The City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita City Council invite residents to celebrate the holiday season with friends, family and loved ones at the inaugural Jingle Bell Jamboree at the Newhall Community Center (22421 Market Street). Participate in an evening of arts and crafts, holiday performances, refreshments and a visit with Santa Claus himself on Friday, December 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Community members will embrace the festive spirit of the season as they ring in the holidays at the Newhall Community Center, with activities for all ages. Kids will be able to decorate holiday ornaments while Ballet Folklórico performs traditional Christmas dances. Guests will experience the sounds of classic Christmas songs performed on string instruments will take place while the event provides cookies and hot cocoa. All are welcome to attend this free event and reservations are not required.
To learn more about the Jingle Bell Jamboree, contact Cynthia Muir, Community Services Supervisor, at (661) 286-4006.
You don’t have to leave Santa Clarita to experience playing real Las Vegas-style poker. The Canyon Club will be hosting a poker tournament to support the Canyon High Football Booster Club on Saturday, February 23.
This annual Santa Clarita Poker Tournament will feature real, professional poker dealers at each real high-quality poker table. Continuing in the genuine Vegas style, poker-playing spirit, attendees will be served drinks from two bars right at each poker table by cocktail waitresses. Pay-out and trophies will be awarded to the last 10 seated players (bigger payouts for first, second and third place—with first place winning a Gold Krugerrand, second place winning a 2.2 pound bar of pure silver, and third place winning a $500 iPad, which is fully refundable at any Apple Store for its value up to seven days after the Tournament).
The Santa Clarita Poker Tournament will be catered by Canyon Club. Player Tickets are $75, and the ticket includes a buy-in and a buffet dinner. Those interested are encouraged to purchase tickets quickly, because the event may sell out. Spectator Tickets are $55 (Spectator Ticket includes VIP area seating, as well as freedom to “wander about the Tournament” and the buffet dinner). To buy tickets now and for more information visit www.CowboyFootball.org.
The Amgen Tour of California organizers announced the 13 Host Cities selected for the 14th edition of America’s premier professional cycling stage race set for May 12-18, 2019. Throughout seven stages over seven days, the world’s elite cyclists will contest more than 750 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines from Sacramento to Pasadena.
The City of Santa Clarita will host the start for the final stage of both the men’s and women’s races on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The men and women competing in the Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will race through the streets of Santa Clarita before waving goodbye as they push toward the overall finish line in Pasadena. Of the 2019 lineup of California Host Cities, the City of Santa Clarita has the distinction of having hosted the most stages in race history, and 2019 will mark its 14th hosted stage.
“We are honored for the opportunity to host another stage for the Amgen Tour of California. It is not often that we bring a world-class race event right to our residents’ backyards!” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “With an event this prestigious, it really boosts our tourism efforts by having regional, national and international eyes on Santa Clarita. This the 14th stage we’ve hosted and every time we have had a wonderful experience partnering with the Amgen Tour of California.”
The annual Amgen Tour of California carries the distinction of being the only U.S. men’s and women’s races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and have helped launch some of today’s best known and most decorated international cyclists as well as continuing to attract the most talented competitors and teams in the world.
A traditional stage for the Amgen Tour of California, the final race day for both the men and women is one that highlights the beauty of long-time race partners: Santa Clarita and Pasadena. Past overall finishes in Pasadena have consistently popular, with fans from across Southern California lining up to cheer on the fast-and-furious sprint finishes to determine the ultimate champions.
“The Amgen Tour of California continues to serve as an international postcard for the state, showcasing the beauty and diversity of California – and the 2019 host cities certainly reflect that,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “We look forward to hosting another truly dynamic and engaging race, which will feature an all-star peloton, continuing the tradition of delivering one of the most exciting sporting events in the country.”
A timeworn retort to those who grumble about passing the half-century mark in age is: “It beats the alternative.”
In the Santa Clarita Valley, the staff at the Senior Center on Market Avenue has made it their mission for over 42 years to provide health and wellness services, comfort, companionship, and recreation to all those who have “beat the alternative.”
Like its clients, the aging Market Avenue building, (constructed in the ‘60s) has also “beat the alternative,” but has been stretched to the breaking point by our valley’s burgeoning senior citizen population.
