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Now and Then: Gloria Mercado-Fortine, 2018 SCV Woman of the Year

| Community | June 28, 2018

Photo: Gloria, who has served as chair of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers for the past three years stands with past chair Ed Bolden and the mascot of the Centers’ annual fundraiser, the Rubber Ducky Festival.

Her smile lights up every room she enters, and even though she stands just 5’1” tall, don’t be fooled by her diminutive frame. Gloria Mercado-Fortine is a force of nature, whether organizing volunteer committees or wielding a hammer at Homes for Heroes building projects.

Her boundless energy seems to have no limit. She is just as comfortable participating in boot camp training activities as a Marine Corps Ambassador and making parachute jumps as a member of the Flying Samaritans (a group that provides free doctor visits in Mexico hospitals) as she is crunching numbers for an American Cancer Society fundraiser.

The 2018 SCV Woman of the Year honed her work ethic and enthusiasm for community service growing up on the Castaic ranch owned by her parents, Antonio and Petra Mercado. As a young student, she worked the ranch’s alfalfa fields alongside her five brothers and sisters, waking up at 4 each morning to change the irrigation sprinklers, then repeating the process after returning home from Castaic Elementary School.

Gloria was an excellent student who enjoyed extracurricular activities in the Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, and sports programs. In sixth grade, she was selected to attend California Junior Girls State, a leadership program teaching the principles of American Government. The program inspired a passion for government and politics that would persevere throughout her life.

During her years at Hart High School, Gloria was involved in various sports and school clubs and was instrumental in forming the school’s Powder Puff Football Team. After-school activities included working in agriculture projects and babysitting. One of her first jobs was at Magic Mountain when it first opened. She also spent many years working weekends at Val Verde Park tutoring and mentoring children in the community.

Following high school graduation, Gloria enrolled at California State University Northridge where she earned her undergrad degree. She continued her education at Pepperdine University, graduating with Master of Science degrees in school management and administration. Her 30-year career in education included positions as a teacher, counselor, principal and assistant superintendent in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Gloria has been a passionate advocate for education and a role model for young people, both in her professional and personal life.

Her experience as an educator and her devotion to student success led to service as a board member of the Castaic Union School District, then later as a William S. Hart District board member. During her 16-year tenure with the Hart District Gloria was instrumental in the passage of two school bonds earmarked for building new schools and modernizing older ones.

She also worked to develop strong partnerships with local businesses and community organizations to support educational programs like the Academy of the Canyons Middle College, Valley Industrial Association Connecting to Success Program and Career and Technical Education.

Outside the education arena, Gloria has been a hands-on volunteer on a number of non-profit community boards including 35 years with the Zonta Club of SCV, 23 years with the SCV Boys & Girls Club, and 20 years on the City of Santa Clarita Anti-Gang Task Force.

Because husband Bruce Fortine is as dedicated to community service as Gloria, most volunteer organizations soon discover that when they get one partner, they also get the other. Bruce and Gloria are perhaps the most recognized couple at every non-profit function in the SCV. They led the Santa Clarita Valley Leukemia/Lymphoma Light the Night Walk in 2009 and 2010, raising nearly $500,000 in donations. Together, they have made the Christmas season brighter for underprivileged children as one of the Domestic Violence Center’s Rent-a-Santa couples. They have also provided an English-Spanish narration for the SCV Annual Fourth of July Parade for the past 20 years.

Having lost her mother to terminal cancer, Gloria founded the SCV Unit of the American Cancer Society in 1994. As founding president, she helped establish the Relay for Life, Daffodil Days, and Luminaria events for the SCV.

At last count, Gloria has served as a leader or hands-on volunteer in over 40 charitable and service organizations, including those dedicated to opening the doors of higher education to young Hispanic students. As a student at Hart High School, she founded the first Latino club in an effort to provide a support system for Hispanic students. She assisted English teachers with classes for non-English speakers, many of whom were migrant workers. For this she was presented with the “Principal’s Award” and selected to go to Sacramento as the California State Representative for Hispanic youth affairs. As the Latino population in the valley has grown, Gloria continues her work as a mentor.

With all these varied professional and community endeavors, there is always quality time with family and close friends. That includes vacation trips, birthday celebrations, parties of all kinds, holiday tamale-making with Gloria’s brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, and the love of the Mercado-Fortine family, Lexi, the couple’s 8-year-old Border Collie.

The 2018 SCV Woman of the Year has spent her entire life in this valley and has seen its transformation from a semi-rural community into one of the most vibrant cities in California. Her life-long volunteer service has been an important part of that growth.

Afternoon T

| Community | June 28, 2018

By T. Katz

Q: Asking for some advice, because I feel like too many people give me advice with a lot of opposing opinions. I’m at a point where I don’t know who to listen to anymore. Any advice? [Hahaha! I realize the irony of this.]

A: Laughing right there with you, friend. I do sort of love that you’re asking for even MORE advice, because it can mean a couple of things: 1) You’re hungry to learn and grow or 2) You’re paralyzed by the possibility of making a wrong decision. It can mean a whole lot more than that, truth be told, but for today – we’re sticking with those two scenarios.

Asking others for their advice isn’t the worst thing you can do, but I have to say… it’s not always the best, either. For many reasons. For starters, it has been said, “You should not base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results.” Regardless of what advice anyone gives you, the only one who can honestly deal with what happens with the outcome of that advice is: You. [The exception to this rule would be people who walk through life not taking any responsibility for their actions. For the purpose of today’s conversation, I’m going to assume you’re one of the good guys that do.] Decisions can be a heavy cart to carry, once loaded down by others who can’t help you bear the burden. Because of that, be careful whose opinions you ask for.

My advice (since you asked) is to really consider the Who, What, Why, When and Where of the advice asking. For example, if you’re asking advice about a job – always seek out a mentor in that field. Be clear about the what and why of the asking, too. Have specific questions ready, not generalities. It will help you focus on actual answers that will benefit you. If you can, make arrangements for a quiet, stress-free space to communicate – that will remove some of the outside clatter and emotion, which is incredibly helpful.

Honestly, getting answers from others can be a wonderful thing, especially when asking the counsel of those who are most wise. In the dictionary, you’ll learn that the definition of the very word WISE is to “have or show experience, knowledge and good judgment.” Use that adjective to describe the person whose advice you seek, not just the folks who love to spew out massive chunks of dialogue, just to hear themselves speak. People like that aren’t necessarily serving up information for the greater good. Even worse? There are also legions of weasels who like to espouse “Do as I say, not as I do.” Think about that for a moment. Is that really who is doling out the best guidance? To ask for advice is totally fine. But, I would like to suggest you follow those who do the talking, but also prove their character and counsel by doing the walking.
xo – t.

