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About Sarah

  • Member Since: June 18, 2015

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Sarah is a student at College of the Canyons and likes to take long walks on the beach. She loves everything jazz, and is aware of every kind of cheese known to man. There's no such thing as a perfect woman, but if there were, she is second to last - and she'll take it.

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Celebrate International Blues Music Day at LA Summerfest

| Entertainment | August 3, 2017

In celebration of the 5th annual International Blues Music Day, LA Summerfest is partnering with the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society to host BluesFest this Saturday, Aug. 5 at Rivendale Park and Open Space in Towsley Canyon.

Several blues artists will be featured throughout the night, including Blue Devils, Blues to the Bone, The Good News Blues Band, Chuck Strong and SRBQ, and Stephen Marshall and GS All Stars. This year, BluesFest was set to debut the High School Guitar Slinger Showdown, but due to a last minute cancellation, there will be an alternative play-off taking place.

BluesFest is also a fundraiser for the SCV Blues Society’s Blues in the Schools program, which aims to educate young people in the art of blues and bring younger musicians into the blues fold. The Sons of the American Legion will also be participating in the event, helping fundraise for the program with drink and food sales.

Tickets for BluesFest are free, but can be purchased as a donation online for $10 at https://scvblues.ticketleap.com/. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs to the outdoor event, and food and drink vendors will be present on site.

The SCV Blues Society also hosts monthly jams every second Sunday at the American Legion Post 507, free to attend and open to the public. A $5 donation to support veterans is requested at the door, and the Legion provides a drink.

For more information about BluesFest and the SCV Blues Society, visit www.SCVBlues.com. To find more events at LA Summerfest at Rivendale, visit www.LASummerfest.org.

 

 

 

Student-Run Record Label Helps Local Artists

| Entertainment | August 3, 2017

With a crowd of over 100 people and an artist lineup of six, you might think that last Friday’s music showcase at Vincenzo’s in Newhall was arranged by top record label executives sporting gold chains and Versace turtlenecks. Well, you would be very wrong — because this groovy affair was put together by a group of COC students (sans gold chains) under their newest record label, Hipified Records.

Kick-started by label president Edwin Gonzalez in the Spring of 2017, Hipified Records is a club at College of the Canyons, doubling as an independent record label that provides local artists with opportunities to showcase their music, as well as educate them about the music business.

“COC is in the process of starting a commercial music business program — part of this is having a way for students to become more involved with the program,” Gonzalez said. “Because of that, Hipified Records was formed.”

The label is also trying to help establish a music/entertainment scene that many feel is absent in SCV. So far, Hipified Records has assisted by hosting a total of four music showcases, and Gonzalez believes things are already off to a good start.

“Showcase four was a highlight for the record label,” Gonzalez said. “This was the largest turnout, and we have nowhere to go but up.”

Gonzalez says the label is currently working on putting out its first album by spring of 2018, which will be a compilation of songs from local artists. The project itself will cost a few thousand dollars, and Gonzalez hopes that it will be covered by the money raised from showcases, as well as possible grants from the college.

 

Aside from their goal to produce an album as an independent label, Hipified Records’ main goal is to educate students about the business side of the music industry.

 

“We are trying to help students and artists from SCV prepare themselves for negotiating with contracts and record labels,” said Gonzalez.

To contact Hipified Records, or for inquiries as an artist, send an email to HipifiedRecords@gmail.com or visit Hipified Records’ official instagram page.

Santa Clarita’s 30th Anniversary (Safe) Scavenger Hunt

| Opinion | July 13, 2017

It’s hard to believe that this year our beloved Santa Clarita is celebrating 30 years of cityhood. That’s 30 years of ribbon cuttings, parades, and memories – above all, it’s 30 years of being ranked among the safest cities in the U.S.

But, with all this talk about the recent surge in overdoses and crime in our town, we want to reassure the public that Awesometown is still the place where you can let your children hang outside of gas stations with friends. So, enjoy a kid-friendly scavenger hunt in finding “Sammy Clarita” (our city’s new mascot). You can find him at the following places – you know, to show you that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Jack in the Box in Canyon Country

Sammy Clarita loves hiding out at Jack in the Box. It’s the place where locals frequently grub, and there hasn’t been a stabbing there since 2008. Feel free to loiter and search high and low for Sammy around the Jack in the Box perimeter. But please, do not look for Sammy by the dumpsters past 8 p.m., because … Sammy needs his sleep.

