Spiders, Crawlers, and SEO

| Community | August 9, 2018

Some people don’t like spiders and crawlers but do like indexing, searching and algorithms. When it comes to search engine optimization, however, you should like all of the above because these are essential components to SEO. Read on to learn more.

First, some definitions: a “spider” (also known as a crawler, robot or bot) is the part of the SEO software that checks, or crawls, the content of each web page in a methodical and automated manner. According to Science Daily, these crawlers are used to create a copy of all pages you visit that a search engine will later process.

This processing is called “indexing.” Each piece of content the spider crawls over – and it’s important to remember that not everything on a website page gets crawled over – gets stored in a giant database that gets recalled whenever somebody types in a keyword into the search engine.

Every time that happens, the search engine checks the keywords for the webpage that the spider crawled over against every other webpage that has the same keywords. In other words, the search engine is measuring how relevant the keyword is related to the page. The more relevant – that is, the more often it matches – the higher the page is ranked.

Now, how does that happen? Search engines use algorithms. These are specifications that take a keyword and sort it through all of its indexed sites in which that keyword appears. Then it shows you a list of sites where that keyword exists. Hopefully, your site is on the first page.

Different algorithms look at different aspects of the page. Some check links, how often a keyword appears, meta tags, links and many others. But they all make up one giant algorithm.

The problem is the companies that run search engines are always changing their algorithms, so to keep updated, you need SEO expertise. If you don’t have it, hire somebody who does.

To discover what else can be done to improve your online presence, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Or visit his website at www.TAPSolutions.net

Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child

| Community | August 9, 2018

Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California. Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with 200 foster children waiting to be connected to a family who will adopt. Children’s Bureau offers a comprehensive foster care and adoption program that brings families together for a lifetime. The agency is in need of resource families for children in foster care while reunifying with birth families or to provide legal permanency by adoption.

Children’s Bureau Resource Parents protect and nurture children, meet children’s developmental needs, support children’s relationships with their birth families and do all of this as a member of a professional team. Children’s Bureau welcomes every resource parent regardless of, race, age, religion, disability, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Qualifying families receive training, family assessment, approval and support. A current CB family advises potential resource parents “to come into it with an open mind and an open heart. Be prepared to care beyond anything you could have ever imagined.”

Discover if you have the willingness, ability and resources to take on the challenge of helping a child in need. A monthly information meeting is being held Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon at Children’s Bureau, 27200 Tourney Road, Suite 175, Valencia, CA 91355. To R.S.V.P. or for more information, call 661.208.4212 or email RFrecruitment@all4kids.org. An information packet or application may also be obtained by filling out a request form on the website at www.all4kids.org/program/foster-care/.

About Children’s Bureau
Since 1904, Children’s Bureau has been a nonprofit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. More than 30,000 children and families are helped each year throughout Southern California with services that include school readiness, parenting classes, family resource centers, support groups, mental health counseling, foster care and adoption.  Children’s Bureau is one of the largest investors in child abuse prevention in the country and is developing a national model to transform an entire at-risk community through its Magnolia Community Initiative.

Afternoon T.

| Community | August 9, 2018

Q: It has been a month and I hate my new job and I want to quit.

A: That’s it?! No explanation? Just “I want to quit.” After only one month. Forgive me if I question the amount of time committed to it, but having only given a sentence to work with, it isn’t very much to go on. For that matter, neither is 22 days. I’m not very math-y, but with 30-ish days in a month and approximately four weekends (of eight days) off, I’m guesstimating your workload to have been about 22 days. If you were working full-time, that adds up to about 176 hours. Part-time would likely have had you working between 88 to 132 hours. In addition, you probably slept or were resting for close to 200 hours during that time period, too. So, I’m going to say you need to put in more time at the job, before you throw in the towel/apron/welding tool/spreadsheet.

You know they used to say, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.” You know what THAT crazy science was based on? A plastic surgeon, Maxwell Maltz, noticed his patients took 21 days to become accustomed to their new faces. Real science from University College London showed it actually takes an average of 66 days (varying wildly, in some cases, from 18 to 254 days). Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2008 book Outliers, gave 10,000 hours as the time it takes to become really, really masterful at… well, ANYthing. He said that one needs to have practiced or apprenticed for those 10,000 hours “before you get good.” Good. Not great, not masterful, not the Boss of the Company. He just said: Good. Makes me think you might have to give a smidge more than 88 to 176 hours to form a solid opinion about the job you currently have.

Perseverance doesn’t come easy. It’s a skill built in steps and is the hallmark character of high-level leadership. Stick-to-it-iveness at any j.o.b. shows you are the right person for any task given to you, ultimately leading to a career you can love. Sticking with this position, you may learn things you didn’t know – especially about yourself and what you really want (and don’t want) in life. Why don’t you give it at least six months? [1,000ish hours.]

As a side note, you stated you “hate” the job you have. A word that hurts my heart. When my kids were growing up, I wouldn’t allow that word to be used. It’s too powerful a word, when there are so many other ways to describe something you simply don’t like. There’s a wide river of language from “I don’t like broccoli” to “I hate the evil in the world.” If you are bored, under-utilized or having trouble with the tasks at hand – I’d like to suggest you reassess your emotions and the descriptor used. But, if you are being harassed, bullied or abused at this new job – then know, I hate it, too.
xo – t.

Education Expert Mark Perna to Speak at Performing Arts Center on August 10

| Community | August 9, 2018

Local educators, employers and parents are invited to attend a special presentation from author, education expert and motivational speaker Mark Perna during one of two sessions designed to inspire individuals currently working with Generation Y and Z students.

Considered a national expert in education enrollment, retention and performance, Perna’s presentation will seek to unleash passion, purpose and performance in students by helping attendees understand how to best give those same students a competitive advantage by expanding the educational options and opportunities available to them.

Through his ongoing work with educational and business organizations, Perna has recognized the distinct issues that younger generations are continually faced with, and in response, has developed several best practices for addressing them.

“These proven strategies, pioneered through years of experience with educational organizations of all sizes, will change the game for educators and the students they seek to serve,” said Perna.

Perna’s speaking points will reflect those expressed in his upcoming book “Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generation.”

“I have attended several of Mark’s presentations over the years,” said Harriet Happel, Director of Career and Technical Education at COC. “I guarantee that attendees will leave this event feeling encouraged and empowered to take the journey with our Generations Y and Z students to inspire them to greater performance in all areas of life.”

Perna’s presentation will take place Friday, Aug. 10 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons. A morning session will run from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by an afternoon presentation from 1 to 3 p.m.

