Cowboy Festival Offers Free Admission This Year

| Community, Entertainment | January 19, 2018

Because of the popularity of a festival that some say put Santa Clarita on the map, it’s never too early to purchase tickets for the Cowboy Festival. This year’s annual event is more important than ever, as the community is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by Heritage Sierra Medical Group.

Dates for the four days of concerts, comedy, stunt shows and other Western entertainment are April 19-22, 2018. It will be held at the William S. Hart Park event area once again, but with a big change: This year general admission is free.

On April 21 and 22 there will be five stages of musical performances, cowboy grub, western gear and plenty of outdoor activities. Additional ticketed performances will also be held at venues along Main Street in Old Town Newhall. Prices, performers and scheduling will be announced next month.

To stay up to date on event details, “like” the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival on Facebook or follow @CowboyFestSC on Twitter. Details will soon be available on CowboyFestival.org.

Ribbon-Cutting for New Santa Clarita Trailhead

| Community | January 18, 2018

The community is invited to attend the opening of Taylor Trailhead at Rivendale Park and Open Space next week. The City of Santa Clarita will host a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, January 25, at 11 a.m. at the site, located on the west side of The Old Road, north of Calgrove Boulevard. Those interested in attending the free event must RSVP by Monday, January 22.

The new Taylor Trailhead features parking for 26 vehicles, open space signage, fencing and access control gates. Additional spacing is available off The Old Road. The trailhead connects to the Taylor Trail, which recently was expanded and now offers three miles of multi-use trails for bicyclists, equestrians and hikers to enjoy.

“It’s important for our residents and future generations to develop an appreciation for our open space and trails,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “These open spaces are vital in preserving our natural land and protecting biological resources. With the opening of Taylor Trailhead, we’re adding another access point that makes it convenient for visitors to explore the trails.”

To RSVP for the Taylor Trailhead ribbon-cutting ceremony, pcontact Shenil Walker at swalker@santa-clarita.com or (661) 255-4939. For additional details about the trailhead, contact City of Santa Clarita Administrative Analyst, Kristina Jacob, at 661-286-4177.

Directions from City Hall

Via I-5 S
1. Head southwest on Valencia Boulevard
2. Take the I-5 S ramp to Los Angeles
3. Merge onto I-5 S
4. Take exit 167 for Pico Canyon Road towards Lyons
5. Continue straight onto Marriott Way
6. Turn left on to the Old Road
7. Destination will be on your right

Via McBean Pkwy
1. Head southwest on Valencia Boulevard
2. Turn left onto McBean Parkway
3. Turn left onto Orchard Village Road
4. Turn right onto Wiley Canyon Road
5. Turn right onto Lyons Avenue
6. Turn left onto Chiquella Lane
7. Turn left onto the Old Road
8. Destination will be on your right

Local Blood Drives

| Community | January 18, 2018

January is National Blood Donor Month, and there are several opportunities to get involved locally. The following are the dates and locations of blood drives sponsored by The American Red Cross:

Wed., January 24 from 2-7 p.m.
Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge
19310 Avenue of the Oaks
Santa Clarita, CA 91321

Fri., January 26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Best Buy
26531 Bouquet Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Mon., January 29 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
SCVi Charter School
28060 Hasley Canyon Road, Ste. 200
Castaic, CA 91384

Wed., January 31 & February 7 from 1-7 p.m.
Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge
19310 Avenue of the Oaks
Santa Clarita, CA 91321

Sat., Feb. 10 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Grace Baptist Church
22833 Copper Hill Drive
Saugus, CA 91350

Sun., February 11 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
23233 Lyons Avenue
Newhall, CA 91321

Poker Tournament to Benefit Canyon High School Football

| Community | January 18, 2018

Adults age 21 and older are invited to play real Las Vegas style poker at Sand Canyon Country Club next month. The annual benefit for the Canyon High School football team will include a tri-tip dinner by the chefs at the golf club, plus payouts and prizes for the final 15 players.

The Real Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 7 p.m. Check-in, dinner and beverages begin at 5:30 p.m., and an optional basic poker playing clinic is offered from 4-5 p.m. for $20.

All poker tables will be manned by professional dealers, and this year’s annual tournament will include large payouts for the top three players. The first place prize is a Gold Krugerrands; second place is a 2.2-lb. bar of pure silver, and third place is a $500 iPad, which is fully refundable at any Apple Store.

Tickets are $95 and the ticket includes your buy-in and the tri-tip buffet dinner. The annual event traditionally sells out. Table sponsorships and table purchases are available as well.  Sand Canyon Country Club is located at 27734 Sand Canyon Road in Canyon Country. To buy your tickets and for more information, visit www.CowboyFootball.Org.