Jake’s Way

Sammy Clarita is a horse, so he loves horsing around apartment complexes! Don’t be afraid to scour below stairways and between alleys to find Sammy – those shootings were so long ago. Once you find him, you can keep him. Just make sure you take a photo with him and tag the City of Santa Clarita on instagram, so we know you are safe (from having too much fun!).

Begonias Lane Park

Do you enjoy basketball? So does Sammy. In fact, he loves shooting hoops so much, that we have hidden him at Begonias Park two days in a row! Just make sure you don’t cross the pretty yellow tape to look for him, or you might have to meet one of Santa Clarita’s very own sheriffs! And, if you are lucky, they might give you a free ride downtown. Make sure and let them know you are searching for Sammy, or you might just be considered a suspect.

Liquor Stores

Sammy is a huge fan of late night snacks. You can catch him purchasing oats and hay at one of Santa Clarita’s many liquor stores. Sammy can only be at one place at one time, so you might want to start looking at around dusk if you want to find Sammy by 5 a.m. If you need any hints, just post an ad on craigslist asking if anyone has seen him – with a parent’s permission, of course. If your internet connection is fast, you will be snuggling with Sammy before you know it!

Have fun out there. We know that Sammy sure is!

**This is a satire. The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Rollercoasterwater Releases New Album ‘Well Aware’

| Entertainment | July 13, 2017

No, that’s not your CD player skipping, or your fax machine having a psychedelic stroke. It’s Rollercoasterwater’s new album “Well Aware,” and it’s ready to be blasted through your Subaru’s speakers.

Rollercoasterwater is an experimental psychedelic electronic band that originated in Santa Clarita, started by vocalist/samplist Chuckie Behring and percussionist Robin Levy in 2011. Together, this psychedelic, experimental pop group has opened up for big names, including Avery Tare from Animal Collective.

“It started (with) me in my teenage years being a choir boy and discovering loopers and electronic instruments and how they could be used with my classical vocal training,” said Behring.

With this, he set out to “make pop music that felt futuristic.”

To listen to their new album, check out Rollercoasterwater’s social media pages, where it can be streamed online.

https://www.facebook.com/Rollercoasterwater

https://www.youtube.com/user/RollercoasterWater
https://rollercoasterwater.bandcamp.com/

 

Lost Dog in Topanga

| Entertainment | July 8, 2017

One man, one band, “Three Songs I Recorded on My Phone and Two I Didn’t.” Lost Dog in Topanga, an experimental indie band from Santa Clarita, is minimalism in the flesh.

Nate Ramer of Lost Dog in Topanga  recently released his album entitled “Three Songs I recorded on My Phone and Two I Didn’t” on June 12 of this year. A compilation of four original songs and a cover of Wilco’s “Summerteeth,” the recordings are archived songs from Ramer’s phone recorded over the course of three years. That’s 1.6 songs a year.

For more information about Lost Dog in Topanga, check out Nate Ramer’s Bandcamp profile at lostdogintopanga.bandcamp.com/.

 

Right Side Up Band to Play in Canyon Country

| Entertainment | June 29, 2017

Cover bands seem to be all the rage here in Santa Clarita. If you wish to partake is this rage, local group Right Side Up will be playing a show at The Backyard Grub n’ Brews in Canyon Country on July 1 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

Right Side Up is known for covering an array of tunes, from Jimi Hendrix to The Beatles. This rock trio, made up of guitarist Dan Kirkpatrick, drummer Peter Smith, and bassist Robert Heller, are known for playing venues all around the Santa Clarita Valley. Not only that, but singer and lead guitarist Kirkpatrick has years of professional music experience under his belt, and has written music for several hit television shows.

The Backyard Grub n’ Brews is located at 26509 Golden Valley Road. For more information about Right Side Up and show dates, check out the group’s Facebook and official website.

The Suspenders to Play at Schoonerville

| Entertainment | June 23, 2017

If you want to rock out to four adult men playing blues-rock covers, boy, do we have the event for you. The Suspenders will be playing at Schoonerville on Bouquet Canyon on July 14, from 8 p.m. until they can’t play anymore – but, most likely, 11 p.m.