A book signing will be held immediately following both sessions. This event is free and open to the public, with parking available in college lots 2, 4, 5, 13, 14 and 15. This event is being hosted through a partnership with College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union High School District, with funding provided by a California Career Pathways Trust Grant.
For more information, call (661) 362-3653 or email Nancy.Sandoval@canyons.edu.

More About the Speaker

Mark C. Perna is the founder of TFS in Cleveland, Ohio, a full-service strategic consulting firm whose mission is to share and support every client’s desire to make a difference. Perna, a graduate of John Carroll University, has many years of experience addressing industry leaders on the topic of expanding their reach in an increasingly global marketplace. A dynamic public speaker, he frequently delivers keynote speeches across the country and recently spoke at Harvard University by special invitation. At TFS, Perna’s team shares his vision of helping organizations experience significant gains in recruitment, engagement, retention, and performance. His first book, “Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations” was written to help educators, employers, and parents understand Generations Y and Z and inspire them to greater performance in all areas of life. Perna is the father of two successful millennials. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hoefflin Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of ‘An Evening Under the Stars’

| Canyon Country Magazine, Community | August 7, 2018

A non-profit that was founded in Canyon Country and for many years held its annual fundraiser in Sand Canyon has a long, successful history of improving the lives of families fighting pediatric cancer.

The Michael Hoefflin Foundation will hold its 25th “An Evening Under the Stars Benefitting Kids with Cancer” next month, an event that brings together hundreds of Santa Clarita supporters and raises thousands of dollars for the non-profit organization. Many of the community members from the first event and early days of the Foundation are, once again, volunteering for the event as it marks a significant anniversary.

The charity’s roots are in Canyon Country. The event was held in the backyards of Sand Canyon residents in its early years, including the inaugural An Evening Under the Stars in 1993 at the home of Carl and Jeri Goldman. The fundraiser has brought numerous musicians to Santa Clarita as feature entertainment, from Christopher Cross to Eddie Money.

This year’s entertainment will be Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience, featuring Kenny Cetera, a former touring member of the original band, Chicago. It will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Valencia Country Club.

The Valencia Country Club is a new location for An Evening Under the Stars. Attendees will enjoy a dinner catered by the golf club and the opportunity to bid on many unique auction items.

The chairman of this year’s event is Scott Schauer, owner of the Santa Clarita Soccer Center, who has been involved with the Foundation for more than 20 years. Visit www.mhf.org for ticket information and to discover what the Michael Hoefflin Foundation is doing in our community.
The Michael Hoefflin Foundation for children’s cancer is a public non-profit that provides financial and emotional support to children and their families in Santa Clarita and surrounding valleys. They strive to educate the public and provide grant funding for innovative research to accelerate progress in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Boston Scientific Makes Donation to Purchase AEDs for Hart School District

| Community | August 3, 2018

The WiSH Education Foundation (WiSH) joined efforts with the Valencia Neuromodulation Division of Boston Scientific to raise funds to purchase additional Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia, and is able to treat them through defibrillation – the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use by anyone to possibly save a life.

AEDs have saved the lives of three students within the Hart School District in the past few years. While most of the high schools have AEDs in the main office and gym, two high schools had only one AED on campus.

If you would like to make a difference in a student’s life, support this ongoing AED fundraising program by making a donation to WiSH at www.WiSHscv.org.

What You Should Do With Your Website

| Community | August 2, 2018

Sometimes, the key to having a successful website is to do things that one would think everybody would automatically do, but for some reason, it doesn’t cross their minds. Do you get referrals? Do you enlist your friends to help you? Do you take advantage of some online tools search engines offer? Do you invite a visitor to your site to actually buy something?

Those are four things everyone should do on their website but maybe don’t. Read on to learn why you should.

1. Get business referrals. If your business has a supplier, or if you work with complementary businesses, ask if you could be placed on its site as a trusted partner or preferred vendor. That way you get additional exposure. Put a link to the supplier’s site on your website. Also, ask clients if they would put you on their sites as a trusted person or preferred vendor. This helps them become a trusted business associate.

2. Use your friends. Everybody has trusted friends or business associates. Why not use them? Have these people look over your site and provide feedback. Be sure to cross gender, age and generational lines, because everybody will see your site a little differently, and their comments and suggestions could provide insights you weren’t aware of, which can lead to new business if you take that information and run with it.

3. Take advantage of what Google offers. You probably know Google is the most visited website on Earth, which means your website needs to be found on Google. One way to do this is to use the services Google offers as part of its marketing and webmaster platforms.

The most common is Google Analytics, which generates detailed statistics about visits to your website, such as tracking visitors from search engines. It also can tell you which pages are most popular and what’s not working, which will help you better target your market.

4. Include a call to action. Visitors are on your site, but they’re not contacting you, maybe because you aren’t telling them to. It might seem silly, but many would-be customers need their hands held through the entire process, so make sure that, at least at the bottom of each page, you tell them to contact you. And make it creative. Everybody has “Click here” or “Contact me” but most don’t have “Call us to find out what the IRS isn’t telling you” or “This can be yours if the price is right.”

These are only a few of the steps that will help you maintain a website that is relevant, search engine-friendly and will get your clients to ultimately contact you. To discover what else can be done to improve your online presence, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Website: www.TAPSolutions.net

Now and Then

| Community | August 2, 2018

Reminder: No matter how comfortable the home, or how idyllic life in the Santa Clarita Valley may seem, everyone needs a vacation now and then. And what could be better than a vacation with the kids and grandkids – in Hawaii – especially if it’s a first visit to the island paradise.

Of course, packed in an airplane like sardines for five-plus hours is not the best start to a long anticipated get-away, but there was an iPhone app for movies and if that wasn’t enough, watching the attendants move up and down the aisles, collecting trash and handing out snacks and drinks (even if the best ones cost money) provided more distraction.

Thanks to the time gained traveling west, our family left L.A. at 8:40 a.m. and rolled onto the Honolulu airstrip sometime before noon – with plenty of daylight left to pick up a rental van; grab a quick bite at a luxurious hotel lounge next to Waikiki; walk around a closely monitored mother seal cordoned off on the people-crowded beach awaiting the birth of her baby; hit the local market for food supplies; arrive one hour later at our rental house on Oahu’s north shore; and still have time to explore our surroundings and get in a swim before bedtime.

The water on our mostly private beach may not have been as warm as that at Waikiki, but the ambience was lush and quiet and the waves were large enough for body and boogie board surfing. And thanks to the super planning skills of son Don, we had a varied schedule of activities interspersed with some of the most glorious beach days.

