Fireworks Safety Campaign and the Dangers of Illegal Fireworks in Santa Clarita

| Community | 12 hours ago

Multi-agency Press Conference to Be Held on June 29

This Fourth of July, just about the only acceptable fireworks in Santa Clarita will be lyrical references to Katy Perry’s 2010 hit single, “Firework.”

The City of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, is warning residents that all fireworks, including those labeled “Safe and Sane,” are illegal within city limits. The agencies have launched a joint fireworks safety campaign to inform residents that illegal fireworks are dangerous and are not tolerated in the City. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will also be conducting multiple fireworks operations between now and the Fourth of July.

In the City of Santa Clarita, it is illegal to possess, sell or use fireworks within city limits. Fireworks include those labeled “Safe and Sane,” such as sparklers, snaps and smoke balls, and any item that explodes, rises in the air or moves about the ground. Fireworks are a violation of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, Health and Safety Code and Los Angeles County Fire Code. Those found guilty of a violation will be cited and have their illegal fireworks confiscated by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “Violators can receive a fine from $500 to $1,000 and face misdemeanor prosecution,” Captain Robert Lewis said.

The public is encouraged to report illegal fireworks anonymously by calling the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at (661) 255-1121. Do not dial 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks, unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Residents may also report illegal fireworks to the sheriff deputy assigned to their zone. Information on zones can be found online at scvsheriff.com/zone-leaders.

“Fireworks are known to cause burns, serious injuries and even death,” warns Assistant Fire Chief Anderson Mackey. “Besides causing physical harm to our citizens, fireworks greatly increase the risk of both structure and wildland fires,” he adds.

“We want folks to enjoy the Fourth of July, but responsibly. In addition to possibly starting a fire, fireworks create anxiety and stress among pets and veterans who may have post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Mayor Laurene Weste. “I would recommend our residents leave the show to the pros and instead attend the City’s free and magnificent Fourth of July fireworks show.” The City’s Annual Fourth of July show will be taking place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center at 9:15 p.m.

As part of the campaign, the agencies have partnered with the County of Los Angeles Castaic Animal Shelter and the Lange Foundation’s St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary on a social media campaign featuring local L.A. County Firefighters with dogs that are adoptable in the local area. The campaign is intended to educate the public that besides being extremely dangerous, fireworks are the leading cause of runaway pets; more pets get lost on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year. In addition to social media, the Fireworks Safety campaign includes digital and print messaging at local City facilities and schools.

A Fireworks Safety Press Conference will be held to remind residents that fireworks of any kind are illegal in the City of Santa Clarita, in Los Angeles County unincorporated communities and in many of its 88 cities. The press conference will take place on Friday, June 29 at 10:00 a.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Station 126, located at 26320 Citrus Street.

For more information on local professional fireworks shows in and near Santa Clarita Valley, or details regarding fireworks regulations, visit santa-clarita.com/Fireworks.

Working with Excel: Dashboards

| Community | 12 hours ago

One of the greatest (and lesser known) aspects of Microsoft Excel is its ability to generate dashboards. What are dashboards? Think of them as tools in which you can call up any data you want; that is, your relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) from your Excel spreadsheet, and have it presented in any form you want. It’s similar to an automobile dashboard (which is where it got its name) in that it gives you the relevant info to your particular goal, objective or process.

But one thing to remember: Dashboards are not automatic. They have to be set up to show whatever aspect of your business you need (and if you have the data for it). But they’re extremely valuable for the following reasons:

1. You will always know what’s going on with your business. Need to see growth projections for the coming fiscal year? There’s a dashboard for that. Need the data presented as a pie chart, graph or bar chart? No problem. What color do you want to show it? That’s not a problem, either. Any aspect of your business can be turned into a dashboard where with just a few keystrokes, the information pops right onto your screen. And, if there are trends or issues you need to see, dashboards can help spot them.

2. You will save time and money. Everybody who uses Excel knows that the best thing going for it is its ability to turn long, arduous tasks in which the risk of human error is great, into a program that takes seconds with no human error. With the dashboard, the report you want can be updated at any time you’d like: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.

When things are running well and you’re making money hand over fist, you know it, because you know what’s working. When parts of the business are lacking, for example, if it’s the workers themselves, the dashboard can show that, too giving you the insight and info you need to fix it.

3. Everyone will be on the same page. The dashboard(s) can be shown to anyone in the company that needs to see the information. Everyone will be working in Excel, so there’s no problem showing the data to whoever needs it. That also means there are no costs to convert the data from some other program into Excel – another money – and time-saving aspect.

You already have Microsoft Excel as part of your Office suite. Using dashboards will only simplify your business and keep everybody involved and profitable.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

Now and Then: Nick Lentini, 2018 Man of the Year

| Community | June 22, 2018

The year 1968 dawned on a high note in the United States with the January 7 launch of NASA’s Surveyor 7. The spacecraft landed successfully on the moon and achieved its mission of photographing the area and testing the composition of the soil. It also gathered the necessary data to determine the feasibility for a manned Moon mission.

The national euphoria was short-lived, followed by an escalation in riots protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and the tragic assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and political icon Robert Kennedy.

In suburbia, residents rode out these highs and lows as they tended to the routines of daily living. The average price of gas was 34 cents a gallon; the newly introduced Big Mac at MacDonald’s was selling for 49 cents; and theater tickets to see shows like “The Graduate” and “Planet of the Apes” cost $1.50.

It was during this seesaw atmosphere of turbulence and routine that Jim and Georgia Lentini welcomed 2018 SCV Man of the Year, Nicholas, into the world. Nick’s little brother, Jeffrey, was born three years later, as the 1971 earthquake was shaking SCV and San Fernando Valley homes.

In spite of the drama provided by the geological and political phenomena, Nick’s childhood was filled with typical extra curricular activities like scouting, baseball, swimming, skiing, skateboarding, biking and boating.

There were also family vacations, which included summer water sports on a houseboat in Lake Shasta and winter vacations skiing at June and Mammoth Mountains. (Nick loved spending time with his brother, parents, grandparents and friends and continues the annual tradition today with his own family: wife Elise, and sons Dominic and Marco.)

