The Escalante family moved to a hog farm in Sand Canyon in the 1940s, and for generations the family has remained in Canyon Country. Trinidad Escalante, who lived in Tucson, Arizona, worked on a ranch and was sent to Santa Clarita to deliver some horses to silent screen actor William S. Hart. He took the job on the Canyon Country hog farm and returned home to pack up his house, bringing his wife, Victoria, and children to the Santa Clarita Valley. Ranch workers would often gather at the end of the day to play cards (pictured). Trinidad Escalante is second from right, and his brother, Joe, is third from the right.
Two suspects were arrested in Canyon Country in a neighborhood near the intersection of Sand Canyon and Soledad Canyon roads last month after a short pursuit by Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station deputies. It’s believed that the principal suspect in the case, a male, entered a business near the same intersection and proceeded to make threats while attempting to shoplift. The second suspect, a female, is believed to have acted as an accessory after the fact when she attempted to act as a getaway driver at some point during the incident.
Threatening someone isn’t a good idea, but it’s not necessarily illegal either. To be charged with making criminal threats, certain criteria must be met while making them. One must threaten to kill or physically harm someone and all of the following:
- The person is put into a place of reasonably sustained fear for their safety or that of their family
- The threat is specific and unequivocal23One communicates the threat verbally, in writing, or via some electronic device
For example, claiming to shoot someone while holding a gun, or indicating that you have a gun, would qualify as a criminal threat because it fits all three of the listed criteria. Alternatively, holding a gun and telling someone they “had better watch out” may not result in charges because the threat is implied as opposed to being “specific and unequivocal.”
Interestingly, one can be charged with making criminal threats even when they are physically unable to carry out the threat, or if they never intended to carry it out at all. The key result, then, is putting someone in a state of actual fear by making the threat.
California Penal Code 422 PC can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor convictions carry the possible penalties of a $1,000 fine and/or up to one year in county jail. Felony convictions can result in up to three years in California state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, if someone makes threats against more than one person, on more than one occasion, or pursuant to different objectives, the defendant can face charges for each threat they communicate.
On a typical morning, you head out to your car so you can get to work on time, when you spot a four-footed neighbor running around in your yard. Of course, there’s no owner in sight, so you’re saddled with the responsibility to find the animal’s home and family. This means getting to work late, plus figuring out a plan.
For some, this is a relatively frequent scenario, which is why there’s a Facebook group called Lost & Found Pets of SCV.
Six years ago, Rochelle Dawn of Canyon Country created that site – a hub where owners with lost pets could connect with the individuals who found them. Her friend, Elizabeth Rose of Santa Clarita, joined her mission and the two have served as co-administrators since.
“It has brought me great joy and pride to be a part of such a great community that is willing to go to such lengths to help others out; whether they walk on two feet or four feet, and in some cases whether they slither or fly!” she said.
There are currently more than 11,000 members of the group and it is growing daily. The vast majority of members are residents from all over Santa Clarita with a few from the Antelope Valley, the San Fernando Valley and other neighboring communities. Because of telecommuting, cross-posting and the occasional pet lost during a trip to the SCV, members are not exclusively from Santa Clarita.
“The group has very strong community involvement for assisting other members in so many different areas of the process when a pet is lost or found,” Dawn said. “This can range from encouragement when an owner is feeling lost or helpless, education on the steps to take when a pet is lost or found, and even donating their time to look for the lost pet, post flyers or help transport a found pet.”
In addition to Rose and Dawn, there are volunteers who help with moderating and assisting members.
“We all live in different areas of the SCV, which allows us to better help the members of the group,” Dawn said. “Often times this help includes us going out to scan a found pet for a microchip or assisting in a search effort, and it would be very difficult to cover the entire SCV without having wonderful volunteers spread throughout the valley.”
Some residents have even purchased scanners with their own funds and learned how to properly scan pets for microchips to help in the effort to get lost pets back with their families, she added. And she encourages members to educate each other, which includes how to locate owners when you find someone’s lost animal, or how to look for your own lost pet. The conversation also covers tips for preventing the loss of a pet. This form of communication “has had a cascading effect,” Dawn explained. “The group educates them and they, in turn, educate their friends and neighbors, leading to both preventing lost pets, as well as reuniting pets with their families.”
Most of the posts on Lost & Found Pets of SCV are dogs and cats, of course, but the group has also seen concerns about lost reptiles, birds, pocket pets and farm animals. “If you can own it, we probably have seen it posted to the group,” said the co-founder, adding that there are an average of 300 posts per month, including lost/found pets, loose pet sightings and lost pet prevention.
“Most people who find lost pets are shocked to discover how many steps are required to look for the owners,” she said. “The old days of simply placing a few flyers isn’t enough anymore. It is also amazing and sometimes overwhelming how much information and community support there is to help an owner look for their lost pet or looking for the owner of a pet they have found. Just last year, the Lost & Found Pets of SCV community had a confirmed 70 percent reunited rate for pets posted to the group!”
You can find the group at www.facebook.com/groups/LostAndFoundPetsOfSCV.
Mail, bail & coffee while you wait
Robin Sandoval and Noury March have packaged a new business that you can be sure Canyon Country has never seen: a place where you can pick up your mail, bail out of jail, and catch up on work over a steeping cup of tea.
The couple just opened Your Mailbox Direct and Priority Ground, which is far more than you think before you walk in. They have a practical purpose (pack & ship) and provide an age-old service (bail bonds) with a modern convenience (computers with Wi-Fi) in a cozy coffeehouse vibe. And it’s conveniently located on Soledad Canyon Road and Furnivall in Canyon Country.
“We offer this business lounge where you can come in and have a cup of coffee, use our computers if you need to – we have USB connections … and you can watch the trains go by,” Sandoval said. “It has a charm to it.”
When unpacking the narrative of this new business, you can say with total accuracy, “But wait – there’s more!”
Sandoval is a singer/songwriter with numerous film and television placements so, of course, Priority Ground will also be bringing music to the community, including open mic nights.
“I’ve always wanted a venue for my music,” Sandoval said. “We purchased this building and we rehabbed it. We rebuilt it from the ground up. Everything in this building is brand new and ADA compliant.”
They chose an industrial feel, with sun-baked white used bricks, in keeping with the original “bones” of the building.
