Four Musical Acts Perform for Parish Retreats

| Community | July 23, 2017

Young performers are coming together for a cause to give Santa Clarita locals some fresh music and raise money for ACTS, a tri-parish Catholic retreat program. Four Acts for ACTS will take place at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall on Saturday, August 5 from 5:30-9 p.m.

For a $10 ticket, audience members will see a show including Kalia & Keeli Javan, Canyon Country twins who make up Kikstart, as well solo act Freshman, and two bands called King & Co. and Liberties We Prize.

King & Co. will open at 5:30 p.m. followed by Liberties We Prize at 6:15, Freshman at 7:15, and KiKstart will close the concert beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Guests may also order food from the Vincenzo’s menu during the event. The doors open at 5 p.m. Vincenzo’s is located at 24504 Lyons Ave. in Newhall.

ACTS San Fernando Valley offers weekend retreats designed to engage Catholics, giving them the opportunity to get away from the pressures of everyday life and deepen their relationship with God.

“Retreatants are encouraged to put into practice that which we learn from the Gospel and to truly live the sacramental life,” says the website sfvacts.org. “Throughout the weekend there are group activities, sharing, prayer, and the Sacraments.”

You may purchase tickets for the benefit concert at http://fouractsforacts.brownpapertickets.com/

SCAA Gallery Hosts Summer Daze Exhibit

| Community | July 22, 2017

Summer Daze, Santa Clarita Artists’ Association’s new show, will be on display through August 19, 2017.

“This show features unique gifts including small artworks and well-made ‘craft items’ along with beautiful paintings and photography,” said Norma Warden, SCAA president.

The 16 artists participating in the show are: Charlotte Mullich,  Cheri Marcovitch, Howard Marcovitch, Laura Ledesma, Phil Leham, Meryl Goudy, Idelle Okman-Tyzbir, Lisa Barr, Laurie Finkelstein, Lynda Frautnick, Gerda Maxey, Darlene Frost, Olga Kaczmar, Freda Morrison, Jeanne Iler, and Scott Parker. Artwork displayed represents many styles and mediums including oil, acrylic, alcohol ink, jewelry, prints, greeting cards, pastel, watercolor, and photography. Artwork ranges in size and different price points,” said Laurie Finkelstein, coordinator.

SCAA Art Gallery is located at 22508 6th St. in Old Town Newhall, between Railroad and Main. Hours are Friday-Saturday 7-10 p.m., and during Canyon Theatre Guild performances. Look for signs to announce gallery openings.

SCAA is the only non-profit fine art association in Santa Clarita since 1989. For inquiries, visit SantaClaritaArtists.org.

Now and Then: A ‘Knight’ to Remember

| Community | July 21, 2017

“The Play’s the Thing!” is an oft-quoted line from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” And even though a scene from “Othello” was one of the highlights at the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival’s Gala last Friday night, it was not the premier “Thing.”

Indeed, the evening’s main attraction, in artistic director and host David Stears’ words was the “knighting of Dr. Marc, with a ‘C,’ Winger as Patronis Artium et Educatio, or Patron of Arts & Education.”

In his introduction, Stears told the audience that he has known the retired Newhall School District Superintendent “since before my hair was gray.” They met over 25 years ago when Stears approached the district about initiating an educational outreach program. That successful collaboration later blossomed into a project to bring adult theater to the SCV with the founding of the REP on Main Street — an enterprise that has recently undergone a metamorphosis. The theater reopened in June under city management with a new name — The Main, Municipal Arts in Newhall.

Dr. Winger’s passion for cultural enrichment through the arts just naturally led to his long-term support of the Shakespeare in the Park series, as well as other Shakespeare Festival events. Eight years ago, the group began bestowing Lord Chamberlain status to its extraordinary supporters, taking the name from a practice that started in the Elizabethan era when the Lord Chamberlain was responsible for the patronage of local artists — coincidentally, one of the companies that Shakespeare wrote for was the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Not surprising, then, that the SC Shakespeare Festival adopted the tradition to recognize community members who have made significant contributions not only to its own projects, but also to other local arts endeavors.

Friday’s ceremony included an official knighting, complete with sword, by City of Santa Clarita Arts Commission chair, Dr. Michael Millar; and the presentation of a bronze key, the symbol of patrons, by Arts commissioner, Patti Rasmussen.

• The event was originally scheduled to be held at the Festival’s stage in Towsley Canyon, but the fire that broke out earlier in the week forced Stears to do some quick negotiating with the city, moving the ceremony to the Sports Complex on Centre Point Drive. Stears pointed out a parallel to an incident that occurred in England in 1613. Shakespeare’s acting troupe used cannon fire in a performance and ignited the thatched straw roof, burning the Globe Theatre to the ground. The troupe rebuilt the theater across the Thames and it was reopened a year later.

• Stonefire Grill catered the buffet dinner with plenty of appetizers to go with the wine during cocktail hour.

• Previous Festival patrons include: Supervisor Michael Antonovich, 2014 and Mayor Laurene Weste, 2014; Dr. Steven Lavine, president of CalArts, 2015; COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne VanHook, 2016 and, In Memoria, Judge Frank Kleeman, 2016.

• The actors entertaining the group on Friday evening will be performing the full play at the Rivendale location, weekends until August 12. More information can be found on the website: https://www.scshakespearefest.org

New Heights Panel Discussion

| Community | July 20, 2017

“The next free New Heights Panel Discussion will feature film and TV music supervisors who will discuss What They Do and What They are Looking For.”

The public is invited to attend on Wednesday, August 9 from 7-9 p.m. at The Centre, located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita. The discussion will include a three-person panel featuring music supervisors who have worked with Hollywood studios such as The Walt Disney Company and world-renowned artists such as Tom Petty and Carlos Santana. Panelists Bambi Moé, Scot Peeples and Joanne Ledesma will discuss tips on how artists can get their songs placed in films and TV shows, as well as current industry trends.

The panel discussion is highly recommended for musicians of all levels and anyone with an interest in the film and TV industry. The event is free and no RSVP is required to attend.

Music placement can make or break the scene and music supervisors collaborate with directors, producers and composers to make sure the perfect music is matched to pivotal moments in films and TV. Recently, for the first time ever, the TV Academy has recognized Music Supervision with its own award category at the Emmy Awards.

