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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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Death of an Icon

| Opinion | January 30, 2020

by Harry Parmenter

It’s amazing how powerful celebrity is and how the death of one can impact so many people who never even met the person.  We saw it with Princess Diana, John Lennon and now Kobe Bryant, people admired and idolized by millions and millions around the world, people whose sudden, shocking deaths are the type you will always remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.

I was at the gym on an exercycle, reading a magazine, ignoring the TV news channel above.  Only when I took a look and could see the second line of the chyron “dead in helicopter crash,” did I pay attention.  The closed captioning was obscuring the top line but suddenly I saw they were showing split screen a crash site next to footage of Kobe Bryant in the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers, highlights of his career flickering across the tube.

I got up and leaned over the second-floor railing to have a closer look but still couldn’t decipher the audio text.  Yet I knew.  I asked a gentleman on another bike if what I feared was true.  He nodded and said it was.  We were both stunned. Kobe dead.  Los Angeles itself had been floored by a body blow.
Pop stars, movie stars, royalty, political leaders, athletes. When a giant in his or her prime goes down it stops you, shakes you, slaps you across the face with mortality.  Theirs and yours. Kobe Bryant, 41, along with his teenaged daughter and seven other poor souls with families and friends who will never be the same.  Bryant’s widow and three other daughters, whose lives will be shadowed by this gut-wrenching tragedy forever.

Kobe is one of those transcendent superstars who, like Madonna or Prince, are recognized by one name.  I am a basketball player and fan who has always rooted against the Lakers given my allegiance elsewhere, but this guy was special.  Like Michael Jordan and Bill Russell he was as fierce a competitor who ever played the game, or in any sport for that matter, and his success came with different teammates with the vaunted organization that is the Los Angeles Lakers and the two Team USA squads he led to Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012.

The son of an NBA role player, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kobe—like LeBron James—became a pro baller straight out of high school.  He struggled at first; airballs in his first playoff series against Utah, but once paired with Shaquille O’Neal he won three straight NBA titles 2000-2002 and then, without O’Neal but buoyed by Pau Gasol, another pair of back-to-back triumphs in 2009-2010.  Winning consecutive titles in any sport is incredibly difficult.  He did it twice, with one a threepeat.

His competitive fire is what set him apart.  He worked harder than anyone else and turned his considerable talent into a force as great as the game has ever seen.  His fire and willfulness wouldn’t be mistaken for beneficence and he had plenty of conflict along the way, on court and off particularly an unsavory episode in Colorado.

But he was greatness on that court.  His work ethic, his will to win, his sheer refusal to concede, being one of the few athletes to ever come back, all the way back, from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury, the kind that forced many NBA retirements, set him apart. And by all accounts he had retired to be a consummate family man, found his way into the entertainment business and almost immediately won an Academy Award for his animated short, “Dear Basketball,” an accomplishment as impressive as many of those he’d done in a uniform.

Still, it is the shock and awe of premature death, the death of someone who will be forever young, remembered for delivering a thousand thrills to countless people around the globe by playing a game that means so much to so many; it is his death that will indelibly stamp those immortal memories.

It’s always later than we think, and this tragedy underscores the point for all who heed it. Live like he did, taking it to the rack day after day, time after time, and fill life with joy, work and love.  Rest in peace, Mr. Bryant, and your daughter and those who passed with you on a brutally sad day in the life of Los Angeles.

Remembering Kobe

| Sports | January 30, 2020

by Diego Marquez

On the morning of Sunday, January 26, 2020, the entire sports community and world was changed forever with the tragic and sudden death of NBA legend and arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old-daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other people in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Bryant, 41, along with all the other passengers appeared to be headed to his sports academy in Thousand Oaks, the Mamba Sports Academy, to coach his daughters basketball team. Amidst very foggy conditions and poor visibility the helicopter hit a slope that took the lives of all nine of the passengers on board.

In a heartfelt tribute to Bryant at the Staples Center televised on TNT, his former teammate and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal said a few words to commemorate just how much Bryant meant to himself and the world.

“I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” he said. “We, our names will be attached together for what we did. People always ask about our relationship, and I tell them it’s just like me and Charles (Barkley). You got two strong-minded people that are going to get it done that way… going to say certain things, but the respect will never be lost, but when it comes to being inside the lines and winning, that is what me and him, that is what we did.

“The fact that we are not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony, the fact that we are not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, I got five. You got four (championships). The fact that we are not going to be able to say if we would have stayed together, we could have gotten 10… those are the things you can’t get back. With the loss of my father and my sister… that is the only thing I wish, I could just say something to them again.”

Bryant was not only a polarizing sports figure, but a perfect example of a true hero as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

“Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved,” he said. “He will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles, and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes.”

Doug’s Rant

| Doug's Rants | January 30, 2020

Who & Why?

Who is this Greta Thunberg and why is she Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” with a 22 page spread in December’s issue?  How and why has this teenager become the inspirational voice of climate change for so many people? Why, when she steps off a train for a climate summit is she met by a throng of reporters and photographers, why when she speaks at rallies are people glued to her to every word with cell phone cameras in hand? If you’re asking me, I have no earthly idea.

Since you asked, I venture to guess it goes along with my theory that the liberal left relies mostly on emotions to determine their motivation on issues. Many of their beliefs and wishes for policies lack common sense and this phenomenon seems to go along with that.

How else do you explain a teenager with no degree, becoming a worshiped expert on something that many scientists disagree on whether it’s even a true crisis? She speaks very well for someone her age and comes across with passionate maturity. It seems to me this climate controversy has resulted in cult like followers with Thunberg becoming a bit of James Jones. My word, she has met with Al Gore, the Prime Minister of Canada, The Pope, Barack Obama and even appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show.

I guess, in this day and age, no matter your age or qualifications when you forcibly shout “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth, how dare you!”, you’re vaulted  to stardom in the eyes of easily impressed souls.

Climate Change Skeptics?  

Sure there are, I happen to be one of them, am I any less qualified than Greta Thunberg to have an opinion on the subject? I say no, I can read about it just like she can.

What drives me nuts is the way the media carelessly throws around the phrase, climate change or crisis, like it’s an absolute given it’s the cause of so many calamities. Headlines such as “Climate crisis snarls ocean’s food chain” or “Australia suffers the effects of climate change with deadly fires”, is in my book, journalistic fraud. To mislead readers as if climate change and its harmful effects are a proven fact, like the coronavirus virus, is a shame.

My go to headline is “Climate change agenda is being driven by hysteria, not facts.”, I concur, just look at the Greta Thunberg phenomenon.