“It’s a very unique pack-and-ship store,” Sandoval said. “It’s something fresh. It lifts up the community.”
March and Sandoval own the successful agency SCV Bail Bonds in Valencia and were considering expansion to Canyon Country, where they live. Their new building provided more space than they needed for their bail store, so they decided they would offer business services, such as live scan and a notary.
“We wanted to extend the business services to the community, and what better way than a pack-and-ship store,” Sandoval said.
And in a case of perfect timing, Rick Riso, who had previously owned a pack-and-mail business, and his daughter, Isabella, were looking for a new project.
“Their knowledge and skill set were a great addition to our group here,” Sandoval said. “It was very fortunate for us to have found them.”
As March and Sandoval’s plans were continuing to gel, their passion for coffee (even if they are “just straight cup o’ joe drinkers”) led to the coffee/tea and food service, which includes healthy bars and organic snacks.
“Plus, we’re on the cutting edge of the technical side of it,” she said. “We’ll offer our lounge to groups who want to do a co-work situation, kind of a membership, with a free first coffee, half off printing … in a coffee shop environment.”
The Priority Ground business lounge is available for groups to rent for book clubs, workspace or anything else.
“Have a coffee and hang out with the music,” she said. “It’s offering a resource for this community that wasn’t here before. It looks new, it feels new. We’re close to Home Depot. There’s no other mailbox store nearby.”
Your Mailbox Direct is an authorized FedEx ship center and they sell stamps and other related products and services. Currently, they are open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Of course, the bail bond agency can be reached 24 hours a day.
Your Mailbox Direct and Priority Ground is located at 20605 Soledad Canyon in Canyon Country. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org; call 661-367-6182; or visit Priorityground.com and Yourmailboxdirect.com.
By Myles McNamara
If I see my parent(s) aging and getting closer to needing help at home, what range of services are available?
Home care can assist with all activities of daily living. Anything that does not take a medical license to do can be handled by an agency such as Comfort Keepers. This includes helping with medication reminders, meal preparation, assisting with personal care, help around the house with laundry and light housekeeping, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and other errands. Slip and falls, mismanagement of medications and dehydration are the leading factors in the hospitalization of our seniors. Most seniors want to stay in their own homes, and many times a helping hand is all that is needed. Parents and grandparents are proud and independent, and do not want to feel as though they are giving up. That is why, as a non-medical service, we look upon ourselves many times as a personal assistant who enables our seniors to remain safely at home. If Alzheimer’s or dementia is an issue, individuals staying in their own homes with decades of memories and familiar surroundings can be instrumental in their quality of life, and a professional agency can allow them the ability to do so.
What are caregivers like, and how do I know they are trustworthy? Does the same caregiver return to my parent’s house repeatedly?
You want to be certain that your loved one’s caregivers are fingerprinted. At Comfort Keepers, we complete the fingerprinting process through the Dept. of Justice, as well as an additional background check utilizing Homeland Security. Caregivers will go through extensive training and orientation, and are overseen by our Nurse Care Manager, who will supervise and monitor the Care Plan for each client. If a client has an ongoing schedule, you want to choose an agency that makes it a priority to have the same caregiver or team returning, as the bond between caregivers and clients is special.
Comfort Keepers is a licensed Home Care Organization with the state of California and the Home Care Services Bureau, serving the Santa Clarita Valley for over 17 years with a second office in Encino. Comfort Keepers can be reached at 661-287-4200 and www.comfortkeepers.com.
When it comes to the talents of Canyon Country optometrist Edward Landon, OD, most would agree there is far more than meets the eye. And recently, to the delight of his longtime patients, the public got a chance to see the man behind the curtain when he appeared in the Canyon Theatre Guild’s production of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.”
He was the saxophone player in Buddy Holly’s band, twisting and shouting his way through the early days of rock and roll, while returning to instrumental music, which he did at various times in his life.
“I grew up in the ‘50s and I remember going down to the candy store and the teenagers were harmonizing,” said Dr. Landon, a native New Yorker, who began playing the clarinet as a child when his mother wanted him to play an instrument. “When I was in seventh grade I said ‘this is fun, but I really want to play baseball.’ Then when I was 35, there was something that pulled me back. I guess what happens is that voice starts indicating to you ‘this ride isn’t going to go on forever – is there anything that you’ve wanted to do?’”
The middle-aged Landon persevered, picking up the saxophone too, and loved it. And that’s what led him to performing again this year.
“As I get older, now ‘I’m hunting less buffalo’ … and I had this opportunity to focus. I listened to the ‘50s sound and it’s that big, fat, growly sound, so I’d chase that sound,” he said. “This gave me a reason to stay and remain in that slot for two months. And I just really dug it.”
Landon didn’t need to audition – they just called him down to the Canyon Theatre Guild stage. “They said, ‘Can you do it?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’”
“The Buddy Holly Story” was Landon’s second show at Canyon Theatre Guild. He was in “As You Like It” also.
“I used to go to the CTG with my kids and sit in the audience,” he said. “I never dreamed I’d be on the other side of it.”
Landon’s past experiences inspire the man he is today. You can hear him describe thought processes that sound like they stem from the concepts he learned while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “It’s not natural for me to be a performer, so when I go and I’m going to be in a show, I’m nervous,” he explained. “It’s more of an excited nervous. I talk myself through it.”
“When the show closed, I really had the blues,” Landon said. “We became a family. All boats rise at the tide and we were there for each other. And the show was only going to be better by everybody being good. It was terrific. We have this little FB group and every now and then I get something.”
Perhaps it’s the baseball player in him, but Ed Landon is a team member all the way. You can’t ask him about his theatre experience without him sharing the spotlight with his fellow cast members.
“Will Riddle who played Buddy – as great an actor and performer as he is, he’s the most humble, kind, considerate young man. He was such a delight to be behind and commit to supporting him. He was an absolute delight,” Landon said. “His sister was in the show too, and what’s interesting is we would have warm-ups for a mic check and one time his sister, Olivia, went into her rendition of Billie Holliday. You could shut your eyes and you’d just hear Billie Holliday. His sister overflows with talent.”
