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Better by the Dozen – Boron Family Leaves their Mark on Canyon Country

| Canyon Country Magazine, Sand Canyon Journal | December 7, 2018

The last few issues of Canyon Country Magazine featured Canyon High School’s 50th anniversary celebration, where we met members of the Boron family. Their ties to the area were so compelling that we asked them to share some memories of life at Canyon High School in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Peter and Marilyn Boron and their family came to Canyon Country in 1967 and moved into a new home in a tract named “New Woodlands,” sometimes called “Woodlands II,” in Sand Canyon. Their oldest child was almost 11 at the time, and by May of 1969 they were a family of 12.

Nine of the 10 Boron children graduated from Canyon High School. Oldest son, Steve, chose to attend Crespi High School in the San Fernando Valley, where he played football for coach Harry Welch, who would later coach Steve’s brothers at Canyon High.

Seven girls followed Steve, and then two more boys, in order: Stephen, Peggy, Ann, Mary Jo, Fabienne & Suzette (twins), Stefani, Jenni, Joe and Andy.

Peter Boron, father of 10, was born in 1928 and passed away in 1997 of pancreatic cancer. He worked for Hughes Aircraft for more than 40 years and was influential in establishing Habitat for Humanity in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and was instrumental in getting the Distinguished Graduate Award started at Canyon High School. Both parents were active in religious education in Canyon Country and a huge presence when Masses were held in the Canyon High gym.

Marilyn Boron added some of her thoughts and memories.
Pete was a very enthusiastic football fan and for a few years moved the chains for Canyon games. He also went to a meeting once to promote girls’ sports at Canyon. I don’t remember who he met with, but I presume that after that, whatever the issues were, they improved.

Our family enjoyed attending Canyon and were active participants in school affairs. I was often late in picking up my kids and their friends, too often, after practices or events. I just forgot!

Stephen Boron graduated from Crespi High School in 1974. Born in 1956, Stephen paid for his own tuition and rode his motorcycle down to Encino to attend Crespi, because he wanted to play football and join their wrestling team. He still holds the records for tackles in a game & tackles in a season.

Steve attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in engineering. He became a pilot in the United States Air Force and for Delta Airlines. He died in 2005 of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
Peggy Boron-Downs graduated from CHS in the class of 1975. She is a court reporter living in Santa Clarita.

We all went to Sulphur Springs Elementary. At the junior high level, the south side of Sand Canyon at Soledad was bussed to Placerita with kids that lived in Princess Homes, instead of us going to Sierra Vista. I was sorry to leave my junior high friends, but looked forward to meeting new friends in high school.

My fondest memories of Canyon are the art classes with Bob Brown, who was very supportive of students’ creativity; and algebra with Mr. McGreevy. I loved attending the football games and dances afterwards with a live band, and I have a great memory of being nominated to the CHS Senior Homecoming court with a few other wonderful classmates. Our fathers escorted us.
I took business classes and had Ms. Black as a teacher in Gregg Shorthand, which piqued my interest in the field of court reporting.
All of us had a great time when we’d load up the van and go to the Mustang Drive-in. There was a playground at the base of the big screen. Every once in a great while, dad would take us to dinner at Sir George’s Smorgasbord by Friendly Valley – always a treat.

Ann Rhys graduated from CHS in 1976. She is a controller for Rush Truck Insurance Services in San Antonio and lives in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Memories of Canyon High School teachers were, notably, taking driver’s education with Mr. Kevorken and home economics class with Ms. Levand. I learned my math foundation from Mr. Burrill, and I remember a field trip to Rodeo Drive with Mr. Mast’s sociology class.

Ms. Black in the business department repeated a saying – “I don’t want to hear excuses, I want to see results.”

Back then Canyon had a legal smoking area on the balcony of the girls’ gym, and there were occasional concerts at lunch on the quad. Also, we graduated in red, white and blue gowns.

Mary Jo Widing graduated in 1978. She is retired and living in Dallas, Georgia.

I played volleyball at Canyon High School for three years. I enjoyed eating lunch on the quad with my friends and watching them film “Police Story,” a TV show with David Cassidy.

Mr. Burrill taught math, not one of my strongest subjects, but he was always patient. Once he had to go to a conference and chose a student from each class to teach, including me. The day I presented I was pretty nervous, but it definitely gave me more confidence – I still remember to this day.

I was a foreign exchange student and spent my junior year in France. I had my appendix surgically removed while in France and Mr. Diaz, my favorite biology teacher, kept my appendix in a jar in the science class.

We were Borons. It didn’t matter where we went, someone knew us – our brothers, sisters or our parents. And it wasn’t only in the Santa Clarita Valley, but in the San Fernando Valley, Mammoth Mountain, or at the beach. It was crazy. Even as we got older, this phenomenon continued.

Fabienne McGeever graduated in the class of 1979 with her twin sister, Suzette. She is an administrator with Simpatico Systems and lives in Santa Clarita.

Some experience bad high school years, but my memories of this time are great. I was active! Sports, drama, madrigals & concert choir, ski club and honor society consumed my days, but homework and study most nights. I ended up 75th in a class of 500. My twin was top 10!

As a family, we would go bowling, roller skating, participate in track and field at COC, ski trips to Mammoth Mtn., beach camping, church youth group, choir, and working at Magic Mountain was an SCV requirement. Riding a converted motorcycle or the van got the working-age kids where we needed to be at any given time. Who had time to get into any trouble!? Deciding who got what vehicle when was a challenge. We made it work somehow.

Canyon High shaped my life. My best memories are deciphering Shakespeare in Mr. Moos’ class, being a TA for Mr. Mast, and getting challenged in Mr. DeCoster’s English class – and winning the argument. Of course, my mother showed up to corroborate. I still brought in the home baked cookies, as promised, if I lost. There were trips with choir – songs from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Blue Moon” and “Grease” will always stick in my head … performing in “Little Me” and “Go Ask Alice,” and Christmas concerts. Volleyball was prominent and we all loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t mind doing it all over again!

Suzette Cass graduated in the class of 1979 with her twin, Fabienne. She is a computer programmer at NTT Data in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

I have a vivid memory of sports at Canyon High. The boys played football and the female Borons played volleyball. In 1979 there were four Boron girls on the varsity squad! I also played badminton.

The gym was a fun place. I was the girls’ athletic commissioner my senior year. Being in “politics” was not my forte. The sporting experience encouraged me to coach the volleyball team after graduating, and I rose to varsity volleyball coach for one year.

I recall school being engaging. I liked math and the sciences, although I had to teach myself math, with help from Dad. Dean Hurd, who I admired, was a great science instructor. I did get a degree in computer science from CSUN – Somebody must have done something right!

Since I had lots of sisters around, I knew lots of people. I participated in Concert Choir and Madrigals conducted by Bob Scott. Fabienne and I sang a medley of “Grease” songs in the Rock & Roll concert. That was a blast! I also remember singing “Close To You” by the Carpenters as a trio. I could always sing in public, but never wanted to speak in public, though with my current career I have to give training classes. I do think Canyon High prepared me for my future.

Stefani Brown graduated with the class of 1981. She is a teacher at Kirchgater Elementary School in Elk Grove, California.

My fondest memories were playing sports. We had awesome coaches. I played volleyball, basketball and softball and was named “Athlete of the Year” as a sophomore. We went to CIF in volleyball and basketball and I loved playing on teams with my sisters. One year, four of us Boron Girls played on the varsity volleyball team. Everyone treated each other like family. Coach Masters was like a mother: loving, dedicated and pushing us hard to play better than we thought possible!

The teachers at Canyon were excellent! I was learning higher level math concepts and was challenged in my literature and advanced biology classes. I remember Mr. Diaz teaching us how to hold our books close to our hearts because “we were scholars and these were books of knowledge.” On one assignment I wrote in my lab book that although the experiment was a failure, I had learned quite a bit, and the comment in the margin was, “You would make a great teacher!” And that is what I have become. To this day, I tell my students, “No mistake is bad if you learn something from it.”

I have very fond memories from high school and living in Canyon Country. I’d like to thank all of my teachers, coaches, and family who had an influence and impact on helping to mold me into who I am today!

Jenni Boron-Schaeffer graduated in 1982. She served as a military RN, then practiced as a NICU/PICU RN and is now a certified fertility care practitioner in Chico, California.

I had a great experience at Canyon High. Playing sports was a given. I played basketball, softball and badminton, but volleyball was my passion! And I was fortunate to play collegiate ball at University of San Francisco.

I earned a “Scholar Athlete” award and I really liked school too. My brother Joe would call me a “geek” because I would run to each of my classes – I was so excited to get to them!!! I still have a love of learning!

I hung out with a large group of women athletes and always felt like it didn’t matter what “group” you were in; people were friendly. Being #8 out of 10, it seemed like someone knew me wherever I went. I actually didn’t think we looked alike, so I never understood how people knew I was a Boron.

Having kids go through sports, I feel extremely blessed that I had such awesome coaching at the high school level. I didn’t realize how truly fortunate we were at Canyon. I am guessing that Ardyce Masters, our girls’ athletic director, had a lot to do with it. It’s astonishing that it was so exceptional. Many thank yous to all the naturally amazing teachers and coaches!!

