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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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Local Crime Report: In the Neighborhood

| Police Blotter | December 31, 2015

In Saugus:

A truck/cargo van was reportedly burglarized on Christmas Eve at 2:50 a.m. on the 27600 block of Susan Beth Way. On Christmas Day at 4:35 p.m., an aggravated assault was reported on the 26900 block of Seco Canyon Rd. There was allegedly a shooting/stabbing on the 21600 block of Agajanian Lane on Dec. 26 at 6:34 p.m.

In Valencia:
On Dec. 23 there was a report of grand theft auto on the 28900 block of Avenue Stanford at 6:30 p.m. On Dec. 27 at 3:30 a.m. there was a petty theft on the 28300 block of Steel Lane, and at 9:45 a.m. grand theft auto was reported on the 28500 block of Farrier Drive.

In Stevenson Ranch:
A stolen vehicle was reported on Dec. 26 at 1:30 p.m. on Shadow Place and Valencia Blvd. On Dec. 27 at 6:45 p.m. an alleged shoplifting was reported on the 25800 block of The Old Road. And on the same day at 1:15 a.m. on the 25300 block of The Old Road there was an alleged vehicle burglary.

In Newhall:
There was a petty theft reported on the 24200 block of Crosswinds St. at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23. And at 4:07 p.m. on the same day a theft was reported on the 24400 block of Derian Drive. Also on Dec. 23 at 10:35 a.m. a grand theft auto charge came in on the 24800 block of Walnut Street. At 2:58 a.m. on Christmas morning there was reportedly an aggravated assault using hands, feet, fist, etc. on the 23400 block of Newhall Ave.

In Santa Clarita:
On the 19300 block of Golden Valley Rd. a shoplifting incident was reported at 5:24 p.m. on Dec. 23. At the 14 Freeway and Placerita Canyon Rd. on Dec. 27 at 1:30 a.m. an assault with a deadly weapon, with a gun, allegedly occurred.

In Castaic:
A residential burglary was reported on Christmas at 1 p.m. on the 27600 block of Bridlewood Drive.

In Canyon Country:
On Dec. 26 at 5:45 p.m. there was an alleged vehicle burglary at Oakmont Dr. and Silver Oak Lane. There was a robbery reported at the corner of Shangri La Dr. and Soledad Canyon Rd. on Dec. 27 at 8:30 p.m. An alleged grand theft auto occurred at the 27500 block of Bernina Ave. on Dec. 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center to Present Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Cat in the Hat’

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 30, 2015

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons will kick off the New Year with a performance of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Based on the popular Dr. Seuss children’s book of the same title, “The Cat in the Hat” stage production is an exciting show filled to the brim with clever rhymes, physical comedy and lots of laughter, providing audiences of all ages a chance to relive this timeless, imaginative performance.

True to the original story, the stage performance tells the tale of Sally and her brother who find themselves with nothing to do on a rainy day. Suddenly, the Cat in the Hat appears with his sidekicks “Thing One” and “Thing Two” and promptly begins to share a few of his tricks as a means of entertaining the children.

As you might expect, the kids and the cat combine to get into some mischief and subsequently make a mess of the house.
Now the collection of characters must scramble to get things cleaned up before mother comes home.

Known worldwide as the imaginative master of children’s literature, Dr. Seuss’ books are full of stories that blend rhymes and both real and invented words. His books have helped many children and adults learn to read and better understand the English language due to the inventive language that is used.

Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” will be presented at
1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, on the PAC main stage.

In addition, students from the College of the Canyons TEACH program will be on hand to provide free arts and crafts activities for children of all ages beginning at noon on the day of the performance.

Tickets are priced at $10 and $15. For more information or to purchase tickets contact the PAC Box Office at (661) 362-5304 or visit www.canyonspac.com.

New Year’s Eve Events

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 27, 2015

Mountasia Family Fun Center is open all day on New Year’s Eve and families are invited to take advantage of all attractions for eight solid hours. The Family New Year’s Eve Party will be held 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can choose your package: outdoor play is $29.99; indoor play is $29.99; and all park play is $39. For more information visit mountasiafuncenter.com.

Athena’s Greek Restaurant & Pizzeria has a special New Year’s Eve buffet and live entertainment for guests beginning at 10 p.m. There will be a midnight champagne toast with baklava and a bottle of wine per couple or unlimited imported Italian beer. The cost is $75 per person, reservations needed. Call (661) 251-8442.

