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

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Posts / Recent blog posts

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | September 12, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This past Saturday, we brought in Pinot Noir. This is a first time we will be producing this varietal. Pinot Noir grows well in cooler climates, and since we aren’t that cool of an area, we don’t grow it. It does grow well, however, about 45 miles north east of here in Lake Los Angeles.

Someone asked me, “So, now that we have them how soon can we drink the wine?” Well, once we finish processing them, they will need to age in barrels for 18 months, then we bottle them and they rest again in the bottles. I would say that in 2023-2024, the 2019 vintage could be released.

Pinot Noir tends to have notes of spices, tea, vanilla and berries; whereas Burgundy Pinot Noirs can be earthy and have floral aromas. Pinot Noir is used to make red wines as well as champagne and sparkling wine. It is one of the lightest colored wines, with light tannins. This is a difficult grape to make wine with, it can be unpredictable when its ages. Sometimes it has an earthy aroma which we call barnyard.

In the meantime, we have many other wines you can come and enjoy here in the tasting room. This month, I am featuring Grenache. The third Friday of September is #GrenacheDay. Celebrate with us on September 21st for our monthly hike and brunch and that will be the featured wine. Stay tuned for more details about brunch!

For more information please visit www.reyeswinery.com.

Councilmember Laurene Weste Honored by National Parks Conservation Associations

| Community | September 12, 2019

On September 4, Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste was honored by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for her vision and leadership in progressing the Rim of the Valley Campaign. The recognition took place at a centennial celebration for NPCA at the historic El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

“I have the utmost respect for the mission and goals of the National Parks Conservation Association,” said Councilmember Weste. “Their work so closely aligns with my passion for preserving the crucial natural resources of the Santa Clarita Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges. I am deeply honored to be selected for this recognition.”

The event invitation from NPCA praised Councilmember Weste stating that the award, “recognizes your role as a leading advocate for the Rim of the Valley. From the start, your vision and leadership have been integral to the success of the campaign, and thanks to you, we are on the verge of realizing our goals.”

The event was an opportunity to thank Los Angeles-area supporters, allies and partners on NPCA’s 100th anniversary. Also recognized were Robert Garcia of The City Project and Congressman Adam Schiff who worked closely with Councilmember Weste on the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act.

“Congressman Schiff has been a determined ally and steadfast partner in our goal of preserving the Rim of the Valley. The legislation he introduced is vital to preserving cultural, archeological and paleontological resources, as well as enabling wildlife to remain in their natural habitat and travel safely through the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susana Mountains, and the San Gabriel Mountain ranges circling the Los Angeles basin,” said Councilmember Weste.

The legislation, House Resolution 1708, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, was introduced by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) on March 13, 2019, and proposes to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) to include a proposed Rim of the Valley Corridor Unit, which includes portions of Santa Clarita Valley.

Councilmember Weste went to Washington D.C. in April of 2019 to provide testimony in support of the resolution. She testified that the bill would enable the National Park Service to better protect natural resources and habitats and provide members of the community with improved access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.

In addition to her work on the Rim of the Valley Campaign, Councilmember Weste has been the driving force behind the City of Santa Clarita’s Open Space Preservation District. She helped found the district which was approved by voters in 2007, and is proud to have seen it grow to more than 12,000 acres in the last 12 years.

Trump and the White Nationalists

| Opinion | September 12, 2019

by Josh Heath
Last month’s El Paso shooting was just the latest incident of white nationalist terrorism currently overtaking the United States and our allies around the world. These horrific events continue to follow the same depressing script – a heavily armed racist walks into a public place and shoots as many innocents as possible, all in order to combat an “immigrant invasion” threatening society.

Then the media debates whether or not President Donald Trump is responsible for what happened. Critics argue his bigoted leadership inspires lunatics to act on their hate, while others say such violence would occur no matter who was in office. It’s impossible to know which side is correct, since the motivations behind any tragedy are often complex and multifaceted.

What’s undeniable are the similarities between Trump and racist extremists. The president has regularly portrayed migrants as agents of chaos who endanger America’s security and economic well-being. In over 2,000 tweets, speeches, and campaign ads, he claimed there was an ongoing “invasion” of the country by these people, according to the New York Times.

At a recent rally in Florida, when one man suggested solving things with guns, he responded with a smile. And like the white nationalists, Trump is more than willing to use extreme brutality to stop foreigners from coming here, as his administration’s actions at the border make clear.

We now incarcerate as many migrants as legally possible, whether they are children, disabled or violent criminals. Consequently, federal detention facilities are overflowing and have turned into sites of unimaginable suffering. Toddlers become severely ill, no one has room to lie down, and there is insufficient access to food or basic hygiene products.

Family separations continue at record rates, even though a federal court demanded an end to the practice. To get around this, the administration is using a legal loophole which says children can be taken away if their parent puts them at risk. According to the ACLU, border patrol officials are broadly interpreting that and have separated over 900 families in the past year, often for wickedly minor reasons. For example, fathers have lost children for failing to change a diaper or if they were discovered to have previously driven drunk.

All the while, Trump threatens to send federal agents into our communities and round up millions of undocumented people like cattle, crystalizing his shared agenda with the white nationalists. In one voice, they tell migrants “you are not welcome and if you try to enter America anyway, we will respond with violence, either through mass murder or barbaric government power”.

One cannot underappreciate how cruel that is. The desperate masses who come here are often hispanic asylum seekers looking to be safe from harm, find decent employment and see their kids thrive. But bigotry is a blinding force, whether lodged inside the heart of a president or a lone gunman. It turns innocent folks crying out for help into dangerous threats who need to be destroyed.

What would we say if German Chancellor Angela Merkel had governed similarly when dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis a few years ago? Imagine if she echoed the ideology of Neo-Nazis, called them criminal invaders, locked up families in horrifying conditions, and separated children from their parents. Who among us wouldn’t be ashamed and argue that Germany’s dark history had come back to life?

