New Urgent Care a Shot in the Arm for Canyon Country

| Canyon Country Magazine | February 15, 2019

Your son splits open his knee; your daughter sprains an ankle; and you have chest pain. The old school solution may have sent your son to the doctor’s office, your daughter to X-ray, and you to the ER.

But now, Canyon Country has one stop to treat all of those circumstances: Exer More Than Urgent Care in the Facey Medical Building on Soledad Canyon Road.

Injecting the words “new” and “convenient” into a description of the east side of the Santa Clarita Valley is, for some residents, a big win.
But another claim that may be felt even more acutely by residents is that, by contrast to hospitals, “Exer is a fraction of the cost and wait time.”
According to Truven Health Analytics, 71 percent of visits to hospital emergency departments are unnecessary or could be avoided.
“We are going to redefine what urgent care is,” said Exer More Than Urgent Care CEO Rob Mahan. “We’re pretty passionate about what we’re doing here.”

What they’re doing, Mahan said, is offering patients a wider range of services commonly associated with hospital emergency departments, which lowers patient costs. Most urgent cares, for instance, won’t administer intravenous fluids, mostly because it ties up a room, which limits the facility’s profits.

“Low-acuity patients are going to ERs, where there are the highest cost treatments,” he said. “It’s unnecessary to send someone to the ER for an IV. When someone is transferred to an ER (from Exer), we review everything. We look at why.”

Exer More Than Urgent Care has a 2 percent transfer rate, he said, while other urgent cares send up to 20 percent of their patients to hospitals due to a lack of onsite treatment options.

Canyon Country residents won’t have to darken the doors of a hospital for a comprehensive set of services from EKGs and X-rays to pharmacy and lab tests. Exer claims to treat 80 percent of the cases typically seen in an ER and patients can purchase medications on-site for a flat fee of $25. The goal is to bring emergency medicine closer to patients, so Exer More Than Urgent Care partnered with Facey Medical Group to offer the walk-in ER alternative.
You might say it’s just what the doctor ordered, considering the Canyon Country area is a 15-20 minute drive to reach an ER. The new arrival’s proximity to homes may even mitigate occurrences of code blue situations.

Mahan made a strong statement to sum up the facility’s purpose. He said, “We’re going to revolutionize what an urgent care should be.”

Exer More Than Urgent Care is located in the new Facey building at 14550 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country and it is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is the 10th Exer facility to open in Southern California, the second in the Santa Clarita Valley. Other locations include: Calabasas, Pasadena, Northridge, Beverly Hills, Newbury Park, Sherman Oaks, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Stevenson Ranch. For more information, visit Exerurgentcare.com/urgent-care-canyon-country.

Dueling Doulas Night Nannies to the Rich & Famous

| Canyon Country Magazine | February 15, 2019

If you’ve ever brought a newborn home from the hospital, you know the familiar cry. It sometimes starts softly and builds as it gains emotion until it’s a loud, piercing, desperate wail.

That’s not a reference to your infant calling for more milk … but rather, it’s your own cry for help as you desperately try to cope with the exhausting work of feeding, changing and rocking your baby while suffering from a debilitating lack of sleep.

Every day there are new moms and dads in Southern California who choose not to go it alone, but instead they get another set of arms to swaddle the baby, someone with the experience to offer them some training along the way. In other words, Lily Marks of Canyon Country steps in.

For more than 15 years, Marks has served as a nighttime nanny to newborns so parents get a break – including a reasonably long stretch of sleep.

“I try to make the parents as comfortable and stress-free as possible,” she said. “I find that when you bring home a baby, they can’t express how they’re feeling, so you have to put it together like a puzzle and guess. I’m helping them figure out what’s best for them. … I try to leave them with tools so they can figure it out on their own.”

A kind of “doula to the stars,” Marks has been a night nurse for major celebrities – (hint: check the “highest paid actors” list) – and musicians, including a member of Linkin Park and his wife, as well as producers, directors and other entertainment industry people.