I made a wooden plaque in the Canyon High wood shop with my dad’s motto: “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Joe Boron graduated in the class of 1984. He was part of the CIF streak at Canyon High School and was such a giving soul. Whenever anyone needed help, he was there. He drove a big truck and shared all he had. His shop classes served him well in his chosen field. He became an airplane mechanic for Van Nuys Airport and we miss him every day! He was born in 1966 and died in 2009 of an unknown heart problem or hepatitis C complications from a blood transfusion.

Andy Boron was in the 1987 graduating class. He is a loan officer at Augusta Financial in Santa Clarita.

I’m the youngest of 10 and the ninth Boron to attend Canyon High School. The path for a successful high school career was carved out by seven remarkably talented and athletic sisters and a brother three years my senior. My brother Joe was an inside linebacker and a member of the first team to play for legendary Harry Welch. There was not a teacher or counselor at Canyon who wasn’t intimately familiar with the Boron Family.

Mr. Mast was the cool sociology teacher who took a personal interest in his students. Mr. Flaherty was a favorite. No one thought Mr. Flaherty was cooler than Mr. Flaherty. He reminded me of a mix between Dean Martin and Knute Rockne. He recruited me to play football my sophomore year, a challenge, since I wanted to make my own athletic path and play basketball for Coach Hayes, who was the nicest guy on campus and proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.

If you could possibly respect, admire and love a man that you hoped drove off a cliff before Monday’s practice … that would be Coach Welch. I was lucky enough to be a part of “The Streak.” Welch appointed me defensive captain my senior year and I wondered if it was the fact he coached my brothers that made him choose me, or perhaps he felt it was a natural fit since I was ASB president.

Mr. Diaz deserves every accolade. He was to science what the teacher in “Mr. Holland’s Opus” was to music. Most of us worked at Magic Mountain while maintaining solid grades and being multi-sport athletes. My impression of Canyon High was that we were a blue-collar community with educators who genuinely loved getting to know their students and to have a hand in their future success.

New Business – E’s Closet

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 20, 2018

If you’re bored with your wardrobe, or at least tired of the usual merchandise on racks at chain stores, last month brought you some new options: the local family-owned store E’s Closet.

Not only is it close to home – near the Canyon Country Post Office – it’s a retail clothing shop for the entire family.

Edna Rodriguez, her husband and three children moved to Santa Clarita less than a year ago, to a community she felt would benefit from some retail options.

“It’s brand name clothing at discounted prices,” said the store owner, who has worked in fashion retail for more than 10 years. “I felt I was ready to take this step of opening my own store and offer people quality clothing that I like to wear.”

Rodriguez said her emphasis is on meeting the needs of the whole family, carrying men’s, women’s and a lot of kids’ clothing. There is casual wear, including workout ensembles, in addition to dresses and dressy separates.

E’s Closet depends on a relationship with vendors Rodriguez established many years ago, which she said are dependable resources that emphasize quality. The store also carries accessories, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, to match the outfits on the racks.

While Rodriguez enjoys dress clothes and jewelry, which she said is one of the reasons she got into the business, she carries clothing for all kinds of styles.

“I talk to a lot of people who are very casual, who like to wear their workout clothing all day,” she said. “I go to the rack with them – if they like casual clothing, I go to the jeans and T-shirts, choosing different things to show them the variety I have. What I want to be known for is customer service. I give everyone individual attention.”

Rodriguez chose the space, which is in the same building as the post office, but at the other end of the strip, because the rent is reasonable and there is a lot of foot traffic.

“The fact that I’m in the back is not the greatest for traffic, but there’s always parking, which is awesome,” Rodriguez said. “There are also a lot of apartment complexes behind the building. I figured there’s a big population I can serve because there are families.”

The Rodriguez family moved from Pasadena and they live in the neighborhood where Newhall and Canyon Country intersect. They became acquainted with the SCV because Edna’s husband, Oscar, often works in Santa Clarita and he has co-workers who live in the area.

“My husband and I talked and said, ‘The little ones need a different school system, and the schools are better out here,’” she said. “’Maybe it’s time to make a move.’”

Their oldest, Oscar, attends College of the Canyons; Tania is a student at Golden Valley High School; and Bryan is at Golden Oak Community School.

“I love it out here,” Edna Rodriguez said. “It’s nice and quiet.”

E’s Closet is located at 18354 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. The hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. You can call the store at 661-367-6173.

OFL Graduates 37 Local Students

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 19, 2018

There were 37 students who earned the right to walk across a stage in Pasadena to accept their high school diplomas early this month. They completed their secondary education units through Opportunities for Learning in Canyon Country.

Tionnie Walls, who completed her classes at OFL Canyon Country, was one of the speakers who shared her story with attendees at the graduation. She struggled with the pace of traditional high schools and never believed she could attend college. With help from OFL, she will be attending Grambling University in Louisiana in the fall.

There are 20 Opportunities for Learning Public Charter Schools throughout California. Free classes serve students age 14 and up who have fallen behind in school, want to advance more quickly and graduate early, or need a non-traditional learning environment.

The following students completed their education through Canyon Country’s Opportunities for Learning facility, which is located at 18824 Soledad Canyon Road:

Lennora Anderson
Gabriel Ayala
Thomas Burbank
Jeremiah Calhoun
Kaitlin Callies
Kevin Castillo
Ronisha Chaplin
Alondra DePaz
Danni Dent
Demya Ellis
Dionicio Erazo
Leticia Escobar-Cova
Jonathan Esse
Nancy Favila
Gregory Garcia
Traevon Gash
Kyra Holmquist
Karen Jauregui
Jonnell Jones Lawson
Tylr Jordan
Tiffany Kuriger
Todd Lavilla
Gabriela Morales
Francisco Rendon
Preciosa Rivera
Winnifred Rosales
Elizabeth Sanders
Scott Slattery
Wyatt Spinrad
Hector Tavizon
Hannah Tumminia
Fabrizio Vaccaari
Jeralyne Velasquez
Tionnie Walls
Sasha Wooley

For more information, visit emsofl.com.

Penal Code 368 PC – California’s Elder Abuse Laws

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 17, 2018

A few weeks ago in mid-October, deputies received a report on Nearview Drive in Canyon Country about a possible domestic disturbance between two roommates. When deputies arrived, they discovered that an argument between a 57-year-old man and his 79-year-old roommate had become physical. After a brief investigation, the younger man was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse.

Elder abuse is covered under California Penal Code 368 PC and covers several situations, including:
Physical abuse
Emotional abuse
Neglect and endangerment
Financial exploitation
Elder abuse has been on the rise in the U.S. for years, and those who are most often charged with it are family members or caregivers of the victim. However, it’s possible to be charged with elder abuse even if you have no relation to the victim.

Laws that granted senior citizens special protections were first put on the books in California during the early 1980s. In 1982, the California Legislature acknowledged that “dependent adults” (people who, due to their age or a disability, are dependent on others to meet their daily needs) are often on medication, confused, or mentally/physically impaired. This puts them in a place where special protections are necessary to ensure that others don’t take advantage of them or abuse them. It wasn’t until 1983 that Penal Code 368 was enacted to protect dependent adults. However, in 1986 the law was amended to extend protections to all elders.

Elder abuse is a “wobbler” in California Law, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include: informal probation, up to 1 year in county jail, a maximum fine of $6,000 ($10,000 for a second offense), restitution, and/or counseling. Felony penalties include: formal probation, 2 to 7 years in California state prison, up to $10,000 in fines, restitution, and/or counseling.

Bill Duquette

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 16, 2018

When Bill Duquette won first place at the Santa Clarita Artists Association Art Classic Gala for his sculpture, “The Secret Spot,” there was a little bit of irony in it. Depicting a pair of men sitting with their fishing poles dropped beneath them, the artwork represents a quiet, relaxing time by an artist whose life has been anything but settled. In fact, the 71-year-old has lived in many different states of the country, completed three tours in Vietnam, has retired at least twice, and is now married to a fellow artist who is also busy creating and showing her work.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Duquette was a swim champion as a youth, ranked nationally in the 200-yard freestyle. He earned several university scholarships and he was aiming for the 1968 Olympic trials when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps instead.

His service in Vietnam left him with disabilities due to Agent Orange and other factors, Duquette said. Like so many bands of brothers, Duquette still communicates with members of his platoon, who have been together 45 years. They meet once a year somewhere in the United States. Last year the group lost 3-4 men and he estimates his group has about 35-40 individuals still living.

He’s a part of Together We Served, a group that reconnects veterans to one another. Duquette has also employed the services of the Veterans Administration for about 40 years and said he has no complaints. It’s been a helpful resource for him, he said.

When he returned to the States after Vietnam, he worked full-time and attended school through the GI Bill, which took nearly two decades and resulted in multiple degrees, including engineering and graphic design. From 1981-1995 he was a building contractor whose last job was the Edwards Canyon Country Theatre project.

“I finished in ‘96 and retired,” Duquette said. “Then I moved to St. Augustine, Florida and fished.”

Because he had two grandchildren in California, he returned in 2010, which is when he purchased his current home in Greenbrier Mobile Estates.

When Duquette moves to a new city, his modus operandi typically involves finding an art community. While living in Florida he joined the St. Augustine Art Association and became a member of the Oil Painters of America, as well as the Graphic Artists Guild.

“So, I just wanted to find an association here,” he said. “I wanted to find some art people.”