Trump claims his harsh approach makes sense because the immigration rate is so dangerously high; over a million people are expected to be stopped at the border this year. But this is no excuse. Since 1980, four of our last six presidents faced something similar on their watch, and they were able to handle it without resorting to such heartless policies.

Americans can disagree on taxes, the Supreme Court, healthcare, or abortion, but one thing we should all be able to agree on is any leader closely aligned with extremist hate has no place in the Oval Office.

Copyright 2019 Josh Heath. Heath is a two-term delegate to the California Democratic Party and Magna Cum Laude graduate of UCLA. Email him at j.heath53@yahoo.com

Watercolor Demo at Barnes and Noble by Anette Power

| Entertainment | September 12, 2019

Anette Power’s watercolor demo will be held on the Monday, October 21meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association. This event is free, open to the public and meets at 6:30 pm at Barnes & Noble, locayed at 23630 Valencia Boulevard in Valencia. Come early, standing room only by 6:30 pm.

“I find myself drawn to subject matters with light and color that celebrate life’s fleeting moments,” says Power. “I enjoy painting on location, immersing myself in the present and capturing a sense of our personal place in history. We each have a life story and whether I’m painting cars in Cuba, or light-filled moments of children or animals; I’m always struck by life’s fragility, the juxtaposition of beauty and joy interspersed with loss that exists in each of our lives. Art brings me more joy and I hope to share that with others.”

Award-winning artist Power credits her mom, who also paints; and growing up on an island off the Swedish coast for providing a childhood full of creative exploration and a love for the outdoors. This adventurous spirit brought Power to the States and eventually finding work in animation. There she spent more than a decade fine-tuning her sense of light, color and setting a mood, working as a background painter for studios like Disney, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network and Universal. Power now dedicates her time to painting in oils outdoor and in her studio.

Some of her awards include:
First Place, Paint the Music Plein Air Invitational 2017
Best of Show and 3rd Place Award, Ventura Plein Air Invitational 2016
Best of Show, Frank Bette Plein Air Invitational 2016
First Place in the Oil/Acrylic Category at the WVAG Member Show

For more information about Anne, visit https://anettepower.com.

For more information on the artclub, visit www.SantaClaritaArtists.org.

SCV Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life

| Community | September 12, 2019

Do you want to have some fun with a group of your friends or family and support LIFE at the same time? Come walk with us! Saturday, September 28th, the SCV Pregnancy Center will host their Walk for Life. Funds raised provide professional medical services and counseling, information, education and practical assistance for those facing unplanned pregnancy. Services include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, referrals and parent education.

Registration begins at 8am, and the walk follows at 9am. The starting point is Crossroads Community Church located at 25300 Rye Canyon Road in Valencia. The Walk continues down Newhall Ranch Road and back, for a total distance of about two miles (log those steps!).

There is no cost to participate, each walker can get sponsors and/or be part of a team.

This fun, family event will have a DJ, a bounce house, face painting and other activities for kids. Get out those walking shoes and Walk for Life!

For more information or to register go to: www.scvpc.org/walk-for-life or call (661)-255-0084.

Is Healthy and Organic Food Killing Us?

| Opinion | September 12, 2019

by Rob Werner

A pesticide, RoundUp, was linked as a cancer-causing agent. That same pesticide frequently permeates the food we consume. Fans of oats and other whole grains were shocked to learn that these healthy foods may contain significant amounts of the poison we use to kill weeds. Buying organic is supposed to, and generally does, eliminate the exposure to pesticides.

There are many otherwise healthy foods that expose us to the harmful agents in chemicals. The foods get contaminated not only by this, but by exposure to polluted air and water.

You may remember the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Today apples are one of the most contaminated produce items. Many people from Asia peel their apples before consumption. Organically, the peels may be the healthiest part, but for non-organic food they may be right.

Other non-organic produce that suffer from many contaminants include, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, leafy greens, celery, cucumbers, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. Even peanuts are contaminated.

Some non-produce contaminated food includes meats, fish, fowl and dairy products. It is said that “We are what we eat;” this is also true of animals, and we consume many animal products. Animals ingesting hormones, antibiotics and poisons can transfer those same agents to us in the food we eat. Grass-fed animals are not immune from the contamination. If the water or air is polluted, they can pass on the agents they absorbed into our foods.

Fish is generally considered a healthy food, but much of the fish is farmed in unhealthy conditions. Eating restaurant foods such as salmon or tilapia generally means eating farmed foods subject to numerous contaminants. It is said that Chinese tilapia is raised on defecation. Beware of other bottom feeders such as basa and swai.
Eating organic food with the U.S.D.A. seal provides some protection. Such food is not to be raised, processed or handled in an environment utilizing pesticides or hormones and cannot be treated with synthetic pesticides, sewage sludge, bioengineering or radiation. The requirements don’t extend to heavy metal and other environmental pollutions.

Foreign producers obtain U.S. organic certification based on supposedly meeting the U.S. standards and passing inspection. This is a serious issue as most of our “organic” food is imported. The largest importer is China. The department determining what producers are organic is led by former executives of major producers. The certification process of foreign organic production is not tough; and worse, there are many false certifications.

Producers in such countries as China have a reputation for not caring for the environment and making false claims to boost sales. Even food produced at a certified Chinese organic facility may be raised on water from polluted rivers and grown in an area where air filtration devices are needed to stay healthy.

The FDA only inspects about 3% of imported food. If they inspect a ship importing tilapia, the odds are it will not pass inspection. The importer may get around this problem by transporting the contaminated product to another port.

If you don’t drink the water in Mexico because of Montezuma’s Revenge, then you might be concerned about consuming organic watermelon or tomatoes grown in the same water. If imported food comes from a country where animals and produce are watered from streams that are so polluted that water cannot be consumed and the air is so rank that air filtration devices are needed, stay away from the food even if it is labeled “organic.”

“Forget it Jake, it’s California”

| Opinion | September 12, 2019

by Dale Paule

Like the last great line in the movie Chinatown, we are being told to just “Forget it Jake; it’s California!”

