2019 an­other year of déjà vu in the An­te­lope Val­ley

The 28th an­nual year-end wrap col­umn fea­tures high points, low points and snow.

Antelope Valley Press - - News -

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.

In­tractable prob­lem

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.



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