Woman Rows to Hawaii, Finds Danger on the High Seas

| Community | June 28, 2018

When she was younger, Pat Hines loved reading adventure books. “Robinson Crusoe” was a favorite. She especially liked how the character survived shipwrecks, enslavement, cannibals and mutineers during his 28 years on a remote desert island near Trinidad.

She’s always challenging herself, having given birth to twins at age 46.

“I’ve never been conventional,” she said.

Two years ago, she performed possibly the most perilous challenge possible: rowing the Pacific Ocean.

Not only did she live to tell, she set Guinness World Records for being the oldest woman to row any ocean (she turned 62 during the trip) and, with her then 59-year-old boat partner, became the oldest pairs to row any ocean.
It took 46 days, 17 hours, 47 minutes for Hines and her partner, Liz Dycus, to finish second, about seven days behind a four-person crew.

“The oceans are the last frontier,” she said. “They really test your mental ability. I’m amazed at what people can take. I wanted to see it for myself. … It literally changed my entire life.”

Hines competed as part of the Great Pacific Race, also known as “the world’s ultimate endurance challenge,” in which pairs, trios and fours row some 2,400 miles from Monterey, Calif., to Honolulu. They don’t row in a little wooden boat with a couple of oars; these boats are made of new-age carbon fiber that Hines said looks like a torpedo cut out in the middle. It cost $75,000. They have solar panels, communications, storage, lifeboat and a sleeping area.

Since finishing the race, Hines, founder of the nonprofit Safe Moves that educates students about traffic safety and proper walking, bicycling and driving habits, has often spoken to school-age children about her experiences. They typically ask two questions: did she see any sharks and did she almost die?

The first question is easy to answer: Yes. There was one a 10-foot shark that swam around the boat for a while one morning about 3, jumped up, hit her thigh and then swam away.

The second question she doesn’t shy away from, but it’s not as easy to answer, so she tells the stories. On the third day, the waves started getting rough. She called her navigator, who was monitoring the race on land, on the satellite phone, and learned that she was about to row into gale-force winds. The National Weather Service defines these winds as 39-54 mph.

For six hours, the pair went inside and waited it out. Water came into the hatch, and the noise was like a freight train. “We were convinced the boat wouldn’t make it,” Hines said.

Two weeks into the race, she noticed the boat listed to one side, a sign it was taking on water. She found a crack in the bow. She had to fix it or the boat would sink.

She almost drowned after her leg got caught in her anchor line.

Another time, it rained, and the drops felt like ball bearings.

Flying fish pelted her. They landed in the boat. They hit her in the face. They went down her shirt.

“It was gross,” she said. “At first, I tried to save them all. But after a while, I just killed them and threw them in (the ocean).”

An oar broke, batteries didn’t work, the seas went crazy. Hines was wet, dirty and smelly. Clean water was at a premium. She cut her hair because she couldn’t stand it. She ate 5,000 calories a day and still rowed into Honolulu 37 pounds lighter.

“Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?” she said.

It wasn’t all bad. She quickly learned that you solve the problems as they happen. Just make sure you stay with the boat and make sure you eat and drink (they had a desalinization device and hundreds of pounds of freeze-dried food).

“You eat and you row, and you eat and you row, and you sleep,” she said. “I miss that solitude.”

And there were times when the water was calm, the air was clean, the sunsets were spectacular.

She encountered a pair of USC rowers who kept calling her grandma. “We beat them by 10 days,” she said.

Her children originally were worried, enough that her son wanted assurance that she was planning on coming home. But after two weeks of talking to them daily, Hines called on the satellite phone and reached her daughter, who said, “Mom, we’re shopping at the mall. Can we call you back?”

Two years later, Hines is excited to do it again, only this time, she’ll attempt to row the Atlantic solo, from Spain to Antigua, following a similar route Columbus took to the New World. She’s been training and fundraising and estimates she needs $250,000 in time for a 2019 attempt. Because of her age, she’s been getting companies that sell products for older females as sponsors.

If she succeeds, she’d be the first American woman to row the Atlantic. After that, she wants to do a one-year trip in which she rows from San Francisco through the Panama Canal, around to Cuba and up to New York City.

“Either you’re a masochist or you enjoy incredible adventures. I’m both,” she said. “You either sound like an egoist or a crazy person. I’m a combination or both.”

Eran Zeevi Named New Principal of Bowman High School

| Community | June 28, 2018

Following the retirement of Principal Robin Geissler, the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board has approved the appointment of Eran Zeevi to become the new principal of Bowman High School.

Having spent the last six years at Bowman as the school’s assistant principal, Mr. Zeevi has been with the Hart School District since 2004 and in education since 1993. With a BA in Psychology, an MS in Counseling with an emphasis on School Psychology, and an MA in Educational Administration, the Governing Board felt Mr. Zeevi was uniquely positioned to become the school’s new principal.

“Bowman is an extraordinary school providing opportunities for students who have had academic challenges at their comprehensive sites,” Mr. Zeevi said. “We will help them succeed, graduate, and develop post secondary pathways, and I feel so very fortunate to lead this wonderful school that provides second chances.”

Under Ms. Geissler’s and Mr. Zeevi’s leadership, Bowman High School has been named a Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education five years in a row. Bowman was “recognized for operating innovative academic programs that help prepare at-risk students for 21st century careers and college.”

Registration for 23rd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Opens July 1

| Community | June 24, 2018

10K Race and New Courses Highlight Expanded Santa Clarita Marathon Weekend

Take to the streets and enjoy a run through the city’s paseos and trails at the 23rd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon, presented by Parkway Motorcars. The event returns with an expanded schedule in 2018, featuring a Health and Fitness Expo, Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K run, Mayor’s Walk and a brand-new 10K – all taking place November 2-4.

The festivities will begin on Friday, November 2 at the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo, presented by Boston Scientific. At the expo, guests can connect with health and fitness vendors and runners can pick up their bibs and official race shirt. The expo will take place at a new location at the Westfield Valencia Town Center, in the parking lot near Citrus Avenue and Magic Mountain Parkway, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Registration for all races begins July 1, when participants will be able to take advantage of the lowest entry prices of the year. With the addition of the 10K in 2018, this year’s race weekend will expand and include events on both Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4.