However, you don’t just forget what’s happening to a once great, beautiful and free state. A state that earned the title “The Golden State” not only because gold was discovered here back in the 1800s, but because it offered it’s citizens wonders not found in any other state, which included the highest mountains and the lowest spot in the whole country. A thousand miles of beautiful beaches greeting the blue Pacific Ocean with each sunrise, plus every type of attraction from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains to the baked and barren desert sands of Death Valley.

The richest treasure of all, perhaps, was a young, wide open land offering new life and opportunities for those tired of life back east and elsewhere.

I can’t think of a better definition of “Golden” than that!

Not too many decades ago, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was the last sight of America that many servicemen would see as the sailed off into the Pacific and World War II. For those lucky enough to return, it was time now to cheer at the sight of the Golden Gate again, and America, as to them it represented all they had fought and died for. I like to think that somehow, even those returning who would remain “forever silent,” could somehow feel they too were at last back home.

Painfully however, that was then, and this is now. During the 1960s, that “golden” spirit left San Francisco and it’s “Golden Gate” and took it’s very heart with it, as another generation of young servicemen, upon returning from the Vietnam War, were no longer welcomed as patriots, but were jeered and spit upon. No one stood up and fought back, so it soon became the new norm.

Soon, that new norm began to spread quickly (as it had already in many other places) to California’s beautiful cities; including Los Angeles, and even it’s capitol, Sacramento.

It only took a decade or two until many of those from the mobs who would spit on returning soldiers in San Francisco began attaining positions of authority; first in local then State government positions, which allowed them license to enact laws making the philosophy of the new norm legal. Others chose to spread that philosophy to future generations by becoming teachers and professors in many of our oldest and most prestigious universities.

It doesn’t take but one or two generations to erase the memory of the way of life that preceded what had been called the new norm, so soon, it became known simply as, the norm.

For those, like me, who have experienced the way of life that was before all of the later changes and “improvements,” the difference is obvious.

I can also understand how those too young to have had that experience could not see the problem, and could be easily mislead. When you’ve never had, or even known of something, how can you miss it when it’s gone?

While all this may sound like a forecast of doom and gloom for the Golden State, I assure you it was not my intent; in fact, one positive element not mentioned or taken into account was one that seems to always stay hidden until desperately needed!

And as sure as “Yankee Doodle came to town” back in 1776, that element will return when needed again. What will make it happen you ask? I can’t say for sure, but I think it will have something to do with a straw and a camel’s back!

If you saw the movie Chinatown you know how it ended; with Jake being unable to overcome evil and government corruption.

As for “our movie,” I think it could have a real “pow-socko” surprise ending!

Zonta Lifeforward Workshop-September 21

| Community | September 12, 2019

A workshop to help participants understand issues impacting our youth and recognize symptoms and behaviors of alcohol and substance abuse is scheduled for the September 21st LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. This free workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Valencia United Methodist Church, located at 25718 McBean Parkway.

Detective Bill Velek, a member of the Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Intervention Team since 2010, will focus on the use and abuse of narcotics by youth in the Santa Clarita Valley. His paraphernalia display is very enlightening and highlights the many ways that drugs can be hidden and used by our youth. Bob Sharits, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, will share symptoms, understanding and how to obtain help with alcohol/drug abuse and self-harm. The dangers of nicotine and E-cigarettes (vaping), and opioid narcotics fentanyl and oxycoton will be discussed.

Previous workshops in the series have helped attendees understand elements of managing money, select career options and pursue meaningful employment, deal with anger management, relationships and communication, file taxes, deal with cyber bullying and internet issues, overcoming life’s challenges and maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed and be the powerful person they are meant to be.

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshop series for women, usually on a monthly basis (dark during June, July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for individuals who are interested in a particular topic. Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available for those who register at least one week in advance with Single Mothers Outreach at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation can be provided with advance request.

Join us on Saturday, September 21st for this educational and informative workshop about issues that impact our youth. All are welcome.

Scholastic Success: What are Your Habits?

| Community | September 12, 2019

by Natalia Radcliffe

It’s that time of year again. Time to dig out the backpack from the back of the closet, sharpen those pencils dulled from neglect of use and prepare once again for fall.

Welcome back to school.

For most, the first few weeks back can be a challenging time as, once again, the brain has to awake and a routine has to be established.It is easy to live in the blissful ignorance of the first few weeks when homework is minimal and deadlines are far away. What is the use of getting ahead, anyway? You have months to accomplish everything.

Then the rose-colored glasses fade, and you realize the mistake of taking it easy during those first few weeks as work piles up and you wonder how it caught up to you so fast. Your days slowly turn into endless hours of studying as you desperately try to keep your head above the waters of deadlines, homework and tests.

Luckily, there are ways to escape this fate.

Practicing effective study habits is one way. The perspective you have on studying and the way you study can either help or hinder.

Dr. John Grohol, the founder and editor of the website Psych Central with a Master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology, has some suggestions for effective study habits in his article titled “10 Highly Effective Study Habits,” found on psychcentral.com.

In a nutshell, effective and good studying is all about how you approach it and what you do while studying. The first two habits deal with the mindset a person has when approaching studying.

“Being in the right mindset is important in order to study smarter,” Grohol explained. To put it another way, having a positive, encouraging perspective allows you to make the most of your time while studying. Grohol lists some tips that can help with getting into an efficient mindset for studying, including to “aim to think positively when you study, … avoid catastrophic thinking, … avoid absolute thinking, … and avoid comparing yourself to others.”

The location in which you study is also important in getting into the right mindset for studying. Choosing a quite area that gives you the least amount of opportunity to become distracted will enable more accomplishment in a shorter amount of time. “The library, a nook in a student lounge or study hall, or a quiet coffee house are good places to check out,” said Grohol.

The next six habits specify efficient ways to do the actual studying.