If Greta can rely on what other people claim about the issue, so can I.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi writes; In this age of political hysteria, we must all educate ourselves on the facts – the actual science. Unfortunately, there seems to be a total lack of awareness about important issues that scientists like myself – who aren’t paid by research grants – are concerned about. Instead, climate science is being used as a political weapon, and the voices of scientists like me are being ignored or even vilified.”

Bastardi also wrote; “Are climate alarmists aware that in the geological history of the earth, there is no apparent direct link between carbon dioxide and temperature? Perhaps we should pause and consider why none of the global warming models from two decades ago have come to fruition?” 

I like what Rush Limbaugh said: “The climate has been up and down how many different ways with ice ages, where North America used to be totally overrun by ice? The only debate is do advanced capitalist lifestyles cause this? That’s what these people want us to adopt, and that’s bull. The idea that’s expanding the life span, increasing the standard of living, this is what’s destroying the climate? It’s a crock.”

I could go on and on with what I’ve read from climate change skeptics, but one thing for sure is, nothing is going to stop climate change fanatics from pushing the extreme button with emotional motivation without considering both sides of the argument.

Do They Want The Rest Of America To Be Like California?

Perhaps I should ask if the Dem Candidates for president want to adopt Gavin Newsom’s policy thinking on the way things should be?  Oh my goodness, the thought of the entire nation transitioning to be like California is truly frightening. What’s really frustrating is us conservative voters in California have no impact whatsoever on who the president will be come next January. We poor souls have to rely on our fellow American voters to prevent the rest of the country from becoming the state of shame like this state has become.

My wife and I know of eight couples who have moved out of California in the last two years and know of several more who are planning to do the same in the near future. These are all folks who were born and raised here, love the sports teams here, love the weather and really love their family and friends. But, for various reasons, they made or are making the huge step in their lives to leave that all behind.

We all know why and unfortunately, even tragically, the list is rather long. I ask you this; if one of the Dem candidates becomes our new president do you cringe at the thought that their ideology is much the same as our current governor and what the result could be for the entire nation?  It won’t matter much here as we will be dealing with the same crap we are now, but slowly and surely there will be no place to escape to that won’t be engulfed with the same liberal muck we’re stuck in here.

This was brought home to me by two recent opinion pieces in The Signal newspaper regarding California, that could be a precursor to what the USA will be in the midst of if Joe, Bernie, Pete or Elizabeth become the leader of this nation.

Betty Arenson:  “California’s leadership mandates and enforces sanctuary armor to those who have entered our sovereign country illegally and those illegal residents who have overstayed their original visas. There are millions of them. Those same residents are now awarded free health insurance, at taxpayer expense.

 Brian Baker:  “Just a few years ago, Venezuela was the richest economy in South America. But insane and unsound fiscal and social policies in the form of Marxism managed to turn that around, and now Venezuela is an economic disaster zone. There’s nothing to guarantee the same thing can’t happen to Commiefornia; money doesn’t grow on trees, though the fools in Sacramento seem to think the Money Tree Forest lies just over the rainbow.” 

 While the voters in this state won’t help one iota, the bottom line is, for the sake of the rest of the country, President Trump must be re-elected! If not…..I do not want to even think about it.

Quotes, Quips & Headlines:

 “The real story is about the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, Obama, Pelosi, Kerry and many other powerful Democrats. Their fingerprints are all over Ukraine. Forget about the high-paying jobs for their family members. This goes much deeper, touched the third rail of Democrat/Deep State/DC Swamp politics. He (Trump) asked Ukraine’s President to investigate massive Democrat corruption and theft of taxpayer money.

Suddenly alarm bells went off at the DNC. I believe Trump is about to expose the biggest scandal in US political history. Trump is about to put powerful people in prison. Trump is about to destroy the Democrat Party and expose the Deep State. Trump is not getting thrown out of office. Not with his remarkable record of economic success for the average American worker.  Not going to happen.” (Wayne Allyn Root, radio show host)

 *Also lingering in the not too distant future are the results of the DOJ’s investigation into the Obama administration’s attempted coup of President-elect Trump. That should be a real doozy.  (Me)

The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”  (Adam Schiff)

*Really Adam, that’s a chicken crap excuse for the farce you’re perpetrating in the Senate right now.  (Me)

Ilhan Omar’s positions on the Middle East are not complicated or very sophisticated: Everywhere she supports Islamists and enemies of America and Israel, and there are no exceptions.” (Iraq born Dalia al-Aqidi, candadite for llhan Omar’s seat in the House)

*Any chance A.O.C, Illhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, better known as “The Squad” get booted out of office? One can only hope and wish. (Me)

CIA officials wept at sight of water boarding  (Headline)

Judge in Guantanamo case is okay with calling it torture   (Headline)

*Did those officials weep at the sight of hundreds of people jumping from the towers as the torture of fire forced them to commit suicide?  In my book the torture of the bastards who plotted the September 11 attacks was as justified as justified can get as our military did what was right in trying protect Americans from future attacks. (Me)         

“High debt has adverse and potentially dangerous consequences. Rising debt slows wage and income growth, increases federal interest payments, hinders our ability to respond to the next recession or emergency, places an undue burden on future generations, and heightens the risk of a fiscal crisis.”  (Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget)

*And millions of people think climate change is the greatest threat we face, go figure.  (Me)

 

Wilk Announces Bills to Help California’s Newspapers and Freelance Journalists

| News | January 30, 2020

Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announced today that he is coauthoring two bills to help newspapers and freelance journalists continue to operate in California by exempting them from the state’s new anti-independent contracting law, Assembly Bill 5 (Gonzalez, 2019).

“I am committed to finding a way for Californians to continue working in the way that works for them. Last year the Governor and majority party left many industries and professions scrambling to survive when Assembly Bill 5 was passed and signed into law – including newspapers and freelance journalists,” said Wilk. “Today we are taking a first step in fixing the new law’s many flaws by helping California’s newspapers and journalists continue in their traditional way of doing business.”

Senator Wilk has joined Senator Patricia Bates in authoring Senate Bills 867 and 868 to address separately the concerns of newspapers and freelance journalists. Both bills are currently pending referral to Senate policy committees.
Senate Bill 867

SB 867 would permanently exempt newspaper distributors and carriers from AB 5, while existing law exempts newspaper distributors from Assembly Bill 5’s (AB 5) requirements for only one year.

Newspaper publishers argue that AB 5 would eviscerate the newspaper industry because it relies on the independent contractor model to distribute newspapers. Most who choose to distribute papers on behalf of publishers do not wish to be full-time employees. As independent contractors, carriers can work for multiple newspaper publishers and create flexible work schedules. If left unfixed, AB 5 could eventually lead to the closing of many local papers by saddling them with additional costs they cannot afford.

