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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 800 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.

Ads / Latest items listed
 

$80.00

Commercial aluminum dolly-cart.

perfect shape, $80 661-295-0067

 

$25.00

Golf clubs, different sizes,

left and right clubs $25 obo. 661-298-1471

 

$25.00

For sale – three large braided rugs

$25 each good condition 661-263-0121

 

$0

Yard Sale Saturday July 22

8 a.m.-11 a.m. Collectibles, crafts, furniture, home dcor 22639 Festividad drive in Saugus 661-297-7123

 

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Nova large size walker

for sale $50, medium for $30 OBO 661-296-7097

 

$4,500.00

1969 Plymouth Barracuda –

6 cylinder, needs restoration $4500. 661-857-3512

 

$13,500.00

72 Plymouth Road Runner.

Original owner 76k miles. In house and garage 400 horse power $13500, running. 661-313-6394

 

$500.00

Original red power ranger movie prop

5ft 10in tall. Produced in USA by Idea Planet. Asking $500 OBO 661-296-9104 Darlene or Lenny

 

$800.00

1987 Toyota MR2

manual shift not running $800 661-251-4978

 

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4 panel corral gate sections 24ft long

5ft high $125. 3 Tier saddle rack $35. Assorted animal shaders, best offer. 661-714-5006

 

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1951 Buick Special Rolling Chassis

$100. 1956 Ford pickup cab and frame with LT-1 Engine and 350 Trans $200. $1956 Chevy body parts - call 661-714-5006

 

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Claw foot bathtub $200.

Onan generator with trailer $50 obo. Cub cadet yard tractor with plow, discs, trailer, 3 blades, and extra engine $200 661-714-5006

 

$200.00

Franklin Fireplace

$200.00 OBO 661-714-5006

 

$50.00

Tombstone Arc

welder $50 OBO 661-714-5006

 

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Delta 13 inch planer, still in box, $50.

Homelite leaf blower $25. Troy bilt leaf blower 31cc-$25.00. Echo gas powered hedge trimmer $150. All in excellent condition. 661-268-1277 or 661-433-2715

 

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Framing nailer nail gun, $100.

Chop saw for wood-$50. Chop saw for metal-$75. Compressor-$150. Sawzall-$75. Yates American comination tool with saw, jointer with fence and sanding disk -$400....

 

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show or breed. $1800, 3 year old bay mare, great cart prospect $1200. Black mare, calm companion horse. $1800. All registered AMHA with complete medical records...

 

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Two ceiling fans.

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Beautiful wood flooring, brand new, still in the boxes.

must sell 810 sqft paid $5000, sell $1500 for all 310-633-1214      

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Posts / Recent blog posts

SCAA Gallery Hosts Summer Daze Exhibit

| Community | July 22, 2017

Summer Daze, Santa Clarita Artists’ Association’s new show, will be on display through August 19, 2017.

“This show features unique gifts including small artworks and well-made ‘craft items’ along with beautiful paintings and photography,” said Norma Warden, SCAA president.

The 16 artists participating in the show are: Charlotte Mullich,  Cheri Marcovitch, Howard Marcovitch, Laura Ledesma, Phil Leham, Meryl Goudy, Idelle Okman-Tyzbir, Lisa Barr, Laurie Finkelstein, Lynda Frautnick, Gerda Maxey, Darlene Frost, Olga Kaczmar, Freda Morrison, Jeanne Iler, and Scott Parker. Artwork displayed represents many styles and mediums including oil, acrylic, alcohol ink, jewelry, prints, greeting cards, pastel, watercolor, and photography. Artwork ranges in size and different price points,” said Laurie Finkelstein, coordinator.

SCAA Art Gallery is located at 22508 6th St. in Old Town Newhall, between Railroad and Main. Hours are Friday-Saturday 7-10 p.m., and during Canyon Theatre Guild performances. Look for signs to announce gallery openings.

SCAA is the only non-profit fine art association in Santa Clarita since 1989. For inquiries, visit SantaClaritaArtists.org.

Athletes of the Week: Shawn Gallagher, Chloe Castaneda

| SC Living | July 21, 2017

Shawn Gallagher

Canyon quarterback Shawn Gallagher looks for an opening during an 11-on-11 man practice at Valencia on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

As the quarterback on the varsity football team at Canyon High School, Shawn Gallagher, a junior this year, is expected to lead the way.

“Shawn has not only taken on the role of quarterback with passion and enthusiasm, but has also showcased intangibles that are hard to duplicate within the football world,” said Rich Gutierrez, Canyon High School football coach. “Outside of that, he is a dynamite kid and an absolute pleasure to be around. I am excited for his future within Cowboy Football and beyond.”

Shawn grew up watching the Canyon Cowboys program, which he said is nostalgic for him.

“Being brought up from youth to play for this organization has been a true blessing,” Shawn said. “Having a receiving corps like Carson Strickland and Roland Hardson has allowed me the opportunity to use my skill set along with theirs to create big plays and a lot of consistency.”

Shawn said he plans to be counted on by his coaches to turn the tide after the Cowboys’ rough season last year.

“The coaching staff really pushes us to become great football players and even greater men,” he said. “The chance to be a cowboy is once in a lifetime and this upcoming season I hope to bounce back as a group and put Canyon’s name back out there with the best of them.”

 

Chloe Castaneda

This member of the Santa Clarita Blue Heat scored the first goal against the Houston Aces, and scored a second goal to break a 2-2 tie. The Blue Heat went on to win 4-3 and the team is currently 8-0. They have a sizeable lead in the UWS West Conference, and are the only undefeated team left in the league.

“Chloe is one of our best players,” said Carlos Marroquin, owner of the Santa Clarita Blue Heat. “This past game her performance was incredible! She scored two goals and fought the whole game! We are extremely happy to have her with the Blue Heat.”

 

 

 

Always Advocating Alan

| Opinion | July 21, 2017

We All Have Real Friends and Fair Weather Friends

by Alan Ferdman

“Boy oh boy,” does time ever fly. It has now been over seven months since I agreed to write a weekly column for the Gazette. When I first started, I thought, 1,000 words every week? What will I write about? But Santa Clarita never ceases to amaze me, with new issues popping up all the time and older ones lingering on. In the past, I have wondered why all these issues go unnoticed. Why doesn’t anyone investigate and write about them? But now, the Gazette has given me the opportunity to make a difference and I intend to go “full steam ahead.”

So, when I sat down at the keyboard this week I started listing all the possibilities. Should I write about Stevenson Ranch and why bears are given more rights than people? Or possibly I could write about the City Council’s changes to the Manufactured Home Rent Adjustment Ordinance and provide information as to why the changes will not provide a workable solution. I could ask why the City of Santa Clarita seems to only react to issues of public safety when a tragedy occurs. Or should I comment on Steve Lunetta’s Saturday column on health care and share why I have remained a happy Kaiser member for over 60 years? Should I follow up on the actions which were supposed to be taken as a result of the city’s half million-dollar embezzlement, or should I question why the city is dragging their feet on approving construction of the Fallen Solders Memorial in Veterans Plaza?

Wow! There are a lot of issues out there, and sometime in the future I will probably address them all. But this week, Doug’s last rant caused me to decide on addressing issues associated with friendship, credibility and honesty.

I considered Doug Sutton a friend long before I started writing for the Gazette. I’ve enjoyed the many times we participated in group discussions on Friday nights and shared our respective points of view. The good thing about having a real friend is being able to express different opinions without initiating personal conflict. If a person is open and objective, they will sometimes recognize the other person’s point of view and benefit from the discussion. Other times, they may just, without saying, agree to disagree and continue to be friends. A real friend helps the other person grow. At times, it requires telling a friend something they may not want to hear. Yet, good friends trust each other enough to understand the comments were made with the best of intentions. When Doug suggested I could write a weekly column for the Gazette we discussed ground rules. We agreed on what kind of subject matter I would be writing about and he agreed not to edit my column. To date, it has gone according to plan, but I know if Doug perceives a problem exists with my column he will, as a friend, let me know.

Unfortunately, in business and politics particularly, you will amass what I call “fair weather friends.” These are individuals who become your new-found friend when they believe it will benefit them. All you need to do is win the lotto or be able to do something others want to experience their attempts to attach themselves to you. When a “fair weather friend” turns, and either verbally attacks you personally or simply disappears from your life, they prove never to have been a real friend in the first place.

John Musella is the president the Musella Group, a public relations company. In such a capacity, his allegiance is to whoever pays him. But, to give him “the benefit of the doubt” I fired up my computer and listened to Stephen Daniels interview him in a “Voice of Santa Clarita” podcast. I have had my own personal interaction with John and I realized nothing has changed. When the interview turned to discussing the Chamber of Commerce, John started by vilifying those who questioned issues relating to the Hispanic Chamber merger. I found it humorous, however, when John, a paid company mouthpiece, lamented about the Gazette having a paid reporter. Nevertheless, he went on to talk about how there was no wrongdoing, other than the Chamber not filing the appropriate tax documents. When asked why he did not simply end the discussion by making the appropriate information public, he responded by stating he did not what to waste his or the Chamber’s staff time. He suggested the information would eventually be online and made a public record about one year after the Chamber CPA submits the necessary IRS documents. Unfortunately, a philosophy of avoiding problems, hoping the community loses interest, rather than providing a solution, is fairly prevalent in Santa Clarita.

Doug, I would not worry about your perceived loss of a “fair weather” friendship. You have the support of your readers. We are confident you are looking at the Chamber issue honestly as a news story, and we urge you to continue pursuing it until the Gazette is able to print a final chapter.

If the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce is to be perceived as a credible organization it is not in their best interest to let this issue hang over them. The fact that City of Santa Clarita taxpayers are propping up the Chamber of Commerce with a yearly $40,000 subsidy and one year of free rent, said to be worth an additional $25,000, makes it even more imperative that Chamber finances be maintained in a manner beyond reproach. I wonder why the Chamber members themselves, including our City Council members, are not pressing for Chamber management to come forth and put an end to this controversy. They are the ones who pay the Chamber to represent them. Is the current style of representation what the members want or deserve? We will just have to wait to find out.