About the Panelists:
A two-time Grammy nominee, Bambi Moé has worked in theatrical, television, stage and music production, story development and music supervision. Bambi currently serves as the creative content program producer for KLCS-TV in Los Angeles. Her extensive experience includes being the vice president of music at The Walt Disney Company from 1991 to 2001.
Scot Peeples is a Los Angeles-based music supervisor for film, TV and news media, working under the moniker One T Music Supervision.

Joanne Ledesma is well-versed in artist management, music production, and publishing. Ledesma has worked with the likes of Joe Walsh, Carlos Santana and Tom Petty. Her distinct ear for music analysis has landed her on the lecture circuit of some of the most well-known songwriting associations and music trade shows such as NAMM and SXSW.

New Heights is presented by the Santa Clarita City Council and the Santa Clarita Arts Commission. The panel discussion series is designed to assist artists, performers and arts organization representatives in expanding their knowledge and learning valuable tools to increase their ability to be successful. A complete listing of the New Heights series, discussions and lectures is available at SantaClaritaArts.com.

Non-Profit of the Week: Sierra Hillbillies

| Community | July 20, 2017

Since 1967, this local group has been swinging around the dance floor, both throughout Santa Clarita Valley and taking it on the road to visit other clubs. The Sierra Hillbillies is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Western Square Dancing and Round Dancing.

With approximately 50 members, the club became known as one of the most active and “rowdy” square dance clubs in the L.A. area. They welcome couples and singles of all ages for an afternoon of dancing. In keeping with their philosophy that it’s all about the joy and camaraderie of square dancing, they have adopted a policy of “Casual Dress, Always Welcome” for club dances. They normally alternate mainstream and “plus” level tips, with an occasional “A1” tip.

Club dances are held on the first Sunday of each month from 2-5 p.m., always at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, at 22900 Market Street in Newhall. The callers change from dance to dance, some of the favorites booked several years in advance.

The Hillbillies have a very active visitation schedule, normally scheduling a minimum of one visitation each month. Other clubs are also encouraged to visit the Sierra Hillbillies dances.

Round Dancing is a big part of the Sierra Hillbillies. Rounds begin at 2 p.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m., when the members square up. Rounds are also cued between square dance tips. Guest cuers do the rounds.

This pastime is widely practiced—in the U.S. and beyond. And there are non-profit organizations for various districts and states. Karen Geller-Shinn is active in the Sierra Hillbillies and is also a member of the Associated Square Dancers, California. The purpose of the organization is to promote Modern American Square and Round Dancing as a healthful, fun-type family recreation; to provide leadership and direction for its members and to collect and disseminate information regarding square and round dancing on a local, state, and national level.

These active residents, such as the Sierra Hillbillies, are keeping alive the practice of American folkdance. And as you can see, the group is made up of a diversified, fun-loving group, and would love to have you join them. Everyone is welcome at the Sierra Hillbillies. The only rule they adhere to strictly is “Have Fun!” For information, call 661-254-4272, visit www.sierrahillbillies.org, or find the group on Facebook.

The Sierra Hillbillies also offer square dancing instruction for new dancers and refresher classes for experienced dancers. The City of Santa Clarita Seasons Catalog has an adult Beginning Square Dance class listed for fall. On page 39 of the catalog you’ll find registration information. Jay Henderson is the instructor, who will teach participants the first 50 basic calls in square dancing using a mixture of music styles including country, rock and roll, oldies, big band and pop. The class is held at Valencia Meadows Park on Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 5, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.

Callers/cuers photographed include Paul Waters, Hunter Keller, Ken Bower and Cindy Mower.Photos by Bob Messina



Gibbon Center Welcomes Visitors

| Community | July 20, 2017

The blazing sun couldn’t keep visitors away from the entertainment at the Gibbon Center’s “Swing into Summer” event early this month. These unique apes had no problem performing their acrobatics for guests, who also got to listen to live folk music while they walked around the property and looked over silent auction items.

Pocock Brewing Co. in Valencia provided beer and Grill Kabob in Saugus presented a table of food for attendees. Docents were available to educate inquisitive visitors and there was comfortable seating in the shade to watch these multiple species of endangered apes “perform.”

”It was a great opportunity to support local conservation of endangered species,” said Emily Wahab, who attended “Swing into Summer.”

The Gibbon Center houses more than 40 small apes in family groups, representing five unique gibbon species. Gibbons are native to southeast, east and south Asia. At the GCC, they live a peaceful (and sometimes remarkably loud) life, performing acrobatics and singing their territorial songs.

The Gibbon Conservation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to observation and study of these rare apes. The GCC offers opportunities for anthropologists, primatologists, students of all ages, and the general public to enjoy and learn. The GCC is visited by scholars and animal enthusiasts from around the world.

Founded by Alan Richard Mootnick in 1976, the Gibbon Center has been instrumental in identifying and naming a distinct gibbon species – the eastern hoolock gibbon. The GCC is the only location in the western hemisphere with eastern hoolock families in residence, and offers visitors the only opportunity in the world to hear five species of gibbons sing their songs together.

The Gibbon Conservation Center, just off Bouquet Canyon in Saugus, is open to visitors every Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and guided tours are held at 10 a.m. No reservations are required and tours can be scheduled for other dates and times. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for teens and students; $10 for seniors; $5 for children 6-12; and free for children 5 and under. The Gibbon Center is located at 19100 Esguerra Road, Saugus.

For more information on the GCC, go to their website at: www.gibboncenter.org or inquire at info@Gibboncenter.org.

Free Exhibit of Winning Photographs

| Community | July 16, 2017

City Hall will display the work of winners from a local photography competition from July 21-November 21, 2017. Residents are invited to view the winning photographs from the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association Spring Print Competition in the First Floor Gallery at City Hall. The gallery is located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard.

A free public reception will be held in the First Floor Gallery on Wednesday, July 26 at 6 p.m. Residents are invited to stop by and enjoy light appetizers, live music and mingle with the artists featured in the exhibit.