Senate Bill 868

SB 868 would exempt freelance journalists from AB 5, which has severely affected many of them by limiting freelance journalists to just 35 stories a year if they wish to remain independent contractors. Pay for many freelance writers can be as low as $25 per submission, which means most independent writers would write well over the arbitrary 35 article limit. AB 5’s author admitted that the 35-submission figure was subjective, saying “Writing bills with numbers like that are a little bit arbitrary.”

AB 5 also affects media companies outside California because they do not want to hire California-based freelance journalists who are willing to write fewer than 35 pieces each year.

For example, last month Vox Media, which owns SB Nation, eliminated 200 freelance writers in California thanks to AB 5.

AB 5 (Gonzalez, 2019)

AB 5 codified into law a landmark California Supreme Court decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) that set standards to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. AB 5 presumes a worker is an employee unless a hiring entity satisfies a three-factor test, and exempts from the test certain occupations. The new ABC test is a one-size-fits-all, far more restrictive and stringent test consisting of just three factors that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for many companies and workers currently working under an independent contractor model to continue doing so.

Wilk coauthored Senate Bill 238 (Grove, 2019), legislation that would have allowed Californians to remain as independent contractors if they so desired. Unfortunately, the Senate Labor Committee blocked SB 238 on a partisan vote. He voted against AB 5 when it came before him in the Senate.

Wilk and other legislators offered amendments to AB 5 when the bill came before the Senate that would have broadly expanded the occupations being exempted but those amendments failed on party line votes.

Joe Rogan is a Great Interviewer

| Opinion | January 30, 2020

by Eric Goldin

When we encounter people who don’t share the same beliefs we do, there should be intellectual curiosity on how each of our studies and life experiences shaped the way we think. Sadly, humans are naturally very tribal, and the mind, more often than not, shuts out people with differing opinions than our own. In other words, we instinctively gravitate towards those who reinforce our preset beliefs, making us feel good and content without having to be self-critical. Instead of engaging in intelligent conversations with many different folks who have diverse opinions about a wide variety of societal issues, we chose to attack them with petulant smears and childish taunts.

This is not to say that every perspective has legitimacy. There are many beliefs that can be discredited with solid evidence, but we can never truly spread real facts if we don’t attempt to have a good dialogue with even the people who are egregiously wrong in the way they view the world. Immaturely shunning people for coming to mistaken conclusions makes you just as wrong as the person with the ill-conceived thought process.

This is why the art of the interview is one of the most valuable assets for an intellectual society. A great interview can give wonderful insight into the views of different people, and it can provide an in-depth analysis into why they think the way they do. Even if we still end up highly disagreeing with their conclusions, we can still get a better understanding of their mind and see where they might’ve gone wrong in their thought process. Another great aspect of an interview is that we can see the many areas where we actually agree and find common ground. When we start viewing “opponents” in friendlier terms, it will open up a wonderful dialogue where we will hopefully learn from them instead of viewing them as our enemy. If we’re open minded enough, we can even see the flaws in our worldviews and grow intellectually because of it.

There are tons of television, radio and podcast hosts who attempt to do interviews, but they are dreadfully terrible at it. They fail to use their platform in a meaningful way. However, even though a lot of interviewers are abysmal, there are hosts who do a remarkable job at making their platform an inviting place to exchange ideas. One of them is Joe Rogan.

Joe Rogan is the host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” a podcast where he invites many people of all different backgrounds and walks of life to have a sit-down conversation with him. The thing that sets Rogan apart from other hosts is his willingness and enthusiasm to bring people onto his show who wildly disagree with his own opinions. He treats every guest with respect and dignity. Rogan has a wide variety of notable people on the podcast, ranging from progressive liberals (such as Kyle Kulinski and David Pakman) to much more conservative and libertarian thinkers (such as Ben Shapiro and Alex Jones). No matter what their societal views are, everybody who goes on the podcast is greatly valued. Rogan asks open-ended questions that lead to many lengthy conversations, which reveals a lot more about the person and how their history molded them into who they are today.

Unlike many other hosts who treat guests with different outlooks on life like vermin, Joe Rogan is very civil and intently listens to what they have to say. A good host will respectfully push back with their guest when they feel they are in the wrong, creating a good back-and-forth exchange, but the interviewer can’t be so aggressive that it creates a hostile environment. Rogan has the perfect balance of letting his guest have their say while dutifully chiming in with his own thoughts at appropriate intervals.

Most politically divisive figures, when they appear on various shows, will barely get five minutes to cram in all their thoughts. Rogan’s show gives these people a lot more time to explain themselves and discuss the evidence in favor of their beliefs, and they don’t have to worry about sparring with a hostile host. Joe Rogan, even when he highly disagrees with a guest, still has intellectual curiosity, and he will listen to what they have to say. Joe wants to get to know them and see who they are as people. He doesn’t get riled up when somebody says something contentious. Instead, he willfully continues the conversation to get a better understanding of why they see the world the way they do.

Joe’s greatest attribute is definitely his ability to listen, but he’s also not afraid to offer appropriate criticism or pushback when a guest says something that he knows is factually inaccurate. When interviewing libertarian Dave Rubin (host of the “Rubin Report”) in June 2018, the conversation eventually got to the topic of government regulations, and more specifically, building codes. Rubin asserted that the government doesn’t need to make so many regulations because builders will naturally want to craft good safe architecture so they’ll earn the respect of their clients, get hired more often, and make more money. Joe Rogan, whose father was an architect, highly disagreed. Rogan said builders are looking to make things the cheapest way possible and they cut corners all the time, even if it endangers the lives of many people. Rogan wasn’t condescending, but he calmly explained why he believed Rubin was wrong. In this instance, Rogan had a lot more knowledge than Rubin did on this particular topic. He was able to educate Rubin without being patronizing.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is arguably the best show out there that attempts to have good-faith interactions with a multitude of people. Joe Rogan is a jovial host who listens to all his guests, but he will not hesitate to offer his point-of-view and ask intelligent questions that get the most out of them.

Mike Garcia, Too Radical for the 25th District

| Opinion | January 30, 2020

by Joshua Heath

Last year, Republican Congressional candidate Mike Garcia gave a striking interview to the Talk of Santa Clarita, a local podcast. Among his statements were typical conservative positions supporting low taxes, economic growth and fealty to Donald Trump. But one quote regarding his stance on social programs was decidedly radical:

“Here’s where I land on all the programs. There should be safety nets, but I don’t want the federal government to be the safety net. I want the churches, I want the local community nonprofits, I want our neighbors to be the safety net because a dollar that’s spent at the federal government level on food stamps – by the time it gets to the level where someone’s actually using those stamps and getting merchandise as a result of that – the inefficiency lost through that whole process is staggering.”