One of Bill Duquette’s favorite works of art is his oil painting of a beloved dachshund, “Jake.”

“Daddy’s Little Valley Girl” by Bill Duquette. He used white oak (as in the street name in the San Fernando Valley) for the base, Duquette used copper to depict a father swinging his daughter.

Duquette painted a series of lighthouses in 2001 and sold limited edition prints of them.

“The Secret Spot” won first place in the sculpture category at the Santa Clarita Artists Association Art Classic Gala last month.

He succeeded in finding other artists in Santa Clarita. But one member, in particular, stood out.

Duquette began collecting the work of some of his colleagues, and one of his favorites was photographer Carrie Dawn.

“I had never met her, didn’t know who she was,” he said. “The Artists Association had a Christmas party one year and she walked up to me and said, ‘I’m Carrie Dawn.’”

Bill and Carrie Duquette were married four years ago. Their home is currently on the market, as the couple – and their pair of parrots – are planning to move up to Pine Mountain Club.

“We just had a show together (at Pine Mountain) two months ago for a whole month,” Duquette said, “at Artworks Community Gallery.”

The couple’s work can also be viewed at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, where the hotel recently completed a remodeling project.

Always inspired, Duquette just returned from an Alaskan cruise, and his paintings are a reflection of what he saw and experienced there. The resulting artwork includes an oil painting with approximately 40 layers of paint that he calls “Golden Falls.”

“The final layer is a clear coat that looks deep,” he said. “It’s almost 3-D.”

Carrie’s work involves photography and Bill paints and creates multimedia sculptures, mostly wire and wood lately. Together the Duquettes are working on an illustrated children’s book of Carrie’s poetry, which should be released in the summer of next year.

Festive Boutiques to get you in the holiday mood

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 16, 2018

by Natalia Radcliffe

The Boys and Girls Club is holding the 50th Annual Festival of Trees Celebration on November 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for children, $4 for seniors and military. The event features a boutique with handmade items, live entertainment, and more. It is located at 26415 Carl Boyer Drive in Santa Clarita.

For more information, visit scvbgc.org/festival-of-trees-santa-clarita/

Valencia High School is hosting its Annual Holiday Boutique on November 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located in the VHS Multi-Purpose Room at 27801 North Dickason Drive, the boutique features handmade items, baked goods, decorations and more.

For more information call the school at 661-294-1188 or visit the website at valenciavikings.com/apps/news/article/905892

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Holiday Boutique will take place Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church. It is located at 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.

For more information, visit acscmsstorage.blob.core.windows.net/cmsfiles/sz_lRswFKUU2vgMn.pdf

The Annual Fine Craft Show is happening at Old Orchard Park on December 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Just in time for the holidays, the event features many vendors selling personally handcrafted items, all made in the U.S. It is located at 25023 Avenida Rotella at Lyons Avenue in Newhall.

For more information, visit santa-clarita.com/city-hall/departments/recreation-community-services-and-open-space/events/fine-craft-show.

The Women’s Ministry of Acton Faith Bible Church will hold their 21st Annual Christmas Boutique on Saturday, December 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at High Desert School’s Multi-Purpose Room located at 3620 Antelope Woods in Acton. Visitors get a free cup of coffee or apple cider while they shop from more than two dozen vendors. Pulled pork sandwiches, vegetable soups and bake sale items will be available for purchase.

For more information, email djfisher128@gmail.com.

Santa Clarita Artists Association will join other vendors in a holiday boutique at the Home Care Services reception lobby on Sat., Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 2 from noon to 4 p.m. Home Care Services is located at 23340 Cinema Dr., Suite 5 in Santa Clarita. Items will include fine art, crafts, costume jewelry, collages, greeting cards and decorative items. Musical entertainment will feature the West Ranch High School Choir, Miss Felicia Grady and other musical talents. For information, visit Santaclaritaartists.org/about.html.

Sand Canyon Hotel & Resort

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 16, 2018

Sand Canyon residents are keeping their eyes open and making sure leaders aren’t sleeping on the job where plans for a hotel are being considered.

Approximately 50-60 residents attended a meeting at City Hall last month to hear about the status of a proposed project at Sand Canyon Country Club. Speakers discussed the scope of the proposed changes in the Sand Canyon Hotel & Resort project submitted by CEO Steve Kim.

City associate planner Hai Nguyen presented the project and explained the process involved in the Environmental Impact Report for the 75-acre development. The EIR will study soils, land use, air/water quality and traffic, among other issues.
The “draft EIR” will become available sometime in mid-2019.

There were 14 individuals from the community who spoke publicly. Four leaned in favor of the project, citing the need for commercial resources such as hotels, ballrooms and restaurants.

Others voiced issues reflecting the “10 Points of Concern” drafted by the SCHOA board. Those include:
Water: Is there adequate public water for a project this significant?

Sewage/waste: Is there adequate public sewage infrastructure for a resort of this type and size?

Traffic: Will the required traffic analysis include current studies and future developments (Vista Canyon, Sand Canyon Plaza, Mancara, etc.) and provisions for the continuing increase of traffic on Sand Canyon already impacted by navigation applications? Will such items as proper signalization at 14 Freeway off-ramps, stop signs on Placerita, round-a-bouts, speed humps, etc. be incorporated and addressed in the traffic study?

Access: Will there be secondary access in and out of our community to accommodate the additional traffic, especially during emergency situations? With additional resort personnel & guests, an additional evacuation route is greatly needed.

Special standards district: As a Special Standards District and a rural, equestrian-oriented community, we need trails through and around this development so our Sand Canyon Trails System can connect to the U.S. Forest Service (Wilderness), City Open Space, and to the Golden Valley City Open Space. These trails are the Sand Canyon community’s “paseos.”

Economic analysis: Will there be an Economic Analysis that shows sustainability, especially if ownership changes in the future?

Zoning: Will there be studies and recommendations regarding the significant impact of a zoning change of use? The original approval of the Robinson Ranch Golf Course as Open Space eliminated further residential development for this site, and recognized and established density limits. Will this be re-addressed?

Staffing: What type of executive management staff will be established to run a resort of this magnitude? Will studies and analysis of the project’s significant scale, scope, and activities impacting our community be conducted?

Sand Canyon identity: Will this proposed resort maintain the rural and equestrian flavor of our community?

Lights/noise: What is planned for lights and noise mitigation for the surrounding homeowners who are used to a quiet, country neighborhood?

In approximately a year the proposed project comes before the first meeting of the Santa Clarita Planning Commission. Hotel projects don’t just happen overnight.

For more information, contact project planner Hai Nguyen at hnguyen@santa-clarita.com or call 661-255-4330.

Canyon Country Business Briefs

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 16, 2018

City of Santa Clarita
CANYON COUNTRY COMMUNITY UPDATES – November 2018

CITYWIDE FILM STATISTICS
In September, the City of Santa Clarita issued 44 film permits which contributed to 113 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $2,841,500.
The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in September 2018.
Television Shows:
Criminal Confessions/License to Kill – Sand Canyon area home
Santa Clarita Diet – Santa Clarita Skatepark
Feature Films:
A Wife Betrayed – Sand Canyon area home
Commercials:
Good RX – Area home
Mose19 – Area streets, Rancho Deluxe
Russell Amour – Area homes
Walmart – Walmart
Internet/Web:
The Hug – Mountasia Family Fun Center
Student Film:
Check Mate (American Film Institute) – Area home

CANYON COUNTRY COMMUNITY CENTER UPDATE

The project site is on the northeast corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway and is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2019. The Canyon Country Community Center is tentatively scheduled to open towards the end of 2020 and will replace the existing temporary community center located on Flying Tiger Drive, at Sierra Highway.

When complete, the new Canyon Country Community Center will hold classes, activities, programs and cultural prospects for youth and adults, as well as special community events and workshops that will provide opportunities for personal and professional development.

ARTS IN CANYON COUNTRY

The Feminine Figure: Strength, Resilience, and Insights
On display through February 8, 2019
FREE
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library
18601 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91351
“This exhibit is full of images that are quite personal and serve as a reflection and reminder of my own strength and resilience,” said artist Kim Adam. “The process of creating many of these works of art this year, and curating the remainder from my past works, have provided me with renewed insights into the woman I am today and perhaps the woman I want to be tomorrow. The images found in this exhibit focus on the feminine figure’s strength and beauty. I find it ironic that far too many women forget their own strengths. Too often we listen to that limiting voice within our own heads, and believe false societal labels that objectify and stereotype our gender.”

A self-taught multimedia artist and educator who recently relocated to Boulder, Colorado from Santa Clarita, Adam has been using her artistic talents for the past 25 years as a therapeutic tool. Her art and its process assist her in staying grounded and working through the issues life can spring on us from time to time. During the last 10 years, Adam has been sharing her gift with others, educating them on how they too can use art therapeutically and sharing her message with through her works. Her art has been displayed at exhibits in the greater Los Angeles area and purchased by collectors on both the east and west coasts. Adam believes that art allows us to discover truths about ourselves and is capable of transforming an individual and a community.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Canyon Country Community Center

Community Health Fair
This free event will include health screenings, courtesy of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. It also gives attendees the opportunity to learn about blood pressure monitoring, height and weight analyses, body composition analyses, oxygen saturation and carbon monoxide measurement. Visit the Community Health Fair for information on cholesterol tests, glucose test, healthy nutrition and diet tips.
Friday, November 16
7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
FREE
Pokémon GO Community Gathering
Get ready, trainers … Pokémon GO is coming to the Canyon Country Community Center! Join your local Pokémon GO community for an afternoon of fun, games and prizes. Make new friends, fill your Pokédex and prove that your team is the very best! Space is limited.
Saturday, November 17
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FREE

Visit santa-clarita.com/CCCC or call (661) 290-2266 for more information and to view a complete list of activities happening at the Canyon Country Community Center.

