Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 12, 2018

Your grandmother may have had a sewing circle, or had a group of friends who would bring over fabric squares which they pieced together on a rack.

Santa Clarita has the SCV Quilt Guild.

“Our guild is a fun guild,” says quilter Donna Chipperfield of Agua Dulce, who joined the club in 1991. “Yes, we do a lot of work … but we also go out and have dinner once in a while and anybody is welcome to come.

Almost 30 years ago, a group of quilters created the non-profit Santa Clarita Quilt Guild to share their love of handcrafting, and at the same time, meet needs of others in the community. They pass on their skills to future generations through demonstrations and in working with Girl Scouts earning their Quilting Badge.

The group has contributed three quilts to the City of Santa Clarita, and one hangs in the City Council chambers. The members also adopt families in need, raising money for individuals without resources.

The goal of the SCV Quilt Guild is to serve the community, says Carol Carter, who serves on the community service committee for the club.

“We make quilts for our veterans through Habitat for Humanity,” she says. “Each veteran receives a quilt when they move into their new home.”

The non-profit organization also creates quilts for residents of the VA Hospital in West Los Angeles. They also support The Painted Turtle, a camp for children with special needs and medical issues.

“We donate turtle pillows and small quilts for each child to take home,” Carter says.

The Guide Dogs of America are supported by the non-profit, and the Santa Clarita Senior Center receives original work from the Quilt Guild, including placemats, shawls, wheelchair and lap quilts for seniors.

“We have a good group and we’re all oriented toward doing community service,” Chipperfield says.

Some of the other organizations benefiting from the work of the guild include: American Diabetes Association, Boy Scouts, Brownie Girl Scouts, Canyon Country Library, City of Hope, Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Santa Clarita Food Pantry, SCV Pregnancy Center, SCV Homeless Shelter, SCV Sheriff’s Department, United Cerebral Palsy, and others.

Canyon Country resident Bunny House joined the Quilt Guild after she retired from Union Bank in 2004. Her first quilting project involved matching up the points of triangles.

“It was all challenging, I’ve got to tell you,” she says. “At the time, I hadn’t used my sewing machine in … I can’t even tell you. I had packed it away.”

Like many of the guild’s members, House sewed when she was young. “When my daughter was born … the first two years she was in school I made everything she wore,” she says. “I made clothing for myself, and doll clothes. Before, it was actually more cost-effective than it is now, because fabric is really expensive.”

House says she’s a traditional quilter.

“I’m not a modern quilter,” House says. “I like traditional patterns. I don’t have a favorite pattern, but I do like stars.”

Traditional does not necessarily mean hand-sewn.

“Hand-quilting would not be an option at this point. I can do some hand-sewing, but hand-quilting would be intensive,” House says. “I know we have some members who do hand-quilting.”

Of course, some of the Guild prefer working by hand, one member in particular.

“She doesn’t even own a sewing machine,” Chipperfield says. “Everything is done by hand. And she pumps out some of the most beautiful quilts you have ever seen.”

Chipperfield, a former Quilt Guild president, quilts professionally, finishing people’s quilts for almost two decades now.

“Modern quilting now is quite different,” Chipperfield says. “It used to be quilts were made to be on beds. Now we do it for art. … You used to sit around a frame and you outlined your little squares or triangles. And now you do it by machine and your imagination is the only thing that hinders you.”

Chipperfield’s grandmother started her quilting when she was 9 years old, and she was hooked.

“Anybody who takes up quilting, it will become a passion for them,” she says.

Smithsonian refers to quilting as “fiber arts,” says Chipperfield, who adds that it resembles the work of visual artists.

“All quilts are beautiful,” she says. “It’s kind of like looking at paintings. Some will really jump out at you and others will kind of just intrigue you. With others you’ll say, ‘Hmm … that’s OK.’ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild meetings are held the second Thursday of every month from 7-9:30 p.m. at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, located at 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road. The club gets national and international quilting experts to come and speak, and will typically show examples of their work. Sometimes there’s a workshop, where members can become more knowledgeable quilters.

“If you had any desire to become one, or any sewing background you’d probably enjoy it,” House says. “It’s really gratifying to put a quilt together and see it come together and you can give it to someone who will appreciate it.”

For more information about the organization, visit SCVquiltguild.org.

Ask The Experts

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 5, 2018

Q: What is the difference between a sewer and a septic system?

A: Septic refers to a private sewer system. It includes a tank, distribution box and an effluent field, also known as leech lines, and a seepage pit, or cesspool. All maintenance work is the homeowner’s or private land owner’s responsibility.

A public sewer system is a county or city maintained system that ends up in a treatment plant. All maintenance work on a trunk line in the street is paid for by property taxes and completed by city or county maintenance teams.

The City of Santa Clarita and surrounding areas have many variables to consider when talking about responsibility and codes. You want to consult a professional plumber for clarification.

Q: What type of maintenance should homeowners have to prevent potential problems with their plumbing?
A: One of the best ways to mitigate a big maintenance issue is for the owner of a home or business to check and maintain water pressure, keeping it under 80 pounds, as per code.


Hallway Plumbing can be reached at 661-702-9988








Richard Wade of Richard’s Boats

Q.What is one way to maximize the pleasure of owning and using a boat?

A. Boat owners need to maintain their boats and make sure they’re properly serviced, at least annually, and ready for use. I recommend a safety inspection to make sure the boat operates correctly, that the bilge blower works and the bilge pump works. There’s nothing worse than investing hundreds of dollars for a day on the lake and then your boat doesn’t work.

Q. What safety equipment should boat owners have on board?

A. They need a life jacket on board for everybody, and everyone under 12 has to wear their life jackets. You need to keep a working fire extinguisher on board, no matter what kind of boat it is. They also need throw cushions, a paddle and a flag for maximum safety.

Richard Wade owns Richard’s Boats located at 45500 23rd St. West, Lancaster, CA 93536. Call
661-951-9191 or visit www.richardsboatcenter.com.

The Shrinking Life of Bees

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 5, 2018

Bee-lieve it or not, if the number of hives continues to decline, humankind may not survive.

That’s a driving force for Max Morgan, a former member of the military, firefighter and police officer who began a new career as a bee removal specialist.

Last month, a swarm of Africanized bees killed three dogs in Agua Dulce. But while many members of the community were shocked by the local drama, Morgan wasn’t surprised.

“It’s not unusual at all,” he said. “The Africanized bees have killed livestock, pets … humans. They actually crossed the border into Texas, probably in 1999, and they were found in California in 2004, and now they’re pretty much in the Southwest and moving their way north.”

Morgan quoted a statistic where they found that 80-90 percent of wild bees (the kinds not kept by beekeepers) have some degree of “Africanization,” meaning they have DNA from the aggressive African honey bee.

“Some are mildly nasty and some are a public safety hazard,” Morgan said. “It’s evolutionary. They’re starving to death because of a lack of forage.”

