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Santa Clarita Gazette and Free Classifieds is a locally owned weekly publication. Each week you will find news, opinion, restaurant reviews and more plus over 200 classified ads online and in print! Each week’s issue is printed and distributed on Thursdays and Fridays, the full edition is also here on the web site on Thursdays as a page flip. All of the articles and classified ads are online and display ads are printed and appear on various pages of the web site to correspond with the print ad.

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Posts / Recent blog posts

All Hail The Quarterback-in-Chief

| Gazette | 19 hours ago

by Blair Bess

Once again, our fearless leader has insinuated himself into the national dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, the president is entitled to his opinion, just as you are or I am. The difference, however, is that when words are impulsively spouted by someone in a position of leadership, the message being conveyed sometimes sounds ominous.

While criticizing the separation of powers to a talk radio host earlier this month, President Trump whined about his inability by law to direct the FBI and Justice Department in matters related to criminal or civil investigations. He stated emphatically, “I’m the only one who counts!”

Not according to the Constitution.

The president’s latest distraction from corruption investigations, as well as domestic and world affairs, is once again the NFL — specifically, Oakland Raiders’ running back Marshawn Lynch. Apparently, the Quarterback-in-Chief was dismayed by Lynch’s standing for the Mexican national anthem, while sitting it out for the “Star Spangled Banner” during this past Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, in Mexico City.

In the wake of published photos showing Lynch allegedly dissing the flag, the president proclaimed that he should be suspended from play. It’s apparent the president has never personally tangled with energized Raiders fans. While respectful in their own inimitable fashion, they do not take lightly slings and arrows launched against their beloved team. This was in evidence during a ferocious battle between Raiders fans and Miami Dolphins fans a few weeks back.

The brawlers in question, unfortunately, did not have members of the Secret Service in between them. It was brutal. Had the president attended the game, he may very well have cheered them on, especially if one of the maligned fans was wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap.

During the ‘70s, another presidential Armchair Quarterback – one who failed to earn a varsity letter when he played in college – regularly called then-head coaches George Allen of the Washington Redskins and Don Shula of the Dolphins to offer advice. Yes, former President Richard Nixon took time away from plotting bombing missions over Laos to strategize over the downfield movements of players with those who knew better. But, hey, he was the President of the United States.

There is a difference, however. Nixon offered behind-the-scenes opinions, unwanted or unsolicited though they may have been. Trump dictates. Publicly. There is a distinction between private opinion versus public edict. While many readers may share the president’s sentiments, he huffs, puffs, and thrusts out his chin, Mussolini-like, before launching broadsides at whoever he deems to be his enemy.

Take, for instance, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, the latest casualty of inappropriate behavior. Evidently, sexual misconduct is not reserved solely for church-going Republican conservatives like Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore. Democrats and liberals are equally as culpable when committing this type of an offense. As is the president.

Tweeting and opining away about matters regarding unwanted touching, groping, grabbing, and molestation is a hot topic the president should probably avoid. But he can’t. Even when there is clear indication that claims related to the president’s own intrusiveness and unwanted sexual advances is documented on tape.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, whether the subject matter of a photo are the actions of a U.S. Senator or those of a professional football player. In the president’s case, however, a thousand words, more or less – even spoken off-camera – are equally as telling as pictures. The president’s taxed and selective memory probably doesn’t include his infamous bus ride with reporter Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood,” where he confessed that he could do anything. Of a daytime television actress: “I did try to ‘F’ her.” (For the sake of propriety, I removed a few letters.)

How about this gem: “…I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Sounds like something Sen. Franken and candidate Moore have been accused of and might believe.

Or the most infamous of all: “Grab ‘em by the p—y. You can do anything.”

Which is clearly how he feels about being president. To the umpteenth degree. Nice to know when the person in question possesses the ability to blow the entire planet to kingdom come.

Many readers familiar with scripture may recognize this verse from John 8:7. “Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone…” The president is probably unfamiliar with one of the great cultural, moral, and religious lessons of all time.

When asked by a radio talk show host during his presidential campaign whether he had a favorite Bible verse, candidate Trump replied: “An eye for an eye.” Which Jesus actually repudiated during his Sermon on the Mount. Makes sense that this is President Trump’s favorite verse, though. “An eye for an eye” is the guiding principle of his life. That and “lock her up.”

Words count. Words matter. But when issued as commands and decrees by the President of the United States, we are on the threshold of tyranny.

Non-Profit of the Week: The Gentle Barn

| SC Living | November 22, 2017

We live in a concrete, violent, noisy, high tech, busy world. We have lost our connection to animals, to nature, and most of all, to ourselves. Animals are living lives of torment from beginning to end, their cries are unheard, their pain is unseen, and they are suffering. The rate of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes has never been higher. The rain forests are being destroyed, we are in a global drought, we are polluting our air, and species go extinct every day. But by having reverence for all life and by reconnecting with Mother Earth we each can change all that. At The Gentle Barn we stand up for the innocent, and we help animals and children alike remember that they matter. We open people’s hearts to the connections with nature. We open people’s minds to what is happening around us. And we inspire people to be an integral part of the solution. Through the stories and interactions with our animals, we can raise future generations to have reverence for all life, protect our planet, live good, healthy, happy lives, and we will all be closer to having peace on earth!

The Gentle Barn is an educational facility that teaches children about animals in a way that will change their perspectives about themselves and the world around them. Staff members seek to show children that even though we all look different, we are all the same inside. Every living being has language and needs food, water, shelter and love. Programs at The Gentle Barn teach the children why roosters crow, why pigs love mud, why goats chew, and how each species communicates through body language. At The Gentle Barn kids gain an understanding of animals, see how much they have in common with them, and get to expand their empathy for all living beings.

The Gentle Barn is currently located in Los Angeles, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, and St Louis, Missouri. It is open to the public once a week for guests to hug the cows, give the pigs tummy rubs, cuddle the turkeys, feed the horses, hold the chickens, and learn their stories of resilience. During the rest of the week The Gentle Barn is available for private tours, VIP all day tours, school field trips, birthday parties, groups of at risk, inner city, and special needs kids, and special events.

“We believe that animals can provide unconditional love, kindness, and a non-judgmental attitude to all,” says The Gentle Barn website. “The animals at The Gentle Barn have so much love to give back, and we believe they are perfect for people with special needs.”

You can take a private two-hour tour, which includes a maximum of 20 people 2 Hour Private Tour and has a donation price of $400.

You may also book a VIP Day Tour, which includes having the barnyard to yourself and lunch with founder Ellie Laks. You receive an intimate six-hour experience where you learn the history of The Gentle Barn, a personal introduction to all of the animals on both of The Gentle Barn’s California properties, and share their stories of rescue and recovery. It costs a suggested donation of $1,000 and includes a maximum of five people.