Grohol recommends not bringing anything more than what is absolutely necessary. For example, if you don’t need your computer, then don’t bring it as it could be too much of a distraction. Your phone is another tool that you should limit your use on as much as possible. “Your phone is a potential time sink and one of the worst enemies of concentration,” explained Grohol.

It is also helpful to organize your notes after attending class. The act of rewriting and making sense of what you wrote down during class can help with retention of the material. When trying to remember material, Grohol points out the usefulness of mnemonics. One of the common ways of utilizing this tool is creating a nonsense sentence to remember a set of information. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the sentence sounds; the important thing is that it is memorable enough to jog your memory of the material you are trying to remember.

Another effective habit to utilize is practice. Yes, practice. “The old adage, practice makes perfect, is true,” said Grohol. Whether you study by yourself or with a group of people, practice can be helpful in retaining information and understanding the material. There are many ways to practice, from creating flashcards, to going over past quizzes or old tests, for example. Depending on what the class is like, certain ways of studying might be more helpful than others.

Creating a realistic and achievable schedule and rewarding yourself when you complete some of your goals you set are some more effective habits to keep in mind while studying. Treating studying as something that is done regularly instead of when you have the time can help in the long run. Setting an amount of time to study every week can help prevent cramming sessions before tests.

“The frequency isn’t as important as actually studying on a regular basis,” explained Grohol.

Treating yourself when you do complete a task you set out to do is as important as completing the task itself. Managing your time into achievable goals that you can accomplish can result in a sense of satisfaction and pride. Rewarding yourself when achieving these goals encourages studying and gives you motivation to accomplish your academic goals.
“By setting these limits on your behavior, you’re actually teaching yourself discipline, which will be a handy skill to have throughout life,” said Grohol.

Another habit revolves around taking care of yourself. Balance is important, no matter where you are in life. Focusing only on one aspect of your life is never healthy. It can be difficult sometimes, “but the more balance you seek out in your life, the easier every component in your life becomes,” said Grohol.

Finally, it is beneficial to interact with your teachers. Talking with your teachers and building relationships with them allows you to gain a better understanding of the class, and can make it easier to ask questions about the material if you do not understand something.

“Talking to the instructor early on – especially if you foresee a difficult course ahead – will help you understand the course requirements and the professor’s expectations,” said Grohol.

As one last piece of advice, Grohol reminds readers to enjoy learning new things while they have the opportunity.

“Studying is an effort to actually learn things, some of which you might actually care about,” said Grohol. “By the time you’ll realize what a great opportunity school is, you’ll be well into the middle of your life with a lot of responsibilities … Then most people have neither the time nor energy to go back to school. So take the time to learn some stuff now, because you’ll appreciate the opportunity later on.”

For more information, visit https://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-most-effective-study-habits/.

Stop the Presses!

| Opinion | September 12, 2019

by Harry Parmenter
Stop the presses! Starbucks no longer sells newspapers. What’s an ink stained wretch to do? Paper is verboten!

Yes, yet another nail in the coffin for the print medium. Its demise is hardly news, but seeing our cultural lodestone of green caffeine dispensaries stop their sales of the Wall Street Journal, NY and LA Times and, occasionally, the Sunday Signal, is a body blow. Now, with the exception of Valencia Cigars and Newsstand and the odd gas station, you can’t buy a print paper in the SCV.

The concept of morning brew with a read through of everything that’s fit to print, or fits in print, is older than the Republic. The Boston News-Letter launched in 1704 as America’s first continuously published newspaper and you can bet colonials grinded their coffee (not to mention their teeth) as they read the British government subsidized publication.

Coffee and the morning paper went together like a horse and carriage, Mom and apple pie, cigarettes and alcohol. Our generation grew up with the coveted paper route navigated by bicycle in the pre-dawn hours, winging the rolled up missive onto expectant front porches where Dad in his robe and slippers would open the door and stoop down to pick it up. After he finished devouring the news bleary-eyed kids appeared and fought over the comics or sports section, subliminally inculcating the need to read. That Norman Rockwell era is long gone.

Nowadays, 99% of the populace gets their news electronically and almost everyone in Starbucks is staring at their phone or laptop, ordering off the mobile app and ignoring the newspaper rack in the corner. Still, it stung to see the papers gone this week because a few people, like me, would occasionally buy a copy and sit down with it, leaving the thumbed through copy in a basket for the next guy.

Of course, you can still subscribe to anything that has survived the print purge. At home we receive Investor’s Business Daily and the mighty Signal and Gazette, the latter pair, along with KHTS, still the lifeline of our community. At work I get seven (!) papers and am probably the only one left at my company who does. The big three: WSJ/LAT/NYT, LA Daily News, The Daily Journal, USA Today and that perennially guilty pleasure, the New York Post.

The Post still has the best page one headlines: “Who wants to lose the election?” beneath “All Major Democratic Candidates Raise Hand in Favor of Free Health Care for Illegal Immigrants” over a photo from the first Democratic presidential debate.

The Daily News still exists and has more local stories about the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys than the Times. Their sports page has expansive high school coverage and the best horse racing handicappers in town (what could be more important?). USA Today (“McPaper”) has thinned but remains a fun read. The Daily Journal is a legal paper read by lawyers…and me. Educational. The big three remain essential in my business.

I can’t say I read them all every day but I do page through them and, as has always been the case, I see stories I would never seek out, and I learn things. When you go to an outlet’s website you target what you’re looking for or what’s popular. You do not discover, as you would leafing through pages of newsprint.

Another generational landslide. Starbucks used to sell CDs—gone. Newspapers—gone. Next on the hit list—plastic straws. Suck it up with a straw made of…paper.

Dodgers Clinch 7th Straight NL West Title

| Sports | September 12, 2019

by Diego Marquez

The Los Angeles Dodgers have punched their ticket to the postseason with a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles that clinched their seventh consecutive National League West title on Tuesday.