But, I know one thing for sure, if it was me and I had the documentation to prove no wrongdoing, I would be holding it up for all to see. Wouldn’t you do the same?

An Update on Baby

I would like to thank all who asked how Baby is doing. The stitches are out, and she is no longer wearing her fashionable cone-shaped collar. Baby was then able to get a bath and haircut provided by gentle hands at Chris’ Clippery. It appears the surgery was successful; Baby’s rehab continues and she is using all four feet and more.

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

What’s Included With Your College Degree These Days

| Opinion | July 20, 2017

By Joe Messina

Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. That’s $600 billion more than all the U.S. credit card debt combined! The average student loan debt is over $40k per student and is carried by less than 45 million students. I am not advocating for free college, but I am questioning it and saying maybe we need to rethink how we do education.

You’re sending your children (yes, I said children) to higher education institutions to be taught something. I just don’t know what, exactly.

Have you seen the issues your children are exposed to and the classes you can help your kids purchase with your hard-earned money and our hard-earned tax dollars? You might be surprised at how prevalent these are. They aren’t just an anomaly.

The New York University Librarian says she has hit her “race fatigue” limit while being in the presence of “white people.”

Some want to create safe spaces to fight privilege at their universities. Sounds like a great environment for your kids, right?

Then there is Harvard University who wants to expel students who join “single gender” social clubs, fraternities, sororities, and others. Yup, the university has proposed completely eliminating all these and their “pernicious influence” on the students! How about they stick to teaching the core competencies?

A university professor wrote that citations in scholarly articles contribute to “white heteromasculinity,” especially if they question research by women and people of color! What happened to accepting good research from “researchers.” Not black researchers. Not women researchers. Not black women researchers. And not black female lesbian researchers. Just researchers! The college where you spend your hard-earned dollars claims that by citing white men before others, you show your privilege. Is that even a class?

A quote often attributed to Jefferson (but disputed) states, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” If you really want to see what our well-educated kids are learning, go to YouTube and check out the interviews that Mark Dice and others like him do. He asks young and middle-aged people simple questions about American history, politics, and current events. Be forewarned … you will need a barf bag and tissues!

California State University will now be teaching Shakespeare through a social justice lens. Why? Because we need to see life through a more diverse lens to see how white privilege has influenced society over the years. How about just teaching the GREAT works and meanings of Shakespeare? Seriously!

Harvard will also be deleting the reference to Puritans from their alma mater. Why, you ask? Because it’s not diverse or inclusive enough. The institution receives all that money each year and the only thing they can think of doing is to get rid of the reference of the school’s early history and what their founding fathers were.

A professor at Fairfield University has introduced a class on “The problem with Whiteness.” Seriously. A class that promotes telling you and your child that because you’re white you are the problem. But they have no problem accepting your white, ill-gotten money!

You’re spending BIG money for these Left Loons to indoctrinate your children this ridiculousness.

Why do you do it? You need to check the school’s history and what they are teaching before you send your kids there. I know some of you have said every child should have a college experience. Does that include being tens of thousands in debt and still not knowing when the U.S. won independence from China back in 1964? (Yes, that was a real answer from a college student to a question about Independence Day!) Or that we weren’t in the Revolutionary War? Or even that we have over 700 senators? What are you paying for?

To rub salt in the wound, nearly every high school counselor pushes you and your kids toward college. And many make you feel bad if you don’t help your child accumulate mountains of debt and support them in their endeavor to pile debt on.

In 2015 only 14 percent of college students were able to find work in their fields, which means only 14 percent of graduates could pay their college debt. Some 50-75 percent of graduates find work, but outside their fields, so they end up paying for services rendered that they can’t use! And they are pushed, poked, and prodded into believing this is the normal thing to do. Well, it’s not.

You should be encouraging your kids toward jobs they are passionate about. And if that involves getting a college degree, make sure the field has real industries, and the college has real studies. And equally as important, make sure the college is more interested in turning out students that are top in their field, not top in social justice theory!
Help your kids succeed!

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

New Heights Panel Discussion

| Community | July 20, 2017

“The next free New Heights Panel Discussion will feature film and TV music supervisors who will discuss What They Do and What They are Looking For.”

The public is invited to attend on Wednesday, August 9 from 7-9 p.m. at The Centre, located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita. The discussion will include a three-person panel featuring music supervisors who have worked with Hollywood studios such as The Walt Disney Company and world-renowned artists such as Tom Petty and Carlos Santana. Panelists Bambi Moé, Scot Peeples and Joanne Ledesma will discuss tips on how artists can get their songs placed in films and TV shows, as well as current industry trends.

The panel discussion is highly recommended for musicians of all levels and anyone with an interest in the film and TV industry. The event is free and no RSVP is required to attend.

Music placement can make or break the scene and music supervisors collaborate with directors, producers and composers to make sure the perfect music is matched to pivotal moments in films and TV. Recently, for the first time ever, the TV Academy has recognized Music Supervision with its own award category at the Emmy Awards.

About the Panelists:
A two-time Grammy nominee, Bambi Moé has worked in theatrical, television, stage and music production, story development and music supervision. Bambi currently serves as the creative content program producer for KLCS-TV in Los Angeles. Her extensive experience includes being the vice president of music at The Walt Disney Company from 1991 to 2001.
Scot Peeples is a Los Angeles-based music supervisor for film, TV and news media, working under the moniker One T Music Supervision.

Joanne Ledesma is well-versed in artist management, music production, and publishing. Ledesma has worked with the likes of Joe Walsh, Carlos Santana and Tom Petty. Her distinct ear for music analysis has landed her on the lecture circuit of some of the most well-known songwriting associations and music trade shows such as NAMM and SXSW.

New Heights is presented by the Santa Clarita City Council and the Santa Clarita Arts Commission. The panel discussion series is designed to assist artists, performers and arts organization representatives in expanding their knowledge and learning valuable tools to increase their ability to be successful. A complete listing of the New Heights series, discussions and lectures is available at SantaClaritaArts.com.

Beyond the Russian Narrative

| Opinion | July 20, 2017

by Angel Cruz 

If you dare turn your channel to the news you will be drowned in Russian collusion stories, so much so, that you will believe this is totally unprecedented. It isn’t, but these stories — beyond their dramatic flair — have had an interesting effect on our discourse. Liberals have taken a strange turn, at least those who have been consumed by these “revelations,” and Trump and Putin have been transformed as the vanguards for fascism. There are truths and reasons to be against the Russian Government, but we have to first examine media’s role in drumming up hysteria.

The main line of thought in this interference is that the Russian intelligence agencies have hacked the DNC and, therefore, changed the outcome in Donald Trump’s favor. (Let me remind you that any evidence of specific Russian agents is still circular.) What came from this leak were Hillary and the DNC colluding to snuff Bernie Sanders’ campaign bid through the media and favoring Clinton from the start. I reason that if those leaks did not come to light nothing would have changed. Hillary would have still lost because of her strategy of aiming toward the center, which would/did not engage the mass of people. This singular moment has obsessed the Clinton supporters and media who cannot fathom how a buffoon beat a polished, distinguished, and experienced candidate (their words, not mine). It must have been a Machiavellian foreign agent who tipped the scales to a more favorable candidate and to undermine the U.S. on the world stage.

Of course, much more has come to light about Trump and his ties with Russian business oligarchs through his cohorts and family. It doesn’t surprise me that there are shady business dealings with the president’s personnel, but to say this is a master plan to overthrow democracy in the U.S. is absurd. To make Trump out to be a mastermind (or puppet to one) is completely contradictory with the banal nature of everything we’ve witnessed. All these revelations show me how incompetent the whole Trump administration is, with how it marries business with foreign affairs. It’s not the media that is uncovering these actions, but the own slip-ups of these so-called conspirators. The fact of the matter is that the U.S. is no stranger in confronting dictators, oligarchs, and thugs in dealing with business and/or power. It’s funny to see the media lose their minds over suspected foreign intervention in our democracy. Where is this flurry of activity when our government does the same in other countries?

What I hate most about this coverage is how it mixes real gripes of the Russian government in order to sell a narrative that hasn’t been completely corroborated. It has become completely incessant that every news outlet reports on this over any factual reporting. The media has become so entrenched in this narrative that nothing else matters. It feeds into the fantasy that the media is, and can be, a source of political change instead of an echo chamber for elites and their views. Russia is an oligarchical country with vast, undemocratic branches with imperial visions, but that doesn’t absolve our government.

If we find out tomorrow that it is all true — what then? We impeach Trump and then we have Mike Pence as president? I don’t want to imagine how awful that could be. And I promise you, our democracy would still be under attack after that day. There would still be war profiteering, government surveillance, and wealthy elites disseminating their views. Before we hunt foreign intervention we should look for domestic intervention in democracy.

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Local Crime, Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 20, 2017

In the Neighborhood

Valencia
A report of grand theft came in on July 14 at 3:50 p.m. on the 24100 block of Valencia Blvd. And at 8:27 p.m. the same night there was a petty theft reported on the 27000 block of McBean Pkwy.

Saugus
A vehicle burglary allegedly occurred on July 12 at 6:30 a.m. on the 22300 block of Cataro Drive. Another vehicle burglary allegedly occurred on July 16 at 4:37 a.m.

Canyon Country
A vehicle burglary allegedly occurred on July 13 at 8:45 a.m. on the 19300 block of Stillmore Street. On the same day, an assault was called in at 1 p.m. from the 16600 block of Soledad Canyon Road.

Newhall
A petty theft was alleged on July 13 at 12:20 p.m. on the 24900 block of Newhall Avenue. On July 14 at 9:43 a.m. a burglary was reported from the 24200 block of Mentry Drive. An assault allegedly occurred on July 15 at 6 p.m. on the 24100 block of Lyons Avenue.

Stevenson Ranch
A burglary allegedly occurred on July 14 at 3:07 a.m. on the 26800 block of Grey Place. Also on July 14 at 2:30 p.m. a petty theft was reported from the 26800 block of The Old Road. On July 15 at 2:05 p.m. there was an alleged vehicle burglary on the 24700 block of Pico Canyon Road.