The SCVPA Spring Print Competition took place on Saturday, May 13 at the Sierra Hills Clubhouse. The annual competition features members’ artwork in a variety of categories. The work of winners from each category and those receiving merit awards were chosen for the City Hall exhibit.

The SCVPA is dedicated to advancing the art and business of photography. For more information on the association, visit scvphotographers.com. For more information regarding the art reception and exhibit, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

‘Community Shred Day’ at Eternal Valley

| Community | July 15, 2017

Individuals with personal documents needing to be shredded have an opportunity, thanks to Eternal Valley Memorial Park. On Saturday, July 22 they can bring up to four boxes of papers to the local mortuary for a free shredding service.

Whether paperwork has been sitting in storage or uncovered after the death of a loved one, it needs to be destroyed in order to avoid identity theft. There are more than 17 million victims of identity theft each year, says the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Eternal Valley staff members are reaching out to the community by enabling them to properly dispose of personal, confidential documents that might provide an opportunity for criminal use.

“We’ve seen the turmoil and emotional stress that identity theft brings victims of all ages,” said Curtis Woods, general manager of Eternal Valley Memorial Park. “Community Shred Day is designed to help our community members protect themselves, and we are honored to host this event once again, and to work with local businesses to enhance the safety and security of our neighbors.”

On “Community Shred Day,” individuals may bring up to four boxes of paper documents to be shredded at no charge. Staples and paper clips may be left on the documents, but binders, CDs, DVDs or other media will not be accepted.

In addition to Community Shred Day, the team at Eternal Valley Memorial Park offers a number of precautions to prevent identity theft from happening, such as:

•Keep personal and identifying information locked in a safe, away from visitors and contractors or caregivers. Bank, credit cards and medical statements, as well as other personal documents, offer a wealth of identifying information.

•Have mail delivered to a post office box instead of a home address. If it’s not possible to pick mail up from a mailbox, make arrangements with the post office to have mail delivered directly to the door.

•Always take outgoing mail to the post office or to a locked mailbox rather than letting it sit in an outside mailbox.

•Opt out of direct mail credit offers by calling the Federal Trade Commission’s OPTOUT line at: 1-888-567-8688. These solicitations contain personal information that identity thieves look for in trash cans.

•Don’t carry social security cards in a purse or wallet. Memorize the number and keep the card locked in a safe or safe deposit box.

•Have paper checks delivered to a post office box or to the issuing financial institution.

•Don’t include your home phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, or date of birth on your checks.

•When ordering checks, use only your first and middle initials with your last name, but sign the bank signature card and checks with your full name. This will alert the bank to any suspicious activity.

•Ask the bank to change an ATM debit card to an ATM-only card. These require a pin number and can only be used to withdraw money from the ATM machine, and then only with the correct pin number.

•When paying credit card bills by check, write only the last four digits of the account number on the check memo line.

•Don’t sign the back of credit and debit cards. Instead, write “PHOTO I.D. REQUIRED FOR USE” in the signature space. When a merchant takes the card to verify it, they should request your ID before completing the transaction.

You can bring up to four boxes to Eternal Valley Memorial Park, a local Dignity Memorial® provider, on Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. It is located at 23287 Sierra Hwy. in Newhall. For more information or questions, call (661) 259-0800. Visit Eternalvalleymortuary.com.

The Music of Earth, Wind and Fire Featured at Concerts in the Park

| Community | July 15, 2017

Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire will take the stage Saturday, July 15 for the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, which is presented by Logix Federal Credit Union. The concerts are held Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Central Park, which is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire will take the stage Saturday, July 15 for the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, which is presented by Logix Federal Credit Union. The concerts are held Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Central Park, which is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

The group is popular because of its reputation for sharing the sound of the original Earth, Wind and Fire, a belief even held by one of the famous band’s members.
“Out of 1,000 other bands that I have heard play this material, Kalimba is the first band that gets it like it’s supposed to be played,” said former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Sheldon Reynolds in 2013.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, the lead vocalist is Thomas “Chazz” Smith and the band’s drummer Jeff Haile, whose dream was to play the music that they listened to growing up. Over time, the band grew and started attracting national attention. As a result, Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire has performed across the country at casinos, state fairs and numerous jazz clubs. Concerts in the Park are free events put on by the City every Saturday night through August 26. The family-friendly atmosphere allows residents and visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy the music all summer long.

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets and food vendors will be on site, selling a variety of concessions and snacks. A free bicycle valet service is provided by the SCV Bicycle Coalition, allowing residents to bike to and from the concert and avoid the hassle of finding a place to park.
For more information on Concerts in the Park, visit Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts.

SCVi Public Charter School Holds Open House

| Community | July 14, 2017

Families who are looking for an alternative to neighborhood public schools can attend an open house at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School on Tuesday, July 25 from 6-8 p.m. Held every summer, the event brings prospective students, their parents and staff members at SCVi together for tours of the public charter school.

Classes range from TK-12 and the school’s educational philosophy is described as promoting project-based learning with an innovative, research-based method of instruction. The school says that students are encouraged to tackle engaging projects about real-world issues.

“During the past 10 years, the facilitators (teachers) and staff at SCVi have worked tirelessly to create a learning environment that values critical, creative thought and meets each learner, or student, exactly where they are in their educational journey,” said Amber Raskin, who co-founded iLEAD Schools 10 years ago with veteran educator and principal Dawn Evenson. “Dawn and I are so proud of iLEAD’s success over the past decade, and we invite prospective learners, their families and our community to learn more about what sets us apart.”

According to SCVi leadership, “They use critical thought, inquiry and synthesis to create solutions and present their findings to their peers. The school also maintains a unique emphasis on employing teaching methods that foster social-emotional development and personal strengths, while encouraging social and self-awareness. The school incorporates principles of project-based learning into dance, music, theatre, media and visual art. Sports are offered from kindergarten through 12th grade, with upper school teams participating in the CIF Omega League. The young athletes can play basketball, soccer, flag football, volleyball, cross-country, softball, baseball, golf, and there are equestrian teams.

SCVi is located at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic. For more information, visit scvi-k12.org.