While you are guzzling pitchers of beer, enjoy former White Sox pitcher Wayne Edwards of The Suspenders wail on the drums. As if playing for major league baseball team wasn’t impressive enough, Edwards is also the son of Wayne Edwards Sr., who sang with The Hondells, the popular ‘60s group whose biggest hit “Little Honda” was penned by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.

And when things get out of hand, you have the right to remain silent, because Wayne Edwards has also been an LAPD officer for 15 years. Be sure to rock out hard – but not too hard.

For more information about The Suspenders, visit their Facebook page online. To see Wayne Edwards in the flesh, head over to Schoonerville July 14.

Mugzey Muzic Ladies Night Out

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 22, 2017

If you stopped by the post office on the afternoon of May 12, you probably noticed the crowd filing into the store a few doors down. If you walked a little closer, you would also see people enjoying live music, fried chicken, and a guy in drag. Suddenly, your errands took a strange turn. But for Mugzey Muzic, that might as well be just another Friday afternoon.

Most people walk into a music store to pick up guitar strings or a song book. Mugzey is a music store by day, but on special evenings it doubles as a spectacle of live music and entertainment. Friday night was Ladies Night Out, a free event featuring talented local musicians and headlined by Mrs. Smith, the shredding comedian-musician-drag queen featured on America’s Got Talent.

If you attended, you most likely bumped shoulders with the famous inventor of the wah-wah pedal and rock ‘n’ roll sound pioneer Del Casher, who happened to show up sporting a red turtleneck-sailor hat ensemble. After entertaining the crowd with old stories and wit, he strapped on his guitar and began an impromptu jam-session with a 13-year-old drumming prodigy. You know — Mugzey things.

For the price of a cup of coffee, you could enter a raffle to win an Ibanez electric guitar. And for the price of attending, you could grab a plate of food and mingle with fellow music lovers … or just listen alone in the corner with your chicken leg.

Mugzey Muzic hosts events like these frequently, maintaining a tight community of local musicians and music fans from all around the Santa Clarita Valley. To find out more about Mugzey Muzic and events, visit their website at www.mugzeymuzic.us or visit their facebook page.

Garage Chronicles

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 20, 2017

The lack of live comedy venues in Santa Clarita is no laughing matter. For Tommy McGuan, creator of Garage Chronicles, it definitely is.

Garage Chronicles is a nomadic pop-up comedy series that transforms the garages and backyards of residents into free stand-up shows, with drinks and music between comics.

Tommy McGuan

Although watching a show in a stranger’s garage next to some old paint cans might not sound like the most desirable place to take your hot date on a Saturday night, Tommy McGuan, comedian and producer of Garage Chronicles, finds that this home-grown hospitality provides a fun, welcoming environment for comics and audiences alike. So far, they have put on seven performances in the Canyon Country and L.A. area.

“[The hosts] open their homes and let us invade their space with a lot of strangers,” McGuan said. “It’s like a family party. It’s safe space to do material, with an accepting audience.”

McGuan, along with co-producers Douglas Moomjean, Danny Plom, and Dylan Lloyd, realized that getting around the bureaucracy of entertainment establishments takes the pressure off comedians performing. A problem most comedians face, according to McGuan, is that most stand-up venues require that the comedian performing sells a certain number of tickets in order to get paid, and in some cases, if those requirements are not met, the comedian will be unable to perform. “I’ve heard horror stories from [comedians] who didn’t bring enough people,” McGuan said.

The uniqueness of the event has created interesting and memorable experiences for those who participate. McGuan explained that during one event, the police came to the door due to a noise complaint, leaving the comedians to do their sets without microphones. When one woman began to perform her set, raccoons began to climb over the wall behind her, and she performed 10 minutes of material with wild raccoons in the audience — and no microphone.

Garage Chronicles also brings the show directly to the community, filling the gap in the entertainment scene that many find is lacking in the Santa Clarita Valley — and being a Canyon Country native, McGuan knows this all too well. “People in their 20s and 30s in SCV are bored,” McGuan said. “There’s not a whole lot for us to do here without having to drive to Hollywood.”

