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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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Female Athlete of the Week – Chyanne Pagkalinawan

| SC Living | February 26, 2015

ChyanneThis Valencia High School freshman is already showing her athletic strength on the basketball court. Chyanne Pagkalinawan scored 13 points off the bench in her team’s 81-49 win over Long Beach Jordan in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs last weekend.

“Chyanne is a talented and hard working player that has shown great maturity this season,” said Valencia High School Girls Basketball Coach Jerry Mike. “Her knowledge and understanding of the game is quite advanced for such a young player. Chyanne’s unique skill set allows her to play both the point guard and off guard spots. She is a great teammate and has been a pleasure to coach this year.”

Female Athlete of the Week – Annie Christofferson

| SC Living | February 20, 2015

female athl Annie vs Sylmar 2A freshman on the West Ranch High School Girls Varsity Basketball team, Annie Christofferson will be leading the way for the Wildcats for another few years. She averages 16.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and .9 blocks. She currently leads both her team and the league in scoring.

“Annie is an exceptional student athlete with a 4.5 GPA,” said Coach Allison Moore. “She is a hard worker and a natural shooter. While very young, she has the potential to be the future leader of our program. She truly loves playing the sport, and tries to make her teammates better.”

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | February 20, 2015

An 18-year-old laborer from North Hills was arrested for prostitution with prior knowledge of AIDS.

A transient Santa Clarita couple was brought up on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm with great bodily injury. The woman is a 33-year-old working in an insurance office and the man is a 31-year-old construction worker.

A Saugus couple was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. He is a 51-year-old truck driver and she is a 41-year-old administrative assistant. A 26-year-old waitress from Canyon Country and a 45-year-old construction laborer from Canyon Country were also charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.

An unemployed 48-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with carrying a switchblade knife upon his person.

An unemployed 32-year-old Canyon Country man was charged with resisting an officer.

A 36-year-old drug counselor and a 35-year-old handyman – both from Simi Valley — were arrested for conspiracy to commit any crime.

A 27-year-old electrician from North Hollywood was charged with transporting/selling/furnishing marijuana. Also, a 39-year-old Lancaster man who works in tech support and a 19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country woman were charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale.

There were charges involving various forms of stealing last week also. A 39-year-old Santa Clarita man who works in the landfill business was charged with theft of utility services valued at more than $400.

A 49-year-old mason from Valencia was arrested for burglary.

An unemployed 21-year-old Saugus woman and an unemployed 32-year-old Panorama City man were cited for theft of personal property.
An unemployed 38-year-old Lake Hughes woman was charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 19-year-old unemployed Woodland Hills man was charged with false personation, special circumstances.

A 33-year-old sales representative from Valencia was charged with hit and run with property damage, and a 34-year-old waitress from Valencia was charged with reckless driving.

An unemployed 28-year-old San Jose man was charged with intentional interference with public transportation. Both a 32-year-old wire cutter from Reseda and a 39-year-old Granada Hills man who works in produce were brought in for having a suspended/revoked driver’s license.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
36-year-old fitness coach from Valencia
32-year-old salesman from Valencia
39-year-old Burbank man who refused to give his occupation
56-year-old real estate agent from Santa Clarita
34-year-old legal manager from Valencia
29-year-old firefighter from Lancaster
26-year-old student from Northridge
27-year-old quality engineer from Valencia
33-year-old field packer from Shafter
29-year-old operations consultant from Santa Clarita
43-year-old gardener from Lost Hills, Calif.

Male Athlete of the Week – Allen Villasenor

| SC Living | February 20, 2015

male athl betterThis notable athlete is a big scorer on the Hart Varsity Soccer team, with nine goals this season. Allen Villasenor has one more year at Hart and finished the last Foothill League game by scoring one of two goals in a 2-2 tie against Valencia High School. Hart won the League championship with an unbeaten 8-0-2 record.

“He is a great student athlete, a team player,” said Coach Adonay Jovel. “He has stepped up this season. He is a player who can score goals and create chances for teammates to score.”

Pets and Teens Benefit from Vasquez High Fundraiser

| News | February 19, 2015

The community of Acton is home to a great number of residents with property and pets, which makes an upcoming fundraiser a perfect idea for the high school’s parent organization. On three upcoming dates residents can get their animals vaccinated at a reduced cost, while raising money for the parent-teacher organization.

Three reduced cost vaccination clinics will be held at the Vasquez High School Athletic Field, offering locals great prices for their pets’ health and bringing funds to the Vasquez High School PTSO (Parent-Teacher-Student Organization). Sponsored by All Creatures Veterinary Center, Antelope Valley Veterinary Center and Canyon Country Veterinary Hospital, pet owners can bring their animals for the following high quality, fully backed vaccines:

Canine Distemper/ Parvo Virus Combo
Feline combo
Small Animal Rabies
Bordetella
Feline Leukemia Virus
Rattlesnake
Canine Influenza
Equine Innovator 4
Equine Innovator 6
Large Animal Rabies
Equine West Nile

The dates and times of the clinics are: March 18 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.; April 15 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.; and May 20 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Vasquez High School is located at 33630 Red Rover Mine Road in Acton.
Vasquez High School PTSO is a parent run volunteer organization that raises funds to supplement school programs and extracurricular activities for local high school students. The sponsors are donating all proceeds from the clinic to VHS PTSO. For more information, call Lauren at AV Veterinary Center at (661) 729-1500.