Saturday morning, runners from near and far will take to the streets of Santa Clarita. The November 3 slate of races includes the all-new 10K run, as well as the 5K and Mayor’s Walk. The 5K and Mayor’s Walk have been local favorites over the years, and 2018 features a new course.

The Santa Clarita Marathon and Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, November 4, and will take runners on a journey through the city, passing over the iconic Iron Horse Bridge. Runners will notice new branding elements for the races in 2018 that highlight the century old Iron Horse Bridge, one of Santa Clarita’s most recognizable landmarks, and a popular filming/photography spot.

All races on both days will start on Magic Mountain Parkway, between Auto Center Drive and Citrus Avenue, and end at the expo site at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Online registration for races will run from July 1 until October 29, while in-person registration WILL be available during the Health and Fitness Expo only. Runners will NOT be able to register the morning of the race for the Full or Half Marathon.

The public is encouraged to attend the free Health and Fitness Expo and cheer on runners at various points along the course on race day. Street closures and times for race weekend will be announced once they are confirmed. In the meantime, Santa Clarita residents can familiarize themselves with course maps online. To learn more about the Santa Clarita Marathon, visit SCMarathon.org.

Fireworks Safety Campaign and the Dangers of Illegal Fireworks in Santa Clarita

| Community | June 23, 2018

Multi-agency Press Conference to Be Held on June 29

This Fourth of July, just about the only acceptable fireworks in Santa Clarita will be lyrical references to Katy Perry’s 2010 hit single, “Firework.”

The City of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, is warning residents that all fireworks, including those labeled “Safe and Sane,” are illegal within city limits. The agencies have launched a joint fireworks safety campaign to inform residents that illegal fireworks are dangerous and are not tolerated in the City. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will also be conducting multiple fireworks operations between now and the Fourth of July.

In the City of Santa Clarita, it is illegal to possess, sell or use fireworks within city limits. Fireworks include those labeled “Safe and Sane,” such as sparklers, snaps and smoke balls, and any item that explodes, rises in the air or moves about the ground. Fireworks are a violation of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, Health and Safety Code and Los Angeles County Fire Code. Those found guilty of a violation will be cited and have their illegal fireworks confiscated by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “Violators can receive a fine from $500 to $1,000 and face misdemeanor prosecution,” Captain Robert Lewis said.

The public is encouraged to report illegal fireworks anonymously by calling the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at (661) 255-1121. Do not dial 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks, unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Residents may also report illegal fireworks to the sheriff deputy assigned to their zone. Information on zones can be found online at scvsheriff.com/zone-leaders.

“Fireworks are known to cause burns, serious injuries and even death,” warns Assistant Fire Chief Anderson Mackey. “Besides causing physical harm to our citizens, fireworks greatly increase the risk of both structure and wildland fires,” he adds.

“We want folks to enjoy the Fourth of July, but responsibly. In addition to possibly starting a fire, fireworks create anxiety and stress among pets and veterans who may have post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Mayor Laurene Weste. “I would recommend our residents leave the show to the pros and instead attend the City’s free and magnificent Fourth of July fireworks show.” The City’s Annual Fourth of July show will be taking place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center at 9:15 p.m.

As part of the campaign, the agencies have partnered with the County of Los Angeles Castaic Animal Shelter and the Lange Foundation’s St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary on a social media campaign featuring local L.A. County Firefighters with dogs that are adoptable in the local area. The campaign is intended to educate the public that besides being extremely dangerous, fireworks are the leading cause of runaway pets; more pets get lost on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year. In addition to social media, the Fireworks Safety campaign includes digital and print messaging at local City facilities and schools.

A Fireworks Safety Press Conference will be held to remind residents that fireworks of any kind are illegal in the City of Santa Clarita, in Los Angeles County unincorporated communities and in many of its 88 cities. The press conference will take place on Friday, June 29 at 10:00 a.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Station 126, located at 26320 Citrus Street.

For more information on local professional fireworks shows in and near Santa Clarita Valley, or details regarding fireworks regulations, visit santa-clarita.com/Fireworks.

Working with Excel: Dashboards

| Community | June 23, 2018

One of the greatest (and lesser known) aspects of Microsoft Excel is its ability to generate dashboards. What are dashboards? Think of them as tools in which you can call up any data you want; that is, your relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) from your Excel spreadsheet, and have it presented in any form you want. It’s similar to an automobile dashboard (which is where it got its name) in that it gives you the relevant info to your particular goal, objective or process.

But one thing to remember: Dashboards are not automatic. They have to be set up to show whatever aspect of your business you need (and if you have the data for it). But they’re extremely valuable for the following reasons:

1. You will always know what’s going on with your business. Need to see growth projections for the coming fiscal year? There’s a dashboard for that. Need the data presented as a pie chart, graph or bar chart? No problem. What color do you want to show it? That’s not a problem, either. Any aspect of your business can be turned into a dashboard where with just a few keystrokes, the information pops right onto your screen. And, if there are trends or issues you need to see, dashboards can help spot them.

2. You will save time and money. Everybody who uses Excel knows that the best thing going for it is its ability to turn long, arduous tasks in which the risk of human error is great, into a program that takes seconds with no human error. With the dashboard, the report you want can be updated at any time you’d like: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.

When things are running well and you’re making money hand over fist, you know it, because you know what’s working. When parts of the business are lacking, for example, if it’s the workers themselves, the dashboard can show that, too giving you the insight and info you need to fix it.

3. Everyone will be on the same page. The dashboard(s) can be shown to anyone in the company that needs to see the information. Everyone will be working in Excel, so there’s no problem showing the data to whoever needs it. That also means there are no costs to convert the data from some other program into Excel – another money – and time-saving aspect.

You already have Microsoft Excel as part of your Office suite. Using dashboards will only simplify your business and keep everybody involved and profitable.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

Now and Then: Nick Lentini, 2018 Man of the Year

| Community | June 22, 2018

The year 1968 dawned on a high note in the United States with the January 7 launch of NASA’s Surveyor 7. The spacecraft landed successfully on the moon and achieved its mission of photographing the area and testing the composition of the soil. It also gathered the necessary data to determine the feasibility for a manned Moon mission.

The national euphoria was short-lived, followed by an escalation in riots protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and the tragic assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and political icon Robert Kennedy.