Santa Clarita
A vehicle burglary was reported on July 11 at 2 p.m. on the 27500 block of Diane Marie Court. A burglary allegedly occurred on July 16 at 11:32 a.m. on the 26300 block of Cardinal Drive. Also on July 16 a vehicle burglary was called in from the 18000 block of Annes Circle at 2:12 p.m.

Bad Boys and Girls 

A 20-year-old ER technician from Lancaster was arrested for recklessly causing fire of property. A 19-year-old painter from Newhall was charged with vandalism.

A 45-year-old pool man from Canyon Country was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear. A 22-year-old Canyon Country man who works in food services was picked up for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger on his person.

A 65-year-old Saugus man who works in pyrotechnics and an unemployed 47-year-old Palmdale woman were charged with battery on a non-cohabitating former spouse. And an unemployed 26-year-old Castaic man was charged with battery on an elder/dependent adult.

An unemployed 23-year-old Newhall woman was arrested for burglary.

Four individuals were charged with receiving known stolen property. The two men were from Cameron Park, Calif. — a 21-year-old attendant and a 20-year-old food service employee. The two women were an unemployed 20-year-old from Manteca, Calif. and an unemployed 19-year-old from El Dorado Hills, Calif.

 

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
32-year-old auto detailer from Canyon Country
41-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
26-year-old unemployed transient
38-year-old unemployed Newhall woman
21-year-old salesperson from Bakersfield
24-year-old unemployed Culver City man
41-year-old mover from Canyon Country
24-year-old unemployed Culver City man

A 31-year-old Canyon Country man who works in logistics was charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia.

An unemployed 23-year-old Palmdale man was arrested for evading a police officer/driving in a reckless manner. An unemployed 35-year-old L.A. man was picked up for driving with a license that’s suspended/revoked for another reason.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
29-year-old cashier from Valencia
34-year-old officdeer from North Hills
22-year-old lead assistant from Saugus
22-year-old server from Canyon Country
40-year-old OSP engineer from Santa Clarita
28-year-old barber from Canyon Country
25-year-old construction worker from Castaic
49-year-old from Mojave who refused to give his occupation
28-year-old salesperson from Northridge

Non-Profit of the Week: Sierra Hillbillies

| Community | July 20, 2017

Since 1967, this local group has been swinging around the dance floor, both throughout Santa Clarita Valley and taking it on the road to visit other clubs. The Sierra Hillbillies is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Western Square Dancing and Round Dancing.

With approximately 50 members, the club became known as one of the most active and “rowdy” square dance clubs in the L.A. area. They welcome couples and singles of all ages for an afternoon of dancing. In keeping with their philosophy that it’s all about the joy and camaraderie of square dancing, they have adopted a policy of “Casual Dress, Always Welcome” for club dances. They normally alternate mainstream and “plus” level tips, with an occasional “A1” tip.

Club dances are held on the first Sunday of each month from 2-5 p.m., always at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, at 22900 Market Street in Newhall. The callers change from dance to dance, some of the favorites booked several years in advance.

The Hillbillies have a very active visitation schedule, normally scheduling a minimum of one visitation each month. Other clubs are also encouraged to visit the Sierra Hillbillies dances.

Round Dancing is a big part of the Sierra Hillbillies. Rounds begin at 2 p.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m., when the members square up. Rounds are also cued between square dance tips. Guest cuers do the rounds.

This pastime is widely practiced—in the U.S. and beyond. And there are non-profit organizations for various districts and states. Karen Geller-Shinn is active in the Sierra Hillbillies and is also a member of the Associated Square Dancers, California. The purpose of the organization is to promote Modern American Square and Round Dancing as a healthful, fun-type family recreation; to provide leadership and direction for its members and to collect and disseminate information regarding square and round dancing on a local, state, and national level.

These active residents, such as the Sierra Hillbillies, are keeping alive the practice of American folkdance. And as you can see, the group is made up of a diversified, fun-loving group, and would love to have you join them. Everyone is welcome at the Sierra Hillbillies. The only rule they adhere to strictly is “Have Fun!” For information, call 661-254-4272, visit www.sierrahillbillies.org, or find the group on Facebook.

Classes
The Sierra Hillbillies also offer square dancing instruction for new dancers and refresher classes for experienced dancers. The City of Santa Clarita Seasons Catalog has an adult Beginning Square Dance class listed for fall. On page 39 of the catalog you’ll find registration information. Jay Henderson is the instructor, who will teach participants the first 50 basic calls in square dancing using a mixture of music styles including country, rock and roll, oldies, big band and pop. The class is held at Valencia Meadows Park on Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 5, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.

Callers/cuers photographed include Paul Waters, Hunter Keller, Ken Bower and Cindy Mower.Photos by Bob Messina

 

 

Gibbon Center Welcomes Visitors

| Community | July 20, 2017

The blazing sun couldn’t keep visitors away from the entertainment at the Gibbon Center’s “Swing into Summer” event early this month. These unique apes had no problem performing their acrobatics for guests, who also got to listen to live folk music while they walked around the property and looked over silent auction items.

Pocock Brewing Co. in Valencia provided beer and Grill Kabob in Saugus presented a table of food for attendees. Docents were available to educate inquisitive visitors and there was comfortable seating in the shade to watch these multiple species of endangered apes “perform.”

”It was a great opportunity to support local conservation of endangered species,” said Emily Wahab, who attended “Swing into Summer.”

The Gibbon Center houses more than 40 small apes in family groups, representing five unique gibbon species. Gibbons are native to southeast, east and south Asia. At the GCC, they live a peaceful (and sometimes remarkably loud) life, performing acrobatics and singing their territorial songs.

The Gibbon Conservation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to observation and study of these rare apes. The GCC offers opportunities for anthropologists, primatologists, students of all ages, and the general public to enjoy and learn. The GCC is visited by scholars and animal enthusiasts from around the world.

Founded by Alan Richard Mootnick in 1976, the Gibbon Center has been instrumental in identifying and naming a distinct gibbon species – the eastern hoolock gibbon. The GCC is the only location in the western hemisphere with eastern hoolock families in residence, and offers visitors the only opportunity in the world to hear five species of gibbons sing their songs together.

The Gibbon Conservation Center, just off Bouquet Canyon in Saugus, is open to visitors every Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and guided tours are held at 10 a.m. No reservations are required and tours can be scheduled for other dates and times. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for teens and students; $10 for seniors; $5 for children 6-12; and free for children 5 and under. The Gibbon Center is located at 19100 Esguerra Road, Saugus.

For more information on the GCC, go to their website at: www.gibboncenter.org or inquire at info@Gibboncenter.org.

Lean Left: Better Read Than Dead

| Opinion | July 20, 2017

by Blair Bess

Read any good bills lately? Let’s look at two that made the Congressional Bestseller List – at least for the Republican leadership. There was HR 1628, otherwise known as the “American Healthcare Act of 2017,” written by Paul Ryan. Or, there’s the latest bestseller, “The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” by Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, neither of them had any pictures. And they’ve just lost their spot on the president’s reading list.

Ever wonder if Congressman Steve Knight read either of these two tomes cover-to-cover? He probably didn’t. But in all fairness, neither did the clear majority of his colleagues on either side of the aisle. There wasn’t enough caffeine in the world to keep their lids open long enough to do so. I know. I downloaded both bills onto my laptop a few nights ago and, after settling in for a good read, found myself bleary-eyed by page 28 of the House Bill. I had to speed scroll through the Senate’s Reconciliation Bill. I didn’t get far enough to discover if browsing through these bills qualified me for life-support coverage. Or a free subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

Reading either of these Bills in toto or any combination thereof would be the equivalent of consuming every volume of “The Game of Thrones”; “Lord of the Rings”; and the “Harry Potter” series all in one sitting. But way more fun. Because, hey, with these two bills you could never be sure what was fact and what was fantasy. They were just that good!

I’m going to make it easy for those of you just chomping at the bit to find out about all the goodies that were in store for the American people should a “reconciled” version of HR 1628 ever pass both Houses of Congress. If you want to read two texts on ancient history, they’re still available online. But first, I want to be sure we all understand the true meaning of “reconciliation.”

“Reconciliation” is when two people in a bad relationship split up because they know things aren’t going to work out well in the long-run but, hey, just for the hell of it, they get back together one more time to try and make things work out happily-ever-after before they recognize, once and for all, that they really do hate each other’s guts. That’s “reconciliation.”

Okay. Ready to read some fun stuff? For “The American Healthcare Act,” the link is https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115hr1628rh/pdf/BILLS-115hr1628rh.pdf. The discussion draft of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” can be found at https://www.budget.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SENATEHEALTHCARE.pdf.

So many assurances and promises were made to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with something so much better, you’d think House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were talking about one of those miracle cures that used to be pitched by old time carnival barkers. You know, the kind that will fix everything that ails you with no side effects whatsoever. Then again, President Trump – King of the Hucksters – had said that the House Bill, which he signed, was “great.” A few short weeks later, he said it was “mean.” He was hoping the reconciled Senate plan was going to be “beautiful.” And we all know our president knows a thing or two about beauty.

We also know that once the president makes a decision or says he’s going to do something or passes a judgment or voices an opinion he stands by it. We know these “truths” to be self-evident. So, whatever health plan eventually made it to his desk, he’d love it bigly and sign it into law. He said. Last week. But now that the reconciled bill, which he’d expectantly hoped someone on his staff would read once they took delivery, is dead before arrival. He’s pointing fingers at Paul and Mitch saying he had nothing to do with it and it was all their fault. Well … they were the writers after all.

Ding-dong the bill is dead. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reviewed it and gave it a horrendous score, clearly stating that by 2026, a total of 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance. Not all of them would have been Medicaid or Medi-Cal recipients. Some could have been like you and me. That fact didn’t send the two novelists back to re-write. They needed more convincing in order to pull out their pens.