She can’t reveal the names of clients due to confidentiality agreements, but what Marks is hired to guard is much more valuable than their privacy. And it’s clear she’s made a lot of parents very happy, as many of her clients are hiring her to return when they give birth to their second and third babies.

Lily Marks has 15 years of experience as a doula.

“Everybody’s been super, super nice for the 15 years I’ve done it,” she said. “A lot of them have instincts that kick in and I try to help those come out so they can really listen to them after I leave. A lot of them don’t feel confident to do it on their own and some postpartum creeps in. The other half of the job is being a counselor and building up their confidence.”

The seasoned night nurse owes her career choice to a neighbor she had, back when Marks was a young mother, widowed and raising two young daughters on her own.

“I was a stay-at-home mom and my neighbor was a labor and delivery nurse at Cedars-Sinai,” she said. “I had wanted to go back to school and become an RN and she told me, ‘If you ever want schooling, I teach doula classes at Cedars-Sinai.’ … It was a perfect opportunity to work nights, because I wanted to be home with the girls.”

After being trained, Marks worked for her neighbor’s company, Birth, Baby & Beyond, going to the homes of newborns, helping the women with breastfeeding and teaching them to bathe their infants. She later formed her own company, and now she is contacted by pregnant parents months in advance who want her schedule clear for them when their babies arrive. She can work several nights in a row, but has to book nannies in between so she can rest.

Mary Sloan works her magic with kids of all ages.

Sand Canyon resident Mary Sloan has served as a backup system for Marks on several occasions over the last couple of years.

“You’re there for the baby so the mom can sleep,” Sloan explained. “The baby wakes up, you change the diaper, you quietly go in and give the baby to mom. Some moms like you to bring the baby in to nurse, and some moms pump and you bottle feed. She sends you a text when she’s finished and you go get the baby, burp them and put them back to sleep.”

Getting babies to sleep has never been a big problem for Sloan.

“When they wake up and are crying you’ve got to figure it out,” she said. “I love little babies and kids. I’m comfortable with them; I don’t freak out.”

With three children of her own, Sloan has plenty of experience with kids, babysitting a lot as a girl and spending time with nieces and nephews before she became a mother. Sloan is CPR-trained and when she covers for Marks it could be in Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills or as far away as Newport, which is the farthest distance Marks has traveled for the job.

Typically, the doula has her own room, either with the baby or next door to the nursery. Or at times, there’s a comfortable couch for the night nurse next to a bassinet in a family room. Either way, the job’s the same.

“You do get some sleep,” Sloan explained. “It’s tough, though. I’ve done two nights in a row, or twice in a week. You’re exhausted the next day.”

There are often other parties involved, including housekeepers, day nannies and mothers or mothers-in-law. Sometimes doula services are gifts to the new mom and dad from grandparents of the infant.

“I make sure to ask if they’re OK with this or that,” Marks said. “I’m here to suggest tools and ideas. I never want to step on anybody’s toes. My concern is teaching parents how to deal with their babies.”

The most challenging factor, Marks said, is getting infants to sleep through the night as quickly as possible. And at times she cares for a baby with colic. “You have to figure out what formula is good,” she said. “And I just hold them; holding them upright is usually best to calm them down. Sometimes time is the best thing.”

For those who are lucky enough to hire a knowledgeable, experienced night nurse, it’s a softer, quieter introduction to parenthood. But imagine the benefits when baby whisperers like Lily Marks and Mary Sloan teach new parents to care for their infants proficiently … especially if it’s true that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.

Ask the Experts – Real Estate Related

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 20, 2018

by Dean Glosup – Which home sellers are your typical clientele and what is your process?

I buy distressed properties. Generally speaking, if a person just wants to put their house on the market and sell it, they should research and find the most active local brokers in the area. Select a couple and talk to them to make a determination of who you feel best with.