In suburbia, residents rode out these highs and lows as they tended to the routines of daily living. The average price of gas was 34 cents a gallon; the newly introduced Big Mac at MacDonald’s was selling for 49 cents; and theater tickets to see shows like “The Graduate” and “Planet of the Apes” cost $1.50.

It was during this seesaw atmosphere of turbulence and routine that Jim and Georgia Lentini welcomed 2018 SCV Man of the Year, Nicholas, into the world. Nick’s little brother, Jeffrey, was born three years later, as the 1971 earthquake was shaking SCV and San Fernando Valley homes.

In spite of the drama provided by the geological and political phenomena, Nick’s childhood was filled with typical extra curricular activities like scouting, baseball, swimming, skiing, skateboarding, biking and boating.

There were also family vacations, which included summer water sports on a houseboat in Lake Shasta and winter vacations skiing at June and Mammoth Mountains. (Nick loved spending time with his brother, parents, grandparents and friends and continues the annual tradition today with his own family: wife Elise, and sons Dominic and Marco.)

In November of 1979, Nick’s family life changed when he proudly served as best man at his dad’s wedding to step mom Susan. Jim and Susan welcomed Nick and Jeff into their Santa Clarita home and Nick began developing ties to his new community and friends.

Nick attended Sierra Vista Junior High and Canyon High School, supplementing his studies with church youth activities, Canyon football, and a variety of after-school jobs, most notably as pizza maker for Blackie’s on Soledad Canyon, which he claims served the best pizza he’s ever had.

Following high school graduation in 1986, Nick attended College of the Canyons, meeting future wife Elise two years later. His academic experiences bolstered an interest in insurance and investments, prompting him to become a licensed agent and joining his father in the family business in 1989.

In 1993, the cost of a gallon of gas was $1.16, a loaf of bread went for $1.57, and it cost $4.14 to see shows like “Jurassic Park,” and ”Indecent Proposal.”

With school commitments completed and careers established, Nick and Elise were ready to commit to a more fitting proposal. The couple exchanged wedding vows at St. Claire’s Church that year and settled into a home in the Old Orchard I community in Valencia.

The arrival of their sons, Dominic in 1999, and Marco in 2003 coincided with career advancements for Nick, who earned the designation of Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow, and passed the Series 6, 7, 63 and 66 licensing tests to become an Investment Advisor Representative.

As the boys grew, Nick passed on the values he learned growing up – encouraging them to try new things, from sports, to activities, to clubs. He told them that it didn’t matter if they won or lost or even if they liked what they tried, the important thing was to do their best, have a good time, and learn something new. He has been a part of the boys’ Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts experiences, has served as a flag football coach, and is currently their SCVi High School Golf Team coach.

Sharing activities with his family reflects Nick’s philosophy of “giving back” and he carries that philosophy to the community. He hopes to make Santa Clarita a better place as he teaches Dominic and Marco the value of volunteerism – a passion he developed while accompanying Jim and Susie on their volunteer projects for the early Boys & Girls Club fundraising auctions.

Nick’s first volunteer task in his own right was for the New Year’s Eve Bootleggers Balls held in the 1990s. The fund-raisers benefited the Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence (AAVDV). He convinced Elise and friends that it would be great fun to build and paint enormous sets for the event. Their first endeavor was such a success that the set building continued for several years.

The Bootleggers Ball was the starting point for a commitment to volunteering that has led to leadership positions on the boards of AAVDV, the Chamber of Commerce, Santa Clarita Rotary, American Cancer Society, Child and Family Center, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Advisory Committee, COC Foundation, COC Board Governance Committee, and Cub Scouts Pack 608.

Nick is a past president of the Rotary Club, chairman of Citizens Oversight Committee for bond Measure M and E, and has served as secretary and president of the Child and Family Center Foundation board, creating and chairing the Center’s Trike Derby fund-raiser in 2017. Nick has been honored as the 2012 SCV Rotarian of the Year, 2016 COC Alumni of the Year, and 2017 SCVi Vision in Education Benefit Dinner Family of the Year, and is hopeful that his 30 years of volunteering will inspire younger generations to participate in service to important causes, worthwhile charities, and those in need.

National events may shape the world stage and the price of food, theatre tickets, and gasoline will always be in flux, but Nick’s commitment to his family and community has remained steadfast, which inspired the SCV Man and Woman of the Year committee to select him as their 2018 honoree.

Our (Alleged) Arts & Entertainment District

| Community | June 22, 2018

Picture this: It’s Friday, you’ve just landed a date with the guy of your dreams, and you’ve only got one thing on your mind – Old Town Newhall.

We’ve all been there. When life gets hard, the only cure for a good time is a prescription for that Western Walk of Fame. Doctor’s orders.

And they don’t call it the “Premiere Arts & Entertainment District” for nothing. After strapping on those stilettos and hopping into your Honda Civic, make sure and leave enough time to strut into Planet Soccer before catching the 7 o’clock showing of Guys and Dolls and the Canyon Theater Guild – the full experience.

For all you night crawlers out there, the Hart Museum Tours close at 4 p.m., cutting it real close to dinner time. Shhh … I won’t tell if you won’t tell.

How could I possibly forget the artsy folks out there? You are not to be neglected. Park your Priuses next to the abandoned Golf Store on Main Street and accidentally waltz into a housing unit that looks like an art installation. To your surprise, it is. It’s 96 square feet and standing room only. Oh, baby.

The fun doesn’t stop at Main Street. It only plateaus. If you’re a real party animal, walk a few miles down to the Del Taco and order up something dangerous. Something … Food borne. It will feel like a long night of partying by the time you’re through.

Speaking of parties, the city combined everyone’s favorite day with everyone’s favorite place to form Thursdays@Newhall. You like old cars? They have very old cars. You like square dancing with sweaty strangers? They have VERY sweaty strangers. It’s an endless stream of Thursday night fun.

However, if you don’t have a way to get there, and the bus just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, you don’t have any reason to complain anymore. Now, you can take the trolley to and from Newhall all summer long. If you didn’t know our city had a trolley, wake up and smell the copper from that pretty taxpayer penny and take it for a spin.

You see, there’s so much to do in our self-proclaimed Arts & Entertainment District. No more boring nights, no more excuse to give in to drugs. There’s only Old Town Newhall for now and for eternity.

Summer Beach Excursion to Ventura

| Community | June 22, 2018

For those wanting to enjoy a fun and relaxing day in Ventura, The City of Santa Clarita is inviting residents and their families to register for an upcoming day trip to Ventura Harbor Village and Harbor Cove Beach on Saturday, July 14.