In November of 1979, Nick’s family life changed when he proudly served as best man at his dad’s wedding to step mom Susan. Jim and Susan welcomed Nick and Jeff into their Santa Clarita home and Nick began developing ties to his new community and friends.

Nick attended Sierra Vista Junior High and Canyon High School, supplementing his studies with church youth activities, Canyon football, and a variety of after-school jobs, most notably as pizza maker for Blackie’s on Soledad Canyon, which he claims served the best pizza he’s ever had.

Following high school graduation in 1986, Nick attended College of the Canyons, meeting future wife Elise two years later. His academic experiences bolstered an interest in insurance and investments, prompting him to become a licensed agent and joining his father in the family business in 1989.

In 1993, the cost of a gallon of gas was $1.16, a loaf of bread went for $1.57, and it cost $4.14 to see shows like “Jurassic Park,” and ”Indecent Proposal.”

With school commitments completed and careers established, Nick and Elise were ready to commit to a more fitting proposal. The couple exchanged wedding vows at St. Claire’s Church that year and settled into a home in the Old Orchard I community in Valencia.

The arrival of their sons, Dominic in 1999, and Marco in 2003 coincided with career advancements for Nick, who earned the designation of Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow, and passed the Series 6, 7, 63 and 66 licensing tests to become an Investment Advisor Representative.

As the boys grew, Nick passed on the values he learned growing up – encouraging them to try new things, from sports, to activities, to clubs. He told them that it didn’t matter if they won or lost or even if they liked what they tried, the important thing was to do their best, have a good time, and learn something new. He has been a part of the boys’ Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts experiences, has served as a flag football coach, and is currently their SCVi High School Golf Team coach.

Sharing activities with his family reflects Nick’s philosophy of “giving back” and he carries that philosophy to the community. He hopes to make Santa Clarita a better place as he teaches Dominic and Marco the value of volunteerism – a passion he developed while accompanying Jim and Susie on their volunteer projects for the early Boys & Girls Club fundraising auctions.

Nick’s first volunteer task in his own right was for the New Year’s Eve Bootleggers Balls held in the 1990s. The fund-raisers benefited the Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence (AAVDV). He convinced Elise and friends that it would be great fun to build and paint enormous sets for the event. Their first endeavor was such a success that the set building continued for several years.

The Bootleggers Ball was the starting point for a commitment to volunteering that has led to leadership positions on the boards of AAVDV, the Chamber of Commerce, Santa Clarita Rotary, American Cancer Society, Child and Family Center, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Advisory Committee, COC Foundation, COC Board Governance Committee, and Cub Scouts Pack 608.

Nick is a past president of the Rotary Club, chairman of Citizens Oversight Committee for bond Measure M and E, and has served as secretary and president of the Child and Family Center Foundation board, creating and chairing the Center’s Trike Derby fund-raiser in 2017. Nick has been honored as the 2012 SCV Rotarian of the Year, 2016 COC Alumni of the Year, and 2017 SCVi Vision in Education Benefit Dinner Family of the Year, and is hopeful that his 30 years of volunteering will inspire younger generations to participate in service to important causes, worthwhile charities, and those in need.

National events may shape the world stage and the price of food, theatre tickets, and gasoline will always be in flux, but Nick’s commitment to his family and community has remained steadfast, which inspired the SCV Man and Woman of the Year committee to select him as their 2018 honoree.

Our (Alleged) Arts & Entertainment District

| Community | June 22, 2018

Picture this: It’s Friday, you’ve just landed a date with the guy of your dreams, and you’ve only got one thing on your mind – Old Town Newhall.

We’ve all been there. When life gets hard, the only cure for a good time is a prescription for that Western Walk of Fame. Doctor’s orders.

And they don’t call it the “Premiere Arts & Entertainment District” for nothing. After strapping on those stilettos and hopping into your Honda Civic, make sure and leave enough time to strut into Planet Soccer before catching the 7 o’clock showing of Guys and Dolls and the Canyon Theater Guild – the full experience.

For all you night crawlers out there, the Hart Museum Tours close at 4 p.m., cutting it real close to dinner time. Shhh … I won’t tell if you won’t tell.

How could I possibly forget the artsy folks out there? You are not to be neglected. Park your Priuses next to the abandoned Golf Store on Main Street and accidentally waltz into a housing unit that looks like an art installation. To your surprise, it is. It’s 96 square feet and standing room only. Oh, baby.

The fun doesn’t stop at Main Street. It only plateaus. If you’re a real party animal, walk a few miles down to the Del Taco and order up something dangerous. Something … Food borne. It will feel like a long night of partying by the time you’re through.

Speaking of parties, the city combined everyone’s favorite day with everyone’s favorite place to form Thursdays@Newhall. You like old cars? They have very old cars. You like square dancing with sweaty strangers? They have VERY sweaty strangers. It’s an endless stream of Thursday night fun.

However, if you don’t have a way to get there, and the bus just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, you don’t have any reason to complain anymore. Now, you can take the trolley to and from Newhall all summer long. If you didn’t know our city had a trolley, wake up and smell the copper from that pretty taxpayer penny and take it for a spin.

You see, there’s so much to do in our self-proclaimed Arts & Entertainment District. No more boring nights, no more excuse to give in to drugs. There’s only Old Town Newhall for now and for eternity.

Summer Beach Excursion to Ventura

| Community | June 22, 2018

For those wanting to enjoy a fun and relaxing day in Ventura, The City of Santa Clarita is inviting residents and their families to register for an upcoming day trip to Ventura Harbor Village and Harbor Cove Beach on Saturday, July 14.

Organized by the Recreation and Community Services Division, participants can spend the morning enjoying the small lapping waves, sand dunes and protected shoreline of “Mother’s Beach,” then take a short walk to the Ventura Harbor for lunch and shopping. With no set schedule, participants are free to plan how their time will be spent during the day.

Registration is $10 per person and includes transportation by bus to the Ventura Harbor Village. Attendees are encouraged to bring spending money for food and shopping while in the city. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Participants will meet 8 a.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center, located at 18792 Flying Tiger Drive, for a prompt departure at 8:30 a.m. The bus will depart Ventura Harbor and head back to Santa Clarita at 2:30 p.m. for a 4 p.m. arrival.

