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SIPurbia Wine and Beer Festival to Benefit Family Promise

| Community | August 16, 2019

On October 12th, wine, beer, music, food, fun and games join together to benefit the Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley from 4 to 8 p.m. at the SIPurbia Wine & Beer Festival at The Paseo Club in Valencia.

The festival is featuring samples from dozens of breweries and wineries. Throughout the day, there will also be music from several live bands from the 80’s and 90’s including local favorite Fast Times. Additionally, guests will enjoy exhibitors, food trucks and lawn games. Everyone in attendance will receive a souvenir tasting cup to try out the many available libations.

General admission tickets are currently $50. Enter code RELEASE for a 25% discount. A portion of the proceeds will go to help support Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, which serves homeless families.

The Paseo Club is located at 27650 Dickason Drive in Valencia. Tickets can be purchased online at www.sipurbia.com. For more information, visit the website or email sipurbiainfo@gmail.com.

Inspire and Empower Your Children Be More Effective in your Parenting

| Community | August 16, 2019

A workshop to help participants with important techniques and skills to inspire and empower yourself and your family is scheduled for the August LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. This free workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

Alex Urbina (left), a local teen and parenting expert, will present the workshop designed to help participants develop a deep and meaningful relationship with children and family, learn inspirational parenting techniques that children need, communicate effectively with your children and develop interpersonal tools for parents and individuals.

Previous workshops in the series have helped attendees understand elements of managing money, select career options and pursue meaningful employment, deal with anger management, relationships and communication, file taxes, deal with drug and cyberbullying issues, overcoming life’s challenges, and maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women or person they are meant to be!

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshop series for women, usually on a monthly basis (dark during June, July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta.

All are welcome!

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic. Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register at least one week in advance at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation also can be provided with advance request.

Join us on Saturday, August 24th for this inspirational and informative workshop about empowerment and communication in families.

How to Excel in Business to Save you Time and Money – Part 2

| Community | August 16, 2019

Last week, I started to describe the various things one can do to save time and money using Microsoft Excel. But I only scratched the surface. Here are some more, following the same format of introducing the problem and then the solution:

Excel automates accounts receivables. A large manufacturing company did business with a large multi-store retailer. Each shipment to each store created a receivable invoice. There were thousands of receivable invoices each month. When the stores sent a check, they also sent an electronic report of which invoices they were paying. The manufacturer was then manually allocating the payments to clear the invoices and balance the accounts.

The manufacturer needed to automate allocating and balancing the payments. The solution was to write a routine in Excel that read the customer’s electronic reports and converted the data into a format compatible with the manufacturer’s system. This allowed the payments to be uploaded into the receivables system where they were matched up and cleared automatically. The program also created discrepancy reports of the items that didn’t match, so the company could address problems much quicker.

Excel automates billing processes. A consulting firm required its employees to manually fill out monthly billing reports that went to the billing department, which were then hand-entered into the system. This resulted in a lot of wasted time and paper. Sometimes the consultants forgot to include some information on the report, resulting in incomplete billing for the month, or entries were incorrect. Either way, it resulted in lost revenue.
What was first needed was to create a master report sheet that consultants could fill out electronically while they were at the client›s office or at the end of the day. The report could be e-mailed at any time. The next step was to create an Excel program that combined and re-formatted all the billing reports into a file that could be uploaded directly into the billing system to generate invoices. The Excel programs made it much easier to bill clients and keep monthly reports current. It also prevented errors and saved time by eliminating the manual copying of consultants’ reports into the invoicing system.

Excel synchronizes data and finds errors. An HR department had problems keeping its employees’ insurance reports in sync with the insurance company’s reports because each company used a different data format and data structure. Because of the different formats and structure, the HR staff had to manually reconcile the reports of more than 1,000 employees. The company needed to find a way to automate the reconciliation and eliminate errors.

Excel has a program that matched employees’ names and addresses with their insurance packages, and highlighted inconsistencies between the two reports. The new program was also capable of reading both formats for items like dates and abbreviations. After implementing the new program, all the HR staff had to do was quickly glance at the spreadsheet and deal with the discrepancies or issues indicated by the report combined with the data.

For more information, you can contact Excel & Web developer contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628.

Take a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole with Bras for a Cause on September 7th

| Community, Entertainment | August 16, 2019

Soroptimist International of Valencia is pleased to invite you to attend our 16th Annual Bras for a Cause event. Since its beginning, this signature event has raised over $350,000 for Circle of Hope and Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. This year’s event will be held September 7th, from 6pm to 10pm at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the theme will be “Alice in Wonderland.”

However, this won’t be your childhood Alice. The ambience will have more of an enigmatic and jaunty feel. The event includes dinner, raffles and a live-modeled auction of artistically-styled bras with themed baskets. Nearly every model participating this year has had personal experience with breast cancer. The club’s goal is to empower women who have been through breast cancer treatment and to celebrate their journey.

Feel free to dress to the occasion, join in the celebration and show support for these brave women. Sponsorship and donation opportunities are available, and tickets are on sale now. Last year’s event had a sold out crowd of almost 300, and is on track to sell out again. You do not want to miss this event!