Celebrity Waiter Fundraiser Saturday

| Community | February 19, 2015

This weekend hundreds of local residents will get costumed for the much-anticipated fundraiser the SCV Senior Center’s Celebrity Waiter Dinner. On top of an evening with fun-loving friends, guests will each have the opportunity to win auction items including a seven-day Princess cruise for two to either the Caribbean or Mexico. this Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Also at the event, held this Saturday, February 21 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, supporters will bid on a number of unique trips, social events and experiences at both live and silent auctions. One of the auction items is a “log” boat from Six Flags Magic Mountain’s historic Log Jammer ride, and one lucky bidder will win a week in a fully equipped Maui beach house that sleeps 10 guests. Other unique auction items include a day of sailing for four guests on a trimaran sailboat; a barbecue party at the Sand Canyon home of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar; lunch with U.S. Congressman Steve Knight, State Assemblyman Scott Wilk or Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean; or an antique corner cast iron wood-burning stove from the turn-of-the-century.

Bidders can also compete for decorator items, dinner and theater experiences, a plane ride to the Santa Barbara area, a tandem skydiving experience, a pair of garden art metal giraffes, a picnic basket complete with wine glasses and cheese board, original pictures, tickets to sporting events, a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West desert masterpiece in Scottsdale, AZ, massage and spa services, house cleaning services, beauty products, jewelry, a collector set of six wooden cars, and a collection of gift certificates. Scheduled items also include golf packages, website design, a telescope with tripod, handmade chess set, tours of Animal Tracks in Acton next to Vasquez Rocks, orthodontics, printing, a paddle boat and more.

Table sponsors are working on zany themes and decorations for their tables, based on the event’s “Cities of the World” theme. Cities already reserved include Budapest, Dodge City (Kansas), Las Vegas, Manchester (England), New Orleans, Gotham City, Paris, Athens, Chicago, Copenhagen and Roswell (New Mexico).  Table hosts and guests can start registering as early as 5 p.m. on the evening of the dinner, and the program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.  In addition to the auctions, guests will enjoy live music and entertainment. The introduction of the “celebrity” waiters to the crowd is always a surprise and fun experience. Guests can help their waiters earn the Favorite Waiter award by purchasing scrip to “tip” the waiter for special perks and antics throughout the evening. A number of waiters also are participating in pre-event fundraising, which is added to their “tip” income when selecting the Favorite Waiter.

Table hosts will also be competing for awards for best decorated table and best costumes.

The Celebrity Waiter is one of the SCV Senior Center’s top fundraising events. Proceeds help to support such services as home delivered meals, reassurance telephone calls, educational and support groups, the Handyworker program, Supportive Services and many other programs.

Table sponsorships will be available until the venue reaches capacity, with costs ranging from $1,650 to $5,500, depending on the perks available at each level. Tables seat 10 guests, and sponsors receive night-of-event recognition. Individual tickets are $125 each. Table reservations or additional information are available by calling Jennifer at (661) 259-9444, Ext144.

Benjamin James LeRoy Sr. 1919-2015

| Obituaries | February 19, 2015

Benjamin James LeRoy Sr., age 95, passed away in Newhall, Calif. on Thursday, February 5, 2015.
He was born on September 14, 1919 in Goodrich, Texas and became a business owner after serving in the United States Army. During his time in the military, he received a Purple Heart Medal. He was a born again Christian.
Benjamin is preceded in death by his wife, Mildred G. LeRoy, who passed away on April 21, 2012, and his sister, Marie Robinson. He is survived by his sons, Benjamin J. (Barbara) LeRoy Jr., Darrell J. McGaffie, and Fredrick M. McGaffie; his grandsons, Fredrick ToVaughn L. McGaffie and Benjamin James LeRoy III; and his beloved sisters, Juanita Chavez and Sadie Gilford.
A visitation will be held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. A graveside service will follow at Eternal Valley Memorial Park at 2:00 p.m.
Benjamin was a loving uncle, brother, father and family member.

Tutor Doctor Grand Opening

| News | February 19, 2015

All are invited!  Grand Opening Celebration of Tutor Doctor Santa Clarita at the SCV Chamber of Commerce, 27451 Tourney Blvd., Valencia, on Thursday, February 19, 5-6 pm. Come and see our Smart Car!  Win a $100 gift card to Outlets at Tejon and some free tutoring hours!

Call 661-219-0770 or www.santaclaritatutoring.com and https://www.facebook.com/santaclaritatutordoctor

Tutor Doctor began in 2000 in Canada and is the largest, fastest-growing in-home tutoring network with over 400 territories worldwide.  With its brand comes a peace-of-mind guarantee for families seeking its services. Employees must pass background checks, undergo extensive training and participate in ongoing coaching.  “We invest in the professional development of our tutors and hold them accountable for results,” Oliver, Director of Education commented. “Free consultations, collaboration with teachers and a 60-day guarantee for a “tutor match” are offered.