Space is limited. Those interested must register by July 11 at 4 p.m. by visiting the Canyon Country Community Center, going online at santa-clarita.com/CCCC, calling (661) 290-2266 or e-mailing cccc@santa-clarita.com.

Empowering HeArts Calling All Artists

| Community | June 21, 2018

Empowering HeArts 2019 is now accepting applications for artists. Santa Clarita Valley has a plethora of amazing talent, and the Single Mothers Outreach is seeking those willing to share it.

Empowering HeArts matches the talents of six local artists with six inspiring honorees. The artists will tell the stories of these women through the artistic lens of this year’s theme, Integrity.

The art work will be revealed at the annual gala in February, where the community will come together to honor those women and to raise funds for Single Mother’s Outreach, a non-profit that benefits single parent families in Santa Clarita.

For more information about Empowering HeArts, visit http://singlemothersoutreach.org/empoweringhearts/. For more information about Single Mothers Outreach, visit http://singlemothersoutreach.org/.

SCV Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop

| Community | June 21, 2018

The Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SCV-GSA) is inviting stakeholders and members of the public to participate in its Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Workshop on Tuesday, June 26, at 2:30 p.m.

As part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s (SGMA) regulatory requirements, the SCV-GSA is responsible for developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan – a detailed road map for how the local groundwater basin will be managed for long-term sustainability.

To determine if you are located within the SCV-GSA boundary go to bit.ly/scv-gsa-address. The workshop will be held in the Sycamore Room at The Centre located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, 91350.

The workshop will serve as a kickoff meeting to discuss the process to develop a Groundwater
Sustainability Plan. Important workshop topics will include:

•SGMA 101 – A State perspective on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and local development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan.
•GSP Development Process and Timeline – An overview of the anticipated process and timeline to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan, including near and long-term tasks and activities.

To keep up-to-date on GSA news and upcoming stakeholder forums, sign up at bit.ly/scv-gsa-signup.

For more information, including a draft agenda, visit bit.ly/scv-gsa.

About the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency:

The SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SCV-GSA) was formed in 2017 and consists of SCV Water, Los Angeles County Waterworks District #36 and others including the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles. The SCV-GSA will be responsible for developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan by 2022.

About the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act:
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) empowers local agencies to adopt groundwater management plans that are tailored to the resources and needs of their communities. Good groundwater management will provide a buffer against drought and climate change, and contribute to reliable water supplies regardless of weather patterns. California depends on groundwater for a major portion of its annual water supply, and sustainable groundwater management is essential to a reliable and resilient water system.

For more information, contact Principal Water Resources Planner Rick Viergutz for SCV Water at rviergutz@scvwa.org, or call (661) 297-1600, ext. 281

Summer Trolley Returns with Services to Six Flags and Old Town Newhall

| Community | June 21, 2018

If you live in Santa Clarita, you aren’t truly living until you find yourself on a trolley to Six Flags, followed by a pilgrimage to Old Town Newhall.

The City of Santa Clarita’s Summer Trolley, which takes guests to and from Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor each day for free, is now offering evening entertainment service, from local hotels to both Town Center Drive and Old Town Newhall.

Traditionally, the Summer Trolley has run service between participating hotels and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The new, later service adds three stops along Main Street in Old Town Newhall, with extended hours every Thursday through Sunday.

The free Summer Trolley runs each morning from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., picking up riders from three locations along the way: Hyatt Regency Valencia/Westfield Valencia Town Center, Courtyard by Marriott/Embassy Suites and the Holiday Inn Express. Return trips to those locations depart from Six Flags each evening beginning at 6 p.m. with the last trolley leaving at 11 p.m., depending on park hours.

The new nighttime service is a way for participants to experience nightlife at the Westfield Valencia Town Center (Hyatt Regency Valencia stop) and in the City’s Arts and Entertainment District in Old Town Newhall. Some of the new attractions at Westfield include The Dudes Brewery, Cheesecake Factory and Saddle Ranch Chop House, as well as community favorites like Salt Creek Grille, plus explore a variety of wine bars, restaurants and entertainment opportunities along Town Center Drive and the Patios.

While the Summer Trolley will make the same stops during this time, it will also take riders to Old Town Newhall in the evening where they can enjoy free Thursdays@Newhall events, as well as a host of nightlife spots that include a variety of dining, craft breweries, wine rooms and shopping. Local favorites include Brewery Draconum, Double Trouble, Newhall Refinery, Pulchella Winery, Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse and Newhall Press Room.

Evening service to Old Town Newhall runs from 5:40 to 11:10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, while Sunday service runs from 5:40 to 9:45 p.m. Two trolleys are in rotation providing service every 30-40 minutes during operating hours.

See the full Summer Trolley schedule at VisitSantaClarita.com. For more information about the Summer Trolley’s service to Six Flags and Old Town Newhall, contact Evan Thomason at (661) 286-4167 or by email at ethomason@santa-clarita.com.

Music Industry and Local Dignitaries to Celebrate Hollywood Piano’s 90th Anniversary

| Community | June 21, 2018

Hollywood will turn out to honor Hollywood Piano’s 90th Anniversary at a star-studded event June 21. The celebration weekend kicks off with an invitation only reception Thursday, followed by a red carpet event at 6:30 p.m., and then a presentation of awards by local organizations and politicians. The invitees for this event feature many well known faces from the worlds of music, television, and politics including Governor Brown, Lieutenant Governor Newsom, Senator Feinstein, Congressman Schiff, The Mayor of Burbank, Bard Ellis Michael Orland), Nigel Lythgoe, Scott MacIntyre, Lana Delray, Jay Leno, Justin Beiber, Bruce Vilanch and many more.

“Hollywood Piano is not resting on our laurels. We’re heading into the next 90 years as the industry leader we’ve been for the last 90 years by continuing to grow, innovate and change with the times,” said Glenn Treibitz, President and CEO of Hollywood Piano.