Imagine for a moment the implications of what he is saying, essentially that we should tear apart the federal safety net in exchange for private charity. Since the New Deal Era, when the modern welfare state was introduced to ameliorate the effects of the Great Depression, Americans have accepted a broad truth: getting big things done requires government action.

Charities have been around from the beginning to deal with our various social ills, from senior poverty to child hunger and help with college costs. In no instance were they able to provide the level of progress that the public sector has .

It took Social Security to award the elderly a semblance of a dignified retirement and Medicare to ensure their health expenses were paid for. Hunger was a serious crisis in American life, as Robert F. Kennedy discovered in his legendary trip to the Mississippi Delta. Then Food Stamps and other nutrition assistance policies were created and widespread, severe malnutrition became a thing of the past.

The examples are endless. Mr. Garcia is either ignorant of this history, or well aware of it and simply doesn’t value the progress that has come from government activism during the past century. If the former is true, he is not intellectually qualified to hold a seat in Congress. If the latter is the case, then his morals are in question, and make him just as unworthy of serious consideration by the voters.

Arguing for undoing decades worth of reform is not a conservative position. Conservativism, as its most profound adherents have understood, centers around pragmatic, moderate change that is respectful of the work of previous generations. Garcia’s vision is not that. It’s a revolutionary one, the sort of ideologically pure radicalism embraced by fanatics of all stripes. Such a perspective is harmless if left to online message boards, but when it is espoused by a leading Congressional candidate, a moderate suburb like Santa Clarita should be very alarmed.

Furthermore, supporting crippling cuts to the federal safety net is a proposal that directly conflicts with Garcia’s major campaign promise: to protect American national security.

For example one of the most important tools this country has is the federal student aid program, passed into law during the heyday of the Great Society. This policy, which ensures every young person can access the credit and scholarships they need to attend college, is relied on by millions of students.

Without it, those kids would have no way to graduate, and our nation would experience an unprecedented brain drain, precisely when we need our young to be high-skilled in order to keep up with the 21st century’s major threat, China.

How can Garcia simultaneously support a vigorous national defense, while opposing the very policies that make our country strong? That’s a contradiction wide enough to drive a truck through.

Any smart leader knows that preserving a nation’s security requires not only adequate weapons but thriving citizens, who can produce the innovations in commerce, politics and the arts that are in the last analysis, the bedrock of America’s influence. The safety net programs currently in place are critical for achieving the second part of that equation.

Our last Republican Representative, Steve Knight, was a relatively more sensible character. He cast a career-defining and cruel vote to repeal Obamacare, that’s true. But during his time in office he also consistently opposed the Trump administration’s draconian budget proposals which would have torn apart the government safety net. Such independent thinking should be roundly applauded.

However, considering Knight was rejected soundly by the voters last election, I find it doubtful that our area will go for an even more extreme candidate in 2020. If I were a betting man, I’d say the Democrats’ electoral chances look very promising.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | January 30, 2020

Several individuals with interesting occupations were arrested this week. A 23-year-old Castaic transient who listed his occupation as “rap music” was arrested for bringing/sending narcotics/controlled substances/alcohol to jail. And a 33 year-old Santa Clarita transient who listed his occupation as “Jiu Jitsu” was arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 38-year-old Santa Clarita resident was booked for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. And a 47-year-old unemployed Newhall resident was arrested for refusing to leave property upon request of a parole officer.

An 18-year-old Santa Clarita resident was charged with defacing property.

DUIs with prior arrests include:
42-year-old self-employed San Fernando resident
34-year-old warehouse manager from Valencia
25-year-old server from Santa Clarita
30-year-old hotel worker from Nordland
32-year-old manager from Canyon Country
27-year-old field tech from Canyon Country
28-year-old engineer from Santa Clarita
26-year-old roofer from Santa Clarita
18-year-old pharmacy tech from Norwak
26-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
43-year-old handyman from Pacoima

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
58-year-old handyman from Sherwood Forest
26-year-old server from Canyon Country
40-year-old machinist from Castaic
29-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
21-year-old student from Woodland Hills
A 47-year-old transient who listed his/her occupation as “model”

Live Music

| Entertainment | January 30, 2020

Jan 31, Fri
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
7:30–10 Vincenzo’s Newhall Open Mic night Varied
8–10pm Double Trouble Wine Mike Fitzgerald Trio Rk, pop, R&B
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop
8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Fulcos Exp on the patio Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Sean Wiggins & Colin CR, ctry, bl

Feb 1, Sat
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Dan Parra Folk rock
6:30-9p Pocock Brewing Steve Jones Acoustic bl

7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Various artists Live music

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall The Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Todd Stanford band Country
8–11pm Wine 661 Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
8–12m VFW 6885 Big Coyote Country
9–12m Rock Inn South 40 w Jimmy Olesh Ctry, blues
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Dole – Humphries duo Folk rk, indie

Feb 2, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap meet The Reign Live music
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various

5–9pm VFW 6885 Emerald City Rock classics

Feb 4, Tues
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Just One Guy Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Eliot Witherspoon guest CR, blues
Feb 5, Wed
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar Jack Classic rock
7–9pm VFW 6885 Magnolia Drawl duo Country

Feb 6, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Shay Moulder Ukulele CR+
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Ricky Z Upbeat rk

Feb 7, Fri
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Fulco Experience Classic rock
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11:30p Vincent Hill Station Benny Thomas on the patioCountry
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Acoustic CR

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | January 30, 2020

This coming Saturday is our annual vertical tasting that features our award-winning Syrah wines. It’s also Super Bowl weekend!

We will be featuring our 2009 which will be available only on Saturday. We have two cases put aside and it is the last two cases available. This was truly one of my favorites. This wine inspired me to work for Reyes Winery. I’ve enjoyed through the last nine years sharing my love for this special wine. I love pairing this wine with lamb and bison. Two of my favorites are lamb with blackberries in a Syrah wine reduction sauce, and bison ribs that are baked in my barbecue sauce.

Our 2010 Syrah has won many awards and was also featured on opening day at Del Mar racetrack in 2013. I have paired this wine was so many wonderful treats, including popcorn dusted with raspberry powder, Thanksgiving turkey dinner, marbled cheesecake with raspberry sauce and even raspberry yogurt coated pretzels.

Other Syrah wines to be featured that day will be 2011, 2012 and 2013 which have all won double gold medals in the San Francisco international wine competition. These three wines have received a rating of 94 points or higher and all judges must agree that it was a gold winning line to become a double gold. Our 2011 won numerous goals from other competitions in addition the San Francisco international wine competition awarded it 97 points. The 2012 and 13 both received 94 points each.