J.R.’s Comedy Club inside Marie Callender’s is hosting New Year’s Eve with Double Headliners Los Angeles comic/singer/songwriter Mark Eddie and psychic standup comedian Karen Rontowski. East Coast New Year from 5:30 to 9 p.m., West Coast New Year from 8:15 to midnight. Attendees must be 16 and over, two item minimum. Dinner and show $68. For tickets go to comedyinvalencia.com.
Le Chene in Agua Dulce is hosting a New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Extravaganza and dinner featuring Sharpo Productions. Two shows, 5 to 9 p.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight. Each show includes dinner with salad, appetizer, main course, dessert, coffee, champagne and wine. Ticket prices vary. For more information go to lechene.com.

The Drifter’s bar in Canyon Country is inviting residents to gather for a New Year’s Eve party beginning at 9 p.m. There will be a live band and champagne. No cover charge. For information visit https://www.facebook.com/drifterscocktails/.

Fillmore & Western Railway will host its New Year’s Eve Dinner Train from 8 p.m. until after midnight. Guests must be over 21 years old and the cost is $110 per person. Visit fwry.com for details.

Salt Creek Grille Valencia is celebrating New Year’s Eve with live music by jazz band Dave Ford & the Last Set from 9 to 11:45 p.m. in the restaurant bar. Salt Creek Grille is located at 24415 Town Center Drive in Valencia.

Annual Polar Bear Swim Open to the Public

| Community | December 26, 2015

Some residents start every year in the same chilling fashion. The City of Santa Clarita invites community members to dive into a cold pool at the Arctic Chill Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day.

The public is welcome to attend the event at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 1, 2016 at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center Waterslide Pool, located at 20850 Centre Pointe Parkway. The chilly swim is free for everyone and participants are encouraged to bring a non-perishable donation for the SCV Food Pantry.

The Arctic Chill Polar Bear Swim allows residents to ride down the chilly center’s waterslide and splash through the unheated pool. Coffee and hot chocolate will be provided to warm up swimmers after they take the plunge. All participants will receive a commemorative gift and photo opportunities with the life-size Polar Bear Swim mascot. Spectators are welcome.

“The Arctic Chill Polar Bear Swim is an exhilarating and chilly popular tradition in Santa Clarita and a great way to start the New Year!” said Mayor Bob Kellar.

Aquatic Center doors will open at 8:45 a.m. The Aquatic Center Waterslide Pool will not be open for recreational swimming on January 1 and will close immediately following the Polar Bear Swim at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Santa Clarita Aquatics Program Specialist Taryn Flatt at (661) 250-3763 or visit santa-clarita.com.

Golden Oak Adult School Classes Available

| Community | December 24, 2015

If you have looked for opportunities to enhance your career options or pick up a hobby, there may be a class for you through Golden Oak Adult School. The winter/spring session is starting the first of February, and you can read about the courses offered by visiting the Golden Oak website at Goldenoakadultschool.com.

There is a broad range of classes available to improve your work options. Charles Yacoobian will teach introductory accounting and a class on starting your own business, both beginning in February. You can prepare for the notary public state exam with instructor Brenda Pena beginning in March. On the technical side of things, Judy Taylour will offer several different computer courses over the next four months.

Have you wanted to learn Spanish? Lucia Esquivel offers a basic conversational Spanish class – two levels – and Anna Bettencourt is teaching Spanish for educators. English classes are available for Spanish speakers also.

If you never finished high school, Mike Ehrhart and Jamie Hawn can get you there with the adult secondary education course.

For hobbyists, there are classes in quilting, rose care, woodworking and creative watercolor coming up.

For more information about Golden Oak Adult School classes, email Kelly McCue at kmccue@hartdistrict.org or visit www.goldenoakadultschool.com.

Color Run in Palmdale to Benefit Classical Music Group

| News | December 23, 2015

A color run is coming to Palmdale next month to benefit a nonprofit group that brings classical music to the Antelope Valley community. If you like to run or walk – especially if you would like a unique experience to accompany the exercise – sign up for the Color Vibe 5K on January 23, 2016 at the Palmdale Amphitheater.
In a color run, participants have powder of multiple colors thrown on them by volunteers as they run the course. By the time they cross the finish line, they are covered in every imaginable color combination – all non-toxic, of course.
West Coast Classical is the beneficiary of the 5-kilometer race event. The nonprofit organization fosters the advancement of musicians from all backgrounds through pre-professional and professional orchestral achievements, ensemble experiences and education programs. Experienced program leaders offer instruction and opportunities for instrumentalists to perform and grow in their abilities.
A race packet pick-up day is arranged prior to the day of the event, which begins at Palmdale Amphitheater, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd. in Palmdale. Register at TheColorVibe.com.
For more information about West Coast Classical, visit Westcoastclassical.org.