Although many find Canyon Country to fall short in the entertainment department, the creators of Garage Chronicles are always surprised at the amount of generosity its residents provide. At their most recent event, the homeowners served up food and drinks at the event, for which McGuan and his fellow comedians were extremely thankful. The event is funded by a small tip jar next to the performers, and usually expenses fall on the shoulders of these artists, who aren’t necessarily well off.

For more information about Garage Chronicles, future performance dates, or to offer your home for the event, contact Tommy McGuan at Mcguan92@gmail.com. To check out Tommy McGuan’s comedy and future events, visit his website at TommyMcGuanComedy.com.

Band of the Week: Death Tape Super Bass

| Entertainment | June 20, 2017

If you’ve been hearing a constant surge of drone noise, you should see a doctor. If you can’t seem to get enough lo-fi drone noise, look no further than Death Tape Super Bass.

Death Tape Super Bass is a solo project by Alex Steinmetz of Santa Clarita, who uses four-hour recording sessions to create music pieces Steinmetz calls “experimental synthesizer music.”

It’s all played on a small panel that contains a short piano keyboard and several knobs and controls. An analog synthesizer, as it is called, produces the low hums and ambient noise (soundscape) which can be accessed by listeners online.

Steinmetz began making music at the early age of 14, performing and playing in various punk bands. He started his solo projects shortly after graduating high school, eventually creating the focused sound he has developed today.

“I want to keep the dirty analog synthesizer sound, but I don’t like setting rigid boundaries for things I want to do,” says Steinmetz. “Doing the same thing over and over again gets boring quick, so I’m always interested in growing and trying different things.”

When it comes to live performances, Steinmetz says that due to the studio-driven nature of his work, live events are not very practical avenues for people to listen to Death Tape Super Bass.

As an artist and musician, Steinmetz creates music for the sake of listening, and has also used his talents to create soundtracks. He recently created music for a short film by Gaby Escovar called “And I,” which debuted at the Redcat in Los Angeles.

For more information about Death Tape Super Bass, visit https://deathtapesuperbass.bandcamp.com/.

Which GOP Mistake Are You?: A Horoscope

| Opinion | June 15, 2017

Most people have heard of horoscopes and astrology — but, did you know that the month you were born connects your future, and your personality, to a disastrous GOP malfunction?

Sean Spicer Holocaust Whoopsie (January-February)

You constantly get stuck with the task of getting your friends out of trouble. You always get the brunt of things, and sometimes, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Girl, spend more time figuring yourself out, because you are a huge mess. A visit to a library or commemorative museum  is in your future.

James Comey Getting the Boot (March-May)

You stick with what you believe, even if nobody else does, or if it is bad timing. And girl, you sure know about that bad timing. You tend to not let things go, but I guess you pay the price! It might be a good idea to turn off the TV and take more walks this month.            

Michael Flynn Investigation (June-July)

You are a social butterfly. But, sometimes this can get you into trouble. People go to you for advice — but loyalty? Guess again, girl! You go from friend to friend, and now no one can trust you. Sure, your BFF will back you up, but good luck getting help from anyone else. Cherish the last days of your job this month.

WikiLeaks Russian Scandal (August-October)

You can’t seem to get enough of other people’s drama. You are a gossip queen! But when it comes to your own drama — girl, get a handle on yourself. Life for you isn’t going so hot, so get yourself together or you will have some explaining to do. This is a great month to stay indoors.

Donald Trump (November-December)

You are the boss of all of your friends, and you always dish it. But girl, if you think you can take it, guess again. Your sensitivity is bringing everyone else down, and that sucks, especially when you make a name for yourself for calling everyone else out. Don’t think for a second that your clique doesn’t notice that kind of stuff. Ouch! This month is the time to count your chips and cash out on any investments you probably have.

**WARNING: SATIRE. The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**

Artist of the Week: Tommy McGuan

| Entertainment | June 8, 2017

If you want to make people laugh for a living, stand-up comedy might just be your calling. If you want to be booed off stage for a living, stand-up comedy is also the perfect career path for you. As strange as that may sound, according to local comedian Tommy McGuan, both are the keys to comedy success.