To avoid being attacked by them, it’s best to stay away. Morgan said that Africanized bees can sense danger at 50 feet away, and they sense vibration (which agitates all bees) at 100 feet. “A bee can fly 15 miles an hour,” he said. “How fast can you run? They will chase someone for a quarter of a mile.”

The local bee expert responds to calls from clients and speaks to groups about a growing – or shrinking – problem. It is called Colony Collapse Disorder.

“It’s a worldwide phenomenon,” Morgan said. “What happened around 2006 is the agricultural chemical companies came out with new … insecticides – neonicatinoids – which are nicotine-based.”

It is a “systemic insecticide,” according to Morgan, which means that by contrast to other insecticides, which typically last a few days, neonicatinoids are there forever. Bees then gather the contaminated, toxic nectar, according to Morgan, and bring it back to hives, decimating bee populations. He added that most of the Western European countries, including Russia, banned the use of neonicatinoids.

There is also a loss of habitat because farmers are using their land to grow corn for ethanol for cars, he said.

“A few years ago, for the almonds in the Central Valley, they needed 1.6 million bee hives to pollinate. They were literally trucked in by the thousands,” Morgan explained. “But because of the Colony Collapse Disorder, they’re losing colonies. Four years ago there were only 500,000 hives available to pollinate the almond crops.”

Bee-lieve it or not, bees are smart
“People who are aware that bees are dying, they’ll say, ‘How come we’re getting all these bees?’ We have sprinklers, bird baths, pools, water features, and we have landscape plants,” he said. “It’s almost Darwinian. They’re moving into urban areas in their fight to survive.”

Morgan gets called to Sand Canyon, among other parts of the valley. Ranch owners who have water troughs for livestock can draw bees. A lot of the horses will get stung on their faces, such as the nostril area, he said.

“Bees require a lot of water,” he said. “I get several calls a year from people saying, ‘We can’t use our swimming pool.’ I tell them to drain the pool. And sometimes they ask, ‘Can we convert it to saltwater?’ But bees like saltwater even more.”

This hive at Lowes was relocated

Morgan said that when bees find a desirable situation, they remember it. “Bees will put that in their GPS. They’ll fly in a 5-mile radius and find their way back,” he said. “They are highly intelligent.”

Bee-lieve it or not, Max Morgan is a no-kill bee expert
“I’m a moderate environmentalist,” he said. “I recognized six, seven years ago bees were dying, so I became a beekeeper. I wanted to do my part. I thought it was the environmentally responsible thing to do.”

By keeping bees alive, Morgan can fight the numbers dying off.

“Everyone knows they’re critical to our food supply. One out of three foods we eat requires a bee to pollinate it, whether it’s vegetables or fruit,” he said. “It’s also critical to our meat and dairy, because alfalfa requires pollination.”

When bees swarm, there are typically 4,000-6,000 bees and they’re about the size of a football,” the bee expert warned.

One of his most challenging calls involved removing an Africanized hive a few years ago. They attacked him and got into the cab of his truck, so he had to drive home in his beekeeper uniform, Morgan said.

“The best advice I could give people is don’t ignore their bee problem,” Morgan said. “A lot of people say, ‘That’s OK, it’s nature, they’re not bothering anyone.’ I cannot emphasize it enough. They’ve got to deal with it.”

The season for bees is March through September, and a fertile queen bee can lay 1,500-2,000 eggs a day.

“Exponentially, the population is exploding,” he said. “It doubles again and again. You can have a hive with 15,000-40,000 bees and they can become Africanized.”

If they aren’t attended to and they get in the wall of a house it’s complex and expensive to solve, Morgan said.

The beekeeper’s research shows that without bees, humans have only wheat, rice and corn to eat. He reminds people that it was Einstein who allegedly said, “If all the bees were to die, mankind would only have four years to live.”

That projection sounds a little bit ironic, as Morgan’s proposal to help turn the tide is a political one. He said, “It’s all about campaign donations from chemical manufacturers.”

To learn more, you can visit Max Morgan’s business page on Facebook, which is “Have Bees?”

Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 4, 2018

When Cindy and Gary Bernsdorf moved to Canyon Country in 1977, roses were the first thing they planted in the front yard. Since then, when they’ve made changes to their landscaping it often meant making room for more roses.

“My interest in roses goes back to my childhood,” Cindy Bernsdorf said. “My mom had roses as part of her front and back gardens. It just seemed natural to include them in our gardens, too.”

Susan Rinker

Susan Rinker’s interest in roses also took root in her mother’s garden. She remembers her “Peace Roses” as colorful and “Mister Lincoln Roses” as fragrant and velvety red.

When she came to the Santa Clarita Valley, Rinker noticed that some roses don’t grow well in this area.

“There are specific roses that do really well out here, while there are others that don’t,” said Rinker, who moved to Canyon Country 21 years ago. “We bought here because it was semi-rural at the time. Canyon Country still has that small town feel and community spirit.”

The SCV Rose Society is another community Rinker praises. She attended their annual rose shows and about five years ago, she went to the group’s “How to Cut Back Roses” class, which is held in January.

“Everyone is really friendly and knowledgeable,” she said. “There is something for everybody, even if you are just starting out.”

some of the Bernsdorf family’s 50 roses

The Bernsdorfs have been members of the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society for about 10 years.

“We first became aware of the Rose Society from articles in The Signal inviting the public to visit local rose gardens. One of them was in Canyon Country, not too far from us, so we went,” Cindy said. “It was amazing to see someone’s garden who was really ‘into’ roses. They had so many different kinds and colors, and everyone there was so helpful when we started asking questions.”

Their next visit was to the Rose Show at Hart Park. “Again, we talked to members, and decided to join,” she said.

The 26-year-old local Rose Society has monthly meetings with speakers on subjects related to roses or gardening, including related topics such as pruning, soil, pests, or from experts in the field of landscaping.

“We have often brought questions about growing roses to the many experts who attend,” Cindy said. “The really nice thing is that there are many members who, like us, grow roses for our own pleasure, but don’t go any further than that. However, if you want to grow ‘show quality’ roses and participate in showing them, we have lots of others who can help.”

Some of the club’s members even graft their own roses, and there is a wide range of expertise in the group.

“There is a place for anyone who loves roses, no matter how involved you want to be,” Cindy said. “We have a monthly newsletter with great articles, as well as an award-winning website. You can find information there on almost any question you might have about roses.”

The group’s website, SCVRS.homestead.com, has a calendar of care, with suggestions about what you can do each month to help your roses grow to their highest quality. There are photos of members’ gardens and a list of consulting Rosarians, among much more.

“Of course, we also continue to have the Rose Garden Tours and our Rose Show each year,” Cindy said.

All three of the members support the club by volunteering; for instance, assisting judges at the Rose Show.

The Bernsdorfs don’t show their roses; but they’ve been enjoying them in the yard for 40 years, as well as life in their Canyon Country neighborhood.

“We still have neighbors who were there when we moved in. Our kids grew up together,” she said. “We loved the schools and families we met through PTA, Girl Scouts, and AYSO. … We have some pretty awesome newcomers in our neighborhood as well.”