George Thomas Meeker 1934-2015

| Obituaries | December 22, 2015

1934 – 2015

George Meeker, a longtime resident of Newhall, California, died peacefully, surrounded by his wife, Lucie, and daughter, Kathy, at Valley Presbyterian Hospital at 10:00 am on December 14, 2015. He was 81 years old.

The youngest of four, George was born in Los Angeles on November 6, 1934 to Claud and Eva (Burger) Meeker. George lived in Pasadena, Covina and Rosemead until 1988, when Eva passed away and he moved to Newhall to take care of his father. After Claud passed in 1997, George decided to remain at the house, where he enjoyed many years of riding horses, motorcycles, hunting, flying remote-controlled airplanes and building a horse boarding business called the “Rocking M Ranch.” George even rode in the Newhall Senior Olympics on his horse, Sandy.

George was a loving person and will be greatly missed by his longtime wife, Lucie, his two daughters, Kathy (Meeker) Burke and Pamela Meeker; his two granddaughters, Kathy and Michelle; and his five great-grandsons, Jason, Colin, Graham, Hunter and EJ. He will also be missed by his brother, Claud (Bud), his sisters, Olive and Lucene, and his best friend, Ron Whitehead.

The Meeker family offers special thanks to the staff at Valley Presbyterian Hospital ICU and both Dr. Josef Lobel and Dr. Hanon Lobel for their care of George and the thoughtful consideration given to his visiting family members during the last couple of weeks of his life. They are also grateful for the caregivers at California Healthcare facility, where George spent the last seven years under their diligent care after his stroke.

A Viewing were held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Chapel of the Oaks, on Monday, December 21, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The
Funeral Services followed and were performed by Pastor Geoff Beckwith on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Chapel of the Oaks.

Gift Giving at Christmas

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 21, 2015

In the United States and England, children hang stockings on a bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that it will be filled with treats while they sleep. In Scandinavia, children leave their shoes on the hearth, a tradition which can be traced to legends about Saint Nicholas. One legend tells of three poor sisters who could not marry because they had no money for a dowry. To save them from being sold by their father, St. Nick left each of the three sisters gifts of gold coins. One went down the chimney and landed in a pair of shoes that had been left on the hearth. Another went into a window and into a pair of stockings left hanging by the fire to dry.

No one was really in the habit of exchanging elaborate gifts until late in the 1800s. The Santa Claus stories of giving gifts to good children, combined with an amazing retailing phenomenon that grew through the 20th century, has made gift giving a central focus of the Christmas tradition.

From the earliest times, the account of the journey of the Wise Men, or Magi, has been a tremendous part of the Christmas Season. It was through their love and desire to know the King of Kings that they traveled many miles, even risking their lives in encounters with King Herod, so that they might present their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In our Christmas season today many continue that gift giving tradition.

Triumph Foundation Brings Holiday Cheer to Spinal Cord Injury Victims

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 19, 2015

Volunteers visit Southern California hospitals to bring resources to recently paralyzed patients, delivering a message of hope for life after spinal cord injury.

Ambassadors and volunteers from a Canyon Country based nonprofit will deliver Christmas care baskets to approximately 100 victims of spinal cord injuries.

From December 1 – December 22, Triumph Foundation staff and volunteers can be found at a dozen hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout Southern California bringing resources, mentorship and a message of hope to patients who have spinal cord injuries. Locations include Long Beach VA Hospital, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Northridge Hospital, St. Jude Medical Center, Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation and Sharp Memorial Hospital.

The gift baskets are full of necessary information to help men and women get a new start after injury and enable them to live life to the fullest potential. In addition, Triumph Foundation includes gifts and goodies that will bring cheer to recipients who are newly paralyzed. The organization is requesting donations to support its efforts.

“Being in the hospital is never easy, but it is especially difficult for people who suffer a spinal cord injury during the holiday season,” said Andrew Skinner, Triumph Foundation’s founder who was injured during a snowboarding accident in November 2004. “I spent my Christmas in the hospital so it’s near and dear to my heart.”

Triumph Foundation’s “Care Baskets” are like a tool-kit to help patients rebuild their lives after becoming paralyzed.
“There is no instruction manual on how to live life using a wheelchair,” said Kirsten Skinner, who was with her husband when he got injured and has stayed with him every step of the way. “When someone becomes paralyzed, their injury affects everyone around them – family, friends, loved ones, and the entire community.”

