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

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Posts / Recent blog posts

Empowering HeArts Calling All Artists

| Community | 1 min ago

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

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

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

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

A High Schooler’s POV

| Opinion | 20 mins ago

By Analyn May

We all struggle with various inner demons, but perhaps one of the most universal ones is procrastination. In fact, perhaps the hardest part of finishing any project is just getting it started. There might be a million reasons to procrastinate, but the one that seems to defeat me the most often is “If I do it now, it won’t be perfect.” Either I’m tired, or distracted, or too energetic, so I put it off until I’m in a better “working” frame of mind. And, obviously, this leads to me putting things off until the very last minute, when I’m rushed and stressed and in my least productive mental state. So how do I deal with this, knowing that willpower alone never actually gets anything done?

I tell myself that I’ll do just a little. This is old knowledge: work a little every day and eventually you’ll be done without any of the stress. But in my case, the key words are “tell myself.” What I’m actually doing is just tricking myself into getting started. I tell myself I’ll do a half-page of math work, or just write the intro paragraph to an essay, or go in for help just for the first half of lunch. And you know what always happens? About 90 percent of the time, I end up sitting in the class all lunch, with a completed essay and full packet of math work. It’s miraculous, really. But I know not everybody works the same way, so just in case, I’m going to share my thoughts on why I think this helps me so that you can apply a different technique to get the same results.

When I tell myself I’m only going to be working a little, there’s also an unwritten mentality that if I mess anything up, it’s fine because I can change it later. And this is the real trick behind the magic. I— as do most people— work better when I’m not stressed. I know some students who say they work best under pressure, but honestly, I’ve never seen that play out in real life. I do my best writing when I’m writing creatively, my best speaking when I’m talking with a good friend, and my best exercise when I’m dancing in my living room by myself, because in all these situations, I’m not panicked about making a mistake. I’m simply trusting my instinct and continuing to work, and this is what I achieve when I trick myself into starting a project. Since, y’know, I can change anything later, so there’s no point in agonizing over the right word for an hour or second-guessing my initial answer to a math problem. I’ll just fix it later. (And, since first instincts are usually led by past experience and are therefore trustworthy in all but the dating scene, most of the time I don’t actually end up having to fix anything.)

So there you have it! One of my favorite methods to getting a big task done, whether it’s writing an essay or writing a column. (Yes, I actually did just write this entire column by telling myself I’d write the intro paragraph.) I hope perhaps it can prove helpful to you as well, but as always, this is just my POV. Until next time, this is Analyn May, signing off.

SCV Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop

| Community | 8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency:

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

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

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

Upcoming Theatre Productions at The MAIN

| Entertainment | 8 hours ago

For those seeking opportunities to enjoy live theatre in Santa Clarita, tickets are now on sale for “A Doll’s House,” “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Harold and Maude” at The MAIN in Newhall.

“A Doll’s House,” presented by Crossroeds Theatre Company, is a three-act play centered on the marriage of Torvald and Nora Helmer. Sometimes regarded as the starting point for feminism in theatre, the issues within “A Doll’s House” continue to resonate with a modern audience. Come peek into the private and intimate lives of the Helmers, and see what makes a marriage and what it means to be a woman. Performance dates and times are June 22 at 8 p.m. and June 24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students.

“25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” also presented by Crossroeds Theatre Company, centers on a group of eclectic sixth graders as they fight to win the spelling bee, while giving audiences a glimpse into their lives and each speller’s unique motivation to win. Laugh, spell and connect with this delightfully emphatic musical comedy that will have audiences chuckling the whole way home. Performance dates and times are June 29 at 8 p.m., June 30 at 8 p.m. and July 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students.

In July, The Tavern Brawlers present “Harold and Maude,” which is about a discontented, perpetually suicidal young man who meets and becomes deeply attached to a free-spirited elderly woman, in an adaptation of the 1971 cult film. Based on the darkly comic and ultimately life-affirming classic, the stage play of “Harold and Maude” is a nostalgic charmer that will captivate old fans and new audiences alike. Performance dates and times are July 20-22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

Learn more about these shows and purchase tickets by visiting AtTheMain.org/tickets. The MAIN is located at 24266 Main Street in Old Town Newhall.