Rinker was drawn to the area, in part, for the wildlife. “We loved the roadrunners, quail, plover, and a coyote or two,” she said. “Due to the development out here, most of the animals are gone now, but we still love the quietness, the beautiful views, the sunsets and sunrise.”

Canyon Country Business Briefs

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 2, 2018

Citywide Film Statistics
In April, the City of Santa Clarita issued 38 film permits which contributed to 76 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $1,442,500.

The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in April 2018.

Television Shows:
Casual – Alliance Gas Station, Backwoods Inn, Travelodge
S.W.A.T. – Sand Canyon Road
Shooter – Sand Canyon area homes

Feature Films:
The Family Business – Sand Canyon area home
Tone-Deaf – Sable Ranch

FUSE – Sable Ranch
Kia Sorento – Sable Ranch, Sand Canyon area home
Lowes – Iron Canyon Road, Sand Canyon area home
Sam Adams – Rancho Deluxe
T-Mobile – Sand Canyon area home
Walmart – Walmart (Carl Boyer)

Student Films:
Little Black Sheep (New York Film Academy) – Area home
Spirit (New York Film Academy) – Area home


“Feral Heart” Art Exhibit
On display through June 5, 2018.
This free art exhibit at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Rd., features artwork of sketches and paintings by artist Steph Darling inspired by nature and the connection to humans. Having grown up on 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, please visit SantaClaritaArts.com.


Canyon Country Community Center
Summer Camps: June 18-August 10

Full Day Camp includes the Morning Camp, Lunch Time* and the Afternoon Camp.
* Participants should bring their lunch from home.

Summer Morning Camps offer youth a variety of activities to appeal to their individual interests. Camps are instructed by PEAK Adventures, Play-Well TEKnologies, Recreation Staff, Optimized Entertainment, and Tutu Ballet Academy.

Afternoon Camp (Summer BLAST) provides a fun and structured setting for children 5-12 during summer break! The Summer BLAST program offers an opportunity to participate in enrichment activities, crafts, and games. Summer BLAST will be led by City of Santa Clarita Recreation staff. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.

Enrichment Camps

STEMulation: June 18 – July 16, 2018 – 5 Weeks – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Adventure with Foods Kidz: June 19 – August 7, 2018 – Weekly – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Friday Night Family Flix (All Ages)
Looking for something fun for your family to do on a Friday night for FREE? How about a family-friendly movie? Enjoy a popcorn treat while watching the movie “COCO.”
Friday, June 1 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Swing Into Summer (13+)
Do you like to Swing Dance or would like to learn? If the answer is yes, then join us for an evening of dancing as you ‘Swing into Summer!’ This special event will begin with dance lessons and then continue on to social dancing.

Saturday, June 9
Lessons: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Social Dancing: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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

Santa Clarita Public Library
The following will be held at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library.

This summer the Santa Clarita Public Library encourages world exploration with the free annual Summer Reading Program, beginning the week of June 11 and extending through the week of July 28. This year’s theme is “Reading Takes You Everywhere” and will offer library participants fun and interactive educational events geared towards children, teens, adults and families. More information is available at SCVSummerReading.com.

The following are a few highlighted events taking place at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library.

Life in a Tanzanian Tribe:
The Maasai
Tuesday, June 12
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Find out what life is like living with an African tribe (Maasai) in Tanzania, the food, housing, survival, the culture and more in this interesting, eye-opening discussion with show-and-tell from an adventurer’s personal experiences.

Family Night
Tuesday, June 19
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Celebrate the library’s summer reading program with a fun family evening. Do you like playing games, watching movies and eating? Then tonight is for you! They supply the fun. This is a free event and no registration is required.

Learn to Scrapbook like a Pro
Tuesday, June 26
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Adults learn how to get started with scrapbooking from a pro. An expert from Vision to Be Organized will be on hand to teach you some basics of scrapbooking. This program is for adults and is free. No registration is required.

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

Vine & Dine Locally

| Canyon Country Magazine | June 1, 2018

If a trip to “wine country” makes you think of a flight to the Bay Area and another couple of hours in the car, you might not be aware of the options in your own backyard. In the last two decades, an American Viticulture Area, or AVA, has been established in the Sierra Pelona Valley, which includes Agua Dulce, Acton and the Antelope Valley.

In other words, the Sierra Pelona Valley is “wine country.”

In 9.7 square miles and 96 acres of commercial vineyards, the official paperwork says the viticulture area lies 30 miles north of the City of Los Angeles, 35 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, and 20 miles southwest of the Mojave Desert.

The Sierra Pelona Valley Vintners Association is the organization partnering grape growers and bottlers with the rest of the community, promoting the production and appreciation of fine food and wines. The natural beauty of the east side of the Santa Clarita Valley has provided what entrepreneurs need in order to grow grapes and build businesses, providing the community with locally-produced wine.

Visitors have opportunities for relaxation and exploring the area through events at Sierra Pelona Valley wineries, including hikes, wine tasting, overnight stays and much more. The largest annual event hosted by the association is the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival held every spring.

For information on how to make the most of your time in Sierra Pelona Valley wine country, you can join the Sierra Pelona Valley Vintners on Facebook or visit the website, SierraPelonaVintners.com.

Reyes Winery Hike & Brunch

Beth Heiserman & Robert Reyes served wine and brunch to hikers.

After purchasing his 16-acre property in Agua Dulce in 2002, Robert Reyes planted grapes and the Reyes Winery got its start. The business produces small amounts of ultra premium wines for family and friends and consists of five popular grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Muscat. The winery has produced single varietals, blends, a rose, and has created four award-winning dessert wines.

Every month – with the exception of June through August – Reyes Winery hosts a Hike & Brunch event, where attendees get to walk about 7 miles of the Sierra Pelona Mountains.

This writer attended last month’s Hike & Brunch with 40-plus hikers. Residents came from a wide area, from Mary Rodriguez of Santa Clarita to Megan Derrig, a military contractor who lives in Palmdale. The group seemed happy with the views of Agua Dulce at 3,500-feet elevation. The walk was led by the winery owner himself, who said they’ve hosted as many as 65 people at the event. It wasn’t for the faint of heart — it was challenging enough to be fun — but you could choose from easier hiking options as well.

At the end of the hike the group returns to the vineyard for a light and healthy brunch that the winery pairs with award-winning Reyes wines. Sales and marketing director Beth Heiserman gets fresh produce from a local farm, planning her menu around what’s available.

Heiserman’s professsional food background was evident at last month’s event, as the brunch was restaurant-quality. She prepared wine-infused jam made with the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and Szechuan pink peppercorns, which went well with the fresh yogurt and her sweet granola, made with local honey. There were rolls, freshly baked breads and a buffet of hot dishes, which were equally filling and unique.

Her handmade cheesecake was like nothing I’ve ever eaten; in a word – delicious.