Mr. Skinner has made a remarkable recovery, and wants others with similar injuries to triumph like him. “I have come so far from where I was initially,” he said. “Now, I am living the American dream, despite my physical impairment. I want to help others do the same.”

Triumph is seeking monetary donations to be sent to Triumph Foundation. In addition, the organization is collecting donations of cookies, treats, gift items, and other goods to include inside the baskets. Contributions will ensure Mr. Skinner and Triumph Foundation can continue to provide critical support services needed in the Spinal Cord Injury community. All donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to: 17186 Hickory Ridge Court, Santa Clarita, CA 91387.

About Triumph Foundation

Triumph Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) triumph over their disability and to inspire them to keep moving forward with their lives by pushing themselves to get better every day.

Services include giving people who are newly paralyzed care baskets which are filled with information and resources, providing grants to help obtain necessary equipment, supplies, and services; assisting with home modifications for wheelchair accessibility; leading SCI support groups; and sponsoring wheelchair sports teams and adaptive recreational programs to support disabled athletes. Outreach and peer support is provided throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Kern, and San Diego counties.

To date, the organization has touched the lives of over 2,000 individuals with disabilities; given $80,000 in assistance to people with inadequate medical insurance; performed seven home and bathroom remodels; provided wheelchair accessible vehicles to people who did not have the means to purchase one on their own; handed out over 700 care baskets to newly injured people; and regularly visits 15 area hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Kern, and San Diego counties.

IMG_1956An annual fundraiser was held December 3 at Route 66 in Canyon Country,

which featured a silent auction. A portion of sales went to the foundation.

Activities Center Now ‘The Centre’

| News | December 19, 2015

What was formerly known as a venue for sporting events and family activities is getting an overhaul. The new look and feel of what was formerly called the Santa Clarita Activities Center even has a new name to reflect the difference in its use. Called “The Centre on Centre Pointe Parkway,” the facility, which is located at the top of a hill near the skate park, was recently upgraded by the City of Santa Clarita.

With customizable space for a range of events, from weddings and birthdays to retirement parties and conferences, The Centre is made up of four distinct areas: Cedar Hall, the Oak Room, the Sycamore Rooms and a conference room. The 4,000-square-foot Cedar Hall is a setting for weddings, speaking engagements or large banquets. The Sycamore Rooms have the ability to seat up to 180 guests banquet style and can be kept open as one large room or split into two smaller rooms if needed. The Sycamore Rooms also have a warming kitchen available for an additional charge. The Centre’s Oak Room is a more intimate space for conferences or receptions.

The Centre can be adapted to fit individual needs for groups ranging in size from 12 to 400 people. All reservations include complimentary use of tables, chairs, dance floor, PA system, projector, screen, pipe and drape and stage.

The facility is located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, at the top of the Santa Clarita Sports Complex. For more information, including reservation inquiries, call The Centre at (661) 250-3710 or visit TheCentreSantaClarita.com.

Half-Price Tickets at Passages Museum over Holidays

| Community | December 18, 2015

As sweet as a successful finish to the semester may be, students and teachers have more good news – half price admission to Passages Museum of the Bible located in Saugus. Friday, December 18 is “Students Day,” where youth pay half price to enter Passages, and Saturday, December 19 is “Teachers Day,” where visitors who are schoolteachers get the same benefit.
All other visitors have the chance to get in at half price this weekend also. Passages will hold a food drive December 17-20, offering community members a half price entry if they bring an item to donate to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. Requested food items include peanut butter and macaroni & cheese.
Regular admission prices are: $12 for adults; $10 for students; and $10 for seniors, military and youth. Hours are Sundays 1-6 p.m.; Tuesdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Passages is located at 26565 Bouquet Canyon Rd. in Saugus. For more information, visit Explorepassages.com.

Letter Endorses Steve Fox Candidate for State Assembly District 36

| Opinion | December 18, 2015

Dear Editor:

Our children’s future is one of our communities’ greatest priorities. Former Assemblyman Steve Fox helped push through the Middle Class Scholarship Act which gives the children of the middle class a reduction in costs at the four year college.

Fox voted on a new funding formula which gave the secondary schools more funds to teach our children.

Fox voted for the State budget which funds our schools.  Fox also announced his future push to establish a four year public college to be built in our district.

If our children receive a good education, they will receive the tools they need to obtain employment in the future.

Lackey voted against the State budget.  Lackey voted against education.

Our children need Steve Fox back in the State Legislature!