McGuan, a Canyon Country native, attended California State University, Chico upon graduating from Canyon High School, where he majored in history. He began his comedy pursuits three years ago when he asked a friend, who had dabbled in stand-up comedy, to critique his material.

To McGuan’s surprise, rather than just giving criticism, his friend booked him to perform a set at the former Formosa Café in West Hollywood. As many as 33 of his friends came out to support him, and what was originally a few-minutes set turned into a 10-minute performance roaring with applause.

“I was grateful for the support from my friends,” McGuan said. “I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
But not every experience has been as amazing as his first in West Hollywood. McGuan’s comedy ride has been filled with surprises. Most comedians have had their fair share of bad sets, a practice otherwise referred to as “bombing,” and McGuan is definitely no exception.

“I did a show in Paris while I was backpacking through Europe. I had done stand-up six times. I thought, ‘I could do it!’ [The producer] put me on, and it was awful,” McGuan laughed. “The crowd was so close to booing me. The producer sat there with his head in his hands. I didn’t know if I could be a comedian.”
That was one bomb of many, according to McGuan.

“I didn’t perform for a couple months after that show. … For the next year I just bombed. That’s when I realized my material actually wasn’t good. If I wanted to be as good as I wanted to be, I would have to put the work into it.”

The work McGuan put into his set eventually paid off, and he reached a point where he had developed an hour of usable material. He recently had the opportunity to film his first special last week at The Main in Newhall, and hopes to eventually pitch the special to an online streaming service, such as Hulu or Crackle.

McGuan has also helped create a local comedy series called Garage Chronicles, stand-up comedy performances that take place in garages and backyards, bringing the comedy scene straight to Santa Clarita.

For more information about Tommy McGuan and his work, visit his website at http://www.tommymcguancomedy.com/.

California Chamber Artists Concert

| Entertainment | June 2, 2017

For those who wish to trade in their ripped jeans and mosh pits for wood pews and violin riffs, The California Chamber Artists will be performing a concert at Valencia United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 11 at 7 p.m. A donation is suggested.

Part one of the concert will feature soprano Lisa Tenorio and ten cellists, directed by Dr. Daniel Feeting. Together, they will be performing a Bachianias Brasilerias by composer Heitor Villa Lobos, whose last name literally means “wolf village” – a surprisingly metal name for a 20th century Brazilian art musician.

Following the first performance will be Brahms String Sextet in G Major and Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, performed by violinists David Ewart and Bob Miskey, violists Louise Brown and Cecile Asuncion, and cellists Joyce Geeting and David Mason.

If you can’t make it to this one, or can’t get enough of Heitor Villa Lobos & crew, the same line-up will be presented at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks on June 11 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 818-340-3940.

Male Athlete of the Week – Sam Stulman

| Sports | May 26, 2017

A junior in high school and pitcher for the Albert Einstein Academy baseball team, Sam Stulman struck out six batters in five innings in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 Playoffs last week. He also hit two RBIs in the game, helping the Rockets beat Shalhevet of Los Angeles 13-3. Albert Einstein Academy advanced to take on Coast Union of Cambria this week.

“Sam Stulman has been our leader on and off the field for the last couple of seasons,” said Albert Einstein Academy baseball coach Marcelo C. Imbert. “He’s remained humble and coachable, and it’s great to see his hard work paying off. It’s been my honor and pleasure to watch him grow as a true student athlete and young adult.”

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Submediocre to Play Wolf Creek Charity Event

| Entertainment | May 25, 2017

The crowd is silent. Scattered hacks and coughs echo across the quad. Feedback rings as lead singer Tate Dickens approaches the microphone.

“Hey, we are Submediocre … so don’t expect too much.”

The audience chuckles as Dickens counts the band into a first song. But the moment Submediocre started to play, the crowd’s expectations of another disappointing garage band experience melted away with each chorus and outpouring of applause.

That was two weeks ago at Saugus High School’s Literary Magazine poetry reading, and Submediocre has plans to lower (then raise) your expectations once again. This Saturday, the group is headlining Jam-A-Palooza, a charity event at Wolf Creek Refinery for Santa Clarita’s Child and Family Center.

The theme? All local, independent musicans (who happen to be Saugus High School graduates).