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

| Community | 8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

| Community | 8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Non-Profit of the Week: Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival

| Community | 8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charity Car Show at Valencia Ice Station

| Community | 8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

‘I Ain’t a Fisherman, but You Can Bet I Want to Keep My Net Open’

| Opinion | 8 hours ago

By Keenan O’Connell

Our California Senate recently voted in favor of a bill aiming to restore state-wide Net Neutrality (which was booted from our federal policy at the end of 2017). Policy? Legislation? Congress? Ugh. I know, I know. These words don’t usually yield the most stimulating subjects, but I can almost guarantee the upcoming actions of Congress and the FCC in regards to Net Neutrality will affect anyone who happens to read this op-ed.

What is Net Neutrality? Well, the concept of Net Neutrality is pretty general, but most know it as an idea, or a movement to keep the internet fully open and accessible to everybody – no matter their wealth, status or influence. It’s also an umbrella term for all the policies, regulations, and laws our federal government would use to regulate the distribution of web connection by big Internet Service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T (policies and regulations initially implemented by the Obama administration in 2015).

Now, I’m assuming everybody wants easily accessible and inexpensive internet access, so who in their right minds could be against Net Neutrality? Oh yeah, those ISPs.

Well, they’re just some corporations; they shouldn’t have more say in federal policy than the majority of Americans, right? Think again, buddy, because our side is losing. Like I said earlier, Net Neutrality was booted from federal policy in December of last year. These crucial regulations would prevent ISPs from abusing their internet distribution powers for their own monetary gain, and without such regulations, they could use your personal information for whatever they please, or charge you for bundled websites (similar to T.V.).

That nasty, old telecommunications industry would be able to set up toll booths that divide the internet into a series of “fast” and “slow” lanes, and even intentionally (and/or maliciously) throttle the internet of any web user they distribute internet to.

Imagine having to pay for two separate bundles, just because you want access to both Instagram and YouTube. Or imagine having to live with increasingly slow internet, just because you can’t afford to cruise in the fast lane with all the wealthy corporations that can. As it gets more and more expensive to have easily accessible web connections, the voice of Internet will drastically change its tune; ideas and opinions will mostly be representative of one demographic: the rich. A huge portion of this country could possibly be silenced simply because they cannot afford to have a voice.

Ajit Pai, current chairman of the FCC (appointed by the Trump administration), claims that the Internet was fine before Net Neutrality was introduced, not too long ago. Well, I think he is extremely shortsighted to not notice the constant change and progress our society makes, especially in regard to the ever-increasingly popular platform for international business, trade, and entertainment, known as the World Wide Web. Also, it didn’t take much to find out the job Ajit Pai had before working for the FCC. That’s right – he was the legal consultant for Verizon. It’s sickening that so many congress members are easily bought off by the telecommunications industry, democrats and republicans alike.

You can do a little research online and find out just how much ISPs are paying congress for their votes. But, for now, contact your local representative and let your voice be heard. The phone number to reach Steve Knight is (661) 255-5630, and Tony Cardenas is (818) 221-3718.

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

Always Advocating Alan

| Opinion | 9 hours ago

The Homelessness Issue: You Still Have Time to Make Your Voice Heard

It was just two weeks ago when I wrote a column on homelessness in Santa Clarita. Who would have thought that so much more information would be revealed in such a short time? So, let me show you what came to see the light of day.

Starting in the LA Times on June 13, Andrew Khouri reported on a UCLA study which revealed the finding, “Higher median rent and home prices are strongly correlated with more people living on the streets or in shelters.” Now, I’m sure that finding is no surprise to anyone, particularly those seniors living on a fixed income who are unable to cope with escalating rents. But, what did surprise me was the number of our friends and neighbors who will be affected. The LA Times article went on to report, “Last year, Zillow released a study that showed that a 5 percent rent hike in L.A. County — where more than 50,000 are estimated to be homeless — would cause 2,000 additional people to lose their homes.” Although, I believe their projected number of additional homeless is on the lower side.