Top Accreditation Approval for COC

| News | February 14, 2015

College of the Canyons ranked at the top, once again. This time, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) reaffirmed the school’s accreditation at the highest possible rating.  It followed nearly a two-year process of institutional reviews.

The commission notified the college that its accreditation has been approved for another six-year term, with only one regular midterm report due in 2017. This is the highest level of approval possible, and is only awarded when an institution “substantially meets or exceeds the Eligibility Requirements, Accreditation Standards and Commission policies,” Commission President Barbara Beno stated in her notification letter.

“I am extremely proud of the outcome of our accreditation process, as it confirms what our community has long known about College of the Canyons – that we are a strategic, forward-thinking college committed to continuous improvement and the success of our students,” College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said.

Accreditation is a voluntary process colleges and universities undergo to evaluate and assure the quality of education used by the American higher education community – and to subsequently make those results known to the public. The ACCJC evaluates and accredits public and private postsecondary institutions that offer two-year education programs and award the associate degree.

The accreditation process is conducted not only to assure the quality of the institution, but also to encourage institutional improvement. All accredited institutions are expected to use the report to improve their educational programs and services. The process includes an intensive institutional self-evaluation report, followed by an outside peer evaluation of an institution’s adherence to set standards of good practice, and an ongoing analysis of the overall quality of programs and services offered by the college.

“We engaged in a comprehensive effort to document all that we do, and how we demonstrate the best qualities of higher education,” said Dr. Jerry Buckley, vice president of instruction, who led the college’s accreditation efforts. “College of the Canyons again demonstrated to our community that we are committed to a high standard of teaching and learning, as well as support for our local businesses and industries by having our accreditation status reaffirmed.”

The college began compiling its self-evaluation report in fall 2013, and submitted it to the commission in August 2014 before a team of peer evaluators visited the college two months later.

“The results of accreditation are a testament to everyone who works at College of the Canyons, and in particular, the more than 140 faculty, staff, and administrators who helped to write the self-evaluation report, catalog the required evidence, and produce the report. As with everything we undertake at COC, it was a team effort marked by dedication, enthusiasm and a sense of purpose,” Dr. Van Hook said.

The visiting team of peer evaluators commended the college for successful fiscal management; developing a welcoming, student-centered learning environment; promoting effective student leadership; highlighting the talents of students by displaying student artwork throughout both campuses; and cultivating robust community partnerships.

The college’s self-evaluation report, along with the visiting team’s report, are available online at http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/PIO/Accreditation/.

Female Athlete of the Week – Taylor Moorhead

| SC Living | February 13, 2015

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This outstanding Hart High School Varsity Soccer player is just a freshman, but already leading her teammates. She scored the first goal in her team’s 2-0 shutout over Saugus in last week’s Foothill League battle for first place. The Hart girls are ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll and are unbeaten in the Foothill League at 4-0-4.

“She scored a brilliant goal, dribbling through three Saugus defenders and finishing on the corner,” said Coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “She is just a freshman, but her skills, footwork and hard work are helping the Hart offense throughout this season.”

Yes on S Records Questioned

| News | February 13, 2015

More than three months have passed since the historic defeat of Measure S in November. The measure was brought to the ballot by the Santa Clarita City Council after a referendum effort received over 18,000 signatures against City Ordinance 14-02. This ordinance was a Development Agreement between Metro and the City for the removal of some static billboards in the city and the construction of three digital billboards placed on land owned by the City along the 5 and 14 freeways.

While this election is now in the recent past, information regarding the proponents of Measure S was just released in the form of a mandatory semi-annual financial disclosure.
“I find much of the disclosure troubling,” said Steve Petzold, a member of the No on S Committee. “Interestingly enough for me, it was the lack of disclosure of some information that I find most concerning.”

Some in Santa Clarita are taking a look at the power behind the proponents of Measure S, using the campaign finance disclosures to gain insight.