Cast mate Jeff Lucas was the friend who got Landon involved. And it wasn’t the first time. The two men met when Landon’s kids were in a youth performance program in Stevenson Ranch called “D Studios.” Lucas later lured Landon to join him in several theatre performances before “Buddy Holly.” Lucas played Gomez in “The Addams Family,” while Landon portrayed Uncle Fester; Lucas was Dr. Frankenstein and Landon was the monster; and Lucas was Willy Wonka to Landon’s Mr. Salt.
Like the other shows, in Landon’s world there’s plenty of room in the spotlight for his “Buddy Holly” friends. “There was so much talent in that group,” he said. “The guy who played standup bass (Drew Dennett) – he’s laying down the musical slots for me to go through. The drummer (Chris Yahnker) – he just laid it down, he drove the truck through. … They just made me a better player.”
He mentions nearly every cast member, including Jennifer Teague, Big Bopper (Josh Aran) and Ritchie Valens (Jake Boscarino).
“When it got held over, everybody was on board,” I think collectively we all said, ‘This is so freaking cool.’”
Landon has two words to describe his months working on “Buddy Holly”: peak experience.
“It makes me think of when I ran track and my first quarter mile, I won the stinkin’ thing. That was one of my peak experiences. When I’d hit a home run in baseball, it was a peak experience. This goes right up there with my peak experiences,” Landon said. “I’m so grateful to John Fortman, the director, for giving me a chance.”
Landon will gladly jump into another show, but first, some time off. That doesn’t mean he’ll put down his saxophone, however.
“When I get 15 minutes here or there I play at home, to my dogs. I’m always playing; I’m always listening to guys on YouTube. But, I’m always hopping around, so I never have a sustained focus,” he described. “It’s amazing what you can do when you have a sustained focus.”
It kind of fits that Dr. Landon has spent the last 36 years tending to the vision of patients, as they now get the pleasure of seeing him in a little sharper focus. And in this case it isn’t limited to eyesight. They also get to take in the sound. Currently located at 19036 Soledad Canyon, Dr. Landon can be reached at 661-251-8055.
As a staff scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL, Dr. Vanessa Bailey’s job is to capture high-contrast images of exoplanets, which are planets that orbit stars outside of the solar system. On Friday, April 27, Dr. Bailey will speak about her exciting discoveries and line of work at the spring 2018 Star Party at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus.
“We are very excited to hear Dr. Bailey speak about this interesting topic,” said Ryan Theule, vice president of the Canyon Country campus. “Our biannual Star Party has become a much-anticipated tradition in our community. We look forward to welcoming new and returning attendees for an educational and memorable night under the stars.”
Dr. Bailey’s presentation, “De-twinkling the Stars to Study Exoplanetary Systems,” will offer attendees an insightful look into exoplanet research and what it can teach us about our own planet.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a variety of interactive displays and activities presented by college clubs and organizations.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to gaze at the stars through the multiple telescopes set up by local astronomy groups throughout the evening.
“Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter our portable planetarium for an exciting visual experience,” said Anthony Michaelides, dean at the Canyon Country campus. “Our Star Party has something for family members of all ages to enjoy and discover.”
The spring 2018 Star Party will be held from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 27, at the Canyon Country campus.
Food and beverages will also be available for purchase on site.
For more details, visit www.canyons.edu/ccc.
In another move toward updating the town of Canyon Country, the building on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway had a ceremonial swing of the wrecking ball last month. Santa Clarita City Council members and government officials’ representatives gathered to mark the start of razing the white structure that used to be home to Eternal Art Tattoo and Sierra Auto. It was the first step in making way for the future Canyon Country Community Center.
City Council members donned hard hats and took the first strikes against the walls, and a John Deere tractor started to take a bite out of the top floor.
“This is a once in a century building project,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, who spoke from a microphone at the scheduled demolition event. The building won’t actually come down for about six months.
A few members of the public chose to attend the event as well. Dan Werner, who enjoys amateur photography, brought his camera to catch the change in landscape. He moved to Canyon Country approximately 20 years ago, but made his first visits to this town more than 40 years earlier.
“I first came up here hunting about 65 years ago. On that corner used to be the Solemint Store,” he said, pointing to the southeast corner of Soledad and Sierra Highway. “I used to go in there with my dad, after a half a day trip up from Burbank, to buy ammunition. Then we’d drive a half mile down the road and we’d go shooting jackrabbits and pop bottles, or whatever.”
In reflecting upon the reason for the gathering, Werner noted the change he has witnessed in Canyon Country over the years and anticipates watching the evolution of the parcel in the upcoming months as he drives down Soledad Canyon Road.
Canyon Country visitor Arthur Allison came to the site after reading about the demolition in the paper, he said. The East Coast resident is spending the winter in a Canyon Country house owned by his son.
“I thought I’d walk down and see what’s going on,” he said. “I come from a small town in New Hampshire. We leave the buildings up until they burn down.”
The vacant structure is owned by the City of Santa Clarita, and the building to the north of it that previously housed a dog groomer, hair salon, shoe repair and a restaurant, is still in the eminent domain process. As part of the Santa Clarita 2020 plan, the City of Santa Clarita is constructing a new, permanent Canyon Country Community Center to replace the existing one on Flying Tiger Drive.
For more information about the project, contact city communications specialist Kevin Strauss at 661-255-4385 or email email@example.com.
by Robin Sandoval
On the afternoon of February 1, a call was made to the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station reporting an incident of road rage near the 14 in Canyon Country. The caller reported that the suspect followed a vehicle off of the 14 and engaged in a verbal dispute on the side of the road. During the dispute, the suspect allegedly pulled a gun, which was later discovered to be a BB gun, on the victim. Nobody was injured during the incident and one person was arrested on Silver Oak Lane in Canyon Country.
Under California Law, guns that fire BBs (ball-bearings) or pellets aren’t regarded in the same way as traditional, bullet-firing guns due to the way in which the projectiles are fired. BB and pellet guns are powered by air or CO2 canisters and, as a result, are far weaker and therefore not regarded as “firearms.” They are, however, extremely dangerous when used negligently and included in many of California’s firearm laws. California Penal Code 246.3 PC, for example, makes the negligent discharge of a BB or pellet gun illegal. Additionally, firing a BB or pellet gun at another person will undoubtedly result in, at the very least, assault and/or battery charges, and possibly assault with a deadly weapon.