Groups from high-risk teens to foster youth have a place at The Gentle Barn. The environment is safe and quiet, giving groups the freedom to be themselves, and the room to explore at their own pace. The animals teach forgiveness, love, trust, and a sense of responsibility, which means a lot to many children, especially those with special needs, says The Gentle Barn website.

Their visits from September through June include activities to cultivate self-awareness and hope for the future, such as working in the vegetable garden to connect with Mother Earth, walking horses to practice leadership skills, holding smaller animals to practice gentleness, and going on nature hikes to talk about resilience. Each time they come out to The Gentle Barn, these special guests open up, become vulnerable, relate to the animals, and find more and more of themselves in the barnyard.

“Watching clean city kids come for the first time is an amazing thing,” says Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn. “They are stand-offish at first, or concerned about getting dirty. But after hearing stories of the animals, similar to their stories, they very quickly open up, and before we know it, they are hugging and cuddling the animals with no concern for their cleanliness or tough reputations at all. At The Gentle Barn we get to see miracles every day, and I am so grateful to be able to do this work!”

A Gentle Thanksgiving
The Gentle Barn is celebrating life with a holiday event for the community. Each year, guests to A Gentle Thanksgiving are treated to a gourmet vegan meal, in addition to time with the animals that includes feeding cranberries and vegan treats to The Gentle Barn’s turkeys. There will be various activities such as a Native American drum circle, music and dancing. Also, attendees each receive a gift bag filled with donated products from The Gentle 52 Sponsors.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving in a cruel-free way that honors animals and raises the awareness of a plant-based diet (veganism).

The event runs from 3-8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. Tickets are $200 for adults and $175 for kids age 12 and under. You may purchase tickets on the website, GentleBarn.org.

Always Advocating Alan: Tragedies, Turmoil and Trends

| Opinion | November 22, 2017

by Alan Ferdman

Early in my aerospace career, I was tasked with evaluating field failures to determine if Corrective Action was required. We were schooled to understand, our analysis needed to go further than only addressing the obvious problem reported. We were also required to determine the “Root Cause” of the incident, and look to see if similar situations existed in other areas. It was just as important to prevent issues from occurring, in our other products, as it was to fix the problem reported.

In American society today, senseless mass killings seem to be happening more often. When firearms are used, two groups immediately raise their heads and before even knowing what happened, they propose the same old diametrically opposite solutions. One group says everyone should be armed, while the others cry, eliminate all guns. Since neither of their solutions appear preordained, I decided to dust off my old analysis skills and see what conclusions I could draw from the evidence. For my analysis, I used 3 recent tragedies.

First, on October 1st Steven Paddock opened fire from a Mandalay Bay hotel room in Las Vegas, killing 59 innocent people and wounding or causing injury to almost 500 more. Some interesting facts came to light. While his gun purchases dated back over 20 years, he had purchased 33 guns over the last 12 months. They were legal purchases, traced to eight firearms dealers in California and Nevada. Paddock had passed the required background checks for each of those purchases.

Then, only a little over a month later, on November 5, Devin Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 others, attending the Southerland Springs Baptist Church, in Texas. Kelley had received a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force, 12 months confinement, and two reductions in rank, resulting from being convicted of domestic violence against his wife and child. He had purchased 4 guns in the past 4 years, 2 in Texas and two in Colorado and he passed a background check for each of those purchases.

Lastly, on November 14, Kevin Neal, went on a murderous rampage in Northern California, killing 5 and wounding several others including 2 children. Earlier this year, Neal was arrested and charged with stabbing Hailey Poland, and attacking her mother. Poland filed for a Restraining Order to protect herself and her family. Hailey also wrote the judge saying, Neal “is very unpredictable and unstable … has anger issues” and has threatened our household with a gun. Neighbors also reported to authorities, Neal was firing off guns on his property at all hours. Hailey was one of those killed.

Getting started, I’ll bet you see the obvious also. All the crimes were committed by men, all used guns as their implement of terror, and all were killed during commission of their crime by firearms. Well that closes the first section of our problem analysis. I can guarantee you, none of these 3 men will ever commit a crime again.

Yet, it does not relieve my concerns. Why, because I see a far more problematic trend. In each of these three incidents there were laws and indicators set up to protect the public which were not being effectively used.

In the first instance, Paddock passed background checks and legally purchased 33 guns in 12 months. Why didn’t this ring a bell? Try opening 33 credit cards in 12 months and watch your credit score go down the toilet. It is obvious why the bell did not ring, no one was looking at the trend data.

Next came Kelley with a conviction for Domestic Violence. He passed the background checks and obtained firearms he should not have, because, the Air Force did not enter his conviction in the appropriate data base. I’m betting his data is not the only information not properly recorded.

Lastly, Kelley who was out on bail for stabbing a woman, had a Restraining Order against him and was reported to authorities for shooting off his firearms he should not have had. It was appropriate for reporters to ask Sheriff Johnston; why police had not acted when Neal was in clear violation of his court order, and when the Sheriff answered, “The law is only for people who obey it,” the core issue was staring right back at us.

From what we know, I feel confident targeting the underlying cause as a lack of integrity, competence and accountability of some individuals, entrusted to operate and maintain resources put in place to keep the community safe. If we are ever to effectively minimize the occurrence of situations like those above, our elected officials need to monitor and hold government employees accountable. They need to discontinue the practice of just passing more laws making life more difficult and dangerous for law abiding citizens.

The only real fix will come when we demand it.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans in L.A.

| Community | November 17, 2017

The Veterans Advocacy Group of America is hosting a Veterans’ Thanksgiving Appreciation Dinner next week in downtown Los Angeles. A meal will be served to the veteran public on Tuesday, November 21 from 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, located at 1816 S. Figueroa Street.

The Veterans’ Thanksgiving Appreciation Dinner & Celebration is for military veterans and their families and those currently serving the United States Military.

Bob Hope Patriotic Hall is an iconic part of the downtown Los Angeles skyline and serves as the home of the Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, providing space for a variety of veteran services organizations and hosting events for veterans. This event will include a guest speaker, buffet dinner service and entertainment.

The Thanksgiving event is open to the public, and sponsorship/donations are welcome by contacting the Veterans Advocacy Group of America for further information. Contact Tova Barbour at 800-478-1927 or tbarbour@vaga.us. Visit the website at: www.vaga.us.

Kylia Bradford – Female Athlete of the Week

| Sports | November 17, 2017

College of the Canyons soccer standout Kylia Bradford netted three goals in two games to help the seven-time defending conference champion Cougars (17-2, 8-0) push their win streak to 11 games to close out the regular season. The freshman forward scored a goal in COC’s 4-0 home win over Victory Valley on Nov. 7, then came back with a pair of scores in the Cougars’ 4-1 win over Citrus on Nov. 9. Bradford and the Western State Conference, East Division Champion Cougars will next take the pitch in the opening round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at COC.