After brunch, Heiserman takes the hikers on a guided tour of the winery, vineyard and the tasting room, where they see Robert Reyes’ original paintings.

And finally, they finish in the tasting room, where they get to try a few more wines.

You can sign up for the next Hike & Brunch, which will be held in September, at https://squareup.com/store/reyes-winery.

Reyes Winery is located at 10262 Sierra Hwy in Santa Clarita. For information about the winery, call 661-268-1865 or visit Reyeswinery.com.

Agua Dulce Winery Mansion
If you have visiting relatives or you just want to get out of the house, there’s a B&B where your party can experience the peace and quiet of life in a vineyard. The Agua Dulce Winery Mansion is a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 5,000-square-foot home inside the 100-acre vineyard. You can rent the house and take advantage of nearby restaurants, including Zagat-rated Le Chene French Cuisine, go horseback riding on the Pacific Crest Trail and do some wine-tasting.

You can time your stay to also take part in one of the vineyard’s events. They hold wine barrel tours and tastings on weekends, which are sold out months in advance, but there are a number of other ongoing opportunities to experience life at the winery. Next month there will be a Bingo Party on Sunday, June 3; Wine and Paint on Saturday, June 16; and the Father’s Day 6th Annual Hold ‘Em Poker Classic on Sunday, June 17. The winery has tentatively scheduled a lobster truck for Saturday, June 23.

To inquire about staying in the mansion or attending events, call 661-268-7402. You can also learn more at AguaDulceWinery.com.

Agua Dulce Winery
9640 Sierra Highway 91390
(661) 268-7402


Antelope Valley Winery
42041 20th St. West 93534
(661) 722-0145


Alonso Family Vineyards
We offer our wines
for sale at:
Le Chene French Cuisine
12625 Sierra Highway 91390
(661) 251-4315

Coruce Vineyards Tasting Room
1055 West Ave M #105
(661) 494-8877



Golden Star Vineyards
36043 106th St. East
(661) 713-6660


Harris Wine Biz
(661) 266-9465

High Desert Cellars
3045 90th St. West Suite A 93560
(661) 256-6203



Oasis Vineyards
Stephen Hemmert Vineyards

Pulchella Winery
24261 Main Street 91321
(661) 799-9463

Reyes Winery
10262 Sierra Highway 91390
(661) 268-1865



Wine House Vineyard
(818) 634-5786

Flight or Bite

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 30, 2018

When spending time outdoors this summer, a lack of awareness may come back to bite you. Many of your Canyon Country neighbors have already had rattlesnake sightings, and that number should grow in the next three months, when Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital will likely see the majority of its snake bite patients. And one physician suggests you stay alert to avoid negative encounters with rattlers.

“Have good situational awareness in the outdoors,” said Bud Lawrence MD, medical director of the emergency department. “And know that we aren’t part of their food chain. Be sensitive to that and you can avoid situations.”

Most rattlesnake bite victims simply walk too close to the snake because they fail to see it, Dr. Lawrence said. “Rattlesnakes in general are not aggressive. We’re not their prey. It’s really a second line of defense; it usually shakes its rattle first.”

Henry Mayo typically sees 2-4 snake bite victims per month in the summer, and when a patient comes in doctors are cautious about making the decision to treat the individual with anti-venom CRO FAB.

“Usually the localized reaction from the venom is a lot of swelling and discomfort,” Dr. Lawrence said. “Then there are sometimes other reactions; some people get twitchy, for instance. But the main thing is swelling at the area of the bite.”

Occasionally they see victims of non-envenomations, or “dry bites,” when snakes don’t discharge venom, he said. And they don’t want to use CRO FAB unless the patient definitely needs it.

“One of the big barriers to treating people is the medication takes a while to mix up. It comes in powder form and we have to mix it into a solution,” Dr. Lawrence said. “And it’s extremely expensive, like $2,000 a vial, and it sometimes takes 4-6 vials.”

Mixing the medication in advance would save time, but hospital personnel refrain from doing so, unless a professional, such as a paramedic, is on scene and can describe symptoms.

When it’s determined a person needs the anti-venom, CRO FAB is injected in the veins and infuses over a period of time, while emergency department personnel reevaluate between doses. Most significant bites need multiple vials, Dr. Lawrence said.

While Henry Mayo treats the most rattlesnake bite victims in Los Angeles County, it’s unlikely to run out of the anti-venom medication. “We always keep a par level,” the doctor said. “We are always stocked.”

And if living in rattlesnake country seems like a down side, Dr. Lawrence has a bright side for you.

“In many parts of country there are many types of poisonous snakes,” he said. “Here there’s only one – the rattlesnake.”

College of the Canyons to Offer Four Summer Sessions Including Online-Only

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 30, 2018

College of the Canyons will offer a robust schedule of summer classes with four sessions – including an entire online-only session – designed to help students and community members better achieve their educational goals.

The 2018 summer session will include seats for more than 20,000 students spread across over 750 sections of high-demand “core” classes in a wide range of academic subjects and disciplines.

At the college’s Canyon Country campus, high-demand classes such as biology and computer science will be offered for students who must fulfill class requisites for their majors.

Three automotive technology classes will also be taught as short-term classes at the Canyon Country campus. The college’s automotive technology program was recently named a Strong Workforce Star (Bronze) by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Strong Workforce Stars is an annual recognition for career education programs within the California Community Colleges system whose graduates show significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and a job closely matched with the field of study.

Also, high school juniors and seniors can take advantage of the opportunity to earn college and high school credit while taking classes at COC with waived enrollment fees.

“This year’s summer session offers a wide variety of classes that fit the diverse needs of our students,” said Jerry Buckley, assistant superintendent/vice president of academic affairs at the college. “We are very excited to offer a summer session that is entirely online to help accommodate the needs of students who may be working or traveling during the summer.”

The college’s first five-week summer session will run June 4 to July 6.

A second eight-week summer session will begin June 11 and run until July 3.

The third summer session, which runs from June 18 to July 20, will be held entirely online.

A final five-week summer session will be offered from July 9 to August 10.

The college’s summer schedule of classes is now posted online at www.canyons.edu/classschedule.
Summer 2018 enrollment fees at all California community colleges will remain at $46-per-unit, as mandated by the state of California.

For more information about the College of the Canyons 2018 summer session, or to become a student, contact the college’s Admissions and Records office at (661) 362-3280 or visit www.canyons.edu.

Billy Blanks at Hugo’s

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 16, 2018

If you’re a Tae Bo fan, then you know the name Billy Blanks. He’s a world famous fitness expert, sometimes referred to as the king of cardio kickboxing with dozens of videos leading people through his original training style.

And he’s coming to Santa Clarita.

Hugo’s Gymfitness, located on Centre Pointe Pkwy, is hosting a Tae Bo Masterclass with Billy Blanks on May 20 from 4-6 p.m. Local resident and certified instructor Angie Eliaszewicz of Stevenson Ranch will partner with him in the day’s instruction. She is a former student of Blanks and the first certified Tae Bo master instructor in Santa Clarita.