BB and pellet guns are perhaps most dangerous because they are often indistinguishable from actual firearms from far away. If a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or other law enforcement personnel see someone wielding one of these weapons, they’re going to treat it as though it’s an actual firearm – which is most often the case anyway. Anyone who owns a BB or pellet gun should take care to use it only in lawful and careful ways, because the potential consequences of misuse are serious.
If you have questions about any Canyon Country bail related subject, or if you want to suggest a topic, visit Robin at Santaclaritabond.com or call 661-299-BOND(2663).
All residents of Santa Clarita are invited to see the creative works of young people at the Third Annual Youth Arts Showcase later this month. To celebrate Youth Art Month, the City of Santa Clarita is holding the event on Saturday, March 24 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Centre.
The free event gives students in the Santa Clarita Valley an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents by performing or displaying their art for the community. The showcase will also feature various activity areas to inspire youth to explore and celebrate art. Families are encouraged to attend. The Centre is located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita.
“Youth Art Month is a month of promoting art and art education. When our youth delve into art, it helps them develop important skills such as problem solving, creativity, observation and communication,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.
The event will feature the Santa Clarita Youth Art Gallery, displaying entries from 20 local students contending in the Youth Arts Showcase Contest. Attendees will have a chance to cast their vote for the people’s choice award. An award ceremony announcing the top three art selections will be held at 1:30 p.m.
The Interactive Youth Art area invites children to explore their artistic skills with interactive activities such as shadow puppet making, art robots, face painting and guided art drawing lessons. The Street Painting Area, located in the parking lot of The Centre, will allow young people to marvel at and be inspired by vibrant pastel art masterpieces created by others their age.
The Performing Arts Stage will host special performances by youth choruses, local dance teams and the CalArts ensemble. Throughout the day, the Oak Room stage will feature acts of spoken word poetry and storytelling, while youth are invited to dance to the beat with free hip hop, Polynesian and African dance lessons taking place every hour in the Interactive Dance Room.
For additional information regarding the Youth Arts Showcase, contact Arts and Events Supervisor Yolanda Calderon at (661) 250-3727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite a rainy morning, Canyon Country Little League went forward with their Opening Day Ceremonies on Saturday, March 3, 2018. This year’s special guests were retired MLB icon Bill Russell, who threw out the first pitch, and local radio host Sean Valentine from “Valentine in the Morning” on KBIG. They were both troopers, who didn’t let a little rain keep them from supporting the local players.
The Canyon Country Little League Fundraising and Sponsorship Chair Kimberlee Castro posted on Facebook a big “thank you” to all the team members, parents and supporters:
“A lot of families stayed with us and had lunch and played some games. … I am eternally grateful to Mr. Bill Russell and Valentine for sticking with us. Our opening ceremony was intended to be longer but it was best for the kids to call it early. THANK YOU so much for sticking it out and helping us start the season.
Canyon Country Little League is already planning “Take 2” at the end of the month, which will include pictures, vendors, a BBQ and a bake sale “with no rain,” Castro posted. “Stay tuned for details! Let’s make this the season to remember.”
For more information, visit CCLL.org or find Canyon Country Little League on Facebook and Twitter.
Photos courtesy of Canyon Country Little League
Steve Kim, the CEO of Sand Canyon Country Club in Canyon Country, presented a check for $50,000 to College of the Canyons’ First-Year Promise program (FYP) last month. Students in the FYP program are full-time freshmen and receive waived tuition and fees during their first year at COC.
The Sand Canyon Country Club Scholars contribution is a two-year commitment, which will support 50 FYP students.
“We are very grateful for Sand Canyon Country Club’s donation toward the First-Year Promise program,” said Steve Corn, chairman of the COC Foundation. “This sizable donation will make the dreams and goals of 50 FYP students a reality.”
Aside from receiving free tuition, FYP students enroll in a one-year sequence of courses with priority registration, preceded by summer orientation to learn about majors and receive academic guidance. FYP courses are offered with the benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) textbooks and other learning community elements.
“Obtaining an education can open doors and lead to success,” said Kim. “It is my honor to support College of the Canyons in its goal to make high-quality education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation.”
Each student receives a $100 voucher per semester that can be applied toward other supplies and instructional materials. In addition, participating students also benefit from ongoing counseling and student support to help them reach their academic goals. Applications for the 2018 First-Year Promise class will be available April 1.
To ensure the continued success of FYP, which launched in the fall, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years. For more information about the program and how to make a donation, visit Firstyearpromise.com.
College of the Canyons has added more than 100 short-term classes to its spring semester schedule to accommodate the needs of working students, whose busy schedules can make attending classes during traditional hours more of a challenge.
With start dates throughout the months of March and April, short-term classes will be offered in a variety of formats, including weekend classes.
Short-term classes that will be offered at the Canyon Country campus include Water 041 (Water Distribution Operator II), Sociology 101 (Introduction to Sociology), Political Science 150 (Introduction to American Government/Politics), Math 070 (Intermediate Algebra), Math 140 (Introductory Statistics), and Health Science 100 (Health Education).
Courses that will be held entirely online include architecture, geology, anthropology, business, counseling, economics, history, English, math, and music. Online courses provide students with the added benefit of being able to complete coursework from home with the aid of various online resources and tools.
The spring semester schedule of short-term classes also includes several general education, basic skills and career technical education courses. Subjects include: English, biology, early childhood education, economics, computer science, geography, geology, history, mathematics, music, statistics, sociology and culinary arts.
In addition, Business 100 (Introduction to Business) and Business 140 (Principles of Marketing) will be offered on Saturdays.
For students enrolled in an afternoon class during the spring 2018 semester, parking on both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses will not require a parking permit or pass after 2 p.m. (student lots only).
Registration for short-term classes will remain open until classes are filled.
Students who choose to enroll in a short-term class will also have the added benefit of being classified as a “returning student” prior to the upcoming summer session registration period.
For more information about available classes or to register, visit www.canyons.edu. To learn more about parking options at the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses, visit www.canyons.edu/parking.