Finally, you’ll get to try our 2015 Syrah for the second time. It was previewed last February but not officially released at this time. This wine has also won several awards including in May 2018, receive 90 points from wine enthusiasts.

Each wine gets a petite bite that pairs perfectly. It will either be sweet or savory. As I’m deciding what to choose for everybody to enjoy, I go over each wine and, of course, enjoy that wine and think about what appetizers and desserts will go best. I will also share a story about each wine and why it is so meaningful to me. Come join us this Saturday and enjoy these special award winning wines!

For more information visit www.reyeswinery.com

VegFest Returns to SCV

| Community | January 24, 2020

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth will kick off this year’s festival as the community heals and celebrates sustainability, healthy living and compassion. The Fest is Saturday, May 16, 2020 from noon to 6:00 p.m. at Santa Clarita’s Central Park.

The VegFest is a vegan-inspired food, beer, wine & music festival aimed at cultivating a more compassionate community. As the Fest’s founder, Jess Guidroz said “Our objective is to create a high vibe, grassroots movement for compassionate living in the Santa Clarita Valley. VegFest is more than just an event to raise awareness around animal friendly and sustainable food choices, it’s an opportunity for our community to celebrate, heal and learn about conscious living – together.”

“Saugus Strong” will have a booth with both students and teachers from Saugus High School. Community members will be able to donate to the cause as well as offer support to that community as they heal. Several teachers will also play in an acoustic band near the booth.

Foodies and music-lovers rejoice! VegFest attendees can expect a combination of over 100 participating restaurants, vendors and food trucks, including: Beyond Meat, Delighted by Hummus, and Amaro Pizzeria, as well as a variety of Santa Clarita craft beer and wine vendors. In addition to scrumptious vegan cuisine to sample or buy, there will also be 2-3 small, local musical acts throughout the grounds at all times. There will be a best-of food contest, yoga in the park, a children’s play area, and much more.

For more event info, visit www.SCVVegFest.com.

Start Gearing Up For the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival

| Community | January 23, 2020

Are you sick of not having an excuse to walk around in a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots? Are your hats at least 10 gallons, and ready to be freed from the attic once more? The City of Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival is set to return for its 27th year and will take place on April 18 and 19, 2020. William S. Hart Park will once again host the most entertaining festival in the West.

The sights, sounds and (dare we say) swagger of Cowboy life will be on display all weekend and general admission tickets to the main festival at Hart Park are free for all visitors. In addition to the festival, separate ticketed tours and performances will be hosted by Rancho Camulos, Friends of Hart Park and the SCV Historical Society.

These special ticketed events include the Californio Fiesta De Rancho Camulos, a concert featuring seven-time Western Music Association “Entertainer of the Year” Dave Stamey and the Cowboy Dance with Syd Masters and the Swingers. Featured events also include the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Tour, featuring a shuttle that will provide tours of famous filming locations from the movie; a concert by Garth Guy, The Ultimate Tribute to Garth Brooks; and a Historical Bus Tour of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The main festival at William S. Hart Park will feature performances across five festival stages, as well as living history entertainers, food vendors, Western gear shopping and activities for all ages. Back by popular demand is the Chili Cook-Off, presented in partnership with Bridge to Home, which will delight taste buds and prove which chef’s recipe rules the West on Saturday, April 18.

Additionally, there will be a limited number of $100 VIP packages available. Each package includes special access to the festival at William S. Hart Park event area, including a VIP shuttle service to and from the festival and weekend admission to the VIP Cantina area, which will provide food and beverages.

The 2020 Cowboy Festival will feature favorite performers from festivals past, including Dave Stamey, New West, Gary Allegretto and Kristyn Harris, as well as a slew of rockin’ newcomers, including Ben Bostick, Alice Wallace, The Shootouts and more.

Leading up to the Cowboy Festival, the Walk of Western Stars will unveil its 2020 inductees on Thursday, April 16. This event will commemorate the inductees’ contributions to Western entertainment history by immortalizing their names in bronze and terrazzo tile, stamped into the streets of Old Town Newhall. There will also be an induction ceremony with a limited number of tickets that will include dinner and presentations.

The City of Santa Clarita is also looking for volunteers to staff the Cowboy Festival and is currently recruiting for festival greeters, activity helpers, ushers and more. To learn more about volunteering at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, please contact Volunteer Engagement Program Supervisor Tess Simgen at (661) 250-3726.

Details and ticket information for special events taking place as part of the Cowboy Festival will be made available in early February. To learn more about the 2020 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, visit CowboyFestival.org.

A College Student’s POV

| Opinion | January 23, 2020

by Analyn May

Confession time: a lot of my articles aren’t on topics that I came up with while being a college student. They’re opinions I’ve had since I was little, and have since developed with evidence and experience.

One such topic, which came up while I was talking with my mom about her kindergarten class, are the rules public schools have during times when kids are allowed to play outside (i.e., recess and lunch). Some of the rules I abhorred as a kid, such as “no roughhousing,” I now understand better and support. However, there are other rules which still don’t make much sense to me, the biggest one being “no running.”

Before I begin, a disclaimer: at the school I attended, there were two ways you were allowed to run. The first was to stay on a marked track that lapped the blacktop: in other words, you could spend your free time playing P.E. (I’ll bet you can guess how many kids chose that option.) The other was to go onto a grassy area on the other side of the blacktop fence, but it was often in use by special events, and would be totally blocked off during rainy days. This actually didn’t matter much, because most kids didn’t want to play on the grass, either— it was far away from the blacktop, where all the games and other kids were. It was also right next to the (non-gated) parking lot, making its safety over the blacktop questionable in the first place.

Yes, I wish I’d been allowed to run around playing spies or racecars or “cool tag” with my friends at lunchtime. But that wish isn’t just because I would’ve had more fun. It’s because, ironically, my teachers spent the first 10 or so years of my life telling me to stop running— and then the next 8 years telling me to start. Because, as we all know, Americans are obese… and lazy… and hate exercise… and, oh wait a minute, when did these things start? It sure isn’t a trait we’re born with. Kids want to exercise. But if they try to do it on their own time, the adults stop them.

Finally, there’s a hidden underlying issue to all of this. The reason it’s deemed “unsafe” for children to run around on the blacktop isn’t really because of the blacktop at all. The danger comes from the sheer amount of children running around— or, as the rules demand, not running. Because schools have become so overcrowded, it’s now considered dangerous for KIDS to RUN. Take a second to reflect on that “back in my day.”

If we want kids to grow up actually enjoying activity the way the human brain was wired to, we need to let them play. And if schools are so crowded that playing becomes a safety issue, we need more schools with less children… which, coincidentally, would solve a plethora of other issues as well.