Botanical trek to a waterfall

Reminder: If a highly recommended zip-lining activity involves an obstacle course between its seven breath-taking “flights,” it would be wise to do some vigorous conditioning before the trip. Being new to the experience, I thought the most challenging feat would be stepping off the boxes perched on the platforms. Lacking the bravado to jump off the box backwards, I found the traditional “facing forward” jumps were just as exhilarating and breathtaking. It was the hand-over-hand halter ascension up to one of the platforms, the climbs up the spiraling staircases to the others, and the off-balance trek along a rope bridge that had me rubbing on the Bengay later that evening.

A hike to a waterfall, an adventure in the hills where “Jurassic Park” was filmed, and a traditional luau followed by a “Breath of Life” musical drama at the local Polynesian Cultural Center were icing on a tropical layer cake of clean air, warm breezes, and days spent laughing and romping with the best travel companions a person could ask for.

Reminder: Though our seven-day adventure depleted our bank accounts a bit, the price we paid was miniscule compared to the price paid by the generations of military men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their well-being and their lives so a family such as ours could enjoy this pleasurable excursion.

Nothing embodied that reality more poignantly than a visit to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial on our last day on Oahu. Newsreels, documentaries, and first-person narratives of that “Day of Infamy” have been replayed so many times over the years that we all should be well versed in the horrific details of the surprise attack that plummeted the United States into World War II. Still it was impossible to stay dry-eyed as we approached the dazzling white memorial straddling the Arizona’s rusting hull, which serves as a tomb for over a thousand sailors, and watched as its own “black tears” bubbled up from the doomed battleship. A solemn memory to store with the many happy ones we brought home with us.

Survey for Housing and Community Development Needs

| Community | August 2, 2018

The City of Santa Clarita’s Housing department is in the process of developing a new five-year Consolidated Plan, and is seeking public input on housing and community development in Santa Clarita. The Housing and Community Development Needs survey, which will be used by the city when applying for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, is available online in both English and Spanish through September 30, 2018, at santa-clarita.com/Housing.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides the City of Santa Clarita with Community Development Block Grant funding to benefit lower-income residents. This survey allows residents to weigh in on the City’s priorities for the next five years and how funding should be distributed to housing, supportive services, community facilities, infrastructure and economic opportunities in 2019-2020.

For more information on the Community Development Block Grant Program or the Housing and Community Development Needs survey, contact Erin Lay, Housing Program Administrator for the City of Santa Clarita, at (661) 286-4174.

Community Blood Drive August 9

| Community | August 2, 2018

City Partners with Red Cross to Help Trauma, Accident and Illness Victims

Blood donations are an ever-present need and just one donation can help save up to three lives. On Thursday, August 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the City of Santa Clarita will partner with the American Red Cross to provide a community blood drive.

The drive will take place in the Century Room at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard. Residents are encouraged to register in advance online at redcrossblood.org to save time, however walk-ins will be accepted.

To donate blood, participants can register online, using sponsor code cityofsantaclarita. After signing up for an appointment and on the day of the blood drive, registrants can use RapidPass at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass, to start the screening process before getting to the City Hall donation site, saving approximately 15 minutes.

On donation day, participants can go directly to the Century Room on the first floor for evaluation, to ensure they are eligible to donate. All participants must have a valid ID to donate.

National statistics from the American Red Cross show that every two seconds someone needs a unit of blood. For information on eligibility and critical donor blood shortages nationwide, visit RedCrossBlood.org. For more information about the Santa Clarita Community Blood Drive event, contact Amanda Santos at (661) 255-4923 or asantos@santa-clarita.com.

Transition at the Santa Clarita Public Libraries

| Community | August 2, 2018

by Tali Radcliffe

There have been recent changes at the City of Santa Clarita’s public libraries, as the branches are now under the jurisdiction of the City of Santa Clarita, instead of the private company Library Systems & Services, LLC (LSSI).

Earlier this year, the city council voted to terminate the contract with Library Systems and Services, LLC, with support from the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library, in order to switch to an independent library operation.

The shift in ownership also resulted in additional changes to library operations. These changes included an interview process for existing staff, as well as new opportunities for people to join the team. Consequently, the library was closed for four days, from July 1-4, to get the staff situated and new employees trained. City Communications Specialist Kevin Strauss stated that the inability to obtain library holds the week before July fourth was also due to this transition.

Those responsible for the oversight of library volunteers, known as Volunteer Coordinators, were discharged as of July 30, and new faces have filled those positions. According to Strauss, those hired “were going through training last week,” and will be taking up their positions relatively soon.

“The City of Santa Clarita is thrilled to have started a new chapter with the Santa Clarita Public Library as the branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia have officially transitioned to locally managed operations,” said Strauss. “Local management will allow us to improve the collection development and acquisition process, as well as shorten the wait times for materials our customers’ requests.”

Library patrons and volunteers are not expected to be affected by these administrative changes. Volunteers will continue to devote their time at the different branches and serve the community to make the library services as quick and easy to use as possible for patrons.

The Santa Clarita Public Library is currently accepting volunteers for programs and events. Interested individuals can register online with the city at SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.

Afternoon T

| Community | July 27, 2018

Q: I graduated college and I’m looking for a job, but my grandma made some comment the other day about watching me to see “exactly what kind of man I’ll be.” I kind of thought getting two degrees was proof enough that I’m not a kid anymore. What the heck? What will it take before I’m considered a real man?

A: Family has a way of saying things that poke us right in the soft spot and we feel about 12 years old, don’t they? Be warned, that feeling may pop up now and again as years go by, no matter how old you get. But you’ve worked so hard to become the man you are today and while we’re all (me too!) proud of you, you’re a work-in-progress. Think of yourself as a large piece of property with a strong, significant foundation with room to expand. While you could live quite well with those specifications, what if you wanted to add a partner and children? To grow properly, you’ll need to add to the original plans and sketches. Expansion is always an option, so why not? As human beings with a heartbeat…that’s our right. Trust me, you inhabit a pretty incredible space and it’s all yours to design and build. Others will most certainly have an opinion about what you make (of yourself), but it’s your castle and you are sovereign. Don’t waste the space and don’t become a slumlord either.

Providing those degrees of yours weren’t architectural in nature, let’s look at the basic blueprints of being a human being, shall we?