Suzann Reina

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | December 18, 2015

Several of this week’s alleged crimes were relatively uncharacteristic of the usual Santa Clarita “safest cities in America” image. And they were brought against residents of all parts of the SCV.

Earlier this week, a 32-year-old laborer from Valencia was arrested for possession of obscene matter depicting a minor. And a 29-year-old tow truck driver from Newhall was brought up on charges of prostitution with prior knowledge he had AIDS.

A 19-year-old Newhall man who works at a Laundromat was arrested for causing harm/death to an elder/dependant adult. And a disabled 49-year-old Newhall man was charged with elder/dependant adult causing harm or death.

A 28-year-old Valencia man described as “uncooperative” was brought in for battery against a former spouse. A 44-year-old computer technician from Canyon Country and a 22-year-old prop maker from Valencia were each charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. And a 21-year-old construction worker from Arleta was picked up for battery with great bodily injury.

An unemployed 18-year-old Valencia man was picked up for manufacturing/giving/lending/possessing a leaded cane, etc.

A 32-year-old Santa Clarita transient and a 30-year-old unemployed Castaic woman were arrested for burglary. An unemployed 20-year-old Saugus woman was charged with shoplifting after a specified prior conviction.

A 38-year-old unemployed Utah man was picked up for evading a police officer/disregarding safety. A 39-year-old maintenance worker from Lancaster was charged with contempt of court/disobeying a court order.

A couple of El Monte men were charged with bringing drug/drug paraphernalia to jail. One was an unemployed 28-year-old and the other one was a 26-year-old cook.

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
44-year-old Palmdale woman who works in billing
29-year-old tattoo artist from Canyon Country
21-year-old Santa Clarita transient
44-year-old construction worker from Valencia
44-year-old laborer from Los Angeles

A 37-year-old grocery store employee from Stevenson Ranch was picked up for driving with knowledge that she had a suspended/revoked license.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
27-year-old Newhall cook
32-year-old stage hand from Lancaster
45-year-old aerospace technician from Canyon Country
52-year-old Palmdale man who works at Denny’s
23-year-old Palmdale man who works in retail
49-year-old pharmacy tech from Palmdale
41-year-old audio-video engineer from Santa Clarita
26-year-old automotive worker from Duarte
21-year-old student from Lancaster
44-year-old manager from Canyon Country
46-year-old construction worker from Castaic

Kaiser Awards More Than $62,626 to 10 Local Nonprofits

| News | December 17, 2015

Grant funding is key to the survival of nonprofit groups, and Santa Clarita has 10 recent recipients of money to promote each of their missions. Kaiser Permanente awarded $62,626 to leaders of the chosen 501(c)(3) organizations last week.

In the last year, Kaiser Permanente Panorama City awarded grants totaling $451,940 to 47 San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley organizations.

“Improving health in the communities that we serve is vital to our mission at Kaiser Permanente,” said Dr. David Wong, Kaiser Permanente physician-in-charge. “Partnering with local community organizations and supporting these groups with community benefit funding ensures that we are making steadfast efforts to overcome critical health barriers for those most vulnerable to health disparities in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Grants Program supports community organizations working to improve health locally, while also meeting critical care needs. Grants are awarded annually to non-profit organizations committed to expanding access to care for lower-income and uninsured individuals. The groups must also be improving education, prevention, early detection, treatment of chronic diseases, and efforts to promote healthy eating and active living to combat increased obesity rates through medical, environmental and social changes.

This year, Kaiser Permanente has announced grants totaling $62,626 to the following 10 non-profit organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley:

Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley received funding to encourage low income youth in the Santa Clarita Valley to adopt healthy lifestyles through their “half hour hustle” after school program, provision of healthy snacks, cooking classes, and team and recreational sports.

Bridge to Home received funding to expand its Healthy Lives Medical and Dental programs with a health navigator providing on site coordination and case management for homeless individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley, connecting them to clinical care and helping clients establish medical homes.

Carousel Ranch received funding to provide equestrian therapy and physical exercise for children with special needs who are at risk of obesity resulting from a sedentary lifestyle.

Child & Family Center received funding to provide school-based mental health support and counseling for children showing early signs of behavioral health problems in elementary schools.

Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita received funding to provide on-site mental health counseling support to victims of domestic violence and their children at the emergency shelter.

Samuel Dixon Family Health Center received funding to provide quality outpatient health care, health education, and resources to the uninsured and underinsured.

Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center received funding to provide case management, health & wellness programming, and screenings for low income seniors in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project received funding to provide access to campus-based mental health services such as support groups and peer counseling for at-risk junior and high school students in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Single Mothers Outreach received funding to provide case management and coordination of social services and mental health services for low income head of household mothers in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Special Olympics – Santa Clarita Valley Region received funding to support health and fitness programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities at high risk of obesity in the Santa Clarita Valley.

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit programs, visit http://community.kp.org/ and follow @KPCommBenefit on Twitter. For more information on Kaiser Permanente, visit https://kp.org/santaclarita.

Kaiser Permanente Panorama City serves more than 200,000 members in the East San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. The company provides members and patients a focus on total health and is guided by each patient’s personal physician, specialists, and team of caregivers. For more information, go to: kp.org/panoramacity.

Nine COC Players Earn All-SCFA Honors

| News, Sports | December 17, 2015

College of the Canyons athletes made a large showing in a recent announcement by The Southern California Football Association (SCFA). Nine COC players made the 2015 All-League teams, included among the honorees from the National Division, Northern League.

Five COC players earned SCFA First-Team honors and four were named to the Second-Team.

In addition, COC freshman wide receiver Nicholas Jones was a unanimous First-Team offense selection. Jones finished the 2015 season with 68 receptions, 1,240 receiving yards and six touchdowns, while averaging 18.2 yards per catch to lead the Cougars in all four categories. Meanwhile, his average of 124 receiving yards per game was the top mark in the state.

Also included on the First-Team offense was lineman Linwood Foy, who made the transition to offensive tackle after a year spent playing defensive end. Foy’s strong play helped anchor an offensive line that saw the Cougars average 361.9 yards of total offense per game.

Defensively, the Cougars were represented on the First-Team by sophomore safety Isaiah Foster, sophomore defensive end Alberto Portillo, and freshman inside linebacker Austin Davenport.

Davenport led the Cougars with 80 total tackles, including five for loss, while also showing playmaking ability by registering a sack, interception, forced fumble and recovered fumble.

Foster totaled 54 tackles at the safety position to rank third on the team. He also came away with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions during the season.

Portillo started all 10 games at defensive end for the Cougars, finishing first among the team’s defensive linemen with 40 total tackles, adding 1.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss along the way.

COC sophomore quarterback Devon Dunn was named to the SCFA Second-Team offense after a season in which he completed 171-of-320 passes for 2,425 yards and 14 touchdowns, good for a 54.3 completion percentage. Dunn also added 318 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, averaging 3.6 yards per carry.

Freshman wide receiver Chauncey Werah earned Second-Team offense honors after finishing with 29 receptions, 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

COC sophomore inside linebacker Garrett Updegraft and defensive tackle Sione Taufahema were both named Second-Team defense honorees.

Updegraft ranked second on the team with 63 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

Taufahema posted 28 tackles and one sack on the year, while primarily lining up at the nose guard position.

For more information about the 2015 College of the Canyons football team please visit www.COCathletics.com.

Residents Invited to Evening of Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling

| Community | December 17, 2015

The Santa Clarita community is invited to attend a free evening of Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling at the Newhall Community Center.

In addition to hot cocoa and cookies, the holiday event will feature festive sing-alongs, characters from the movie “Frozen” and performances by the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s Silvertones choir and the Santa Clarita Children’s Choir.

Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling is set for Friday, Dec. 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the Newhall Community Center, located at 22421 Market Street in Santa Clarita.

For more information, contact the center at 661-286-4006 or go to santa-clarita.com/NCC.

COC STEM Students Meet with Industry Leaders in Silicon Valley

| News | December 17, 2015

A group of College of the Canyons students participated in an invitation-only conference for math-based majors held in Silicon Valley — the country’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) innovation hub.

The 12th Annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership conference, themed “Celebrating 45 Years of STEM Success,” was held earlier this fall in Santa Clara. Throughout the event, the group of handpicked MESA students, representing 38 universities and community colleges from across the state, was able to interact with a number of industry mentors and special guest speakers as a means of developing their own leadership skills.

Representing COC were MESA students Anthony Pamintuan, Noryn Rosario, Mackenzie Thurston and Julio Zamora. Funding for the group’s participation was sponsored by Southern California Gas and Edison International.

In addition, the student leadership conference was fully sponsored by industry donations. Edison International was the lead sponsor with additional funding from AT&T, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Gas.

“Most schools are invited to send two students to participate in this opportunity,” said Eric Lara, Director of the COC MESA program. “It speaks volumes that COC was one of only a few community colleges to participate, and we sent twice as many students as most of the other schools.