Jersey Mike’s Donates to WiSH Foundation to Benefit School Libraries

| Community | January 18, 2018

Owners of the newest Jersey Mike’s in Santa Clarita raised nearly $10,000 for the William S. Hart Union High School District libraries, which serve nearly 23,000 students in grades 7-12 in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Kyanna Isaacson and Steve Youlios, who own the Jersey Mike’s in the Target shopping center, offered free sub sandwiches with a minimum donation to WiSH during the first days of the store’s opening. The community came out in record numbers, with lines out the door that moved very quickly, according to reports.

All of the funds raised during the grand opening will go towards upgrading both hard copy books and technology in all Hart District libraries. The goal, according to WiSH leadership, is to raise $100,000 for the libraries. Community members may offer donations by going to the website, www.WiSHscv.org. Donors in excess of $100 will be honored on a plaque dedicated to the libraries.

WiSH supports programs and initiatives in the Hart District that are not funded by tax dollars alone. For more information, contact executive director Amy Daniels at wish@hartdistrict.org.

Now and Then – ‘Auld’ Acquaintances, Part 2

| Community | January 18, 2018

We Americans love our recreational sports and none has undergone as many surges in popularity over the years as tennis. One particular surge occurred in the ‘60s and ‘70s, thanks to the media’s discovery of the hard-hitting glamour guys, the outspoken “bad” boys, and the teenaged women’s champions. The TV programmers couldn’t get enough of the likes of Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, and Pete Sampras.

The popularity was helped along in 1974 when an aging men’s former champion (55-year-old Bobby Riggs) challenged the much younger current women’s champion (29-year-old Billy Jean King) to a televised match in the Houston Astrodome. Riggs, who had long since lost his championship form, kept in the spotlight by challenging top-seeded women players to gimmicky matches. A carnival atmosphere surrounded the King-Riggs match when Monday Night Football announcers (Frank Gifford, Dandy Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell) were called on to do a play-by-play of the televised match. Billy Jean struck a blow for Women’s Lib when her power shots defeated Riggs’ lobs and drop shots.

The following morning, tennis courts around the country were filled to capacity and a flurry of new court construction began. (Part of the 9-hole Roxford Golf Course off the I-5 was bulldozed to make way for a complex of courts, which in turn were bulldozed for commercial profit a few years later.)

Tennis was in full swing in the SCV long before the media giants began promoting it across the rest of the country. There were no commercial clubs or tennis complexes, but the Hart High and Placerita Canyon Junior High courts were crowded every weekend with players belonging to the Newhall Tennis Club. (The club, which had started in 1947 with about 20 players, boasted a membership of 435 in the ‘80s.) Friendly doubles matches, singles “ladder” challenges, and monthly tournaments kept the courts full from morning to night.

Weekday play was less crowded, but thanks to an informal partnership with the school district, the club members could use the courts when the students weren’t playing. It was a little give and take, sweetened by the fact that the club dues and volunteer labor helped finance improvements like net replacements and court resurfacing.

A leading proponent of the volunteer workdays, even though his stint as club president had ended years earlier, was Newhall resident Gene Doty.

Everyone’s first impression of Gene was an out-stretched hand and a smile so big that it spilled over into his voice. He exuded enthusiasm in everything he did, whether it involved being co-chair of the annual two-day barbecue for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, working on a Kiwanis event, or supporting the local high school tennis programs.

In 1984, the Doty charm and rapport were saluted when Lockheed officials hosted a gala retirement dinner for their co-worker of 43 years. When Gene was asked what he would do with his time now that he was leaving the 9-to-5 grind behind, he quipped, “I’ve actually found it difficult to find time to go to work!”

Those who knew him well weren’t surprised at the statement. He had been actively involved in his community and his hobbies since he took his first steps out the front door of the Newhall house he grew up in on San Fernando Road (now Main Street) in the early 1920s. Those steps led from his house to the Ford Agency, which his dad, Jess W. Doty, had established before World War I. The agency was still in the same spot in the early ‘80s, but the Doty home had been replaced by an auto parts store.

When Gene was a youngster, the SCV was a sparsely populated area of 200 people. The main drag on San Fernando Road boasted a five-and-dime store, a feed store, a little restaurant, and a post office. The Newhall Drug Store was a favorite “haunt” for the kids who played marbles and “coin lag” near its doors.

Being such a small town, there were few recreational facilities available to Gene and his friends. They organized late afternoon sandlot baseball games after stampeding out the doors of the Newhall Elementary School as soon as the last bell rang.