Organized by the Recreation and Community Services Division, participants can spend the morning enjoying the small lapping waves, sand dunes and protected shoreline of “Mother’s Beach,” then take a short walk to the Ventura Harbor for lunch and shopping. With no set schedule, participants are free to plan how their time will be spent during the day.

Registration is $10 per person and includes transportation by bus to the Ventura Harbor Village. Attendees are encouraged to bring spending money for food and shopping while in the city. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Participants will meet 8 a.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center, located at 18792 Flying Tiger Drive, for a prompt departure at 8:30 a.m. The bus will depart Ventura Harbor and head back to Santa Clarita at 2:30 p.m. for a 4 p.m. arrival.

Space is limited. Those interested must register by July 11 at 4 p.m. by visiting the Canyon Country Community Center, going online at santa-clarita.com/CCCC, calling (661) 290-2266 or e-mailing cccc@santa-clarita.com.

Empowering HeArts Calling All Artists

| Community | June 21, 2018

Empowering HeArts 2019 is now accepting applications for artists. Santa Clarita Valley has a plethora of amazing talent, and the Single Mothers Outreach is seeking those willing to share it.

Empowering HeArts matches the talents of six local artists with six inspiring honorees. The artists will tell the stories of these women through the artistic lens of this year’s theme, Integrity.

The art work will be revealed at the annual gala in February, where the community will come together to honor those women and to raise funds for Single Mother’s Outreach, a non-profit that benefits single parent families in Santa Clarita.

For more information about Empowering HeArts, visit http://singlemothersoutreach.org/empoweringhearts/. For more information about Single Mothers Outreach, visit http://singlemothersoutreach.org/.

SCV Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop

| Community | June 21, 2018

The Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SCV-GSA) is inviting stakeholders and members of the public to participate in its Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Workshop on Tuesday, June 26, at 2:30 p.m.

As part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s (SGMA) regulatory requirements, the SCV-GSA is responsible for developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan – a detailed road map for how the local groundwater basin will be managed for long-term sustainability.

To determine if you are located within the SCV-GSA boundary go to bit.ly/scv-gsa-address. The workshop will be held in the Sycamore Room at The Centre located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, 91350.

The workshop will serve as a kickoff meeting to discuss the process to develop a Groundwater
Sustainability Plan. Important workshop topics will include:

•SGMA 101 – A State perspective on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and local development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan.
•GSP Development Process and Timeline – An overview of the anticipated process and timeline to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan, including near and long-term tasks and activities.

To keep up-to-date on GSA news and upcoming stakeholder forums, sign up at bit.ly/scv-gsa-signup.

For more information, including a draft agenda, visit bit.ly/scv-gsa.

About the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency:

The SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SCV-GSA) was formed in 2017 and consists of SCV Water, Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36 and others including the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles. The SCV-GSA will be responsible for developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan by 2022.

About the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act:
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) empowers local agencies to adopt groundwater management plans that are tailored to the resources and needs of their communities. Good groundwater management will provide a buffer against drought and climate change, and contribute to reliable water supplies regardless of weather patterns. California depends on groundwater for a major portion of its annual water supply, and sustainable groundwater management is essential to a reliable and resilient water system.

For more information, contact Principal Water Resources Planner Rick Viergutz for SCV Water at rviergutz@scvwa.org, or call (661) 297-1600, ext. 281

Summer Trolley Returns with Services to Six Flags and Old Town Newhall

| Community | June 21, 2018

If you live in Santa Clarita, you aren’t truly living until you find yourself on a trolley to Six Flags, followed by a pilgrimage to Old Town Newhall.

The City of Santa Clarita’s Summer Trolley, which takes guests to and from Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor each day for free, is now offering evening entertainment service, from local hotels to both Town Center Drive and Old Town Newhall.

Traditionally, the Summer Trolley has run service between participating hotels and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The new, later service adds three stops along Main Street in Old Town Newhall, with extended hours every Thursday through Sunday.

The free Summer Trolley runs each morning from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., picking up riders from three locations along the way: Hyatt Regency Valencia/Westfield Valencia Town Center, Courtyard by Marriott/Embassy Suites and the Holiday Inn Express. Return trips to those locations depart from Six Flags each evening beginning at 6 p.m. with the last trolley leaving at 11 p.m., depending on park hours.

The new nighttime service is a way for participants to experience nightlife at the Westfield Valencia Town Center (Hyatt Regency Valencia stop) and in the City’s Arts and Entertainment District in Old Town Newhall. Some of the new attractions at Westfield include The Dudes Brewery, Cheesecake Factory and Saddle Ranch Chop House, as well as community favorites like Salt Creek Grille, plus explore a variety of wine bars, restaurants and entertainment opportunities along Town Center Drive and the Patios.

While the Summer Trolley will make the same stops during this time, it will also take riders to Old Town Newhall in the evening where they can enjoy free Thursdays@Newhall events, as well as a host of nightlife spots that include a variety of dining, craft breweries, wine rooms and shopping. Local favorites include Brewery Draconum, Double Trouble, Newhall Refinery, Pulchella Winery, Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse and Newhall Press Room.

Evening service to Old Town Newhall runs from 5:40 to 11:10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, while Sunday service runs from 5:40 to 9:45 p.m. Two trolleys are in rotation providing service every 30-40 minutes during operating hours.

See the full Summer Trolley schedule at VisitSantaClarita.com. For more information about the Summer Trolley’s service to Six Flags and Old Town Newhall, contact Evan Thomason at (661) 286-4167 or by email at ethomason@santa-clarita.com.

Comments Off on Music Industry and Local Dignitaries to Celebrate Hollywood Piano’s 90th Anniversary

Music Industry and Local Dignitaries to Celebrate Hollywood Piano’s 90th Anniversary

| Community | June 21, 2018

Hollywood will turn out to honor Hollywood Piano’s 90th Anniversary at a star-studded event June 21. The celebration weekend kicks off with an invitation only reception Thursday, followed by a red carpet event at 6:30 p.m., and then a presentation of awards by local organizations and politicians. The invitees for this event feature many well known faces from the worlds of music, television, and politics including Governor Brown, Lieutenant Governor Newsom, Senator Feinstein, Congressman Schiff, The Mayor of Burbank, Bard Ellis Michael Orland), Nigel Lythgoe, Scott MacIntyre, Lana Delray, Jay Leno, Justin Beiber, Bruce Vilanch and many more.