“The four students selected come from a variety of backgrounds and majors,” added Lara, “and I knew that this conference would take their leadership skills to the next level by placing them out of their comfort zone. A major goal of the MESA program at College of the Canyons is to introduce our students to the outside STEM world, including conferences like this.”

At the event, students participated in mock interviews, connected with industry representatives, listened to guest speakers and attended a variety of workshops designed to help build “soft skills” as a key to shaping well-rounded STEM professionals.

“The conference allowed me to expand my network of professionals and fellow students with similar interests in the engineering field,” said Anthony Pamintuan, member of MESA and President of the COC Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). “I had the experience of being interviewed by a chemical engineer from the Southern California Gas Company, which exposed me to the types of questions companies from the industry are likely to ask in a real world situation.”

The national MESA program promotes STEM success for more than 28,000 educationally disadvantaged secondary, community college and four-year college students in California through project-based learning, academic counseling and exposure to STEM careers, with the hopes that they graduate from college with math-based degrees.

It’s estimated that approximately 70 percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation, compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Approximately 60 percent of high school MESA students will go on to pursue math, science or engineering majors, while 97 percent of MESA community college students eventually transfer to four-year college as STEM majors.

For more information about the College of the Canyons MESA program, visit www.canyons.edu/Offices/MESA.

Santa Comes to Swap Meet Sunday

| SC Living | December 17, 2015

This weekend, visitors to the Santa Clarita Swap Meet can take part in an annual event that draws crowds of all ages. Santa will make his holiday visit to greet Swap Meet customers on Sunday, December 20 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

“Santa Joe” will be sitting in the food court, handing out candy canes to kids, young and old, who sit on his lap to share their hopes for Christmas. For 25 years, Santa Joe has been making appearances at holiday events. His first job was at Macy’s Herald Square store in Times Square, New York City, so he has lots of experience.

The Santa Clarita Swap Meet is located at 22500 Soledad Canyon Road in Saugus. Visit http://www.saugusspeedway.com/.

Online Shopping Guide: Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Him or Her

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 15, 2015

Do you have a hard time coming up with unique gift ideas for your friends and family every holiday season? If so, this holiday shopping guide for him and her can help you find some fresh new places to start your online shopping this year.

For Him:

If you’re looking to find an unusual gift “for the man who has everything,” try the “Gifts for Men” section at UncommonGoods.com. Sort items by recipient, price, interest or collection. Staff picks:

-West Coast Style IPA Beer Brewing Kit ($20-$45)
-DIY Smartphone Projector ($31.95)
-Water Garden Fish Tank ($60)

IPA Brewing Kit
ManCrates.com offers a broad selection of gift packages that cater to a variety of interests, from grilling and sports to food and more.  See more at www.mancrates.com/gifts-for-men. Staff picks:

-Bacon Jerkygram ($24.99)
-Personalized Pint Set ‘Ammo Can’ ($64.99)
-Troutdoorsman Crate ($79.99)


If he likes technology, BestBuy.com’s Gift Center will help shoppers narrow down their gift ideas with a “For Him” section that can be organized by price, interest and more. Staff picks:

-Amazon Fire 7” Tablet, 8GB ($49.99)
-Turtle Beach Star Wars Battlefront Sandtrooper Wired Stereo Gaming Headset for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac ($99.99)
-Fitbit Surge Fitness Watch ($249.99)Fitbit Watch

ThinkGeek.com’s “Gifts for Him” section offers everything from novelty items to T-shirts to gadgets for the man who embraces his inner “geek.” Staff picks:

-Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. RFID Blocking Wallet ($19.99)
-Star Wars R2-D2 Bluetooth Speakerphone ($49.99)
-Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES Game System ($99.99)Portable NES

For Her:

For one-of-a-kind gifts with a personalized touch, check out PersonalCreations.com. Staff picks:
Definition of Love Tile with Easel ($24.99)
Mosaic Garden Stepping Stone ($29.99)
Family Initial Framed Print ($39.99)PCR11_0000012SP201_0158142_W1_SQ

If she’s a technology fan, BestBuy.com’s Gift Center can break down gift ideas “For Her” by price, interest and more. Staff picks:
Waring Pro Electric Wine Bottle Opener ($29.99)
Amazon Fire 7” Tablet, 8GB ($49.99)
Apple Watch Sport 42 mm Rose Gold Aluminum Case Stone Sport Band ($399.99)

Creative entrepreneurs who make and sell handmade or other unique gifts can be found at Etsy.com in the “For Her” gift section.
To view current Etsy editor’s picks, go to Etsy.com/Featured/Unique-Gift-Ideas-For-Women

At TheGrommet.com/Gifts/Her, shoppers can view a curated collection of uniquely feminine gifts that has something for everyone. Staff picks:
Hot Iron Holster and Lil’ Holsters ($9.95+)
Jewelinx Jewelry & Accessory Organizer ($19.95)
DreamSkin Hydrating Pillowcase ($40)DreamskinPillowcase

Blood Drive at City Hall Next Week

| Community | December 13, 2015

One blood donation can help save up to three lives, says the American Red Cross. There is always a need for blood in the community and nationwide. National statistics from the American Red Cross show someone needs a unit of blood every two to three seconds.