One of Gene’s fondest memories was the 1932 community work project (sponsored by the Kiwanis Club) that resulted in Newhall’s first tennis court. The court was built of decomposed granite on land donated by the Presbyterian Church. When the court was demolished to make room for the church parking lot, a community project was organized to build two courts at Newhall Elementary. It was on those courts that Gene’s avid interest in tennis was born.

There was no local high school in our valley when Gene reached his teens, so he and some fellow students from “remote Bouquet Canyon” were bused to San Fernando High School. Gene worked at his father’s car agency when he wasn’t studying or leading cheers for his high school teams. In his senior year, his interests switched to airplanes and he exchanged his cheerleading megaphone for the class president’s gavel. He didn’t forget cheerleading altogether; there was a Bouquet Canyon lass named Maxine Morris who would later become his wife.

While working at a Shell Service Station in his senior year, Gene took college prep courses in engineering, leading to an aircraft plumber position at Douglas Aircraft in El Segundo. In 1941, Gene was hired at Lockheed’s experimental department, working on the early mock-up stages of the Constellation. He was quickly moved to supervisorial duties in the department, then to a production manager in precision assembly parts.

“I never did get that degree in engineering,” reflected Gene at his retirement. “I was too actively involved in making money.” He was also actively involved in raising four children (Dennis, Genene, Denise, and John), and leadership roles in the Newhall Tennis Club, Kiwanis, American Legion, and the Knights of Columbus.

While the area was going through its first growth spurt in the ‘60s, Gene went to work in Lockheed’s famous Skunk Works, The advanced development department gained notoriety as a small group of workers who could turn out new experimental projects with lightning speed using tools they made themselves, while side-stepping paper work, red tape, and bureaucratic quagmires.

His retirement from Lockheed and the Skunk Works meant more time with the family, a few travel excursions, more hours of community service and, of course, more tennis. When he wasn’t competing in weekly matches on the courts and running a racquet stringing business out of the den in his Newhall home, Gene found time for organizing the Newhall Tennis Club’s court improvement projects. And, if that wasn’t enough, he could often be seen at the Hart High courts, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, electric clippers in hand, trimming back the vines growing on the fences surrounding the courts.

Gene Doty – a true hometown hero and a special memory in this January salute to Auld Lang Syne.

January Health Awareness

| Community | January 16, 2018

For the benefit of the public, every month features a host of health awareness topics, which medical institutions and personnel can promote for the good of all. According to the Wellness Council of America, the following are health observances for the month of January:

Cervical Health Awareness Month
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (Pap and HPV tests).

During January, NCCC and its many local chapters across the country highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. NCCC and the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) also offer a range of resources to educate the public and healthcare providers about cervical health, from fact sheets to episodes of ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast. Visit http://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-health-awareness-month/

National Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month
Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth that change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. Birth defects can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops or how the body works.

Common birth defects include heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate and spina bifida. You may learn about birth defects and other health conditions, what they are and how they happen, plus gain insight into preventing certain birth defects and health conditions through the March of Dimes. There is plenty of information about what treatments your baby may need if he/she has one of these conditions. Visit the website MarchofDimes.org.

National Healthy Weight Week
It is a time to celebrate healthy diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems, according to Healthy Weight Network. The point is to recognize that bodies cannot be shaped at will, but individuals can be accepting, healthy and happy at our natural weights.

During Healthy Weight Week, people are encouraged to improve health habits in lasting ways and normalize their lives by eating well without dieting, living actively and feeling good about themselves and others. Visit http://www.healthyweight.net/hww.htm#women.

Zonta Celebrates Amelia Earhart Month

| Community | January 15, 2018

Zonta International has celebrated the life of famed aviator Amelia Earhart since the first half of the 20th century. The month of January is Amelia Earhart Month and the local Zonta Club is making the public aware of opportunities for women in aerospace related industries.

January 11 is designated as Amelia Earhart Day in recognition of the day Amelia began her solo trip from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. The flight made her the first person to fly to the United States mainland from Hawaii. Since she had flown over the Atlantic Ocean five years earlier, it also made her the first person to fly across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. 

Fellowship Description
Zonta International awards Amelia Earhart Fellowships to women who excel in aerospace-related sciences and engineering in an effort to carry out its mission that women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.

The $10,000 fellowship was established in 1938 and is awarded annually to up to 30 women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. It may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.

Since the program’s inception Zonta has awarded 1,543 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than $9.7 million to women representing 72 countries. Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, heads of companies, and even Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

Women of any nationality pursuing a doctoral degree who demonstrate a superior academic record in the field of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering are eligible. Students must be registered in a full-time Ph.D./doctoral program and completed at least one year of that program or have received a master’s degree in an aerospace-related field at the time the application is submitted. Post-doctoral research programs are not eligible for the Fellowship and members or employees of Zonta International are not eligible to apply. In addition, previous Amelia Earhart Fellows are not eligible to apply to renew the Fellowship for a second year.