Santa Clarita Citywide
Film Statistics from Jan 2018
49: Number of film permits issued
104: Days of filming
$2,248,000: Economic impact
Filming in Canyon Country
Arrested Development – Area street
Lethal Weapon – Sable Ranch
NCIS – Elks Lodge, Piccola Trattoria
Shooter – AR3J Ranch
Timeless – Sable Ranch
Westworld – Sable Ranch
Dodge Ram – Sable Ranch
Spectrum – Sand Canyon area home
Walmart – Santa Clarita Skatepark, Walmart (Carl Boyer)
Travis Scott “Dark Knight Dummo” – Rancho Deluxe
DNR – Sand Canyon area home
Bank of America – Bank of America (Via Princessa)
Breakdown (Columbia College of Hollywood) – Area home
Twentysomething (USC School of Cinematic Arts) – Area home
The city is continuing the design efforts on the future Canyon Country Community Center. This project will include the construction of a 25,000-square-foot community center facility along with numerous park amenities. The site development includes walkways, courtyards, open turf play areas, children’s play area, basketball, a Mercado for special events and landscaping.
ARTS IN CANYON COUNTRY
“Feral Heart” Art Exhibit through June 5, 2018
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library
18601 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91351
This free art exhibit at the Canyon Country Library features artwork of sketches and paintings by artist Steph Darling inspired by nature and the connection to humans. Having grown up in the Los Padres National Forest, artist Darling developed her perception that art is a creative expression derived from one’s natural surroundings. For more information on this exhibit and other art events happening in Santa Clarita, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.
Canyon Country Community Center:
Family Dodgeball Night
It’s a family Dodgeball competition! Throw, dodge and catch while you learn the basic rules and techniques of tournament-style dodgeball. This friendly game does not require experience, practice or athletic ability to play. Come dodge, duck, dip and dive as your family works hand-in-hand to beat the rest to be the best! FREE
Friday, March 16 – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
April 2-6, 2018 (5-12 years old)
Online and walk-in registration begins Tuesday, March 20 at 9:00 a.m. You must be pre-registered to attend.
*Early Morning Drop-Off • 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Morning Camp • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Afternoon Camp • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Full Day Camp • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
*Must be registered for either Morning Camp or Full Day Camp to qualify for Early Morning Drop-Off
For activities at the Canyon Country Community Center, located at 18792 Flying Tiger Drive in Santa Clarita, visit santa-clarita.com/CCCC or call (661) 290-2266.
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library:
‘80s Dance Party
Preschoolers will dance to hits from the 1980s. Costumes are not required, but would be totally rad!
Thursday, March 22 / 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Bilingual Storytime /Cuenta Cuentos
Acompáñenos para rimas tradicionales, canciones, e historias tanto en español como en inglés. Join others for traditional rhymes, songs and stories in both Spanish and English.
Thursdays / 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Teens will enjoy classic video gaming on modern systems.
Tuesday, March 6 / 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Canyon Country Book Club (Adults)
Join us for a lively discussion with fellow book lovers. This month’s book is the One Story One City 2018 selection: ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline. SantaClaritaLibrary.com/OneStoryOneCity
Thursday, March 15 / 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
‘80s Movie Showing
Watch ‘80s movies that are referenced in the One Story One City 2018 selection,
Ready Player One. SantaClaritaLibrary.come/OneStoryOneCity
Fridays / 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library is located at 18601 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country
*Visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com for a complete list of activities
Last month, deputies were patrolling an area of Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country when they spotted a man who appeared to be riding his bicycle under the influence. Upon stopping and searching the man, deputies discovered that he was, in fact, under the influence of a drug and had in his possession prescription medication for which he did not have a prescription, counterfeit currency, and a butterfly knife. He was arrested and taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station and held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Butterfly knives are relatively common weapons found on the streets, the possession of which can sometimes be charged as a felony. However, they aren’t the only controlled knives in the state of California. Others include:
- Air Gauge Knife – a device that appears to be an air gauge but has concealed within it a piece of metal with a sharp point used for stabbing that can be extended via gravity or by mechanical means.
- Ballistic Knife – a knife with a detachable blade that can be fired by pressing a button or trigger on the knife’s handle. They commonly use a spring system to fire the blade, but it’s possible to find some which use compressed air or a gas propulsion system. Those that use the latter systems are more powerful than those that employ springs to fire the blade.
- Belt Buckle Knife – a knife disguised as part of a belt buckle that can be used to deceive others into believing the wielder doesn’t have a weapon.
- Lipstick Knife – similar to a belt buckle knife, it is disguised to look like a tube of lipstick, but when the cap is opened a small, hidden blade is revealed.
- Writing Pen Knife – like the two types of knives listed above, it is a knife hidden within an ink pen.
- Switchblades – this category includes butterfly knives. Any switchblade weapon that has a blade longer than 2 inches is illegal in California.
- Concealed Dirks and Daggers – if you’re going to go out dragon slaying, know that it’s illegal to conceal your daggers and dirks from law enforcement. However, they can be openly carried in most cases, provided they are not taken to areas where carrying weapons is illegal (schools, government buildings, etc.).
Typically, possession of a switchblade is charged as a misdemeanor with the possible penalties including up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the weapon is stored with the blade open, the charges could change and be upgraded to a felony.
Whether you talk to Devar Ward about his family, his business or his background, it always comes back to one thing: community. And for four years, his specialty shop, D.W. Cookie Co., has been a part of the Canyon Country community landscape.
DW Cookie Co.
As early as 10 a.m. on a weekday, the front door is like a turnstyle – the line of happy customers never completely disappearing. Loud hellos are exchanged, many engaging in hugs with Devar Ward, or with little Darian, his son, who turns 3 years old this month.
“I got that book you told me to get,” Ward says to one of his customers who walks in the door. “I took notes like you told me to.”
All this, while the shop owner passes his new baby, 2-month-old Dacey, to another regular, who asks to hold him.
Now, that’s community.
“It’s like my second home,” said Andi Madden of Canyon Country, who comes in frequently for her morning coffee and a cookie. “I love the cookies. I love the family atmosphere. Stacy and Devar have become like family. And I like supporting an independently-run business.”
Russell Benson and Samantha Sumampong said they come into DW Cookie “as often as we can.”
“I like the warm, homey feeling,” Benson said, “and the cookies are delicious and fresh and the flavors are so incredible. Every time we come here we leave smiling.”