Now and Then: Fourth of July Postscript

| Community | July 13, 2017

The theme of this year’s parade was Emblems of the Land. As expected, there were many red, white, and blue banners, streamers, and American flags on every entry, along with a generous amount of Uncle Sams, bald eagles, and Lady Liberties. There was even one impressive salute to the Liberty Bell which was entered for non-judging by the Republicans for Veterans. However, as one of the judges pointed out, there were plenty of other forms of Americana that could also qualify when deciding Best of Theme trophy.

Just a few include the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, Western cowboys, Henry Ford’s Model A, scouting, and “mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet” – and they were all present in the parade. So there were many outstanding and worthy choices from which to choose, but the solemn and emotional tribute from the Prayer Angels for the Military reminded everyone that there would be no Americana and no Fourth of July Parade if not for the young men and women who have fought for our liberties and values.

It was impossible to keep from choking up when the banners depicting eleven of the SCV’s post 9-11 warriors, who had made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, were carried down the streets as part of the Prayer Angels’ entry – the entry that ultimately earned the Best of Theme trophy.

The Prayer Angels for the Military began informally with a group of local women, who got together to hold prayer vigils for their children and husbands serving in the military. The group grew, as neighbors and citizens asked them to include other service members in their prayers and support. That led to an official founding in July of 2004. Today 25 members, including wives, parents, family, and friends of veterans and current military personnel, meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month to pray, make cards, write letters, and schedule care packages for the troops.

The Republicans for Veterans float featured the Liberty Bell on their 2017 4th of July parade entry.

The banners that the members carried in this year’s parad e included: Army SSGT Brian Cody Prosser, Army PFC Stephen E. Wyatt, USMC LCpl Richard P. Slocum, Army PFC Cole W. Larsen, Army SPC Jose Ricardo Flores-Mejia, Army SGT Dennis L. Sellen, Jr., Army Specialist Rudy A. Acosta, Army SPC Stephen E. Colley, Army SCT John M. Conant, Army SGT Ian Timothy D. Gelig, and USMC PFC Jake Suter.

Patriotism, music, high energy, and extraordinary decorations earned Hart High’s “Home of the Brave” the Sweepstakes Award; Best Decorated Award went to the Fil-Am Association of SCV; and Grand Equestrian Trophy was taken home by E.T.I. Corral 21.

Two extraordinary sights and sounds at this year’s parade were provided by the All SCV High School Band and Colorguard, which brought the spectators to their feet with their rousing patriotic melodies; and the P-51 Mustang that flew over the parade route to kick off the festivities. The gleaming silver symbol of America’s World War II air superiority flew so low that the backwash sent the judges’ score sheets flying off the podium.

Checking with the SCV Historical Society’s webpage, the parade has been a mainstay of the valley’s Fourth of July celebrations for 75 years. It has had its ups and downs, as well as a number of different sponsoring organizations. Historical Society guru Leon Worden points to the 1955 parade when sponsorship completely fell by the wayside. A stalwart group of 14 people took up the challenge and staged their own impromptu march down San Fernando Road (now Main Street). Included in the group were Fred Trueblood, Jr. and his English bride Bobbie. Though British by birth, Bobbie became one of our valley’s most patriotic citizens. Besides being the backbone of the local Women’s Republican Club, she was a long-standing participant in the parades (the Society’s website credits her with 50 consecutive appearances).

In 1973, Bobbie organized her own “protest” parade when the current sponsor, the NSV Chamber of Commerce, decided to hold all Fourth of July festivities on the weekend following the actual Fourth. Insisting that no American patriot would miss observing the real day with a parade, Bobbie vowed to march down Main Street by herself, if need be. By the Wednesday date, about 150 people, dogs, horses, and cars turned out to join Bobbie, including the American Legion Color Guard and Scout Troop and Cub Pack #577.

In 1973, Signal Newspaper reporter Steve Hart took this photo of Republican Women’s Club member Bobbie Trueblood, who organized a small parade on the actual 4th of July when the NSV Chamber of Commerce decided to move the celebrations to the following weekend.

Loyal friends provided a divan chair for Bobbie to sit on, hefting it on their shoulders to carry her down the parade route. Honoring both her country of origin and her new home, Bobbie waved a small standard with the two countries’ flags (however, the Stars and Stripes flew above the Union Jack).

The most vivid image from that day in my mind was Signal editor Scott Newhall, who left his prosthetic leg at the newspaper’s 6th Street offices, donned his war correspondent’s uniform, picked up a pair of crutches, and marched down the street flanked by two patriots playing a guitar and flute.

Santa Clarita Artist to Exhibit in Topanga Canyon Gallery

| Community | July 8, 2017

An exhibit called “Juxtaposed Perceptions” opens July 12 and local artist Idelle Tyzbir will be a part of it. The perceptions of three different artists will be featured, including Tyzbir, Eugenia Shapiro and Connie Cambardella.

Tyzbir will show her abstract multi-dimensional works and watercolors, Shapiro’s oil paintings will be showcased, and Cambardella will have photographs in the exhibit. They will be on display from July 12-August 8, 2017.

Juxtaposed Perceptions can be viewed at Topanga Canyon Gallery at Pine Tree Circle, located at 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 109 in Topanga. For more information, call the gallery at 310-455-7909 or visit TopangaCanyonGallery.com.

“Our different interests and mediums make us an unusual and interesting collaboration, creating an exciting synergy,” Tyzbir said.

Eugenia Shapiro portrays the uniqueness and harmony she sees in people’s faces. Idelle Okman Tyzbir, (aka The Metal Wrestler), creates musically inspired abstract sculptures and watercolors that speak of her everyday life. She says she has a “split personality.” Connie Cambardella will tell you “that through her passion, her images propel you into feeling every beat, movement, and beautiful daily rhythms of life’s journey.”

Gatsby Fundraiser Supports SCV Sheriff’s Foundation

| Community | July 6, 2017

The Roaring ‘20s is this year’s theme of the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation fundraiser July 20 at the Newhall Mansion in Piru.

“This will be an evening to remember,” said Ken Wiseman, president of the volunteer foundation whose mission is to provide tangible assistance to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in protecting the SCV. “We’re inviting everyone to wear their best ‘Roaring ‘20s’ outfits and enjoy an evening of great food and entertainment in an amazing venue, while helping to provide our sheriff’s station with valuable resources to help keep our communities safe.”