In the last four years, the board members of the Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging (SCVOA), have waged a determined fundraising campaign to give our seniors a new, modern complex that will not only provide them with the expanded resources and services they need, but do it in a roomy 30,400-square-foot atmosphere.
A land donation by the Brookfield Development at Golden Valley and Newhall Ranch Roads, and commitments of $3.5 million each from the city of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles gave the $11.4 million dollar project a much-needed boost.
With Capital Campaign co-chairs Peggy Rasmussen and Todd Stevens at the helm, donations from businesses, community groups, and individuals have brought the project within $1 million of its goal. Those who motor past the 2.5-acre site have watched the building take shape since its October, 2017 groundbreaking ceremonies.
The evolving superstructure has been designed to include a banquet room that will accommodate over 250 people, a luxurious fireplace-accented lounge and library, six multi-purpose rooms, an outdoor cabana with concert seating, a fitness center, and dance studio.
Executive director Kevin MacDonald is confident the project is on schedule to meet its February 2019 completion date. Having three times the space of the current Center, MacDonald recently reported that the new building will comfortably house new services like a second career center, more health and wellness programs, a tech center, education center, and a financial information center. In addition, a Sisters in Time program will be offered, which will help senior women find shared housing opportunities.
“These new centers will expand the services available to our seniors even as we continue our current programming,” said MacDonald.
The current services include an adult day program for those with Alzheimer’s, recreational activities throughout the day, weekly lunches on site, handy workers for projects in the home, transportation in the SCV, trips and tours, and home-delivered meals.
“We encourage all SCV seniors to come to our new Center for the education and the companionship, but also to enjoy the many activities we offer with what we call ‘a touch of love.’ It will be part country club, part social services,” concluded Kevin.
To meet the construction completion goal, the SCVCOA officials are offering donors the honor of having their names placed on a wall beside the current supporters. Donations can be made online at www.NewSeniorCenter.com or by mailing a check payable to SCVCOA-Building Fund (memo: Capital Campaign) to 22900 Market Street, Santa Clarita, CA 91321. A credit card donation may also be made by calling the SCV Senior Center at 661-259-9444.
Why, you may ask, if you have not yet reached that “Golden Age” benchmark, should you get on board and donate to the Senior Center Building Fund? May I respectively remind you that no matter what your age today, it is a sure bet (if you “beat the alternative”) you will one day need the services and enjoy the amenities provided at the new building.
The WiSH Education Foundation has raised over $50,000 in funding for Santa Clarita public school libraries. The funding will affect all students in grades 7-12, nearly 23,000 students. Every single school in the district, including Bowman and Sequoia, will receive funding.
“District librarians came to WiSH over a year ago to alert us to the fact that they have not received state funding since 2008,” said WiSH Executive Director Amy Daniels. “We were surprised but not shocked; state funding simply does not meet need and that’s why our foundation is so important. Our goal is to get students the tools they need for success. The libraries are an integral part of that.”
Originally, the kickoff for the library fundraiser was set for September of 2017. Due to a series of disasters here and around the world, supporting dollars went elsewhere, which the Board of Directors understood. According to Richard Cohn, Chairman of the WiSH Board, “With so many people in need, we absolutely recognize that discretionary income goes to other deserving recipients. We decided as a board that the libraries were important for our young people and instead kept the funding program open for at least another year.”
Funding came from several sources, including the very generous SCV Chili Cookoff and a new Jersey Mike’s store opening. WiSH also received grants from Reading is the Way UP, City National Bank and the L.A. Clippers Foundation. While they have raised over $50,000, much more is needed to replenish the libraries. With that in mind, WiSH still has about $70,000 in outstanding grants related to the program with high hopes that they will be funded. Vice Chairman Lynne Secrest said, “When we saw the state of some of the books on our library shelves, we knew we had to make a difference – not just in replacing the most loved titles but getting updated, modern subject matter available to our students. Reading is absolutely essential to academic growth.” The libraries in the district are crowded with students from before school until after school ends.