“We wanted to give student bands a chance to play music in front of a live audience. We also wanted to raise money for a cause,” said Dickens.

Submediocre will be playing original songs from their newest EP, “Take 2,” with a few covers sprinkled into the set. Accompanying Submediocre will be alternative band Full Safari, formerly known as The Ooze, and Kingblue, a one-man-band made up of Ethan Hubbard.

Jam-A-Palooza will take place Saturday, May 27 from 7-10 p.m. at the Wolf Creek Brewery off of the Rye Canyon Loop. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children ages 10 & under. All net proceeds will be donated to the Child and Family Center of Santa Clarita.

The City Council Awakens

| Opinion | May 19, 2017

by Alan Ferdman 

If you intend to stay up on decisions that will shape the future of Santa Clarita, you need to visit, or at least watch, our City Council meetings. Also, if you have been reading my columns, you’re aware of my strong belief that “government is at its finest when the people’s business is accomplished in public.” Too many times, important issues are placed on the City Council “Consent Calendar,” meaning they will be passed by one council vote and not even mentioned, unless an item is pulled for a separate discussion. Too many times, members of the public ask questions or comment on an issue, without an answer being subsequently provided by city staff or our council members.

Yet, at the May 9, 2017 City Council meeting, during review of Agenda item 13 (proposed changes to the manufactured home park rent adjustment procedures), we witnessed government and public interaction accomplished in a way our country’s founders wanted it to take place. It was not because some monumental decision was made. It was a review of a city staff proposal, commented on by the public and thoroughly discussed by each council member. In the end, staff was directed to study the issue further and take into consideration comments provided by the public and our council members.

Coming up with an acceptable change proposal will not be a simple task. If you have not been following this issue, allow me to tell you “the short story” and therefore bring you up to date. In 1991, the Santa Clarita City Council passed Santa Clarita Municipal Code 6.02. The purpose was to “protect manufactured home park residents from excessive space rent increases, while at the same time allowing park owners to receive a fair rate of return on their investment.” One key element of this ordinance was allowing space rent to increase per the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or a minimum of 3 percent.

Fast forward to 2014 and park residents were feeling the 3 percent minimum increase was unfair. The economy had tanked and the CPI had stayed below 3 percent for a fair amount of time. Two manufactured park residents, Mr. Doug Fraser and Mr. Ray Henry, became the residents’ spokespersons and brought the issue to the City Council, meeting after meeting, until the council acted.

So, in June of 2015 a revision to the Manufactured Home Rent Panel Adjustment Procedure was brought before the City Council and approved. This ordinance revision still allowed space rent to increase per the CPI, but the minimum increase was reduced to 0 percent. In addition, there were two other major changes, which did not receive the same amount of attention. Provisions were deleted requiring park owners to reduce rents when park services were eliminated, and a requirement for park management to obtain resident consensus when the cost of capital improvement projects were to be added to residents’ space rent.

These changes caused park owners to rethink how to manage park finances. Some parks had not been raising rents by 3 percent, even though it was allowed. Some said they used the 3 percent increases to fund capital improvements rather than identifying them separately. But, it was all about to change.

As you might imagine, 2016 rent increases using the new rules brought a surge of rent protests. Park owners used creative ordinance interpretations and sent lawyers to the panel hearings to further confuse the issues. City staff did not fulfill their responsibilities, per the ordinance, to determine if a rent appeal should be heard. Plus, at one hearing, which I attended, the park owner’s lawyer turned a public hearing into a kangaroo court. After those meetings, city management was asked to take notice and action. Ordinance changes were promised, but were not brought forth in time for the 2017 rent increases and subsequent panel hearings. This time it was the park residents who brought up “letter of the law” issues. Everyone seemed to agree, the rent adjustment process was not working well.

On April 3-4, city staff presented a proposed ordinance change to the public. Key elements included changes to the definition of residents, which would make it even harder (if not impossible) for residents to raise an appeal, as well as a procedural change from having rent appeals heard by an elected panel to now having appeals heard by a hearing officer, who is selected by city staff. There were a lot of community comments, some in favor, but many opposed.

On April 25, an identical proposal was presented to the City Council Development Committee. Comments and suggestions made at the community presentations had been overlooked. Here again, the community commented and offered suggestions. The meeting ended, without one word from either council member present.