With the win, the Dodgers clinched the NL West in their 146th game this season, moving to 93-52 overall and breaking the old record set back in 2013 when the Dodgers won the division in their 151st games.

“Under the situation that we put ourselves in last year, this doesn’t seem as dramatic,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts in an interview with MLB.com’s Zachary Silver. “It was more subdued. It was kind of just of organic. It was one of those things where we expected it. It’s obviously early in September, but it doesn’t take away from what we as an organization accomplished. As a game, it’s a tough grind. So when you do get moments like this, we do a good job of appreciating what we have accomplished, and it’s special. To win one division, but to win seven in a row — the consistency of the organization to do what we’ve done, a lot of credit goes to a lot of people. Now is the idea of just refocusing in everything we do going forward is to win 11 games in October.”

Los Angeles has been atop the NL West since mid-April and has been led by clutch batters like Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson, and mixed in with strong arms like Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have looked like the team to beat for a while

Highly-regarded rookie Gavin Lux added to the night’s excitement as he hit his first-career home run in the top of the fifth inning. Corey Seager added two, one in the first and another in the third inning.

Buehler picked up his 13th win of the season after a seven-inning, four-hit performance that saw him fan 11 batters and give up no earned runs.

With the division clinched, the Dodgers turn their attention to another battle — the battle for the best record in the Majors and home field advantage in the playoffs.

“Evening of Remembrance” Remembers Those Lost in Traffic-Related Incidents

| Community | September 12, 2019

The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to attend the annual Evening of Remembrance on Tuesday, September 17, to remember Santa Clarita Valley youth who have died in traffic-related incidents. A community Walk of Remembrance, which will begin and end at the Youth Grove will be held at 6:45 p.m., followed by the Evening of Remembrance ceremony at the Youth Grove in Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.

The City of Santa Clarita’s half-acre Youth Grove offers residents a place to reflect and reminds the community about safe and responsible driving. Each year, Evening of Remembrance attendees remember youth who have lost their lives in traffic-related incidents.

“As a mother, grandmother, resident and Mayor of our great City – I take safety on Santa Clarita streets very seriously,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “Even one young life lost on our City roads is one too many. Let this annual Evening of Remembrance serve as a reminder of the dangers and consequences of reckless driving behaviors. As a community, we must all be committed to driving safely and protecting our loved ones.”

The Youth Grove is now home to 114 individual pillars that mimic cut tree stumps to symbolize lives cut short. Each pillar bears a plaque with the name of a young life lost in a traffic-related incident. The pillars surround a central monument urging the community to “Know More” about safe driving habits and pledge that “No More” young lives will be lost behind the wheel.

For more information on the Youth Grove and the Evening of Remembrance, contact Tess Simgen at (661) 250-3726 or visit santa-clarita.com/youthgrove.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 12, 2019

A 37-year-old woman from Arleta was arrested for attempted kidnapping with a ransom. A 40-year-old woman from Los Angeles was also arrested for attempted kidnapping, this one associated with a robbery. A 21-year-old forklift driver from Oxnard was taken into custody after he tried to rob an elderly dependent for goods worth over $400.

DUI arrests include:

28-year-old mechanic from Palmdale
20-year-old barista from Stevensons Ranch
28-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country
44-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
20-year-old student from Valencia
27-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
30-year-old tattoo artist from Reseda
23-year-old party rental employee from Newhall
36-year-old fabricator from Oakland
20-year-old student from Oxnard
21-year-old server from Castaic
44-year-old flowboard operator from Frazier Park
39-year-old chef from Santa Clarita
23-year-old store clerk from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

24-year-old interior carpenter from Lancaster
36-year-old unemployed Frazier Park resident
50-year-old maintenance worker from Acton
29-year-old self-employed resident of Castaic
24-year-old sushi chef from Canyon Country
41-year-old contractor from Los Angeles
25-year-old laborer from Canyon Country
55-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
27-year-old transient from Canyon Country
39-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
29-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
39-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
38-year-old construction worker from Pacoima

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | September 12, 2019

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans, and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: The 10 by 10 Variety Show at The MAIN (part of Thursdays@Newhall), and the bombastic, fantastic Andrews Brothers at the Canyon Theatre Guild.

Yes, it was all about Main Street Newhall this week, my friends, and let me tell you, Newhall has got it going on…no matter what day you choose to visit. The theatre was packed to the gills with ages ranging from ten-years-old (my son was the youngest in attendance) all the way up to folks in their eighties enjoying the eclectic and eccentric variety of entertainment being offered up on the intimate stage. This was a Thursday night – a school night, for goodness sake!

The endearingly droll comic, Chris Cope, kicked things off with some world-class comedy followed by storytellers Oscar Sagastume and Pablo Marz who have rocked stages from Los Angeles to Havana, Cuba with their heartfelt, hilarious, self reflective and revealing tales.

Each act was only 10-minutes long, with a total of 10 performances, and each had its own unique charm. The variety show has become a mainstay at The MAIN the first Thursday of each month and the reason is simple: It’s a real crowd pleaser. For instance, an Americana music group called GRIT transported us to a steam punk version of the Old West, while J.C. Ayres’ sweet and haunting voice was reminiscent of Joni Mitchell in her prime.

A gut wrenchingly beautiful short film about a new mother whose delivery doesn’t go as planned took me completely by surprise. I was suddenly crying in my seat, clutching my son a little closer. I highly recommend you take a look online — www.alohashortfilm.com. It’s called Aloha, and is written, directed and starring Brandi Nicole Payne. It is very touching and poignant.

My son’s favorite act was the weird and wonderful comic magician (yes, you read that correctly) Glenndalf, who graciously revealed the secret to one of his slight of hand maneuvers by repeating it in slow motion to the Chariot’s of Fire theme. Spoiler alert, the impressive prestidigitation involved snatching the card between his lips and spitting it across the room…which supposedly, when sped up, would be too fast for the audience to see. It was hilarious.