Teen Program:
Fall-Themed Escape Room
Friday, November 16
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Groups of four will have 15 minutes to attempt an escape! Food and prizes will be available to winners.

SANTA CLARITA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library

Adult Programs:

New Release Movie Night
November 1, 14 and 29
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Unwind and Color
November 5, 19 and 26
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Craft-It-Up
“Friendsgiving” Coaster Decorating
Wednesday, November 7
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Create a Fall Votive
Wednesday, November 21
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com for more information and to view a complete listing of activities happening at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library.

Golden Valley Red Cross Club

| Canyon Country Magazine | November 16, 2018

by Alea Rodriguez

Everyone is bound to have heard of the American Red Cross. They are the people who hold blood drives and make care packages, right? That all may be true, but it is only scratching the surface.

The mission of the American Red Cross is to “prevent and alleviate human suffering by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” Before I joined the American Red Cross Club at Golden Valley High School, I had little idea how much of a difference I could make in my home, school and community. It was only once I joined that I came to realize the reality and importance of serving others.

From providing household items to our veterans to educating elementary school children on the importance of disaster preparedness and installing free smoke alarms in high risk communities, the opportunities to help and give to others through the American Red Cross is limitless.

Empowered by our passion for service, the Golden Valley High School American Red Cross Club calls upon the generosity of our community to join us at our fall blood drive on November 21 from 3-6 p.m. in the Golden Valley small gym. Visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment using the sponsor code: goldenvalleyhs.

All students and community members who are above the age of 16  are welcome to donate, as long as they meet the minimum height and weight requirements that can also be found on redcrossblood.org. Donors who are 16 must have parent permission to donate. If you plan to donate, you must be in good health, feeling well, and have sufficient blood iron levels by the day of the blood drive.

With the support of the community, we can all make an impact that will change the lives of those in need. Giving back to others offers one of the most rewarding feelings one can have, and so I hope that when you spend your time with us on the 21st of November you leave knowing that you made a difference.

Alea Rodriguez is the president of the Golden Valley Red Cross Club.

Holiday Jam – Musical Treat Served at Bethlehem Lutheran

| Canyon Country Magazine, Entertainment | November 15, 2018

Chances are your Christmas traditions don’t include a backstage pass experience with dozens of A-list musicians who tour with the likes of Phil Collins, Earth, Wind & Fire and Frankie Valli. Unless, that is, you’ve been on the inside of Canyon Country’s best-kept musical secret for the last 27 years.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church holds an annual concert spearheaded by Robby Robinson, who pulls together about 30 of his friends – also professional musicians – who bring to the public a show called Jam for Jesus. It’s a free three-hour music experience featuring men and women who perform for a living, but do the concert voluntarily.

“The talent level is just off the charts, but more than the talent level is the heart that these musicians have, who are giving their talent – significant talent, I might add – to the Lord,” Robinson said. “You walk into this church and what you get is what you’d expect to see in Radio City Music Hall.”

Front-and-center is Robinson on keyboard, who created the annual event when he was the minister of music at the church in the 1990s, and his brother, Rex Robinson, on bass. Though Rex, an Agua Dulce resident, has retired from touring, both men were in Frankie Valli’s band, and Robby has been Valli’s music director for more than 40 years.

Some of the horns, guitarists, vocalists, etc. are locals who are now professionals, including Andrea Hammond, Roland and Tristan Garcia and Sara Niemietz. Jam for Jesus performers also include musicians who play in the “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol” bands.

The songs in the concert are sacred, Robby said, including a number of Christmas songs. But the group tackles many different styles, from classical to jazz/pop. Far from a rigid performance, it’s what Robby calls “somewhat loose,” where there’s only one rehearsal and a basic script, which he writes in advance.

Like a symphony, these friends of Robby create a blend that fills the rafters, using little musical construction but still following a list of songs and basic arrangements.

“It’s like flying with no net,” Robby said. “It’s a very intimate kind of concert, not formal – you feel like you’re backstage. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve been there.”

One professional who’s “been there” from the beginning is percussionist Richie Garcia. He’s recorded on soundtracks for such films as “The Italian Job” and “Emperor’s New Groove” and toured with Sting, Diana Ross, Brooks and Dunn and many others. His sons, Roland and Tristan, also perform professionally and are frequent members of the Bethlehem Lutheran band.

“It’s an honor to share the stage with my family and some of the most accomplished musicians in Los Angeles year after year,” said Tristan Garcia. “They come together for a time of giving, share their talents and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.”

Meanwhile, their friend and leader Robby Robinson keeps packing a bag. A couple of weeks ago he played in Milwaukee, followed by Chicago, and ended up in Detroit, onstage with Frankie Valli.

Rex Robinson

Last year, the Robinson brothers flew to their hometown of Litchfield, Illinois (population about 7,000) where their mother still lives. Where they held the Robinson Brothers 40th Anniversary Concert, raising more than $100,000 for a small hospital. Some of the Robinsons’ musical colleagues who flew to Litchfield to play included a member of Mel Torme’s band and one of the stars of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.”

If you attend Bethlehem Lutheran on a Sunday morning it’s possible to hear several of the same musicians. You’re more likely to see Rex Robinson in the worship band than Robby, who is now a minister of music in Simi Valley, where he lives. But his years of leadership give him the ability to speak for many of his musician friends.

“I feel so blessed to do what I do,” Robby said. “And that’s the way these guys feel.”

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located at 27265 Luther Drive in Canyon Country. Jam for Jesus will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 661-252-0622 or visit BethlehemSCV.com.

Canyon Country Business Briefs

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 15, 2018

CITYWIDE FILM STATISTICS
In August, the City issued 51 film permits which contributed to 165 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $4,435,500.
The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in August 2018.
Television Shows:
9-1-1 – Sand Canyon area home
Criminal Minds – Sable Ranch
Home Made Simple – Area home
NCIS – Sand Canyon area home
NCIS: Los Angeles – Rancho Deluxe
Station 19 – Sable Ranch
Unbelievable – SCV Pawn Brokers
You’re the Worst – Rancho Deluxe
Commercials:
Adidas – Mountasia Family Fun Center
Jeep – College of the Canyons
Nissan – Vacant lot
Walmart – Walmart
Internet/Web:
Built – Aliento Development, Bothwell Park
Real Bros of Simi Valley – Sand Canyon area home

CANYON COUNTRY COMMUNITY CENTER UPDATE
The project site is on the northeast corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway and is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2019. The City continues to work on completing the construction documents for this project and anticipates the project will go out to bid this fall. The Canyon Country Community Center is tentatively scheduled to open towards the end of 2020. The new center will replace the existing temporary community center located on Flying Tiger Drive, at Sierra Highway.

One of the final structures to be removed, the billboard at the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway was recently dismantled. As a result, the project site now has a clean slate to begin the grading process. When complete, the new Canyon Country Community Center will hold classes, activities, programs and cultural prospects for youth and adults, as well as special community events and workshops that will provide opportunities for personal and professional development.

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE
Caltrans started its nightly road closures along Sierra Highway, between Friendly Valley Parkway and Newhall Avenue, for re-pavement work on August 20. This work will run through mid-October. All work will be completed in the late evening through the early morning, and will clear out before heavy commuter traffic starts.

ARTS IN CANYON COUNTRY
The Vision of Gary Friedman
On display through October 5, 2018
FREE
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library
18601 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91351
The solo art exhibit “The Vision of Gary Friedman” features several neo-impressionistic landscapes, cityscapes, and abstracts done in a unique, warm palette style. The award-winning painter and teacher has studied with the world’s top watercolor talents, has traveled extensively, and tutored and exhibited locally for the past several years.

Mr. Friedman was also the band director at Arroyo Seco Junior High School from 1976 to 2011. When not painting, traveling, or teaching, Gary plays music with the bluegrass band The Flaw and jazz with the Go Jazz Big Band and David Peter’s jazz combo.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Canyon Country Community Center

Flu Vaccine Clinic
This free event will provide flu vaccines at no charge to those who do not have health insurance, or whose healthcare provider does not offer flu vaccines.
Thursday, October 18
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
FREE

Popcorn and a Movie Family Night (All Ages)
Bring your family and enjoy some popcorn while you watch the 25th Anniversary edition of “Hocus Pocus”!
Friday, October 19
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
FREE

Preschool Pumpkin Party
Join us for all things pumpkin! Celebrate the fall season with music, games, arts and crafts, and sensory activities. Make new friends at our Preschool Pumpkin Party! Children and parents are welcome to attend in costume.

Note: No pretend weapons or masks please. Ages 1-5 years old.
Monday, October 22
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
FREE

Fall Carnival
A fun-filled family event of games, contests, crafts, and more! Reserve your spot today! Space is limited. Registration begins Mon., October 15.
Friday, November 2
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
FREE
Saturday, November 3
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
FREE

Visit santa-clarita.com/CCCC or call (661) 290-2266 for more information and to view a complete list of activities happening at the Canyon Country Community Center.