At the May 9 City Council meeting, staff presented essentially the same proposal in a different form, thereby disregarding public comments one more time. Yet again, the community rose and provided comments, suggestions and information relating to the safeguards eliminated in 2015.

But this time, the council members listened and offered their opinions. Some feedback included Councilmember Miranda, who told of his passion to be the voice of those who have not been listened to. Councilmember McLean offered her concern about the lack of a requirement, in the current ordinance, for residents to be compensated for reductions in park services. Mayor Pro-Tem Weste related areas she thought residents were being overcharged and told our city attorney that if state law is a problem we should contact our state legislators. Councilmember Kellar indicated, “We are not there yet”; “we have got to do a better job”; and Mayor Smyth expressed his belief it is possible to “take your (residents’) ideas and put them in an ordinance that will work for you (the residents).”

Changing the Manufactured Home Rent Adjustment Procedure Ordinance will not be simple or easy. It needs to address a methodology which is fair to both residents and park owners. Obviously, if rents are too high, residents will not be able to remain living there or even have the ability to sell their homes. But if rents are not realistic, manufactured home parks will become dilapidated and eventually close. The ball is now in our City Council’s court. Let’s hope the City Council has truly “awakened” and will continue to address this, and many other issues, in a public forum.

If you wish to watch this discussion firsthand, go to the city website, under City Council Agendas, then City Council Meeting May 9, 2017, where the video is available, and scroll to Agenda Item 13. Even though this was the first of a series of discussions on the topic, I’m sure you will agree it was a city council meeting which will make you proud you live in Santa Clarita.

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

Mugzey Muzic Hosts Ladies’ Night Out

| Community | May 18, 2017

If you stopped by the post office last Friday afternoon, you probably noticed the crowd filing into the store a few doors down. If you walked a little closer, you would also see people enjoying live music, fried chicken, and a guy in drag. Suddenly, your errands took a strange turn. But for Mugzey Muzic, that might as well be just another Friday afternoon.

Most people walk into a music store to pick up guitar strings or a song book. Mugzey is a music store by day, but on special evenings it doubles as a spectacle of live music and entertainment. Friday night was Ladies Night Out, a free event featuring talented local musicians and headlined by Mrs. Smith, the shredding comedian-musician-drag queen featured on America’s Got Talent.

If you attended, you most likely bumped shoulders with the famous inventor of the Wah-wah pedal and rock ‘n’ roll sound pioneer Del Casher, who happened to show up sporting a red turtleneck-sailor hat ensemble. After entertaining the crowd with old stories and wit, he strapped on his guitar and began an impromptu jam-session with a 13-year-old drumming prodigy. You know — Mugzey things.

For the price of a cup of coffee, you could enter a raffle to win an Ibanez electric guitar. And for the price of attending, you could grab a plate of food and mingle with fellow music lovers … or just listen alone in the corner with your chicken leg.

Mugzey Muzic hosts events like these frequently, maintaining a tight community of local musicians and music fans from all around the Santa Clarita Valley. To find out more about Mugzey Muzic and events, visit their website at www.mugzeymuzic.us or visit their facebook page.

The Democrats Who Cried Wolf

| Opinion | May 18, 2017

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” – Rahm Emanuel

This infamous quote from Rahm Emanuel after Obama’s first winning election was originally stated at a Wall Street Journal panel discussing the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the opportunities it presented for the administration to take on an agenda they would not have been able to previously, without the crisis.

It has been misquoted multiple times and taken out of context, but that isn’t what has me worried. What has me worried is that it seems the entire Democratic party has taken this as their mantra, and what originally was an opportunity to do some good has become the veritable “Democrat who cried wolf” with the Trump administration.

It seems every day I’ve seen or heard a politician (from both sides of the aisle) on a major media outlet whining, crying and pointing like a petulant child that bad man Trump is doing something that hurts their feelings or is not politically correct. As an active investor, I’ve rather enjoyed the clueless politicians talking about how his policies would wreck the economy followed by the market growing exponentially!

But the latest one that really struck a nerve and hit close to home as being just too far of a stretch to let pass, which may seem rather innocuous to most (compared to some of the other far-fetched claims we’ve seen) is regarding Jared Kushner’s sister addressing a ballroom of wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing.