 

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DOJ’s Assault on the First Amendment

| Opinion | November 17, 2017

by Blair Bess

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on a roll and, it would appear, hellbent on keeping his job.

Making his best effort to please his boss and rid himself of the taint associated with his recusal from the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, he has instructed the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice to put the kibosh on AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner if it does not spin off Time Warner’s CNN unit. Because, as we all know, CNN is the chief culprit when it comes to purveying “fake news.”

Were this any other administration, consumer protection would be sufficient motivation for the DOJ to initiate an anti-trust investigation into this deal. Media consolidation, where a small group of companies control vast holdings, does not always yield a positive outcome for consumers. Yet, the brazen misuse of power being exercised by the president through his proxy, AG Sessions, is a blast across the bow of the ship of state. The Trump administration is launching a preemptive nuclear assault on the First Amendment.

Mr. Trump does not like the reporting CNN shares with its viewers. Or that of MSNBC. Or ABC or CBS or NBC. And let’s throw in the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post; and, at times, the Wall Street Journal as well. The president chooses not to hear them, read them, or recognize these news organizations. He sees them as the enemy, even as he often attempts to manipulate them to his advantage. He would prefer they be silenced because they speak truth to power. They dig deep to uncover, expose, and honestly report on the sometimes-unpleasant realities of our world; and shed light on stories whose importance is unknown to those who choose to dwell in darkness.

The only news that isn’t “fake news” for the president is that which airs on Fox News or in Breitbart, the Drudge Report, and the sundry other websites that make a point of channeling the thoughts, hate-speak, deranged philosophy, and outright lies promulgated by some of the more extreme alt right organizations currently blighting the American landscape.

The president chooses to ignore any factually-accurate, heavily sourced, well-reported stories that call into question the behavior of those surrounding him, his own missteps and misdeeds, as well as his incomprehensible agenda.

News organizations that the president targets, in this case CNN, are not perfect. They do, on occasion, make mistakes. There have been instances where their reporting has been inaccurate. The difference between these legitimate journalists and those occupying the president’s preposterously parallel universe, however, is that they are willing to own up to their gaffes when they occur; publicly apologize, or print retractions and, in some cases, dismiss editors and reporters who fail to get the story right.

Besides the aforementioned sources upon whom the president chooses to rely, it is becoming increasingly clear that many transmitting “fake news” do so unwittingly. Social media has created an international community that, in theory, is bound together by a desire to connect, to invite, to “friend,” to “like,” to share. Therein lies a danger. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo!, WikiLeaks and many more outlier websites that are emerging each day have become less obvious repositories of misinformation.

Unlike the mainstream media, there are few true fact-checkers in the far-reaching social media world; mostly, there are algorithms. There aren’t enough bodies – canine or human – to pull back the proverbial curtain and reveal for all to see that the great and powerful Oz might just be a racially-motivated social misfit, a four-hundred-pound hacker sitting on his bed, as the president would have us believe; or someone in Russia, China, North Korea, the Ukraine or, quite possibly, merely a wretched propagandist like Stephen K. Bannon.

While sites like Snopes and FactCheck.org do exist, it is up to consumers to take the initiative to uncover the veracity of the information being disseminated online. Though these organizations have a dedicated group of determined flesh-and-blood contributors in the mix, much of what is confirmed or debunked through these sites is rooted in algorithms as well.

Technology may accelerate the ability to source and gather information and check facts, but there is nothing more reliable than doing so the old-fashioned way: pick up the phone, pound the pavement, collar those in the know. Which is exactly what the free press, in all its permutations, attempts to do. And precisely what the president doesn’t want them doing.

The draconian measures the Executive Branch is attempting to employ to silence CNN through the judiciary should frighten anyone who values truth and free speech. Opinion and propaganda is not news, yet it is precisely what the president and his proxies want us to accept as reality through their efficient and unbridled use of social media. Consumer beware.

Afternoon T

| Community | November 17, 2017

by T. Katz

Q: The holidays are here and I’m just not feeling in the spirit. My spouse says I’m being too “Grinch-y,” but I’m really having a hard time being optimistic about everything. I’m worried about all that has to be done, like shopping, dinners, having family over and more.

A: The holiday season is a tough time for many people. For some, it can bring up tremendous anxiety, emotions from the past or just an indescribable fog that’s tough to see through. It’s madness to think that everyone should adopt a joyful disposition just because happy ads, jolly songs or sparkly things are put on display for a few months (now that Halloween night has added Christmas TV commercials to the evening). I’m sorry that you’re feeling so much pressure and having to bear the label of Grinch, which I don’t necessarily think you deserve. I’m certain your heart is much larger than his – or you wouldn’t be feeling so burdened by all that’s on your plate right now.

As a rule, I try not to take the pessimistic or optimistic view. The whole mug half-full or mug half-empty is too black and white for me. I find it best to see the shades of gray (Earl Grey, please. With a bit of cream, thank you). Honestly, if there’s anything in the mug at all, we should make an effort to be grateful. Note the word “effort” is underlined, italicized and bold. That’s because I know, from experience, that gratitude is a tough chicken plucker to get a grip on. We don’t come sliding, screeching and bawling into this world handing out Thank You cards. Gratitude is a thing we learn. We can learn, but we might forget and a forgetful mind (and heart) can be helped by having lists. So, start making lists! First, make a list of things, even the tiniest things, that you are thankful for. Tape that list somewhere you can see it every single day. Keep a pencil nearby to add to it when you discover new things that make your heart happy. Then, move on to the holiday lists. You mentioned dinners, family members and gift giving. Methinks it’s time you make your entire household aware of all that goes on in your head to make the holidays “happen” in your home. Grocery lists and recipes that magically appear, courtesy of you? Tape it up in the kitchen for everyone to see. Then the names of folks you get gifts for? Use a fancy font and put that list near the front door. You may find that your family’s appreciation for all you do lightens your load a little. It might also make it easier to ask for some assistance from them, then add their help to the list of things you’re grateful for. Take the lists down (before company comes) and tuck them away for next season. Then, hugs and kisses all around, under the mistletoe, from me.
xo – t.

PaintCare California Recycles 12 Million Gallons

| Community | November 17, 2017

The 2017 annual report of the California Paint Stewardship Program has released its results from the year spanning from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. PaintCare, the nonprofit organization implementing the program says that in the five years since its inception, 12 million gallons of paint have been collected and processed thanks to participants.