For more information: www.sivalencia.org/bras-for-a-cause or email: PresidentSIV@gmail.com or PublicitySIV@gmail.com

Tickets on Sale Now for the 2019 State of the City Luncheon

| Community | August 16, 2019

This year’s State of the City Luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The theme for this year is Lights, Camera, Santa Clarita! Join the Santa Clarita City Council as they celebrate all things film. Our community’s rich history is closely intertwined with Hollywood’s. Santa Clarita’s rolling hills, picturesque canyons and close proximity to Los Angeles have made it a desirable place to film since the early days of silent films and westerns, to today’s blockbuster films.

As always, the State of the City Luncheon will be an opportunity to celebrate all the progress and accomplishments that have occurred over the last year, while taking a look forward at what the future holds. This year, guests will enjoy a behind the scenes look at filming in our City, hear updates from our City Council, watch videos filled with the latest on City projects and much more.

“The Annual State of the City Luncheon is always a highlight of the year,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “This year will be no different. There are many surprises in store as we celebrate the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, mixed in with local film history, celebrity cameos, important City news, how filming bolsters our local economy and more.”

Tickets are $40 per person and $400 per table of 10. Ticket price includes luncheon and gift. For more information- please call the City of Santa Clarita at (661) 255-4939.

Learn about Santa Clarita’s Community Services and Arts Grants

| Community | August 16, 2019

The City of Santa Clarita invites non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the 2020 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a meeting on Wednesday, August 28, at 12:15 p.m. The informational meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard.

The Community Services and Arts Grants Program will once again make funds available to Santa Clarita Valley-based nonprofit and arts organizations that provide services to Santa Clarita residents. The Santa Clarita City Council has made available $180,000 in funding for the 2020 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants to help support one-time projects, program enhancements and pilot programs.

This meeting is highly recommended for all non-profit agencies interested in applying for the 2020 Community Services and Arts Grants. In addition to allowing agencies to ask questions, this meeting will include information about the grant timeline, funding eligibility, grant categories and criteria.

The 2020 Grant Application Packet will be released at the meeting and will be available online after August 28 on santa-clarita.com/grants. The meeting is free and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary to attend.

For more information on the City’s Community Services and Arts Grant Program, including required materials, submission guidelines and more, contact Management Analyst Tyler Pledger at (661) 286-4165.

The Replicas to Perform Popular Hits at Concerts in the Park

| Community, Entertainment | August 15, 2019

Dance your heart out at Concerts in the Park on Saturday, August 17. Hear the talented variety band, The Replicas, perform top hits from a variety of different artists. The free concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.

The Replicas perform songs from a wide array of artists and genres. From Frank Sinatra to the Foo Fighters, and Alternative to Country, there will be something for everyone as the band showcases its vast musical repertoire. As a part of The Replicas Music and Productions talent agency, members of The Replicas come from a wide range of musical backgrounds and share their passion for music with others either on stage, in the studio or by educating the next generation of musicians.

Bring your family and friends to enjoy live music under the stars at the second to last concert in this year’s Concerts in the Park series. Remember to pack blankets and lawn chairs so you can sit back and enjoy the show. Complete the concert-going experience with tasty snacks from a variety of on-site food vendors.

For more information about Concerts in the Park and to view the rest of this summer’s lineup, please visit santa-clarita.com/concerts.

WISH Education Foundation and Westfield Valencia Town Center Partner to Make Summer Events a Community Experience

| Community, Entertainment | August 15, 2019

Westfield Valencia Town Center has gifted the WiSH Education Foundation all the coins from the recently retired fountain from inside the mall. The money will be used to present two events this summer – the Burrito Bowl on August 20th and Cocktails on the Roof on September 6th, both located on the Westfield property.

The 10th annual Burrito Bowl, held on Town Center Drive from 7-9pm, features football linemen from each of the six comprehensive Varsity football teams as they race against time and each other to eat a four foot bean burrito donated by Sharkey’s Restaurant. New this year is a team from Fox Sports West trying their hand (and mouths) to beat the players! Teams and cheer squads raise money by creating banners that can be voted on by community members by going to the Westfield Valencia Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WestfieldValenciaTownCenter/) or their Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/p/B01f1FxAAi8/) .

You can purchase raffle tickets from any cheer squad or football team member; Westfield is also selling the $5 raffle tickets at their management office for prizes that include a $2,000 shopping spree, a staycation at the Hyatt with breakfast and four tickets to Magic Mountain and gift cards to a variety of restaurants and retail locations.

Community members can also win tickets to the popular Cocktails on the Roof event by going to the Westfield site’s Sweepstakes Event Page (https://www.westfield.com/valencia/events/all-events/cocktails-on-the-roof-sweepstakes/54002). The event, now in its fifth year, is held from 8-11pm on top of the Macy’s parking garage and features signature cocktails from restaurants, spirit vendors, wineries and breweries, food and dancing to a DJ in a rooftop party atmosphere unlike any other event in our region. Private lounges that include two VIP early entry tickets are available but limited in number. Tickets are on sale now and you can see an updated list of participants at www.cocktailsontheroofscv.org. If you would like to sponsor or participate, please contact Executive Director Amy Daniels at wish@hartdistrict.org.