To start with, the idea that this “story” involves a White House Senior Advisor’s sister should be the first red flag that this is more childish high school drama than actual story worth any oxygen, but hey, that’s the world we’re in now.

The reason this hits so close to home is that I, having a Taiwanese-born ex-wife who has a successful entrepreneur father, know that the policy in question has been around for a long time. The Kushner family is far from the first to make this kind of pitch to wealthy Chinese, Saudi, Indian or Russian families who want their kids to grow up in the United States.

The EB-5 visa was created in 1990 to stimulate the economy by job creation and as a tool to bring wealthy investors to our shores. The program was further developed in 1992 with Congress’ Immigrant Investor Program, which sets aside 10,000 of these visas every year for wealthy immigrants who put money in particular types of approved investments.

The main pushback from this program is that it “unfairly” gives access to the wealthy investors who want to get to our nation, while pushing the normal Joe to the back of the line. But if you haven’t figured out that’s how the world works yet, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

The State of California (with large input from Silicon Valley) tried to pass their own modest version of this several years ago in an attempt to ensure we approve more visas for highly educated foreigners, mostly educated here in the U.S., to go work for some of the powerhouses in the tech sectors that America doesn’t have enough programmers, coders and computer science engineers to fill.

And, of course, California shot it down. God forbid we push an uneducated person who will live on entitlements behind an MIT-educated Ph.D. who can add value (and tax revenue) to our economy.

I’ve personally seen this EB-5 visa pitched to a wealthy Chinese businessman who has three daughters and was frantically looking for any way to get his kids out of China. I’ve seen it pushed to a Taiwanese pop star and his wife who fell in love with America and were looking for any way to stay beyond their visa. And I’ve seen it pushed to an Indian entrepreneur who wanted his kids to grow up with the American way of life.

But even though the EB-5 has been around for over two decades, and even though it’s been pushed to people for the most marginal of benefits to our economy (the reason for which it was created), because a distant relation to the Trump administration is pushing it, the Democrats want to point and yell and jump up and down while crying wolf.

Where it gets truly awe-inspiring is the unstated assumptions to be taken from this false-outrage that we’re seeing from the Left: that it is perfectly OK for Bill and Hillary Clinton to profit upwards of $240 million purely from public service, but anyone tied to a conservative president isn’t allowed to run a business that profits by means other than Clinton corruption.

This just goes to show how polarized our views of this great land are: to a Conservative, America is the land of opportunity, but to a Democrat it’s the land of entitlements … as long as someone else is paying for it.

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

 

Band of the Week – Post Nothing

| Entertainment | May 12, 2017

Few cool things really tie Santa Clarita and Lancaster together, yet Post Nothing is one of the admirable adhesives between our towns that a boring 40-mile commute attempts to separate — and we can thank COC for that.

With Hans Cruz on guitar, Riley Thornbrugh on bass, Matt Fullove on drums, and Jed Bookout on vocals, Post-Nothing is a hardcore punk band from Lancaster and Castaic (with some members attending College of the Canyons) who have played for countless ears throughout the West Coast.

Just as with many other great things, Post Nothing got off to an ironic start in 2011 when they formed as a flippant punk band whose style was anything but taking themselves seriously. Back then, they were called “Trap Her Keep Her” and opened shows for artists they liked, just so they could get in for free.

Things took an unexpected turn, however, as Trap Her Keep Her steadily gained a local following. This inspired the first out-of-state tour for the band, and that’s when they realized that the name Trap Her Keep Her came off as “rape-y” and “patriarchal” to certain folks, Bookout said. From there, the name Post Nothing was adopted, and they have been through several line-up changes and tours since.

Post Nothing takes pride in their self-sufficiency as an unsigned band, covering the costs of their own music and merch, as well as booking their own shows. In June, Post Nothing will be touring with the band In Decline, marking their 10th tour as a band. The first show begins June 1 at Voodoo Vinyl in Lancaster, and their last on June 10 in St. George, Utah. They will also be performing in July with the band Crushed?! in Arizona and New Mexico.

For more information about Post Nothing and a list of upcoming shows, visit their facebook page online at https://www.facebook.com/postnothing.edu/.

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