Highlights of the 2017 report include:
Established 803 year-round drop-off locations throughout the state for households and businesses to recycle leftover paint at paint retailers, government-run hazardous household waste (HHW) facilities, solid waste transfer stations and other volunteer locations.
More than 98 percent of California residents have a year-round drop-off site within 15 miles of their home, which exceeds the goal of 90 percent.
Managed paint from 313 municipal HHW drop-off events at 199 sites. PaintCare planned, promoted and held 10 paint-only drop-off events, an increase of five over the previous year.
Provided 313 large volume pick-ups (LVPs) from businesses, institutions and others that had accumulated more than 200 gallons of paint at their sites. PaintCare lowered the threshold to qualify for an LVP to 200 gallons early in the year.
All efforts led to 3,464,149 gallons of total collected and processed post-consumer paint during the year. Of this total, 94 percent was reused or recycled back into paint, another product, or used for another purpose other than landfill disposal.
About 4 percent was reused (given away to someone who could use it).
Recycled approximately 1,925 tons of plastic and metal paint cans.

“After five years, it’s really become clear how far paint recycling in California has advanced,” said Jeremy Jones, PaintCare’s West Coast program manager. “PaintCare is now collaborating with the Mattress Recycling Council to host cooperative events and our partnerships with household hazardous waste programs, counties, cities, and community organizations continues to deepen each year.”

For the full report, visit https://www.paintcare.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/ca-annual-report-2017.pdf.

The California Paint Stewardship Law, supported by paint manufacturers and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2010, established the program to decrease the generation of postconsumer architectural paint, promote using up leftover paint, and manage the paint in an environmentally sound manner for collection, transportation, processing, recycling and proper disposal. There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare location.

Until PaintCare, local government-run household hazardous waste sites were the primary programs for collecting leftover paint. PaintCare drop-off locations cannot accept aerosols or other chemicals. Jones said residents should continue to take other “non-paint” chemicals, such as pesticides and paint thinner, as well as paint in aerosol spray cans, to their local HHW programs.

All brands of unwanted house paint, stain and varnish that are labeled and in original containers may be dropped off at PaintCare locations, even if they are 20 years old. Retailers participating in the program accept program products from all households without residency restrictions, as well as from most businesses. Costs for the PaintCare program are covered by a nominal fee that has been added to the price of new paint, stain and varnish sold in California. The fees vary by container size: 35 cents for pints or quarts, 75 cents for one-gallon containers, and $1.60 for five-gallon containers.

To find the nearest PaintCare drop-off locations and to learn more about the types of products that are accepted, visit www.paintcare.org/california.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 17, 2017

A 52-year-old self-employed Castaic man, an unemployed 42-year-old Stevenson Ranch woman and a 35-year-old x-ray technician from Canyon Country were arrested for battery against a former spouse.

A 21-year-old cashier from Acton and an unemployed 38-year-old Newhall woman were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. A 49-year-old unemployed Saugus man was arrested for disobeying a domestic relations court order. And a 20-year-old waiter from Canyon Country was cited for violation of a domestic violence order to stay away.

A 38-year-old electrician from Canyon Country was arrested for kidnapping.
An unemployed 20-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with carrying a switchblade knife, while an unemployed 49-year-old Newhall man was charged with carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. A 30-year-old lineman from Orland, Calif. was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/addict, etc.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:
23-year-old stocker from Sylmar
23-year-old sales rep from Palmdale
34-year-old unemployed Valencia man
36-year-old construction worker from Saugus

Two local men were charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia—a 24-year-old delivery cook from Castaic and an unemployed 38-year-old from Canyon Country.

And a 28-year-old Bakersfield woman who is a field worker was picked up for transporting/selling a controlled substance. A 26-year-old construction worker from Sun Valley was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale.
An 18-year-old laborer from Palmdale was charged with vandalism with loss valued at or equal to $400.

Three unemployed San Fernando Valley men were charged with receiving known stolen property valued at more than $950—20-year-old twin brothers and a 20-year-old North Hollywood man.

An unemployed transient, age 49, was charged with intentional interference with public transportation.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
30-year-old forklift operator from Paramount, Calif.
33-year-old construction worker from El Monte, Calif.
54-year-old unemployed Sacramento man
60-year-old retired Newhall woman
41-year-old Reseda man who is in the Air Force
25-year-old registered nurse
33-year-old radiologist from Sun Valley, Calif.

Hart Science Teachers in Space with NASA

| News | November 16, 2017

Early this month, three teachers from the William S. Hart Union High School District in Santa Clarita had the experience of a lifetime when they flew on a NASA mission.

The local science teachers on the mission were Ravinder Athwal from Bowman High School, Tom Gavin from West Ranch High School and Judy Jennings from Hart High School. They first went through safety and mission training, and endured several flight postponements, before finally getting off the ground out of Palmdale. The mission was on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, which is a Boeing 747 that has been converted into a flying observatory. A 15-ton, infrared telescope was built into the fuselage of the aircraft, and the interior of the plane is filled with computers and instrumentation capturing raw data from the cosmos.

The 10-hour flight took the teachers, researchers and technicians out over the Pacific Ocean northwest of San Francisco, and south toward Hawaii before returning to Palmdale. The telescope first found Neptune to calibrate before studying various stars 100 light years away. Athwal, Gavin and Jennings now join Sarah Arndt of Saugus High School, Christine Hirst from West Ranch High School and Lydia Gonzalez-Jimenez from Canyon High School as science teachers from the Hart District who have flown on SOFIA.

Judy Jennings, a physics and engineering teacher at Hart, said the experience made an impact on her life as a teacher that will last a lifetime.

“This experience has equipped me with new knowledge about how scientific research is conducted and about the associated career paths that are available to my students,” Jennings said. “The demonstration of impeccable precision, determination and communication among the members of the SOFIA team has left me in awe.”

The teachers were selected in February 2017 as Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors for NASA, offering real experiences with scientists and astronomers on board SOFIA. NASA then provides curriculum the teachers can bring back into the classroom after the flight to share with their students. Thirty-nine teachers were chosen from across the country, 12 of those teachers coming from the Hart District.

Ravinder Athwal, a science teacher and current Teacher of the Year at Bowman High School, said the experience let him see the intricacies required to conduct this science and the scores of people who must work as a team for a successful conclusion.

“Because of my experience talking to the different people on the SOFIA mission, I am now able to give my students an expectation that they too can aspire to work with NASA in a variety of positions,” Athwal said.

The Hart School District’s remaining teachers will fly on two separate missions next fall.