WiSH funds programs and initiatives in the Hart School District not paid for by tax dollars alone. Our current funding focus is STEAM with an emphasis on the ARTS. We are currently working to provide musical instruments to all school in the district but continue to fund programs from literacy to STEM and everything in between. Our dollars go where it counts – into the classroom to provide our students with the tools needed for SUCCESS!

81st Annual Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival – A Sweet Deal!

| Community | August 15, 2019

The award-winning Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival, an iconic annual community event, is celebrating 81 years. This year’s “Sweet Delights and Carnival Lights” Fair takes place Aug. 16th – 25th at the Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center.

The A.V. Fair offers one of the most family friendly, cost efficient, wholesome entertainment events in Southern California. Discount general admission tickets are available and just $8 at the A.V. Fair Mall Cart or through a participating Moola For You organization. After August 15th all adult general admission tickets are $13 and youth and senior admission tickets are $9. Active Military get in free with their military service photo ID all ten days of the fair. Parking for the fair is just $10 (cash only).

New to this year’s fair is Los Angeles County Air Show’s “Aerospace Valley STEM Expo.” The expo space will host a variety of partners including, the Aerospace Museum, local school robotics teams, pilot autograph opportunities, STEM exhibits, technology petting zoo and more.

Returning this year, is the BACKYARD – a great gathering space to enjoy local independent craft beer, local wine tasting and games like corn hole, Jenga and more. New to this year’s independent beer’s BACKYARD is the free, Brews and Beards competition happening Tuesday, August 22nd at 6PM.

General admission tickets include free Miller Light grandstand seating to the Palmdale Auto Mall Concert Series, Figure 8 race, and Rural Olympics and Fireworks show. A general admission ticket is the gateway to a plethora of additional “Free Fair Fun” including: Suzy Haner the Hypnotist, Pig Races, Aerospace Valley STEM Expo, live music and dancing at various stages, and so much more. Download the AV Fair app for the complete list. The Antelope Valley Fair app will provide information on all things fair including, voting for your favorite food vendor, surveys, push notifications, maps and more. The app is available at Google Play and the IOS Apple.

There are additional savings as well – including, a $22 season pass, carnival wristbands offering unlimited rides and special admission days.

Discounted admission tickets, season passes and carnival wristbands can still be purchased at the fairgrounds box office (hours 8am-5pm), online and through the A.V. Fair app until 11:59 p.m. August 15, 2019.

“The Antelope Valley Fair has a long tradition of providing fun and opportunities for every generation. Every year we bring in new attractions and this year includes new carnival rides, the Brews and Beards contest, and the LACAS Aerospace Valley STEM Expo. Fair-goers will once again be able to enjoy several new and all-time favorite attractions, all with an admission ticket, including free grandstand seating to our concerts and select arena events. We’re making an effort to ensure that wherever anyone goes, they’ll be able to find something affordable for the entire family to enjoy,” said Dan Jacobs, CEO of the Antelope Valley Fair and Event Center.

Special admission days provide even greater bargains:

Opening day, Friday, August 16th, fair admission and parking is free from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. only.

Monday, August 19th is Kids, Senior and Special Needs Citizens Day. Seniors 62 and older and Special Needs Citizens (with one caregiver) get free admission and parking from 2 p.m. to 4 pm and a complimentary lunch served between 2 and 3 p.m. Youth 11 & under get free admission after 4p.m.

Tuesday, August 20th, fair-goers who bring five cans of food for Grace Resource Center will receive one free admission ticket and one ride pass.

Wednesday, August 21st, fair-goers who donate one new or three gently used elementary level books to the Rotary Club of Lancaster will receive one free admission ticket and one ride pass.

Thursday, August 22nd, Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by Budweiser, all military personnel and dependents are admitted free entry into Fair with a red carpet entrance.

Los Angeles County Aerospace Air Show STEM Expo – Free all 10 days with admission.

Discount tickets and coupon books are available at the Antelope Valley Fair kiosk in the Antelope Valley Mall, and the Antelope Valley Fair Administration office until August 15th.

Carnival wristbands, which allow unlimited rides for one day, can be purchased in advance for $25 until August 15th. After August 15th, unlimited carnival ride wristbands are $35.

Daily parking is just $10 cash only per car and there is free shuttle from the parking lots to the main gate.

A wide range of exhibits are also free including, artwork, floriculture, gems and minerals, small and large livestock, home arts, agriculture and more. Free hands-on demonstrations in the exhibit halls every day will be available with Fairgrounds admission including quilters, artists and florists providing demonstrations that don’t cost a thing. There are hundreds of free exhibits at this year’s fair that will delight people of all ages.

The Antelope Valley Fair is taking place August. 16-25 and is open daily from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight with the exception of August 26th closing at 11 p.m. It is located at the Antelope Valley Fair and Event Center, 2551 West Avenue H, in Lancaster.

For more information visit www.avfair.com.

City Using New Traffic Pattern Near Santa Clarita Elementary

| Community | August 15, 2019

To improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion, the City of Santa Clarita will use a pedestrian scramble traffic cycle at Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive during the school year. Drivers and pedestrians using the intersection, which is adjacent to Santa Clarita Elementary School and Arroyo Seco Junior High School, will notice the new cycle during the schools’ morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal times.

