2019 another year of déjà vu in the Antelope Valley
The 28th annual year-end wrap column features high points, low points and snow.
The corruption case against former Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford dragged on all year. Wait, we did this item last year!
Yes, the corruption case against former Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford dragged on again in 2019, just as it did in 2018, and 2017, with delay followed by delay and then more delay.
Let us hope the 2020 year-end column has some resolution to report.
Another political scandal reached resolution much more quickly. Freshman Valley Congresswoman Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, resigned within days after news broke –with pictures – that she was evidently part of a three-way relationship with her then husband and a campaign aide.
No one came away looking good in that debacle, and many candidates — including former Congressman Steve Knight — are running to replace Hill.
The AV’s other congressman — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield — retained his post as one of the strongest and most visible supporters of President Donald Trump, to the joy of some and the consternation of others.
The most fascinating story in the Valley this year, though, was the nonstop entertainment put forth by the “Terrible Trio” — the Board majority on the Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Trustees.
A recall effort failed because of the huge number of signatures required to get it on the ballot. But then, mercifully, board president Bob Davis quit, leaving his compatriots Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell powerless to enact their agenda,
Look for Los Angeles County to step in and get the high school board back on track, since Ruffin and Parrell seem to have abdicated their duties.
The economy rolled along in all communities of the AV, with unemployment at record or near record lows.
The city of Lancaster developed an ordinance toward the end of the year that would regulate the feeding of the homeless on public property. It did not go over well, as homeless advocates packed city hall to protest.
They will revisit it in the new year.
It was not, as originally believed, a homeless person who shot a sheriff’s deputy trainee outside the Lancaster Sheriff ’s Station in August.
It was instead the trainee himself who shot the trainee, in an apparent effort to gain attention and or sympathy. The hoax led to a massive waste of LASD resources and the shutting down of half of Lancaster.
The trainee was fired. As in many cities around the nation, the homeless problem appears no nearer to solution than when the year began. People obviously need help, so you feel sympathy; at the same time it is a quality of life issue because taxpayers of a community ought to be able to use its parks and walk its sidewalks without being accosted by the clearly mentally ill people.
Paul George Day
Knight High grad Paul George returned to Southern California as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, who won the sweepstakes among the many NBA teams hoping to sign him.
He made public appearances in Palmdale and the city designated Dec. 20 as Paul George Day.
Highland High had a terrific football season, making it all the way to the state championship before losing on a final second field goal.
It was not a good year for the Valley baseball fans. As the year ends the future of the Lancaster JetHawks remains unclear because Major League Baseball has announced plans to slash its number of minor league affiliates.
Almost a white Christmas
Weather was a big story as 2019 wound down. For the first time in as long as anyone I know can remember, we had a white Thanksgiving on the Valley floor.
That was followed by another, even bigger, snow on the day after Christmas. The snow is still in spots on my backyard as I write on Monday morning.
After eight years with no appreciable snow, we got two storms within a month, and another was predicted but seems to have fizzled out.
The Ridgecrest area earthquake shook us on another holiday, July 4, but as of 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, the big one did not strike in 2019.
Turn, turn, turn
This was the last year on Earth for, among others, Pat Murray, Gerald Farrell, Dr. Rodney Stillion, Lyle Talbot, Darren Parker, Freddy Valentino, Olaf Landsgaard, Jack Abney, Jack Tolliver, Aida O’Connor, Herb Wyre, Marion Owens, Tom Ward, Betty Wienke and Sal Martinez. They brought much joy to those whose lives they touched.
This was also the first year on Earth for Delilah Vukonich, Noah Termath, Kaylee Alina Ramirez, Carter Scott Bonner, Liliana Kirkendall, Olivia Autumn Bustos Haworth, Lincoln James Thomas and Levi James Beverly. They, too, brought much joy.