SANTA CLARITA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library

Monday, October 15
Monster Mash – Sewing Class
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Learn sewing basics while making a monster bookmark. This free program is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. All supplies provided. Space is limited to available supplies.

Friday, October 19
Goosebumps & Ghosts Party
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Creepy crawlies, spine-tingling games, and spooky stories – you’ll be sure to get goosebumps! Kids, wear your costume but please leave masks at home. This free program is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Space is limited to supplies on hand.

Monday, October 29
Slime and Other Non-Newtonian Fluids
3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Learn about and play with slime! Make your own slime to take home. This free program is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. All materials provided. Space is limited to supplies on hand.

Please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com for more information and to view a complete listing of activities happening at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library.

Kidnapping Attempt in SCV

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 10, 2018

A near-tragedy occurred last month when a man attempted to kidnap a toddler from her mother’s arms outside a local shopping center. According to the girl’s mother, she and her 2-year-old daughter were walking along a storefront when a man attempted to grab the little girl. The quick-thinking mother noticed the man reaching for her daughter and was able to grab her before the suspect could, after which he ran off.

The mother of the little girl immediately called police, who were able to arrest the man about a mile from where the incident occurred as he was getting into his motor home. The suspect was in his 60s and is currently being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Having a child kidnapped is a terrifying prospect for any parent, and it’s a frighteningly common crime nationally. Even in the SCV, reports of kidnappings and alleged kidnappings aren’t outside the norm. And in August a 12-year-old boy was able to escape from an attempted kidnapping in the stairwell of a Canyon Country apartment building. Last year in June, another Canyon Country resident – a 15-year-old girl – was nearly kidnapped when a man tried to snatch her from a parking lot at around 10:00 in the morning.

Teenage girls and young children are targeted by would-be kidnappers the most. Kidnappers, like most criminals, don’t want attention, and the best thing you can do is to teach your child how to react in a situation like this starting from an early age. Most children are taught not to talk to strangers, but as they grow older they tend to distrust unknown people less than they did when they were younger. Still, it’s important to remember that they should never get into a stranger’s vehicle, even if they seem helpful and offer to take them home or to work. If your children ever find themselves being grabbed or forced into someone else’s vehicle, make sure they know to yell and scream. Creating a scene will get others to notice and may scare off the kidnapper.

Be sure that all young children know their full name, age, and phone number as soon as they’re able to, and know to contact a police officer or other safe adult if they ever find themselves separated from their parents or guardians.

Canyon Country Campus to Throw Star Party on October 12

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 10, 2018

Caltech Astronomy graduate student Anna Ho will be guiding this semester’s interstellar journey at the College of the Canyons Star Party on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Canyon Country campus.

The topic in focus for the evening is “Dirty Fireballs and Orphan Afterglows: A Broader Landscape of Stellar Death.”

Anna Ho’s research on a rare and extreme case of stellar death has been published in two of her own works and included in 14 others. She has also designed and taught several courses and workshops on math, science, astronomy and cosmology.

In addition to her presentation, interactive demonstrations, activity tables and a portable planetarium will be run by students, faculty and staff from the college. Multiple telescopes will also be set up by local astronomy groups, allowing attendees to get a closer look at the night sky.

“Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the college in a way that’s both educational and fun,” said Anthony Michaelides, dean of Campus Services and Operations at the Canyon Country campus. “Our Star Parties allow our students, faculty and staff to showcase the sciences in a variety of ways, and the timing couldn’t be better, with our new science building under construction.”

The Canyon Country campus is located at 17200 Sierra Highway.

The fall 2018 Star Party will take place Friday, October 12 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Canyon Country campus’ Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater.

This event is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase on site. Families will not want to miss this out-of-this-world opportunity.

For more details about the fall 2018 Star Party, visit the Canyon Country campus web page.

Ghost Building

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 9, 2018

Recently, Facey Medical Group moved from the 20,576-square-foot building at 17909 Soledad Canyon Road to their new 37,000-square-foot clinic at 14550 Soledad Canyon Road. If you’ve turned your head when driving past the vacated white building, you probably noticed that now there are two empty buildings side-by-side on Soledad.

Many Canyon Country residents remember when construction began on the orange (still unfinished) commercial property at 17901 Soledad Canyon Road back in 2006. Construction continued for two years and was abandoned when the original owner went through bankruptcy/receivership, according to Mayumi Miyasato of the City of Santa Clarita. It was purchased by Sinanian Development.

The 100,000-square-foot building remains unfinished and there is no word of any plans to complete the construction. It is approved primarily for professional office and some medical office space.

“While the city certainly would like to see the completion of the office building, which would bring jobs and/or other commercial services to the area, the city is unable to require the developer to complete the construction of the office building,” said James Chow, senior planner for the City of Santa Clarita. “From a building and safety standpoint, as long as the structure doesn’t violate any of our building codes and as long as there are no life safety issues, the building may remain in its current condition (unfinished shell).  We have not issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the building, so no portion of the building is legally occupiable.”

According to Chow, the approved use and original function of the building is for professional office space, with some space for medical offices and possibly a small coffee shop or restaurant. These are just two vacant buildings on the east side of the Santa Clarita Valley to put on your watch list. But please keep your eyes on the road when you’re behind the wheel!

Ask the Expert – Most Affordable Areas in Canyon Country

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 9, 2018

The great thing about Canyon Country is that we have homes for every buyer. This is such a wonderful community because of its great schools, parks, shopping, dining, and it’s safe for families to enjoy, yet very affordable and close to work.

Canyon Country is made up of five areas (Canyon Country 1, 2 & 3 with Rainbow Glen and Sand Canyon).

In Canyon Country 1 & 2 many of the older homes are perfect for first-time buyers, as they are affordable and usually have no Mello-Roos taxes and no HOA and run from $425k – $525k for a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home between 1,000 -1,500 square feet. Many of these homes will need some updating and are perfect for a buyer to fix up to add instant equity.

Canyon Country 3 is a newer area, built from 1999 on, and it consists of Fair Oaks Ranch, which has an HOA, and the Ranch at Fair Oaks, which has an HOA and Mello-Roos tax. These homes are quality, built by Pardee Homes, and are perfect for the move-up buyer. They run between $550k-$750k for a 3- to 6-bedroom home and are as big as 2,300 -3,800 square feet.

Sand Canyon is perfect for the high-end buyer. These homes tend to have large lots, pools and room for a guest house or corral for horses, etc. They tend to sell for between $750k-$2.5m and can be as big as 5,000 square feet.

Also, a few other wonderful subdivisions are Rainbow Glen, Shangri La, Canyon Crest, Stetson Ranch, Sunset Heights and Stonecrest, just to name a few, and sell for between $500k-$700k on average. Lastly, there are several affordable condos and townhomes that run between $250k-$400k that are the perfect place to begin homeownership, build equity and move up in 3 to 5 years to your dream home.

With new developments like Aliento, Skyline Ranch, Vista Canyon (shops, dining, parks, etc.) and the new Disney Studios to be built, Canyon Country is going to be “the place to be” and should continue to see values rise for many years to come.

I specialize in the Canyon Country area. All of my services are free. I offer up to $5,000 towards your closing costs and a free local MOVE when I help you purchase a home.

CRAIG MARTIN – Realty One Group – 661-361-6843

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Wear it Pink

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 8, 2018

It’s a campaign with thousands of participants worldwide. Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds individuals everywhere to get mammograms and to contribute to research in an effort to reduce the instances and deaths from the disease.

The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was the first to distribute pink ribbons, marking the symbol for breast cancer with the color pink.

There are many local events this month to promote awareness:

4th Annual Ride for a Cure
October 12 at Santa Clarita Athletic Club
5-7 p.m.
Participants will spin while DJ Mark Anthony and instructor Janet Jaycee lead the way. 661-200-1200.

Eat, Drink and Raise Funds
October 15 at Rattler’s Bar B Que
A portion of receipts go to Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. Rattler’s is located at 26495 Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita. 661-251-4195.

Eat, Drink and Raise Funds at StoneFire Grill
October 16 at StoneFire Grill
A portion of receipts go to Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. StoneFire is located at 23300 Cinema Drive in Valencia. 661-200-1200.

Breast Cancer Awareness Lecture
October 17 at the SCV Senior Center
1-2 p.m.
Henry Mayo Hospital nurse navigator Heather Kellis Young, RN will inform attendees about prevention, detection and treatment. Free. SCV Sr. Center is located at 22900 Market St. in Santa Clarita.

The Daily Harvest Cafe and Juicery
October 20 at The Daily Harvest
This family owned and operated restaurant will donate 10% of its sales to the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. The Daily Harvest is located at 22722 Lyons Ave, Ste. 6 in Newhall. 661-383-9387.

Breast Cancer Awareness Lecture
October 23 at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health
5-6 p.m.
HMNMH nurse navigators Mara Shay, RN and Heather Kellis Young, RN will present information about prevention, detection and treatment. Free. Henry Mayo Fitness and Health, 24525 Town Center Dr. in Valencia. 661-200-1300.