The philosopher Plato gave some solid information about the basic nature of human beings, which tells us a thing or two about the ‘clay’ we’re working with. He said there are basically three classes of people: 1) Lovers of Wisdom, 2) Lovers of Honor and 3) Lovers of Gain. I believe we have the capacity to embody all three of those traits when assembling our ultimate selves, but only used in that exact order. First, be the person who seeks knowledge in all things, not just going to classes to study underwater basket weaving or whatever your chosen profession. Spend your life being a sponge for information from credible sources (I will rant another day about medical quackery and opinions of any loud-mouthed ignoramus with a digital platform) and have an open-mind to always learn more, especially about your fellow man. Being knowledgeable about others is the key that opens the door for honor, because it will lead you to treat others with respect, dignity and fairness which leads to your being an honorable person. If you’re wise and honorable, people will likely want to work with/for you … resulting in gain.

As the Blue Fairy told Pinocchio, “Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy.” Follow Plato’s recipe to add on to the fantastic foundation you’re already built, then you’ll be the “real” deal, my already fabulous friend.
xo – t.

Effective Websites

| Community | July 27, 2018

Want to have the most effective website for your business? There are so many things you need to do to ensure that customers can find you and then partake of your services. Read on for a few more tips.

1) Make sure your site looks good on all browsers. Use different browsers to access your website. There are so many web browsers on the market today: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, etc. You want to make sure that your website is compatible with all of them on all your platforms (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.).

Browsers are like interpreters. Let’s say you have a document you need translated into another language. If you give the same document to three people, each person’s translation might be ever so slightly different. Browsers work the same way. If they interpret the website code differently, your site may look great on Firefox and look very different on Internet Explorer. So, make sure your site looks great across different platforms and systems. A web designer has the tools to ensure that happens.

2) Keep the content on all pages current and pertinent. An updated site makes your site look fresh, more attractive to prospective customers and gives them reasons to return. Let’s say you’re advertising a sale and the sale ends on a certain date. Make sure you change the content once the sale ends so your site continues to be as up-to-date as possible.

Did you know your search engine rankings are higher when the site is current? Here are two things to do to keep your site updated:

a) Make sure all links go to where they’re supposed to. Links to websites don’t last forever, so at least once a month you should click on every link to see if it’s still working. If it’s not, fix or delete it. If a potential client tries a link and it fails, it could give that person a negative opinion of your site, and bye-bye business!

b) Insert new content frequently. You don’t have to rewrite a page/website each time. If you simply change the wording, or even a graphic element or two, your site will continue to look fresh and potentially helps your ranking with the search engines. Adding a new page also is a great idea. But make sure what you add is relevant to your site and your subject matter.

Having a website is necessary, but you need to take various steps to guarantee your website is working at maximum effectiveness.

To discover what else can be done to improve your online presence, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Or visit his website: www.TAPSolutions.net

McDonald’s Employees Hold 45-Year Reunion ‘Their kind of place … such a happy place’

| Community | July 26, 2018

If you lived in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s and spent any time at the “Golden Arches,” you may have ordered your burger and fries from members of an exclusive group of teenagers. And if so, you probably got the best food service of your life.

For a few years between “You deserve a break today” (1971) and “We do it all for you” (1975) there was a team of young people working at the McDonald’s Corbin Village with a work ethic rivaled by members of the military. Under the tutelage of manager Rich Indresano, who some say was “the best we ever worked for,” this group of about a dozen people bonded around a set of ideals that’s lasted almost half a century.

That’s what they celebrated last Saturday at Wolf Creek Brewery in Santa Clarita – a 45th reunion from their days at McDonald’s in Woodland Hills.

It was organized by Russ “Beak” Briley, former executive VP, community relations and audience development at The Signal newspaper. He not only booked the site, sent the invitations, and arranged food and beverages, Briley held a tongue-in-cheek ceremony where he awarded personalized gag gifts to each of his former fellow employees. Memories were not limited to antics on the job, however. They ranged from weekends at Lake Nacimiento to ribbing about the cars they drove (Impala and Vega were mentioned). And their former boss, Rich Indresano, was awarded an official McDonald’s golf bag signed by his former employees.

Beloved by the team, Indresano was more than just a workplace superior. For instance, when Briley was a teen, his mother died and he went to live with a sister in Woodland Hills, escaping an abusive stepfather and coping with social acceptance at a new school.

“I got a job at McDonald’s and everything changed,” he said. “I became great friends with these people and we were inseparable for three years. We would get off work at McDonald’s, go shower, and meet back at work and go out.”

Briley’s new friends helped him overcome a lot of baggage, but it was also the support of Indresano that made a difference.

“Rich, I felt, always knew that I had a rough past and became a surrogate father over those three years, at least in my mind,” Briley explained. “He helped me over a few personal issues, as well as taught me a work ethic while giving us space, knowing we were 18-year-old kids.”

Briley left McDonald’s to work at Magic Mountain for a 35-cent-an-hour raise.

“After two weeks I walked into McDonald’s on a Friday night and Rich was working,” Briley said. “He walked over and without me saying a word, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You are working tomorrow 12 to 8! Be on time.’”

Many members of the old McDonald’s gang graduated from UCLA, including Al Overholt Marsh, a bacteriology major who became a teacher and retired as an assistant principal. He posted the following comments to his friends following the reunion:

“Incredible, isn’t it, that a few years of our lives at a fast food restaurant begot our coming of age, our outstanding work ethic, our knowledge of a value of a dollar because we had to work an hour for one, our growth as individuals, team players, and future leaders, knowing what a family is outside our own, life-long friends and memories, and even partners for life, ‘til death do you part.”

Several marriages resulted from the ‘70s McDonald’s team, and their occupations were a testament to the drive these teenagers had – both then and now. The group includes two medical doctors, a water sports expert, attorney, VP at Universal Orlando, coal mining management, sales exec, race car driver, auto parts chain owner, SFV real estate broker, a judge, newspaper exec and vice-principal.

Cindy Ulfig of Santa Clarita, a deputy DA for 15 years, was one of the first females hired by McDonald’s. She wasn’t allowed to work after 8 p.m. and, therefore, couldn’t be promoted to manager, so she left after a year.

“You learn to follow rules,” Ulfig said of the combined success of the former McDonald’s employees. “I think a lot of it was because it was customer service, you had to deal with people, get out of your zone, work with others.”

San Francisco attorney Marc Litton caught up with old friends.

Marc Litton, a UCLA grad and an attorney in San Francisco, went to West Africa with the Peace Corps a few years after working at McDonald’s.