“To be blunt, East Coast money interests tried to fool the voters in Santa Clarita into voting for a deal that would reap millions of dollars for the deal’s broker, Allvision LLC,” said Petzold.
According to the records, friends and family of Allvision President Greg Smith raised $164,000, spent $157,905.34, accrued unpaid bills of $10,243.31, and left the Committee open with $6,094.66 in the bank. All of this activity took place though the Ballot Measure Committee, which is named on its Statement of Organization form, “Yes on S:  A Coalition of Community Leaders for Santa Clarita’s Public Safety, Seniors, Transportation, and Local Businesses.”
“This is a very misleading name,” said Petzold. “There was not a single dollar of local money invested in their effort and the Treasurer is a highly compensated political attorney with the powerful law firm of The Sutton Group based in San Francisco.”
According to Petzold, most of the Yes on S Committee’s expenditures went to people and organizations that residents would expect to see on the disclosure. Examples include The Signal newspaper, which received about $7,000, the radio station KHTS AM 1220, receiving $3,000, and Facebook is on the list for $650. However, one local entity was omitted, Petzold noted.
“I am unable to find any expense to the Yes on S Committee for banner ads, marketing or advertising to local television station SCVTV,” he said.
During the month of October and into November there were banner ads on SCVTV urging viewers to vote yes on Measure S. Some of them even ran during Santa Clarita City Council meetings.
According to Petzold, SCVTV is more than just a cable television station, as much of its reach is through the web via www.SCVTV.com . The station’s broadcasts can also be viewed on special government channels by subscribers of Time Warner and ATT U-verse.
“What makes SCVTV unique is that it receives a generous subsidy from the Santa Clarita Public Television Authority in the amount of $50,000 and is subject to the terms of  an annual Management Service Agreement,” said Petzold. “I considered it very strange that no expense could be found in the financial forms filed by Yes on S, so I made an inquiry with station management. The response I received was that there may be an outstanding invoice.”
When the No on Measure S Committee contacted SCVTV in mid-October about running a banner ad, members were told that the fee would be $500. It is customary in the media business to collect the funds for advertising or marketing resource in advance of service.
Item 5 titled Non-Offensive and Non-Partisan in the Management Services Agreement reads as follows.
“Political issues may be discussed as part of the programming provided by the Contractor, as long as such programming is non-partisan and objective in its presentation of the issues. In no event shall any advertising, underwriting or sponsorship recognition in any way relate to any political matter, including any campaign, unless doing so is legally required and Contractor notified the Authority in writing that it is legally required to allow such advertising, underwriting, or sponsorship recognition.”
“I have placed a public records request with the City requesting a copy of a letter from SCVTV management detailing the reason that it was required to promote the Yes on S campaign message,” said Petzold.
The letter still has not been made available to Petzold, however.
“It is clear to me that SCVTV may be out of compliance in the letter and spirit of the Management Services Agreement that governs it,” said Petzold.
The Agreement is due to expire on June 30, 2015.
“Before the MSA is renewed, the Santa Clarita Public Television Authority should review and measure each of the metrics contained in the Management Services Agreement,” said Petzold. “Anything less than this will promote the continuance of Bull Only in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | February 13, 2015

Two Canyon Country residents had firearms charges brought against them this week. A 33-year-old woman who works in insurance sales was picked up for manufacturing/possessing a rifle/short-barrel shotgun. And a 37-year-old glazer from Canyon Country was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/addict, etc.

Two Homeland, Calif. residents – a 41-year-old woman who works at a nursery and an unemployed 31-year-old man – were arrested for manufacturing/distributing/transferring assault weapons.

A 21-year-old Arleta woman who works in packaging was picked up for battery on a police officer/emergency personnel without injury. Also, a 29-year-old Palmdale man with an occupation of specimen processor was brought in for resisting an officer.

Two students were cited for theft of personal property – a 30-year-old student from California City and an unemployed 21-year-old from Canyon Country. A 51-year-old retail store owner from Montecito, Calif. was picked up for receiving known stolen property.

This week, an LVN from Pasadena was picked up for possession of a narcotic/drug/alcohol/drug paraphernalia in jail.

Last week a 23-year-old electrician from Newhall, a 32-year-old electrician from Saugus and an unemployed 42-year-old Santa Clarita woman were all picked up on charges of possession of a controlled substance.

This week, three women and one man were picked up for possession of a disabled Castaic man and an unemployed 53-year-old woman. The two others were 29 years old, one an unemployed Canyon Country resident and the other a nurse from Sun Valley.

Three Stockton men – an unemployed 20-year-old and 21-year-old and a 27-year-old cook – were picked up for transporting/selling a controlled substance, as was an unemployed 32-year-old Bakersfield man.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
38-year-old risk analyst from Sylmar
26-year-old restaurant worker from Newhall
21-year-old manager from Inglewood
44-year-old manager from South Gate
43-year-old mechanic from Pacoima
36-year-old warehouse worker from Lancaster, Calif.
22-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita woman
19-year-old janitor from Newhall
25-year-old Castaic man who works in food service
22-year-old machinist from Canyon Country

Non Profit of the Week – SC Little League

| SC Living | February 13, 2015

This new baseball league started in a sprint. A group of parents took over the charter last summer, got in on its feet in October, and filled registration in January. They got to experience the thrill of success before the kids played their first inning.

Under its new name, Santa Clarita Little League, kids in Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and parts of Valencia and Newhall flocked to sign up for its 14 teams with four levels of play. This family-friendly, community-oriented league will start the spring season with six t-ball, eight farm, four minor and four major teams this year. They have maxed out its available spots, with a wait list.

There are two Little League groups in Santa Clarita, determined by physical boundaries designated by the organization. The other group is Canyon Country Little League, which operates on the east side of the SCV.

Gaining financial support from businesses was not hard to find. “The community’s been amazing, businesses have been fantastic,” said SCLL Vice-President Jeff Nuttall. “The more support we can get, the better.”
Home fields for SCLL are at Valencia Travel Village on Highway 126. Though the first game isn’t until next month, they held a clinic two weeks ago, with major league players. Baseball legends Bill Russell and Reggie Smith volunteered their time to the kids at SCLL.

And this is only the beginning! Opening night is Friday, March 6, 2015, with opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. and the inaugural game at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.sclittleleague.org.