Among Benson’s and Sumampong’s favorite flavors are DW’s white chocolate cranberry, cinnamon pecan crunch, and “Just Toffee” cookies. “(I like) the strong sense of community at the shop and the conversations we have,” Sumampong said. “We like supporting small businesses.”
Besides his oldest daughter, a pre-teen named Danielle, and his sons Darian and Dacey, Devar Ward has the support of his wife Stacy, who busily helps customers from behind the counter. But the influence of family started long ago in Brooklyn, New York.
“I used to cook with my Gramma,” Devar said. “Especially holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving. And I’ve always liked sweets.”
When he was 12 or 13 years old, Devar moved to California to be with his father. “It was going to be a summer with my dad and I ended up staying,” he said with a grin.
He went to Reseda High School and eventually landed a job with Pacific Bell, working in customer service and billing. In the company’s original business model, when Pac Bell was limited to California, Devar said it was a wonderful place of employment. But as it got larger, first when Pac Bell merged with SBC Global and then when SBC Global bought AT&T, he said the business changed for the worse.
But while the corporate climate was disappointing, the atmosphere was ripe for something better.
“One week I wanted chocolate chip cookies, so I went to the store and bought some Pillsbury, but it was no good,” Devar said. “I went to the market and bought ingredients to make them from scratch and I brought them to work. Everyone said, ‘Make these some more.’ I started selling them and it kind of blossomed from there.”
The biggest boon, according to Devar Ward, came from his leap of faith, “Trusting God,” he said. “You’ve got to have faith. It’s important.”
Despite being an ethnic minority in the Santa Clarita Valley, Devar Ward sees little difference between his life and those of others. He moved his family to Canyon Country from the San Fernando Valley for the same reasons most residents do – the schools and lower home prices.
And, of course, there’s one of Ward’s favorite words again. “Here it’s more community-oriented,” he said. “Everybody’s been great, neighbors have all been friendly. Society’s changed, so everybody’s more accepting these days. I haven’t ever had any issues.”
Ward pointed out that in California his community has included a broader mix of individuals than it did in Brooklyn. But that doesn’t mean his family saw racism up close in New York, either.
“My grandma had a story, when she worked at A&S (Abraham & Straus department store) in the art department,” he said. “There were times when they struggled to pay for the mortgage or bills, and most of the people she worked around were white. Any time they heard she needed help, they helped.”
Ward admits that things would look different to his great-great grandparents, who would have described lives affected by slavery. But, he sees everyone’s journey as a separate experience.
“I understand how people look in the past,” he explained, “but everybody walks their path, and you meet people and you experience things. Everybody lives their struggle.”
And while Devar Ward is just like any other business owner, hoping to claim the American Dream, he has perspective.
It’s nice to want things and to have big goals,” he said. “But what counts more is who you are inside. It doesn’t matter what color you are.”
Valentine’s Day in Sand Canyon
Sand Canyon Country Club is creating a special menu to complement the enchantment of the Sycamore Grill dining room for Valentine’s Day guests on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. The chef will offer a prix fixe menu consisting of four courses for $54 per person, not including tax and gratuity.
First courses include a choice of red bean hummus or oysters, and the second course has options of lobster bisque or a dish called Micro Beet Red Bulls Blood. For the main course, guests will choose from salmon, mussels, steak or chicken breast. There are three choices for dessert.
There will be two seatings – at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. – and those who wish to make a reservation are requested to call 661-252-8484 by February 10. The Sycamore Grill will accept a credit card to hold reservations.
Thursday, February 22, 2018 is the next meeting of the Sand Canyon Homeowners Association, according to an email from SCHOA last month. It is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Sand Canyon Country Club. The dining room is open for individuals who want to purchase food and drinks before the meeting.
Sand Canyon Country Club is located at 27734 Sand Canyon Road in Canyon Country. For dinner reservations, call 661-252-8484. For questions about the meeting, email SCHOA@la.twcbc.com.
When Girl Scouts of the USA was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, women had very limited career opportunities and they still couldn’t vote.
A couple of generations later, when Sharon McNally joined the ranks of the growing youth program in Somers Point, New Jersey, women were becoming a much stronger force in society. And by the end of the 20th century, Sharon McNally-Mobley’s daughters became Girl Scouts at a time when women were serving on the Supreme Court and flying in space.
And now that McNally-Mobley is the mother of three young women, she can vouch for the program’s growth since her days as a Brownie Girl Scout in New Jersey.
“With my older sister, also a Brownie, we walked to our troop leader’s home for weekly meetings,” she says. “Highlights from those early years were making things – and summer camp, where I learned swimming, canoeing, and camp songs.”
McNally moved up the ranks to Junior Girl Scouts, which was grades 4-6, in Long Island, New York. She helped her mother run her sister’s troop in the family’s den, and her best memories include cooking campfire stew, learning songs, making s’mores, earning badges and selling Girl Scout Cookies for 35 cents a box. “I was so happy when the price of cookies went up to 50 cents a box,” says McNally-Mobley. “So much easier to count out change!”
She completed Cadette Girl Scouts, which was grades 7-9, in Canoga Park, California. “Camping was my favorite, working in patrols … earning badges, and performing camp skits,” she says.
In 1997, Sharon McNally-Mobley was living in Canyon Country, the mother to three daughters, Bailey, Bree and Bo. She was inspired to return to Girl Scouts by “fun camp counselors and creative leaders,” and she says it was her “Green Knight” (husband Phil Mobley) who made it easy for her to get involved in Girl Scouting. She left a position as art director for the Disney Channel Magazine after the birth of her second child and brought creativity to her volunteerism, which included Girl Scouting.
She spent 18 years as a Girl Scout leader in Santa Clarita, being trained by Joshua Tree Council in Bakersfield, Lancaster,
Santa Clarita and her last year with Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. When Girl Scouts of the USA turned 100 in 2012, she brought her troop of 12th grade Ambassadors to ‘Girltopia,’ an event drawing thousands of Girl Scouts to the LA Convention Center for activities promoting leadership, STEM, outdoor adventure, healthy living and more.