Wolf Creek Brewery Community Pints
October 30 at Wolf Creek Brewery
4-9 p.m.
Live music, food trucks and Wolf Creek’s brews are available and a portion of sales goes to the Sheila Veloz Breast Center. Wolf Creek Brewery is located at 25108 Rye Canyon Loop in Valencia. 661-294-9977.

Principal for a Day

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 8, 2018

The most memorable non-profit fundraisers are those that involve engaging with others, and the annual Principal for a Day event is based on a partnership that brings local business and public school personnel together.

This year, principals in the Sulphur Springs and William S. Hart school districts will welcome visitors on October 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering them a personal view of the administrative duties on campus.

Sponsored by the SCV Education Foundation, it offers business and community members an opportunity to work closely with a Sulphur Springs or William S. Hart District principal. Those who donate to the non-profit foundation get the chance to spend October 12 with a principal or with other district leaders such as superintendents, capping the experience with a luncheon at The Centre in Santa Clarita.

At this year’s awards luncheon, the non-profit will induct Tom Lee and Donna Avila into the SCV Education Foundation Hall of Fame. Lee was the founding chairman of the SCV Education Committee in 1984 and is being recognized as a Legacy recipient of the Hall of Fame. Avila worked for the City of Santa Clarita until recently and was an integral part of connecting businesses, government and schools for numerous years.

“Principal for a Day is a great opportunity to show a community member all of the great things going on at our local schools,” said Julie McBride, principal at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School. “In addition to including our community member in our morning announcements, I always plan for a day to observe a variety of classrooms at our school. As an elementary school principal, it is an opportunity to show off everything from kindergarten students working on collaborative projects on iPads to sixth-grade students working in Google Classroom. The students love to meet the Principal for a Day and our community members enjoy seeing students in action in the classrooms.”

McBride remembered one year hosting City Council member and former mayor Bob Kellar as Principal for a Day at her school. It happened to be the date of the school’s monthly spirit assemblies, so Kellar jumped in and helped with handing out awards to the kids, as well as meeting all the parents present.

“Principal for a Day is a fantastic way to show off our local schools to our local community members,” McBride added. “We have amazing schools in the Santa Clarita Valley, and the Principal for a Day program gives us the opportunity to develop positive relationships with our community. Ultimately, these ongoing relationships with local business and community members will benefit all of our students.”

For more information, or to participate in Principal for a Day, visit http://www.scveducationfoundation.org/pfad.

New Business – Stuff and Things

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 7, 2018

If it’s been awhile since you had a package to mail, you may not have noticed the changes in the Canyon Country Post Office shopping center.

Most of the businesses remain the same, and they’ve always included a wide-ranging assortment of industries – Mom Can Cook, Santa Clarita Valley Pawn Brokers, Molly Maid, Caramba Sports Bar, Santa Clarita Center for Spiritual Living, and others.

The newest business on the block is fitting in nicely with its neighbors, bringing the same eclectic spirit to its showroom floor. Stuff & Things is a new “bargain boutique” in the space where Vintage Watch and Clock Repair used to be. A father-daughter team took over the space about six months ago when they simply brought their eight-year-old eBay business to a brick-and-mortar location.

It’s fitting that the store is situated in the space that was once occupied by Vintage Watch & Clock Repair, because the walls of Stuff & Things include displays of clocks sitting beside artwork, tapestries, mirrors and other items.

Known for its “bargain prices,” there are some vintage, pre-owned goods, but much of the merchandise is new.
There is a non-stop flood of customers driving into the parking lot, and those who like to hunt for treasures make a point to stop in. The store also gets a lot of “regulars” checking in for specific items, where new merchandise hits the floor at least every week.

There are antiques, furniture, trinkets and gifts, new kitchenware, jewelry, bikes, and a surprise hit – musical instruments. They don’t accept donations and it’s not a thrift store.

Stuff & Things is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. On Saturdays there is usually a “sidewalk sale” with specials.

The store is located at 18364 ½ Soledad Canyon Road. You can reach Stuff & Things by calling 661-450-7581 or reach the shop through social media – Facebook and Instagram: @stuffandthings661.

Greeting Customers: ‘How may I help you?’

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 6, 2018

by Ken Barnes

A colleague of mine once came to the office very upset, asking me, “Do I look like a shoplifter?” He was in a store earlier that day and one of the associates asked a simple, everyday question, one asked by nearly every customer service practitioner: “How may I help you?”

I suggested to my colleague that the store associate probably wanted to help him navigate his way around the store, and he responded with, “Do I look like someone who wouldn’t know his way around a store?”

As a minority, he doesn’t feel comfortable when he’s approached by store personnel who ask if they can help him.

While teaching a customer service training session to mid-level managers, I asked them what they thought about that simple question, “How may I help you?”

Below are some of the answers given by the participants in that class:

  • It makes me feel welcomed.
  • It is disrespectful, as though you are inadequate.
  • I don’t see anything wrong with it.
  • As a minority, that question makes me feel like I am being profiled.
  • I think they should wait for the customer to ask for help first.
  • The attendant is asking if I know why I am in the store!
  • It depends on how it is asked.
  • To me, it amounts to hustling.

Participants in the class could not agree on the usefulness of that favorite question, but they agreed that the associate’s tone, attitude, posture, and the general body language and expression are critical. The participants also agreed that asking the question with aggression does not help.

I asked the class which question we should ask in place of “how may I help you?” The following were some of the answers given:

  • Hello Sir/Ma’am; how may I be of service to you?
  • Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
  • Welcome; let me know if I could be of any assistance.
  • Hello; let me know what I can do to make your visit worthwhile.
  • Hello; I hope you are finding everything you need. Please let me know if I could be of any assistance.

It is crucial for all customer service practitioners to note that more than half of your customers will return based on a superior customer service experience. Traditionally we believe that if we dress well, smell good and smile to our customers we will win them. That is true, but we also need to exhibit knowledge about the product we sell, as well as the industry involved, and walk customers to the products they are looking for.

Again, where we most often drop the ball is in how we acknowledge the customers. Anytime a customer is made to feel hustled, unwelcomed, aggrieved or threatened during the acknowledgment stage, it’s a strike against us. From there, no amount of customer service will change the negative impression created about the store, shop, or eatery.

Note that little things go a long way to make a customer your raging fan. One of them is how you receive them.

Ken Barnes, MBA, DBA, is a management consultant with Specializations in Entrepreneurship and Business Management. You can reach him at kbreginc@gmail.com

Runners Join the 3rd Annual SPACEROCK Trail Race

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 6, 2018

Sometimes referred to as the final trail-running frontier, the annual SPACEROCK Trail Race returns this month to Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce. Hosted by New Global Adventures, it’s a half marathon, 10K or 5K race available to the public on October 13, 2018.

With the iconic Vasquez Rocks as a backdrop, participants will run across the former filming location of famous TV shows and movies, including “Star Trek,” “The Flintstones,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Planet of the Apes,” and many classic westerns. The “out of this world” SPACEROCK Trail Race enables you to “explore strange, new trails, to seek out new life and new experiences, to boldly run where no one has run before.”

With three choices, runners of many levels of ability are welcome to join others in passing through rock formations and for longer distances into the canyons and the iconic tunnel going under the 14 freeway.

The starting point is located at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park located at 10700 Escondido Canyon Road in Agua Dulce, beginning at sunrise, 6:00 a.m. Parking will be off-site and participants will be shuttled to the race staging area. Check the website for complete event details. You can read more about the race at SPACEROCKTrailRace.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Creators of the event also host the VALENCIA Trail Race (valenciatrailrace.com) in the hills of Valencia, Calif. and the Sugar Daddy Half Marathon (sugardaddymarathon.com) held on Father’s Day weekend in Santa Clarita.
“Our organization believes it is important to give back to the world,” says founder Terry Majamaki. “While our event’s focus is about giving runners an amazing race experience, we also want to give back to our local community and, when possible, to those in need around the world. By running in these races you will be supporting the local Wildlife Waystation, Global Adventure Kids and ChowChow.org.”

Headquartered in Southern California, New Global Adventures is a global service of software, media and event entertainment specializing in creating unique, one-of-a-kind experiences for the athletic and athletic industries around the world. Visit NewGlobalAdventures.com.

Gilchrist Farm Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 6, 2018

by Natalia Radcliffe

Families have the chance to celebrate fall and the Halloween season at Gilchrist Farm’s Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch.

It is open from September 29 through October 31 every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.

During the week, there are Pony Rides and Wagon Rides available from 2-6 p.m. There is also a Straw Bale Maze and Petting Zoo that is open all day, as well as the chance to pick out and purchase a pumpkin. There is a Farm and Garden Tour at 4 p.m., and a Goat Milking Demonstration at 4 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.

The weekends are filled with more activities and sights to see, including a Straw Slide, Pumpkin Sling Shot, Chicken Splat Bingo, Horse Rides, Face Painting, and Live Entertainment. On weekends the Goat Milking Demonstrations are at 9 a.m. Pig Races will be held at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
For the crafty at heart, there are Fall Farm Crafts and Pumpkin Decorating. Food lovers can enjoy Fundraiser Bake Sales every weekend along with Carmel Apples, Roasted Corn on the Cob, and Food Trucks on the premises.

There is also a Marketplace where you can support local vendors selling handcrafted items, homemade goodies, specialty wares and more.