Yet, Santa Clarita is out in front as usual, but it is not always a good thing. On June 13, Crystal Duan reported in The Signal that Santa Clarita ranked 15th nationally in rent growth. That is up substantially from ranking 72nd in 2017. Crystal also reported the 2018 median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,564 per month, while a one-bedroom goes for $1,995 per month. To put it in perspective, using a 4 and 1/3-week month, a person would need to earn $12 per hour, after taxes, just to pay the rent on a one-bedroom apartment. Plus, they will need additional resources for utilities and other living expenses. It is no wonder that the seniors living on Social Security are about to become a large portion of our homeless population.

Yet, it gets even more concerning. This year, WalletHub provided a study on, “the best and worst cities to start a career,” using livability and job market strength. They used a total of 27 metrics, with each graded on a 100-point scale. Santa Clarita’s standing was at the bottom of the list, 182nd out of the 182 cities scored. When Crystal Duan reported on this issue in the Signal on May 25, she stated, “Although the city was ranked last in a national listing of job opportunities,” we have College of the Canyons, which was awarded, “Strong Workforce Stars,” and Santa Clarita has a low unemployment rate. When I think about her apples and oranges bit of logic, I wonder why we are satisfied with doing such a fine job training our young adults to enter the workforce, and at the same time, not providing them a good business environment for these young adults to stay in our area. In addition, why is our local news service making excuses rather than reporting facts and where we need to improve? Here is hoping the new Signal owners will work to report facts, not stories which sound like a city press release.

Some areas however, appear to be looking to address the issue in different ways. An article by Sarah Favot, published in the June 14 Daily News, reported on the City of Lancaster’s recent actions. Sarah noted that Lancaster’s year-round shelter, which was closed for lack of funding, has created “a sense of urgency which will result in the creation of as many as 327 permanent and temporary units in Lancaster that could be available as soon as March … Organizations that provide homeless support services will break ground Thursday (June 21).” LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement: “This new campus will serve as a model site providing permanent supportive housing, interim housing and supportive on-site services that will help individuals and families stabilize and exit the cycle of homelessness for good … County documents show the total cost of the project to be about 21 million dollars,” with funding coming from the Community Development Commission of Los Angeles County, City of Lancaster, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, as well as other donors.

Lastly, I reviewed what the City of Santa Clarita has done to address the homeless issue. The city council did give the Santa Clarita Emergency Homeless Shelter the city-owned land on which it is located, an additional acre of adjacent ground, and granted the shelter a “conditional use permit” allowing year-round operation. Unfortunately, year-round operation will require a lot more funding, and where it will come from is still unknown.

The city also addressed the homelessness issue at the last city council meeting, as Consent Calendar Agenda Item 9, titled “FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE … AMENDING TITLE 14 OF THE SANTA CLARITA MUNICIPAL CODE CONCERNING PARKS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES.” If you were watching the meeting, you may have missed it, because there was not one word of council member discussion, and the entire Consent Calendar was brought up and passed in 16 seconds. Check out the redlined version of Agenda Item 9 changes on the city website and you will find new provisions prohibiting camping, sleeping, washing, cooking, and leaving property in parks, open space and public places. The delegation of enforcement responsibilities to the Parks Director has been eliminated, and responsibility now rests with the city manager. This sounds very much as a method to drive the homeless out of Santa Clarita, rather than finding a workable solution.

Fortunately, it was only the first reading of this “parks and public places” city ordinance change. You still have an opportunity to address the council on the issue at the June 26 City Council Meeting, and I hope to see you there. I am confident the City of Santa Clarita can do better in helping to mitigate the homeless issue.

Abstract Acrylic Demo at Barnes & Noble

| Entertainment | June 15, 2018

Abstract artist Nancy Eckels will demonstrate acrylic painting at the Aug 20 meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA). This event is free, open to the public and meets at 6:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Valencia.

Since her work is totally abstract, it comes entirely from Eckels’ head, heart, and imagination. Anything that has contributed to her sense of color, texture and composition becomes the basis of what eventually comes from her hands and brushes.