The evening will also feature the presentation of the first two “Piano Hero” awards. Each year, this award is presented to two individuals – one from the world of music or entertainment, and the other a notable public figure not in show business – who through their examples have promoted the benefits of playing music, as well as inspired others to have interest in music (primarily the piano). This year’s awards will be presented to Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and the legendary Stevie Wonder.

Hollywood Piano’s history dates back to 1928, the beginning of sound in motion pictures. The company has provided some of the most important pianos in film and TV history, from “Casablanca,” to “All in the Family,” to “Frasier,” to “Dreamgirls,” to “Ray,” and “La La Land.”
Hollywood Piano has been honored over the years for many philanthropic endeavors.

The company supports hundreds of local charities and continually gives back to the community sponsoring music and education in schools, colleges, and performing arts organizations. It is also the official supplier of pianos to the Burbank Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony, Pasadena Pops, California Philharmonic, Skirbal Center and dozens of other not-for-profit entities in the greater Los Angeles area.

Starting Friday, June 22 through Sunday June 24, there will be a public celebration and sale with a grand piano sweepstakes giveaway, screenings of the film “Hollywood Loves the Piano,” free refreshments, gifts, and special crazy price reductions all weekend, plus one year zero percent 12 month financing on approved credit.

To learn more about Hollywood Piano visit www.hollywoodpiano.com.

Non-Profit of the Week: Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival

| Community | June 21, 2018

This summer, if you find yourself thinking, “Activities, activities, wherefore art thou activities,” The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is the perfect solution for your Shakespearean request.

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to engaging the community through performances, programs and events, recognizing our indelible commonality, and rejoicing in our diversity. In the summer, SCSF produces the LA SummerFEST, an eclectic, summer cultural festival of music, theatre and special events.

David Stears started Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival in 1989. Over the last few decades, the non-profit has developed into much more than a theater company, incorporating musical guests and other forms of entertainment into the program.

In previous years, LA SummerFEST has taken place outdoors in the Towsley Canyon Open Space. Due to fires and other factors, this year, the programs will be taking place at other locations.

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is putting on several productions throughout Santa Clarita this summer. Trojan Women, directed by Luck Hari, will be performed at The MAIN in Newhall, as well as The Little Prince, directed by Erin Africa. Comedy of Errors, a free Shakespeare performance, will be shown at the Newhall Family Theatre.

In the fall, SCSF will be touring elementary schools, performing Walidad the Grass Cutter, sponsored by the City of Santa Clarita.

For more information about the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, visit www.SCShakespeareFEST.org, find them on Facebook or Twitter at @SCShakesFest.

Charity Car Show at Valencia Ice Station

| Community | June 21, 2018

The Valencia Ice Station is hosting its first charity car show to benefit the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County.

Cars will be awarded based on four categories: Best Classic, Best modern, Charity’s Choice and People’s Choice. The event will take place at the Valencia Ice station, and will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24. Early registration is $25, and the price to register on the day of the event is $45.

The Wounded Heroes Fund’s mission is: “To act as a service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror in an effort to provide them with support and appreciation they need for a healthy return to civilian life.”

The Valencia Ice Station is located at 27745 Smyth Drive, Valencia 91355. For more information, call 661-775-8686 or visit www.icestation.net. To learn more about the Wounded Heroes Fund, visit www.thewoundedheroesfund.org/.

Afternoon T

| Community | June 15, 2018

Q: I just graduated and my friends are all my age and someone told me that wasn’t a very good idea. They told me I should find new friends. Why?

A: First, let’s clear up one thing: It’s not a BAD idea to have friends your own age. In fact, I am going to encourage you to continue to stay in touch with your friends and neighbors from childhood. You will grow to treasure them, for many reasons, as time goes on. From birth to graduation, it is expected that you’ll have and make friends your own age. Peer groups are the Petri dish you grow in. You learn from one another what to do (and often how not to be) and as long as you have wise adult supervision to guide your choices, friends your own age are a critical part of your healthy development. If you ONLY had young people in your world, it would become “Lord of the Flies” (I know that book is still in your just-got-out-of-school brain) very quickly.

Having older mentors during those early years you learn the best lessons in life. Good adult role models are a tremendous asset to a young person’s treasure trove of life’s lessons learned. I also believe that these types of relationships should continue once your formal education comes to an end (Graduation congratulations, by the way!). Some of the best educational advice I’ve ever heard had to do with everyday friendships: “All the days of your life, make friends with someone older and someone younger than yourself. It is good to have someone you need and someone who needs you.” The concept of having a mentor and being a mentor is a great formula for balance. This type of friendship model yields the best results for continued growth and education (you see, my young friend, you will never stop learning). By having friends older and younger than you, you’ll receive various levels of experience and varied responses when you seek answers to questions moving forward. Life will test you over and over again (now you know why there were so many quizzes in school) and you will need some solid smart person’s help to find the right answers to the really hard questions. (FINALLY! You get permission to look over at someone else’s paper, so to speak!) If you were to only bounce things off your old peer group, some who might only be getting C’s on their tests in life, your collected knowledge won’t get the best passing grades. And you really don’t want to fail at life. At this point, you’re going to want help and serious tutoring from the “kids” who got A’s or who, at the very least, know what the wrong answers were/are. Moving forward, I suggest you keep a child’s song in your heart as you carpe diem and make new relationships: “Make new friends, but keep the old … one is silver and the other gold.”

A Day at the Races

| Community | June 15, 2018

by Harry Parmenter

The place to be in the SCV last Saturday was Santa Clarita Lanes, and more specifically, the OTB section of the bowling alley. OTB, for the uninitiated, stands for “off-track betting.” In other words, it’s the place where you can separate yourself from your money while the ponies run on TV. On this particular day, Justify was going for the greatest achievement in horse racing: The Triple Crown. Yes, action —a chance to feel that adrenaline rush crash and burn.

The sign on Soledad advertised “Belmont Stakes Saturday … Go Justify.” ‘Round midday, the joint was jumping. A giant rec room harboring a C-shaped bar, two dozen screens live from racetracks across the land, tables, chairs, a couple hundred people within and without at adjacent screens (and, of course the festive lanes, day-glow vibe and people having a blast trying to knock down those ten pins), three betting windows and twice as many computers to lay your money down in hopes of winning – which, if you do, is much sweeter than making money at an actual job.