Bailey: Troop 506/278 from 1994-2006
After volunteering as “cookie mom” for three years, Sharon McNally-Mobley became one of the leaders in Canyon Country. “The troop would plan out their money-earning goals, besides selling cookies, calendars, magazines and then nuts,” Sharon explains. The girls also: completed community service projects, ran badge workshops for younger girls, sang at convalescent hospitals, worked in patrols, held ceremonies, worked on Rose Parade floats, camped, kayaked, surfed and snorkeled, and visited the capitol in Sacramento. Three of the girls earned their Silver Award, which is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn. It’s the prerequisite to become a Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.
(Point of fact: Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles produces the highest number of Gold Award Girl Scouts in the nation every year.)
Bree: Troop 412/416 from 1996-2008
Sharon McNally-Mobley was a back-up leader when needed, learning from Bree’s Daisy and Brownie leader Linda Hamilton, as welll as junior and senior leaders Debbie Hall and Connie Scheffler. “And I borrowed many of their ideas!” Sharon says. “They flew to San Francisco to bridge with thousands of sister Girl Scouts, a bridging event that’s still going on today. The troop also camped, kayaked and snorkeled on Catalina Island. All of the girls completed their Silver Award by planning and running a Fairytale Fun Camporee on the beach – my younger daughter’s troop was there to participate.”
Bo: Troop 106 from 1999-2012
Sharon McNally-Mobley started and finished as the troop’s leader with a partner, Noel Ruffner. “This troop was so much fun – everything I learned from others was put to use,” Sharon says. “Bronze & Silver Awards were earned by all of the Girl Scouts in this troop, and five of the girls became Gold Award Girl Scouts. Each Gold Award Girl Scout spends one to two years on a sustainable and measurable project addressing a community need.”
Activities included flying to San Francisco, Rose Parade float decorating, surf camp in San Diego, winter camp in Big Bear and Wrightwood, Color Guard for City Hall, and a unique experience: visiting the first baby girl in need who was born on the birthday of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low. Some of the Gold Award girls went on GSGLA Destinations – a Girl Scout travel program. Two went to Europe, including Bo Mobley.
Changes in Scouting
“Girl Scouts has always been changing for the better,” McNally-Mobley says. “The entire experience builds year upon year, kindergarten through 12th grade. There is so much opportunity for girls in all levels of our program. Our council offers experiences and programs in STEM, entrepreneurship, outdoors, and life skills. We have high-adventure camping and robotics and rocketry teams – there’s even a club for Girl Scouts who love media and communications!”
You can see the programs by visiting girlscoutsla.org and girlscouts.org.
Sharon McNally-Mobley is the retail manager of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for both the Palmdale & Santa Clarita Shops. There are seven centers within GSGLA, plus headquarters in Downtown L.A. There are teams at all locations to help with starting a troop, getting your daughter in a troop, volunteering, training, uniforms, badges, books, and support. For more information on joining GSGLA as a Girl Scout, as a volunteer or supporter, you may call 213-213-0123.
Bo, college student
Our troop was adventurous because our leaders were creative opportunists. With the encouragement of my mom, I was able to gather the funds and momentum to travel to Europe with Girl Scouts. My mom pushed us to do things we never thought we were capable of, and for that, I am forever grateful.
My mom’s creativity and optimism brought out the best in us. Many of us were inspired to travel across the country, become Gold Award Girl Scouts, and give back to our communities with hundreds of hours of service. My mom helped bring out the laughter, playfulness, and tenaciousness in all of us. And for that, I am very grateful!
Bree, RPI grad/civil engineer
My mom was heavily involved in my Girl Scout experience as a parent helper, although not my troop leader. She helped organize and inspire countless activities, crafts, workshops, and a lot of fun. She was always able to solve a last-minute problem or a seemingly impossible task by simply just asking. She had this ability to bring people together, to build a community around us – it was amazing, and solidified how valuable working together could be.
I remember my mom helped me paint a life-sized character cut-out backdrop for a weekend camporee my troop was planning. She taught me how to cut the image into squares and to translate each smaller square from the image onto corresponding larger squares on the wooden board. We worked all night in the garage putting it together. It was the coolest thing at the camporee by far! My mom put in so much care into each project she worked on, she really wanted it to be great.
Bailey, UCSD grad/social media mgr
My path to womanhood would have been colorless if it was not for being a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts is an organization, but it’s the leaders who create the #girlpower movement. Many don’t know that the foundation and fundamentals of the program is painted by those who lead.
The backbone of every troop is a fearless, dedicated and selfless leader. My mom volunteered countless hours inspiring, influencing and empowering young females within our community – many of whom I consider lifelong friends – to challenge themselves and strive to be the best version of themselves.
I am my mother’s daughter and will always remember to leave any place cleaner than I found it.
On the Saturday before Christmas, a Canyon Country man approached his vehicle to discover that several items, including his tablet, had been stolen from inside. Typically, occurrences like these result in an unhappy ending for the victims, as it can be exceedingly difficult to track down the suspected perpetrator or get the stolen items back. This was not a typical occurrence.
The stolen tablet was equipped with a tracking feature that allows the owner to locate the device from a smartphone — which the victim quickly did.
The tracking software led the victim to a home on Rock Rose Lane where, upon inspection, he noticed several of his stolen items through the open garage door. He quickly called the police, who questioned the home’s occupant after their arrival. The occupant was unable to provide police with an explanation regarding how the merchandise was obtained, or any receipts for the allegedly stolen items. Upon searching the home, deputies discovered methamphetamine in one of the bedrooms. The occupant was arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including receiving stolen property.
Thefts like the one described above happen frequently, and as previously mentioned, most victims don’t get their items back. The best way to keep yourself from being the target of one of these thieves is never to keep items of any value in your vehicle where they can be plainly seen (particularly around holidays). If you must keep things in your car, lock them in the trunk where they’re harder to get to. Most thieves won’t be trying to pick the lock on someone’s trunk in the hopes that there could be something good inside. Instead, they look for easier targets where they know what they’re going to be getting.
It is the time of year when everyone is looking for a new form of exercise, and ebiking is an excellent choice. It is both recreational and has many health benefits. For the weight-conscious, it burns 450 calories an hour, plus you’re contributing to your well-being by reducing your stress.