Proceeds from the event will enable the foundation to purchase equipment and help SCV Sheriff’s Station personnel accomplish the station’s law enforcement mission. The Gatsby-themed event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a hosted cocktail hour, a served surf and turf dinner, band music reminiscent of the ‘20s and ‘30s, casino-style games and more. Entertainment will be provided by the Bill Macpherson Band and D’Wilfri Dance Art & Entertainment.

The Victorian-style Newhall Mansion, just a few miles west of Santa Clarita in Piru, was built in 1890 and is perhaps most famous as the former home of Scott and Ruth Newhall, who owned The Signal newspaper and painstakingly rebuilt the mansion to its original specifications after a devastating fire in 1983.

“This is an important fundraiser for our organization and we’re glad to say it’s almost sold out,” said Bruce and Gloria Fortine, event co-chairs. “We’re encouraging all supporters of our outstanding local law enforcement to book their reservations as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on the fun.”

Tickets for the 2017 Gatsby Gala are $250 each, and a table of 10 is $2,500. Event sponsorships are available at $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 levels, each of which comes with an escalating set of perks. There will be no live auctions or opportunity drawings at the event, as it is designed to allow guests to enjoy a special evening of dining, entertainment and mingling at the Newhall Mansion.

Reservations and sponsorship details are available by calling (661) 705-7592 or via e-mail at mmelendez@amsfulfillment.com.

Sponsors already signed on to support the event include: Princess Cruises, Accurate Freight, AMS Fulfillment, Bruce and Gloria Mercado-Fortine, California Resources Corp., Elliot and Judy Wolfe, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, Learn 4 Life, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Merchants Bancard Network, Newhall Mansion, Numatic Engineering, Santa Clarita Studios and The Signal. Additional event support is being provided by the Bank of Santa Clarita and Lundgren Management

The SCV Sheriff’s Foundation is a volunteer organization that was formed in 1984 by local citizens to assist local law enforcement in a tangible way, purchasing equipment and crime prevention materials, as well as raising funds to help the Civilian Volunteer, Law Enforcement Explorer and Reserve Deputy programs at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. More information about the foundation is available online at scvsheriffsfoundation.org.

Are You Writing Advertorials to Grow Your Business?

| Community | July 1, 2017

This week I’m going to discuss a topic I haven’t shared with you in this column in the past. It’s on the topic of using something called an “advertorial” to grow any type of business. As you can tell from the name, an advertorial combines an advertisement with an editorial in an effort to share what you have to offer with your target audience and prospects. When done properly, you will be perceived as a leader in your field and someone to do business with and connect with in your community. This is effective for both an online business or a traditional, brick-and-mortar establishment.

Writing sales copy for what is known as an “advertorial” can be highly advantageous to your overall marketing plan for your products and services. Here I am defining the term advertorial as a newspaper or magazine advertisement which provides information about a product in the style of an editorial or an objective, journalistic article. In printed publications, the advertorial is usually designed to look like a legitimate and independent news story. We have several publications here in the Santa Clarita Valley that accept advertorials. Check with them to see if you must place a paid advertisement in order to submit your advertorial and have it published within their pages.

The advertorial style can also be related to a term known as “native advertising,” which is basically an article or video written with the specific intent to promote a product. Try to begin to think of everything you write, including, but not limited to, your blog posts, emails, and social media posts as advertorials. Your goal with this style of writing or video is to promote a product or service to those who would most benefit from doing business with you and your company.

Much has been written and discussed around these concepts over the past two decades. I will tell you from experience that this is an effective form of advertising that will become second nature as you get more experience with it. While the study of sales copy advertorials is a never-ending one, it will also be a worthwhile use of your time and effort in the long run to know how to put one together quickly. And keep them to around 500-700 words for optimal results.

Always remember that as a business owner and/or a service provider you are primarily in the business of persuasion. You still must take a cold prospect and give them a reason to continue reading your web sales copy and to purchase whatever is for sale. Taking this one step further, your job is to educate and entertain while you are informing. This has also been referred to as “edutainment.” Mastering this skill will take some time, but will make you a highly sought after copywriter known for getting results from your sales copy advertorials.

Start by writing an article about the product you wish to promote. Imagine that you are having a conversation with a prospect while you are writing, and work to overcome each objection they throw at you during this imaginary conversation. Have fun with this, and think of it as trying to gently, but intelligently, trying to persuade a stubborn toddler to not only do something you wish for them to do, but to do it willingly, joyfully, and at some point even thinking it was his/her original idea. If you have ever dealt with a stubborn two- or three-year-old, then you know achieving this goal can feel like quite an accomplishment. Make it your goal to learn more about sales copy advertorials and to practice writing and submitting them to your local newspapers and magazines on a regular basis to grow your business.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential” is her 15th book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing this month. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 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.

SENSES Beach Party in Old Town Newhall

| Community | June 30, 2017

Now that Canyon Country’s Summer Bash is over, it’s Newhall’s turn. The City of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series continues in July with music, performances, and a beach-themed SENSES block party. It is a free event for residents and their families held every Thursday night in Old Town Newhall.

On July 6 from 7-9 p.m. the Kalakeke Pacific Island Dance Company will teach participants to sway their hips to the rhythm of Tahitian drums while learning more about Tahitian island culture. There will also be live music from Jason Arimoto and Friends, performing a wide repertoire of covers and originals and featuring the ukulele. JAM Sessions is hosted in conjunction with the Ford Theatre Foundation, bringing dance and original live performances to the Old Town Newhall Library, located at 24500 Main Street.

Also on July 6, at The MAIN, located at 24266 Main Street, 10 performers will take the stage for 10 minutes each and share their comedy, storytelling, short films and music at the monthly 10 by 10 show from 7-9 p.m. Performances this month include comedy from Jeff Johnson and Maria Delgado, storytelling from Ty France and Monte, magicians Joshua Johnson and Glenndalf, music from Ian Stahl, 1NCE and The New Mexican, and the film short “Cross.”

From 7-9 p.m. on July 13, hot rods and custom cars take over the Revved Up car show, sponsored by State Farm. Residents can enjoy food trucks and purchase adult beverages from Persia Lounge while checking out these street machines. Car owners interested in submitting an automobile for Revved Up can apply at OldTownNewhall.com/RevvedUp.