To support the WiSH, contact Executive Director Amy Daniels at WiSH@hartdistrict.org or 661-799-9474 for donation and sponsorship information, or go to www.wishscv.org to make a donation today.
Santa Clarita Chapter’s 18th Annual Candle Lighting
The death of a child is devastating, and it’s important to the family that the child always be remembered. That’s why members of The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of Santa Clarita will participate in an annual worldwide event designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died. The Chapter is joining Sunday, December 9 with hundreds of organized memorial services around the world for The Compassionate Friends 22nd annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world.
The local candle lighting will be part of a special service heldindoors beginning 6:30 p.m. located at La Mesa Jr. High School, 26623 May Way, Santa Clarita, 91351 and will feature poems, selected readings, music, a slide show and performances with featured singers. Annually tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the Worldwide Candle Lighting, held the second Sunday in December. Candles are first lit at 7 p.m., local time, just west of the International Date Line. As candles burn down in one-time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world. Battery operated candles will be provided to all who attend.
The holiday season is an extremely difficult time of the year for families grieving the death of a child. This Worldwide Candle Lighting has united bereaved families around the globe as a symbolic way of showing the love we continue to carry for our children, even though they can no longer be with us physically. First started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance, the event has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten. This candle lighting transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries as tens of thousands of families share in this worldwide memorial event.
Here, throughout the United States, members of nearly 700 Chapters observe this day in differing ways, some alone, some with friends and family, and many in organized candle lighting ceremonies like the service planned by our chapter, The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita. We invite everyone, whether or not they have suffered the personal loss of a child, to join in this moving tribute.
With the theme “…that their light may always shine,” the Worldwide Candle Lighting has grown larger every year with formal services last year in all 50 United States and Washington D.C., as well as at least 19 countries around the world. TCF’s national website, www.compassionatefriends.org, is expected to receive and post information on more than the 550 services on its website. It will also have open for posts a Remembrance Book on December 9 which, in a 24-hour-period will receive thousands of tributes from family members and other caring individuals.
To contact The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita, call Diane Briones at 661-252-4654 or Alice Renolds at 661-252-4374. For more information about the national organization and locations of its Chapters nationwide, call 877-969-0010 or visit TCF’s national website, www.compassionatefriends.org and the Santa Clarita Valley Chapter website www.compassionatefriends-scv.org. The Compassionate Friends has a presence in at least 30 countries and is the world’s largest self-help bereavement organization.
Reyes Winery was recently honored by the San Francisco International Wine Competition, winning two additional “double gold” medals.
The largest and most influential international wine competition in America, the San Francisco International Wine Competition has been setting the standard for professional wine judging since its debut in 1980. Now in its 38th year, the SFIWC maintains the highest level of integrity with a blind-tasting system performed by a highly experienced panel of internationally acclaimed wine experts. A SFIWC medal has been established as a reliable indication of wine excellence, and wines recognized as medal-worthy by their judges are universally understood to be among the very best.
Reyes has received this recognition for their 2011, 2012, and now the 2013 Syrah and the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This is the third year in a row for the Estate Syrah wine. Our 2013 Estate Syrah was aged in French Oak for 23 months and brings blackberry, plum, pepper and fall herbs to your senses. Its silky finish lingers with soft tannins and a touch of smoky oak. It has also won a silver medal in the 2017 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. It pairs with lamb burgers or a mixed berry trifle.
Our 2013 estate Cabernet Sauvignon is robust, aromatic and complex. It exhibits black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with a touch of black pepper on the palate. It is a full-bodied wine with distinctive ripe black cherry and blackcurrant tastes for your palate. We aged this vintage for 23 months in French oak barrels. Only 48 cases were produced. Enjoy this delicious wine with prime rib topped with horseradish or a chocolate soufflé for dessert.
Reyes Winery received the following honors:
DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL, 94 points, Reyes Winery 2013 Syrah, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA,
DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL, 95 points, Reyes Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA,
SILVER MEDAL, Reyes Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA
SILVER MEDAL, Reyes Winery 2014 Dessert Wine, White Delight, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA
BRONZE MEDAL, Reyes Winery 2015 Syrah, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA
BRONZE MEDAL, Reyes Winery 2015 Merlot, Estate grown & bottled, Sierra Pelona Valley, USA
The City of Santa Clarita encourages interested residents to apply for several positions serving on the Arts Commission; the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission; the Planning Commission; the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel (FAAP); and the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (District) Board of Trustees as the City of Santa Clarita representative.
