Monday, January 21, 2008

Only in SCV: Resolutions on Bags, L.S. Newhall on Name Changes

“Non-binding, unpublicized resolutions are one of the most effective means of governing.”
p. 42 in my book Effective Governing: What Santa Clarita Can Teach the World

The most important issue for tomorrow’s City Council meeting is doubtless Item No. 4 on the Consent Calendar. According to the agenda: “This resolution identifies the City's past, present, and future efforts to promote the use of reusable bags and limit our dependence on plastic shopping bags.” When Santa Clarita’s endorsement of reusable bags is made official, all I can say is expect things to stay the same—and fast!

The issue of street name change is also weighing heavily on the minds of many a Claritan. If City Planners get their way, San Fernando Road will be re-named Newhall Avenue from 5th Street to the 14. Some have consulted business owners along the stretch of road, valley historians, and City staff to see what they think of the plan. For me, however, there are only two opinions that really count: those of the Newhalls and that of San Fernando (anglicized to “Saint Ferdinand”). St. Ferdinand III of Castille, patron of engineers, was unavailable for comment since his earthly life ceased on May 30, 1252[1]. I was, however, able to get a comment from Ms. Lindsey Newhall (yes, that Newhall) who resides in, variously, Beijing and Santa Clarita. While she was unable to speak for the whole Newhall clan, we take what we can get at IHeartSCV.

L.S. Newhall with sign.

Question 1: How do you feel about having San Fernando Road renamed to Newhall Avenue?

I think overall it’s a good idea. That way the exit will be called “Newhall Avenue” and travelers will be more clear that they are coming into Newhall. Besides, San Fernando already has its own valley and I’m a major advocate of anything that gives my name more exposure.

Question 2: How do you feel about the descendants of San Fernando who might be opposed to seeing their forefather’s memory eradicated?

I agree that Saint Ferdinand was a good and upright man, and I do love engineers, but I think his descendants should be satisfied with having their own valley.

[interview ends]

There you have it--Lindsey Newhall thinks renaming San Fernando Road to Newhall Avenue is a good idea. May the fight over the street name be less bloody than San Fernando's 1248 battle for Seville!

NOTE(1/22/08): I have received a reminder from Tony Newhall via Lindsey Newhall that part of San Fernando Road was originally Spruce Street (named by Henry Mayo Newhall, no less) until the powers-that-were saw fit to change the name. Thus, I should have consulted spruces as well. Unfortunately, we have no native spruce trees in the area; the only conifer to which I had access was the Community Holiday Tree at HMNM Hospital. The typically jovial tree has gone nihilistic as it begins to accept the fact that it will probably be cut down for the hospital expansion project. It said "What do I care if they change it back to Spruce Street? Trees don't last forever. They don't matter. Nothing does. [muffled sobs]"

[1]Learn more about Saint Ferdinand here


Anonymous said...

In my view, the SCV is already overrun with streets that change names as they cross another street for no apparant purpose. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Why can't the city council address things that matter; graffiti, groups of people standing on street corners, and the growing collection of "vendors" selling crap from their carts. This is not a third world country and we shouldn't give the appearance of one.

Anonymous said...

I vote for WillYouPleaseNameItAlready Blvd.

Pauline Harte said...

L.A. County changed Spruce Street to San Fernando Rd. in 1954. The county made the change at night, with no notification to anyone, and the next morning, much to the surprise of residents, Spruce St. had been replaced with San Fernando Rd. So really, the San Fernando Rd. name was not the original name of this roadway in the first place, and I think San Fernando Rd. has lived long past its prime. But whatever the new name is, the name should continue to Bouquet Canyon Junction (K-Mart intersection)so the new name is on one side of Soledad Canyon, and Bouquet Canyon Rd. is on the other side. Just like Orchard Village stops at Lyons, and Valley St. begins on the other side of Lyons.

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