The Triple Crown is comparable to the NBA or NHL championships, both of which had been won in the previous 48 hours. The Crown consists of three races within a five-week span: The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. Justify had won the first two events in Louisville rain and Baltimore mud, but the weather in Belmont, New York was beautiful where 90,000 people gathered while millions of others watched and wagered around the globe.

Inside the OTB, people pored over their racing forms and programs, studying cell phones while hunched over a hunch, trying to decide what to lay on which horse, which trainer, which jockey, the elusive trifecta of success; early lick or a finisher, a horse in a spot or moving up/down in class; the favorites, the long shots, the wildcards, anything for a golden ticket, instead of a loser crumpled and tossed on the floor in disgust, watching that hard-earned cash go down the drain. Winning is the thing, right smack into the wallet with a cluster of bills and a double shot of Anejo down the pipe.

Personally, I had been doing my own blind research that week, reading this, that and this again, then began the day with a workout to try to get in mental and physical tune with that elusive intuition, the gut instinct to zero in on victory and have the nice lady cashier hand me back more money than I gave her … a tall order.

I parked in the boiling hot sun and went inside, scoping out the place, wandering around until I found what I hoped would be my Castaneda power spot, a face in the crowd a few feet from the betting window, the bar and screens showing Golden Gate Park, Santa Anita and Belmont, not to mention the Angels game. I laid three bucks down to show (third or above; to place is second or first; win is a win, natch) on a couple of long shots in the 7th at Santa Anita, the beautiful Arcadia venue with a breathtaking view of the San Gabriel Mountains. Getting my feet wet, trying to find that rhythm. It worked: one of the horses finished third and I broke even.

Then, it was an hour wait for The Main Event. I strolled. The crowd was predominantly male, blue collar, working people, millennial-free, and an apolitical zone. I saw an electrician who had done some work at my house years ago, and another guy who looked vaguely familiar wearing a black t-shirt with white and red lettering: “Alcatraz: Psycho Ward Outpatient.” Smokers waited outside. Retirees, racing forms, and shorthand. Day laborers. Vodka and false teeth. A hard-core racing crowd, pondering, deciding, betting. A hot little room. No country club. I walked up to the window and laid it all down on Justify, heavy favorite odds taking five bucks to win four, but it felt like destiny.

Finally, the horses entered the starting gate in New York. “And they’re off!” Actually in the OTB there was no audio, no frantic announcer rattling off the race, just the silent screen and the pack of horses as they broke, separated and galloped. At a mile and a half, The Belmont is the longest race of The Triple Crown and there went Justify immediately to the front after drawing the challenging pole position. Nine other horses gave chase. It was close for a bit and then he began to pull away, slowly, inexorably, around the gentle curves of the long track, then here came a couple of challengers, but no … they never really challenged him … he ran easily, almost without urgency. A beautiful creature to behold, the crowd volume in the rec room rising, shouting, urging him on, Justify thundering, pulling away, closing, WINNING THE TRIPLE CROWN! THE THRILL OF IT ALL!

Savoring my triumph and not wanting it to end, I stuck around in the thinning crowd for the 8th at Santa Anita as Team Justify celebrated in the winner’s circle on the adjacent screen. And damned if I didn’t pick another winner at 3-1 and roll out the door flush, a rare pleasure for this amateur as the odds, like the house, are against you.

As I stepped into the late afternoon the smell of smoke hit me. Familiar hazy burnt orange cracked the sky and I could see tiny ash flakes swirling in the Sand Canyon air. KHTS reported another fire, off the 5 by Calgrove. The adrenaline burn was back, but with a side of queasiness. The OTB isn’t the only gamble in the SCV.

More Excel Basics

| Community | June 14, 2018

Last week, I started introducing various things people need to understand about Microsoft Excel. This week, I continue that with some basic terms: “row,” “column,” “cell,” “worksheet” and “workbook.”

If you open a blank Excel sheet, you’ll see numbers going down the left side. These correspond to various rows. The letters A, B, C and so forth running across correspond to the columns.

If you pick any individual rectangle where any column or row meet, that individual rectangle is the cell, and it is here that the dates, numbers, words or formulas which make up your data are entered.

Think of cells like atoms. Atoms are the basic building blocks of life; cells are the basic building blocks of Excel.
When you first open up Excel, a blank spreadsheet appears. This is also called a worksheet. There’s a tab at the bottom that says “Sheet1,” meaning this is the first worksheet. The “+” that’s next to it allows you to add more worksheets.

When we’re all done with all our worksheets, they make up the workbook. (Notice also that when you first open Excel, the file is called “Workbook1” because this is the first workbook. When you save this workbook and give it a different name, it becomes your workbook’s name.

When we were children, we sometimes were given workbooks, which were paperback textbooks, often were issued together with hard-bound textbooks, that illustrated problems and concepts and lessons that we needed to know and understand. One big difference between workbooks and textbooks was that we could – and were expected to – write in the workbooks, but suffer the teacher’s wrath if you wrote in the textbook.
Workbooks were made up of worksheets, which were the various pages that we would write in.

The same concept applies to Microsoft Excel. The main difference between a school worksheet and an Excel worksheet is that an Excel sheet starts blank, letting you enter the data you need. And remember, there is almost no limit to the kinds of data you can enter.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

City Begins Annual Resurfacing of Arterial and Neighborhood Streets

| Community | June 14, 2018

The City of Santa Clarita has begun its annual Road Rehab project which will include a slurry seal and overlay road treatment to improve City roadways and extend their life. The project will continue through the summer months. Residents are asked to be aware of work being done in and around their neighborhoods and to alter parking and driving accordingly.

A Road Rehab website, located at santa-clarita.com/RoadRehab, features frequently asked questions and tips for residents to ensure resurfacing goes quickly and efficiently. An interactive map will also be made available soon to allow residents to find their street on the map to see if slurry seal or overlay will be administered and an approximate date for resurfacing. For the latest updates including last minute changes in scheduling, follow the hashtag #SCRoadRehab on Twitter.