That’s the first thing I do, because when someone wants the most money for their house, I’m not their guy. I am a broker, but I don’t do that.

I buy distressed properties. I buy, fix and sell houses. And the best way to determine whether or not it’s distressed is to see why they’re selling it. The properties I specialize in don’t have to do with location or even type. They’re situational, such as:

Homeowner died and the relatives don’t know what to do with the house
Homeowner has to downsize
The property is in disrepair or is a mess and the homeowners are embarrassed to show the house
In foreclosure or behind on payments
Damaged by fire or flooding, etc.

I buy, rehab and sell, and generally don’t keep properties. I don’t buy them for top dollar, nor do I sell them for top dollar. I get a deal, then I want to pass that deal on to whoever buys it from me.

What if someone wants to sell their house for top dollar?
Basically, go through the house and update it – if it’s an older house.

Make sure it’s painted and there’s no rotten wood or anything like that.

Your yard should be maintained properly or be brought up to speed.

Staging is important. If you’re living in the house, you’ve got to keep it super neat and clean. If you have moved and there are tenants, move them out and have it professionally cleaned. Then call a property staging company. They’ll come in and move some furniture, bring in plants, etc. When people walk into an empty house, they have to use their imagination and they don’t know if their things will fit.

Dean Glosup of Dean Buys Houses is a 30-year resident of Santa Clarita and has purchased and resold more than 30 houses from 2001 to today. You can reach him by calling 661-618-7015.

by Craig Martin – Is today’s housing market a good time to buy a home?

It’s the American dream to stop paying rent and own a home. Many people wait to buy real estate, but the truth is, you buy real estate and wait. There are many benefits of owning a home, and in the long run, it is the truest way to build stability and wealth for your future.

In many areas of Canyon Country you can still buy a home with a payment equal to what you would pay for rent, yet get all the benefits. With mortgage rates rising but still at historic lows, and with no-money-down VA loans and 3.5 percent FHA loans available, it is still a good time to buy a home.

Most of your home mortgage payment comes back to you over time. A typical entry-level home in Canyon Country goes for around $500,000. If you put down 3.5 percent on an FHA loan, you would only need $17,500 down, which you can also receive as a gift from a family member. The loan balance at current rates would be a payment of around $2,400. Now add property tax, home and mortgage insurance, and your total payment is around $3,000 a month, which is close to what it costs to rent.

Additional benefits and savings include:
Income tax benefits – By deducting loan interest and property tax on your income tax return you can save approximately $500 a month.
Principal reduction – On a 30-year-loan, approx. $700-$800 a month would go towards paying down the loan and building equity at the start.
Appreciation – Historically, homes have gone up an average of around 4.3 percent per year over the last 60 years. That means that over time you could be getting back up to $1,790 monthly from appreciation.

So, by looking at only three of the benefits you can see that your $3,000 monthly payment minus what you get back in income tax benefits of $500, principal reduction of $800 and appreciation of $1,790, you would be getting back around $3,090. That means your monthly home payment is all coming back to you over time, while if you rent, the $3,000 is gone and you never see it again!!

Also, with inflation and current rents going up 8 percent a year, you would save an additional $240 a month after the first year by paying a fixed-rate mortgage instead of a rent increase that will go up annually.

And with capital gains benefits you would pay no tax on the profits of up to $250K for a single person and $500k for a married couple. That means if you sold the home in 30 years for $1,000,000 it would all be tax exempt.

By putting down $17,500 for a $500,000 home that is saving you and giving back around $3,000 a month ($36,000 a year), it’s a return of over 200 percent a year on your home, which you live in and enjoy.

That is why a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times that of a renter and a big reason why around 95 percent of a person’s wealth comes from owning a home.

I specialize in helping renters and first-time buyers purchase a home, working with several lenders that have programs to get buyers qualified. I include my Home Rewards Program that gives you up to $5,000 towards your home purchase and a free local move.