“A creative block is overcome only by working on your art, not sitting on a couch waiting for inspiration. My paintings are a combination of sculpture and painting. I begin with a texture medium, which I sculpt by shaping, carving and manipulating on the canvas. When I apply the texture, I keep in mind a loose composition and try to imagine what it might become. I want to make something new. I’ve often thought that abstract art is the purest form of what people consider a one-of-a-kind art,” Eckels said.

Her visits with nature during her childhood were a very big part of what comes from her brain while she paints.

“I love experimenting with combinations of color, making colors pop against each other, pulling some forward and pushing some back to create depth,” Eckles said. “I love making the texture, color and composition – the only things I need to concentrate on when I create. It’s just so freeing to my imagination.”

Guests should arrive early, because the event is expected to be standing room only by 6:30 p.m. For more information about the Santa Clarita Artists Association, visit www.SantaClaritaArtists.org. For more information about Nancy Eckles, visit https://www.nancyeckels.com/.

Afternoon T

| Community | June 15, 2018

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

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

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

A Day at the Races

| Community | June 15, 2018

by Harry Parmenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Athletes of the Week – Jonathan Bahr and Mariah Castillo

| Sports | June 15, 2018

Jonathan Bahr is a junior member of the Saugus Boys Baseball Team. He recently went 3-3 with two RBIs in the Centurions’ 6-1 over Granada Hills Charter in the second game of the VIBL season.

“He is a great person on and off the field,” Coach Carl Grissom said. “It’s a pleasure to have him on the team. (He’s) also a tremendous student!”


Mariah Castillo recently graduated from Saugus High School and ran for Saugus’ track and field team. She came in first place during the girls mile run at the Brooks PR Invitational with a time of 4:41.40. This was good for the eighth fastest time in California history, and sets a new Saugus and Foothill League record.

Bad Girls and Boys

| Police Blotter | June 15, 2018

Three individuals were arrested for battery against a former spouse: a 31-year-old construction worker from Rosemead, a 20-year-old cashier from Castaic, and a 19-year-old Santa Clarita resident.

A 44-year-old Valencia resident who works in marketing was brought up on charges of cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury/death.

A 24-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident was charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. And a 21-year-old Bakersfield resident was arrested for entering/remaining on posted property.

A 24-year-old unemployed Pacoima resident and a 42-year-old tattoo artist from Newhall were arrested for illegal possession of ammunition.

A 23-year-old unemployed Valencia resident was charged with retaking land after legal removal.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

26-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country
62-year-old caregiver from Canyon Country
30-year-old assistant manager from Valencia
51-year-old construction worker from Valencia
54-year-old chief operations officer from Stevenson Ranch
26-year-old medical biller from Sun Valley
25-year-old bartender from Valencia
22-year-old dog groomer from Canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

50-year-old self-employed Castaic resident
35-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
24-year-old self-employed Canyon Country
31-year-old maintenance worker from Richmond
54-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
24-year-old driver from Valencia

Valencia Jazz and Blues 2018 Opening Night Latin Dance Party Featuring Susie Hansen Latin Band

| Entertainment | June 14, 2018

This Friday, June 15 is opening night for the 2018 Valencia Jazz & Blues Concert Series. Join the Latin Jazz Dance party featuring the critically acclaimed Susie Hansen Latin Band.

Susie Hansen, an electric violinist and vocalist fronts this sizzling Salsa band playing fiery Afro-Cuban salsa and Latin jazz. A long-time favorite in Los Angeles for more than 25 years, Susie and her band have toured nationally, playing around 150 live performances each year, including such events as the Playboy Jazz Festival, Fiesta Broadway, San Jose Jazz Festival and Newport Beach Jazz Festival, first appearing at the Valencia Jazz and Blues Concert Series in 2016.

In addition to great music, dance sponsors D’Wilfri Dance & Entertainment will bring their Latin Dance troupe to perform, followed by informal dancing instruction with our audience.

“We want to throw a huge Latin dance party to open our 2018 concert series! Welcoming back Susie Hansen’s exciting Latin jazz and the D’Wilfri Dance troupe is the perfect combination,” said Barbara Myler, owner/producer of the VJB Series.