Door hangers and handbills will also be distributed to homes that will be affected throughout the course of the project. Residents may also be affected by Road Rehab construction on adjacent streets. All cars in the “No Parking” zone during construction time will be towed. Construction may occur anytime between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additional instructions and Road Rehab information, including the interactive map, can be found at santa-clarita.com/RoadRehab. For any questions or concerns, residents may contact the project hotline at (661) 290-2291.

Athlete of the Week – Riley Bowers

| Community, Sports | June 14, 2018

Riley Bowers had a bumpy beginning in life. He was born with Down syndrome, spent nine days in the intensive care unit with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and endured two heart surgeries – all within the first two years of his life. Flash forward to today, and he is a healthy and active athlete in the SCV Special Olympics.

Riley has been a Special Olympics athlete for more than half of his life. While he has participated in floor hockey, basketball and bowling are currently his favorite sports. His basketball team, the Blue Sharks, just ended their season with a flawless record and three gold medals. Coach and father Brad Bowers said, “Riley is not a selfish player and he takes pride in his teammates when they score. He will then turn around and surprise us with a 20-footer.”

Bowling is Riley’s other favorite sport, and the Special Olympics season for this activity has just begun. A methodical and a serious approach to this sport helps Riley constantly improve his game and achieve a 130 average.

The First Two Things to Understand About Excel

| Community | June 8, 2018

To understand Microsoft Excel, the first thing to understand is a spreadsheet.

You remember the old paper spreadsheets, right? They were oversized sheets that “spread” across two facing pages (which is how they were named) with columns for categories, such as expenditures, across the top; and rows, such as for invoices, down the left side. There was a place for the amount to be listed – right where the column and row intersected. Accountants and financial folks knew them well, as did anyone balancing the family books each month.

Excel takes the old paper accounting worksheet and computerizes it. There are still columns and rows where one can enter data, and that data can be numbers, words or formulas. These formulas can automatically calculate and display a value based on what’s in the other columns and rows.

Spreadsheets originally were used for basic arithmetic and math functions, but today they also perform financial and statistical functions, conditional expressions, functions to convert text and numbers, and functions that operate on strings of text.

The reason spreadsheets can do so much now is because of the second thing to understand about Excel: macros. Macros are nothing more than instructions that tell the Excel how to do something. The best thing about macros is they run processes your business needs in a fraction of the time it took you to do it by hand.

Additionally, it almost eliminates human error and the drudgery of repetitive tasks. Now, you’ll have time to do what you really want to do: make more money. Macros are shortcuts that are easy to create and store, but too many people don’t appreciate what macros can do for them, which is almost anything.

A macro can help a company determine if its employees are abusing the phone privileges. It can match and automate invoices, make billing and insurance matters a snap, and print packing slips.

Macros can take away the confusion of getting invoices from different vendors that aren’t written in the same formats, calculate how much material is needed to do a construction project, separate email from spam, figure out page breaks in a report and so much more.

Combining spreadsheets and macros gets you two of the most important and useful parts of Excel.

Become Excel-lent and see the great many things Excel can do for you.

For more information on how to find the right Excel developer, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628. Visit his website at TAPSolutions.net.

‘HEADS UP’ Safety Campaign to Address Bicycle Safety in 2018

| Community | June 8, 2018

With a large community of bicyclists who ride for fitness, fun or for their daily commute, the City of Santa Clarita’s Traffic Safety Team announced a new safety education campaign to reduce the number of collisions involving cyclists by 20 percent in 2018.

In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the City of Santa Clarita launched its “Heads Up!” campaign last year to combat distracted driving and increase pedestrian safety, and was also created to educate drivers and pedestrians on crosswalk and roadway safety.

Since incorporation, the city has made strides to prioritize the safety of residents on city streets. In continuing the award-winning “Heads Up!” campaign, the city will focus on educating drivers and cyclists on safe behaviors when it comes to cycling and driving with cyclists on the roadway.

“Heads Up” banners and advertisements will continue to be seen throughout Santa Clarita and social media content will center on four main messages:

  1. See and Be Seen – Cyclists should always ensure they can be seen by pedestrians and motorists. Wear bright colors, apply reflective tape or stickers to bicycles and helmets, and install lights (red for the rear and white for the front) for riding after sunset.
  2. Gear Up – Double check you have your safety gear on before going for a ride. Always wear a helmet and proper footwear. Use a backpack or mounted basket for carrying personal items, because hands-free riding is safe riding.
  3. Be Predictable – Cross streets at marked crosswalks and intersections and never ride out mid-block into the flow of traffic. Use proper hand signals prior to making turns and always yield to pedestrians.
  4. Go with the Flow – Only ride with the flow of traffic, never against it. This is a good rule when riding on sidewalks along major roads, too. Remember that it is the rider’s responsibility to know and follow the traffic laws applicable to bicycling on City streets.

In addition to traditional methods of pushing out information, the city will reach cyclists with messaging where it is most impactful. “Heads Up!” stenciling will be placed throughout the city’s trail system, as well as at key intersections with a high volume of drivers and cyclists. “Heads Up!” reflective stickers for bicycles and helmets will also be available in the coming weeks for free at City Hall, cycling events and local cycling stores.

Learn more about the “Heads Up!” campaign online by visiting Santa-Clarita.com/HeadsUp.

Santa Clarita Transit Seeks Public Input

| Community | June 7, 2018

Community Workshops Being Held for Feedback on Transit Development Plan

In order to help shape the future direction of public transit services in the Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita Transit will be hosting a series of community workshops where residents are encouraged to voice their opinions.

The first community workshop will be held on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m. at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, located at 18601 Soledad Canyon Road. For those unable to attend a meeting, an online survey is available. The survey and information on additional meetings can be found online at SantaClaritaTDP2018.com.

The community workshops will help the City update Santa Clarita Transit’s Transportation Development Plan (TDP), which was last updated in 2012. The Plan serves as a five to ten-year guiding document that assists staff in the timing of future route realignments/additions, bus purchases and more.