“Hollywood Piano is not resting on our laurels. We’re heading into the next 90 years as the industry leader we’ve been for the last 90 years by continuing to grow, innovate and change with the times,” said Glenn Treibitz, President and CEO of Hollywood Piano.

The evening will also feature the presentation of the first two “Piano Hero” awards. Each year, this award is presented to two individuals – one from the world of music or entertainment, and the other a notable public figure not in show business – who through their examples have promoted the benefits of playing music, as well as inspired others to have interest in music (primarily the piano). This year’s awards will be presented to Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and the legendary Stevie Wonder.

Hollywood Piano’s history dates back to 1928, the beginning of sound in motion pictures. The company has provided some of the most important pianos in film and TV history, from “Casablanca,” to “All in the Family,” to “Frasier,” to “Dreamgirls,” to “Ray,” and “La La Land.”
Hollywood Piano has been honored over the years for many philanthropic endeavors.

The company supports hundreds of local charities and continually gives back to the community sponsoring music and education in schools, colleges, and performing arts organizations. It is also the official supplier of pianos to the Burbank Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony, Pasadena Pops, California Philharmonic, Skirbal Center and dozens of other not-for-profit entities in the greater Los Angeles area.

Starting Friday, June 22 through Sunday June 24, there will be a public celebration and sale with a grand piano sweepstakes giveaway, screenings of the film “Hollywood Loves the Piano,” free refreshments, gifts, and special crazy price reductions all weekend, plus one year zero percent 12 month financing on approved credit.

To learn more about Hollywood Piano visit www.hollywoodpiano.com.

Non-Profit of the Week: Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival

| Community | June 21, 2018

This summer, if you find yourself thinking, “Activities, activities, wherefore art thou activities,” The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is the perfect solution for your Shakespearean request.

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to engaging the community through performances, programs and events, recognizing our indelible commonality, and rejoicing in our diversity. In the summer, SCSF produces the LA SummerFEST, an eclectic, summer cultural festival of music, theatre and special events.

David Stears started Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival in 1989. Over the last few decades, the non-profit has developed into much more than a theater company, incorporating musical guests and other forms of entertainment into the program.

In previous years, LA SummerFEST has taken place outdoors in the Towsley Canyon Open Space. Due to fires and other factors, this year, the programs will be taking place at other locations.

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is putting on several productions throughout Santa Clarita this summer. Trojan Women, directed by Luck Hari, will be performed at The MAIN in Newhall, as well as The Little Prince, directed by Erin Africa. Comedy of Errors, a free Shakespeare performance, will be shown at the Newhall Family Theatre.

In the fall, SCSF will be touring elementary schools, performing Walidad the Grass Cutter, sponsored by the City of Santa Clarita.

For more information about the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, visit www.SCShakespeareFEST.org, find them on Facebook or Twitter at @SCShakesFest.

Charity Car Show at Valencia Ice Station

| Community | June 21, 2018

The Valencia Ice Station is hosting its first charity car show to benefit the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County.

Cars will be awarded based on four categories: Best Classic, Best modern, Charity’s Choice and People’s Choice. The event will take place at the Valencia Ice station, and will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24. Early registration is $25, and the price to register on the day of the event is $45.

The Wounded Heroes Fund’s mission is: “To act as a service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror in an effort to provide them with support and appreciation they need for a healthy return to civilian life.”

The Valencia Ice Station is located at 27745 Smyth Drive, Valencia 91355. For more information, call 661-775-8686 or visit www.icestation.net. To learn more about the Wounded Heroes Fund, visit www.thewoundedheroesfund.org/.

Afternoon T

| Community | June 15, 2018

Q: I just graduated and my friends are all my age and someone told me that wasn’t a very good idea. They told me I should find new friends. Why?

A: First, let’s clear up one thing: It’s not a BAD idea to have friends your own age. In fact, I am going to encourage you to continue to stay in touch with your friends and neighbors from childhood. You will grow to treasure them, for many reasons, as time goes on. From birth to graduation, it is expected that you’ll have and make friends your own age. Peer groups are the Petri dish you grow in. You learn from one another what to do (and often how not to be) and as long as you have wise adult supervision to guide your choices, friends your own age are a critical part of your healthy development. If you ONLY had young people in your world, it would become “Lord of the Flies” (I know that book is still in your just-got-out-of-school brain) very quickly.

Having older mentors during those early years you learn the best lessons in life. Good adult role models are a tremendous asset to a young person’s treasure trove of life’s lessons learned. I also believe that these types of relationships should continue once your formal education comes to an end (Graduation congratulations, by the way!). Some of the best educational advice I’ve ever heard had to do with everyday friendships: “All the days of your life, make friends with someone older and someone younger than yourself. It is good to have someone you need and someone who needs you.” The concept of having a mentor and being a mentor is a great formula for balance. This type of friendship model yields the best results for continued growth and education (you see, my young friend, you will never stop learning). By having friends older and younger than you, you’ll receive various levels of experience and varied responses when you seek answers to questions moving forward. Life will test you over and over again (now you know why there were so many quizzes in school) and you will need some solid smart person’s help to find the right answers to the really hard questions. (FINALLY! You get permission to look over at someone else’s paper, so to speak!) If you were to only bounce things off your old peer group, some who might only be getting C’s on their tests in life, your collected knowledge won’t get the best passing grades. And you really don’t want to fail at life. At this point, you’re going to want help and serious tutoring from the “kids” who got A’s or who, at the very least, know what the wrong answers were/are. Moving forward, I suggest you keep a child’s song in your heart as you carpe diem and make new relationships: “Make new friends, but keep the old … one is silver and the other gold.”

A Day at the Races

| Community | June 15, 2018

by Harry Parmenter

The place to be in the SCV last Saturday was Santa Clarita Lanes, and more specifically, the OTB section of the bowling alley. OTB, for the uninitiated, stands for “off-track betting.” In other words, it’s the place where you can separate yourself from your money while the ponies run on TV. On this particular day, Justify was going for the greatest achievement in horse racing: The Triple Crown. Yes, action —a chance to feel that adrenaline rush crash and burn.

The sign on Soledad advertised “Belmont Stakes Saturday … Go Justify.” ‘Round midday, the joint was jumping. A giant rec room harboring a C-shaped bar, two dozen screens live from racetracks across the land, tables, chairs, a couple hundred people within and without at adjacent screens (and, of course the festive lanes, day-glow vibe and people having a blast trying to knock down those ten pins), three betting windows and twice as many computers to lay your money down in hopes of winning – which, if you do, is much sweeter than making money at an actual job.