Just a few days ago, after reviewing an amendment by Senator Ted Cruz that created a two-tier health insurance system, the CEOs of Blue Cross Blue Shield and American Health Insurance Plans issued a joint statement saying that the bill “is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations in coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”

Mr. Cruz’s solution to get a bill passed would, according to the insurance companies’ statement, “create two systems of insurance for healthy and sick people.” The provision would allow insurers to provide cheap plans that skirt ACA requirements, like protecting against preexisting conditions if they offer more expensive plans that don’t. Huh? What did that mean?

It meant that healthcare would be affordable for those who can afford it and are healthy, while those who couldn’t afford it, were low-income, or seniors (or a combination of all three) wouldn’t be able to purchase health insurance, and those on Medicaid and Medi-Cal would experience a diminishment of their current benefits.

For the young and/or healthy, or those disinterested people who’d rather have a boat or an RV, no worries. The government wasn’t going to tax you for not having coverage like the “imploding disaster” Obamacare mandates. Nobody would “force” you to buy health insurance if you didn’t feel like it. But what would have happened if you got into a serious accident and needed surgery stat, or woke up feeling lousy one morning and that lousy feeling didn’t go away until you went to the doctor months later?

Imagine those lousy feelings were actually early symptoms of cancer or a blood disease or a tumor. The list of unpleasant medical maladies could go on and on, but you’d be too tired to read it; much as your elected officials were too tired to painstakingly pore over either of the bills currently before them.

You’d be tired because you were sick and you may — if you were lucky — be getting regular medical treatments that would wear you down. Treatments you couldn’t afford because you didn’t have health insurance; that may have gotten you into debt, caused you to remortgage or lose your home, seek help from grudging friends, families, churches, or social service organizations; for a condition that will now be considered “preexisting.”

But no matter. After factoids trickled out, the uproar expressed by the majority of the American public over some of the fun facts contained in these bills was enough to send those most literate scribes in Washington back to their desks to hammer away at their next draft. Not too great, given they are now threatening to burn up all of their handiwork and wait two more years to figure out what their next chapter will be.

If all of this is confusing you, read the bills. If you do, you’ll see why they sucked. Better yet, call Congressman Steve Knight and ask him to do it for you. That’s what we’re paying him for. Call his office and demand he read those bills cover-to-cover. If he already started, I’m guessing he still hasn’t reached the thrilling conclusion. Oh, and tell Representative Knight to take notes so he can give us an in-depth explanation as to why Congress should repeal, now that they can’t repeal and replace, the ACA at his next Town Hall Meeting. If he has a next Town Hall Meeting.

If Steve Knight hasn’t read either of the bills by now; the whole of both bills, and nothing but the bills, the Government Printing Office will be happy to send him the graphic novel version of the CBO Report. That one does have pictures. And they’re not pretty.

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Weeding Out the Possibility of Pot

| News | July 20, 2017

by Blair Bess

Cannabis cultivation is raking in the green for a growing number of California communities. In the City of Santa Clarita, however, a moratorium that has been in effect since last December has delayed any serious consideration of cannabis-related businesses within the city limits until the end of this year. Officials have made clear, however, that no matter what conclusion they reach, approval of retail dispensaries is highly unlikely.

 

While California voters got behind legalization of medical marijuana in 1996, and last year supported Proposition 64, which allows for recreational cultivation, manufacturing, use, sale, and distribution of marijuana, regulation of businesses engaged in the cannabis industry is left to the discretion of individual municipal bodies. Revenue generation is typically at the core of their deliberations.

 

Fiscally, Santa Clarita is far more stable than many of the communities in the state that have welcomed the cannabis industry. A spokesperson for the city says a conservative approach to the budgeting process has kept the community on an even footing since its founding 30 years ago.

 

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth says the council needs to make a more educated decision about whether controlled growth of cannabis is worth discussion. He does not, however, see retail sales of medical or recreational marijuana as something the city will be permitting, due to it still being considered a Schedule One drug under federal law. Mr. Smyth also points to the issue of public safety, noting that the city would be opening itself up to increased criminal activity and violent crime.

 

“The industry is very nuanced,” said Mr. Smyth. “Growth of medical marijuana and manufacture of its derivatives is a little bit different than retail sales. We’re waiting on staff to bring us a recommendation, but there’s still a lot of research to be done. It’s worth hearing what other cities are doing.”

 

Many of the communities that have found themselves deeply in the red or on the brink of insolvency see cannabis-related businesses as a means to climb out of deep troughs of debt and increase city coffers. It’s not as though the opportunity to do so isn’t there.

 

Kevin Tamura, an executive vice president based at DAUM Commercial Real Estate’s Valencia office, says he gets two or three phone calls a week from cannabis growers looking for industrial space. Most of them are willing to pay as high as double the rental rate landlords are asking.

 

“There’s high demand,” said Mr. Tamura. “If medical cannabis facilities were legalized and landlords were willing to lease to cultivators or manufacturers, there’s no doubt there’d be interest.”

 

Southland cities like Adelanto, Desert Hot Springs, and others have not only seen revenue growth since passage of medical cannabis ordinances; they’ve also witnessed the price of vacant real estate increase by as much as fivefold. Not all that property is slated for cannabis-related businesses. Adelanto is in the process of transitioning from a dusty desert drive-thru to a boom town. Increased commercial and residential projects are either underway or in the planning stages.

 

According to Adelanto Mayor Richard Kerr, there are already 250 houses under some stage of construction in the community of 33,000 residents with more development on the horizon. The city has also approved plans for three hotels, a medical corridor, retail shops, and two-to-three more gas stations.

 

“The cannabis industry saved the city from bankruptcy,” Kerr said. “We had a $2.6 million deficit as of (November 2014). As of last week, we were $400,000 in the black, and that number is going up.”

 

For a community that had been teeter-tottering on the edge of extinction, those numbers are impressive. Currently, owners of grow facilities pay a tax of $5 per square foot in addition to a sales tax ranging from zero-to-five percent of revenues. Adelanto will have between 70-75 grow facilities by the end of the year, with 30 percent of those currently in operation and more soon on the way.

 

Though the mayor says the city isn’t banking on medical cannabis for its general fund, Adelanto’s budget has increased from its current $11 million to $18 million next year as a result of medical cannabis taxation. Kerr says that given the near-disastrous condition he inherited when he took office, he intends to keep the city on a more conservative fiscal footing.

 

Right now, there is no limit to the number of facilities used for cannabis-related cultivation or the manufacture of cannabis derivatives within the city limits. Adelanto also permits, but has strict limits on, the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Kerr notes the city will evaluate whether to approve dispensaries and grow facilities for recreational use once state legislators and regulators put laws governing non-medical cannabis production in place; that’s expected to take place next year.

 

“I want to make Adelanto the Silicon Valley of medical cannabis production,” Kerr said.

 

Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar doesn’t believe the prospect of enriching a city’s treasury is reasonable justification for instituting ordinances for marijuana sales or production. Kellar sees the entire idea as making money from something that hurts people. He cites his 25 years as an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department as validation of this feeling. Kellar says he’s seen too many people who have died as a result of overdoses, and he points to research that suggests marijuana can be a gateway drug for some abusers.

 

“Using economics as an argument is absurd,” the councilman said. “I think it’s an unfortunate day when we give in to this malarkey about increased tax revenues.”

 

Kellar did, however, cite an experience that leaves him open to discussion of products or derivatives for medical use as a means of compassionate care. He recounted a conversation he’d recently had with an acquaintance about a three-year-old girl suffering from a terminal illness. He was told that medical marijuana would lessen her pain. Kellar says he’s not a doctor so he can’t make those judgments, but he understands the rationale behind those beliefs.

 

Many of the municipalities that have been receptive to medical marijuana growers and manufacturers of cannabis derivatives, including oils, tinctures, and edibles, however, share sentiments expressed by Mr. Smyth and Mr. Kellar regarding retail sales: Not in our community.

 

When the City of Lancaster recently approved the commercial cultivation of medical marijuana, they did so with the caveat that the city would not allow the establishment of dispensaries. Discussions before the Planning Commission and the City Council often touched upon topics as diverse as the law, morality, and commerce. Compassion was also an argument brought forth by proponents of the ordinance.

 

The commission held five meetings before a recommendation to permit indoor cultivation facilities was presented to the City Council, and voted on in March. Of Lancaster’s five Council members, three were in favor of the ordinance, with one dissenting, and one member absent. City officials note that their ordinance also contains some of the most restrictive provisions in the state when it comes to banning outright recreational cultivation and cannabis sales.

 

Unlike Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs, the Lancaster ordinance limits growth and production to five enclosed facilities, with very stringent public safety requirements in place; those include 24-hour onsite security, security cameras that are monitored by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and secure fencing around the perimeter of the facilities. All cultivation and production is confined to industrial zones within the city, which is similar to other communities where cannabis businesses are permitted.

 

The cannabis industry has also proven to be a windfall for Desert Hot Springs, where revenues are garnered from taxes ranging from $25 for the first 3,000 square feet of space, with a tax of $10 per square foot above that. The first cultivation facility in Desert Hot Springs opened last October. The city’s ordinance permits cultivation, manufacture of cannabis products, and distribution and transportation facilities. And like Adelanto, Desert Hot Springs permits the retail sale of medical marijuana within the city limits.

 

As was the case with Adelanto, the city had been plagued by fiscal issues and was on the verge of insolvency when cannabis-related ordinances were put into place in 2014. Desert Hot Springs has learned from its past economic crisis and has no intention on planning future budgets based on projected revenue generated from the cultivation, manufacture, or sales of cannabis products.

 

“We’ve taken a very conservative approach regarding revenues,” said Doria Wilms, the city’s deputy city clerk and public information officer.

 

Wilms says the cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers setting up shop in Desert Hot Springs aren’t just commuting to work and taking advantage of legalization. They’re relocating their families and making the city their home. Wilms says that the cannabis industry has gone out of its way to be good neighbors and that the Cannabis Association Network, a local growers trade group, has contributed to a number of community events.