However, the most striking performance came from the Kalakeke Pacific Island Dance Company, seen here:

Suddenly, the curtain was pulled back, drums were pounding out an island beat, and we were surrounded by stunning men and women performing traditional Polynesian dances with hypnotizing, hip-swiveling perfection. It was spectacular.

Who knows what’s in store the first Thursday of NEXT month, but I can’t wait to find out. My son has already put it on the calendar!

Upon hearing all the buzz about the Canyon Theatre Guild’s recent hit “The Andrews Brothers,” my brother-in-law and I decided we just couldn’t miss it. Thankfully, we caught the final evening performance on Saturday night.

Only four cast members, three men and one woman, carried us through the entire show of thirty-three classic USO-era songs, impeccably sung (mostly in three part harmony) with plenty of gaffs and guffaws thrown in for good measure. The energy of the actors was boundless and infectious. The singers were as tight as they could be and had the perfect voices to pull off the biggest gag of them all…dressing up in drag and convincing an audience of weary WWII soldiers that they are in fact the famous Andrews SISTERS. And yes, they pull it off…with only a few minor wardrobe, choreographic, Adam’s apple and hair-styling hiccups. The result is uproarious laughs from a captivated audience.

The performance was simply delightful. I laughed the hardest when they brought up two unsuspecting “privates” from the audience and made them a blushing, bumbling part of the fun. The gentleman they plucked was a retired veteran whom they ended up honoring along with the rest of our service men and women present in the crowd.

Finally, after they’d taken their bows, the performers brought up everyone who’d been involved in putting the show together (because it was the final night of the run) and this is what really sealed the deal for me: Seeing all those proud faces up on the stage it was apparent the Canyon Theatre Guild is truly a fellowship, a family and a labor of love for those involved. There were wide smiles, flowing tears, armfuls of flowers and genuine gratitude all around.

One of the terrific young men playing the central “brother” (Colin Robert) turned out to be the director’s son (Musette Caing Hart), whose girlfriend turned out to be one of the vocal directors…and the whole thing was sponsored by the Hometown Station (KHTS) just a few doors down Main Street. See what I mean? Real community theater and the very definition of community. It was a beautiful thing to behold. And what a wonderful community to be a part of!

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. (reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appétit!

Nervous Trump Turns Back to his Failed Border Wall

| Opinion | September 6, 2019

by John Micek

President Donald Trump wants a wall. It just may not be the one his supporters thought they signed up for back in 2016.

Already walled off from the truth and effectively blockaded from reality, Trump has been apparently unable to construct a barrier high enough to ward off four Democratic 2020 hopefuls who led him by double digits in a Quinnipiac University poll this week.

The Connecticut-based university’s latest canvass showed former Vice President Joe Biden and senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris respectively holding 16-, 14-, 12-, and 11-point advantages in hypothetical match-ups.

So, it wasn’t at all surprising to see Trump, likely in response, ratcheting up his demands to finish his long-promised wall at America’s southern border with Mexico.

The administration is “[fast-tracking] billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively [seizing] private land and [disregarding] environmental rules,” so it can get the job done before next November, the Washington Post reported, citing current and former officials with knowledge of the matter.

Fast-tracking contracts and blowing off environmental rules are absolutely the kind of thoughtless and willful disregard for legislative and political norms we’ve come to expect from this wrecking ball of a White House.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, the former real estate developer turned president is engaging in a massive government land grab, through eminent domain, so he can satisfy his edifice complex.

Trump has reportedly batted aside any regulatory or legal concerns, telling his staff (jokingly, they say, but who knows?) that he’ll pardon them if they break the law on the way to finishing the wall.

But it’s clear that concerns about the 2020 campaign are firing Trump’s ardor to deliver on 500 miles of promised border barrier before the polls open. Trump has reportedly said failing to finish the wall would be a massive political embarrassment.

As the Post reports, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only completed about 60 miles’ worth of construction – all of it in areas that had preexisting border infrastructure.

And that’s more than two years into Trump’s presidency. Assuming that means there’s 440 miles of construction left, that’s an impossibly high bar to cross in the 14 months that remain until Election Day.

As the Post notes, the administration has rushed contracts and allowed construction companies to drag heavy equipment into environmentally sensitive areas – and justified it on national security grounds.

As if to underline the absurdity of the whole affair, Trump acknowledged to lawmakers last year that actual immigration reform and enhanced border security are more effective than a physical barrier.

But he’s also remarked on the applause his tough talk on the wall gets him at his campaign rallies.

Bread, meet circuses. We believe the two of you each know the other?

That naked calculus should be reminder enough that what really fires the president is not what’s good for the nation or national security, but rather what’s good for Donald J. Trump.

Such was the case in Biarritz earlier this week when the leader of the free world shed his constitutional responsibilities to shamelessly pitch his Florida golf resort to the leaders of the G7 nations like some late-night infomercial host.

In a cringeworthy moment as the world press looked on, Trump extolled the banquet rooms, parking, and seclusion of his Doral resort.

“It’s got tremendous acreage, many hundreds of acres, so we can handle whatever happens,” Trump said, according to the New York Times. “People are really liking it and plus it has buildings that have 50 to 70 units. And so each delegation can have its own building.”

Given Trump’s obsession with aesthetics and superlatives, it’s no great shock to learn that he’s been taking a hands-on interest in the appearance of his border wall, apparently insisting that it be painted black and be sharp and pointy on top like a medieval fortress or something.

And much like a parent who’s decided to just give in and placate an overtired child, the Army Corps of Engineers is going to tell contractors to just go ahead and paint it black, the Post reported.

Maybe, someday, as Mick Jagger once sang about painting something else black, Trump will “fade away and not face facts.” The rest of us, however, won’t be so lucky.

Trump will build a wall. And we’ll all be paying for it.

Copyright 2019 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at jmicek@penncapital-star.com and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek.