In the 1980s, Billy Blanks devised Tae Bo fitness in his basement in Pennsylvania, and now it’s evolved to “Tae Bo Nation,” a fitness exercise program that was created to “challenge your body, your mind and your will.” It became known as the original total-body workout in the fitness industry, eventually rising to common household name. Today, Tae Bo Nation operates through the “Celebrity Sweat” TV series corporate office.

The fourth of 15 children, Blanks is now a fitness guru, actor, trainer and humanitarian, and his travels are taking him, most recently, as far as Romania, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, where thousands of instructors are earning Tae Bo certifications.

Eliaszewicz became an instructor and has been working with Blanks for the last four months on the specialized martial arts form, which is a combination of tae kwon do and boxing.

“Billy’s conscientious about health issues,” said Eliaszewicz, who teaches Tae Bo to corporate employees, in the aerospace industry, and at universities.

After the May 20 event, she will offer Tae Bo classes locally. Already an instructor at Hugo’s, Eliaszewicz is establishing Tae Bo training in Santa Clarita hoping to bring healthy ideas to residents through both exercise and diet education.

“Our market got saturated with Zumba and beach parties,” she said. “And there are so many cardio kickboxing classes in Santa Clarita. When Billy teaches his Tae Bo instructors, he emphasizes technique a lot … so they don’t get injured.”

Eliaszewicz said you have to study more than 139 pages and pass a test before obtaining certification. “He’s very solid about that,” she added. “Two days, training eight hours each day, and through the whole training he emphasizes technique. We are very qualified instructors.”

Trainers using other modalities tend to get hurt, she said. “This is not a performance, it is for me to create a difference,” Eliaszewicz said. “I’m the tool to make that happen. … I care about you doing the right stuff so you see results. That’s what Billy puts into his instructors.”

Hugo’s is located at 21107 Centre Pointe Pkwy in Santa Clarita. Visit Hugosgymfitness.com.

Canyon Country History Minute

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 15, 2018

When College of the Canyons completed research about the more than 20,000 students on the Valencia campus back in the early 2000s, staff members found that about one-third of them lived in zip codes from the Canyon Country area. They subsequently purchased 70 acres on Sierra Highway and got the wheels in motion for a new campus. The College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus opened on August 27, 2007 with room for 8,000-10,000 students.

GoFundMe for Family of Cancer Victim

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 9, 2018

The Grasso family has never been afraid of hard work, faithfully pitching in at Oak Creek Corral in Canyon Country, where they ride horses. But the past few years have taken them down a more difficult trail, as husband to Jodi and father-of-five Craig Grasso has been fighting a battle with cancer.

A storybook artist in film animation and an instructor at CalArts, Craig has been able to work – at least some of the time – but things haven’t been going as well lately.

“The doctors told him they are out of options,” said Tracy Boldroff, owner of Oak Creek Corral. “The next step is heavy doses of chemo to see if they can get the levels down enough to do a stem cell transplant. If this does not work they say the cancer will be very aggressive and his time left will be very limited.”

He found out he had multiple myeloma in 2011 during a routine life insurance exam which, unfortunately, precluded him from getting the policy, which is one reason the community is contributing to the family’s finances.

“The out-of-pocket expense for his medication had risen to over $800 per month in the past, which already created stress for the family,” Boldroff said. “(And) the doctors do not want Craig working from this point on.”

Friends of the Grassos set up a GoFundMe account to offset the extreme hardship due to medical bills. Boldroff and Jacqulin Powell-Audish are reaching out to the entire community to meet the goal of $20,000.

“We are trying to raise funds to give to the family for their monthly expenses and for the girls’ activities,” said Boldroff, referring to the Grasso’s three teenage daughters who ride. “The girls are already going through enough and they need their activities to give them some type of peace at this difficult time.”

The horse community can help further by participating in a Fundraiser Trail Ride & Walk followed by a dinner on May 12, 2018. For more information about the Fundraiser Ride, email TracyBoldroff@sbcglobal.net.

To help Craig Grasso and his family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/theGrassofamily.

Canyon Country Business Briefs

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 9, 2018

Citywide Film Statistics
In March, the city issued 45 film permits which contributed to 120 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $2,707,000.
The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in March 2018.
Television Shows:
Casual – Alliance Gas Station, Backwoods Inn, Travelodge
Criminal Minds – Area streets, home construction site
Shooter – Rancho Deluxe, Sand Canyon area home
Straight Up Steve Austin – Rancho Deluxe
Timeless – Rancho Deluxe, Sable Ranch
Feature Films:
The Family Business – Sable Ranch
Old Flames – Sand Canyon area home
Survival Skills – Area home
Witness Protection – Sand Canyon area home
Dell – Sable Ranch
Michelob – Rancho Deluxe
Pods – Rancho Deluxe
Walmart – Walmart (Carl Boyer)
Up Next – Sable Ranch
Student Films:
Bleeding Kansas (UCLA) – Sand Canyon area home
FNDG (New York Film Academy) – Area home
Hydroflask (Columbia College Hollywood) – Begonias Lane Park

The city will be removing two buildings, one on the northern edge of the city-owned property and the second building, located on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway over the next couple months. These buildings are being removed in preparation for the new Canyon Country Community Center, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2019.

“Feral Heart” Art Exhibit
On display 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. For more information on this exhibit and other art events happening in Santa Clarita, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

Canyon Country Community Center

Community Health Fair
This free event will include health screenings, courtesy of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, including blood pressure monitoring, height and weight analysis, body composition analysis, oxygen saturation, and carbon monoxide measurement, cholesterol test, glucose test, healthy nutrition and diet tips.
Friday, May 11 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Teen Night Out (12-18 yrs.)
Drop-in and work up a sweat with an evening of Dodgeball, Wii, or computers in the Tech Room. Bring a friend! Activities will be structured. Membership and participation is required.
Friday, May 11 and 25 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. FREE

Mommies, Muffins and Movement (4-10 yrs.)
To celebrate the special women in their lives (mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nannies, etc.) kids can dance, play games and enjoy a variety of exciting activities. They will “move and groove” while making memories with the ladies of their lives. Light refreshments will be served. All children ages 4-10 years are welcome!
Saturday, May 19 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. FREE

Daddies, Dodgeball and Donuts (4-10 yrs.)
Celebrate the special men in your life (fathers, grandfathers, uncles, nannies, etc.)! Come throw, dodge, catch and learn the basic rules and techniques of tournament-style dodgeball. Kids, bring the extraordinary man in your life as your dodge, duck and work hand-in-hand to beat the rest, to the best! Light refreshments will be served. All children ages 4-10 years are welcome!
Saturday, May 19 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. FREE

Visit santa-clarita.com/CCCC or call (661) 290-2266

Career and Education Alternatives

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 8, 2018

Health Care Certifications

Charter College

You may have seen Charter College on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country, but never considered what is happening inside. The school currently offers certificate programs in medical assistant and dental assisting. The curriculum is what they call a “blended learning” format, which means students learn both in the classroom and online, saving travel time and expenses, while also having the flexibility they need to balance family life with school.