Friday and Saturday Night Lights – SCV Playoff Football Schedule

| Sports | November 16, 2017

Canyon Cowboys v. Mira Costa Mustangs: Saturday, 11/11 at 7 p.m. @ Canyon High School
Golden Valley Grizzlies v. Fountain Valley Barons: Friday, 11/17 at 7:30 p.m. @ Canyon High School
Hart Indians v. Rancho Verde Mustangs: Friday, 11/17 at 7 p.m. @ College of the Canyons.
Saugus Centurions v. St. Paul Swordsmen : Friday, 11/17 at 7:30 p.m. @ St. Paul High School
Valencia Vikings v. Norco Cougars: Friday, 11/17 at 7:30 p.m. @ Norco High School
Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals v. Santa Clara Saints: Friday, 11/17 at 7 p.m. @ Valencia High School

Always Advocating Alan – Santa Clarita Valley’s Ever Increasing Water Rates

| Opinion | November 16, 2017

by Alan Ferdman

It has been said, “Everything that is old is new again,” and nothing proves these words of wisdom truer than the way some of our elected officials move out to sell an unpopular project. One well used technique has been to deny something is going to happen, over and over again, until the public is used to hearing it, and then going ahead and doing it anyway. Think about it, isn’t this the way our water company merger has taken place?

It started in February 2016, when The Signal reported, “More than 100 people showed up … to participate in the first public workshop scheduled to discuss the proposed merger. …. Officials representing the valley’s water wholesaler and importer …. announced their intentions to merge.” While the majority of speakers either wanted more information, or opposed the merger outright, we were told the final decision had not been reached, and agencies were working together and would keep us informed of their progress.

By November 2016, the backroom deal had been made, and our water suppliers’ website started touting “roughly $1.62 million in savings annually, which comes largely as a result of staffing reductions over time.” Just so you understand, at each meeting I attended, the Water Board and Staff members made it clear; savings would be accomplished by employee attrition and would not result in any consumer rate decreases. So, what happened to all the benefits and savings?

Then it turns out, the merger requires a change to California Law, so California Senator Scott Wilk came to the rescue with SB634 in February 2017. An August Signal Editorial related; “Wilk wrote in an email to The Signal last April, it’s my bill, chastising this newspaper for questioning water board officials about details on policy changes, rather than asking him.”

Therefore, for the June 21, 2017 Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting we did exactly what he asked, and invited Senator Wilk, or one of his staff, to provide a presentation on SB634 contents, and explain how the merger would benefit our valley. While his staff accepted our invitation, when the time came, they declined to attend and sent two Water Board Directors plus the Newhall Water Manager, who gave us their same song and dance. Their presentation can be seen on Youtube.
Right On SCV reported Governor Brown signing SB634 into law on October 16, 2017 paving the way for the Water Company merger to become a reality. Just days after the bill was signed, Valencia Water Company announced completing their three year “Cost of Service” analysis requiring a 13% rate increase. Not to be out done, Santa Clarita Water a division of CLWA completed their own “Cost of Service” study and wants to raise rates 16% over the next three years.

Then, Mathew Stone penned a column for The Signal where he confirmed, “proponents had been careful not to promise reductions in rates,” but failed to mention they also did not disclose the “Cost of Service” process which was going to overwhelm any predicted savings.

My take is, I have a real problem with our water companies; using revenue from my rates to buy full page ads in our local paper encouraging water conservation, paying homeowners to take out their turf to save water, supplying equipment to businesses and homeowners to save water, and when their program of conservation efforts is successful, they raise our rates to charge more money because they are selling less water. I believe public utilities, in general, have a business model directly opposite of commercial industry. When I purchase from a commercial firm, I normally pay less, if I buy more. With our public utilities, I pay a higher unit cost if I use more, and I pay a higher unit cost if I use less. Someone needs to explain how selling less water does not equate to pumping less, buying less state water, using less chemicals and less electricity, culminating in a lower overall cost.

You will have one more chance to let CLWA know how you feel about this plan. If you live within the SCWC boundaries you received a notice of the meeting, included on page 5 of a plain white paper report, in a plain white envelope. Several individuals I spoke with thought it was junk mail and discarded it. I wonder if that was the authors intent all along.

On November 20th, 6:15 PM at a Public Hearing to be held at 27234 Bouquet Canyon Road, next to Central Park. Santa Clarita Water Company customers can provide verbal testimony and written protest of SCWC proposed rate increases. I hope to see you there.

UCLA Bruins

| Opinion | November 16, 2017

by Blair Bess

Bruins fans, beware. I’m about to step into a deep pile of bear poop.

Something stinks in Westwood. Specifically, the behavior of UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, who were arrested in China last week and charged with shoplifting a pair of expensive sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou. There are news reports that the three may have been involved in similar thefts at several other shops nearby.

According to LiAngelo Ball’s father, LaVar, “Everybody making it a big deal, it ain’t that big of a deal.”

I disagree.

Although first-time shoplifting offenders in California typically face misdemeanor charges and potential penalties of fines and/or time in a county jail, that’s not the case in China. Formal charges usually end up in a conviction and defendants can arbitrarily be sentenced to probation or spend years in prison. The judicial system is politicized and there are no guarantees that ordinary Chinese citizens will receive a fair trial. Guess it all depends on who you know.

Which leads us to the three Bruin bear cubs. While they may not be personally acquainted with the president of the United States, he interceded on their behalf and they were subsequently permitted to leave China and return home. If this had been your kid or my kid, President Trump would not, in all likelihood, have phoned Chinese President Xi Jinping to spring us from jail. Those calls are usually reserved for former advisors and cabinet members, family, and, on occasion, athletes who don’t take a knee.

Even if the president hadn’t done so, these wayward ballers have the might, muscle, expensive legal representation, influential alums, the Bruins Nation, and the PAC-12 seated beside them on the bench. DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!

Unlike many Chinese citizens charged with offenses of this nature, the trio did not stew in a squalid state-run jail awaiting trial. They were not sitting in a windowless cell before being released this week. They were holed up in the luxurious five-star Hyatt Regency Hotel, not the Hangzhou Hoosegow. They were never under house arrest. They were “detained.” As in detention. As in the kind of punishment meted out to wayward seventh graders.

According to some media reports, the three were even able to work out in the hotel gym, perhaps in anticipation of a return to Pauley Pavilion. Call it the home court advantage. And while they may not share misty watercolor memories of their trip to China when they’re back in Westwood, they did have a view of Hangzhou’s beautiful West Lake, room service, high-speed internet, and satellite TV. Upon which they may have watched their less-incorrigible teammates kick Georgia Tech’s butts last week in Shanghai. Without their help.

Let me be clear. I do not wish these young men ill. I didn’t want to see them do time in a Chinese prison. But I do think meaningful punishment is in order upon their return stateside.

How about this: Revoke their athletic scholarships and kick their butts off the team. Permanently. No hand slaps. No sitting it out for four or five games or even a season. Gone. Game over.