The Triple Crown is comparable to the NBA or NHL championships, both of which had been won in the previous 48 hours. The Crown consists of three races within a five-week span: The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. Justify had won the first two events in Louisville rain and Baltimore mud, but the weather in Belmont, New York was beautiful where 90,000 people gathered while millions of others watched and wagered around the globe.

Inside the OTB, people pored over their racing forms and programs, studying cell phones while hunched over a hunch, trying to decide what to lay on which horse, which trainer, which jockey, the elusive trifecta of success; early lick or a finisher, a horse in a spot or moving up/down in class; the favorites, the long shots, the wildcards, anything for a golden ticket, instead of a loser crumpled and tossed on the floor in disgust, watching that hard-earned cash go down the drain. Winning is the thing, right smack into the wallet with a cluster of bills and a double shot of Anejo down the pipe.

Personally, I had been doing my own blind research that week, reading this, that and this again, then began the day with a workout to try to get in mental and physical tune with that elusive intuition, the gut instinct to zero in on victory and have the nice lady cashier hand me back more money than I gave her … a tall order.

I parked in the boiling hot sun and went inside, scoping out the place, wandering around until I found what I hoped would be my Castaneda power spot, a face in the crowd a few feet from the betting window, the bar and screens showing Golden Gate Park, Santa Anita and Belmont, not to mention the Angels game. I laid three bucks down to show (third or above; to place is second or first; win is a win, natch) on a couple of long shots in the 7th at Santa Anita, the beautiful Arcadia venue with a breathtaking view of the San Gabriel Mountains. Getting my feet wet, trying to find that rhythm. It worked: one of the horses finished third and I broke even.

Then, it was an hour wait for The Main Event. I strolled. The crowd was predominantly male, blue collar, working people, millennial-free, and an apolitical zone. I saw an electrician who had done some work at my house years ago, and another guy who looked vaguely familiar wearing a black t-shirt with white and red lettering: “Alcatraz: Psycho Ward Outpatient.” Smokers waited outside. Retirees, racing forms, and shorthand. Day laborers. Vodka and false teeth. A hard-core racing crowd, pondering, deciding, betting. A hot little room. No country club. I walked up to the window and laid it all down on Justify, heavy favorite odds taking five bucks to win four, but it felt like destiny.

Finally, the horses entered the starting gate in New York. “And they’re off!” Actually in the OTB there was no audio, no frantic announcer rattling off the race, just the silent screen and the pack of horses as they broke, separated and galloped. At a mile and a half, The Belmont is the longest race of The Triple Crown and there went Justify immediately to the front after drawing the challenging pole position. Nine other horses gave chase. It was close for a bit and then he began to pull away, slowly, inexorably, around the gentle curves of the long track, then here came a couple of challengers, but no … they never really challenged him … he ran easily, almost without urgency. A beautiful creature to behold, the crowd volume in the rec room rising, shouting, urging him on, Justify thundering, pulling away, closing, WINNING THE TRIPLE CROWN! THE THRILL OF IT ALL!

Savoring my triumph and not wanting it to end, I stuck around in the thinning crowd for the 8th at Santa Anita as Team Justify celebrated in the winner’s circle on the adjacent screen. And damned if I didn’t pick another winner at 3-1 and roll out the door flush, a rare pleasure for this amateur as the odds, like the house, are against you.

As I stepped into the late afternoon the smell of smoke hit me. Familiar hazy burnt orange cracked the sky and I could see tiny ash flakes swirling in the Sand Canyon air. KHTS reported another fire, off the 5 by Calgrove. The adrenaline burn was back, but with a side of queasiness. The OTB isn’t the only gamble in the SCV.

More Excel Basics

| Community | June 14, 2018

Last week, I started introducing various things people need to understand about Microsoft Excel. This week, I continue that with some basic terms: “row,” “column,” “cell,” “worksheet” and “workbook.”

If you open a blank Excel sheet, you’ll see numbers going down the left side. These correspond to various rows. The letters A, B, C and so forth running across correspond to the columns.

If you pick any individual rectangle where any column or row meet, that individual rectangle is the cell, and it is here that the dates, numbers, words or formulas which make up your data are entered.

Think of cells like atoms. Atoms are the basic building blocks of life; cells are the basic building blocks of Excel.
When you first open up Excel, a blank spreadsheet appears. This is also called a worksheet. There’s a tab at the bottom that says “Sheet1,” meaning this is the first worksheet. The “+” that’s next to it allows you to add more worksheets.

When we’re all done with all our worksheets, they make up the workbook. (Notice also that when you first open Excel, the file is called “Workbook1” because this is the first workbook. When you save this workbook and give it a different name, it becomes your workbook’s name.

When we were children, we sometimes were given workbooks, which were paperback textbooks, often were issued together with hard-bound textbooks, that illustrated problems and concepts and lessons that we needed to know and understand. One big difference between workbooks and textbooks was that we could – and were expected to – write in the workbooks, but suffer the teacher’s wrath if you wrote in the textbook.
Workbooks were made up of worksheets, which were the various pages that we would write in.

The same concept applies to Microsoft Excel. The main difference between a school worksheet and an Excel worksheet is that an Excel sheet starts blank, letting you enter the data you need. And remember, there is almost no limit to the kinds of data you can enter.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

City Begins Annual Resurfacing of Arterial and Neighborhood Streets

| Community | June 14, 2018

The City of Santa Clarita has begun its annual Road Rehab project which will include a slurry seal and overlay road treatment to improve City roadways and extend their life. The project will continue through the summer months. Residents are asked to be aware of work being done in and around their neighborhoods and to alter parking and driving accordingly.

A Road Rehab website, located at santa-clarita.com/RoadRehab, features frequently asked questions and tips for residents to ensure resurfacing goes quickly and efficiently. An interactive map will also be made available soon to allow residents to find their street on the map to see if slurry seal or overlay will be administered and an approximate date for resurfacing. For the latest updates including last minute changes in scheduling, follow the hashtag #SCRoadRehab on Twitter.

Door hangers and handbills will also be distributed to homes that will be affected throughout the course of the project. Residents may also be affected by Road Rehab construction on adjacent streets. All cars in the “No Parking” zone during construction time will be towed. Construction may occur anytime between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additional instructions and Road Rehab information, including the interactive map, can be found at santa-clarita.com/RoadRehab. For any questions or concerns, residents may contact the project hotline at (661) 290-2291.