The Charter College Medical Assistant training graduates can have careers in a variety of positions, including: medical assistant, clinical assistant, medical receptionist or medical office assistant. The program takes 10 months and employs a combination of clinical, technical and business skills, and it’s a hands-on format.

According to the Charter College website, to meet graduation requirements, all medical assistant students must pass, or attempt at least twice, a certification examination. Students who do not do so will not be considered a graduate. Students unable to pass the examination on the first attempt may continue to an externship. Charter College will sponsor students who take the national examination through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).

Highlights of the program include information, technical skills, and administrative skills required for entry-level Medical Assistant; training in front office computer technology and word processing and externship programs.

The Charter College Certificate in Dental Assisting is a 10-month program preparing graduates for entry-level employment in dental settings. Job titles include chairside dental assistant and dental x-ray technician. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists performing a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties. Responsibilities may include sterilizing and disinfecting instruments and equipment, preparing and laying out materials, taking dental x-rays and processing x-ray film. During dental procedures, assistants work alongside the dentist. Dental assistants perform a different role than dental hygienists, who are licensed to perform various clinical tasks.

The program’s highlights include didactic, laboratory and clinical instruction in chairside assisting procedures; infection control and treatment procedures; and basic training in front office procedures.

Charter College is located at 19034 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. Call 661-252-1864 or visit Chartercollege.edu.

 Golden Oak Adult School

Certified Medical Assistant. The program includes classes from 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m. for 18 weeks and an externship for four weeks. You must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, plus take a pre-admission placement exam.

Pharmacy Technician. After completing this program you can gain an entry-level job, from assisting a pharmacist with mixing/packaging prescriptions to inventory control and billing. You need a high school diploma or the equivalent and the course includes more than 240 classroom hours over 18 weeks, as well as an externship of up to 120 hours. After completing the course, students sit down for the National Healthcareer Association’s CPht exam.

Phlebotomy Technician. To earn phlebotomy certification, a student needs 24 hours of basic and 24 hours of advanced didactic plus 40 hours of an externship. It prepares you for an entry-level position as a phlebotomist in a hospital, clinic, laboratory service center or doctor’s office. This program includes 48 hours of lecture and 40 hours of practical experience or “advanced” 48 hours of lecture for students who already have phlebotomy experience. Following the course, students take the National Certification Exam.

Golden Oak Adult School is located at 23201 Dalbey Drive in Santa Clarita. For more information, call 661-253-0583 or visit GoldenOakAdultSchool.com.

 Hart District Career Pathways

Students in the William S. Hart Union School District are currently offered the ability to explore their options through the Career Pathways program. The majority of students in the district in grades 7-12 take at least one semester of career education courses by the time they graduate, according to Mariane Doyle Ph.D., Hart District director, Career Technical and Adult Education.

“Our mission is to provide all students with the opportunity to explore careers and identify the best post-secondary preparation options leading to their career choice,” Doyle said. “Our pathway options range from engineering to animal science to construction technology. We really provide a great variety for students and we are proud to now offer the STEM lab at Bowman!”
A grand opening was held at Bowman High School for a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab last month. When students complete online learning, they can now participate in hand-on activities in technical career fields.

The STEM lab will help students in the following areas of interest:


Emergency medical technician



Robotics and automation

Manufacturing and technology

Pharmacology and construction

Medical imaging

“These modules are succinct, allowing students to explore multiple career pathways in short periods of time,” Doyle said. “This ‘out of the box’ approach to career exploration and development is ideal for alternative school students who are often kinesthetic learners who thrive by experiencing the process of learning. ‘Learning by doing’ supports the acquisition of academic content through hands-on mastery.”

In addition to the STEM lab, Bowman also aims to promote career and college readiness by providing an AP Computer Science class and a Culinary Arts program. Next year, an education pathway with a focus on child development will be offered and a Makerspace will be outfitted with the tools and equipment needed to support a Next Generation Science Standards curriculum being developed in the fall.

“The Hart District provides myriad opportunities for students to engage in STEM,” Doyle said. “From career pathways ranging from Medical Science to Computer Networking, to elective courses including Nanoscience and Anatomy and Physiology, students can engage in STEM at every school in the district. Further, we have STEAM pathways and programs that integrate the Arts in our STEM work. For example, Arroyo Seco’s STEAM Makerspace has always included art and design.”
Career Pathways are similar to choosing a major in college. And the courses are for students planning a post-secondary education, as well as for those who plan to enter the work force following high school.

The Hart District website explains Career Pathways as:

A sequence of courses within your area of interest

A way to connect your career interests from high school to college and/or career

An educational road map guiding you to the high school courses and post-secondary options most relevant to your chosen career destination

A method to acquire the depth of knowledge and skill linked with specific post-secondary programs that will lead to a certificate or degree and/or career

Classes offered in the Hart District Career Pathway program are:

Animal Science

Arts, Media, and Entertainment

Building and Construction Trades

Culinary Arts and Hospital


Engineering and Architecture

Health Science and Medical Technology

Information and Communication Technologies

Manufacturing and Product Development

Marketing, Sales, and Service (Entrepreneurship)

Public Service


For more detailed information on Career Pathways, visit the website, PathwayToMyFuture.org.

Technical Career Education

The Career Education program at College of the Canyons aims to meet student demand for information that is applicable to familiar jobs and everyday life.

“It is a rigorous and relevant experience that allows students to learn by doing. Students are provided the opportunity to build the comprehensive skill sets required to be successful in the workplace today and tomorrow,” says the Career Education page on the website Canyons.edu.

Courses are taught by experienced instructors and working professionals and the classes are available day and night in a variety of formats, including face-to-face, online and hybrid.
College of the Canyons’ School of Applied Technologies includes Computer Networking, Electronic Systems, Water Technology, Construction, Construction Management, Surveying, Welding, Manufacturing, and Auto Technology.

The Construction Technology program and Automotive Technology are taught at COC’s Canyon Country campus, and some of the classes for Water Technology and Construction Management are offered in Canyon Country, as well.

Construction Technology
The Construction Management Program at COC offers both an Associate in Science Degree and a Certificate of Achievement.

The only difference between the Degree and the Certificate is the completion of the college’s general education requirements. The Degree is 33 program units plus 27 general education units, for a total of 60 units, and the Certificate program is 33 units.
Construction Management Technology
The Construction Management Technology program is designed to prepare students with the foundation needed to meet the current technological requirements of the construction workplace. The program has two tracks: one for those interested in transfer to a four-year college or university to major in Construction Engineering Technology or Construction Management; the other option is for those students already employed in the construction industry or who plan to enter the industry after completion of a certificate or associate degree. The certificate and associate degree curriculum seek to provide students with the industry-identified skill competencies for entry into the field.

According to the COC website, upon completion, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in the core skills and knowledge required for employment in construction management.