Three positions on each commission/panel will expire on December 31, 2018. Selected candidates for the Commissions and Panel will each serve four-year terms, which expire on December 31, 2022. The District representative will serve a four-year term beginning January 2019. All interested parties must submit an application by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, to the City Clerk’s Office.
All three commissions, as well as the FAAP, are comprised of five members each. The Arts Commission advises the City Council and city staff on arts matters, including public art, arts programs and art events throughout the community. The Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission advises the City Council and city staff on parks and public recreation matters, while the Planning Commission advises the City Council on major development projects, property acquisition, specific plans, zoning and other planning matters. The FAAP ensures that the City’s land acquisition priorities are followed, reviews fund accounts, ensures Preservation District funds are spent properly and ensures that proposed expenditures are consistent with requirements. The District Board member duties and responsibilities include setting policy, establishing the budget, approving expenditures and retaining legal counsel.
Applicants must be 18 years or older and maintain their principal residence in the City of Santa Clarita during their term of office. Evening availability is also required for all positions, and the District Board member must also travel by personal vehicle to a meeting location outside Santa Clarita.
All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation with their application. Applications should be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office at Santa Clarita City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 120.
To obtain an application or for more information about the Commission, Panel and District representative vacancies, contact the City Clerk’s Office at (661) 255-4391 or visit Santa-Clarita.com.
By T. Katz
Q: This has been a tough year financially and gift-giving has visions of debt, not sugar plums, dancing in my head. My list of friends, co-workers and neighbors is long. Any suggestions on what to give that won’t break my piggy bank, destroy my kitchen (attempting homemade gifts) or make me look cheap?
A: This time of year can leave Jingle Bills ringing in your ears, right? The crass commercialism of the season can suck all of the joy out of what should be a time of good will to all men. There are tried and true things you can do to keep you out of the malls, catalogues and on-line shopping – but you don’t sound like the at-home fudge and cookie or batik cloth dying assembly line is your cup of tea. I get it. I still sport scars from the years I thought making candles and candies at home were good ideas. They weren’t. Double-boilers are still the tools of my most horrific nightmares. Learn from my mistakes, Grasshopper.
Sometimes, the best gift you can give is something people wouldn’t buy for themselves, especially items of convenience to make their lives easier. The trick to making the gift meaningful, will be the card or note you attach to it. For example:
A canvas laundry bag with a map of the world (under $10) with an expression of “You mean the world to me!” or “May your journeys gather memories for your soul and the dust of destinations unknown!” Now, you are a thoughtful and practical friend. We could all use more of those, I think.
The waterproof inflatable LED solar lantern ($15) is an incredible item to have in an emergency kit or car. It can be found in the camping section, stores completely flat and – like the loved one you gift it to – it is “an incredible source of light” and maybe, love. It’s a lifesaver.
Permanent Glass Paint Markers (under $10) let people write their own messages on glass or ceramic, they need only ‘bake’ the item to make it permanent. Suggest they have their kids or grandkids autograph a plate or mug with their name and a message they’ll enjoy for years to come. Or, maybe they can do as I did and put “Keys, Wallet, Watch, Phone, Glasses… Kisses” on a tray near the front door for often forgotten items. Not that anyone on my list is *cough* forgetful.
The book Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House ($15) by Cheryl Mendelson is a great gift for ANY age, because everyone should know how to make a bed with hospital corners and the best ways to combat food pathogens! Plus, THIS book is like the funny aunt who fills in your life education gaps without being all Judge-y McJudgerton about you finally learning how to fold a fitted sheet. Give it with a card that says something like “Let’s get together more often at your place, even if we order take-out to eat in!”
xo – t.
Don’t miss the arts and crafts event of the year, just in time for the holiday season. Join the City of Santa Clarita’s 27th annual two-day Fine Craft Show held on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Fine Craft Show will be outdoors and located at Old Orchard Park, situated at 25023 Avenue Rotella.