“We worked the night shift mostly and it was a crazy, crazy time,” he said of his McDonald’s experience. “It was a company store, as opposed to a franchise, and inspectors could come … all kinds of crazy things happened on the night shift.”

Tom Burnett was promoted to manager, but was equally a member of the clan.

“We all clicked,” he said. “We’d go to Don Breheer’s parents’ house … we’d have ping pong tournaments that would last until three in the morning.”

As for the franchise, Burnett sees a big difference between the McDonald’s then compared to today.

“It’s a total business now,” he said. “Back then – remember the old McDonald’s, the old fishbowls, where everyone was watching you? We all felt that.”

After Reseda High School, Burnett also became a UCLA Bruin, and though he majored in linguistics, he followed his love of cars to become owner of a chain of auto parts stores.

Another unusual piece of history for this former McDonald’s crew is that two of the men – brothers Tim and Mike McNicoll – both became medical doctors.Dr. Tim McNicoll amused his reunion friends by showing up in his McDonald’s uniform shirt.

One didn’t have to be a member of this exclusive “club” to feel the affection between the men and women who attended the reunion. Big smiles and hours of stories said it all. And if any of this special group of McDonald’s veterans have followed their old workplace into its future incarnation, you can probably predict what they’re saying about their evening together:

“I’m lovin’ it!”

Free Health and Dental for Homeless

| Community | July 26, 2018

Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc. and Bridge to Home joined forces last month to offer health and dental screenings to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, as well as others in need.

The Bridge to Health Fair took place at SDFHC’s Newhall Health Center, where medical and dental professionals provided on-site health screenings that included body-mass indexing, blood pressure checks, blood glucose checks, vision testing, dental screenings, tuberculosis and STI testing, mental health counseling, substance use case management referral services, and healthcare enrollment.

“The past few years we have been fortunate to expand our services to meet the growing need of our community, in particular the underserved, uninsured and the increasing homeless population,” said SDFHC’s Chief Executive Officer Philip Solomon. “Partnering with Bridge to Home for this event helped us reach 39 individuals who were in need of our services. That makes this first-time event a huge success.”

Single Mothers Outreach, the domestic violence program of the Child & Family Center, and College of the Canyons were also present to offer the participants information and resources available to them. Everyone in attendance was treated to complimentary coffee and lunch sponsored by Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell.

Established in 1980 and named in honor of longtime Val Verde resident and minister, the late Reverend Samuel Dixon, SDFHC is the only non-profit health center founded and based in the Santa Clarita Valley serving the greater Santa Clarita Valley and nearby communities. Services include primary healthcare, dental, behavioral health counseling and healthcare enrollment services to all, with a special emphasis on serving the un-served, underserved, and the uninsured. Free programs are available for the entire family in both English and Spanish. Medi-Cal, Medicare, private insurances, in addition to local programs benefiting the uninsured, are all accepted. Although a sliding fee scale is available to those who are uninsured, no person is ever refused service because of an inability to pay. For more information, visit www.sdfhc.org.

Bridge to Home provides a variety of community services in its comprehensive “housing first approach” for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Santa Clarita Valley, helping them transition from emergency to permanent housing through case management, housing navigation, and medical clinics. Bridge to Home is funded through contracts with 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. To help support healthcare needs in the Santa Clarita Valley, or to find out more about needed donations and volunteering at Bridge To Home, visit BtoHome.org, or email volunteers@btohome.org.

Creativity Advocacy – Creativity and Transcendence

| Community | July 20, 2018

by Rene Urbanovich

I love creative visualization as much as the next guy. I think it saved my life, in fact. Well, not my life, but my livelihood, at least. I had always heard about visualization; being raised in the seventies, the E.S.P. movement was pretty prominent, at least in my memory. Later, in the Evangelical church, I heard about the desert fathers and read Christian books by teachers like Richard Foster who proposed visualizations. So it was something I dabbled in during prayer, without knowing much.

When I was fifteen, I developed nodules on my vocal cords from screaming as Ermengarde in Hello Dolly. Those nodes caused me to struggle with hoarseness for years. Though there are many parts that contributed to my healing, I’m here to tell you that the visualizations given to me by my voice therapist, Joanna Cazden, are what changed me the most. She gave me a little cassette tape that coached me through walking into a room made of my vocal folds, where I was told to lay hands on the walls, apologize to them for so many years of abuse/misuse and express how grateful I was to have them. I was really sick of being hoarse (especially since I was a voice teacher) and this woman was an established professional in the medical field, not some kookie hippie, so I went with it.

I haven’t been hoarse since.

This healing happened while I was in school working on my BA in Creativity studies. Concurrently, I was writing papers on creative process, creative people and creative purpose.

I learned that Creative visualization is not some New Age or Eastern Religious practice. In the western world during the 1800s, philosophers and artists known as the Romantics dedicated their lives to this activity.

Back when poets and philosophers were exploring meditations on art and beauty, “transcendence” meant rising above sadness; escaping sin; releasing pain; discovering beauty amidst suffering. And by God, there was a lot of suffering. People were dying right and left of tuberculosis, disease, war, childbirth, you name it.

These artists were called the Romantics because they argued that beyond earthly existence was a higher truth—one that had been created by the Absolute. Here is a great quote for anyone who follows the history of Creativity: “Romantics believed that … all creation participates in eternal truth and all things are part of the whole and of each other … and since all creation has a common origin, a thorough and careful observation of any part may give insights into the whole.” The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer taught that intentionally connecting—communing—with art and beauty offered redemptive qualities, not only for the inherent beauty and truth that it possessed, but because of the inspiring experience it provided for the audience. It gave a momentary release from the divisive forces of every day existence and an opportunity to connect with Creation, or the whole. To connect with art meant to contemplate a thing of beauty and truth—to interact with one’s own imagination.

From where I sit, we regularly connect with art—mostly music and film. Sometimes the art is full of truth and beauty (the CG movie CoCo comes to mind) and sometimes not (The Ring—ugh!). Of course, a lot of people believe in visualization and meditation now. People use that “happy place” to help with bad moods, traffic, lost keys and a whole lot of other stuff. Even without the help of the masters, so to speak; it has finally become a part of our culture.

I sometimes wonder if we might inadvertently use art as an escape instead of a way to connect. We want to sort of numb ourselves to the stresses in our lives. Instead, we could tap into our imagination. The mission of Creativity is to connect us with the whole. Using our mind to connect with a work of art or with nature serves us individually by lowering our blood pressure and relieving stress. It connects us with the transcendent nature of art too, whether it’s a meaningful song or a poignant movie. We share in these experiences, sometimes with friends and family, which connects us to one another. Next time you find yourself being soothed by a beautiful ballad on Spotify, or lose all track of time during a captivating film, take note that you are touching the transcendent properties of Creativity.