Automotive Technology
College of the Canyons offers both an Associate of Science degree and two Certificates of Achievement: MLR Automotive and MLR Automotive minoring in Diesel.

To receive a Certificate of Completion majoring in MLR Automotive Technology, students must complete all of the required courses, as well as nine units from the elective courses.

To receive a Certificate of Completion majoring in MLR Automotive Technology with a minor in Diesel, students must complete all of the required courses, as well as three units from the elective courses.

Students from this program will be able to demonstrate proficiency in the core skills and knowledge required for employment in the automotive industry. To receive a Certificate of Completion AND the associate degree, students must, at minimum, complete all of the required courses, 17 units, as well as nine units from the elective courses, plus one unit from CWE 188 Cooperative Work Experience Education. That is a total of 27 program units.  There are a minimum of 27 general education units required. The associate degree requires you to have at least 60 units before earning the award. That leaves another six units that you can fulfill by taking additional automotive technology courses or other courses offered by the college.

For Teens: COC Summer Institute Automotive Technology
One of the popular Summer Institute programs takes place at College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus. Automotive Technology is offered from July 9-13, 2018. Students entering grades 6-8 can sign up for one of the Summer Institute’s programs.

In Automotive Technology, the young teens will experience what it is like to work in an auto shop. They will learn how to maintain and repair a vehicle, as well as safely handle the most common roadside emergencies. They will use top-of-the-line industry tools and equipment while performing shop tasks just like the professionals. Students will build a real, working, battery-powered 4-cylinder model engine to take home. The model is complete with moving parts, lights and realistic engine sounds. Valves open and close, spark plugs fire and pistons drive the crankshaft, just like a real internal combustion engine.

For information about the Summer Institute Programs for students entering grades 6-8, visit http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/CommunityEducation/Pages/2018%20Summer-Institute.aspx

Ask the Experts: Auto Care

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 7, 2018

Euro Performance

What should you do to get your car ready for a summer vacation?

You need to get an oil change, inspect the tires, and complete a multi-point inspection under the hood. You need to check the brakes and make sure the car has no leaks.

Do you think a person really needs to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles?

It depends on whether or not you’re driving an older car or a new car, because it varies. One thing’s for sure, it is good to learn how to check your engine oil level. I’ve seen so many cars get ruined by owners driving the car without oil. It’s something that’s easily prevented. Using the correct oil for your engine is also very important.
How often should you rotate your tires?

Every 15,000 miles they should be rotated, but it also depends on what kind of terrain the car drives on. How often the car is being driven makes a difference too – whether it’s every day to commute, or driven locally.

Every technician has his/her own opinion about these issues and it really comes down to what we’ve seen and experienced in our years of car repair work. The types of vehicles and our location, which determines terrain, as well as weather, makes a difference in car maintenance decisions.

Euro Performance is located at 27264 Camp Plenty Rd., #150 in Canyon Country, and can be reached by calling 661-250-0055.

Safety Tips for the Next Fire Season

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 7, 2018

As it continues to get hotter, the weather and the landscape prime themselves for the upcoming wildfire season. Whether a fire is started by natural means, an accident, or arson, its effects can be devastating for communities that exist in areas prone to their occurrence. Below are some tips to help you keep your home and your family safe.

Create an Evacuation Plan Checklist
If your home is near the path of a wildfire, you’re likely going to be evacuated. If it is near one, you may face voluntary evacuation. Whatever the case, evacuating is nothing if not stressful, so create a checklist and keep it handy, in the event you find yourself having to leave your home. The checklist should include things like moving flammable furniture into the center of the room – away from windows and doors; shuting off the a/c; moving flammable items that are outside your home (such as propane BBQs) away from the house; and preparing pets for transport.

Make an Emergency Supply Kit
Your emergency supply kit should include non-perishable food, water, maps with at least two exits from your area clearly marked, a change of clothing, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, copies of important documents (i.e. birth certificates), and pet food.

Have a Place to Go Beforehand
In the event of evacuation, knowing someplace you can go beforehand can help alleviate a lot of stress. If you have friends or relatives who live close enough to travel to easily, but far enough to not also be under the same threat you are, speak to them and make sure they’re willing to take you in.

Wildfires can be scary and unpredictable, but knowing how to keep you and your family safe and taking steps to ready yourself beforehand can make a harrowing experience go a lot smoother. If you’d like to know more about how to protect yourself during fire season, you can go to www.calfire.ca.gov.

2nd Annual Win, Place, Home Silent Auction and Gala

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 6, 2018

More than 100 guests attended a party in the barn at Birtwick Park Equestrian Center last month, raising more than $11,000 for the non-profit racehorse rescue Win, Place, Home, Inc.

Located on Lost Canyon Road in Sand Canyon, the ranch had plenty of room for the family-friendly event, adding a Western-themed bounce house for kids, a refreshment stand stocked with donated beer from Lagunitas and Garage Brewing Company, plus non-alcoholic drinks, and a Win Place Home store. At the store guests could purchase hats, beanies, bags and handmade horse ornaments based on current and past horses that had come through the charity.

There were 80 items up for bid, including some Hollywood novelties – an “Iron Man” replica mask from Legacy Effects, the company that made the original, and tours to both the Jim Henson Studios and Jim Henson Creature Shop. One winner took home a first edition book written and signed by Antarctic explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, and other guests won tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm and Medieval Times. The most valuable item was a 20-person suite at Santa Anita Park worth $2,000.

Win, Place, Home, Inc. is a place where racehorses go to relax, retire, and in some cases, rehabilitate. Founder CJ Marinaccio created the non-profit after working at a racetrack in the early part of her career before moving to the green pastures of Santa Clarita. She brought some horses with her and decided to begin taking them in to care for them after their life on the track. She gets them treated for injuries and lets them retire there.

“I worked at the racetrack from 2005 until 2015 and saw many horses come to the track and go from being treated like champions to being forgotten about when they were done,” Marinaccio said. “I decided to be in their lives in a different capacity. They had enough to help them on the track. They needed help getting off of it.”

Win, Place, Home received its first horse, Thorin, in February of 2016. He was adopted last summer as a jumping horse for a 15-year-old girl. A total of six horses have come through the Win, Place, Home program and they have successfully adopted out two of them so far.

Another horse, recently donated to Win, Place, Home by his trainer, is Mighty Mo. He had won more than $120,000 from his days on the track, but in December he broke his pastern bone down the middle, Marinaccio said.

“He did not have a high chance of surviving, but the vets and owners decided to do all they could for him. He had surgery two days later and even though his chance to survive was so low, he has made it,” she said. “Since he has been with us we have been doing everything we can to keep his mind active while his body is healing,” Marinaccio said. We want to help him get every possible chance to make it. He’s lovely and so smart.”

When horses leave the electrified scene of the racetrack they have a vastly different lifestyle at Birtwick Park, which Marinaccio named for an estate in “Black Beauty.”