Craig Martin / Realty ONE Group / 661-361-6843

Adapt and Overcome – Our firefighters serve where they’re needed

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 19, 2018

If our local firefighters weren’t already heroes in your mind, you may be impressed to hear they provided manpower to battle the recent “Woolsey Fire” in Malibu. And what’s perhaps equally significant is their reaction when you ask about the dramatic scope of that blaze and the massive “Camp Fire” in Paradise, California.

They say it’s just business as usual.

“We support the incident in any way we can,” said Capt. Paul Popp of Fire Station 132, a 20-year veteran of the department, whose “structure defense” engines were sent out to save homes.

When fires break out, like the recent California blazes, the fire captains institute “telephone standby,” which puts personnel on notice, to get all hands on deck. Engineer Tony Carcioppolo was at Fire Station 132 for 12 consecutive days, because some of his staff were sent to the Woolsey Fire. He had to cover for Capt. Popp and the strike team, who went to Malibu, where they did “mop up” duty and patrolled for hot spots.

“We have engines in reserve throughout the county,” Carcioppolo said. “Some of the firefighters who cover the east end of L.A. County and Orange County moved personnel to cover our stations.”

In summer, firefighters carry “strike team bags” with extra clothes, MREs (like the military’s meals) and sleeping bags. They have to respond quickly to brush fires, which occur in the Santa Clarita Valley about 4-5 times per week during fire season.

Each station has a separate jurisdiction and respond to a lot of emergency medical services, or EMS, calls that come in. Station 132, which is located at the entrance to Stetson Ranch on Sand Canyon Road, responds to incidents on the 14 freeway, in addition to brush fires.

When fires break out, adjoining stations send backup, and the L.A. County Fire Dept. joins forces with the U.S. Forest Service.

“We integrate very well together,” Capt. Popp said. “We use common frequencies and common terminology.”

With big blazes such as the Woolsey Fire, there’s an incident command system that serves as the hub of the team efforts.

The strike team reports to “staging,” Carcioppolo said. “With big fires you’re a little more cautious, because there’s a reason it’s so big and you don’t know the area,” he said. “You’re more focused on doing the basics right, to set you up for success.”

Firefighter Aurelio Sanchez and the Station 132 team went to Malibu Lake while the fire was active. One of the challenges, he said, was ineffective radio communication, so they sent a message by computer warning that they were starting independent action. First, a crew from another engine informed them of hazards, and then Sanchez’ team drove the truck uphill, where they joined others in protecting structures – saving as many homes as possible.

As bad as the damage from the Woolsey Fire, the Camp Fire was the worst in California history. It was the result of a bad combination, according to Capt. Popp: high temperatures, wind, and a heavy fuel load.

“You have all the trees and undergrowth,” he explained. “Everything is receptive, so the rate of spread is incredibly fast.”

Preventing Fires
A lot of residential fires begin when an “ember cast” gets under the eaves of a house.

It’s not entirely preventable, of course, but if you have enough advanced notice, the firefighters said, cover the attic vents. That’s where embers tend to enter the structure and burn the whole house.

Clearing brush around your house is, of course, important. But also, you should move combustibles away from your house, such as firewood, as well.

Properties with regularly irrigated lawns help to deflect the spread of a blaze, but hosing down your roof doesn’t help much, the three firemen said.

Local fire stations are calling in extra personnel because of the threat of mudslides. Residents can pick up sand bags from the stations and some of them also have sand onsite. If the station nearest you doesn’t have sand to fill the bags, fire personnel can direct you to one that does.

For more information, you can swing by one of Canyon Country’s stations for written materials. There’s a “personal wildfire action plan” called “Ready! Set! Go!” and a booklet called “Homeowner’s Guide for Flood, Debris, and Erosion Control.”

In the meantime, though the threats will come and go, Canyon Country can rest easy because, as Carcioppolo said, an important part of their job is to “adapt and overcome.” And they’re prepared.

