The home side is currently holding on to number one position after losing only one game against current champions New Caledonia.PNG has qualified for a spot in the top four regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game against Guam.Guam however must win this match to remain in the top three.PNG coach Joel Khalu said the team is excited and overwhelmed to be in the top four for a chance to grab a medal.“This is something that the PNG men’s program was unable to do before so it’s pretty exciting.”“Each game we’ve gotten better defensively and re-bounding wise which are our strength.”“We’ve been able to keep all the teams we played under 75 points so that’s a big goal for us going into the finals,” he said.He said they’re going to have their hands full playing against Guam tonight and it’s a huge challenge.“Guam has tall players but we will just continue to play our style and hopefully we are able to go out and put some pressure on them,” Khalu said.Basketball semi-finals will get underway on Saturday while the grand final is set for Sunday both at the PNG Power Dome.
Members of the group made the pitch Tuesday to the Santa Clarita City Council after furnishing petitions with more than 60percent of the needed signatures. Roney said the residents and businesses prefer amenities offered by the city. As talk of exploring governance options has reached a fever pitch on the west side, the city and county each have pledged $25,000 for separate studies of the Castaic/Stevenson Ranch/Valencia Westridge territory. The city will explore the impacts of annexation; the county will study the possibility of creating a separate city. Neither Roney nor other members of the group serve on the Castaic Town Council, which has partnered with the West Ranch Town Council to oversee the cityhood study. “They (the Castaic council) generally oppose annexation of the three neighborhoods because they label that as cherry-picking the Castaic community,” Roney said. “(But) in order to annex, you have to have a contiguous border.” Live Oak provides the connection, he said, adding that his group would gladly help circulate petitions throughout Castaic. Castaic Town Council member John Kunak attended the City Council meeting but did not speak. “The city of Santa Clarita is trying to get a foothold into the west side to prevent the formation of a second adjacent city,” he said Wednesday. “Despite this, we’re working with the city to explore annexation if it’s found to be in our best interest, but it would be an annexation of the entire community.” Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar disagreed. “I appreciate what Mr. Kunak has said, but I don’t think his perception is exactly accurate,” Kellar said. “I don’t think we can discount the representatives of those three communities who came forward and expressed a strong desire to be part of the city.” The Castaic council has narrowed future governance to one of the two options being explored, Kunak said. Its members have spoken with officials from Fillmore, Calabasas and Santa Clarita and to the county Local Agency Formation Commission, which rules on municipal boundary changes. Kunak said the consultant for the cityhood study would be hired within the next month, possibly by next week. Despite the faction, which acted on its own, Kunak said the Castaic and West Ranch town councils seem to be “moving together.” A major player resisting annexation is The Newhall Land and Farming Company, which owns raw land south of Live Oak. “We are opposed to our undeveloped property being part of the annexation,” Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said. “Our philosophy has been that it is within the county, and that’s where we’re processing our tentative tract maps.” The company supports homeowners’ wishes to annex their neighborhoods, she said. The communities are under the county’s purview. Tony Bell, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, said the supervisor strongly believes that the residents must have sufficient information to make informed decisions about their future. The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has created a task force to study the issue before taking a stance. Some in the development and building community are concerned about the move. “Some of the companies in the Valencia Commerce Center would at some point like to have access to the (city’s) enterprise-zone funding incentives,” said Larry Mankin, the chamber’s president and CEO. “On the other side, there are arguments just as strong for not annexing.” The enterprise zone is a key state tax-incentive program, which provides tax-credit and tax-deduction benefits for businesses. The City Council plans to consider the annexation soon but probably not at its next meeting, when a controversial hospital expansion proposal is scheduled. Should the city decide to consider the annexation, the fiscal impacts must be studied. The city receives a portion of the property tax collected within its boundaries, but it doesn’t make up for the cost of providing services, said Kai Luoma, a senior city planner. “It needs to be at least revenue-neutral, unless overriding circumstances of the annexation are a benefit to the city,” he said. The council would make that determination. Timing could play a role in the ultimate decisions. The city- and county-sponsored studies are expected to be done within five months, Luoma said. Should the council consider the partial annexation, the city’s review could take about six months, Luoma said. The application to LAFCO could follow, and LAFCO’s review could take another six months. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Capping two years of preparation, an alliance of Castaic-area home and business owners made a formal bid this week for annexation to the city of Santa Clarita. This comes amid plans by the city and county to study the ramifications of annexation or creating a new city encompassing the west-side communities, including Castaic and Stevenson Ranch. “Our group is not so much opposed to incorporation as supportive of annexation because that can happen right now,” said Brian Roney, a spokesman for the Castaic Annexation Support Team. Included is only a portion of Castaic: the neighborhoods of North Bluff, Hasley Hills and Live Oak and the Valencia Commerce Center.