“When we get a horse we gently let them down from being a racehorse,” Marinaccio said. “If they come uninjured, we then give them a month or two to just be a horse, to help their mind.”

Horses also get a job to do at Win, Place, Home. “When they get off the track and can settle into just being a horse, it’s amazing how much their personality shifts!” the founder said. “And when they are put into a second job that they WANT to do they are so willing to please.”

Horses learn the basics in their chosen discipline – jumping, dressage, western, trail, polo, barrel racing, etc. Marinaccio has three employees at Birtwick Park, one who lives on the property with his family, but the charity’s owner is the only one who rides the horses while they are training. When they are ready for adoption, prospective owners may ride them to see if they’re compatible.

For more information about the non-profit, visit WinPlaceHome.org.

Breaking the Comedy Rules

| Canyon Country Magazine, Entertainment | May 3, 2018

At an open mic in North Hollywood, anxious comics wait to perform their routines. The host welcomes a duo, and the crowd hushes.

One comedian opens a bag and begins pulling out several microphones – all of which are unplugged. The two bicker and exchange nervous laughter while wrapping the cords around their bodies. They manage to spout exactly two one-liners, hand off the broken microphones several times, and ask how much time they have left: one minute. The crowd laughs. By this time, everyone is in on the joke.

The Brothers Belardinelli, consisting of Demetri Belardinelli and Victor Trevino, both from Canyon Country, is a comedy duo crafted by destiny.

“The name comes from me forcing my way into Demetri’s family as a young teen,” Trevino said. “I had a rough patch and the Belardinelli house took me in and treated me like a son (because their real son was Demetri, and obviously they needed more).”

In High School, both Belardinelli and Trevino were active on Canyon High School’s improv team, each serving leadership roles. The two clicked immediately after they discovered a shared interest in stand-up comedy. Because the two are five years apart, Trevino would drive Belardinelli, who was 15 at the time, to open mics in Los Angeles – and the rest was history.

After Belardinelli graduated in 2012, they decided to take the plunge and enroll in Second City’s conservatory in Los Angeles, completing the program in two years – before Belardenelli was even old enough to attend the school.

“I graduated at 18, before I was actually allowed to go. I told everyone in the class I was 20. I turned ‘21’ in class, and they were like, ‘let me buy you a beer,’ and I was like ‘Eh, not tonight.’”

As for their brand of comedy, it isn’t your grandfather’s stand-up – it borders on performance art. According to Belardinelli and Trevino, the current stand-up scene needs a bit of a refresher. “You only hear the same 10 topics over and over again,” Belardinelli said.

Each set they write is designed to be spontaneous and unpredictable. At a recent performance for the Garage Chronicles standup series, the two surprised the audience with a realistic fist fight that was eventually stopped when a referee emerged from the audience and awarded the winner a title belt – only to be revoked onstage due to a urine test revealing “comedy enhancing drugs.”

And as much as their comedy style contrasts with the stand-up status quo, the Brothers Belardinelli has managed to headline shows at several venues – including the Federal Bar in Hollywood.

“The weirdest gig we’ve ever had was showing up to a two-hour show and realizing it was themed around being a father,” Trevino said. “All of the comics were (about) 40 and did traditional material about their kids. Then Demetri and I went up and did 20 minutes about scabies and had our brother Dante throwing pizza into the crowd to an Italian children’s song. Needless to say, the audience wasn’t expecting us, and it tanked.”

The Brothers Belardinelli is currently headlining a monthly comedy series at the Yard Theater in Los Angeles run by John Ennis of “Mr. Show.” Their next performance is May 24 at 8 p.m., and tickets are $5 at the door.

For more information about the Brothers Belardinelli, check them out at Instagram.com/BrothersBelardinelli. Or,

Canyon Country Business Briefs

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 25, 2018

Citywide Film Statistics
In February, the City of Santa Clarita issued 54 film permits, which contributed to 94 film days, generating an estimated economic impact of $2,043,000.

The following productions were filming in Canyon Country in February 2018.
Television Shows:
Jay Leno’s Garage – Backwoods Inn
The OA – Sable Ranch
Reasonable Doubt – Area homes
Shooter – Sand Canyon Country Club

Feature Films:
Birdbox – Sable Ranch

Subway – Area home
Supershoot – Wallers’ GymJam Academy

Stranded Love – Sable Ranch
Wild Things – Sable Ranch


The new Canyon Country Community Center is scheduled to begin construction in 2019. The new community center will provide programing opportunities for all age groups and will include park amenities such as a play area, half-court basketball, open turf areas, walkways and landscaping.


“Feral Heart” Art Exhibit – FREE
On display through June 5, 2018
Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library
18601 Soledad Canyon Road
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

Line Dance Night (13+ yrs.)
Come dance to old favorites and learn new ones! Meet new friends and engage your body and mind by dancing to lively, upbeat music. Line dancing is a fun way to dance socially without a partner. Dancing styles covered will include routines like the Electric Slide, Cowboy Charleston, Black Velvet, Tush Push and more. Beginners welcome. Taught by D.J. Mike Bendavid.
Saturday, April 21 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. FREE

Día de los Ninos/Día de los Libros
Join Canyon Country Library for our annual celebration of children and reading. This multicultural event features special performers, crafts, and activities. “Dia is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds.”
Saturday, April 28, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
STEM Storytime
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will be incorporated into this storytime and activity hour.
Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Baby Toddler Storytime
Designed to build early language and literacy foundations for children 6-36 months old. Sing and bounce, tickle and talk, read and rhyme with your little one.
Mondays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Crochet for a Cause
Crochet (or knit) a hat or scarf to donate to a local organization. Basic crochet instruction will be available to get you started. Yarn and crochet hooks available for use during the program.
Saturday, April 7, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Promise – a Genocide Awareness Screening & Discussion
The Promise – This film is historical fiction about the Armenian Genocide. It follows the stories of families fleeing the violence in Turkey in 1914. (PG-13). Student leaders from the Human Rights Student Task Force will have a brief discussion about modern day conflicts that may be identified as genocides.
Tuesday, April 17, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Friends of the Library Book Auction
The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library are hosting a Book Auction! You are invited to view and bid on a large selection of rare, collectible and unique books that will be on display at all three libraries! A full 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Santa Clarita Public Library. It begins Friday, April 9 and ends Monday, April 16.

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

Canyon Country History Minute

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 24, 2018

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.

California Penal Code 422 PC Criminal Threats

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 23, 2018

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.

Furry Friends on Facebook: Lost & Found Pets of SCV

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 23, 2018

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.

Business Spotlight: Your Mailbox Direct & Priority Ground

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 13, 2018

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 store@yourmailboxdirect.com; call 661-367-6182; or visit Priorityground.com and Yourmailboxdirect.com.

Ask the Experts: In-Home Care

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 11, 2018

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.

A Better View of Dr. Ed Landon

| Canyon Country Magazine | April 10, 2018

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.”

But if the beginning of this most recent chance to perform took adjustment, so did the end.

“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.

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