Ebiking enables you to enjoy commuting again, an easy way to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Think how nice it would be to see a reduction in traffic congestion and smog. With 20,000 new houses and 40,000 new cars coming to Santa Clarita streets, you can make use of the existing bike path system and gain a faster commute time. E-bikes get a 1,000 mile range with just four dollars worth of electricity.
Riders of all ages and abilities can ride ebikes together – no one gets left behind, everyone becomes equal and the ride is more enjoyable. Also, in hotter temperatures, the ride is easier than a regular bike.
Open Trails Ebikes is located at 22935 Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. For more information, call 661-284-5954 or visit Open-trails-ebikes-of-santa-clarita.business.site/.
Canyon Country pet owners have a new doctor coming to town. Pedro G. Cisneros, DVM is opening Canyon Country Animal Hospital in the Ralphs shopping center on the corner of Soledad Canyon and Whites Canyon this month. You may already know Dr. Cisneros, or one of the other veterinarians at VIP Veterinary Services on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus, which he opened more than 20 years ago.
Dr. Cisneros earned his degree in veterinary medicine from University of California, Davis over 35 years ago, and has been living in Santa Clarita for approximately 25 years. Initially he practiced large animal medicine, but now cares for small animals, including surgery services. He particularly likes to perform general surgery and some orthopedics.
Like VIP Veterinary Services, the new Canyon Country practice will offer low cost spaying and neutering on Thursdays. Canyon Country Animal Hospital is a full-service hospital with three doctors and is located at 19406 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. Call 661-347-4606 to make appointments.
For teens who like to buy resale clothes and other treasures, there’s a store opening in Canyon Country where the money they pay out will come back to them. Whimbys is bringing a consignment opportunity to the TJ Maxx shopping center, specifically aiming to support schools and youth programs.
“I’ve been working on this for three to four years, saving until I had enough money,” said Whimbys owner Tracey Moss, who has been in retail sales for 30-plus years and volunteered extensively for PTA and the Boy Scouts.
Non-profit organizations can sign up with Whimbys to receive earnings from donated goods.
“I know the funding in schools has gotten worse and worse and worse,” Moss said. “I like kids; it’s profitable; it’s year round. It’s kind of a no-brainer – for them.”
When a school signs up for a fundraiser through Whimbys, Moss will bring a truck to pick up and pay them for soft goods. Larger items are sold on consignment.
The store’s specialty includes women’s clothing and items for teenagers, from clothes to sporting goods. The 3,000-square-foot space will open Saturday, Jan. 13 pending approval from the L.A. Fire Department.
Located on the west side of TJ Maxx, Moss said she is on friendly terms with Hope of the Valley Thrift Store, also in the center. “I hope that we feed off of each other’s customers,” she said. “When stores are next to each other that are alike it gives people the opportunity to shop at both.”
Though Moss said she prepared the store mostly by herself, her sister-in-law created a baby section and Boy Scout families helped her haul items from her house and her storage unit.
Moss and her husband, Michael, have led Boy Scouts and their sons have been active in the organization. Colby is a student at Saugus High School; Matthew earned the Eagle Scout Award and is serving in the U.S. Marines.
Whimbys is located at 19371 Soledad Canyon in Canyon Country. It is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
CANYON COUNTRY JO ANNE DARCY LIBRARY
Storytimes and Children’s Programming
Storytimes and programming for children grades K through 6th will run from Jan. 22-April 23. Visit SantaClaritaLibrary/events.com for a complete schedule of daily activities happening at all Santa Clarita Public Library branches.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party (family program)
Play games and participate in fun activities based on the popular series.
Saturday, January 20
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Canyon Country Meeting Room
Tutti Fruity Penny Pinchers (teens)
Construct a fruit-themed mini pouch out of felt that is perfect for carrying cash and coins or other small items.
Wednesday, January 24
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Canyon Country Teen Area
Bingo and Board Games for Adults
Join others for Bingo and board games at the library.
Tuesday, January 9 and January 23
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Canyon Country Meeting Room
Afternoon at the Movies
A popular feature film is shown every Friday at the library.
Fridays during January
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Canyon Country Meeting Room
FILM SANTA CLARITA UPDATES
In November, the City of Santa Clarita issued 54 film permits, which contributed to 91 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $2,200,500.
The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in November 2017.
Break In – Sand Canyon area home
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Rancho Deluxe
Timeless – Sable Ranch
Turbo Tax – Sable Ranch
Cage (New York Film Academy) – UFC Gym
Dudeman (CSUN) – Area home
She makes blushing brides beautiful and she’s the belle of the ball at every high school prom. A local dress designer for decades, Maria Eugenia Mendez has served women and teens in the community on countless special occasions through her business known as Eugenia’s Designs.
Originally from Bolivia, Eugenia and her husband, Ernesto, moved to Michigan in 1961 and Santa Clarita in 1971. When their four children went to school, so did Eugenia – she earned a degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, or FIDM, in Los Angeles.
The first Eugenia’s store was opened in 1981. As she built her customer base, Eugenia needed a larger space, so she moved to a space in Newhall, then opened her boutique at Soledad Canyon and Camp Plenty roads in Canyon Country. Her last location was near TJ Maxx. About 10 years ago she closed her shop to work from her house.
She mostly designs for brides and for girls going to high school proms.
“The girls don’t want to have a dress they have at the mall,” Eugenia explained. “They like to be different, so that’s why they want to have a design or they combine two or three designs they see at the Oscars or something.”
In all the years Eugenia has been working, she’s seen it all, but she has her favorites.
“I’m pretty classic,” she said. “I feel that the classical stays. It’s versatile too — later you can turn it to this and that.”
When it comes to fabrics, Eugenia loves laces and chiffon. “There are so many now and so beautiful,” she said. “I enjoy going to downtown to my suppliers.”
Typically, her clients will bring pictures of the styles they want, and she creates drawings, offering her expertise in regard to their body types and which shapes offer the most flattering fits. She also caters to the customer’s budget. Some customers come to Eugenia for alterations or they order something online and want to make a few changes.
But what doesn’t change is Eugenia’s reputation for creating custom designs that are red carpet ready. So, even when she’s not in attendance, the work of Maria Eugenia Mendez is the talk of the town.
You can reach Eugenia by calling 661-298-2442 or visiting Eugeniasdesigns.com.
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