These young men have been attending a public institution to which most applicants do not gain admission. There aren’t enough places at the table for them. Because they’re just plain old, ordinary, hard-working students and not student athletes. While contributions from generous alums help subsidize the scholarships many of UCLA’s players are granted, a significant portion of their education, as well as facilities in which they study and reside, are still paid for by the citizens of the State of California. Do these wayward Bruins merit our largesse after breaking the law and causing an embarrassing international incident? I think not.

My views may seem a bit draconian to some. I beg to differ. There is a sense of entitlement among many student athletes that is, in the long run, potentially debilitating. From a very early age, these young men and women are coddled and complimented and pumped up to a degree that they begin to believe their own press: that they are untouchable, invincible, superior. We do them a disservice in perpetuating this fantasy. Yet, we continue to do so. Why? Because universities and colleges make vast sums of money off the blood, sweat, pain, suffering, and triumphs of these very same athletes.

If these young men want to play, they must play by the rules that apply to all of us, whether on the court or off. UCLA is emblazoned across their jerseys and jackets. In this case, they were representing not only their school, but all of us at home. The games our teams play overseas — exhibition, regular season, or in the Olympics — are meant to show the world the best America has to offer. These guys were neither our best nor brightest. Wrong is still wrong and bad behavior cannot go unpunished, especially when it is criminal in nature. All of us must play on a level field. In life, and under the law, we are all supposed to be equal.

I honestly feel sorry for LiAngelo, Cody, and Jalen. But being benched would be insufficient and unfair to the millions of athletes worldwide, both amateur and professional, who manage to keep their noses clean, consistently demonstrate good sportsmanship, and set a good example for their peers and their fans.

Live Music

| Entertainment | November 16, 2017

There are several opportunities to go out and enjoy live music this week in SCV!
Nov 16, Thurs
6–10pm Vincent Hill in Acton Z – Band Country, blues, rock
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Deep Fried Daddys Classic rock, blues, fun6:30–9pm Casa de Pizza Jimmy Carnelli Sinatra style traditionals
(not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills) dinner reservations are a must
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Nov 17, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current 7p–11p Backyard Grub n Brews Mod–U–Lates Classic rock & wild sax
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Wildside on the patio Classic rock, R&B
8p–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Guitar James Live music
8:30–11pm Wine 661 Miles 2 Go Classic oldies & country 9–12m Valencia Wine Co The Grizwalds Pop, soul, rock
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Nov 18, Sat
6p–10p Vincent Hill Station TBD Live music
8p–12m VFW 6885 Soundwaves band Classic surf & oldies
8:30–11p Wine 661 Jeff Ross & friends Classic rock
9p–12m Valencia Wine Co Snareheads Stones to Prince
9p–1am Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Controlled Chaos Classic rock & country
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Nov 17 & 18, Fri and Sat 9p–12m and 11/19 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille Live music
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Nov 19, Sun
10a–2pm Saugus Swap Meet Urban Soul Live music
1–5pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Sean Wiggins Classics & originals
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Live music
4–8pm American Legion 507 Blues Jam Large dance floo
5–9pm VFW 6885 Mary White band Country
5:30–8:30p Vincenzo’s Newhall Meridian SCV band Live music
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Nov 20, Mon
7–11p Sisely’s in Valencia Dole / Humphries R & B, indie rock
Nov 21, Tues
7–10pm Bergies steakhouse Alan Wright, guest artist Blues & rock
Nov 22, Wed
6–9pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live Music
7–11pm Valencia Wine Co Mike Fitzgerald & Billy Davis Live music
Wine 661 Ron Suffredini Classic rock
Nov 23, Thur Happy Thanksgiving!
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Nov 24, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current 8p–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Michael Gabriel Live music
8:30–11pm Wine 661 Chris Ralles Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co The Copycats Classic rock

Old Town Newhall Draws Holiday Shoppers

| Community | November 16, 2017

There is a lot more than tree lighting at this weekend’s holiday event in Old Town Newhall. Every year, thousands of residents fill Main Street beginning in the afternoon for special holiday shopping at the Old Town Newhall Sip N’ Shop and Light Up Main Street event.

On Saturday, Nov. 18 from 2-6 p.m. downtown shops are open to let residents and friends make their Christmas purchases early, rolling out their Christmas décor in full. Adult visitors can stroll and shop while they sample wine beverages, non-alcoholic drinks and appetizers.

Brave New World is hosting a day of activities from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., including special sales and a chance to meet graphic novelists.

Total Financial Solutions on Main Street will have a donation opportunity for visitors from 4-8 p.m. Community members can bring in items for the non-profit For the Troops, an organization supporting the American military with “We Care” packages. Frequently requested items include non-perishable foods; socks, hygiene products; batteries; and entertainment, such as DVDs, CDs, books, etc. For the full list of items, including restrictions, visit ForTheTroops.org.

The Sip N’ Shop event is followed by the annual Light Up Main Street tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Food trucks will be on site selling sweet and savory options and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos from 6-9 p.m.

In terms of vehicle traffic, Lyons Avenue will be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight between Railroad Avenue and Walnut Street. Main Street will be closed from 4 p.m. to midnight between Lyons Avenue and Market Street. Both Walnut Street and Market Street will remain open to through traffic. Detours will be made available.

There is free public parking at the Old Town Newhall Library, the Newhall Community Center and several lots on and around Main Street. A free shuttle service from Newhall Community Center to Light Up Main Street will continuously be available from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to allow for easy access to the event. The Newhall Community Center is located at 22421 Market Street.

To find more information about Light Up Main Street and Sip N’ Shop, visit OldTownNewhall.com.

Blake Kirshner – Male Athlete of the Week

| Sports | November 16, 2017

A junior at Santa Clarita Christian School, Blake Kirshner is excelling on the football field as quarterback for the Cardinals. Last week he went 24-32 for 388 yards and seven touchdowns, as the Cardinals defeated the Hamilton Bobcats 48-17. SCCS has yet to lose a game this season, and will be taking their 11-0 record into the second round of the CIF-SS Division 13 playoffs against the Santa Clara Saints on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

“Blake is a young man (who) has been in the program for some time and has had the advantage of seeing it done,” said SCCS football coach Chazz Anderson. “He has worked extremely hard to ensure he is doing his part as the quarterback of a complex concept-oriented offense. While he is still maturing as a player he has an incredible up side, and strives to be the best he can be to the glory of God and the good of his team. Excited to see what the Lord is going to do the rest of this year and next.”

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Letter to Rep. Steve Knight

| Opinion | November 16, 2017

Dear Congressman Steve,

I am a supporter of you and the good work you are doing to represent our district in Washington D.C. In fact, I was a supporter of your dad. I still have a banner on my office wall:”Pete Knight State Senator.”

I am representing, in this letter, the good people who are landowners in Bouquet Canyon, Saugus. We have an ongoing problem and we need your help.