At the same time on July 13, local songwriters will perform their original works at Note by Note inside The MAIN, located at 24266 Main Street. The evening’s performers will be The Locke Brothers, Lahela Garner, Matthew Smolsky and Brooks Taylor. Performers interested in Note by Note can learn more at OldTownNewhall.com/NotebyNote.

Stick your toes in the sand – literally – on July 20 from 7-10 p.m. at the SENSES Beach Party. You can relax with a drink in hand from the on-street bar provided by Newhall Refinery, hang out with friends and enjoy the adult-friendly atmosphere. And you may complete the evening with grub from one of the food trucks or local restaurants.

Thursdays@Newhall’s July events conclude with the ARTree Speaker Series on July 27 from 7-9 p.m. at The MAIN. Southern California native John Moffitt will speak about his life and art, which has earned him awards in both traditional and modern categories over the last 40-plus years. Over the decades, Moffitt has honed his crafts as a fine artist, muralist, illustrator and scenic artist, and has had artwork appear in films such as “The Goonies,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Batman” and “Ironman.”

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s 2017 Thursdays@Newhall events, visit ThursdaysAtNewhall.com or contact the city’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3787.

Afternoon T

| Community | June 29, 2017

by T. Katz

Q: My family is constantly telling me to be more patient and that sounds like slowing down to me. It upsets me. I don’t want to slow down.

A: Funny, I can almost hear your foot tapping on the pavement as you wrote that. Let’s be real, when it comes to patience, the phrase “patience is a virtue” was written in a poem in the 1300s — back when there were no smartphones, emails or instant messages flying through space. The guy wrote with a quill on parchment — so, he was moving kind of slowly, maybe like your Uncle Joe (or whoever told you to be more patient). Then, if that guy wanted to get his message to another town back then, it would’ve been via horse-drawn carriage at the leisurely pace of 4-12 mph.
Those that came before us had to be patient. Even your relatives just one generation removed had to be patient. They were analog and you are digital, darling. So, you DO move at a faster pace, and patience probably seems old-fashioned. Nowadays, folks don’t even make time to brew a decent cup of coffee or steep a mug of tea properly. Go to any coffee shop; the people in line seem to want their beverages within a minute, and are cranky if they’re forced to wait more than three (and I’d be dreaming to hope their impatient fannies are ordering decaf).

To me, road rage is the ugliest example of impatience there is in the world today. Daily, I see drivers get annoyed at the vehicles using a turn indicator, slowing down even slightly to safely change lanes. Oooh! How maddening!! Three seconds of their day being taken from them, because of a lane change! Oh, and heaven forbid if you’re in the fast lane already being pressured to go faster than the speed limit, as there WILL be a tailgater yelling with flashing headlights, warning you to get out of his/her impatient way.

Patience is not about slowing down, my dear. Patience is power. When you can take command of your body and calmly breathe your way through a frustrating situation — you are in control of your emotions. When you don’t give in to the irritation, and the other jacked-up emotions that accompany impatience, you stop the pesky rush of stress hormones, stomach acid, and maybe even the scent of desperation: perspiration. When you can replace the resentment, which is typically the roommate of impatience, with gratitude — you make better life decisions. Science has proven the mental, physical and psychological benefits of patience. It will make for a better future.

Begin to practice the art of patience daily (on the road, in long lines, etc.). Master that, and you’ll find you’re not slowing down at all. Think of it as though you’re honing the mad skillz of the Jedi, who have patience down to a fine art, only using hyperspeed when they absolutely need it (and I bet there’s no honking or tailgating in space).
xo – t.

Stars and Stripes Imagined

| Community | June 29, 2017

For anyone looking to get in a patriotic mood this month, there is an art exhibit on display through July 20, 2017. Local residents are invited to visit Santa Clarita City Hall for “Stars and Stripes Imagined,” which showcases artwork using the symbol of American freedom — the American Flag. The exhibit is at the First Floor Gallery at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard. (Please note City Hall will be closed on Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4.)

The symbol of American freedom has been the source of inspiration to many artists throughout the last century — often using its iconic image to form political commentary about the issues facing the nation.

For more information regarding the art exhibit, visit SantaClaritaArts.com. To learn about other Fourth of July events and activities happening in the city, visit santa-clarita.com/Events.


COC Cross Country Summer Series July 6 Through Aug. 17

| Community | June 25, 2017

The College of the Canyons cross country and track & field programs will host the 44th Annual Cross Country Summer Series on Thursday evenings from July 6 to Aug. 17. Open to the public for participation, runners of all ages will gather each week to run a 3-mile course beginning at Cougar Field on campus and winding through the Valencia campus and surrounding hills, before concluding back at the start. All races will begin at 7 p.m.

The main event is open to runners 10 and older, with more than a dozen age divisions available.

There is a special kids’ race for participants under the age of eight that will be held on the track inside Cougar Stadium at 6:45 p.m. each Thursday.

Each runner will be charged an entry fee of $10 per race for the first six events and $20 for the final race on Aug. 18, which includes a post-run dinner and awards ceremony. Runners also have the option of purchasing a series card for $50, which covers entrance fees for all seven races and dinner at the final event.

Entry to the kids’ race is $2, or $25 for all seven races, including dinner at the finale. All runners will receive participation ribbons.

Registration fees can be paid prior to the start of the race. There is no pre-registration.

All checks should be made out to “COC ASG,” with “Cross Country Summer Series” in the memo line.

Chip timing will be used to track runners, with instant results provided by Podium One Timing at www.cocathletics.com/sports/xc/summercrossseries.

Awards will be given to the top three men and women in each age division after the conclusion of the last event on Aug. 17.

For more information about the 44th Annual Cross Country Summer Series, visit www.cocathletics.com/sports/xc/summercrossseries or contact COC cross country/track & field head coach Lindie Kane at (661) 362-3205.

Now and Then: Fourth of July SCV Style

| Community | June 25, 2017

As our valley prepares for the upcoming July 4th celebration, it’s fun to reminisce about some past SCV observances.