This public event is free and features more than 70 artists’ booths with high-quality, original and Made-in-USA crafts for any budget. One-of-a-kind, handmade gifts items include jewelry, paintings, pottery, ceramics, wearables, home décor and woodwork. Holiday shoppers can select unique and beautiful gifts, while enjoying gourmet food trucks and live music in a festive outdoor park setting.
Rain or shine, the event will be held. For more information on the Fine Craft Show, visit SantaClaritaArts.com or contact the Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3777.
By Christine Reynolds Inglis, Esq.
There are many reasons a person (or couple) decides to adopt a child. The most common are adoptions where the adoptive parent is adopting a family member’s child or a step-parent is adopting their spouse’s child. Those types of adoptions are most similar to an independent adoption (as opposed to an agency adoption, where an agency or California Department of Social Services places a child with adoptive parents, or international adoption, where a child is adopted from another country).
Independent adoptions are where the birth parent(s) choose(s) the prospective parent(s) and places the child directly with them. A birth parent must have personal knowledge of certain facts about the adopting parents, must receive an advisement of rights, responsibilities, and options from an Adoption Service Provider (ASP), and must also sign an Independent Adoption Placement Agreement (AD 924 form), which gives consent to the adoption and cannot be revoked automatically after 30 days.
The first step after you decide to adopt is to consult with an attorney. Although you may not require an attorney to complete a relative, stepparent or independent adoption, it is preferred to ensure you meet all legal and procedural requirements, as the process is extensive and time-consuming. An attorney will also ensure that your rights are being protected by obtaining the proper consent from the necessary parties.
After you consult with an attorney, in all cases, you file an Adoption Request form (AD 200). On that form, you provide pertinent information regarding the child, the adoptive parent(s) and the birth parent(s), if that information is known. The more information you have about the birth parent(s), the better. Also, you will need to know if the child has any Native American heritage, which will require additional forms and information. You will also need to disclose whether or not you have consent from any parent who is consenting to the adoption (where they will relinquish their parental rights and responsibilities). Adoptions are much less difficult if you have the consent of the birth parent(s).
Once the proper forms are filed, the Department of Child and Family Services, does an investigation of the adoptive parent(s). This entails filling out a detailed questionnaire and providing requested documents, such as birth certificates.
Once the investigation is completed, the adoptive parents are notified that the case is ready to go to a hearing. An adoption hearing (when uncontested) is brief and simple. The Judge reviews the forms and requires the adoptive parents (and sometimes the child, depending on their age) to sign some documents and the adoption is then complete. All in all, the process can take as short as six months, but often lasts over a year.
For general information on adoptions in California, this is a good place to start: http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/PG1302.htm. However, for specifics on your particular case, it is always best to consult with an attorney.
Call for a consultation with one of the skilled attorneys at The Reape-Rickett Law Firm about your plans to adopt, and we can assist you on this exciting journey.
The Reape-Rickett Law Firm
25152 Springfield Court, Suite 100
Valencia, CA 91355
Bridge to Home, the primary homeless services provider in the Santa Clarita Valley, recently raised over $100,000 during its Soup for the Soul event.
The fundraiser, held on October 13, welcomed some 250 guests to the rooftop in Old Town Newhall. Between ticket sales, generous sponsorships and an auction – Bridge to Home raised a total of $105,643.
“It was heartwarming to see the community come together to help our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Bridge to Home Board President Peggy Edwards. “The money raised from Soup for the Soul will provide valuable resources to help those who have fallen upon hard times get the assistance, resources and support they need to find permanent housing.”
Soup for the Soul guests braved the chilly night to enjoy a variety of hot soups served in flights, wines, appetizers, craft brews, desserts and more.
Bridge to Home provides support services – including an emergency winter shelter, case management, housing navigation, and referrals to medical, mental health, and substance use services – that help individuals and families in the Santa Clarita Valley transition out of homelessness. All these resources and services are available because of funds from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, subcontracts with Los Angeles Family Housing, private and public grants, and extensive in-kind donations and participation from the local community.