What Is True Diversification?

| Opinion | February 12, 2015

by Arif Halaby
Have you thought to yourself that you may have all of your eggs in one basket? When it comes to retirement account assets, you may be right. If you have all of your accounts in the stock market and it goes down, you may lose your ability to retire the way you had planned. For many people, the loss of peace of mind is cause enough to reexamine where your nest egg is currently held.

Diversification is not sitting in a different seat on the same bus. Instead, it is having some of your money in different financial vehicles that fit your needs. People are happy and believe they are “winners” when they take a gamble and win. Few people admit when they have lost during their time in Las Vegas. But, you know that those big hotels and casinos were not built because people are winning more than they are losing. Who do you think pays all those bonuses to the workers on Wall Street?

If you retire and the market is on a high, then it can instill a false sense of confidence in you – especially in relation to how much money you can spend each month. However, it is much worse than you think. If, during the early years of retirement, you believe the market will achieve a particular rate of return – perhaps one that is unrealistic – then you may be inclined to spend or “splurge” on an item, expecting to recoup that expense in short order. Let’s say you spend $50,000 on a new kitchen or even a fishing boat. That money you spend is money you will never get back. In fact, over the course of one’s normal retirement life, that $50,000 expense could have been as much as $200,000 in lost savings, when adding in growth over the next 25-30 years. Compound interest is an amazing thing.

Make sure the percentage you withdraw each year is a sustainable figure. In the last 19 years of my financial practice, experts have used numbers like 6 percent, 5 percent and 4 percent. They say that if you withdraw that amount of retirement savings account each year, you SHOULD have enough to live on for the rest of your life and the surviving spouse’s life. Have you seen the problem yet? The number has changed. That means if you played under the set of rules that said it was ok to withdraw 6 percent per year (that’s $6,000 for every $100,000 you have saved), then you may have reduced your savings significantly when the market lost more than 50 percent of its value (not once, but twice, since the year 2000). If you had all of your savings in the market, you would likely run out of money years sooner than you had planned. Who wants to go back to work at age 80?

For some, the old way of diversification meant losing money in more than one place. True diversification should include safety. For some, that means not having all your eggs in one place.
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Arif M. Halaby is President and CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc., a Santa Clarita based financial and insurance services company.

Female Athlete of the Week – Nicole Benz

| SC Living | February 6, 2015

female athlete benzA key to the success of the Hart High School Girls Basketball team, Nicole Benz scored 14 points and made four 3-pointers in Hart’s 58-50 win over Canyon last week. The Hart girls are in first place in the Foothill League with a 5-1 record.They are 17-5 overall.

“Nicole has always been a versatile, consistent and reliable player,” said Hart Girls Basketball Coach Terra Palmer. “With her improved offensive confidence, she has emerged as a game changer for this team. As she is just a sophomore, we expect continued great things from her here at Hart.”

Band of the Week – the Saloonatics

| SC Living | February 6, 2015

The Saloonatics is a seasoned, classic to current rock-and-roll tribute act that plays various venues throughout Southern California. Fronted by a female vocalist who can belt out any female or male vocalist’s style from Alanis Morissette, Steve Perry and Steven Tyler to James Hetfield and Brad Delp, the powerhouse musicians behind her have an equally professional sound. Three-part harmonies and quality of sound are this band’s specialty. If you want Aerosmith, Journey, Rush, Queen, No Doubt, it’s all there for you, played with a fury.

Featuring members from the highly touted Los Angeles Rush tribute called “Caress of Steel, as well as the Alanis Morissette tribute “More Or Less, Saloonatics consistently deliver the goods. Having toured Asia’s naval bases on more than one occasion, the band is a proven show-stopper at any venue it plays.

Described as “rock and roll played from the gut, as you heard it growing up,” the Saloonatics will be drawing crowds wherever the band goes. You can hear the band at Doc’s Inn on Saturday, February 14 and the Saugus Swapmeet on Sunday, February 22. You can also find the group on Facebook or visit the website: www.thesaloonatics.net.

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | February 6, 2015

A charge that was new to the Gazette Police Blotter this week was a 28-year-old Los Angeles man picked up for failing to disclose the origin of a recording.

Another unusual charge was a 38-year-old paralegal from Glendale accused of unlawful practice by an attorney.

Among this week’s DUIs with prior arrests was an L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy from Castaic.

Other DUIs with prior arrests included:
42-year-old insurance agent from Huntington Beach
28-year-old teacher from Reseda
35-year-old construction worker from Sylmar
25-year-old construction worker from Montrose
53-year-old engineer from Diamond Bar
53-year-old truck driver from Carson City, Nev.
32-year-old kitchen manager from Valencia
18-year-old assistant pastry chef from Santa Clarita
34-year-old contractor from Ranch Cucamonga
33-year-old roofer from Fullerton

Possession of a narcotic/controlled substance charges went to:
18-year-old Saugus student
49-year-old installer from Canyon Country
23-year-old childcare worker from Hesperia
19-year-old Canyon Country cashier
21-year-old machinist from Valencia
45-year-old unemployed Newhall man

A 30-year-old unemployed Hemet woman was picked up for transporting/selling a controlled substance.

A 29-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita man was charged with making/possessing/uttering fictitious instruments.

An unemployed 30-year-old Newhall man was picked up for carjacking.