More Lights, Camera, Action in Santa Clarita

| Community | July 19, 2018

The City of Santa Clarita saw an increase in on-location filming in Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (July 2017 to June 2018), with the Film Office recording 560 film permits and 1377 film days, which generated an estimated $33.1 million in economic impact to the local community. This represents a 2.8 percent increase in permits, an 8.9 percent increase in film days and a 9.8 percent increase to the estimated economic impact when compared to Fiscal Year 2016-2017.

This is the fifth consecutive fiscal year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone. Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from filming that take place on certified sound stages, which does not require a film permit.

“We’re happy that production has remained so steady and Santa Clarita continues to be a top choice for location filming,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “We are proud that the film industry plays a big part in our local economy, supporting hundreds of area businesses and providing high paying jobs to thousands of our local residents. Being a film-friendly community continues to be a priority for our City Council and we will continue to do everything we can to keep the cameras rolling in ‘Hollywood North’ to ensure our unique and beautiful valley remains a preferred place for production.”

More than half of the filming days for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 were attributed to television production, many of which were from local Santa Clarita-based shows including “Atypical,” “Future Man,“ “Good Trouble,” “Mayans MC,” “MythBusters,” “NCIS,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Shooter,” “Shut Eye,” “Ultimate Beastmaster” and “Westworld.”

Other television shows that filmed on location in Santa Clarita last fiscal year included “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “American Horror Story: Cult,” “American Housewife,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Arrested Development,” “Baskets,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Camping,” “Casual,” “Champs vs. Stars,” “Criminal Minds,” “Fear Factor,” “Get Shorty,” “Ghosted,” “Goliath,” “Here and Now,” “Jay Leno’s Garage,” “LA to Vegas,” “The Last Ship,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Modern Family,” “My Cat from Hell,” “Navy SEALs,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Orville,” “Reverie,” “Scorpion,” “SEAL Team,” “Silicon Valley,” “The OA,” “This is Us,” “Timeless,” “Too Old to Die Young,” “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.,” “Young Sheldon” and many more.

TV shows weren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita filming locations. Many movies shot in the City last fiscal year including, “12 Strong,” “The 15:17 to Paris,” “Ad Astra,” “Backseat,” “Bird Box,” “Book Club,” “Charlie Says,” “Clemency,” “The Family Business,” “The Happytime Murders,” “Honey Boy,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Miss Virginia,” “Rogue Warfare,” “Semper Fi,” “Silencer,” “Untitled Dan Gilroy Project” and more, in addition to multiple music videos, lots of online content, countless commercials and still photo shoots.

Santa Clarita is consistently one of the most filmed places in California because it’s located within the industry’s well-known 30-Mile Zone and offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world. In addition, Santa Clarita has more than 20 sound stages, more than 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office and some of the lowest film permitting fees in the Los Angeles area.

Several other factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s own Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone. In addition, the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program was recently extended and is working to keep production in the state and in the SCV.

For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425. For an insider’s view to filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

‘The Stolen Collection’ Prevent Property Theft by Securing Valuables

| Community | July 19, 2018

An unsuspecting couple leaves their car window rolled down on a hot summer day, to keep the vehicle cool while they quickly pop into a store. Knowing what a safe community Santa Clarita is, they leave a purse under the front seat, while a laptop is left on the floor in the back. What they don’t know is a thief is lurking in the parking lot, looking for easy targets. In the five minutes it takes to complete their purchase at the store, two new items have been added to “The Stolen Collection.”

Santa Clarita was recently ranked as one of the Top 10 cities in the United States using FBI crime data, with the least amount of property crime, by Reviews.org,. In an effort to keep property crime in the Santa Clarita Valley low and help residents protect their valuables, the City of Santa Clarita and Santa Clarity Valley Sheriff’s Station have partnered to bring a new public safety campaign to the city.

The Stolen Collection aims to prevent crime by sharing safety tips with residents so they can protect their personal property. The campaign has a goal of decreasing the number of thefts from vehicles and homes in Santa Clarita.

In Santa Clarita, there were a total of 3,216 property crime reports in 2017. Of those, 454 reports involved theft from unlocked vehicles. An additional 523 reports were made for vehicle burglaries where a window was smashed or a door lock was pried. In nearly all of those cases, items of value were left in plain view within the vehicle.

Residents are encouraged to check that vehicle windows are completely rolled up and doors are locked, every time they park. In addition to ensuring that valuables are kept out of sight, it is recommended that car interiors are completely clean and organized, to show thieves there is nothing worth stealing.

Theft from vehicles does not only occur at crowded venues. When at home, parking a car in the garage and locking the doors adds extra security and makes it harder for criminals to add items to The Stolen Collection.

The Stolen Collection campaign features advertising around Santa Clarita and public outreach through local media outlets. Residents are asked to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Station if they see someone trying to add to The Stolen Collection.

Learn more about “The Stolen Collection” by visiting SCStolenCollection.com.

Eliminating Money Stress in Your Kids

| Community | July 19, 2018

The kids in your life are stressed out, and financial stress is a big part of this.

I know what you’re thinking. “But my kids (or grandkids) don’t even have jobs yet, or bills and expenses. So how can they have stress around money?”

When you have stress around money and finances, the children in your life pick up on it. Whether they are three years old or seventeen, they know when money is an issue at home. There are many reasons why you might be feeling financial stress. You may have suffered a job layoff in the past year, had to take a cut in salary or benefits just to keep your job, or you may just be having a hard time finding a new job that compensates you enough to keep up with inflation. In fact, it’s not unusual for people to have worked at the same job without a raise for years. And while income isn’t increasing, the cost of living is. Money stress can also happen when you have a large amount of debt. As the bills stack up and your paycheck doesn’t seem to cover all of them, you may feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

Your kids will react in a variety of ways when they pick up on their parents’ financial problems, and here are some ways to handle these situations when it hits home.

Children will sometimes withdraw, avoiding friends and social situations. Encourage them to spend time with the people and activities they enjoy.

Young people are more attuned to situations than you might believe. Schedule a time with your spouse to sit down with your children for an open and honest discussion. Assure them that they are your first priority and that you are doing what is necessary to get back on track financially.

Many kids will react to financial stress by acting out and engaging in risky behavior. Make it clear that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated and that you are there for them now and always.