Due to the high volume of pedestrians crossing at the intersection and vehicular traffic during these times, the traffic signal will be modified to include a pedestrian scramble phase sequence. This phase enables all pedestrians to cross the intersection simultaneously while all vehicular traffic is stopped.

This timing eliminates vehicular-pedestrian conflicts, making it safer for students and families to cross the street. Additionally, traffic circulation will be greatly improved because vehicles will no longer need to wait for high volumes of pedestrians to cross the street during a green light before they can make a turn.

The new pedestrian scramble phase will operate on school days only. On non-school days and during times other than those identified, the signal at this intersection will follow a standard signal operation sequence.

For more information about the implementation of the pedestrian scramble phase, please contact the City of Santa Clarita’s Traffic Signal System Administrator, Cesar Romo, at cromo@santa-clarita.com.

On the Town with Jason Wright Downs

| Community, Entertainment | August 15, 2019

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans, and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town!

I enjoy many different aspects of our vast and ever-changing culture, from the Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl to cutting a rug at Mabel’s Roadhouse (even though you won’t find a single rug in the entire joint); from new films to classic theater, from delightful books to delicious bites, from walking tours to hikes and bikes…we’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: The Play That Goes Wrong at the Ahmanson downtown, an opening at the TAG Art Gallery on the Miracle Mile and dinner at Piccola Trattoria in Canyon Country.

First of all, who doesn’t love a good farce? How many plays have you seen that make you laugh so hard and so long your face almost falls off? You don’t see many truly good slapstick spoofs, and The Play That Goes Wrong was right on the money. Pure silliness, pure fun.

The Ahmanson Theater, directly across a beautiful park from City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, continually puts on quality work that the family and I all enjoy. The play that goes horribly wrong in The Play That Goes Wrong is called “The Murder at Haversham Manor” – a 1920’s murder mystery (which doesn’t actually exist). From beginning to end the prat falls and pranks do not disappoint as we watch a desperate bunch of players do their best, and fail miserably, to get through a single performance without becoming victims of crashing set pieces or murdering each other (for real). As my wife often says, “Why is watching someone fall on their face always so funny?”

(We can unpack all that implies on some other occasion.)

My mother-in-law, Margaret Raab, is a Valencia resident. She moved from Buffalo, New York two years ago after teaching art to middle school students for 25 years. To say that she’s taken to being a “California Girl” like a pro surfer takes to the waves is an understatement. She is also taking the art scene by storm.

Since moving here, Peggy, as her friends and family call her, has had her art accepted into many of the best galleries around Los Angeles County, from Newhall to the Huntington, including the TAG Gallery on the Miracle Mile near Beverly Hills. It’s a pretty big deal! The gallery was beautiful, the art was exciting, and the wine was cheap (but plentiful), so a good time was had by all.

Jason Alexander (of Seinfeld fame) was the big celeb sighting at the gallery, which convinced us all my mother-in-law had officially hit the big time.

Everyone turned out for the TAG’s 14th annual 2019 California Open, which is a national juried exhibition celebrating contemporary and modern art. The piece that won the event was a stunningly detailed pencil drawing of a woman holding her face in her hands; very dark, emotional, and well done. Here’s the painting that won my mother-in-law her place in the highly-acclaimed show…it’s called The Kiss.

Pretty incredible, eh? (And yes, it’s for sale. Visit www.margaretraab.com and feast your eyes.)

When we moved to SCV from New York five years ago, I never would’ve guessed that the great Italian food in the “city that never sleeps” could be rivaled by a tucked away, little hidden gem in Canyon Country,…but, oh boy was I wrong!

Santa Clarita’s best kept secret is out: Piccola Trattoria is the real deal. And here’s a tip if you want to eat anywhere around 6pm — you may want to book your reservation well in advance. The Trattoria is busy and for good reason.

I’ve only been to Italy a couple of times in my life (so far) and let me tell you from my limited palate and experience, when you close your eyes and take a bite of their lasagna, you may as well be in Firenze! (For me, it was a toss up between the lasagna and the veal parmesan as the winning dish of the evening…my wife was for the shrimp risotto all the way.) Even our lovely waiter, Serge, was a recent Italian transplant!

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Italy, try this for yourself: Order anything on the menu at Piccola, scoop up that fork full of fresh melt-in-your-mouth pasta (or whatever you fancy), close your eyes (after the fork is in your mouth…we don’t want anyone losing an eye), and you will instantly be transported to the Piazza del Duomo.

So, there it is, folks. Feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. You can reach me at: reachjasondowns@santaclariagazette.com.

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Santa Clarita Sews – Community Sewing Workshops

| Community | August 15, 2019

Calling all sewing enthusiasts in Santa Clarita! Come join us for a community sew-in at the Centre Building – Oak room, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway. There will be three opportunities to participate:

Saturday, August 24th from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm,
Thursday, September 5th from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 8th from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

As part of the Girl Scout Gold Award project by Jessie Nilsen, we will be sewing a variety of projects to benefit SCV Veterans, the SCV Senior Center and The Painted Turtle camp. Sewing experience is not needed.