A 32-year-old graphic designer from Saugus was arrested for battery against a former spouse. A 53-year-old unemployed Saugus man was brought in on charges of battery of a non-cohabitating former spouse.

A 35-year-old apartment manager from Burbank was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury/death. And a 31-year-old laborer from Hollywood was charged with willful cruelty to a child/child endangerment.

A 30-year-old laborer from Saugus was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with great bodily injury. A 47-year-old pool service worker from Valencia was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon of a police officer/fireman without a firearm with great bodily injury.

A 37-year-old electrician from San Antonio, Texas was picked up for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.

A 42-year-old pipe fitter from Saugus was charged with making criminal threats.

Four out-of-towners – a 41-year-old Sylmar man, a 49-year-old auto body shop employee from Van Nuys, an unemployed 32-year-old Pacoima man, a 52-year-old counselor from Sylmar and an unemployed 38-year-old Pacoima woman – were all picked up for presenting a false/fraudulent insurance claim.
A 53-year-old unemployed Canyon Country woman was charged with showing a false identification to a peace officer. And a 36-year-old unemployed Los Angeles woman was picked up for grand theft of money/property exceeding $400 in value.

Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall Celebrates 36 Years in Business

| News | February 5, 2015

One of the area’s longest lasting restaurants got its start in the SCV before many of the community’s residents. This year is the 36th anniversary of Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall, and new owner Steven Katz is celebrating with upgraded lighting, new food and beverage options and a bigger stage for the live entertainment.

On Thursday, February 26, 2015 the community is invited to dine at Vincenzo’s and take advantage of its anniversary special. Diners receive a large pizza for the price of a small pizza.

Vincenzo’s is a well-known Santa Clarita eatery, offering pizza, pasta, salads and live entertainment, from classic rock and roll and dance music to singer/songwriters. Many of the performers featured are local residents.

The Vincenzo’s story began in 1978 when former owner Bob Krauss relocated his family from Pittsburgh, Penn. to the Santa Clarita Valley. Soon after arriving, he realized that he sorely missed the hand-tossed, Napoli-style crust pizzas he used to get at Vincent’s Pizza Park in Pittsburgh. So, the owner of Vincent’s invited him back and showed him his famous pizza crust recipe.

Krauss returned to Newhall, changed his name to Vincenzo and opened up the first Vincenzo’s Pizza at its current location on Lyons Avenue in 1979. In 1983 he partnered with John Hudock, who was also from Pittsburgh and also a big fan of Vincent’s pizza from back home.

Together, the two men expanded the Vincenzo’s enterprise with new locations in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys. Those stores were sold off to individual owner/operators in 1985 and a commissary was built to handle production and distribution, so the quality and consistency of the pizza dough could be ensured for all of the stores.

Vincenzo passed away after just 20 years in the pizza business, but Hudock continues to handle manufacturing, distribution of the pizza dough, licensing of additional stores and quality control.

Today the original Vincenzo’s Pizza on Lyons Avenue in Newhall remains a hot spot for local families to gather, eat pizza and listen to live music. Vincenzo’s also features a wide variety of pastas, salads, calzones and appetizers.

Vincenzo’s is located at 24504 ½ Lyons Ave. in Newhall. Visit www.vincenzos.newhall@gmail.com.

Senior Expo & Health Fair this Weekend

| Uncategorized | February 5, 2015

The public will gain exposure to 56 exhibitors at the 2nd Annual Golden Years Senior Expo and Health Fair this weekend.

Presented by UCLA Health and co-sponsors Valley Publications, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Santa Clarita Valley YMCA, Facey Medical Group, KHTS AM 1220, The SCV Signal, The Magazine of Santa Clarita and the 25Score Card, this important community expo connects North L.A. County residents with organizations and businesses who offer information and resources important to seniors, those caring for a senior and those planning for their senior years.

Among the 56 exhibitors are the Social Security Administration, The Center for Healthcare Rights, The California Department of Insurance and City of Hope.

The expo returns to the Hyatt Regency Valencia Hotel and Conference Center, in Santa Clarita, on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission and parking are free.

Free health screenings will be available, including blood pressure, height  & weight, body composition, glucose,  cholesterol,  stroke,  balance,  hearing, earwax, bone density and grip strength.

Kaiser Permanente will be conducting a Blood Drive with an objective of collecting 50 units. Donors will receive a Regal Theaters Movie Ticket and a Bonus Drawing ticket.
Free presentations by experts on important topics of interest to current and future seniors will include:

Four steps to protecting your assets and your independence
Monthly VA cash benefits and how to obtain them
Your Vibrant Heart – Restoring health, strength and spirit from the body’s core
Hearing loss and hearing aids – the latest advancements in technology
Find out why people are turning to the HECM Product to protect their retirement

Exhibitors will be ready to share information, opportunities, products and services, then reward guests with raffle prizes, freebies and special offers.

A special drawing will offer over a dozen prizes worth at least $50, and many will be valued at more than $100. One lucky guest will win a Grand Prize of 400 California Super Lotto Plus Quick Pick Plays. Receive an additional 50 Quick Picks with a Bonus Coupon found in our community advertising, at www.goldenyearsexpo.com and on our posters. Copies and cell phone photos of the “click or clip” coupons will be accepted. Get 50 more Quick Picks by showing your active 25Score Card. That adds up to 500 chances to win more than $7,000,000.