 

Facility owners and growers also have provided funds for street improvements and infrastructure upgrades as well. Desert Hot Springs has also experienced a real estate boom, with property values tripling since the cannabis ordinances were enacted in 2014.

 

Though Wilms says the city’s leaders are happy with the results so far, not everyone was initially onboard with the decision to open the door to the cannabis industry. In an interview last year with the Los Angeles Times, Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Dale Mondary said that he was philosophically opposed, from a law enforcement standpoint, but feels that the voters of California registered their approval and laws are in effect. Wilms says Chief Mondary has played an active role in having a say, in terms of cannabis operations, security, and enforcement; and it’s now “all hands on deck.”
Whether officials in Santa Clarita ultimately decide to permit medical marijuana cultivation and the manufacture of cannabis derivatives in the city is still questionable. The opportunity and promise of a financial windfall may have already passed the city by.  Cannabis production is currently a growth industry in the state, but skeptics believe that this California Green Rush is unsustainable due to potential over-saturation of the market.

 

As more cultivation and manufacturing facilities are established and coming online, growers’ expectations of significant financial returns may be disappointing in the long-run, as supply may eventually outweigh demand. Many in the industry expect a market correction to take place at some point in the future, but for would-be cannabis entrepreneurs looking in from the outside, hopes remain high and the grass still looks greener.

 

 

Wine of the Week – What is a Rosé Wine? 50 Shades of Pink!

| Entertainment | July 17, 2017

You find them from pink to fuchsia … and all the shades in between, such as blush, crepe, rouge, salmon or coral.

By
Beth P. Heiserman

Róse wines, often called blush wines, are normally made with red grapes, but have a much lighter color than red wine, which is the result of the way the wine is created. There are three ways to make a Róse: skin-contact, saignée or blending.

Traditionally, róse wines are made with red wine grapes, crushing the grapes and leaving them to ferment for a few hours with the skins on. The length of time the juice has contact with the skin determines the color and tannin content. Also, various grapes create different hues of wine.

To maximize the tannin levels and add color to a red wine, some of the pink or róse juice from the beginning stages of winemaking can be removed, which is referred to as the Saignée method. It literally means “bleeding.” The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé, which has been used as a “topping wine” to fill the ullage, which is the space created in a barrel from evaporation.

Róse wine may also be made by blending red and white wines, but this is relatively rare. Using this method, we at Reyes Winery have created a róse that blends chardonnay, Muscat and a syrah for color. We now have produced four vintages of Rosa’s Choice Róse. Our 2015 Rosa’s Choice Róse has the aromas of strawberry and spun honey. It’s salmon colored with a fruity finish characteristic of our vineyard. It is crisp and refreshing.

Ask the Experts

| Canyon Country Magazine | July 17, 2017

Real Estate

Planning Your Summer Move

Planning your move for the summer can be a little tricky, as you are juggling plans, competing with higher demand for homes and trying to get settled before school begins. Don’t worry — with a little bit of planning and organization you can make it happen without all the stress.

First, keep in mind that this is the Santa Clarita Valley, where most families move in the summer to work around school schedules. Start your home search a little early, just to see the current inventory. I recommend starting by late March or early April in order to beat the rush and guarantee yourself more options.

All of this also depends on whether you are currently renting or you own your home and have to sell it first. If you are renting, the process is much easier, as it isn’t contingent on selling a home. If you start your search early, when you see the perfect home you have several that you can compare it with to feel comfortable. Don’t wait to put in that offer — be aggressive and go after it, otherwise it will be gone.

Now, if you have a home to sell, get it on the market no later than April. It’s a good idea to get your home into escrow first in order to have the leverage to purchase your new home. If you price it right it should sell quickly, and then make it contingent on you finding and closing your new home. This will give you the time to find a new home and have it close concurrently with your sale.

Another option to give yourself more time after you close is to have a “rent back contingency” added. This can give you an additional 30-60 days to stay in your home after the close of escrow. So, if you sell your home in May and it closes in June, you can stay in the home, paying rent until your new home closes in August, and sometimes with the new buyer even paying your rent. This may seem a little confusing, but I specialize in helping families with their summer move.

Craig Martin – Realty One Group 661-361-6843

Cybercrime

What is cyberbullying?
One of the most common cybercrimes in the world, cyberbullying is responsible for causing catastrophic effects on victims, including death. Even international celebrities, business moguls and politicians have fallen victim to cyberbullying in one way or the other. Cybercriminals don’t hesitate to engage in offensive behaviors such as stalking, hurling insults, posting hurtful posts/images/videos on the timelines of victims, and even sending abusive texts/emails/messages online. Stalkers can make an individual’s life miserable due to their tendency to intimidate, instill fear, offend or harass their victims. As a matter of fact, there have been cases where people committed suicide after being cyberbullied on their social media accounts.

What do you do about identity theft?
Criminals are becoming smarter with the advancement of technology, using hacking, phishing and malware to engage in identity theft for financial benefits, personal vendetta, or to taint a person’s reputation. Cybercriminals use their skills to gain unauthorized access to your personal information — name, date of birth, photographs, address, bank accounts, pin numbers, or national social security details. They use your personal information to commit all sorts of crimes: fraud, intimidation, wiping out bank accounts, claiming government benefits, acquiring property or lodging fraudulent claims. Identity theft can be quite distressing, both emotionally and financially for victims.

Tina Louise Penn is a cloud technology specialist and VoIP certified technician. You can reach her at 661-210-9222 or visit Cloudplusservices.com.
WBENC # 2005125700

Window Cleaning

Why should a homeowner hire an expert to wash their windows, as opposed to simply washing their windows themselves?
The professional window cleaners do a better job cleaning the windows, screens, and tracks. It saves you time — everyone is busy. If you have the experts clean your windows regularly they will function much better, in terms of ease in opening and closing your windows. And regular service by a professional will extend the life of your windows, screens, and tracks.

To prevent hard water damage, you should have your windows cleaned, because hard water builds up and creates stains on your windows.

For your safety, the professionals know how to reach high windows with their ladders, and walk on your roof properly. In addition, professional window cleaners have other equipment so they can reach windows that cannot even be reached with extension ladders. To enjoy clean windows year round you should have your windows cleaned inside and out every year, and have a professional clean your exterior windows every six months.

Even though you might think it is obvious, it’s a world of difference with clean windows! Your house really will seem bigger and brighter.

Why should someone have their gutters cleaned out and how often do you recommend?
The main reason to clean your gutters is to avoid water damage to the home, which can be caused by backup to the downspouts, or blockage in the rain gutter. This can cause damage to the roof, the drywall, and/or your exterior siding. For your safety, allow the professionals to handle reaching high gutters on your home.

Regarding frequency, homeowners should clean their gutters every year or two. However, if the home is surrounded by nearby trees, the homeowner should consider doing them even more often to avoid any blockage or damage to the home.

Scott Knight owns All Seasons Window Cleaning; 661-219-1197. Visit Allseasonswc.com.

Carpet Cleaning

What are the advantages of dry carpet cleaning over wet carpet cleaning?

The dry process cleans carpets from the bottom up. Other carpet cleaning pushes everything down and relies on suction to remove it. We pull over 80 percent of pollens, allergens, dust mites, and hair just through our extraction vacuuming.

Also, there’s no wet carpet when it’s done, of course. You can walk on it immediately. The process consists of a plant-based material and it acts as a sponge. As we run our machines over the carpet, it brings up the dust and pollens, everything that settles down.

There are four HEPA filters in the machine that trap the miniscule particles. It’s dry, so there’s no chance of mold and there’s also no musty smell. There won’t be any soap or chemical residue left behind. That means the carpet will stay cleaner longer. Wet carpet cleaning acts like a magnet to new grime. In a lot of cases, people who only have theirs cleaned once a year, their carpet gets dirtier and dirtier every year.

From excessive steam cleaning, carpets can be damaged. And then we can come in and become a type of restoration process to get it back to a normal state.

Is the cleaning process different for different types of flooring?

We have various brushes for different floors. We change brushes for a wool carpet vs. area rugs, and for delicate carpets we use a very soft brush. For tile and grout we use a thicker brush, but the process is the same. We do upholstery, we do wood floors. We don’t go in and do repairs. Wood floors absorb grime just like tile or anything else. We don’t take the finish off, but we clean the soiling/grime off and we use a different machine for wood floors.

To contact Jeff and Tammy Golf at Truly Dry Carpet Cleaning, call 661-476-7775 or visit trulydry.com.

 

Free Exhibit of Winning Photographs

| Community | July 16, 2017

City Hall will display the work of winners from a local photography competition from July 21-November 21, 2017. Residents are invited to view the winning photographs from the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association Spring Print Competition in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall. The gallery is located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard.

A free public reception will be held in the First Floor Gallery on Wednesday, July 26 at 6 p.m. Residents are invited to stop by and enjoy light appetizers, live music and mingle with the artists featured in the exhibit.

The SCVPA Spring Print Competition took place on Saturday, May 13 at the Sierra Hills Clubhouse. The annual competition features members’ artwork in a variety of categories. The work of winners from each category and those receiving merit awards were chosen for the City Hall exhibit.

The SCVPA is dedicated to advancing the art and business of photography. For more information on the association, visit scvphotographers.com. For more information regarding the art reception and exhibit, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

‘Community Shred Day’ at Eternal Valley

| Community | July 15, 2017

Individuals with personal documents needing to be shredded have an opportunity, thanks to Eternal Valley Memorial Park. On Saturday, July 22 they can bring up to four boxes of papers to the local mortuary for a free shredding service.

Whether paperwork has been sitting in storage or uncovered after the death of a loved one, it needs to be destroyed in order to avoid identity theft. There are more than 17 million victims of identity theft each year, says the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Eternal Valley staff members are reaching out to the community by enabling them to properly dispose of personal, confidential documents that might provide an opportunity for criminal use.

“We’ve seen the turmoil and emotional stress that identity theft brings victims of all ages,” said Curtis Woods, general manager of Eternal Valley Memorial Park. “Community Shred Day is designed to help our community members protect themselves, and we are honored to host this event once again, and to work with local businesses to enhance the safety and security of our neighbors.”