In 1937, when the Bouquet Reservoir was built, it was agreed upon for the dam to release annual rainfall from the lake to the property owners below, based upon the measured rainfall for that year. This was dutifully done until about 10 years ago. Then the water was released based on the ability of the flow, not to overflow across Bouquet Canyon Road caused by the lack of maintenance of the creek bed. As you know, many of your constituents live in the Antelope Valley. Many use Bouquet Canyon Road and Vasquez Canyon Road as the main artery in commuting to their jobs in the Santa Clarita Valley. There is a high accident rate on these roads.

For the past 10 years many, many wells have run dry. When I bought my acreage in 1973, the water table was at 5 feet. Now it is at 90 feet in depth. Bouquet Creek used to run year around. Now the only runoff is from a passing rain.

The Forest Service tried closing the road for six months, which left many people in Green Valley with difficult access to the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as stranding the good people of Bouquet Canyon, since Vasquez Canyon Road was also closed due to a landslide. This stopped the numerous accidents from happening, but did not solve the problem.

The problem is the lack of maintenance of the creek by the Forest Service. When I first bought my property in 1973, we took our families camping in Bouquet Canyon (and there was) fishing of planted trout. The Lions Club had a great park for blind kids, which now has been abandoned and is in disrepair. The Canyon is now full of graffiti and dumped trash in the river.

We have explored all the state and county agencies such as Fish and Game, DWP, Forest Service, a 530-page environmental impact report and other State of California agencies, to no avail. All we get is “buck passing”! The usual response is that we cannot disturb the habitat of the three-spined stickleback fish. The ultimate dichotomy is when a representative from Fish and Game stated two years ago at our meeting that the creek contained the WRONG stickleback fish and they would need to remove it and replace it with the correct fish.

We believe this is a federal responsibility, since the Bouquet Lake sits on federal land administered by the Department of Forestry under the Department of the Interior. Under President Trump’s administration, we understand that it is a take-charge person, Mr.Zinke, who is in control and is making many positive changes. We hope with your input he might give attention to our problem.

We know that this is a year in which you are seeking reelection. Most of us, I believe, are firmly in support of your policies. I myself have the 4×8 banners in the front of my ranch in your support at election time, as well as monetary support for your campaign.

You need us, we need you. Can we work together to make this right? Many thanks!

Roy G. Marson

The House of Representatives’ Tax Plan

| Opinion | November 16, 2017

by Rick Drew

I’m not thinking that the House of Representatives’ new tax plan is going to cut taxes for many middle class families as advertised. This new plan says that it is going to be simpler and provide the “biggest” tax cuts in history. In this plan the standard deduction will be doubled, providing single filers $12,000 and joint filers a $24,000 deduction from their taxable income. The Child Tax Credit will be increased from $1,000 to $1,600 for each child under 17 years of age.

Over the past many years, taxpayers have been eligible for the “Personal Exemption” credit of $4,050 for each dependent on the 2016 tax return. This credit would reduce a family of five’s income by $20,250. This exemption credit is to be eliminated, thus increasing a family’s income by $20,250. The credit for state taxes paid will be eliminated. The Medical Expense credit will be eliminated, though most taxpayers cannot take this credit because it was for expenses over 10 percent of the adjusted gross income. Many education credits, such as the American Opportunity credit and the Qualified Tuition credit will be eliminated. Credit for alimony paid is to be eliminated and could cause issues for divorcing couples. The moving expense deduction for those that relocate more than 50 miles from their previous jobs is also being done away with, just to name a few changes.

I have been preparing income taxes for the past 25 years. I compared three of my client families’ 2016 tax returns and then I applied the new plan’s changes to each return.

The first family has a joint income of $67,288. Dad works and mom doesn’t work outside the home. They have three dependent children, two of which are eligible for the child tax credit. The couple owns a nice single-family home with a mortgage. Comparing their 2016 tax return as it was, then changing the figures to reflect the proposed new tax plan. This dad and mom would have to pay $1,530 more in federal income tax. That’s going to hurt.

The second tax return I worked with was for a married couple in their early 40s. Dad and mom have three dependent children, none of whom are eligible for the child tax credit, due to income limitations. They own a single-family home with a mortgage. Their joint income is $143,942. Comparing the figures on their 2016 tax return as it was, then changing them to reflect the new tax plan, the results would increase their federal income tax by $5,082. Ouch!!!

The third comparison is for a married senior couple with no dependents. They are retired and have pensions, social security and some other earned income. They own their home with a mortgage. Their 2016 tax return showed an adjusted gross income of $93,512. After applying the proposed changes, the difference in their income tax is a savings of $128. Whoopee.

All of my example families are middle class Americans just trying to live the American Dream. This proposed tax plan seems to be targeting businesses and the wealthy. I do not envision this plan helping the American “]middle class family as it has been proposed. I hope that this current plan will not pass and a fairer plan will be developed. If it passes in some form or another, it will not take effect until 2018. So all taxpayers have at least one more year before major tax changes might take effect.

Rick Drew is a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer.

Community Needs Survey to Allocate Grant Funding

| Community | November 16, 2017

The City of Santa Clarita’s annual Community Needs Assessment survey is now available and residents are encouraged to share their opinions. The Community Needs Assessment, which is used to determine how to best allocate Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, is available online from November 10 through December 22, 2017, at santa-clarita.com/Housing.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides the City of Santa Clarita Community Development Block Grant funding to benefit lower-income residents. The City’s Community Needs Assessment allows residents to weigh in on how funding should be distributed to housing, supportive services, community facilities and infrastructure, and economic opportunities.

Some of the key results of last year’s Community Needs Assessment are:

Supportive Human Services – Youth Activities, Anti-Crime Programs and Mental Health Services
Community Facilities and Infrastructure – Homeless Shelters, Youth Centers, Parks and Recreational Facilities
Housing – Affordable Rental Housing, Energy Efficient Improvements and Senior Rental Housing
Economic Opportunities – Job Creation/Retention, Employment Training and Start-up Business Assistance

For more information on the Community Development Block Grant Program or the Community Needs Assessment survey, contact Terasa Sullivan, project technician for the City of Santa Clarita, at 661-255-4368. The survey is available on the City’s website at santa-clarita.com/Housing.

Holiday Boutiques in the Santa Clarita Valley

| Community | November 16, 2017

A free boutique will be hosted by Acton Faith Bible Church Women’s Ministry on Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The public is invited to the event, which is the church’s 20th Annual Christmas Boutique. It will be held at High Desert School, 3620 Antelope Woods in Acton. There will be approximately two dozen vendors featured and raffle items will be available. Baked goods and lunch may be purchased as well. For more information, email Diane Fisher at DJFisher128@gmail.com.