This is a free event; all materials will be provided. This is open to all ages. Experienced sewers will be on hand to assist.

This is a Girl Scout Gold Award project in conjunction with the SCV Quilt Guild (SCVQG), and it’s all about the community helping the community. The overall goal is to bring the community together to help those in need.

The SCV Quilt Guild promotes the art of quilting through sharing, friendship, education and meaningful service to the community. The guild preserves the profile of an American folk art that is vulnerable to being lost as a traditional home arts form. Every year, the guild sews projects to benefit people in need in the SCV community. This Gold Award project is an outreach program, to educate SCV residents on how the SCVQG helps the community, and to give SCV residents an opportunity to be involved in helping too.

Space is limited, so if you would like to attend, please RSVP to jnilsengoldaward@gmail.com.

Focusing on School Safety for the New School Year

| Community | August 15, 2019

This week marks back to school time for all of the elementary districts and the William S. Hart Union High School District here in the Santa Clarita Valley. The City of Santa Clarita would like to welcome students back to class and remind everyone of important safety messages and programs.

“This is an exciting time for both parents and students,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “We want to remind drivers to expect more students in the crosswalks, especially around local schools. Please drive cautiously in these areas and leave early to give yourself extra time to get where you are going.”

The City has also developed a data-driven program to enhance safety for pedestrians and drivers in school areas. The City continuously analyzes traffic data and uses the information gathered to enhance its Crossing Guard program, which provides crossing guards at 39 crosswalk sites in all four school districts within the City of Santa Clarita.

The City is also conducting studies and reviewing designs for its Safe Routes to School program, which will identify walking routes for students and families around schools that minimizes the need to cross busy intersections. A new Pedestrian Scramble traffic signal phase at Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive, near Santa Clarita Elementary School and Arroyo Seco Junior High, will modify the existing traffic sequence to allow for all pedestrians to cross at once while traffic is stopped. This modification will be in effect during busy morning drop-off and after-school pick-up hours to enhance pedestrian safety and reduce vehicle back-up.

Another way the City is creating a safe environment on campus is by partnering with the William S. Hart Union High School District to provide school resource deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“Not only does our amazing team of school resource deputies help keep school campuses safe, they also help educate students on everything from personal safety and internet safety – to bike and pedestrian safety,” said Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Robert Lewis.

The City’s Drug Free Youth in the Santa Clarita Valley team, or DFY in SCV, has already kicked off the school year, welcoming new students at registration events. At the elementary school level, City staff introduced the message of saying “no” to drugs and alcohol through age-appropriate workbooks, as well as various assemblies that teach about the dangers of drugs and strategies for making positive choices. As kids get older, they have the opportunity to join drug-free clubs and develop a positive peer network in junior high and high school, while also giving back to the community through community service projects.

“It is important to the City Council, and the City as a whole, that these vital programs and enhancements are included in our budget,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “Our DFY in SCV program has reached more than 55,000 students since it began back in 2012. It has grown and evolved to meet the specific needs of our community. We take the safety and well-being of our residents seriously and want to do all we can to make it a safe and successful school year for all.”

Other City initiatives, such as the award-winning Heads Up! program, continue to reinforce positive behaviors in youth when it comes to traffic safety, pedestrian awareness and making positive choices as a new driver. To learn more about these City programs, please visit santa-clarita.com/headsup and dfyinscv.com.

Community Blood Drive

| Community | August 15, 2019

Did you know approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed each day in the United States? The City of Santa Clarita and the American Red Cross invite residents to help save a life this summer at a community blood drive event on Friday, August 16, 2019, at City Hall.

The blood drive will take place in the Century Room at Santa Clarita City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard. To schedule an appointment between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., please use the sponsor code “CityOfSantaClarita.”

Visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment using the location-specific sponsor codes. For questions regarding the August 16 blood drive, please contact Amanda Santos at (661) 255-4923 or asantos@santa-clarita.com.

SCVi, iLead’s Founding School, Hosts Prospective Family Night

| Community | August 9, 2019

Students in Grades TK-12, Community Welcome at Aug. 15 Event

SCVi, iLEAD’s founding school, a free public charter school serving learners in grades TK through 12, will welcome students, parents and interested members of the community to its Prospective Family Night at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Shakespeare Theatre on campus at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic.

SCVi offers a student-centered approach to education that focuses on project-based and social-emotional learning principles. Its curriculum is designed to equip learners with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century world.

SCVi offers personalized college track planning for every student, features the Santa Clarita Valley’s only International Baccalaureate program and earned a reputation for its rigorous arts and theatre curriculum. The school is both WASC accredited and NCAA approved, with a sports program through the CIF Omega League for athletics. SCVi also provides individualized learning plans, as well as site-based, homeschool, online, and hybrid learning options.

iLEAD Schools empower learners to become conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world, and inspire them to become creative thinkers and leaders with a lifelong love of learning.

The iLEAD learning model promotes individualized instruction, active learning methods and opportunities for self-directed learning. The organization celebrates and fosters each child’s individuality, and supports them in discovering their highest potential in the environment which best suits their learning needs.

For more information visit www.ileadsantaclarita.org.