Given various changes in the City such as annexations, residential and commercial developments, the plan is being revisited and will receive modifications as appropriate. Updating the plan will not only ensure public transit reflects the current needs of the community, but will forecast future demand for transit services in the Santa Clarita Valley based on anticipated demographic, development and economic growth.

“These community workshops are part of a comprehensive outreach effort which also include collecting feedback through community surveys, stakeholder meetings and an interactive map online,” said Santa Clarita Transit Administrative Analyst Alex Porlier. “All of the input collected during this process will be taken into consideration as the City develops a vision for future transit services that will benefit the community as a whole,” he adds.

Initial service recommendations stemming from these first-round meetings as well as survey results will be presented in public forums later in 2018 for community review and comment prior to completion of the Transportation Development Plan.

To learn more about the Transportation Development Plan or any of the community workshops, contact Santa Clarita Transit at (661) 294-1287 or visit SantaClaritaTransit.com.

Afternoon T

| Community | May 31, 2018

Q: Summer is almost here and I’m afraid I do not have a beach/lake/pool-ready body. Help?

A: Your question is right up there with Billy Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be?” and it is much easier than people want to make it, but we’ll get to that in a minute. You, for some terrible reason, think your body is not already ready for summertime and the beach/lake/pool that may or may not accompany the season. Well, my darling human bean: What exactly makes a body ready for anything, honestly?

Let’s look at the topography, first. Now, I’m no cartographer by trade, but I pretty much know the nature of these beasts you’re afraid of. At the beach, there is an awful lot of sand, and that’s a tough one, because none of us are sand-proof. There’s also copious amounts of water at the beach, at the lake and most pools (we’ll exclude kiddie pools for this conversation), but to be fair – you don’t have to swim, or even put your feet in the water, if you don’t want to. So, what’s left? Far as I can see, the only real requirements for being in those places are mighty simple. For example, at the beach? Be prepared to have sand in places you normally wouldn’t want to find it. That can be challenging. Oh, and be sure to be ready for the continual applying and reapplying sunblock (this goes for everyone, BTW) to prevent sunburn.

Anything else to get a body ready for the beach/lake/pool and summer, in general, is mostly all the accoutrements to add on. Maybe some sunglasses, a cover-up (you should now know, swim shirts are awesomesauce for all ages), a hat, and it’s nice to pack along a blanket and/or towel (but remember, putting your feet or your entire body in the water is optional). Now, for a lot of people, the most difficult thing to tackle is their dietary choices. See, when you’re lounging around or participating in fun activities that often accompany time spent at the beach/lake/pool – you might get hungry. Therefore, you should put some serious time and effort into thinking about what kind of refreshments and food you need to have on hand. Now, portability is key, so you’ll need to consider what size basket, cooler or insulated bags will be best to carry stuff! The possibilities are endless, so make a list. In addition to simple snacks, you could go all out and prepare (or purchase) complete meals. Could be cold chicken, salad or sandwiches (but, at the beach the emphasis is on the sand – so, be prepared for that possibility). Again, the possibilities are endless.

My friend, I do NOT want you to overthink this having a summertime beach/lake/pool-ready body business. Whatever body you’re in, you trust me … it’s ready. What’s tough is that other planning and preparation it takes to get there. But YOU? Go. And just … be. [Which is the best answer to Wm. Shakespeare’s question, BTW.]

Now and Then – ‘Cheers to 50 Years’

| Community | May 31, 2018

There were times, seated at a table at the Valencia Hyatt Hotel, when it was hard not to flash back to different tables in different rooms at similar events held so many years earlier.

Pat Kelley, Betty Granger, Diane Kreyenhagen and Ollie Bruins, my tablemates at the American Association of University Women’s 50th anniversary celebration, were all talking about their many activities as members, and, except for the white in their hair, it could have been 1968, 1972, 1985, or 1999, any of a number of years leading up to this May 19, 2018 event.

It was a special day for Pat, Betty, and Diane, who were being honored as founding members, and Ollie, who was celebrating her 60th year as a member, having transferred into the local group from another branch.

As president of the branch in 1973, I reminisced with the others while guests gathered at the tables set up for a ceremony themed “Cheers to 50 Years.” We talked about the many different ways we interspersed study groups on current social issues with fun-loving hobbies and excursions.

One of the most popular memories was the 1970s Gourmet Group. Chair Roseann Krane researched countries like France, Italy, Russia, Lebanon, and China then put together booklets featuring the countries’ histories and the recipes of their signature dishes. Members often had to leave the SCV to find specialty markets that carried the ingredients needed for the meals. The resulting feasts (which often required 24-hour preparations) were sumptuous 8-course dinners accompanied by before and after cocktails, and complementary wines with each course (and long walks afterwards to walk off the calories and the alcohol).

Some AAUW activities have not changed over the years, including the annual membership brunch, the fellowship and local scholarship awards, a commitment to the Placerita Nature Center (founding member Diane Kreyenhagen is a former president of the Center’s docent program); a Women in History presentation (past president Jane Adams once portrayed a young woman who disguised herself as a boy to serve in the Union Army), and the candidate forums. But the emphasis on college and vocational fairs of the past has been superseded by a Women’s Conference (in conjunction with College of the Canyons) and a program dedicated to showcasing women’s accomplishments in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

(Since 1998, the national organization has promoted Tech Trek, a program for middle school girls that features weeklong science camp experiences at different universities to promote STEM. The SCV group believes that programs like the Tech Trek Science Camps have changed the status quo of young women locally and across the country, connecting them with peers and mentors in the sciences).

While the lunch guests visited, current president Stephanie Dietrich, installing officer Rebecca Corona-Nickerson, and fellow board members put the finishing touches on Saturday’s ceremonial program. Lynda McClellan artfully arranged the cupcakes she baked commemorating the event; Barbara Oliver adjusted the sparkling gold table decorations; and Robin Clough kept busy taking pictures of the members and special guests, including the SCV’s elected representatives who had congratulatory plaques to present.

With mom Sue smiling proudly in the audience, City Councilman Cameron Smyth told the group, “I have a special history with AAUW. I was one of the toddlers in the branch’s first Kiddy Group.”