Currently, Bridge to Home is planning to open up shelter services year-round beginning this spring. This will allow for more comprehensive services and resources to make a true and lasting impact on homelessness in Santa Clarita. To make that happen, Bridge to Home needs additional support from the community. Visit btohome.org to donate, learn more about services, and to see a complete listing of Soup for the Soul’s sponsors and donors.
This exclusive collection of 42 brand new single-level homes is now 85 percent sold, but additional floor plans and breathtaking views still remain. Currently, only seven homes remain.
The interiors at The Enclave have been designed with gourmet kitchen appointments that include top of the line stainless steel appliances, solid surface counters, with soft close European cabinetry and drawers throughout. To view these features in person, the sales center is open six days a week (Monday by appointment only) to tour models and enjoy the marina views.
Residents of Seabridge enjoy walkable access to generous amenities that include a fitness center with pool and spa, a clubhouse for private gatherings of family and friends and community-wide full-time security.
The charming seaside community of Oxnard is located on the beautiful Southern California coast and nestled by the Pacific Ocean with an active marina that sustains a uniquely vibrant quality of life. Home to more than 20 miles of spectacular scenic coastline, residents enjoy a temperate, Mediterranean-style climate year-round, with expansive and uncrowded white sand beaches perfect for volleyball, surfing or simply effortlessly lounging with a good book. The Channel Islands Harbor is the portal to the picturesque Channel Islands National Park and the heart of boating, sport fishing, kayaking, and marine life and whale-watching excursions.
The neighborhoods also boasts an expanding cultural arts district, state-of-the-art cinemas, an outdoor shopping center, a growing retail sector and 40 plus international dining options. Famous for its strawberries, every summer the city hosts the California Strawberry Festival, featuring vendors offering a wide variety of treats with this sweet berry as the main ingredient. Nearby Downtown Ventura is culturally robust with summer concerts, art shows, live theatre, festivals and more.
Call today to schedule a viewing (805) 253-2754. Visit TheEnclaveOxnard.com for more information.
October was quite a chaotic month for me and my family. My daughter’s wedding was in the works, so we housed over 25 guests, set up and tore down an ambitious event in wine country, cooked, cleaned, toured the Hollywood sign and visited the Walk of Fame. If my neighbors were attempting to keep track, they probably couldn’t make much sense of all of the rented vans and trucks. It appeared to be utter chaos. And it sure did feel like things were out of control. After all, it’s impossible to control much of anything when there are so many moving parts.
Truth be told, at the time, I couldn’t catch my breath.
One by one, though, our houseguests flew back across the pond, and things are finally returning to their usual state. My washing machine is on hiatus and the recycle bin is empty after hordes of bottles and cans had filled it throughout all of the festivities. October is over! Routine is slipping in little by little, silently, but not unnoticed.
Now that my heart rate is returning to normal, I am able to reflect on all of the mayhem—the many trips to LAX and Trader Joe’s, the random mismatched pillowcases and strewn coffee cups; the countless grins and smiling faces, British accents (my daughter married a Brit), the emotional hugs, sentimental toasts and flowing tears. I am beginning to see how all of the craziness came together to create an unforgettable ceremony; how all of this frenetic activity miraculously carved out an epic celebration. I couldn’t see past my own busy-ness in the midst of the planning and prepping and setting up and tearing down. But now that the champagne glasses have been boxed and put in storage, now that the beautiful photos are being shared, I am feeling the true significance of October because with November comes a different perspective.
During times of such busy-ness, I often feel like I’ve lost any sort of Creativity and that I am just a slave to the task at hand. Most of us go through these periods where we feel like we are in a circus, spinning plates in the air, and when we accept one too many plates, our only focus becomes finding a way to keep those plates from crashing. It’s tricky to take our eyes off of the plates in order to see what’s going on around us. But when we do take a step back, after it’s all over, we are met with a surprise.
According to F. David Peat, who was a student of the late physicist Dr. David Bohm, the only difference between order and chaos is point of view. Creativity ventures into the unknown, gathers what is there, and marries it with the known—making sense of our happenings. The example he offers is an atom. From inside the atom, the perspective looks like there’s a bunch of electrons whirling around in chaos. But from just outside of that atom, one can see a pattern around it. Beyond that, an observer can see that atoms are part of something even larger—a molecule. And molecules are part of larger matter, and so on. Creativity is the ability to gain a lofty perspective and connect all we see from that vantage point.