On “Community Shred Day,” individuals may bring up to four boxes of paper documents to be shredded at no charge. Staples and paper clips may be left on the documents, but binders, CDs, DVDs or other media will not be accepted.

In addition to Community Shred Day, the team at Eternal Valley Memorial Park offers a number of precautions to prevent identity theft from happening, such as:

•Keep personal and identifying information locked in a safe, away from visitors and contractors or caregivers. Bank, credit cards and medical statements, as well as other personal documents, offer a wealth of identifying information.

•Have mail delivered to a post office box instead of a home address. If it’s not possible to pick mail up from a mailbox, make arrangements with the post office to have mail delivered directly to the door.

•Always take outgoing mail to the post office or to a locked mailbox rather than letting it sit in an outside mailbox.

•Opt out of direct mail credit offers by calling the Federal Trade Commission’s OPTOUT line at: 1-888-567-8688. These solicitations contain personal information that identity thieves look for in trash cans.

•Don’t carry social security cards in a purse or wallet. Memorize the number and keep the card locked in a safe or safe deposit box.

•Have paper checks delivered to a post office box or to the issuing financial institution.

•Don’t include your home phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, or date of birth on your checks.

•When ordering checks, use only your first and middle initials with your last name, but sign the bank signature card and checks with your full name. This will alert the bank to any suspicious activity.

•Ask the bank to change an ATM debit card to an ATM-only card. These require a pin number and can only be used to withdraw money from the ATM machine, and then only with the correct pin number.

•When paying credit card bills by check, write only the last four digits of the account number on the check memo line.

•Don’t sign the back of credit and debit cards. Instead, write “PHOTO I.D. REQUIRED FOR USE” in the signature space. When a merchant takes the card to verify it, they should request your ID before completing the transaction.

You can bring up to four boxes to Eternal Valley Memorial Park, a local Dignity Memorial® provider, on Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. It is located at 23287 Sierra Hwy. in Newhall. For more information or questions, call (661) 259-0800. Visit Eternalvalleymortuary.com.

Pete’s Vacation Peeves

| Opinion | July 15, 2017

Summer at last. The kids are out of school and time for a long overdue vacation. Suitcases packed, we were ready for an exciting trip back east to New York City and my hometown of Boston. All in all, the trip went great, but I don’t think anyone goes on vacation without at least one experience that gets them peeved.

Vacation Peeve 1. Finally, after weeks of planning, we were on the plane to New York City. So, I put on the headphones and settled in for what should have been an enjoyable and uneventful flight. Hours passed and I decided to use the lavatory one more time before we landed. But, just as I locked the door, the plane hit terrible turbulence and started to bounce and sway back and forth. Hanging on for dear life with one hand, I tried to keep my balance while finishing my business, and then carefully stumbled back to my seat, trying not to fall into anyone’s lap on the way.

I did my best to keep calm, but the pilot was powering his way through the turbulence so fast and descending so quickly that the plane was shaking like a washing machine in spin cycle with an uneven load. Barf bag in hand, I felt like I could lose my lunch at any minute and was moaning so loud that the passenger to my right was doing all she could to get as far away from me as possible. Meanwhile, my wife was on my left, fanning me with the in-flight instruction book as I prayed to GOD to make the turbulence stop. (I just hope HE doesn’t hold me to the promises I made.)

Finally, we landed! As my family and fellow passengers slowly recovered from the flight from hell, I put away my unused barf bag and took a sigh of relief. Then I saw him. A cocky, young pilot coming out of the cockpit with a big smile on his face. Proud that he had gotten us in 20 minutes early, he jauntily exited the plane, totally unaware of the sick passengers he was leaving behind. Was I peeved? You Bet! But I was more relieved that I hadn’t heaved and lost my lunch somewhere over New Jersey.

Vacation Peeve 2. I Love Pizza! So, while my family was in New York City, one of the highlights was to treat the kids to some authentic New York Pizza. I searched reviews for the best pizza in town and found a popular pizzeria on 44th Street.

My mouth was watering as we stood in the long line to get in. Then there was the 20-minute wait to be seated, but it was all going to be worth it because we were going to eat some amazing, authentic New York pizza.

We ordered and finally the waiter brought us the pizza. Hmm. It looked a little thin but I didn’t let that bother me. Then I took a bite and it tasted like burned toast with sauce and cheese on it. I turned it over and the bottom was all black and charred. I called the waiter over and complained, but he explained that all their pizzas come out of the brick oven that way. So, my wife and kids did their best to eat around the burned parts but, needless to say, I was really disappointed and a little peeved.

Days later, we were in downtown Boston looking for somewhere to get lunch when we noticed this little pizza shop called “New York Pizza.” I figured if a Boston pizza shop has the nerve to call itself New York Pizza, it was worth a try. We went inside, ordered and out came this gigantic, delicious pizza with cheese dripping off of every slice. The best pizza I ever ate. So, I finally got my authentic New York pizza, but I had to go to Boston to get it.
Vacation Peeve 3. Like most parents, I freak out when I don’t know where my kids are. It has been an adjustment dealing with my two young teenage girls and their need for independence. Usually, I can manage my anxiety when they suddenly go off by themselves or decide to ignore my text messages. But, it was the last day in New York City before checking out of the hotel room that really got me peeved.

We had just finished our complimentary breakfast on the lower level of the hotel, when the kids decided they would go on ahead to get us an elevator to go back to our room. Well, my youngest, 14-year-old daughter suddenly disappeared, and the oldest was wandering around trying to find her. Was she in the restroom? Was she in the elevator? “Maybe she is in the lobby!” I said. So, we rushed up the flight of stairs to the lobby, but she was nowhere to be found.

I was frantically texting her, when my oldest daughter, unable to get an elevator at the lobby, decided to go up eight flights of stairs to our room to see if her sister was there. Great, now I have two kids wandering somewhere around the hotel. Meanwhile, my wife was still in the cafeteria grabbing some free muffins to take with us, just in case the kids got hungry later.

After another few minutes of texting and calling everyone in the family with no response, my youngest finally replies, “I’m in the room. Where else would I be?” Meanwhile, my other daughter decided to catch the elevator at the third floor, and we all eventually met up back in the room, safe and sound. So, all was well … except for the poor people in the room next to us who were probably awakened by the sound of me yelling at the top of my lungs, “Don’t you ever do that again!”

The Music of Earth, Wind and Fire Featured at Concerts in the Park

| Community | July 15, 2017

Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire will take the stage Saturday, July 15 for the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, which is presented by Logix Federal Credit Union. The concerts are held Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Central Park, which is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire will take the stage Saturday, July 15 for the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, which is presented by Logix Federal Credit Union. The concerts are held Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Central Park, which is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

The group is popular because of its reputation for sharing the sound of the original Earth, Wind and Fire, a belief even held by one of the famous band’s members.
“Out of 1,000 other bands that I have heard play this material, Kalimba is the first band that gets it like it’s supposed to be played,” said former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Sheldon Reynolds in 2013.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, the lead vocalist is Thomas “Chazz” Smith and the band’s drummer Jeff Haile, whose dream was to play the music that they listened to growing up. Over time, the band grew and started attracting national attention. As a result, Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire has performed across the country at casinos, state fairs and numerous jazz clubs. Concerts in the Park are free events put on by the City every Saturday night through August 26. The family-friendly atmosphere allows residents and visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy the music all summer long.

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets and food vendors will be on site, selling a variety of concessions and snacks. A free bicycle valet service is provided by the SCV Bicycle Coalition, allowing residents to bike to and from the concert and avoid the hassle of finding a place to park.
For more information on Concerts in the Park, visit Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts.

Now Playing in Santa Clarita

| Entertainment | July 14, 2017

Santa Clarita Regional Theatre Presents ‘The Little Mermaid’
Audience members—both young and old—are welcome to visit the sea with the latest show at the Performing Arts Center in Valencia. A feature of the Canyon Theatre Guild’s Playhouse Season and produced by the Santa Clarita Regional Theatre, “The Little Mermaid” opens on Saturday, July 22 with a classic tale of romance and magic.

Performances are Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through August 13. The Performing Arts Center is located on the College of the Canyons campus, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road. For tickets, call the Box Office at 661-799-2702 or visit CanyonTheatre.org/shows.

‘Don’t Hug Me’ at Canyon Theatre Guild
Described as “Fargo” meets “The Music Man,” the latest show at the Canyon Theatre Guild is an ice-cold musical comedy set in Minnesota. It opens on July 29 with a free wine and champagne reception before the show at 7 p.m. The reception is open to ticketholders that are over 21 years of age.

Performances are Fridays at 8 p.m. on August 18 and 25; Saturdays at 8 p.m. on July 29, August 5, 12, 19 and 26; and Sundays at 2 p.m. on July 30, August 6, 13 and 20.

Ticket prices are $19 for adults, $17 for juniors (under 18) and seniors (over 62), with a special student promotion of $8 for those age 21 and younger with a school ID. The Canyon Theatre Guild is located at 24242 Main Street in Newhall. For more information, call 661-799-2702 or visit Canyontheatre.org.

Santa Clarita PAC Season Tickets Now on Sale

College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center began the sale of individual tickets for the Santa Clarita PAC 2017-18 season on Wednesday. The new season features a diverse lineup of musicians and artists, as well as family-friendly programs.

Highlights of the season include:

• Chart-topping rock band Three Dog Night – Sept. 16, 2017
• Disney’s “Frozen” Sing-Along – Oct. 7, 2017
• Country music legend Dwight Yoakam – Nov. 12, 2017
• The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular in “Snowkus Pocus” – Dec. 3, 2017
• Grammy-winning comedy duo Cheech and Chong – Feb. 10, 2018
• Cabaret performance by Mark Nadler – April 7, 2018
• Olate Dogs, “America’s Got Talent” winner – May 19, 2018

Other acts include: The Underwater Bubble Show; “Animaniacs” Live!; The Chieftains; and Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company’s “Mexico, Al Son de la Banda.” The center will also host a number of College of the Canyons theatre, music and dance department productions, as well as community group performances.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the box office. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit canyonspac.com or call the box office at (661) 362-5304

Lean to the Left: ‘Fake News’

| Opinion | July 14, 2017

by Blair Bess

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s be very clear: Donald J. Trump is President of the United States of America. He won the electoral vote by a substantial margin. He did not win the popular vote. Does anyone, other than Mr. Trump, really care? He’s the president. I accept that. He is no less legitimate to me because Hillary Clinton had 3,000,000 more popular votes than he, just as George W. Bush was no less legitimate because he received roughly 540,000 popular votes less than his Democrat opponent Al Gore. Doesn’t matter how you get to the White House, so long as you get there.