In an effort to reduce the deficit, the City of Santa Clarita and the American Red Cross are teaming up to host a Community Blood Drive on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 9:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Century Room at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard.

Residents interested in signing up to donate blood at the Community Blood Drive should visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code “cityofsantaclarita” when signing up. On donation day, participants should go directly to the Century Room on the first floor where they will be greeted and evaluated to ensure they are eligible to donate. All participants must have a valid ID to donate.

All Community Blood Drive donors will receive two tickets to the Laugh Factory, two tickets to the Grammy Museum and discounted vouchers for L.A. Kings or Anaheim Ducks hockey games.

For more information about the Community Blood Drive, contact Amanda Santos at (661) 255-4923 or asantos@santa-clarita.com.

Travel Tip: Avoid Bed Bugs

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 13, 2015

For many residents travelling over the holidays, there will be reunions with loved ones. But there are certain meet-ups no one is looking forward to: spending time with bed bugs. Picking up one of these hitchhikers can plague you for a long time. Said Joseph Wilson of All Pro Pest Control in Canyon Country, chances are good you will encounter them while traveling – even high-end hotels have them. He offered the following tips to minimize the chance you will come in contact with bed bugs:

Pack a flashlight – Once you arrive at your destination, use the flashlight to inspect areas on and around the bed. Pay particular attention to the box springs.

When checking into a hotel, remove the headboard from the wall and inspect the backside with a flashlight.DO NOT SET YOUR


Do not store your luggage under or near the bed.

If necessary, wrap your luggage in a tightly sealed trash bag for proper storage.

When you get home, put all of your clothes in the dryer for 15 minutes to be completely sure to rid yourself of any that may have come along for the ride.

All Pro has one more hot idea: See something that might be a bed bug? Take a picture of it and text it to (661) 645-0540. Joseph will tell you what it is!

Congressman Knight Hosts Open House Monday

| Community | December 12, 2015

If you have waited for an opportunity to spend time with your local congressman, an open house next week should appeal to you. Meet Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) at his Santa Clarita Valley District Office on Monday, December 14 from 5-7 p.m. and enjoy refreshments while discussing relevant legislative issues.

The event is open to the community and offers members of the public to become acquainted with Knight and his staff. The congressman’s office is located at 26415 Carl Boyer Drive, Suite 220 in Santa Clarita. For more information, call (661) 255-5630.

Gazette Calls Out Drivers with Poor Parking Skills

| Community | December 12, 2015

Have you ever seen cars parked in a manner you could only describe as “ugly”?

If you ever wanted to tell the world about it, now’s your chance. You can submit examples of ugly parking on our website immediately. Think how easy it’ll be to embarrass them!

We invite you to post photos of vehicles you spot in the SCV that deserve to be outed to the community. We’ve made it easy for you – just visit santaclaritafree.com/uglyparking.

Watch for people with poor parking skills, and be sure to let us know. Imagine the fun you’ll have while you’re out Christmas shopping!

How hard is it to park between the lines?
Upload your Ugly Parking photo –
click on the Ugly Parking link on our web site www.santaclaritagazette.com


Teens in a Tech World Draws Big Crowd

| Community | December 11, 2015

There is a growing interest in teen issues in Santa Clarita, if attendance at a recent information session is any indication. The City of Santa Clarita and the William S. Hart Union High School District teamed up to present “Teens in a Tech World” last month.

Over 120 students, parents and administrators attended the presentation by PASE, the Parents and Students Empowerment group, which is part of the school district. Those who attended the presentation at Arroyo Seco Junior High School heard speakers talk about current trends in social media, strategies for parents to help keep their children safe online, and advice from students about online use.

Presenters included Sierra Vista Junior High School teacher Ron Ippolito, West Ranch High School students Luke Mettle, Brandon Waldon, and Allie Banks, and L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Duxbury. The next PASE presentation will be held on Feb. 3 at Rancho Pico Junior High School.

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