Chaos has a bad rap. Remember in the comic book “Batman” how the joker and the penguin always aim for mass chaos? Even Maxwell Smart in “Get Smart” from the ‘70s fought the crime ring called “Kaos.” Somehow chaos is part of the darker side of humanity—which, if we are honest, is actually counterproductive to understanding true Creativity. Only when we don’t see our connection to the whole is something rendered dark or unproductive.
I find it redemptive just knowing that if we can hold on and complete our overwhelming tasks, somehow accepting the chaos, that we can fulfill the mission of Creativity by making meaning out of it. We just need to gain perspective. I had no idea that my daughter’s wedding would be so grand until I looked past the small stuff. All of the chaos brought people together, joined two in matrimony and taught me that ultimately, Creativity is about designing our lives—fashioning togetherness. Anything that magnificent may require some scrambling.
Q: All I seem to do anymore is work-work-work. I’m not sure I’m ever going to feel like I’ve “made it” in life. I have a nice enough home and car that runs and all, but I want so much more that it hurts my heart. It’s not wrong to want more, is it?
A: Wanting more and questioning your success isn’t wrong, but maybe the healthier road to take is one where you question the value of what it is you want in life. In order to truly do that, my advice would be to reverse-engineer the idea of what that means to you. Go backwards from your last imagined heartbeat and tell me what’s left in those moments? Probably not the material things you can purchase (or owe money on, if debts go unpaid). Let’s say you do manage to obtain pricey property with luxury cars in the driveway, and all the designer stuff you can wear on vacays to exotic locations – it all gets left behind at the end of one’s days. Even if you’re monetarily successful enough to have your name etched on buildings you donate funds for, or end up notable enough to have books and movies made to tell your story, it all fades eventually. It’s true, that old phrase, “You can’t take it with you!” But, I’m about to reveal a loophole! Something priceless that you can and will take with you. Now, you can’t accrue this in brick and mortar savings and loan buildings nor can you tuck it into safes hidden in the walls of fancy McMansions. In fact, it’s currency that can’t be accounted for by any government agency, even though it’s sort of a Tax Shelter for the soul. The only commodity you’re allowed to shuffle off this mortal coil with is … love. So, why not spend your lifetime collecting all you can? Not just the family love you see plastered on billboards and in ads, either – you know, the stuff of engagements, weddings and babies (which can be incredibly enriching when all is said and done) or the love of self that spa treatments, exercise studios and eat/pray/love excursions would ask you to indulge in. Start collecting love in small increments that will ultimately add up, as you give, make and take.
Clean out your closets and drawers of items you no longer wear and donate it. Someone in need of a job just might use it for an interview that could change their life and the lives of the people they love.
Pick up the discarded litter that someone missed, even though the trashcan was feet away. It’s a little gesture that shows the planet some love, which is kind of a big deal.
Find room in your heart for acceptance of others.
There are many more expressions of love, but just those three actions have tremendous value and remarkable returns. “… in the end, the love you take – is equal to the love you make.”
xo – t.
Waste Management of Santa Clarita’s curbside residential trash and recycling and commercial pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day beginning on Thursday, November 22, and through the remainder of the week in observance of Thanksgiving. All local Waste Management operations will be closed on Thursday, November 22, with normal operations resuming on Friday, November 23.
Residential customers who receive service on Thursday are being asked to place their carts out for service on Friday, November 23 and those who receive service on Friday should place their carts out on Saturday, November 24. Commercial customers who receive service on Thursday will receive service on Friday.
Customer service is available at 661-259-2398.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
Familiar faces are once again proudly displayed on streetlight pole banners throughout the city. The City of Santa Clarita’s Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program honors actively-serving military members from the Santa Clarita Valley with banners that are displayed three times a year on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day. Banners highlighting Santa Clarita Valley’s Fallen Warriors are also posted along the Fallen Warriors Memorial Bridge on Golden Valley Road.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger recently made a $5,000 donation to the program, matching a donation from the City. This allows families who can’t afford banners to be able to recognize their loved ones.
