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From The Signal Archives: On football and copper water

Posted: December 10, 2009 10:15 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 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 Signal of Dec. 12, 1999.

Hart beats Valencia
It was the front page of a Sunday edition, but the lead story wasn’t about news — it was about sports. The Hart High School Indians had beaten Valencia High School during a Saturday night game at College of the Canyons.

The score was 34-6 Indians over Vikings, and the winner took the Foothill League championship as well as the CIF-Southern Section Div. III football championship.

Hart was also set to take home — or, more accurately, leave where it was — The Signal Victory Bell, which goes to the Foothill League team with the best record against other Santa Clarita Valley teams. It was Hart’s eighth year in a row with the bell.

This year the Victory Bell is at Valencia.

It’s safe to drink the water
A Sunday front-page story asks the question: “What is causing galvanized steel pipes inside homes around town to spring leaks?

“It has turned into a multi-faceted debate.”

Seems residents of Valencia Summit had sued the Newhall Land and Farming Co., claiming local water was causing rust and pinholes in galvanized pipes installed in homes in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Copper was named among the waterborne culprits.

The lawsuit didn’t name Castaic Lake Water Agency, but then-General Manager Robert Sagehorn contacted The Signal with documentation that showed copper levels were not a problem in the water provided by the wholesaler.

And the new mayor is ...
The choice of who serves as mayor would be up to the five-member Santa Clarita City Council, not assigned among them on a rotational basis, following a special meeting that was the subject of a Sunday story.

“It is important to remember that we don’t have a set rotation anymore,” City Councilman Frank Ferry was quoted as saying.

Ferry had proposed the change in policy, and some observers said it was aimed at blocking Councilwoman Jill Klajic from becoming mayor.

“Frank Ferry is very angry at me and he is being very petty,” Klajic was quoted as saying.

Ferry complained in the article that Klajic was “adversarial to everyone,” although the story also quoted city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz saying nobody was fighting at City Hall.

Fast forward 10 years: Ferry stepped down as Santa Clarita mayor just this week.

Telling it like it was
“Tell It to The Signal” was a regular fixture 10 years ago, allowing people to send in complaints anonymously.

These rants usually featured vehement opposition to someone or something while shielding the name-caller from identification.

They often also featured bald-faced appeals to the vanity of the editor — a practice which had absolutely no effect, we assure you.

“I guess you partisans have not been reading The Signal,” one contributor wrote. “The vast majority of undeveloped land in the Santa Clarita Valley is in the county, and therefore in (county Supervisor) Mike Antonovich’s jurisdiction.”

The contributor points out that most growth occurring in the SCV was outside city boundaries, so “It doesn’t matter whether Klajic, (City Councilwoman Jan) Heidt or even Ferry are ‘controlled growth’ or ‘slow growth’ or ‘no growth’ fans.”

Not so nice
A common theme among “Tell It” contributors was rampant growth. One contributor called a city planner a “brain donor;” another labeled a council member an idiot and called on him to “grow up.”

The Signal suspended “Tell It” about two years ago due to pervasive nastiness. We suspected contributors would moderate tone considerably if they had their names attached to the messages — as they do in letters to the editor.

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