The issue of overcrowding is one I have strong feelings about, but I recognize that it’s not immediately solvable by most people reading this paper. So all I ask is that, if you have kids (or grandkids), you take some time to make sure they’re still running around and having fun. If schools don’t let them run and play, then at least let them have a safe space to do it at home. They might get a little dirty, but if it keeps them active and loving to move their bodies, I say it’s easily worth it.

But as always, that’s just my POV. Until next time, this is Analyn May, signing off.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s All-New Ride, “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” Opening in Spring 2020

| Entertainment | January 23, 2020

The voice talent behind the lovable furry stars of Illumination’s global blockbuster hits “The Secret Life of Pets” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2” unleash their animal instincts to reprise their roles in Universal Studios Hollywood’s lively new ride, “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!,” opening in Spring 2020, which answer the question, “What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home?”

This marks the first time the ensemble cast perform the voices of their iconic characters for a theme park attraction. The film’s talent and their alter egos include Patton Oswalt as Max, Kevin Hart as Snowball, Eric Stonestreet as Duke, Jenny Slate as Gidget, Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, Lake Bell as Chloe, Dana Carvey as Pops, Steve Coogan as Ozone, Chris Renaud as Norman, Hannibal Buress as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan as Mel, Jessica DiCicco as Princess and Tara Strong as Pickles.

Adoption day is the ultimate rite of passage for every domesticated animal and the inspiration for this all-new immersive experience as guests assume the roles of stray puppies on the ultimate quest to find their forever homes.

The innovative ride will blend live, dimensional and animated characters with hyper-realistic media and projection mapping to fully immerse guests in a bustling New York City landscape. Seated within ride vehicles that resemble cardboard boxes—reminiscent of where Katie first finds her beloved Max as a puppy—guests will travel along a track towards the Pet Adoption event and the ultimate happy ending: forever homes.

The state-of-the-art ride will employ a series of technological firsts that combine sophisticated facial recognition with enhanced gesture tracking, which helps to identify each guest as a unique stray puppy for the duration of the ride. Every time guests experience “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” they will likely see themselves characterized as a different stray puppy, creating a uniquely new experience with each ride.

“The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” will be located on Pets Place, previously referred to as Baker Street, and adjacent to the popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” attractions. With the installation of all-new store front facades, Pets Place will capture the charm of a busy NY street, including an iconic NYC subway station.

With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, an Annual Pass invites guests to experience the theme park’s thrill and adventure over and over again. Visitwww.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com for more details and to save up to $60 on an Annual Pass when purchased online. Offer valid through March 2, 2020. Restrictions apply.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.
In preparation for the ride’s opening, Universal Studios Hollywood is seeking energetic actors and puppeteers to impersonate the voice of Snowball. To learn more and book an audition by appointment only, please visit www.USHAuditions.com.

Zonta Club Of Santa Clarita Valley Requests Nominations For Women In Service Event

| Community | January 23, 2020

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is requesting nominations from local non-profit organizations who would like to have their outstanding volunteer contributions recognized at Zonta’s Women In Service Recognition Luncheon. The event will be held Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the Sand Canyon Club.

These volunteers contribute their time and expertise at local non-profit organizations which improve the lives of women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley, and make our community a great place to live.

All nominees must be 16 years or older. Both the nominees and their organizations will be recognized for their services to the community as outstanding women volunteers and organizations.

Individuals can be re-nominated for their service if they have not received the Carmen Sarro Award for exceptional service and giving. Nomination forms and additional information are available at www.scvzonta.org.

America Fails at War

| Opinion | January 23, 2020

by Rob Werner

We say America has the greatest fighting force in the world. While this may be true, the nature of our country is dependent on non-military leaders to determine the course of wars. We have some good military leaders and not-so-good political leaders.

Reviewing every major war or conflict that we have been engaged in, you may conclude that America is not good at war.

Historically, we were conditioned to stay out of European wars. Yet, it seems we were conned into engagement in WWI. Germany’s Kaiser was not Hitler. He was the typical European tyrant. Other than an advance in military hardware, the introduction of airplanes with limited capabilities and the use of gas, it was a typical European war.

Democrat President Wilson won election on a platform against entering the war. Ultimately, based on discerption and misinformation, he broke his promise. We lost over 100,000 lives and three times as many were wounded.

WWI was supposedly the war to end all wars. But the conditions of the treaty ending the war were unrealistic and punitive. They established the basis for the next war. Wilson’s League of Nations was a liberal talking point. The organization had inadequate governance, no authority and power to correct any wrong.

Had we not engaged in the war and Germany won, the historical results probably would not have been as bad as what was suffered in WWII.

WWII started with a German- Russian partnership to gobble up Poland. We entered after the Pearl Harbor attack. We supposedly won the war, but Russia – without opposition – inherited most of the conquered countries.

Truman had his own war in Korea. He set limits and tied the hands of the military, making it impossible to win the war. He fired General MacArthur because of MacArthur’s complaints over this no-win policy. The result is an artificial division of the country and a stand-still war that still has not been resolved. About 40,000 Americans died and more than twice that number were injured. Billions of dollars are still being spent to defend against the Communist North.

President Johnson, following Kennedy’s intervention, started the Vietnam War which was continued by President Nixon. We may not have engaged in this war had Republican Goldwater been elected in 1964. What the war presidents had in common was a policy of handcuffing American soldiers so that they could not win. While the North built tunnels to invade the South, Americans had numerous restraints against engaging the enemy in the Communist North. Almost 60,000 Americans were killed and more were injured. We entered a peace treaty that was equivalent to an unconditional surrender. We abandoned the country, we failed to provide an escape to the people helping us and we left the Viet Cong with billions in revenues that could have been utilized to assist our allies.

We never learn. Not learning from the Russian fiasco, Bush started a never-ending war in Afghanistan. Obama followed with military actions in Libya and Syria.

Our government throws so much money away in useless wars, it makes one wonder if somewhere within the deep state, those really running the show have the goal to deplete resources and destroy our military.

Canyons Promise Now Accepting Applications

| Community | January 23, 2020

The College of the Canyons Canyons Promise program is now accepting applications for the 2020-21 year. Launched during the Fall 2017 semester, the program provides increased opportunities for new full-time college students to achieve their educational goals by waiving tuition and fees during their first year of study.

Students who maintain the program’s requirements may have their Canyons Promise benefits extended to their second year of study.

“We urge students to apply as early as possible,” said Jasmine Ruys, associate vice president of enrollment services at the college. “We are expecting a substantial increase in students this year because the eligibility requirements are no longer restricted to recent high school graduates.”