Strike up the Band — It’s time for Rampage!

| Community | September 6, 2019

Saturday, November 2nd is fast approaching and the Hart Regiment is ready to host its 36th SCSBOA Field Show and Tournament, at the College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon in Valencia. Rampage is a highly anticipated day-long marching band and color guard competition that attracts bands from all over Southern California. Most of Santa Clarita’s high schools will be participating, so come by and cheer on these talented performers.

This fun-filled day begins approximately at 10am and lasts until 9pm, ending with an awards ceremony and a mass drum line. Tickets can be bought on the day of the event; $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and free for children under 5. Refreshments, food and Rampage products are available to purchase throughout the day. Come bring your family for a great day of music and entertainment.

The Hart Regiment, under the direction of Anthony Bailey, has won the SCSBOA (Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association) state championship in its division fourteen times since 2002.

For more information go to www.hartregiment.com, or email regimentpublicity@gmail.com, or call 661-753-9707.

Two-Party System

| Opinion | September 5, 2019

When people hear this term, they automatically assume it refers to the Democrat/Republican system of representation here in the United States. In reality, it applies to every society in the world. It applies because basically, there are only two parties guiding any society; one of adults, and the other of children.

When a society is run by the adults, using laws gained through experience to guide it’s population, then you have a more united, creative and advanced society, benefiting those who abide by the rule of law and historic experience. On the other hand, when that society is run by children, you get a result not dissimilar to that of mischievous child left alone at home while their parents are away for the evening.

Left to their own immature instincts, children will inevitably ignore rules, and care only for those things that taste or feel good, but are forbidden, or at least limited. They will cry for all the ice-cream they can get a spoon into, and forego the adult rules such as, naps, courtesy and “don’t play with matches!”

As sure as a dropped slice of bread will land butter-side down, those little tummies will soon pay the price for their “freedom from silly old rules!” Crying and tears will quickly follow. Children being children of course can’t admit their aching tummy is the consequence of their bad judgment, but instead, will blame adults for leaving too much ice-cream around.

Beginning to sound familiar? Could it be possible something like that is happening in our very own government? If you answered “yes,” you may award yourself with an “A!”

Many clamor to offer their opinion on when this trend began, but they’re missing the more important point which is, not when it began, but when will it end! If, on the one hand, you think the children will suddenly realize their mistake and decide to abide by the adult’s rule of law, then you may take back your “A” and replace it with an “F!” Make that a capital “F!”

Those who believe that will happen should also never be left alone with matches, because these children are children only in terms of their level of mental maturity, this has nothing to do with their physical age, because they are all in fact, “old enough to know better!”
The chilling fact is, wherever a society is governed by the children within it, the result will always be the same: catastrophe! You need only look to numerous and obvious examples around the world for proof. And it’s not only happening “over there.”

Unless they never get past the cartoon section of their newspaper, or don’t watch TV, far too many people don’t seem to know, or perhaps even care, about the damage being done right under their noses by these children. It’s one thing when actual children create a little mess when their parents are away for the evening, but a much more serious story is when it’s the “old enough to know better” bunch, like the so-called “Squad” for instance, who openly and purposely attempt to “transform” our country into something totally foreign to our way of life and unique culture. Much of which would be irreversible.

We have only one chance at turning things around before it’s too late. That’s if–and it’s a big fat IF– we hear the parents’ car pulling into the driveway, coming home to take back “We the Peoples” house in Washington! Until then, hide the matches!

Runners: Assemble! The Santa Clarita Marathon Is Right Around the Corner

| Community | September 5, 2019

by Mayor Marsha McLean

Are you faster than a speeding bullet? Do you strive to be the best you can be? If so, be sure to assemble for the 2019 Santa Clarita Marathon Heroes Edition. The Santa Clarita Marathon is a grand tradition in our City – one that brings thousands of competitors and spectators together each year. Happening on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3, the event this year is taking on a Heroes Edition theme as the perfect way to end the Halloween weekend.

The Santa Clarita Marathon offers runners an entertaining way to let loose while showing off their costumes, and your cape can fly behind you as you speed through the course. The Heroes Edition theme encourages participants in all events, including the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, to pay tribute to their favorite hero. You can even wear your costume on the Mayor’s Walk as we explore three beautiful miles on our trails and paseo system! Costumes in all races are optional.

Those who prefer to cheer on the runners from the sidelines can set up a spot to do so from one of the many spectator locations along the different routes. The exciting action of the start and finish on both Saturday and Sunday will be in the northern parking lot at Westfield Valencia Town Center, where your encouragement and applause will help boost each runner over the finish line.

This year also marks the return of the Final Mile Challenge, which is an opportunity for school children in Santa Clarita and Castaic to complete 25 miles ahead of time before running the final 1.2 miles of the Santa Clarita Marathon course. Students from 37 schools in the Santa Clarita Valley can participate in the Final Mile Challenge – free of charge – and registration information is being provided to school districts, campuses and parent-teacher organizations.

Kids participating in the Final Mile Challenge, as well as those loved ones who come to support them, can dress as their favorite hero or show their school pride wearing their school’s spirit shirt. The Final Mile Challenge will take place throughout the day on Saturday, November 2, following the 5K and 10K, so that the kids have plenty of time and space to complete the route.

There is much to do during the weekend for those who aren’t competing. The Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo will be open to the public from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1, and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, so that you and your family can connect with vendors in the health and lifestyle industries. The expo will once again take place near the start and finish lines so don’t miss out!

The excitement is building for the 2019 Santa Clarita Marathon and I can’t wait until race day! Remember our Marathon is a qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon. I hope you will consider registering for an event this year, which you can do by visiting our website at scmarathon.org. If you are not up for a run – please join me for the Mayor’s Walk.

Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at mmclean@santa-clarita.com.

Court Hears from Community on Air Quality, Odor, Greenhouse Gas and Environmental Justice Issues at Chiquita Canyon Landfill

| News | September 5, 2019

Just over two years ago, the Supervisors approved the massive expansion of Chiquita Canyon Landfill, allowing it to double in size and take in up to 60 million tons of trash over the next 30 years. They approved this expansion in spite of promising the community of Val Verde 20 years earlier that would be closed if they just dropped their lawsuit. Now two years later the California Superior Court finally held oral arguments on the plaintiffs (SCOPE, Val Verde Civic Association and Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance) core issues instrumental to the health of the Val Verde community and the entire Santa Clarita Valley.