Here’s something else I accept: the Russian government hacked our election. This is not “fake news,” despite the rants and raves emanating from the White House. Why should we believe this? Because the Russians are not now, nor have they ever been, our friends and compadres. While we were, for a brief point in time, allies and partners of necessity in confronting Nazi Germany during World War II, the Russian government – let me say it again – have never been our friends.

In the wake of our temporary alliance, we spent the better part of 40 years embroiled in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, Russia’s de facto predecessor. Ultimately, they brought us to the brink of Armageddon during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is the same adversary that disregarded national boundaries in its aggressive seizure of territory in Eastern Europe throughout the post-WWII era. The same government that erected a barrier against democracy, in Berlin, which stood for nearly 30 years; the one that caused President Ronald Reagan to excoriate, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The government that imprisoned anyone who opposed, or spoke out against it, with sentences to a life of hard labor, and often death in its gulags, if not death outright. The same government that invaded Afghanistan in the ‘80s. The successor government, Russia, that in the last decade made power grabs in Armenia and Ukraine. The same Russian leadership that sat idly by or actively participated in, depending upon who you believe, the gassing of innocent men, women, and children in Syria. And, yes, the same Russian government that invaded us here in the United States.

It’s time for President Trump to get on board with the military and intelligence professionals who provide him with real, substantive information rather than listen to a close, insular circle that includes family members and sycophants who will not tell him the truth, provide him with a reality check, either out of fear that they’ll cause him dismay or lose their job or because they have their own personal agendas to promote. This is for real. It is not a drill. The Russians have gained access to and possess not only voter information, but personal, perhaps more valuable, information including Social Security numbers, where you live, your address, your height, your weight, the color of your eyes and hair, whether you’ve opted to be an organ donor, whatever. Seems innocuous enough, but not really. Anything we hold near and dear is fair game for those who seek to take us down. And take us down they can. Hacking an election is one thing. Hacking our infrastructure, the systems that control our national defense, access to our bank accounts, health records, etc. is a whole other ballgame. They can do it to us and we, I daresay, can do it to them as well. Cyberwarfare is the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine of the 21st Century.

To deny is to be complicit. And this is what our Commander-in-Chief has chosen to do: deny and wallow in complacency because it is counterintuitive to whatever narcissistic slight he experiences from day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute as evidenced by his constant barrage of tweets. That, or because he, his family, and/or his close associates have some very nasty secrets to hide as documented by news reports in the last few days.

Some of us may not have voted for you, Mr. President, some of us may not like you. But you are, though, for how long we don’t know, the leader of the Free World. The leader of the American people. So, lead. It is your mandate to do so.

If you do not stop the madness now, it will come back to haunt you and us a thousand-fold. You may have won the last election, but what if Vladimir Putin grows tired of you? What if Mr. Putin decides to pull the plug on your Presidency in 2020 and attack our electoral process yet again? Will you cry foul then? Will you resuscitate your chant that “the system is rigged?” Will you graciously accept defeat? Or will you then, and only then, condescend to the intelligence officials who attempt to brief you every day and choose that moment in the future to wake up to the reality of today: that the Russians have hacked us, cyber-attacked us, and are in control?

This is not “fake news,” Mr. President. If you cannot trust those who mean to serve you well and have both your best interests and the interests of our country at heart – soldiers, spies, civil servants, and those who voted for you and supported you – how can you be trusted? Get over yourself. Get real. Get out of bed with those who mean We the American People, and you, harm.

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of Valley Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Three Types of Cybercrimes

| Police Blotter | July 14, 2017

by Tina Louise Penn

Cybercriminals can compromise your computer system in different ways. Many people are left feeling powerless after having their privacy infringed by cybercriminals through hacking, malicious malware, and identity theft. The effects of cybercrime can be upsetting and daunting for victims, which include organizations, corporations, national/federal governments and individuals. The best defense against acts of cyber criminality is awareness and education about the different types of cybercrimes and how they are carried out.

The 3 most common types of cybercrime are:

•Cyberbullying
One of the most common cybercrimes in the world, cyberbullying is responsible for causing catastrophic effects on victims, including death. Even international celebrities, business moguls and politicians have fallen victim to cyberbullying in one way or the other. Cybercriminals don’t hesitate to engage in offensive behaviors such as stalking, hurling insults, posting hurtful posts/images/videos on the timelines of victims, and even sending abusive texts/emails/messages online. Stalkers can make an individual’s life miserable due to their tendency to intimidate, instill fear, offend or harass their victims. As a matter of fact, there have been cases where people committed suicide after being cyberbullied on their social media accounts.

•Identity theft
Criminals are becoming smarter with the advancement of technology. They are using all manner of tricks, including hacking, phishing and malware to engage in identity theft for financial benefits, personal vendetta or to simply taint a person’s reputation. Identity theft is a major global menace. Cybercriminals use their computers and skills to gain unauthorized access to your personal information — name, date of birth, photographs, address, bank accounts, pin numbers, or national social security details — in order to execute their evil plans. They use your personal information to commit all sorts of crimes: fraud, intimidation, wiping out your bank accounts, claiming government benefits, acquiring property or lodging fraudulent claims in your name. Identity theft can be quite distressing, both emotionally and financially for victims.

•Online scams
The internet has become a hub for hackers, tricksters, and fraudsters. Cybercriminals are quick to take advantage of different social media platforms to fleece their unsuspecting victims. They always come up with new online scams, including dating scams, celebrity death scams, job opportunity scams, prize scams, moneymaking scams and threats and extortion, among many others. Regrettably, millions of curious people across the globe keep losing money to these dishonest online scams.

Other common types of cybercrimes include email spam, phishing, hacking, denial of service (DOS attack), computer intrusion, social engineering, masquerading, Smurf attack, Fraggle attack and email bombing, among others. In order to protect yourself against such cybercrimes, desist from responding to unexpected hyperlinks or try to subscribe/unsubscribe from suspicious emails, texts, or even calls. My expert advice is “Think, Think, Think before you click!”

 

Tina Louise Penn is a cloud technology specialist and VoIP certified technician. You can reach her at 661-210-9222 or visit Cloudplusservices.com.
WBENC # 2005125700

SCVi Public Charter School Holds Open House

| Community | July 14, 2017

Families who are looking for an alternative to neighborhood public schools can attend an open house at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School on Tuesday, July 25 from 6-8 p.m. Held every summer, the event brings prospective students, their parents and staff members at SCVi together for tours of the public charter school.

Classes range from TK-12 and the school’s educational philosophy is described as promoting project-based learning with an innovative, research-based method of instruction. The school says that students are encouraged to tackle engaging projects about real-world issues.

“During the past 10 years, the facilitators (teachers) and staff at SCVi have worked tirelessly to create a learning environment that values critical, creative thought and meets each learner, or student, exactly where they are in their educational journey,” said Amber Raskin, who co-founded iLEAD Schools 10 years ago with veteran educator and principal Dawn Evenson. “Dawn and I are so proud of iLEAD’s success over the past decade, and we invite prospective learners, their families and our community to learn more about what sets us apart.”

According to SCVi leadership, “They use critical thought, inquiry and synthesis to create solutions and present their findings to their peers. The school also maintains a unique emphasis on employing teaching methods that foster social-emotional development and personal strengths, while encouraging social and self-awareness. The school incorporates principles of project-based learning into dance, music, theatre, media and visual art. Sports are offered from kindergarten through 12th grade, with upper school teams participating in the CIF Omega League. The young athletes can play basketball, soccer, flag football, volleyball, cross-country, softball, baseball, golf, and there are equestrian teams.

SCVi is located at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic. For more information, visit scvi-k12.org.

Local Crime, Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 14, 2017

In the Neighborhood

Valencia

Petty theft was reported on the 27900 block of Kelly Johnson Pkwy on June 25 at 3:55 p.m. On July 6 at 8:05 p.m. arson was alleged at the intersection of Copperhill and Decoro Drive.

Saugus

Grand theft of an automobile/passenger van was reported on July 6 at 2:07 p.m. between Auto Center Drive and Magic Mountain Pkwy. A vehicle burglary occurred on July 9 at 2:45 a.m. between Del Monte Drive and Parkview Drive.

On July 10 at 4:00 p.m. there was an alleged vehicle grand theft of a motorcycle reported from the 24200 block of Valencia Blvd.

Canyon Country

On July 10 at 2:18 a.m. a burglary was called in from the 19000 block of Soledad Canyon Road.

On July 11 at 4:00 a.m. grand theft from an unlocked auto was alleged on the 19000 block of Nearbrook Street. Later that day, petty theft from an auto was reported on the 18500 block of Soledad Canyon Road at 11:15 a.m.

Newhall

Robbery with a weapon was reported on July 9 at 9:50 p.m. from the 25000 block of Ave Rotella.

Grand theft vehicle was alleged between the blocks of 6th Street and Pine Street on July 10 at 9:00 p.m. An hour and a half later, a vehicle burglary was called in from the 23400 block of Ave Rotella at 10:30 p.m.

Stevenson Ranch

On July 1 at 5:25 a.m. a burglary was alleged on the 25700 block of The Old Road. On July 8 at 1:59 p.m. on the 25600 block of Pico Canyon Road a vehicle burglary of an auto/passenger van was reported.

Castaic

Petty theft from a private residence, boat, plane, yard was reported on July 7 at 1:48 p.m. from the 28000 block of Hasley Canyon Road. Arson was alleged between Del Valle Street and Hasley Canyon Road on July 9 at 12:19 a.m.