How to Excel in Business to Save you Time and Money – Part 1

| Community | August 9, 2019

Microsoft Excel is one of the most underused tools business professionals have at their fingertips. If they would just take advantage of Excel’s benefits, they would have more free time to do what they want. People who use Excel save more time and money and gain a competitive edge on their competition.

It is so versatile that it can be tweaked to work with almost any project. It can be used for things as simple as a calculator to something as complex as a full accounting system.

Some of the things Excel can be used for to save you time and money are:

Merging Lists from Different Sources into a Single Spreadsheet
A retail call-center manager needed to monitor employee phone usage and determine if any staff was abusing phone privileges. The manager needed to combine the lists of inbound and outbound calls that he had with the customer phone number information from corporate headquarters. The manager needed to find a faster way to merge the data than manually inputting the information.

TAP Solutions created a spreadsheet using an Excel macro that combined the two sources of information and compared the data. Phone numbers that didn’t match up with the customer list were separated out to determine if the employees were abusing their phone privileges. The new spreadsheet also enabled the manager to see the phone activity in each division. This information allowed the company to balance the call load throughout the call center and saved them overtime costs.

Converting PDF Files into Excel
A manufacturer received client orders in large PDF documents. The company had to print them out, then manually enter the information into the system. The manual process required many hours and contained numerous errors.

Under the new TAP Solutions system, the PDF files were converted into text files that could be read by Excel and turned into spreadsheets. The Excel format enabled the company to directly upload the orders into their processing system. The company could also then analyze the data and import and export the information as needed. Eliminating the manual data entry step resulted in much faster, more accurate order processing.

For more information, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628.

Maintaining Resilience in a Changing World

| Community | August 8, 2019

Reader Andre wrote in to ask how he can handle the changing world we live in. He feels like everything in his life has changed in recent years and he needs to make sense of it all. My thoughts on this are the same today as they were a decade ago; we must be resilient and demonstrate mental toughness at all times to achieve the life goals we want and deserve.

What does it mean to be resilient and have mental toughness?

In order to strengthen resilience, it’s important to understand the concept in depth. Resilience is the ability to move forward by growing through every part of life’s process. Struggling is a natural part of living. What matters is how we react to struggle.

It’s easy to let difficulty keep us down. It isn’t easy to stay afloat when the waters are rocky, and it’s okay to feel that struggle. Resilience is associated with toughness. Part of being tough means admitting to difficulty and working through it instead of ignoring it.

How many times have you heard someone say, “just toughen up,” or something similar? While it is easy to say, what does mental toughness really mean?

At one time being told to toughen up was thought of as being cliché. The view on mental toughness has now changed. Who isn’t leading a more stressful life these days? Life can really throw you a curve ball at any time and it is important to have that mental toughness to deal with any situation. How you deal with a stressful situation is directly related to your level of resilience.

Having resilience and mental toughness is an asset when it comes to all types of situations including: sports, business, facing an emergency, dealing with a major illness or injury and more.

An example of this is how we handle a downturn in the economy. The resilient person will accept what they cannot change and make adjustments to maintain a healthy financial picture for their personal and business affairs.

Research has shown that as a person ages they do become tougher. A senior person may have a weaker body due to their age, but mentally we can be super tough! We also gain wisdom as we age.

On the downside some people who appear to be resilient and mentally tough are often insensitive to certain situations. This may make them seem tough, but in fact they could be lacking in certain skills such as building relationships with people.

The world today has evolved into a busy and stressful environment. It is important to have a certain degree of resilience just to survive. On the upside we have developed into a society that is not afraid to speak out. People are encouraged to discuss their stressors and are able to find help more easily.

Life is something that you can either go through, or grow through. Resilience requires the willingness to grow and adapt. Life has peaks and valleys. It is always changing. If you’re able to accept this, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to get curious about the lessons of each moment. You’re not born with resilience or mental toughness, but you can develop these skills.

It can appear difficult to implement new habits, especially when they involve making big changes in your life. Keep in mind that you can learn something from every situation you encounter, and this is a good opportunity to learn something that will improve your self-worth and enthusiasm for life.

Keeping a journal can help you get your thoughts out so that you don’t have to store them in your brain. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to have so many thoughts swirling around like a whirlpool. Writing it out can help ease that feeling. Set a timer for ten minutes and write whatever comes to you, even if it doesn’t make sense.

One of the skills you’ll learn emphasizes the importance of building community. You can use this skill to implement changes you want to make by asking for accountability. Having people around you who know the changes you’re trying to make will help remind you of your goals.

As your self-awareness improves, so will your ability to maintain a positive outlook on your progress. If you can look back at the work you do and are proud of yourself even if you were not perfect, you will be more confident in your ability to grow.

Part of resilience and mental toughness is facing difficult things head-on. Become a problem solver at every turn. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and continue to move forward.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Local Business Marketing: Making the Phone Ring for Businesses Everywhere is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2019. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2019 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

College of the Canyons Fall 2019 Job Fair

| Community | August 8, 2019

You are invited to participate in College of the Canyons’ Fall 2019 Job Fair. The event is widely promoted throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas including social media outlets. The job fair is open to COC students as well as community members. This ensures attendance by a large and diverse group of job seekers with a wide variety of skill levels and backgrounds.