This annual summer concert series (since 1999) features regional, national and international entertainers in a family-friendly, quaint, street party setting offering activities for adults and children.

The VJB Series will run every Friday night through August 3. Hours for the concerts are 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The events take place on Town Center Drive at McBean Parkway, in the street outside the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Some of the series sponsors who make it possible to bring the much-anticipated concert series back to Valencia include: Princess Cruises, Chiquita Canyon, Hyatt Regency Valencia, The City of Santa Clarita, Mercedes Benz of Valencia, among others. Food and Beverage Sponsors include: Salt Creek Grille, BJ’s Restaurant, Wolf Creek Brewery and Mystic Hills Winery.

In addition to the sounds offered from some of the top Jazz and Blues recording artists in the world, the scheduled series brings a variety of activities for the entire family as well as a variety of food and beverages, including wine and beer for the adults. No outside food or beverages, pets or photography/video recording are allowed. Admission is free.

The Valencia Jazz & Blues Concert Series is produced by Summit West Public Relations & Marketing. For more information regarding the series or sponsorship opportunities go to www.ValenciaJazzandBlues.com or call Barbara Myler at 661-290-2911.

Wine of the Week – Muscat Bars

| Entertainment | June 14, 2018

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This month’s recipe for Muscat Bars features 2012 Reyes Winery Muscat. This was a limited production wine. We have brought six cases out of the Reyes Winery’s cellar to share this month. It has notes of peaches and honey with a tangerine finish. It’s remarkably delicious on its own.  It also pairs well with spicy sesame chicken, peach Stilton cheese or a peach galette with honey-infused goat cheese.

Base Ingredients
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened

Filling Ingredients
4 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup Reyes Winery Muscat
1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees
2. In stand or hand mixer, combine base ingredients until flaky and crumbly
3. Press ingredients into a greased 13×9 baking dish
4. Bake 25 minutes
5. Beat eggs, slowly; add sugar, AP flour and baking powder.
6. Stir in Reyes Winery Muscat
7. When base is done, pour filling over warm base.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes
9. Cool
10. Dust with powder sugar
11. Serve


National Wine and Cheese Day at Reyes Winery

Reyes Winery will be hosting a “Vertical Wine Tasting” on Saturday, July 12 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early to check in. The event will begin promptly at noon.

Muscat wines from 2011-2016 will be served at the tasting, along with Sweet Serenity, a dessert wine made from Reyes’ 2009 Muscat. Sweet Serenity won “Gold & Best in Class” in the 2014 Long Beach Grand Cru, and a bronze in the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. The 2009 Muscat wine has been aged into an old-world style dessert wine and has just the right touch of wood. It has aromas of burnt caramel, dried apricots and candied ginger. It pairs well with soft cheeses after dinner or cinnamon sugared zeppolli.

July 25 is National Wine and Cheese Day. Social media has a hashtag for it, #NationalWineAndCheeseDay. Join the movement and drink lots of Reyes Winery Mucsat. Take a photo of you, your wine and your wine glass and post it along with the hashtags #MuscatWine and #ReyesWinery.

The Hits Just Keep on Comin’

| Opinion | June 14, 2018

by Betty Arenson

The hate for Donald Trump after winning the November 2016 election was vivid, but it’s safe to say that few would have foreseen how utterly deep and genuine that hate is 16 months into a presidency.

That election saved Steven Colbert’s late night show. He was on his way into the sewer drain when he started the nightly mock-Trump show. It is baffling to think that people can spend their time and attention on the same old mean muddle night after night after night. Hosting such a show takes a lot of hate-driven energy. But then for those who seek the spotlight, no matter how they get it, it’s their fuel.

In retrospect, the celebrated Women’s March of January 2017 remains a mystery for the rational being.

It was touted to be about “women’s rights” which was really code for the right for abortion on demand; as if it already isn’t occurring. Some acted like Roe vs. Wade had been abolished.

Other reasons for the march included “healthcare” (repeat-abortion), “reproductive rights” (aka abortion) then stretched to LGTBQ rights and racial equality. It was that “kitchen sink” theory.