To be eligible, a student must be a California resident (or AB 540-eligible student) and a first-time college student.
Upon submitting Summer and Fall 2020 applications as a first-time student, a link is provided in a welcome email for the Canyons Promise program.

The program will begin to process submitted forms in March, which is when students can expect to be notified of their admittance into the program.

Accepted students will enroll in a one-year sequence of courses with priority registration, preceded by a week-long summer boot camp to learn skills needed to be a successful college student.

A Canyons Promise orientation and Welcome Day will also be scheduled during the summer months to give incoming students the information they need for a successful transition.

Canyons Promise courses will be offered with the benefits of free Open Educational Resources to use as textbooks, peer mentors and other learning community elements. To ensure students remain on track, ongoing counseling and student support will also be offered. Students will also complete career assessment and receive academic guidance.

Additionally, each student will receive a parking pass or city buss pass.

During its inaugural year, 63 percent of the 260 students enrolled in the program maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The college anticipates that 1500 students will be accepted into the program’s 2020-21 cohort.

For more information contact us via email, promise@canyons.edu, or call (661) 362-5891.

Enjoy a Saturday Morning Hike and Brunch at Reyes Winery

| Entertainment | January 23, 2020

This coming Saturday, Reyes Winery is hosting our monthly hike and brunch at the Vineyard. Robert Reyes will personally take you out on a two-hour hike excursion to the Sierra Pelona Mountains. The mountains are southeast of the Vineyard, so when you reach the top, you have beautiful views of Agua Dulce. This weekend the weather should be an absolutely perfect 68 degrees – great for hiking.

After your two-hour hike, Robert will guide you back to the vineyard for a light and healthy brunch. This meal always features seasonal fruits and vegetables that are hand-picked at the farmers market, and sometimes I even go to one of the local farms. Yesterday, for example, I visited one of these farms at the farmers market and bought gorgeous oranges and grapefruits for marmalade. I also purchased watermelon radishes that I pickled, and some fabulous persimmons to make persimmon bread. I will be serving these along with a salad made of grapefruit and fennel.

Winter fruits and vegetables are always fabulous. I will say in this time and age, even though we are able to get produce that is normally from summer and winter year round, they are not always the best tasting. For instance, I was at the market the other day and I saw cherries. I can’t imagine they were going to taste like they do in the summer. Not to mention how expensive they were per pound. That’s why I always prefer getting everything fresh and local because the flavor and freshness will be the best when you get to pick and choose like I do.

Sometimes when I go to a local farm the produce is so fresh it was literally just picked moments before I got there. I remember once I wanted green beans and they did not have enough, I had to wait an hour plus for them to finish packing so I would have enough for my event.
Tickets for the hike are $45 per person; this includes brunch, wine, wine tasting, a tour of the Vineyard and, of course, a guided tour of the Sierra Pelona mountains with Robert. I hope to see you this Saturday at the winery!

Purchase your tickets at https://reyes-winery.square.site

Accurate Census Count Vital to Public Education

| News | January 23, 2020

The new year brings with it many new laws and changes, but the William S. Hart Union High School District wants you to know that 2020 also brings the U.S. Census, a vitally important national effort that will determine federal support for public education in the coming decade.

The State of California has created a schools-based outreach tool called “Count Me In” to help students in Kindergarten through the twelfth grade learn about the importance of census participation. Students will be encouraged to share information about participating in the census with their parents or guardians.

Hart District Governing Board Clerk, Dr. Cherise Moore, worked for the Census in 2000 in Arizona and understands how critical it is for everyone to participate in the 2020 Census.  She shared “Santa Clarita, and in particular, the William S. Hart Union High School District has been identified as a hard to count area. For a variety of reasons, we have undercounting across the community. To get the federal support and resources we need, that has to change. I am asking everyone to be counted. It is safe and it matters to our students.”

The census does more than just count people and determine congressional districting. An accurate count assures the state, as well as the Hart School District, will receive fair federal funding that supports general and special education, before and after school activities, and nutrition. Over $675 billion in federal funding to states is on the line. California is anticipated to receive just $7 billion.

“Everyone counts, and that means everyone,” Dr. Moore said. “In the Hart District we serve students from diverse backgrounds. Santa Clarita demographics are changing. Being counted in the Census helps us know more about our community, so we can better serve the needs of our students. We are excited to support the efforts to have a complete count in Santa Clarita.”

The census will begin in March 2020, with the “official” census day April 1. New this year residents will be able to respond online by using a unique number, which you will receive by mail, allowing you to fill out the form online. Questions on the form pertain to your household and include how many people reside in your home, date of birth, race, sex, etc. This includes all children as well. Census workers will also be going door-to-door asking residents the same questions found online. The deadline to complete the census is April 30.

“California is determined to achieve a complete census count, where every Californian is counted,” said Ditas Katague, Director California Complete Count – Census 2020. “We’ve started early and are committing more resources than any other state to a robust outreach and engagement effort to reach all Californians.”

According to Title 13 of the U.S. Code, “The Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies.” This applies to those who may be in the United States illegally as well. Getting the right household count, regardless of immigration status, is vital for every student’s education.

2017 MLB World Series Cheating Scandal

| Sports | January 23, 2020

by Diego Marquez

The 2017 MLB season will forever be in a category of its own.

On Monday, January 13th, the MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred discovered that the Los Angeles Dodgers were the victims of a vicious cheating scandal at the hands of the Houston Astros during the 2017 World Series.

En route to their 2017 title run, the Astros produced an elaborate sign-stealing system that tipped the batters of the pitch before the Dodgers’ pitchers threw the ball. The Houston franchise used a camera to steal the signs that were being relayed from Los Angeles’ catchers to the pitchers from the dugouts.

The subsequent actions led to the Astros’ general manager and coach, Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, to be fired on Monday after the MLB was able to conclude they had knowledge of the scheme.

Former bench coach, Alex Cora, who was the coach of the Boston Red Sox, has resigned, and Carlos Beltran, who was supposed to be the new coach of the New York Mets, has since stepped down from the position.

The MLB has also fined the franchise $5 million and they will have to forfeit the next two first and second-round draft picks.

After the punishments were handed down, the Dodgers released this statement, “All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today’s punishment of the Houston Astros as it’s inappropriate to comment on discipline imposed on another club. The Dodgers have been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.”

Experience the Magic of Roald Dahl’s Matilda at the CTG

| Entertainment | January 23, 2020

Start the New Year off right by joining us at the Canyon Theatre Guild for the amazing story of Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical. Co-Directors John Lucewich and Jennifer Teague are thrilled to be a part of this remarkable story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

“Ever since I first saw the musical in 2015, it instantly became one of my all-time favorites” said Lucewich upon learning he would be co-directing the production. “I am excited to share the magic and wonderment that I felt when I first discovered this amazing show!”