The JOB FAIR is designed for employers to recruit qualified candidates for paid employment opportunities.

Registration to attend begins with posting your job openings on MyJobs – our online job board. Posting your jobs allows us to promote your jobs through COC departments and directly to students in programs of study related to your hiring needs. It also allows job seekers to prepare their resumes and apply for your open positions prior to meeting you at the Job Fair.

College of the Canyons – Valencia Campus
Friday, October 4, 2019 from 9AM – Noon
Location: Gymnasium
This is an indoor event
Limited to 80 employers
Registration Fee: $75, non-refundable
Fee includes 1 table, 2 chairs
Event Website: www.cocjobfair.com

Register Early to Attend:
Access “MyJobs” at https://www.myinterfase.com/canyons/employer/
You will be directed to the “Employer Login”
If you registered for a job fair in the past or previously posted a job opportunity, you already have a login and password. If not, select “Click here to register” located at the bottom of the page
Once you have logged in, select “Career Fairs and Events” then “Career Fair.” Select the fair(s) you want to attend and “Register Now”
In the “Positions Available” field, list the job titles you hope to fill. You will receive a confirmation email with event information and an invoice

If you have any additional questions or need additional assistance with registering for the JOB FAIR, please contact Lonnie Davis at (661) 362-3394 or Lonnie.Davis@canyons.edu.

Local Photographer to Display New Exhibit at Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library

| Community | August 8, 2019

Visit the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library to view a new art exhibit titled “The Ground Beneath Me; Not Above Me, So Enjoy Life…” by local photographer Mel Carll. Residents and visitors can view the exhibit from now through December 3 at the library, located at 18601 Soledad Canyon Road.

Despite enduring difficult times battling cancer and going through radiation treatment, Carll chooses to find the bright side of situations. During his treatment, he did not allow his illness to discourage his practice of, or dedication to, his art. “The Ground Beneath Me; Not Above Me, So Enjoy Life…” represents hope and is a reminder to all to stay positive, have a good attitude and continue to love life.

In the exhibit, viewers will find a beautiful portrayal and appreciation of nature. The natural subjects of Carll’s photographs exude his love for life and allow others to see through his optimistic lens.

For more information about current and upcoming art exhibits in the City, please visit santaclaritaarts.com.

Another Fantastic Fiscal Year for Location Filming in Santa Clarita

| Community | August 8, 2019

The City of Santa Clarita had another fantastic year of location filming in the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year with the Film Office recording 526 film permits and 1,380 film days, which generated an estimated $33.4 million in economic impact to the local community. These statistics represent an increase in the estimated economic impact when compared to the previous fiscal year.

This is the sixth consecutive fiscal year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded over 500 permits and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone. Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from productions filming on certified sound stages, which do not require a film permit.

“The reason we see so many movie trailers and crews working around the City is because we are in the magic 30-mile zone,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “Not only do these local productions enhance our economy – they also provide jobs to our residents. In fact, some 6,000 Santa Clarita residents are employed by the entertainment industry.”

More than half of the filming days for FY 2018-2019 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were from local Santa Clarita based shows including “Bless This Mess,” “Future Man,“ “Goliath,” Good Trouble,” “Holey Moley,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Santa Clarita Diet” and “Pearson.”

Other television shows that filmed on location in Santa Clarita last fiscal year included “9-1-1,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Are You Sleeping,” “Atypical,” “Barry,” “Baskets,” “The Baxters,” “Criminal Minds,” “Drunk History,” “Euphoria,” “GLOW,” “Good People,” “For All Mankind,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Light as a Feather,” “The Masked Singer,” “Medical Police,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “SEAL Team,” “Shameless,” “Station 19,” “Straight Up Steve Austin,” “Timeless,” “Too Old to Die Young,” “Top Dog,” “Trading Spaces,” “Unbelievable,” “Veronica Mars,” “Young Sheldon,” “You’re the Worst” and many more.

TV shows weren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita filming locations. Multiple movies and feature films were shot in the City last fiscal year including “Ad Astra,” “Annabelle Comes Home,” “Badland,” “Call of the Wild,” “Deadwood: The Movie,” “Headshop,” “Lucy in the Sky,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Palm Springs,” “The Spongebob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge” and more, in addition to numerous commercials, music videos, online content, still photo shoots and student projects.

Santa Clarita is consistently one of the most filmed places in California because it’s located within the industry’s well-known 30-Mile Zone and offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world. Santa Clarita also has more than 25 sound stages, over ten movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office and some of the lowest film permitting fees in the Los Angeles area.

Several other factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s own Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone. In addition, the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program is working very successfully to keep plenty of production in the Golden State, and right here in the Santa Clarita Valley.

For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, please visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425. For an insider’s view to filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

Mayor Marsha McLean Joins California Film Commission Executive Director for Santa Clarita Film Tour

| Community | August 2, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Mayor Marsha McLean joined California State Assemblywoman Christy Smith, representing the 38th District, and State of California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell and Deputy Director Eve Honthaner for a Santa Clarita Film Information Tour. Mayor McLean and the Santa Clarita City Council have been, and continue to be, committed to attracting and retaining film projects in the community.