New Business – Roast and Perk

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 19, 2018

Canyon Country moviegoers have a new hangout where they can grab a pre-flick coffee or catch an after-movie snack. It’s also a new venue for residents to get a fresh, handmade breakfast or lunch every day of the week.

Roast & Perk opened in October in the Edwards Stadium Theatre complex, next to Canyon Country Veterinary Hospital.

“I grew up in the restaurant industry,” said Karitza Gladden, who owns the café with her husband, Doron. “My parents owned a restaurant in downtown L.A., and from age 12 I was in the kitchen, a busser, a waitress … and then I was doing the back of the house. … I learned the business inside and out.”

Her family still has a Central American restaurant in Los Angeles.

“I’ve always loved baking and wanted to have a little café/bake shop,” she said. “And tie in my love for coffee.”

The couple works at Santa Clarita Christian School. Doron Gladden is a computer science teacher and Karitza does the coordination for the home school program at the local private school, which is across the street from Roast & Perk. Their older children – Mia, 12, and Michael, 11 – are SCCS students, and their youngest daughter, Emma, is 4 years old.

“We saw the location was available and thought, ‘Why don’t we go check it out?’” Karitza said. “We want more for our kids … what we can build for them.”

Roast & Perk began as a coffee shop with pre-baked goods, but a menu of fresh choices has grown out of the feedback the Gladdens got from customers.

“There was kind of a demand for lighter, healthy options for lunch,” Karitza said.

The café’s biggest hit is a pesto Italian sandwich, followed by the Greek toast, which is an open-faced Greek salad on toasted bread. It’s a vegetarian option.

“It’s nice and light and has all fresh and organic ingredients in it,” she said. “The feedback had people saying, ‘We don’t want to do fast food. We want healthy options without spending an arm or a leg for lunch.”

Karitza’s favorite menu item is the Caprese toast, which includes mozzarella and salami in a spring mix salad on toasted sourdough. Her favorite non-coffee drink is the acai berry lemonade, and her favorite coffee drink is called “L.A. Christmas.” It’s a spiced Mexican hot chocolate with a shot of espresso and a little bit of Irish cream.

The café is adding freshly made waffles to the menu for breakfast, along with other early morning options.

A number of the weekday customers are parents dropping off kids at SCCS and students who walk to Roast & Perk for acai bowls at the end of the day.

“For students it’s a great treat for after school,” said the business owner.

Karitza has different goals for weekend customers – mainly getting them to take notice, because Roast & Perk is on the west side of the complex.

“So far, people are getting to know us,” she said. “Moviegoers haven’t really recognized where we are because all of the food is on the left.”

There are currently two tables with benches indoors and two bistro sets outside. They plan to add seating as well.

Roast & Perk is open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

They also host private events or parties. For example, a customer held a hand-lettering class at the venue. “We invited local teachers who want to create their own events. We make the space available for them and they create an event on facebook and sell their own tickets,” Karitza explained. “We’ll be rolling out our catering menu for holiday parties, office parties and our coffee catering too.”

The Gladden family moved to Santa Clarita in 2010 and currently live in Saugus. “It’s such a nice place to bring up a family,” Karitza said. “It’s a big valley, but still has that small town feel to it.”

Roast & Perk is located at 18836 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country; 661-367-4507.

Code Ninjas

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 19, 2018

Choosing an after-school activity for a child leads most parents to the same dilemma: finding an activity that’s safe, educational, and most importantly, they really like it.

Santa Clarita parents are in luck, because a new business opened this month for kids age 7-14, especially those who enjoy computers. Code Ninjas offers after-school coding classes – both a drop-in class and weeklong camps – with all the flare of a martial arts experience.

The classroom is called the “dojo,” like a martial arts studio. The students are “ninjas” and instructors are “senseis.”