Besides honoring its founding members, Stephanie had praise for 2018 Humanities Scholarship winner, Christina Arias, and AAUW Virginia Prager-Elford Elementary Education Scholarship Endowment winner, Jacob Sikich. A number of other awards were highlighted during the afternoon and the event ended with the installation of incoming president Marianne Bakic and her board.

Those serving on the “Cheers for 50 Years” committee included Kelly Burke, Louise Schultz, Rose Drye, Michael Dietrich, Sonja Wendt, Gene Dorio, Val Jones, Phyllis Dozier, Betsy Swallow, Gloria Ruiz, Elaine Garcia, Debbie Harris, Linda Metz, and Dot Toral.

AAUW was founded nationally in 1881 to promote education and equity for young girls and women through advocacy, philanthropy, and research. Today the organization boasts a nationwide network of over 100,000 members and donors, and the SCV branch is one of 1,000.

For more information, one may visit the website: santaclaritavalley-ca.aauw.net.

Reception for ‘Donuts’ Art Exhibit at City Hall

| Community | May 31, 2018

For those who like a sugary start in the morning, City Hall has a tribute to your favorite breakfast. “Donuts” is the City of Santa Clarita’s new art exhibit in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall. The exhibit features works by various artists highlighting or using the donut as a design element. It will be on display from June 6 to July 13, 2018 and the public is invited to celebrate the opening at a free art reception on Wednesday, June 6 from 7-9 p.m. at City Hall. There will be coffee, entertainment, and donuts, of course. You will also have a chance to meet the artists and discuss art with other art aficionados.

A popular American pastry, the donut is currently experiencing a revival as more and more specialized donut shops continue to spring up around the country offering unique flavor combinations. The donut is also deeply rooted in United States history; female Salvation Army workers were known as “Doughnut Girls” during World War I, as they served donuts to American soldiers fighting in France.

This exhibit celebrates the donut and will feature a variety of art mediums, including paintings, photography and sculpture.

The First Floor Gallery in City Hall is located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard in Valencia. City Hall business hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information regarding the art exhibit, contact Jeff Barber at jbarber@santa-clarita.com or call (661) 250-3779. For details regarding other City art exhibits, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

History of Excel

| Community | May 31, 2018

Microsoft Excel has a storied history, having been described by the Daily Beast as “perhaps the most revolutionary software program ever” and “a technological development that has fundamentally altered society.”

You’ve probably never heard of Doug Klunder, but he is as responsible for the Excel we know today as anyone. Excel, after all, is an electronic spreadsheet, and Klunder simply improved on an earlier invention.

In 1979, Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston co-developed the electronic spreadsheet that ran on the old Apple II computer, making it the first that was readily available for home and office use.

The next big development came in 1983 with the Lotus 1-2-3, which combined charts with the spreadsheet.

According to the Daily Beast, Excel had its own spreadsheet program called Multiplan, but its sales were sluggish compared to Lotus, so Klunder, who had been hired out of MIT in 1981 and was Excel’s lead developer, was tasked by Bill Gates to come up with a way to improve upon the 1-2-3. He and a small team – including Gates – holed up in a Red Lion Inn in Bellevue, Wash. for three days.

The result they came up with was to increase the speed of calculations. The program updated only the cells (remember, Excel is made up of cells arranged in rows or columns) affected by the data change rather than all the formulas in the spreadsheet.

So, from the very beginning, Excel was designed to be efficient, saving time and, as a result, money. On Sept. 30, 1985, Excel reached the market.

Almost 33 years later, it is a far different product in that many changes and new features have come along – many of which have been mentioned in previous Gazette articles. But the basics remain the same: Excel lets you do more with data than previously thought possible.

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

How to Excel in Business and Save Time and Money – Part 6

| Community | May 25, 2018

Given how business works today, if Microsoft Excel didn’t exist, somebody would have to invent it, because it is the best tool for saving businesses time and money. Read on for ways Excel streamlines schedules, standardizes professors’ grading processes, eliminates the need for an adding machine, tracks events more efficiently and creates a pre-flight checklist.

Streamlining Schedules
Problem: A large maintenance company had six different departments feeding various scheduled and emergency appointments to one department. So many departments meant the incoming data was in different formats, and critical data sometimes was missing. This resulted in scheduling nightmares. Additionally, for legal and reporting reasons, the company needed to keep logs of what was done, when and where.

Solution: Excel allows one to develop a standard input form for each department that has data validation embedded into it. When somebody needs a scheduling report, all they have to do is enter the date range. This pulls in all the data from all the sheets and produces a scheduling sheet for the date range. The company now sees what needs to be done, which makes scheduling more efficient.

Standardizing Professors’ Grades
Problem: A local college wanted to standardize the way professors tracked and assigned grades. The current method was deemed impractical and inefficient.

Solution: Excel lets you develop a customizable spreadsheet, so professors grade the way they want while still keeping all the needed record-keeping information and backup.

Eliminating the Adding Machine
Problem: A large maintenance company needed to do an analysis to find out how mechanics were spending their time and how much time was being spent on specific tasks. The clerical staff used an adding machine to figure it out.

Solution: An Excel spreadsheet can take all electronic work orders, extract the needed data and automatically create the dashboards that management wants and needs.

Tracking Events More Efficiently
Problem: A company that ran networking groups tracked events manually, but everyone involved had a different way of doing things. It was a nightmare for the corporate office to reconcile the events, payments and costs.

Solution: The first step is to meet with group and management leaders to see what each side needs. Then you can produce a spreadsheet that automatically loads the event information. At the event, use a laptop to check in people and gather additional information. After the event, email the spreadsheet to the corporate headquarters. Since all the information was in that one spreadsheet, it’s easy for corporate to gather what it needs.

Creating a Pre-flight Checklist
An aircraft charter company needed a pre-flight checklist that each crewmember could use on his or her laptop before taking a trip. It had to be simple, yet provide a warning if something was not correct.

Solution: An Excel spreadsheet is simple and quick to use, but nonetheless, includes logical warnings if something is not correct and/or missing.

For more information, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or 818-281-7628. The website is tapsolutions.net.

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Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

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