The sound-good topics are just that because the fundamental reason for the march was the hate of Donald Trump. We learned that from Madonna who has dreams of “blowing up the white house” and Ashley Judd who insisted on taking the microphone and explicitly describing female body functions; the latter being both bizarre and nauseating.

As for Madonna, she is probably very experienced at blowing up stuff. She certainly can hold up an example of her own life for that.

Later we witnessed the alarming, sick act of the lackluster Kathy Griffin acting like an ISIS fighter, holding up a severed head of the president. She then wondered why people found it offensive.

There was more following that with females like Chelsea Handler, who is one of the most foul-mouthed women on the planet who brags about her abortions, but we’ll move on up to Samantha Bee.

Samantha Bee brought a vile word very nearly into everyday-familiar language. The word is so vulgar that most people who swear don’t even say it. Tragically the cat’s out of the bag because a C-minus rated (no pun intended) “comic” decided it would be crowd-pleasing to use it describing the First Daughter. There was nothing brave about that. The first family is the easy target, and because Leftist celebrities have all taken their shots, one must reach below the gutter to find a viler adjective.

Samantha Bee couldn’t work hard enough, pay enough or pray enough to obtain Ivanka Trump’s business sense, grace, elegance or beauty.

Lastly, for now, there is Robert De Niro and his standing ovation at the Tony Awards.

I’m unsure why this was even news; he’s done it before with a microphone. If one was to take the “F” word away from Robert De Niro, he would be mute.

Many think De Niro is some God. He is not. He has a skill that put him on-screen and with the right publicist became famous. He is not attractive, nor does he possess any degree of refinement. One thing he does hold is a big bank account.

A relative of mine, that I see often, was once employed by a well-known actress here in the Los Angeles area. She was on decent terms with her ex-husband “Jeff” who would be very well-known to anyone reading this. Jeff of course had a pocket of famous male actors (you can guess if it included De Niro), as friends who would gather at the actresses’ home and discuss their business dealings; a new restaurant here, another venture there, etc. They loved making money aside from their acting careers. As my relative always says, “When it comes to their money, they are all Republicans at heart.”

One can only imagine the fortunes they have gained with the prosperity under Trump in the past 16 months.

An ungrateful and un-American lot they are; the De Niros who benefit and heartily take while demeaning and mocking a factor that helped them.

The ingrates do, however, teach the rest of us a free lesson: a lesson on how not to be. All of that wealth and fame have given them a cushy lifestyle, but it came with a big price tag. Irrespective of all of the material gains, they remain devoid of clarity and every facet of decency.

But for the rabid few, in the scheme of things, everyday voters are tired of the 24/7 criticism especially when it’s laced with filth. Thus, the second lesson learned is that based on the many reactions of De Niro’s latest stunt, it appears it’s getting better and better for Trump’s re-election.

Imagine it being November 4, 2020 looking through the muck and thanking Samantha Bee, Robert De Niro and like-kind.

Feds Announce $47 Million for Interstate 5 Improvements

| News | June 14, 2018

Grant funds will be used to enhance regional mobility and reduce congestion

In an attempt to relieve traffic congestion on Interstate 5 in the Santa Clarita Valley, a grant of $47 million was awarded to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). On Tuesday, June 5, United States Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that she has approved the grant funds for freeway improvements.

The funds were awarded to Metro for a federal grant application submitted for the Interstate 5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Program. The funds are being awarded from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program to address freight and goods movement issues along corridors of national significance.

“This project award recognizes the important role that Interstate 5 plays in local, regional and national goods movement,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “These improvements will address freeway congestion, improve traffic safety, boost economic vitality and enhance air quality in Santa Clarita.”

The proposed project will extend High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes an additional 13.4 miles, with one new lane in each direction on Interstate 5 between Parker Road and the junction of Interstate 5 and State Route 14 (SR-14) in the Santa Clarita Valley. The project also calls for a 3.4 mile northbound truck lane between SR-14 and Calgrove Boulevard and a 4.7 mile southbound truck lane between Pico Canyon and SR-14. Further, the project includes 8,000 feet of soundwalls and modifications to impact on and off ramps.