“I’m honored to join the City of Santa Clarita in this special effort to commemorate the service and sacrifice of our Hometown Heroes – the men and women in the armed forces who call this community home,” said L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
The banners were installed at the end of last month in time for the Veterans Day ceremonies taking place this weekend. They will remain up through the New Year, allowing family and friends to see their loved one’s face every day – even if they are miles away this holiday season.
“Our military families are incredibly proud of their heroes and the important job they are doing – but that doesn’t make their absence any easier,” says Councilmember Bob Kellar. “The holiday season is especially tough for families of active-duty military. Our Hometown Hero Banners give them a chance to see their loved one every time they are out and about in Santa Clarita. They’ve told me the sense of pride that gives them is indescribable.”
Earlier this year the city launched a new Hometown Heroes website to better recognize our men and women in uniform. This website features a search function, which allows visitors to the site to view the city’s heroes by military branch and rank.
Friends and family are now able to submit a request to honor actively-serving military members from the Santa Clarita Valley with a free digital banner on the City of Santa Clarita’s Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program website. An online request form is available at santa-clarita.com/heroes.
Each street pole and digital banner features the military member’s photograph, name, rank and branch of the military they serve. The online banner will display the same information as the street pole banners do, with the added option of including a short description, and will be on display on the city’s Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program website.
As an ongoing program, orders will be accepted at any time. Each banner costs $417.50 plus tax, but thanks to generous sponsors, a special $100 discounted rate is currently available and other sponsorships are available for those in need. The price includes the installation and removal of the banners. When the Hometown Hero is no longer in the service, the family gets to keep the banner as a memento.
Consider giving the gift of a Hometown Hero banner this holiday season. For more information, contact Councilmember Bob Kellar at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit santa-clarita.com/heroes.
Homes 4 Families, in partnership with The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), will be hosting a key presentation ceremony for 24 low-income military families in need of homes on Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Speakers and presenters to include CalVet Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Congressman Steve Knight, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Marsha MacLean, Santa Clarita Councilmember Bill Miranda, California State Honor Guard, and 24 low-income veterans and military families.
The Key Presentation Ceremony celebrates the completion of Phase III, the final phase of the 78-home Cal Vet Residential Enriched Neighborhood (REN), by presenting 24 veterans and their families with keys to their new homes. There will also be a veteran art show, showcasing art by veterans and military family members who currently live in, or are about to move into the neighborhood. This event is free and open to the public.
The CalVet REN program provides low income Veterans an opportunity to buy a home. For a Veteran to buy a home in a CalVet REN community, a Veteran must accomplish three things: qualify for a CalVet Home Loan, provide sweat equity by building the home, and complete self-sufficiency courses.
The ceremony will be located at Santa Clarita CalVet REN (Residential Enriched Neighborhood) 21550 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. For more information, go to www.homes4families.org or www.calvet.ca.gov/CalVetREN.
Even if you missed this year’s State of the City Luncheon, you can still get in on the celebration of “Santa Clarita: A City of the Arts.” For the event, a new coloring book depicting historical scenes and locations in the Santa Clarita Valley as well as City art pieces was created. “The History of Santa Clarita Coloring Book,” which was distributed in printed form to attendees at the State of the City Luncheon on October 25, is now available as a free download by visiting santa-clarita.com/coloringbook.
“Santa Clarita’s rich history was crafted by those who came before us such as William S. Hart and Tiburcio Vasquez. It was shaped by landmark events such as the discovery of gold beneath the Oak of the Golden Dream and the horrific tragedy that was the St. Francis Dam disaster,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “This coloring book brings history to life, supports curriculum in our schools and engages students with visual representations.”
“The History of Santa Clarita Coloring Book” consists of 20 pages for coloring and two pages of activities. Locations depicted in the coloring book include Beale’s Cut, the Newhall School Auditorium and Heritage Junction. By visiting the City’s website, parents and teachers will be able to download the complete book or individual pages to print.
To see the complete book and discover all of the pages that can be downloaded, visit santa-clarita.com/coloringbook.
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