You can get free entry to the Straw Bale Maze if you donate to the SCV Food Pantry. Lists of possible donations are available at http://scvfoodpantry.org/HowtoHelp/NeededItems.aspx.

Gilchrist Farms is located at 30116 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. For more information, visit www.gilchristfarm.com/harvest-festival.

Best of Canyon Country 2018 RESULTS!

| Canyon Country Magazine | October 5, 2018

Best Breakfast
Crazy Otto’s Diner
It was the 1970s when Otto Lindsel left the Pacific Northwest and headed for Southern California, retired from working as a cook for lumberjacks. He decided to share his experience by opening Crazy Otto’s in Antelope Valley. The diner style restaurant expanded to Canyon Country in 2015.

Crazy Otto’s is known for its big portions, not unlike those a lumberjack would like, and for its friendly customer service. Unlike major chain diners, servers at Crazy Otto’s get to know their customers, many of whom are “regulars.”

The food is American, and it’s open for breakfast and lunch. While you dig into your pancakes that fan over the edges of your plate or your gigantic burger and fries, you can enjoy eclectic wall hangings, from railroad tracks to license plates.
Crazy Otto’s Diner
19132 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351
661-299-6886
Crazyottosdiners.com

Best Lunch
Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co.
Still a robust business after two decades, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. has a solid regular crowd, some whose visits revolve around the time their favorite game is on TV. There’s a natural mix of beer choices and meal options to go with its many sports screens. The restaurant and bar offers salads, sandwiches, pastas, wraps, and a full catering menu. Oggi’s “regulars” get to know the servers, so there’s a happy familiarity for customers.
Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co.
18810 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351
661-252-7883

Best Dinner
Piccola Trattoria
Truly authentic Italian food is not easy to come by, but thanks to the Caruso family, Canyon Country has it available every night of the week. Owner Angie Caruso brings her Sicilian roots to the business, serving up homemade pastas, desserts and fine wines at Piccola Trattoria since 1993.

“We make everything fresh and aren’t the speedy option; but we, more importantly, try to provide the experience and the atmosphere to enjoy a great meal with family or friends,” said Graziella Terranova. “Our restaurant is family owned and operated. We pride ourselves in continuing to improve and learning more about what diners expect and what they want and then implementing those improvements.”

The dinner menu has traditional Sicilian offerings with fresh seafood, salads, cheeses and a variety of sauces. Desserts at Piccola Trattoria are handmade, as well, and you can take in the ambience either indoors or on the patio.
Piccola Trattoria
18302 Sierra Highway #107
(661) 299-6952
Piccolatrattoria.com

Best Happy Hour
Casa Vieja
On weekends the parking lot is full at this “Best Of” winner, where loyal customers may be found at least once a week. Casa Vieja serves up authentic Mexican dishes, using quality meats and produce in warm and spicy food. Some people go for the tequila in top notch margaritas and other bar drinks. Serapes and sombreros on surrounding walls make the experience a colorful one.
Casa Vieja
18401 Soledad Canyon Road
(661) 252-9804

Best Thrift Store
Whimbys
Just eight months old, Whimbys is a thrift store that works with local schools and youth programs, providing monetary donations based on the sale of donated merchandise, helping local non-profits with their fundraising efforts.

Owner Tracey Moss opened the shop after seeing her sons’ school fundraising needs. Whimbys gives local schools and youth programs an easy and lucrative way to raise money year round.

“We have a great selection of vintage and antique items and we strive to have good quality merchandise at fair prices,” Moss said. “People walk into our doors as customers, but they leave as friends.”
Whimbys
19371 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country
661-313-4237
Whimbys.com

Best Hardware Store
Paul’s Paint & Hardware
Most of the homeowners on the east side of Santa Clarita have had the chance to meet Paul Dell’Olio, owner of Paul’s Paint & Hardware, which is centrally located, with good visibility to drivers on Soledad and residents of Shangri-La.

Customers get the personalized experience of a locally-owned store instead of a big box bureaucracy. A Benjamin Moore paint distributor, the store carries plumbing, electrical, tools, paint and garden/sprinkler supplies, plus you can have keys cut in the store. Paul’s Paint & Hardware makes screens onsite also.

He carries products for DIY projects, and contractors turn to Paul’s for interior and exterior paint. The store carries specialty coatings for paint contractors.
Paul’s Paint & Hardware
18597 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country
(661) 252-1572
Paulspaintandhardware.com

 

Best Dry Cleaners
SCV Cleaners
After more than 50 years in the business, Albert Naber knows the industry secrets to quality dry cleaning, laundry and tailoring. He first learned tailoring in Rome before moving to the U.S., where he met his wife, Antoinette.

The husband-and-wife team launched SCV Cleaners 10 years ago, and now there are two locations – one in Valencia and the other on Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita. They pride themselves on offering friendly service here in their own community, where they’ve lived for 30 years.
SCV Cleaners
26547 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita
661-255-3678
27674 Newhall Ranch Road, #25, Valencia
661-288-1112
SCVCleaners.com

Best Chiropractor
Dr. Jennifer Vaccaro
New Life Chiropractic and Wellness
With both chiropractic care and nutritional protocols, Jennifer Vaccaro, DC, BS, LMT, CKTP, provides her patients a personalized treatment for a range of needs and a broad range of ages. Her oldest patient was 98 and her youngest was just a few hours old.

“We offer at our practice an unrushed, relaxed, full-body experience,” she said. “Our staff treats each patient with the utmost care for every specific need we see.”

Treatments at New Life include essential oils and various other healing compounds. In her 10 years of practice, Dr. Vaccaro and her staff have worked to ensure that patients leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.
New Life Chiropractic and Wellness
18352 Soledad Canyon Road
661-298-2700
Chiropractorscv.com

Best Auto Shop
None’s Tires
You can choose new name-brand tires or quality used tires from a long list of manufacturers including: Goodyear, Hercules, Firestone, Sumitomo, Dunlop, Pirelli and Kelly Tires.

The staff members at None’s aim to produce a more comfortable ride for customers, plus you can bring your car in for maintenance and repairs. In addition to new and used tires, None’s offers brake services, suspension repairs, tune-ups, air conditioning repairs and wheel alignments.

The shop is open seven days a week and has automotive products and services for all types of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and commercial vehicles. None’s also has roadside service 24 hours a day. The emergency number is 661-414-2144.
None’s Tires
17205 Sierra Highway
Canyon Country, CA 91351
Phone: (661) 298-1730
Nonestires.com

Best Pharmacy
CVS
It is one of the largest pharmacies in Canyon Country, opening back in 2006 on Soledad Canyon Road. The CVS chain of pharmacies has been serving customers since the 1970s.

The staff members fill prescriptions while also supporting the sale of thousands of goods. “We’re your one-stop shop for all your needs,” says CVS store manager Jodi Skelton.
The management at CVS Pharmacy credits a dedicated group of employees who embrace the company’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health.
CVS
19424 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country
(661) 251-5444

Best DJ
DJ Greg Barbacovi
Greg Barbacovi, known as “DJ Greg,” has been sharing his many talents with the SCV for decades. He was the DJ for The Broadway at the grand opening of Santa Clarita’s mall in the ‘80s. He played music and hosted Monday Night Football at nightclub Genesis and was entertainment manager at the former Ranch House Inn during the ‘90s.

He’s also hosted SCV’s longest-running dance party every Wednesday night at Mabel’s Roadhouse for nearly two decades. But more than just spinning music, Barbacovi is involved in such upcoming events as Bark for Life, the Fire/Police National MX Series and Red Bull Day in the Dirt.
“I’ve helped plan thousands of live events, ranging from weddings to reunions to dirt bike races,” DJ Greg said. “SCV’s American Cancer Society has made me their ‘voice’ for the past 10 years, and I’ve done many events for the Arthritis Foundation, Parkinson’s Moving Day, and the City of Hope. So from backyard BBQs to five-star weddings at the Biltmore, I offer my clients experience and versatility.”
DJ Greg
661-839-7111
www.djgregonline.com

Best Tattoo Studio
Revenant Body Art
Tattoos, piercing and permanent cosmetics are available at Revenant Body Art in Canyon Country. It is a custom studio, following safety standards that are above and beyond the Los Angeles County Health Department’s regulations. There are piercings of almost any kind at Revenant, from lobe, cartilage and septum to tagus, daith and helix, plus many more. They abide by the safety standards set by the Association of Professional Piercers (safepiercings.org) and carry the highest quality, biocompatible metals, including implant grade titanium and 14k or higher solid American gold. All of the jewelry comes with a lifetime manufacturer guarantee.

You can visit the website to find price listings and to book an appointment.
Revenant Body Art
27125 Sierra Highway #316
Canyon Country, CA 91351
661-523-7270
Revenantbodyart.com

Best Dentist
Dentistry for Kids and Adults
Like the name says, Dentistry for Kids and Adults offers general dental services for all ages. The Canyon Country practice opened in May of 2002, and the four dentists and their large staff members continue to meet the needs of local residents.

Drs. Gina Dorfman, Alexander Lee, Jeffery Proniloff and Sarah Kent described their dental practice: “When you walk through our doors, you will immediately feel the difference. Our amazing and passionate team is dedicated to providing exceptional dental care in a relaxing environment. We strive to make your dental visits as easy and as comfortable as possible.”
Dentistry for Kids and Adults
18635 Soledad Canyon Road #108
661-299-2525
Yourdentist.net

Best Dog Groomer
Bark Avenue Grooming & Boutique
In addition to turning shaggy dogs into pampered and groomed pooches, Bark Avenue has merchandise in its boutique and also offers pet sitting services. Belynda Raine has owned the Canyon Country business for two years.