Feelings of helplessness may occur in older children. They feel like they would like to help with the family’s financial problems but are unsure how to do this. Discuss some age appropriate options for them to be included in what is going on at home right now.

And those feelings of helplessness can also cause havoc with your child’s and your own health. Stress you carry for a long period of time can be detrimental to your health, causing problems with the immune system, energy levels, and can even cause an increased risk for cancer and heart disease. It’s critical that you handle stress in an appropriate way so that your money stress won’t turn into a life changing illness for you or another family member.

Plan weekly outings with your children to fight off physical fatigue and keep everyone’s immune system healthy. We are fortunate here in Santa Clarita to be surrounded by parks and trails that can be accessed all year long. These times together could be the catalyst for change within your family as you work through issues together. Remember that your financial problems don’t have to be permanent. You can learn to manage your money and time will help you to improve your situation.

Finally, you need to learn money management skills so that you can eventually relieve the stress you feel from money. When you finally address the problem, you’ll feel better quickly. Just getting the problem out in the open and determining what it will take to solve the problem is sometimes enough to improve your mental and physical health. If you don’t know where to turn, try reading some financial improvement books, talking to a friend, or attending a community workshop. Santa Clarita has many opportunities for us all to learn more about money and finances, and including your children as much as possible will be a positive step.

Stress is a natural part of life. Help your child to understand how to work through it during times of financial struggle and they will carry this knowledge with them and pass in on to generations to come.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Living the Mentored Life is her sixteenth book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Stone Fruit Season at The Farmers’ Market

| Community | July 19, 2018

Besides warm, sunny days and lazy afternoons, summertime also brings delicious stone fruits to the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Markets.

Mizuno Farms is currently offering fresh peaches, plums, nectarines, pluots and apricots. They will also be bringing their first crops of grapes to market and expect to have their fresh fruit offerings through Labor Day. “With all the weather changes we have seen this year, some varieties have great eye appeal and are quite tasty while others don’t have all the same flavor as before,” stated Gregory Mizuno. “Still, we are having a good season with a lot to choose from despite the weather,” he added. Mizuno Farms can be found at the Downtown Ventura Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings and at the Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons site on Sunday mornings.

Fair Hills Farms also brings a variety of stone fruits to the farmers’ market. They include yellow peaches, white and yellow nectarines, and white donut peaches. Other fruits include apricots, purple plums, and many varieties of pluots consisting of plum/apricot mixes as well as a new variety – a plum-cherry mix.

Also known for their apples, Fair Hills Farms will offer their Gala variety mid to end of July. Other varieties will follow and will be available year-round. They include Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Cameo Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Jonagold, and more. “The apples are staggered as to when they are ready to be picked and how the weather impacts the fruit as well,” stated Nancy Rydell of Fair Hills Farms. “Shoppers will find a great variety to choose from, from the most popular to the lesser known varieties,” she added. Fair Hills Farms products can be found at the Downtown Ventura Farmers’ Market and at the Oaks Shopping Center on Thursday afternoons.

For more information on stone fruit season, call 805-529-6266, or visit the website at www.vccfarmersmarkets.com.

About the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association

The Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association serves the community of Ventura with two Markets -Wednesdays at the Pacific View Mall, front west parking lot on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Saturdays in Downtown Ventura on the corners of East Santa Clara and Palm Streets from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The Thousand Oaks Farmers’ Market is held Thursdays at The Oaks Shopping Center at the east end parking lot, Wilbur Road and Thousand Oaks Boulevard from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. Santa Clarita Farmers’ Market is held on Sundays at the College of the Canyons, parking lot 5 on Valencia Boulevard from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Around the World in 80 Paintings

| Community, Entertainment | July 19, 2018

Six Santa Clarita Artists Association members were accepted for the La Galeria Gitana exhibit, Around the World in 80 Paintings. Opening night with artists is August 11, with a reception from 6 to 9:00 p.m. This exhibit will be on display until September 21. Art enthusiasts and connoisseurs are welcomed to celebrate with wine, refreshments and lots of art talk.

Jane Mick is an award-winning fine art painter in oil. Texture in her paintings adds dimension and interest. “My painting is titled ‘Paris’. I love to create art with a creative flare of interest and fun. My website is JaneMick.com.”

Painting by Mardilan Georgio

Mardilan Georgio – “Nature is a strong theme in much of my art, especially in watercolors. The human face and body in motion is a favorite theme for my charcoal work. ‘Laundry Day in Kotor’ is a watercolor of a medieval village in Montenegro off the Adriatic Sea where time has stood still. My webpage is: https://www.santaclaritaartists.org/mardi-georgio.html.”

Debra Zednik – “My painting, ‘Wabash Ave, Chicago,’ is an acrylic with impressionist influence, inspired by light and reflections of people in the street.”

Painting by Olga Kaczmar

Olga Kaczmar is a portrait, animal and landscape artist. “I’m thrilled that my watercolor seascape of ‘Nubble Lighthouse in a Storm’ was accepted. I have over 300 art pieces uploaded at: https://fineartamerica.com/artists/olga+kaczmar.html.”

Dody Rogers – ‘Near Tuscany’ is Rogers’ oil exhibit. “Traveling to many countries and enjoying California outdoors has given me photo opportunities and oil painting subjects.” See: https://www.santaclaritaartists.org/dody-rogers.html

Mike Farrell will be exhibiting with his pen and ink stipple art titled ‘Chimney Sweeps’.

La Galeria Gitana is located at 120 N Maclay Ave. Ste. E, in San Fernando. Angela Phillips is the director/curator. For more information, go to

Painting by Jane Mick


Afternoon T

| Community | July 19, 2018

by T. Katz

Q: Why are friendships so tough? I have a lot of friends and it bothers me that some of them don’t like each other and won’t behave at parties or holiday gatherings at my house. I don’t think I should have to pick and choose who can and cannot attend. We’re all adults, but they act like we’re still in junior high. Why can’t people just get along?

A: Yours isn’t the first party of people-who-don’t-behave. Pick up a newspaper, or turn on the television, and you’ll see people of every walk of life behaving badly. A whole batch of ‘em seem incapable of employing any level of kindergarten kindness or even basic old-fashioned playground civility. Junior High indeed! The time period between 11 and 14 years old, though painful, is important to developmental well-being. Everyone flung together, having to work through “playground politics.” [Yup. It’s a real thing. Google it. There’s even a wonderful book by the same name, written by Dr. Stanley Greenspan.] It is through those machinations you work out your independent identity, discover some of what you believe and see exactly what you are made of (despite the rivalries borne from this turbulent time).