Interstate 5 is the backbone of the west coast trade corridor, stretching nearly 800 miles between Canada and Mexico. Santa Clarita is ideally located for manufacturing and other businesses to set up shop, given access to Interstate 5 and close proximity to the major Southern California ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Port Hueneme.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority formed a regional collaboration with the County of Los Angeles and the State of California in submitting the grant application. The City of Santa Clarita, Golden State Gateway Coalition, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Five Point Communities are among the partnership organizations that actively supported the effort.

“The City Council and I especially want to thank Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Congressman Steve Knight, who were critical to the success of the grant award through their leadership and direct communication with Secretary Chao and others in the nation’s capital,” noted Mayor Weste.

The project is one of two INFRA grants awarded within the State of California. It is anticipated that the project will begin construction in 2019 with a completion date in 2022. The new Metro construction project will follow completion of the Caltrans pavement rehabilitation project currently underway, which is slated for completion in 2019.

Editorial Cartoon

| Opinion | June 14, 2018

City Begins Annual Resurfacing of Arterial and Neighborhood Streets

| Community | June 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

Entertainment Spotlight: The College of the Canyons Comedy Improv Team

| Entertainment | June 14, 2018

The community college experience is something most of us dream about. That 100 percent acceptance rate, wealth of resources, and on-campus Subway restaurant is enough to drive anyone wild. But, for those dreamers who want that little something extra, getting involved with the College of the Canyons Comedy Improv Team is the way to go.

What began as a few members meeting outside of a college cafeteria eventually became a chartered 13-member ensemble with weekly practices. The team performs regularly at open mics and comedy shows around Santa Clarita, in addition to shows performed at the college.

The COC Improv Team was first chartered in the Fall of 2016. Since then, the group has performed two shows at the college, both with packed audiences and comedy made up on the spot.

“At our first show, there were a little over 50 people in the audience and we had to squeeze people in,” the team’s captain said. “At our show in May, that number doubled.”

The team is completely student-run, and auditions are held every semester for aspiring incoming members.

“We try to keep things interesting. We just had ‘McFormal,’ our end-of-the-year celebration in which we showed up to McDonald’s with candles, tablecloths and formal attire,” the team’s captain said.

For those who simply want to be apart of the laughs, interested individuals can practice twice a month with the team as a member of the club, which does not require an audition. Club members can build improv skills by practicing with the seasoned team members.

To find out more information about future shows and events, visit the team’s Facebook page, follow @COCImprov on Instagram, or email comedyimprovcoc@gmail.com.

New Dodgers Weekend Game Night Train Service on the Metrolink

| Sports | June 14, 2018

Santa Clarita Baseball Fans Now Have a Late Metrolink Service to Downtown L.A.

The Metrolink Board of Directors recently approved special weekend Metrolink train services to Los Angeles Dodgers home games on the San Bernardino and Antelope Valley lines. Services became available throughout the 2018 MLB seasons as of Friday, June 8. As a result, there will be one train that will run on the Antelope Valley and San Bernardino lines, after the last scheduled train, on select Friday and Saturday nights that the Dodgers play. The Friday night special trains on the San Bernardino Line will only make stops between Union Station and Claremont, while the special trains on the Antelope Valley Line will make all stops.

By offering train services to these games, baseball fans can depend on a safe, affordable and reliable ride to and from the home games, while leaving their car at home, resulting in a reduction of emissions and traffic congestion. The price for a round trip ride is $10.00. For information on the dates and anticipated train schedule for the special Dodgers train service, visit metrolinktrains.com/baseball.

“While the service is designed for those attending Dodger home games, this is a very exciting new opportunity for all Santa Clarita residents. They can now easily hop on the Antelope Valley line for a night out in Downtown Los Angeles,” said Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, who has been pressing for additional Metrolink services and specifically for the need of late night, weekend services.

For more information on the new service, contact Jeanet Owens from Metro at (213) 922-6877, or atowensj@metro.net, or Alex Davis from Metrolink at (213) 452-0320 or at davisa@scrra.net.

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