One of the most popular traditions has been the morning parade which, since 1960, kicks off with the Rotary Club’s red, white, and blueberry pancake breakfast. Over the years, the parade has had some rather sophisticated floats. Those designed by Newhall resident Tom Frew in the ‘60s were lavishly decorated and one self-propelled float even included its own “hidden” driver. Today, flatbed trucks are the most popular form of transportation, and many entrants add portable sound systems and bands to delight the curbside crowds.

While the SCV Parade Committee now organizes the event, it was once sponsored by the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce. One especially memorable parade took place in 1977 when actor Harry Carey, Jr. was Grand Marshal. The morning began at 10 with a gathering of parade officials and special guests in the chamber headquarters — the old Pardee House on Market Street. (Originally built by oil driller Ed Pardee in 1890, the small house later served as a home for the Pacific Telephone Company and the Boys and Girls Club before the Chamber relocated there in 1977. The building is now one of the historic houses featured at the SCV Historical Society complex near the entrance to Downtown Newhall).

Harry and his wife Marilyn sat on a comfortable couch under a wall painting of galloping horses pulling a bouncing stagecoach while hostesses Betty Bardwell, Alice MacWhirter, and chamber manager JoAnne Darcy served coffee and honey-flavored cookies. Harry, whose parents owned a ranch in San Francisquito Canyon when he was young, reminisced about the St. Francis Dam collapse with parade announcers Cliffie Stone and Placerita Junior High School principal Mike Shuman.

The tall, sun-bronzed actor explained that the Carey Ranch had a tribe of Navajo Indians living at the front of the property. The Indians performed ranching chores and kept a nearby trading post stocked with authentic Indian works of art.

While he was too young to recall many anecdotes about those early days, he did remember that the tribe’s medicine man was very upset about the dam and warned that it would soon burst. The shaman was so strong in his convictions that he went to Harry’s dad and requested that the tribe be permitted to return to Arizona when the Carey family went back East on a business trip.

On the day the St. Francis Dam was finally filled to capacity, the Carey family and the Navajo tribe were gone — they were not there when the deluge of water, trees, and concrete blocks tumbled down the canyon. Not so fortunate were the trading post owners who perished, as their dwelling and Indian treasures were swept away in the 18 mile-an-hour flood.

In 1977, Harry and Marilyn were living in the San Fernando Valley, but he was surprised and happy to see some early childhood playmates standing on the sides of the streets as his car traveled down the parade route.

When the parade participants passed the American Legion on Spruce Street (an impossibility for later parades, since the construction of the new library resulted in a reconfiguration of the roads), the enticing aroma of chili salsa and savory buffalo meat was mixing with the street vendors’ offerings of cotton candy, snow cones, and soda pop. By the time the parade was over, the Legion was filled with a long line of body shirts and sunburned noses waiting to have empty plates filled by chefs Bob Horstman and Ed Hayes. At 2 p.m., local country western entertainer Don Lee and his band arrived and the Fourth of July celebration was in full swing.

The day ended with The Signal newspaper’s fireworks show that took place at Hart High School. Families brought their blankets, kids, and picnic dinners, and sat on and around the football field to watch the colorful sky bursts. The event was free and even included bags of popcorn that had been filled by Signal employees prior to the event. No one worked harder before, during, or after the show than Scott, Ruth, and Tony Newhall.

Today, the City of Santa Clarita hosts a fireworks show at the mall – a larger venue with a larger audience. Still, one thing is most likely the same. The people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the venue can watch in the comfort of their own backyards and they don’t have to fight the traffic when the show is over.

iTEENS Program to Include Canyon Country this Summer

| Community | June 24, 2017

Online registration is now open for a free summer program for teenagers, expanding to include Canyon Country this year. The City of Santa Clarita’s popular iTEENS program will be held this year at the Canyon Country Community Center. It is offered to teens ages 13 to 18 and will be available Mondays through Thursdays, June 26 through August 10, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the official start of the iTEENS Summer program in Canyon Country, the community center will hold a film and video production camp for teens June 19-23 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants will work collaboratively on a short, live-action film using a hands-on approach and develop skills such as screenwriting, acting, directing, editing and more. Limited spaces are still available and registration is $20 per person.

iTEENS Summer is free and will include arts and crafts, gaming, movies, sports, special events and other special interest activities. Field trips are also available at an additional cost for those registered in the program. Each week during the summer has its own theme and activities are planned accordingly.

Limited spaces are also available for iTEENS Summer. Online registration is now open for both opportunities and will close when space runs out. For more information, visit Santa-Clarita.com/Seasons or call (661) 290-2266.

The REP Becomes The MAIN

| Community | June 23, 2017

If you were a frequent audience member at the Repertory East Playhouse, usually referred to as The REP, there are opportunities for you to return, but now under new management. The public is invited to an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 29 at 4 p.m. celebrating a three-year agreement entered into by the City of Santa Clarita. As manager and operator of the venue, the city will offer residents free and ticketed cultural events.

The theatre is located at 24266 Main Street in Newhall. Parking is available in the lot on the corner of 6th and Main streets, plus limited street parking is available, with a two-hour minimum. Overflow parking is available at the Newhall Community Center, located at 22421 Market Street.

For more information, contact Mike Fleming, Arts and Events supervisor for the City of Santa Clarita, at 661-290-2256 or visit AtTheMain.org.

Administrative Personnel Changes at Local Schools

| Community | June 23, 2017

In an arrangement looking a little bit like musical chairs, William S. Hart Union High School District administrators are assuming new positions at a number of sites. An assistant principal at West Ranch High School is replacing the principal at Rio Norte Junior High, who is taking a newly vacated principal position at Saugus High School. At the same time, two junior highs and two high schools will receive new assistant principals.


Audrey Asplund was named principal of Rio Norte Junior High School, a site where she served as a seventh grade teacher for 10 years before becoming assistant principal at West Ranch. Prior to working in the William S. Hart Union High School District, Asplund taught history and special education in the L.A. Unified School District.

Vince Ferry is leaving the role to Asplund, as he will replace retiring Saugus High Principal Bill Bolde.


“I am excited and honored to serve as the next principal of Rio Norte Junior High School,” Asplund said. “I am looking forward to partnering with students, families, teachers and staff in preparing students for success at the next level. I also aspire to continue the rich learning traditions established by the Rio Norte staff and leadership, including Mr. Vince Ferry who has been an outstanding principal.”