Home Care Services will hold a free holiday boutique hosted by the Santa Clarita Artists Association on Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 2017. Artists and vendors will sell handcrafted gifts, small paintings and jewelry to shoppers from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Home Care Santa Clarita is located at 23340 Cinema Drive, Suite 5 in Valencia. For more information, visit SantaClaritaArtists.org.

Thanksgiving Day

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 15, 2017

When you gather with family for Thanksgiving this month, recognize the weight of history that comes with it. It may even enhance the rich flavors of cranberry, turkey and pumpkin. Think back to 1621 and imagine the feast shared by the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians. For the first 200 years after that first “Thanksgiving,” colonies and states celebrated individually, but in1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day in November.

Recipe for Squash Casserole
Considered by Southern Living to be one of their top 50 Thanksgiving recipes, serve up veggies a little bit differently this year with a squash casserole.
4 lbs. yellow squash, sliced
1 lg. sweet onion, finely chopped
1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs, divided
1 ¼ cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbl. butter, melted
½ cup crushed French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook yellow squash and sweet onion in boiling water to cover in a Dutch oven 8 minutes or just until vegetables are tender; drain squash mixture well.
Combine squash mixture, freshly shredded Cheddar cheese, next 5 ingredients, 1 cup breadcrumbs, and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Stir together melted butter, French fried onions, and remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over squash mixture.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.

Sand Canyon Real Estate

| Sand Canyon Journal | November 15, 2017

by Julie Henry

The fall real estate market in Sand Canyon is almost always a hot season. Home selling in autumn or fall is the second best time of the year to sell a home. Families have returned from summer vacations. Kids have gone back to school. The holidays aren’t yet upon us, at least not yet in an annoying way. We are set to enjoy 75 to 80 days of normalcy, and that›s a great time to sell a  home.

People are happy and relaxed as the temperature begins to drop. It’s not just sweater weather that creates static electricity in autumn; it’s the scurrying of agents diligently working to pop a few more sales into the hopper before third quarter sales results are posted.

Here are a few tips for attracting the autumn home buyer in the fall:

Clean Up the Yard — Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance.

Create Autumn Curb Appeal — The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. I am also partial to marigolds for fall.

Utilize Autumn Accent Colors — You don’t need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorize its dullness

with bright red, orange and/or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair

From Our House to Yours, may you have a Peaceful and Love filled Thanksgiving Holiday.

Real Estate Broker Julie Henry specializes in Sand Canyon real estate and has been a resident for 33 years.
You can reach her at 661-313-6190 or email julie@juliehenry.com

 

Snap Shot for Sand Canyon Real Estate from August–October 2017
Homes Listed: 28 High-$2,998,850 Median-$1,193,000 Low-$655,000

Homes Pending in Escrow: 8
High-$1,279,000 Median-$1,1017,973 Low-$685,000

Homes Sold: 7 High-$1,310,000 Median-$1,137,000 Low- $1,020,000

COC Canyon Country Campus 10-Year Anniversary

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 14, 2017

In honor of its 10-year anniversary, the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus hosted an open house celebration on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Kids enjoy activities at the event

Nearly 300 people attended the event, which featured campus tours, food trucks, chalk art, children’s activities, student exhibits, a portable planetarium, a Makerspace exhibit and many other engaging activities.

“It was very exciting to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with our community,” said Dr. Ryan Theule, vice president of the Canyon Country campus and grants development at the college. “The campus has benefited from invaluable community support these past 10 years and has become a vital part of College of the Canyons. As we reflect upon where we have been and where the campus is headed, we are proud that the campus has provided substantial academic and workforce training for our valley.”

Guests enjoyed the amazing vocal stylings of local country music star Savannah Burrows, the 2016 winner of Santa Clarita’s 35th Local Nationwide Country Showdown Contest.
A variety of self-paced and guided activities were also part of the open house festivities, including a guided garden walk highlighting the trees, plants and wildlife that are native to the Canyon Country campus.

“Our garden walks are a great opportunity to introduce visitors to the diverse flora at the Canyon Country campus,” said Anthony Michaelides, dean of campus services and operations at the Canyon Country campus. “This popular event attracts people of all ages.”

Savannah Burrows entertained the crowd

To commemorate the campus’s 10-year anniversary, a variety of events and student-centered activities are planned throughout the year to help celebrate and continue the progress at COC’s comprehensive second campus.

“We look forward to continue celebrating this milestone with our community, staff, and students, and we know that the next 10 years will be tremendously exciting,” said Theule.

For more information about events related to the Canyon Country campus’s 10-year anniversary, visit www.canyons.edu/ccc10.

Asbestos & Lead: Facts and Dangers Property Owners Should Know

| Community | November 10, 2017

by Jenee Child

Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC and General Contractors Avoid Costly Fines

If your home or building was built before 1985, you may be in danger of breathing in asbestos containing materials (ACM) or lead if you remodel or hire a contractor after having water, mold, vehicle or fire damage to your property.

Because of its high-insulation characteristic, asbestos was often added to construction materials in the 1980s. Although ACM materials were no longer being manufactured in 1985, they were still being sold, stored and used in construction. Lead was also used in paint in homes and buildings constructed prior to 1978. Residential homes and commercial buildings built before 1985 should be tested for asbestos, and any constructed before 1978 should be tested for lead prior to removal of wall, ceiling, flooring or roofing materials.

Testing labs employ trained professionals who specialize in identifying lead and asbestos. Asbestos can be found in vinyl floor tiles and floor mastic; drywall or drywall patching compound; wall texture; insulation for furnaces, stoves, pipes and electrical; some roofing shingles and mastic, as well as siding materials. Asbestos is most commonly found in ceiling textures such as “popcorn” or “cottage cheese,” which are also known as “acoustic ceiling materials.”
Although the amount of asbestos found in our communities today is becoming scarce due to laws and regulations, Cal OSHA regulates asbestos and lead removal and sets strict guidelines for contractors to dispose of them as hazardous waste. Failure to do so can result in costly fines. Contractors who are not certified to remove asbestos and lead materials can cross-contaminate a home or building, deeming it to be an unsafe environment for its occupants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Most exposure today comes when old insulation or tiling is disturbed during construction projects … and proper precautions are not taken to avoid breathing in dust.”

The only way asbestos can affect your health is if the fibers are disturbed, become airborne and are inhaled.

Jenee’ Child is CEO and founder of SOS Solutions Inc., which offers scheduling of certified testing labs and contractors to remove and properly dispose of asbestos and lead for homeowners at no charge. SOS also provides free project management services to electricians, plumbers, HVAC and other contractors who are not certified to handle, remove or dispose of materials containing asbestos, lead or mold. Contact SOS at 888-589-1868 or visit TrustSOS.Solutions.

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