All the details can be found at www.goldenyearsexpo.com or by calling (661) 255-7063.

City’s Thursdays @ Newhall Series Returns with New Events in 2015

| Community | February 5, 2015

Free Events Held Thursday Nights from March through October in Old Town Newhall

Thursdays @ Newhall Returns
Crowds will form on Thursday nights in Old Town Newhall again as the City of Santa Clarita brings back the Thursdays @ Newhall series. Presented by Galpin Subaru, new and returning events will attract crowds to Main Street beginning March 5, 2015, including a weekly rotation of ArtSLAM, a car show, SENSES, The ARTree 2015 Speaker Series and the Concert Series sponsored by OutWest Boutique.

With Main Street serving as the backdrop, each week’s entertainment includes exciting new themes, attractions and hands-on activities for all ages in the heart of Old Town Newhall’s Arts District. On the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., ArtSLAM will combine forces with JAM Sessions to celebrate art, music and movement. ArtSLAM features art installations by local artists. JAM Sessions is an interactive series inviting participants of all skill levels to release their inner artist through tango, salsa, drumming, square dance and much more. All ArtSLAM events are free and open to the public.

ArtSLAM kicks off on Thursday, March 5 with a pop-up art gallery and a Bollywood dance JAM Session. Additional JAM Sessions scheduled for the 2015 ArtSLAM season include Square Dance on April 2, Japanese Folk Dance on May 7, African Dance and Drums on June 4, Drum Circle on July 2, Swing Dance on August 6, Salsa Dance on September 3, and Tango Dance on October 1. JAM Sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. and are presented in partnership with the Ford Theatre Foundation, with funding provided by The James Irvine Foundation. To learn more, visit FordJamSessions.org. 

The Thursdays @ Newhall series includes Revved Up, a new and free themed car show held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Each event will feature top quality cars, a live DJ, food trucks and a beer and wine garden for adults. Attendees will be invited to vote for their favorite car, with eligible winners entered into the annual OTNA Classic Car Show.

Revved Up begins on Thursday, March 12 with a Classic VW car show. Additional shows scheduled for the 2015 Revved Up series include Trucks and Off-Road Vehicles on April 9, Traditional Rods and Customs on May 14, Custom & Classic Motorcycles on June 11, Imports on July 9, Antiques on August 13, Low Riders on September 10 and Oddball Cars on October 8, 2015.

Residents may submit a vehicle for consideration in a show by applying online at http://oldtownnewhall.com/thursdaysatnewhall/revved-up or by contacting the City’s Arts and Events office at aeo@santa-clarita.com.

The City’s popular SENSES block party will heat up Main Street once again from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on every third Thursday of the month. The free outdoor events, which draw thousands of attendees, will kick off on Thursday, March 19 with a Luck o’ the Irish theme, including live Celtic rock music by Green Ashes, as well as food trucks and activities.

Other SENSES themes slated for 2015 include Country Throwdown on April 16, Masquerade on May 21, Let it Ride on June 18, Christmas in July on July 16, Woodstock on August 20, Hot Havana Nights on September 17 and Sports of all Sorts on October 15.

Two special events will be held on the fourth Thursday of each month in collaboration with Thursdays @ Newhall, including the free ARTree 2015 Speaker Series and the OutWest Concert Series.

The ARTree 2015 Speaker Series will feature free lectures and discussions with influential artists and leaders who bring art, arts education and exceptional projects to Santa Clarita. The series will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month beginning February 26 at the Old Town Newhall Library. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

The ARTree Speaker Series is presented in partnership with the CalArts Community Arts Partnership and the City of Santa Clarita.

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s 2015 Thursday @ Newhall events, visit OldTownNewhall.com/ThursdaysatNewhall or contact the City’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3787.

Male Athlete of the Week – Charlie Masino

| SC Living | February 5, 2015

male athlete chrlieA junior at William S. Hart High School, Charlie Masino is leading the Indians Basketball team this season. He scored 21 points in Hart’s 61-52 win over Canyon last week. Hart improved to 14-8 and 4-2 in the Foothill League.

“Charlie is an awesome kid and a great player. It’s a pleasure to coach a kid like him,” said Hart High School Boys Basketball Coach Thomas Kelly. “He’s come a long way and is coming into his own. He’s going to have a great year next year.”

Trash or Tack?

| Opinion | January 30, 2015

by Steve Petzold

Steve head shotI was personally involved in the effort to defeat the digital billboard development agreement between the City of Santa Clarita and Metro, as the principal officer and treasurer of the No on Measure S Committee. During this process, I became quite familiar with and gained knowledge about onsite and offsite advertising in the City of Santa Clarita.

By developing three large digital billboards along the 5 and 14 freeways, the City claimed that it was attempting to eliminate trashy visual blight within the Metro right-of-way and develop a new revenue stream from a revenue sharing agreement. When it became apparent that a special deal would have to be made to accommodate the family-owned Edwards Outdoor Advertising to gain local support, our City Council agreed to pay them $1.3 million from the General Fund to take down their billboards over a three-year period.