“I’ve had a fondness for animals all my life,” she said. “I’ve had iguanas, turtles, pigs, birds, cats, and my newest pet is a snake. However, my real passion is working with dogs.”
Bark Avenue Grooming & Boutique
17737 Sierra Highway
661-299-2227
BarkAveSCV.com

Best Car Wash
Water Wheel
Offering a full service car wash and detailing, this 36-year-old company was the first of its kind in Canyon Country. Its rustic exterior makes you think of the waterwheels of yesterday, turning continuously, as staff members also work hard to serve others.

Water Wheel washes most vehicles, from exotics to RVs, horse trailers and boats. Said manager Alex Naber: “Thank You for letting us serve the community of Santa Clarita.”
Water Wheel Car Wash
27567 Sierra Highway
661-251-3600
Waterwheelcarwash.com

Best Veterinarian
Tami Theis, D.V.M., at Pet Stop
Whether you think of Pet Stop as a store with veterinary services or a veterinarian with a store, Dr. Tami Theis and her staff have been serving Canyon Country and the surrounding community since May of 1993.

“We are a one-stop shop for products and services (grooming, outpatient services),” Dr. Theis said. “Most people are surprised to find out we do full-service dog grooming, as well as outpatient vet services.”
Tami Theis
26870 Sierra Highway, Unit B-1
661-251-3867
PetStopSantaClarita.com

 

Al-Umma Center Muslim Worship in Canyon Country

| Canyon Country Magazine | September 12, 2018

Most of us learn as early as elementary school that it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. Of course, the principle applies to making assumptions based on external appearance, and sometimes adults need a reminder that differences among people are, in part, what make life interesting. However, there are many more aspects that people have in common, which may escape our notice.

As Canyon Country has mirrored the growth of the Santa Clarita Valley as a whole, its human landscape has broadened. As the number of residents grows, so does the breadth of cultures, food sources and religious opportunities.

When you pass Al-Umma Center on Sierra Highway, less than a mile north of Soledad Canyon Road, you may not know that it is a place of worship if you aren’t acquainted with Islam. The Muslim mosque was established in 2013 and occupies the property that used to be a tile and granite store. It was originally the area’s first feed store, said Majub El Arabi, a founding member of Al-Umma Center, who said they chose the name for the mosque to give it a connotation of a community center.

“From time to time we have family nights, where we invite the community and bring food and have a movie for the kids. And we have a youth group with a lot of activities,” El Arabi said. “We saw Canyon Country as a developing area. What better way to serve the community than to establish a center in the eastern part of the valley.”

There are hundreds of mosques in Southern California, three in Santa Clarita. Al-Umma Center was opened to serve the eastern side of the valley, which enables Muslim worshipers to find one conveniently close to their homes and workplaces. It is an added convenience during their five prayer periods per day, called “Salat.”

Each prayer time has an Arabic name: Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha’a. There are a certain number of “Rakaas” for each period of prayers, which is an act where Muslims bow, prostrate on the floor. The floor at Al-Umma Center has markers (photo above), which guide the body placement of worshipers so they face Mecca.

The local congregation gathers together on Fridays for prayers and reading verses from their holy book, the Quran, which is written and recited in Arabic. They hear sermons from fellow members, which are delivered in English.

“Most of our community is not Arab-speaking,” El Arabi said. “The Muslim world is made up of, roughly, 1.8 billion people, but the Arab world is only about 400 million. People mix up Muslim and Arab. Arabs don’t have to be Muslims.”

El Arabi and his family are Americans, and he brought his three children to his native country of Libya many times. He believes it would benefit this country if each young person could travel overseas.

“I think it would enlighten them,” El Arabi said. “They would be better-rounded people and appreciate more what we have. We always think the world revolves around here, but there’s a whole world out there. We are a very small part of the world.”

El Arabi moved to the United States to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in engineering. A job in the oil industry brought El Arabi to Santa Clarita in 1982. His children, now grown, attended local public schools and grew up in this community, where the prominent religions are Christianity and Judaism.

“Most of our friends are non-Muslims and they are the greatest people in the world,” said El Arabi, who sits on the board of trustees for Al-Umma Center. “We create these places not to convert people, but so people can worship. … Faith is more on the individual. The spiritual part of it is personal.”

The mosque sees its biggest numbers during fasting months, called Ramadan. Based on a lunar calendar, the last Ramadan was in June-July of 2018.

“The Muslim religion requires the faithful to fast for one month during the daytime, from sunrise until sunset, and in that month we gather together at the mosque for more prayers,” El Arabi explained.

During Ramadan, the congregation comes together to break the fast, after sundown. Members take turns hosting the nightly meal in the outdoor area at Al-Umma Center. There are sometimes 200-250 people who attend those events.

“We hosted an interfaith event one night and we had 25-30 guests who were non-Muslims. People were very amazed at how lively the place is,” El Arabi said.

In addition to the simple lack of exposure Americans have had to the beliefs of Islam and the message of the Quran, El Arabi points out the image portrayed in the news, particularly when reporting a terrorist attack.

“The media doesn’t do a good job,” he said. “Every time there is a terrorist, they show people praying. … They’re contributing to the ignorance of people. … Islam does not condone any of this.”

It has been smooth sailing for Al-Umma Center’s experience in Canyon Country so far.

“We’ve never had any issue at all,” El Arabi said. “One of the things that was really gratifying was when we went through the permitting process. The city sent out a letter to people within 500 feet from the boundaries of the mosque property to see if they had an objection. … They had to include hundreds of (apartment) units. If somebody says no, they don’t have to justify it. … When they sent the letter, nobody objected.”

The Muslim congregation sometimes gets letters of approval from individuals in town, saying they are happy to have the Center here. “By and large, we’ve been good neighbors to them and they’ve been good to us,” El Arabi said.

18th Annual Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair

| Canyon Country Magazine | September 11, 2018

Hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens will be available for adoption at the 18th Annual Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair to be held at Newhall’s William S. Hart Park on Sunday, October 14, thanks to the partnership of L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation and L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control. The 2018 fair, sponsored by Pets Global, Inc. (Zignature Dog Food & Fussie Cat), Valencia Veterinary Center, Ingolstadt West German Auto Specialists and Happy Pets Veterinary Center, kicks off at 11 a.m. Since it began in 2001, the Valencia-based Bow-Wows & Meows, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has adopted out close to 2,500 pets at its annual fairs, which see attendance in excess of 10,000 people each year. Dogs of ALL breeds are welcome to attend the pet fair, provided they are on non-retractable leashes and are well-behaved. All dogs must be 18 weeks or older and fully vaccinated to attend.

There is no breed discrimination at the Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair. All seven Los Angeles County animal shelters will be offering discounted adoption fees of just $30 and their veterinary team will be on hand to answer questions from new L.A. County adopters. Dedicated county shelter volunteers, who will also be available to the public, will share their knowledge about the animals, as well.

Every county shelter pet is spayed or neutered, immunized, micro-chipped, and ready to go home immediately. Adopters receive a special, complimentary “I’ve Just Been Adopted” bag for their new family member, compliments of Bow-Wows & Meows sponsors and vendors.

“Adoption is the most humane way to bring home a new pet and it is the most cost-effective, too,” said Yvonne (Allbee) Hanson, founder of Bow-Wows & Meows, Inc. “Most of the dogs and cats at the fair were once part of a family, so they acclimate really well to being in a home again. Families often speak of a very special bond that develops with their adopted pet and many claim it to be one of the greatest things they have done.”

Hanson speaks from experience, having adopted shelter dogs and cats herself.

In 2017, Bow-Wows & Meows adopted out 179 shelter and rescue animals. Fair organizers are looking to break their 2015 record of 200 adoptions this year at the October 14 event. “Our goal is to send all the shelter trucks back empty at the end of the day and with the community’s help, we can make that happen,” Hanson said.

Entrance to the family-friendly fair is free, and activities include:
Amazing entertainment by The Sundance Dog Team, World-Acclaimed Dog Acrobatic Show at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
The famous Fun Dog Show, with categories ranging from best vocalist to mystery mutt and pet-owner look-alike at 1:30 p.m.
Huge “Super Raffle” with fantastic prizes ranging in value from $50 up to $4,000 – at just $1 per ticket
County pet license renewals
Food Truck Court with delicious dining options (including vegan and vegetarian)
Shopping opportunities ranging from premium pet food to fantastic pet accessories
Talk with service vendors such as veterinarians, pet sitters, groomers etc…
Low-cost vaccines from TAGS (free rabies shots)
Pet photographer, caricature artists, photo booths and more

Free community street parking will be available in the surrounding neighborhood areas, including the Metrolink parking lots. Local pet lovers can help the fair succeed by spreading the word about Bow­Wows & Meows via:
* Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BWMPetFair)
* Instagram (bowwowspetfair)
* Twitter (@BowWowsPetFair)

“Social media makes a big impact by bringing more adopters to the fair, helping us save as many lives as possible,” Hanson said.

For more information, visit www.BowWowsAndMeows.org or email info@BowWowsAndMeows.org.

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