Asplund received a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education from UCLA, and a master’s in educational administration from California State University, Northridge. Asplund and her husband, Dave, have three children in college who all attended local public schools.

Ferry was a Hart District special education teacher for nine years, as well as assistant principal and director of the Associated Student Body program at Valencia High School. He was named principal of Rio Norte in 2014.


Robert Fisher, a teacher and coach at Golden Valley since 2006, will become an assistant principal at Canyon High School. While at Golden Valley he served in many different leadership positions, including athletic director, department chair, administrative intern, and induction support provider. Previous to that, he taught and coached at Royal and Agoura high schools. Fisher has a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s degree in education from California Lutheran University.


Kristin Hinze will become an assistant principal at West Ranch High School. She started for the Hart School District as a substitute teacher from 2005 – 2008, when she moved to Arroyo Seco Junior High to teach special education, serving as a seventh- and eighth-grade inclusion teacher and SC-1 math teacher. Hinze was a member of the professional development team, intervention coordinator, and administrative intern during her time at Arroyo Seco. In the fall of 2014, she moved to Canyon High School as a special education teacher for students with emotional disturbance. During the 2015-16 school year, Hinze became the head softball coach and ASB director at Canyon. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from California State University, Northridge and her Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of La Verne.



David Miles joins Rio Norte Junior High School as an assistant principal, excited to be returning to his hometown district after beginning his education career in the Bay Area. As a teacher and department chair at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, he helped to guide the English department’s implementation of the Reader’s Workshop model and also became the school’s AVID coordinator and teacher. Most recently, he was vice principal of College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, where he oversaw the ASB, English Language Development, attendance, and technology development programs. He is passionate about helping teachers take their next step with educational technology and supporting student inquiry and collaboration. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Point Loma Nazarene University and his Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of California, Berkeley.


Paula Saavedra will become assistant principal at La Mesa Junior High School. First teaching grades two through five, both Spanish bilingual and English general education classes, during Saavedra’s time as a classroom teacher, she became a certified trainer of Thinking Maps, providing district-wide training to staff and strategies for differentiation in the classroom. She has served as an assistant principal at a middle school for the last three years, serving as the special education, ELD, English, math, and history administrative liaison at her site. Saavedra holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, a master’s degree in education, and a Spanish bilingual credential from UCLA. She also earned a Master of Arts in educational administration and an administrative credential from California State University, Northridge.


In related news, Assistant Principal Catherine Nicholas will move from Arroyo Seco Junior High to Canyon High School, and Assistant Principal Fayanne Bakoo will move from Rio Norte to Arroyo Seco.





Snakes: No Need to Fear Them

| Community | June 23, 2017

by Gary Kassan

As a realtor in Santa Clarita, I have the opportunity to speak with a lot of homeowners. It never ceases to amaze me how frightened people are of snakes. I am a firm believer that people fear things they do not know about or understand. Snakes are such an important part of our ecosystem and yet, because of fear, many people kill them without a second thought. They are one of nature’s many controls for rodents, which reproduce in huge numbers. Snakes will mainly prey on mice and rats and need to heat their bodies up to digest their food. It is not uncommon to find snakes on asphalt, concrete or rocks, sunning themselves while digesting their breakfast or dinner from the night before. Rather than killing these important reptiles, call me and I will come remove them safely from your yard.

In Santa Clarita we have three most commonly seen snakes in our yards and on our hiking trails: the gopher snake, the king snake and the feared Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Being able to identify these snakes is extremely important. King Snakes are less common, but are by far the easiest to identify by their brown/black rings around their yellowish bodies. Gopher snakes are the most prevalent, and more commonly mistaken for rattlesnakes, because their coloring can be similar. Not all rattlesnakes have rattles. Baby rattlesnakes may not have their rattles yet, so it is important to never reach for a snake until you are confident you have identified it correctly. I use a general rule of thumb. If the head is bigger than the neck of the snake, it is most likely a rattlesnake. Non-venomous snake’s heads are more streamlined, similar to your fingers, while rattlesnake’s heads are more triangular.

There are things you can do to prevent snakes from coming into your yard, like putting chicken wire around the bottom of your wrought iron fencing. Most importantly, educate your children not to approach snakes. Their curiosity could have serious, if not life-threatening, consequences. If you have dogs, speak with your veterinarian about vaccines for rattlesnake bites. This is highly recommended if you live with hills in your backyard or spend a lot of time on trails with your dog.

Lastly, snakes do not chase people. They certainly may become aggressive, but they are merely defending themselves against what they perceive as an apparent threat. In most cases, snakes are just as afraid of you as you are of them. They want to avoid confrontation as much as you do. If you see a snake, it is best to freeze and then back away slowly. Rattlesnakes can usually strike about half of their body length. If you find yourself within striking distance, freeze, remain calm and very slowly back away. Snakes do not hear, so if you are in an area where you think there might be snakes, walk with heavy steps or bang a stick on the ground as you walk. These vibrations will often notify a snake of your presence and it will likely stay clear of you.

If you have a snake in your yard, you can call Santa Clarita Animal Control at 661-487-1603. If they are not available, you can certainly call me. If I am available, I will come to your home and safely extract the snake and release it somewhere far from your home.

Gary Kassan is a realtor with Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc. and has had a lifelong passion for snakes and their preservation. If you need a snake removed, he can be reached at 818-438-5150 or email gary@gk4re.com.

Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System

| Community | June 22, 2017

by Mark Beaulieu

Whether or not your air conditioning system feels cold enough, it should be checked every few years, and here is why.

It is normal for the system to lose small amounts of refrigerant over time, but what that does is make the system less effective and less efficient. Here’s a more detailed explanation. The lower the refrigerant is, the more the compressor has to work. And when it turns on and off more, it reduces gas mileage and increases wear and tear of the A/C and other components.

The bottom line? Waiting, or not checking the system, is costing you money. It’s not the most expensive type of servicing—in money or time—so be sure you get it done, sooner rather than later.

Mark Beaulieu is from Aamco Transmissions and Total Car Care of Santa Clarita. To contact him, call 661-259-3013.

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Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

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