When they start, the ninjas are white belts, and as they learn, over time, they work their way through the 10 levels to become “black belt” code ninjas, which takes approximately four years, start to finish. At the black belt stage the ninja is able to design an app and even market it to sell in the app store.

Similar to a gym membership, the kids can show up any time for two one-hour sessions, where they work on building their own video game as they learn to code. Drop-in hours are 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon.

“We start out with foundations of coding and it builds to become more advanced as they come through,” said Center Director Heather Cunado. “There’s nothing like it.”

It’s the first of its kind in Santa Clarita and the franchise owner is local resident Matt Reeser. More than 300 Code Ninjas sites are opening across the country.

The Code Ninjas motto is “Kids have fun, parents see results.”

“Our main goal is balancing – to make sure kids have fun while learning to code,” Cunado said.

The first camp will be held the last week of winter break – Jan. 7-11. The morning session is Java Script Camp from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The afternoon is Minecraft Create Camp from noon to 3 p.m.

Code Ninjas is holding its first “Parents Night Out” beginning this month, just in time for holiday shopping, or whatever else they want to do. Children can be dropped off from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14 and they will spend the evening building video games, doing STEM activities and eating pizza.

The community is invited to the grand opening of Code Ninjas on December 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can see the facility, meet the staff, enjoy refreshments and take part in a raffle.

Code Ninjas is located at 26867 Sierra Highway at Via Princessa in Newhall. You can contact them by calling 661-360-5050 or email SantaClaritaca@codeninjas.com. The website is Codeninjas.com

California Penal Code 647(f) – Drunk in Public

| Canyon Country Magazine | December 19, 2018

In the early morning hours of Monday, November 26, several reports were made to Santa Clarita deputies about a woman screaming in a Canyon Country wash. When the deputies arrived, they found a drunk, 67-year-old woman drinking wine in the wash. Once she was identified, deputies discovered that she had four outstanding warrants totaling over $200,000 for crimes including driving on a suspended license, DUI, battery on a police officer, and drunk in public. The woman was arrested and is facing a second charge of drunk in public as well.

Drunk in public is covered under California Penal Code 647(f) PC and is described as more than simply being drunk in a public space, which isn’t illegal. In order to be charged with violating PC 647(f), you need to be so drunk that you are unable to exercise care for your personal safety or that of others OR interfere with, obstruct, or otherwise prevent people from using public walkways, sidewalks, or streets. For example, if you drink so much that you end up passing out on the sidewalk, you could be charged with being drunk in public because you’re inhibiting other people from using that space while you’re passed out in it. However, a person who passes out someplace that doesn’t meet the requirement of being a public way, sidewalk or street probably won’t be charged. When it comes to whether or not you are able to exercise care for your own safety or the safety of people around you, a lot is left up to interpretation by police on the scene.

Being drunk in public is a misdemeanor with the possible penalties of summary probation, up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, instead of filing charges, police can take the drunk person to an inebriation treatment facility (a.k.a. the “drunk tank”) where he/she can be held for treatment and observation for up to 72-hours. This action is usually referred to as civil protective custody, though unfortunately a lot of cities and towns don’t have one, which means criminal prosecution is the only option.

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

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
Good RX – Area home
Mose19 – Area streets, Rancho Deluxe
Russell Amour – Area homes
Walmart – Walmart
The Hug – Mountasia Family Fun Center
Student Film:
Check Mate (American Film Institute) – Area home


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.


The Feminine Figure: Strength, Resilience, and Insights
On display through February 8, 2019
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.


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.
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.

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.

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.

“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

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
Adidas – Mountasia Family Fun Center
Jeep – College of the Canyons
Nissan – Vacant lot
Walmart – Walmart
Built – Aliento Development, Bothwell Park
Real Bros of Simi Valley – Sand Canyon area home

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.

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.

The Vision of Gary Friedman
On display through October 5, 2018
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Saturday, November 3
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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.

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.

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