The Edwards’ billboards are typically the smaller ones you see in Santa Clarita. They offer smaller local companies the ability to advertise offsite. As these are gradually removed, we can expect the entrepreneurs who operate these businesses to look for alternative means to grab your attention.

It seems that the first course of action by some businesses seems to be to purchase a cargo van or SUV and have it wrapped or painted with a promotional message. The owners then place these vehicles on their properties or park them on local streets.

As the most glaring example, those who drive Soledad Canyon may notice the large trailer with “Williams Homes” painted on the side. I have to give Lance Williams an “A” for his creativity.

Onsite advertising by businesses is subject to strict rules for the signs located near the street and attached to buildings. Aggressive business owners often attempt to stretch the rules.

At a recent City Council meeting the owner of Fiesta Insurance on Lyons Avenue made an appearance with a company vice president to lament that his mascot chicken was not allowed to stand by the street with a sign. His office is located a fair distance off the street and a chicken waving by the street without a sign was not very effective. This is especially true when the closest business to the street is a KFC franchise.

After meeting with the owner, Councilman Bob Kellar asked the City Manager to work with Fiesta to work out an agreement that would allow the mascot chicken to stand by the street and have some type of marking identifying the business. It was almost laughable when the Fiesta Vice President held up a small patch that presumably could be sewn onto the mascot.

Last Saturday I drove down Lyons and noticed the chicken waving to passing vehicles while a passenger car was positioned strategically in the parking lot with a large sign strapped to the side.  I could not help but stop and take a picture for my archive.

I do not know whether the vehicle sign was placed with the advice and consent of the City or whether Fiesta Insurance decided that a small patch would not accomplish the goal. It is ironic, in my opinion, that the same councilman who loudly proclaimed billboards to be trashy, would intervene with the City staff to accommodate an advertising tactic that is so tacky.

Fiesta Insurance is not the only business that uses the waving mascot. Liberty Insurance on Bouquet has young adults dressed as the Statue of Liberty near the sidewalk dancing wildly from dawn to well past dusk.

The elimination of the Edwards billboards over the next several years may very well put pressure on local businesses to adopt nontraditional means of onsite advertising. As our City pays to take down the “trash,” expect to see more “tack.” Perhaps we will see Colonel Sanders waving side by side with the Fiesta Chicken.

Hero of the Week – Melissa Hollinger

| SC Living | January 30, 2015

From the moment she joined the Yes I Can (YIC) program as a Canyon High School student, Melissa Hollinger has immersed herself in it. YIC is a class taught at Canyon High school that integrates the special education population with the general education students. Melissa has shown compassion to each student who creates a piece of the puzzle that makes up the YIC family. A majority of the special ed population in YIC has a form of Autism known as Asperger’s syndrome. While these students tend to strive academically, they often lack social skills, which is why combining them with general education mentors is instrumental for their social growth.

Not only has Melissa’s love been shown through her actions toward her peers, by building relationships, but through her commitment to the year-end project, the Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness Arts and Music Festival. She is instrumental in planning and producing the festival, by taking the lead on the food committee. She goes above and beyond her chosen role by fundraising and raising awareness within her community. Melissa is a leader who takes this role to heart and is an outstanding role model. She is a mentor in the YIC program, a student trainer in the safe school anti-bullying program and in the leadership program at her high school, fighting to stop social exclusion and advocate for others. In addition to all of this, she started the Helping Hands club at Canyon High School to help tutor students. Melissa is truly Yes I Can’s hero every week.

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | January 30, 2015

A 53-year-old Castaic man whose occupation is civil rights leader was charged with battery against a former spouse. And a 48-year-old Saugus man who is a bull rider was picked up with a charge of being drunk/drugs with alcohol.

The most widely publicized case this week involved an unemployed 30-year-old Newhall man suspected of committing murder.

A 22-year-old Winchester, Calif. man who works in contractor supply was arrested for battery with great bodily injury.

Two unemployed Canyon Country men who are neighbors – a 20-year-old and a 21-year-old – were arrested for robbery. A 19-year-old unemployed Saugus man was picked up for theft of personal property.

A 23-year-old unemployed Lancaster man was picked up for acquiring access to a card in four or more names.

An unemployed 18-year-old Newhall man was picked up for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. A 19-year-old student from Palmdale was picked up for grand theft auto/horse, etc.

A 31-year-old Canyon Country man was charged with attempting to take a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

An unemployed 32-year-old Bloomington, Minn. Man was cited for failure to obey a peace officer. A 27-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita was brought in for violation of parole: felony.

A 19-year-old Santa Clarita transient was picked up for possession of a controlled substance.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
51-year-old doctor from Altadena
28-year-old loan officer from Bakersfield
37-year-old unemployed Corcoran man
27-year-old electrician from Canyon Country
53-year-old Lancaster man
61-year-old laborer from Saugus
29-year-old journeyman lineman from Baxter, Minn.
40-year-old self-employed Valencia man
33-year-old dock worker from Mission Hills
24-year-old cook from Palmdale
19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
22-year-old installer from Northridge
23-year-old dispatcher from Bermuda Dunes, Calif.
35-year-old dishwasher from Acton

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