 Santa Clarita

There was an alleged petty theft on July 4 at 4:52 p.m. on the 26400 block of Carl Boyer Drive. And on July 9 at 12:30 a.m. a burglary was called in from the 22100 block of Soledad Canyon Road.

Bad Boys and Girls

A 21-year-old laborer from Newhall was charged with attempted murder. Both a 19-year-old man from Pacific Palisades and a 20-year-old man from Val Verde were arrested for recklessness causing fire of a structure, forest, land.

Four people were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc.: a 40-year-old unemployed woman from Saugus, a 45-year-old woman from Lancaster who works in customer service, a 26-year-old janitor from Canyon Country, and a 38-year-old pool cleaner from Lancaster.

A 39-year-old exotic dancer from Canyon Country was charged with battery on a non-cohabitating former spouse.  And an 18-year-old maintenance worker and a 22-year-old welder, both from Canyon Country, were charged with robbery.

Two construction workers were arrested for defacing property: an 18-year-old man from Lake Hughes and a 20-year-old man from Canyon Country.

DUIs with prior arrests included:

51-year-old homemaker from Valencia

20-year-old server from Canyon Country

30-year-old office manager from Agua Dulce

45-year-old business owner from Green Valley

61-year-old bus driver from Canyon Country

71-year-old retiree from Santa Clarita

28-year-old installer from Canyon Country

29-year-old cook from Sunland

36-year-old construction worker from Saugus

25-year-old relationship manager from Canyon Country

45-year-old engineer from Canyon Country

35-year-old floor polisher from Moorpark

 

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

33-year-old mechanic from Bakersfield

36-year-old salesperson from Newhall

33-year-old unemployed man from Newhall

24-year-old college student from North Hollywood

 

Always Advocating Alan

| Opinion | July 13, 2017

Building a BMX Track Would Be a Step in the Right Direction

by Alan Ferdman

Over the past few weeks our local news media have, again, alerted us to the presence and dangers of illegal automobile and motorcycle street racing. In addition, the problem is with some individual’s heavy right foot, resulting in unsafe displays of high speed. When repeated often enough, luck runs out, causing another needless tragedy.

Unfortunately, new and existing laws will not mitigate the problem. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere and most often our sheriff’s department will just be there to write the report. So, what can be done?

The first thing is to realize the problem of illegal street racing is not new. Growing up as a teenager in the San Fernando Valley, I remember the weeknight drag races on Forest Lawn Drive. While it was said to occur regularly, such a large crowd participated that the only way the races were stopped was by repaving Forest Lawn with curves added.

We should also realize that not all our young adults will gravitate to sports like baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer. There will be a group who will have an affinity for motors, vehicles and speed.

I was a part of the gear head group. From the time I was 13 I dreamed of motorcycles. I tried to build a motor bike by taking a bicycle frame and a steel plate to a local welder. I was able to mount an old lawn mower engine, but with the skills and tools available to me at the time, was never able to construct a good drive and clutch mechanism. It was probably a good thing, because I did not have good brakes to stop the bike either. When I arrived at driving age, I discovered the San Fernando Drag Strip and came to know some of our local drag racing heroes. For example, there was Tony Nancy who had an upholstery shop on Woodman Avenue and was one of the first to champion rear engine dragsters. Also a regular at San Fernando Raceway, I remember, was cigar smoking Dick Landy and his over 100 mph quarter-mile ‘61 Ford.

The point is, you could bring and race any vehicle. My friends would all run their cars to see how fast they would go and there was always a matchup between two of us. There was no real need to race on the street.

My yearning for riding a two-wheeled motorized vehicle became a reality when Roger, a friend of mine, sat me on a ‘49 panhead, rigid frame Harley, slapped it into gear, and off I went for my first ride. I was hooked, and about a year later I purchased my first motorcycle — a used 305 Honda Superhawk.

Naturally, I started riding the bike to and from work. Working third shift, I got off work in the morning and on one rainy day, cold and dripping wet, I stopped into Van Nuys Honda on Victory Boulevard to warm up. It was there I met Mike Gibbons, Bruce Fare and John Harrison, and ultimately became a member of the American Motorcycle Association, District 37, Competition Club named the 4 Aces. At that time, club members participated in TT (Tourist Trophy, smooth track) racing in the summer and desert racing in the winter, with a few racing at Ascot Park as well.

Surprisingly, that is what inspired my wife and me to move to the Santa Clarita Valley. With half a dozen 4 Ace members living on Delight Street in Saugus, now Canyon Country, we found ourselves in the area almost every weekend. The area had a lot of garages filled with race cars being readied for Saugus Speedway, plus dirt bikes, dune buggies and all forms of motorized projects. It was a time when I could get up at 4 in the morning, drive three or four hours to race a 100-mile “hare and hound” on a dirt bike, drive three or four hours home and still get up on Monday morning — stiff and sore, but ready to go to work. Times have sure changed.

My rationale for telling this story is to remind some of us, and inform others, just how much Santa Clarita has changed. Today, there are far fewer opportunities for segments of our society to participate in activities of their choosing. There are no longer races at Saugus Speedway, Indian Dunes no longer exists, and off-road riding within the city is prohibited. To the south, San Fernando Drag Strip closed many years ago, and more recently, the Antelope Valley Drag Strip and Motocross Track also closed to make room for additional aggregate mining. Over the last 20 years Santa Clarita has concentrated on purchasing additional open space for more bicycle and hiking trails, and while those activities are of great value, they are not the total solution for all of our residents.

Santa Clarita City Management needs to start listening to the public and get far more creative in planning and implementing recreational facilities. We have residents who would like to see other sports, such as Cricket, be supported by Parks and Recreation. The idea of providing our residents with a BMX (bicycle motocross) track has been on the Parks Master Plan for the last 10 years. Residents have come before the City Council numerous times in support, yet the City Council has taken no action to accommodate their requests.

I started this column talking about the problems related to illegal street racing. Telling a young adult “NO” is like challenging them to do the opposite. We need to give them an alternative. Estimates for the Bermite Cleanup timeline is now mid-2018. I would propose this area be used for a light industrial park and a fairground, including a BMX track, a motocross track and possibly a 1/8-mile drag strip. I believe providing controlled and managed facilities for those who choose these activities wouold be far safer than forcing them on our streets.

But, don’t worry about me. I may still be a gear head, but being a little more mature and having gained the knowledge that crashing hurts a lot, I will not be seen racing on the street. At the same time, it does not mean I still don’t get the euphoric feeling when my Harley accelerates and I hear the motor’s increasing sound when I occasionally open the throttle while going up a freeway onramp.

My dream of a Santa Clarita fairground is a long way away, so in the meantime, the City of Santa Clarita building a BMX track would be a step in the right direction.

**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Non-Profit of the Week: SCV Sheriff’s Foundation

| SC Living | July 13, 2017

Everyone has seen local sheriff’s deputies working in various roles and locations within the Santa Clarita Valley. But there is more coming from these professionals than law enforcement.

In 1984, a volunteer organization was formed by citizens in the community to assist local law enforcement in a tangible way, purchasing equipment and crime prevention materials, as well as raising funds to help the Civilian Volunteer, Law Enforcement Explorer and Reserve Deputy programs at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

In addition, the Foundation has purchased equipment and provided help in accomplishing the law enforcement mission in the Santa Clarita Valley. Some items the Foundation has purchased are:

•Computer Equipment
•Gym Equipment
•Drunk Driving Trailer
•Training Video Equipment
•Child ID Kits
•Search and Rescue Radios
•Night Scopes
•Helicopter Equipment
•Posse Donations
•Women’s Self-Defense Classes/Equipment

More information about the foundation is available online at scvsheriffsfoundation.org.

Gatsby Fundraiser
The Roaring ‘20s is this year’s theme of the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation fundraiser July 20 at the Newhall Mansion in Piru.

“This will be an evening to remember,” said Ken Wiseman, president of the volunteer foundation whose mission is to provide tangible assistance to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in protecting the SCV. “We’re inviting everyone to wear their best ‘Roaring ‘20s’ outfits and enjoy an evening of great food and entertainment in an amazing venue, while helping to provide our sheriff’s station with valuable resources to help keep our communities safe.”

Proceeds from the event will enable the foundation to purchase equipment and help SCV Sheriff’s Station personnel accomplish the station’s law enforcement mission. The Gatsby-themed event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a hosted cocktail hour, a served surf and turf dinner, band music reminiscent of the ‘20s and ‘30s, casino-style games and more. Entertainment will be provided by the Bill Macpherson Band and D’Wilfri Dance Art & Entertainment.

The Victorian-style Newhall Mansion, just a few miles west of Santa Clarita in Piru, was built in 1890 and is perhaps most famous as the former home of Scott and Ruth Newhall, who owned The Signal newspaper and painstakingly rebuilt the mansion to its original specifications after a devastating fire in 1983.

“This is an important fundraiser for our organization and we’re glad to say it’s almost sold out,” said Bruce and Gloria Fortine, event co-chairs. “We’re encouraging all supporters of our outstanding local law enforcement to book their reservations as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on the fun.”

Tickets for the 2017 Gatsby Gala are $250 each, and a table of 10 is $2,500. Event sponsorships are available at $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 levels, each of which comes with an escalating set of perks. There will be no live auctions or opportunity drawings at the event, as it is designed to allow guests to enjoy a special evening of dining, entertainment and mingling at the Newhall Mansion.

Reservations and sponsorship details are available by calling (661) 705-7592 or via e-mail at mmelendez@amsfulfillment.com.

Sponsors already signed on to support the event include: Princess Cruises, Accurate Freight, AMS Fulfillment, Bruce and Gloria Mercado-Fortine, California Resources Corp., Elliot and Judy Wolfe, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, Learn 4 Life, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Merchants Bancard Network, Newhall Mansion, Numatic Engineering, Santa Clarita Studios and The Signal. Additional event support is being provided by the Bank of Santa Clarita and Lundgren Management.

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