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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Fair Takes in $45,000 to Fight Elsmere Dump


SANTA CLARITA — A fair held over the weekend to raise funds to fight the proposed Elsmere Canyon landfill netted more than $45,000, fair organizers said Monday.

Organizers estimate 10,000 to 15,000 residents attended the Santa Clarita Valley Country Faire & Auction, which included Western dancing, pony rides, a dunking booth with city officials for targets, an air-conditioned bingo parlor and an auction.

The two-day event was the largest fund raiser planned by opponents of the 190-million-ton landfill proposed southeast of Santa Clarita.

The cash could help fund everything from legal costs to studies of the dump's potential dangers. The city has already appropriated more than $300,000 for the fight.

Topping the bidding for more than 750 donated products, events and services was a three-night stay for two in Washington, including lunch with Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). It went for $1,250.

Organizers originally hoped to raise $100,000 from the fair. Despite clearing only an estimated $45,000 to $50,000, they called the event a success.

Coordinator Christine Connelly said the event did help raise public awareness about the proposed landfill. Fair-goers bought "Save Elsmere Canyon" T-shirts and nearly 100 anti-dump lawn and window signs.

Marsha McLean, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Canyons Preservation Committee, cited the sluggish economy as the cause of the lower-than-hoped bidding.

Many bidders were able to obtain items--from original animation art to tax services to diamond earrings--at below-retail prices. Also for sale were paintings of Elsmere Canyon itself, commissioned from local artists.

Santa Clarita has gone on record opposing the proposal to place a dump in the canyon. Critics say the landfill would harm air quality, threaten the ground-water supply, lower property values and cause trash trucks to stream steadily through the valley.

Environmental documents being prepared by the U.S. Forest Service are expected to be completed before year's end.

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