But, let’s go back even further, to the earliest years of friendships. Do you remember some of the rules? Why, one of the simplest of requests we had to adhere to, from toddlerhood, was “Keep your hands to yourself!” Darned if that doesn’t seem to have been forgotten, from the looks of national headlines and picket signs. Small wonder then, that the sandbox of friendship now more resembles a kitty litter box, with all the messes to sort through when it comes to unpleasant personalities. Shovel in social media posts, heated discourse (often fueled by erroneous, hateful information) and electronic firewalls that cowardly bullies tend to hide behind, and playground politics become nuclear zones. Childish behavior, at its worst.

Not long ago, a woman I know drew a metaphorical line in the sand of our friendship, because she despises a couple of folks in my contact list. This woman dressed me down and told me that I’d chosen my “camp.” Camp!? Like the kayaking, tent-dwelling, smore-making Camp Runamucka? Nope. Turns out she meant like an enemy camp where it seems a Hatfield & McCoy level of feuding was going on. How does one work out a table seating chart at the next gathering with THAT kind of hostility?

You don’t.

Research shows that trying to “make everybody happy” in relationships can shorten your lifespan. So, howzabout you truly examine your relationships as though it were a matter of life or death? Yours, not theirs. Sit down with your next Backyard BBQ Guest List and honestly assess which category those relationships fall into: Supportive? Ambivalent? Indifferent? Negative? You’re an adult now. Take care of yourself like parents, teachers and campus supervisors did when you were a kid. Your overall health, physically and psychologically, depends on having quality, not quantity, when it comes to relationships.

xo – t.

Homelessness Issues and the City Responds to Alan Ferdman

| Community | July 19, 2018

Contrary to the information in the article by Alan Ferdman, the draft Community Plan to Address Homelessness is an action plan – designed by and bought into by 30 local stakeholders, crafted specifically for the Santa Clarita community. The plan includes 15 goals and 21 action-specific items, complete with detailed timelines for implementation and specific responsibilities assigned to local service providers.

  • The stakeholders involved in developing the plan participated in individual one-on-one interviews and a two-day planning session to identify gaps in current services and develop action items to effectively address homelessness in Santa Clarita.
  • As was provided by the L.A. County planning process, the City of Santa Clarita was represented at the initial Measure H funding discussions, by the representative from the North County Region and by the San Fernando Valley Coalition of Governments.
    The Homeless Ad Hoc Committee of the City Council was designed and intended to meet when needed to best address the constantly changing environment of Measure H and homeless issues. These meetings are in addition to the regular monthly meetings City staff has with Bridge to Home.
  • The City of Santa Clarita has transferred approximately $1 million worth of land to Bridge to Home for a permanent year-round shelter. In addition, Bridge to Home continues to receive funding from the city and the Fifth District Supervisor Barger’s Office. This includes funding for water/sewer connections at their current site.
  • In just over a year since Measure H was passed, Bridge to Home has already been approved for more than $1 million in Measure H funding for operations and development.
  • The draft Community Plan to Address Homelessness identifies six areas of greatest need. In addition to lack of a permanent shelter and affordable housing, the plan also identifies gaps in mental health services, coordination, collaboration and the need for a more accurate homeless count.
  • Mental health and drug addiction are included in the plan. There are currently limited health and dental care options available, which is why they were not identified as primary gaps in the local continuum of care.

The draft Community Plan to Address Homelessness can be viewed at santa-clarita.com/homeless. Please share your input by emailing homeless@santa-clarita.com before August 22.

Community Invited to Review Draft of Community Plan to Address Homelessness

The City of Santa Clarita has been making efforts to help those experiencing homelessness in our community. Upon receiving a planning grant from the County of Los Angeles, the city hired a research group to develop a comprehensive solutions plan to address and combat homelessness. After nearly three months of research, meetings and interviews, a draft of the Community Plan to Address Homelessness has been completed.

The public has an opportunity to weigh in on the plan and be part of the solution. The draft is available for review and comment until Wednesday, August 22. The plan is available at santa-clarita.com/homeless – for questions or comments, email homeless@santa-clarita.com. This plan outlines a community approach and highlights the need for collaboration to make a true and lasting impact on homelessness.

“This plan represents the culmination of months of work and discussions involving the key service providers in our community,” said Councilmember Cameron Smyth. “Reading through the draft of the plan, it is very evident that this is not something the City can take on alone. This plan requires buy in and support from dozens of non-profits, faith based organizations, school districts and more. By coming together and committing to these action items, we will be able to make significant progress toward helping those experiencing homelessness in Santa Clarita.”

“I am thrilled to see the great strides our City, and community, have made toward helping our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean. “We recently purchased and transferred $1 million worth of land to Bridge to Home. This land is adjacent to the property where the temporary shelter currently is, and provides enough space for a new, permanent, year-round shelter with resources, services and the help and support our homeless so desperately need.”

To find out more about what the City of Santa Clarita is doing to address homelessness, including forming the Homeless Ad Hoc Committee of the City Council, funding affordable housing and more, visit santa-clarita.com/homeless.

The Basics of SEO

| Community | July 12, 2018

Every truly successful business has a website. But just having a website isn’t enough. The best websites have various attributes that make it easy to find on your favorite search engine.

You must have a complete Search Engine Optimization system, including keywords and meta tags. The following is a summary of these all-important features.

SEO is absolutely critical to your website being found on search engines. But did you know there are two components to SEO?

The first components are the words on your website. These are called keywords. You need to determine which words people are typing into search engines to find you, and if you don’t know those descriptive words, there are tools online to help you with this process. Chances are you have some idea, because your industry has certain terms everybody uses. That’s a good place to start.

One more thing about keywords: You have to seamlessly integrate them into your copy. Otherwise, search engines will know what you’re doing and punish you by ranking your pages lower or dropping them altogether (remember, the trick is to be on the first page of the search engine). So, if you have to hire a copywriter to help you, it’s a good idea.

Another component to SEO is the computer aspect. This is done by web designers, who use something called “meta tags.” These are the information about the website page that search engines and directories use to help index your site. The most basic meta tags are your site’s title, description and keywords. Make sure you have meta tags for each website page, and make sure they’re spelled the way you intend and are customized for that specific page. Improper spelling could mean a would-be customer misses your page because he spelled the keyword right and you didn’t.

SEO is only one of the steps that will help you maintain a website that is relevant, search engine-friendly and will get your clients to ultimately contact you. To discover what else can be done to improve your online presence, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Or visit his website at www.TAPSolutions.net

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