such as sports, food, family, tipping, and living within the law with students. Students from around the world in turn shared similar customs from their own countries. Small groups made it comfortable for conversation. “The people were willing to talk and sometimes share very personal fears,” said mentor Karen Hudson Mike Kuhlman, assistant superintendent for the Hart School District, said that he volunteered to help out and walked away with stories to share. “The students’ life examples are an inspiration to work hard in the face of challenge,” Kuhlman said.
Country Western Royalty Comes to SCV
Concerts in the park hosted Lifetime Achievement Ameripolitan Award winner James Hand with the Carolyn Sills Combo deliver great Western swing and alternative country music to the SCV. Country music legend Willie Nelson describes James Hand as “the real deal,” and Santa Cruz Good Times newspaper says the Carolyn Sills Combo“ has enough soul, heart, style and swag to convince audiences and listeners that they may have been transported to an era where country swing rules the waves, juke joints were the place to be and heartache had a kick like a mule.
Non-Profits Learn About the New Grant Programs
Nonprofit organizations were invited to learn more about the 2018 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program. The Community Services and Arts Grants Program made make funds available to Santa Clarita Valley-based nonprofit and arts organizations that provide services to Santa Clarita residents. The Santa Clarita City Council made available $180,000 in funding for the 2018 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to help support one-time projects, program enhancements and pilot programs. In addition to allowing agencies to ask questions, this meeting included information about the new Arts Organization Capacity category, the grant timeline, funding eligibility, grant categories and criteria.
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