During the tour, Mayor McLean and attendees met with City staff to receive an update on the state of filming in Santa Clarita and the role of the City’s Film Office, learning more about the value of incentives offered to productions that film in the City. Following the information session, the group toured Santa Clarita Studios with studio President Mike DeLorenzo.

“The City of Santa Clarita is a premier film destination that is home to more than 20 soundstages and ten plus movie ranches. We are proud to say that more than 6,000 Santa Clarita residents currently work in the film entertainment industry,” said Mayor McLean. “Additionally, filming in Santa Clarita is a great revenue generator that enables the City to provide residents with a high quality of life.

The City Council wholeheartedly supports this vital industry.”

The California Film Commission administers the Film & Television Tax Credit program, which provides tax credits for qualified expenditures for eligible productions produced in California. This program allows filmmakers to recoup up to 25 percent of their spending (up to the first $100 million) on crew salaries and other qualified costs.

Combining this with the City’s Film Incentive Program, which was approved by the City Council in 2009, filmmakers choose to shoot in Santa Clarita due to the ability to receive subsidized permit fees and reduced costs for on-set safety personnel. The City is an active member of the Film Liaisons in California and has historically worked closely with the California Film Commission to follow industry best practices.

Since the Film Incentive Program was approved in 2009, more than $525,000 has been refunded to projects approved under the CA Film & Television Tax Credit program. At the same time, the local community has received an estimated $114.8 million in positive economic impact from these incentivized productions.

To celebrate the City’s place in film history – both modern and historical – the annual State of the City event on Thursday, October 24, will be titled “Lights! Camera! Santa Clarita.” Learn more about the City of Santa Clarita’s annual State of the City luncheon and purchase your tickets by visiting santa-clarita.com.

Residents can also discover the rich history of filming in the City by visiting filmsantaclarita.com. Filmmakers wanting to explore the Film & Television Tax Credit program can visit the California Film Commission website at film.ca.gov.

Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women

| Community | August 2, 2019

The community now has awareness of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) and Zonta International (ZI) initiative to address violence against women locally and worldwide. Zontians walked in the 4th of July parade through downtown Newhall and Valencia as they chanted “Zonta says No to Violence Against Women!” They were followed by the upcoming 2020 Zonta International President – Sharon Langenbeck –riding in a vintage Ford Mustang and Zontians riding in the balloon and banner decorated City Trolley.

The crown waved, cheered and raised ‘thumbs-up’ to our message of awareness about stopping “violence against women” worldwide. “Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women” was launched in 2012 by ZI to raise awareness of the issue; the campaign has evolved to address human trafficking, one of the most widespread human right’s violations in the world. Ending Child Marriage is a ZI project designed to promote local and national governments and community commitment in 12 countries that will change attitudes to hopefully end child, early and forced marriage – one of the worst obstacles girls are facing globally and a severe human right’s violation.

Locally, the Zonta Club strives to empower women through service and advocacy. LifeForward Workshops, Stemming the Tide of Human Trafficking, Domestic Court Advocacy and Girls’ Robotics programs are designed to assist women and girls in the community. Scholarships help women who strive for further education and Grants help organizations with projects that improve the lives of women.

For information about Zonta go to www.zontascv.org or call Phyllis Walker at 661-251-1172.

New Students Invited to Welcome Day at College of the Canyons

| Community | August 1, 2019

For many college freshman students, the first day of school can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience. To better assist its incoming class of freshman students, College of the Canyons will host Welcome Day on Friday, August 9.

The one-day event will welcome new students and their families with more than 25 conference workshops — held in English and Spanish — on a variety of topics such as financial aid and how to be a successful student.

“It is our hope that this new event will help better prepare incoming students for the college experience,” said Jasmine Ruys, associate vice president of enrollment services.

Students will also be able to meet fellow students and professors, explore majors, take campus tours and learn about the campus environment and support programs.

Welcome Day is scheduled 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Honor Grove, located at the Valencia campus.

This free event is open to new and prospective students, as well as their families. Parking will be free in all college lots for the duration of the event.

For more information email: outreach@canyons.edu or call (661) 362-5891.

Friends of Library to Host Special Book Sale

| Community | August 1, 2019

Book Donations for the Sale Being Accepted at the Valencia Library Starting August 1

You’re invited to attend the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library “Half-Price Huge Book Sale” event at the Valencia Library on Saturday, August 17, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a chance to discover some great summer reads at a bargain price. The sale will take place inside the Community Room of the Valencia Library, located at 23743 W. Valencia Boulevard. Proceeds from the book sales will be used to support programming for the Santa Clarita Public Library. No reservations are required to attend.

Those attending the bag sale are asked to bring their own bag for shopping. The community is invited to donate books for the sale by dropping off donated materials at the Valencia Library starting Thursday, August 1, 2019. Opportunities to volunteer are also available; more information can be found at SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.

The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library support the library through advocacy, volunteer service, supplemental funding and fostering a close relationship between the library and the community. All proceeds from three bookstores and fundraising efforts support programming for the Santa Clarita Public Library.

For more information, please visit SantaClaritaFOL.com or contact the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library by email at friends@santaclaritalibrary.com.

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