With music and lyrics by the brilliant comedy musician, Tim Minchin, the score is refreshing, fun and deeply touching. “I am obsessed! Tim Minchin is so innovative, creative, and flat out genius. Simply beautiful!” commented Teague who also vocal directs the production. “I am so proud of the entire cast and our creative team. We love the show so much and know you will, too!”

Met with awards and rave reviews, Matilda: The Musical still holds the record for most Olivier awards won by a musical, tying with Hamilton in 2018. At the 2013 Tony Awards, the show won five awards, including the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. “Once in a blue moon, a show comes out blazing and restores your faith in Broadway. ‘Matilda The Musical’ is that show.” – New York Post.

So come see what the Chicago Tribune calls “the best family musical in years!” With singing, dancing and a stellar cast, this family friendly show is one not to be missed.

Matilda: The Musical has performances from January 25th – February 29th. Adult tickets are $22, juniors and seniors are $19.

For tickets or more info call www.canyontheatre.org.

The Night the Golden Globes became Brass Balls

| Opinion | January 23, 2020

by Dale Paule

What we saw Ricky Gervais do the other night at the “Golden Globe Awards,” wasn’t just an act of comedy, it was also an act of “parenting;” an act sorely in need of an encore!

Although Gervais was speaking to the Hollywood celebrities that night, he also delivered a message to those “political” celebrities out there who were watching, and expecting a completely different kind of message.

It was a message long overdue, and was obvious to everyone outside of that room—and perhaps even to a few in it, that Gervais had hit the nail on the head with his comments about celebrities whining, complaining, and lecturing the rest of us about things which they themselves know absolutely nothing about. It’s gone on far too long, and the point in his verbal spanking was; “Daddy’s home now, knock it off!”

It’s hard to believe that anyone over the age of five would say and act the way many celebrities and politicians do, until you realize many of them, like small children, are concerned only with getting attention, and will say or do anything to get it, caring little whether it’s right or not: a forgivable trait in a child, but in an adult, it reveals them to be simply, “useful idiots!”
A good example of this type, are those celebrities who pop off at the first sight of a microphone or camera, and once they have its attention, bellow out ridiculous, threatening accusations at all who oppose their views, or anyone not a member of the “gifted celebrity circle!”

A well known celebrity who’s image springs to mind as I write this, is one of our favorite—and his too—“tough guys,” Robert De Niro. With the possible exception of Michael Moore,–another “gifted” member of the circle– I can’t think of anyone who has made more outrageous and straight-on stupid remarks in front of the camera than our famous, and obviously talented actor, Robert-“punch’m in da face!” De Niro!

I admit, I’ve watched and enjoyed watching his films in the past, but it’s a pity that somewhere along the way he lost the ability to know the difference from when he’s on a sound stage playing the tough guy, and after the Director calls, “Cut,” he’s out in the real world again. Like too many of his fellow artists, he has trouble telling the difference between the “real” world, and the “reel” world.

As kids, we grew up spending a lot of time going to the movies.

For two-bits—not including popcorn and a candy bar— we’d spend Saturday afternoons inside a darkened movie theater, cheering the “good guys” on, and booing the “bad guys.” And whether we realized it or not, we were also learning a valuable lesson from it: “Good guys” win in the end, and “Bad guys” lose. We didn’t learn until later in life, that unlike the movie, where that always happens by “The End,” in “real” life, it might take a little longer.

A lot has changed since the price of admission was two-bits, and now it takes folding money, not coin, to buy popcorn. But a real, and sad change, is the message actors like De Niro, Moore, and many others are sending. Sadder still, their messages are being heard by many who are too young to discern the truth.

In those old, silent films, the actor’s voices were silent, and only outside of it could the public hear them speak.

Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea if we could somehow reverse that sequence, so the actor’s voice could be heard in the movie, but would remain silent outside of it.

And while we’re at it, how about knocking a few bucks off a bag of popcorn !!

COC Students to Provide Free Tax Preparation

| Community | January 23, 2020

If you made less than $65,000 in 2019, you may qualify to have your federal and state income tax returns filed for free by College of the Canyons business accounting students who are certified with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Offered through the federal government’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic, this free tax preparation service will be offered every Saturday from February 8th through April 11th.

“The VITA clinic provides a valuable service to local community members and gives business accounting students hands-on working experience in their chosen field,” said Ali Naddafpour, a business and accounting instructor at the college. “Our VITA students are certified to prepare and e-file federal and state income tax for qualified individuals.”

The VITA clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday through April 11th in Hasley Hall (Rooms 233 and 234).

The VITA volunteer program is sponsored by the IRS and designed to help low to moderate income households. Experienced tax practitioners and IRS agents will also be on site to assist with quality review.

Individual sessions may run one to two hours in length. While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are recommended. To make an appointment, please call (661) 362-3330.

Parking will be free in all student lots during VITA’s hours of operation.

Live Music this Week

| Entertainment | January 23, 2020

Jan 24, Fri
6:30-9p Wolf Creek Brewery Some Other Loco Folk, cty, bl
7–9pm Pocock Brewing White Limozeen Ctry classics

7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Sean Wiggins & Colin CR, ctry, bl
7–11pm Amer Legion Newhall Gustin, Marsh & more Blues fundraiser
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop
8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Mudfish on the patio Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR

Jan 25, Sat
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Miles 2 Go CR w violin
6:30-9p Pocock Brewing The Couriers Live music

7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Tewks & JP duo Classic covers

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Scambooty Swing
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Gary Coppola & Time Mach Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Tommy Peacock Upbeat Rock
8–12m VFW 6885 Pam Loe & Chad WatsonCountry
9–12m Alchemy Valencia Saloonatics Classic rock
9–12m Rock Inn Joe Ferraro band Blues rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR
9–12m Eighth and Rail Snareheads band Rock covers

Jan 26, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap meet Brothers & Others Live music
3–5pm Double Trouble Wines Harry Orlove Jazz
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open micVarious

5–9pm VFW 6885 Robert Heft band Blues mix
5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall Steve Britain’s CR Jam Classic rock
5:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall Sophie Mekelburg Live music

Jan 28, Tues
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Roby Duron Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Alan Wright guest Blues mix

Jan 29, Wed
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Various artists Classic rock
Jan 30, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Various artists Classic rock
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Del Fuego Brothers Classic rock
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Peacock & the Feathers Upbeat rk

Jan 31, Fri
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Various artists Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11:30p Vincent Hill Station Fulcos Exp on the patioClassic rock

9–12m Salt Creek Grille Sean Wiggins duo CR, ctry, bl
9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock covers

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