Many community members attended the hearing. Honorable Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff listened carefully to the issues from all sides, then continued the oral arguments to Friday Sept.13th at 1:30, saying he had additional questions.

If you would like to carpool down to observe this hearing, please contact exec@scope.org.

The County has not followed many of the conditions of approval that were imposed supposedly to protect this rural community from the bad air and health issues with which it has been plagued for decades. Monitoring for carcinogenic air pollutants will occur only three times a month instead of the required continuous monitoring. With recent news about 2014 violations and the potentially hazardous Woolsey fire waste being accepted at Chiquita, this is not acceptable.

You can help by writing the Board of supervisors at executiveoffice@bos.lacounty.gov and asking that the Supervisors require continuous monitoring for VOCs at Chiquita Landfill in Val Verde.

Actor Robert Patrick to Dedicate a Chair of Honor to POW/MIA Soldiers at Harley-Davidson of Santa Clarita

| Community | September 5, 2019

Actor Robert Patrick will be dedicating the first Harley-Davidson Chair of Honor to POW/MIA soldiers on the West Coast at Harley-Davidson of Santa Clarita.

On Friday the 20th of September, 2019 Robert Patrick co-owner of Harley-Davidson of Santa Clarita will be dedicating a Chair of Honor to the lost, missing, and fallen US Prisoners of War and Missing in Action soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, in the great American wars of our past. This historic honoring will be the first chair to be dedicated inside of a Harley-Davidson Dealership on the West Coast.

In addition to Santa Clarita’s strong support for the military, Robert Patrick also has strong ties in support of the Service Women and Men of the United States, taking many tours with the USO to help support the troops.

This event will be taking place at Harley-Davidson of Santa Clarita on Friday, September 20th, 2019, located at 21130 Centre Pointe Pkwy in Santa Clarita.

You can get free admission through our Eventbrite link:

About Harley-Davidson of Santa Clarita
We love the open road at Santa Clarita H-D®, and we are excited to help you experience the fun and adventure that a quality Harley-Davidson® motorcycle can bring into your life! We are proud to serve the Santa Clarita area, offering the best in new and pre-owned motorcycles. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales, financing, service, and parts departments are ready to offer outstanding service at every point, from assisting while you’re making your choice to ongoing maintenance and customization. At Santa Clarita H-D®, we value the opportunity to create a long-term relationship with our customers, and we do that by making sure to exceed your expectations.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 5, 2019

A 37-year-old mechanic from Santa Clarita was arrested for altering car registration and/or license plates. A 39-year-old male from Canyon Country was cited for making obscene and threatening phone calls. Two women from Fresno, 32 and 28-years-old, were taken in for resisting arrest.

DUI arrests include:

29-year-old personal assistant from Newhall
50-year-old pool cleaner from Newhall
46-year-old marketing executive from Palmdale
28-year-old checker from Canyon Country
23-year-old plumber from Stevenson Ranch
41-year-old manager from Canyon Country
44-year-old construction worker from Reseda
56-year-old behaviorist from Santa Clarita
24-year-old manager from Canyon Country
30-year-old valet parking attendant from Los Angeles
30-year-old security guard from Santa Clarita
38-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
18-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch resident
27-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
24-year-old chef from Canyon Country
22-year-old CNC machinist from Palmdale
28-year-old IT specialist from Valencia

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

29-year-old vet tech from Simi Valley
19-year-old ranch hand from Simi Valley
50-year-old marketing executive from Santa Clarita
19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
32-year-old Spanish tutor from Valencia
39-year-old self-employed Palmdale resident
37-year-old Andy Gump employee from Lancaster
40-year-old gardener from Canyon Country
42-year-old cook from Los Angeles
31-year-old landscaper from Palmdale
51-year-old tree trimmer from Sylmar
24-year-old bagger from Los Angeles

SCV Men of Harmony Announce Show

| Entertainment | September 5, 2019

The Santa Clarita Valley Men of Harmony chorus is proud to announce their 43rd Annual A-Capella Harmony Show and Ice Cream Social on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2 p.m. The event will be at the new Santa Clarita Valley senior center, located at Bella Vida, 27180 Golden Valley Road, in Santa Clarita. Not only will the chorus be performing, but quartets and a guest quartet will also be on the program. The theme for the performance is “Just Passin’ Through.” The show will be highlighting many locations throughout the country.

Tickets are available online at www.scmenofharmony.com. Adults are $20.00 and seniors/children are $18.00. Tickets will be available at the door via cash or personal check. For more ticket information call (661) 297-2130.

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | September 5, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This past Monday Reyes Winery started harvesting our Chardonnay. At 6 am we started to pick our grapes, it was a beautiful morning and not too hot. Three years ago we had harvested our Chardonnay in the beginning of August, whereas this year we started at the beginning of September. There is no actual set date when you pick the grapes. The season is generally August through October of when they could possibly be ready. We have now picked all of our grapes. It is one of the things that I enjoy every year that I get to participate in.

Once we finished harvesting the Chardonnay we moved onto the Muscat. We finished both fields in two days. We take a day off and then we continue with our Syrah, which will be harvested this week as well. Then we will wait for our Merlot and Cabernet seven young to be ready in order for us to pick. Hopefully that will be ready sometime next week. The birds have not been friendly and they have started to eat the grapes. Besides the birds not being my friends, the squirrels are more of an enemy than anything.

This coming weekend is our quarterly pick up party for our members. If you’re not a member you are more than welcome to come and see what we do here. Lunch is offered to everybody at $15 a person which includes a glass of wine. Tastings are $12 per person. Hope to see you this weekend!

For more information please visit www.reyeswinery.com.

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