Athlete of the Week – Riley Bowers

| Community, Sports | June 14, 2018

Riley Bowers had a bumpy beginning in life. He was born with Down syndrome, spent nine days in the intensive care unit with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and endured two heart surgeries – all within the first two years of his life. Flash forward to today, and he is a healthy and active athlete in the SCV Special Olympics.

Riley has been a Special Olympics athlete for more than half of his life. While he has participated in floor hockey, basketball and bowling are currently his favorite sports. His basketball team, the Blue Sharks, just ended their season with a flawless record and three gold medals. Coach and father Brad Bowers said, “Riley is not a selfish player and he takes pride in his teammates when they score. He will then turn around and surprise us with a 20-footer.”

Bowling is Riley’s other favorite sport, and the Special Olympics season for this activity has just begun. A methodical and a serious approach to this sport helps Riley constantly improve his game and achieve a 130 average.

The First Two Things to Understand About Excel

| Community | June 8, 2018

To understand Microsoft Excel, the first thing to understand is a spreadsheet.

You remember the old paper spreadsheets, right? They were oversized sheets that “spread” across two facing pages (which is how they were named) with columns for categories, such as expenditures, across the top; and rows, such as for invoices, down the left side. There was a place for the amount to be listed – right where the column and row intersected. Accountants and financial folks knew them well, as did anyone balancing the family books each month.

Excel takes the old paper accounting worksheet and computerizes it. There are still columns and rows where one can enter data, and that data can be numbers, words or formulas. These formulas can automatically calculate and display a value based on what’s in the other columns and rows.

Spreadsheets originally were used for basic arithmetic and math functions, but today they also perform financial and statistical functions, conditional expressions, functions to convert text and numbers, and functions that operate on strings of text.

The reason spreadsheets can do so much now is because of the second thing to understand about Excel: macros. Macros are nothing more than instructions that tell the Excel how to do something. The best thing about macros is they run processes your business needs in a fraction of the time it took you to do it by hand.

Additionally, it almost eliminates human error and the drudgery of repetitive tasks. Now, you’ll have time to do what you really want to do: make more money. Macros are shortcuts that are easy to create and store, but too many people don’t appreciate what macros can do for them, which is almost anything.

A macro can help a company determine if its employees are abusing the phone privileges. It can match and automate invoices, make billing and insurance matters a snap, and print packing slips.

Macros can take away the confusion of getting invoices from different vendors that aren’t written in the same formats, calculate how much material is needed to do a construction project, separate email from spam, figure out page breaks in a report and so much more.

Combining spreadsheets and macros gets you two of the most important and useful parts of Excel.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

‘HEADS UP’ Safety Campaign to Address Bicycle Safety in 2018

| Community | June 8, 2018

With a large community of bicyclists who ride for fitness, fun or for their daily commute, the City of Santa Clarita’s Traffic Safety Team announced a new safety education campaign to reduce the number of collisions involving cyclists by 20 percent in 2018.

In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the City of Santa Clarita launched its “Heads Up!” campaign last year to combat distracted driving and increase pedestrian safety, and was also created to educate drivers and pedestrians on crosswalk and roadway safety.

Since incorporation, the city has made strides to prioritize the safety of residents on city streets. In continuing the award-winning “Heads Up!” campaign, the city will focus on educating drivers and cyclists on safe behaviors when it comes to cycling and driving with cyclists on the roadway.

“Heads Up” banners and advertisements will continue to be seen throughout Santa Clarita and social media content will center on four main messages:

  1. See and Be Seen – Cyclists should always ensure they can be seen by pedestrians and motorists. Wear bright colors, apply reflective tape or stickers to bicycles and helmets, and install lights (red for the rear and white for the front) for riding after sunset.
  2. Gear Up – Double check you have your safety gear on before going for a ride. Always wear a helmet and proper footwear. Use a backpack or mounted basket for carrying personal items, because hands-free riding is safe riding.
  3. Be Predictable – Cross streets at marked crosswalks and intersections and never ride out mid-block into the flow of traffic. Use proper hand signals prior to making turns and always yield to pedestrians.
  4. Go with the Flow – Only ride with the flow of traffic, never against it. This is a good rule when riding on sidewalks along major roads, too. Remember that it is the rider’s responsibility to know and follow the traffic laws applicable to bicycling on City streets.

In addition to traditional methods of pushing out information, the city will reach cyclists with messaging where it is most impactful. “Heads Up!” stenciling will be placed throughout the city’s trail system, as well as at key intersections with a high volume of drivers and cyclists. “Heads Up!” reflective stickers for bicycles and helmets will also be available in the coming weeks for free at City Hall, cycling events and local cycling stores.

Learn more about the “Heads Up!” campaign online by visiting Santa-Clarita.com/HeadsUp.

Santa Clarita Transit Seeks Public Input

| Community | June 7, 2018

Community Workshops Being Held for Feedback on Transit Development Plan

In order to help shape the future direction of public transit services in the Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita Transit will be hosting a series of community workshops where residents are encouraged to voice their opinions.

The first community workshop will be held on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m. at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, located at 18601 Soledad Canyon Road. For those unable to attend a meeting, an online survey is available. The survey and information on additional meetings can be found online at SantaClaritaTDP2018.com.

The community workshops will help the City update Santa Clarita Transit’s Transportation Development Plan (TDP), which was last updated in 2012. The Plan serves as a five to ten-year guiding document that assists staff in the timing of future route realignments/additions, bus purchases and more.

Given various changes in the City such as annexations, residential and commercial developments, the plan is being revisited and will receive modifications as appropriate. Updating the plan will not only ensure public transit reflects the current needs of the community, but will forecast future demand for transit services in the Santa Clarita Valley based on anticipated demographic, development and economic growth.

“These community workshops are part of a comprehensive outreach effort which also include collecting feedback through community surveys, stakeholder meetings and an interactive map online,” said Santa Clarita Transit Administrative Analyst Alex Porlier. “All of the input collected during this process will be taken into consideration as the City develops a vision for future transit services that will benefit the community as a whole,” he adds.

Initial service recommendations stemming from these first-round meetings as well as survey results will be presented in public forums later in 2018 for community review and comment prior to completion of the Transportation Development Plan.

To learn more about the Transportation Development Plan or any of the community workshops, contact Santa Clarita Transit at (661) 294-1287 or visit SantaClaritaTransit.com.

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Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

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