Amelia Earhart Fellowships are made possible by contributions to the Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund. For more information about next year’s Fellowship program, call 661-252-9351 or email info@scvzonta.org.

Understanding Tax Changes and the Mortgage Interest Deduction

| Community | January 14, 2018

By Mariness Chata

In the recent changes to the federal tax laws, the United States Senate agreed to keep the Mortgage Interest Deduction, or MID, to $750,000, which can be distributed across multiple homes. Anyone who had a loan prior to Dec. 14, 2017 is grandfathered in at $1 million.

The MID is based on the loan amount, not the sale price of the home. For instance, if a borrower is putting down 20 percent, creating an 80/20 loan-to-value, or LTV, the MID would cap out on a home price of $937,500 ($937,500 x 80% = $750K mortgage). However, to assume that everyone purchasing a home above $937,500 would be affected would be a misconception. Under the old law, the cap was $1 million (again, with 20 percent down, the home price would be $1,250,000 and the loan would be $1,000,000).

The new tax bill is only affecting individuals buying homes between $937,500 and $1,250,000, which is a small segment of the homeowners in California.

While tax regulations are important, purchasing a home is more than an opportunity to have Mortgage Interest Deductions, it is a decision based on the need and pride of homeownership, a safe place for a family to benefit from the home’s appreciation. Renting a home carries no benefits to anyone who is looking to build wealth and create family roots.

The new tax reform encompasses much more than just the MID issue, but this seems to be the hot button as it pertains to real estate.

Most professionals recommend that you consult your tax accountant or CPA to discover how the new laws will impact you going forward. Mariness is a local realtor and can be reached at (661)317-3332.

Doctor’s Diary (Snippets from the Frontline)

| Community | January 14, 2018


Doctors know when a patient breaks a hip, surgical intervention is quickly needed to control pain and avoid complications like anemia, fat emboli, deep vein thrombosis, or pressure ulcerations.

Recently, my octogenarian patient fell and fractured a hip with paramedics bringing her to the hospital on a Friday night. Since the case was considered an elective procedure and not an emergency, operating room personnel wasn’t available, and unfortunately the OR schedule for Saturday was full.

The hospital administration had decided in the past they would not pay overtime to staff operating rooms.


Despite the surgeon being ready to follow evidence-based guidelines and quickly use technical skills to fix the broken hip, the hospital administration made a decision based on the bottom line, and not out of the best interest of the patient.

Think about other scenarios where this type of decision-making might put you at risk when hospitalized.

Clinical care and judgment by doctors have been financially superseded by hospital administrators to the detriment of patient care.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

Comments:  http://scvphysicianreport.com/2018/01/08/doctors-diary-january-8-2018-overtime/

Afternoon T

| Community | January 13, 2018

By T. Katz

Q: Looking at other people’s social media, I can’t help but compare my life to theirs. I see vacations and meals I wish I could cook (or buy) and activities I can’t do/afford/have time for. I just wish they’d stop posting stuff that makes me compare myself. It hurts.

A: Ah, yes! Ye olde ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ syndrome. We’ve gone from the neighborhood peek over the picket fence, or across the street, to now seeing a thousand images about other people’s lives in a single scroll. Honestly, everyday comparisons are tough enough to keep at bay (between neighbors, co-workers, siblings and friends), but now we’re subjected to loads of people – most of whom we haven’t seen off-line, in person, in forever – and what they do! Before we even get into this sticky, wicked interweb we’re all caught up in, I want to take a moment to tell you: You are a wondrous being and I don’t need images of your last fantastic meal or proof of your miraculous existence (how ‘bout those heartbeats, huh?!) to know that. To quote Billy Shakespeare, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art…” Nope. Can’t. And? I don’t have to see a selfie to know you’re nuthin’ like the 110-degree August days in the Southland, so we’ll let that dumb ol’ comparison go and put you in control. After all, those are your thumbs and index fingers swiping up and double-tapping, doing the seek-and-destroy of your self-image with their highly polished, photoshopped, filtered images.

To have a healthy relationship with social media, experts will tell you to “limit your exposure.” Pssssh! If you’re even a skosh like me, you sit down daily (maybe 2 times) with a mug of your favorite beverage and pop into the kaffeeklatsch that the internet has become. You start with a full mug, only to walk away with the glass-half-empty disorder. So, I’m not going to tell you how to spend your time. (I’m an advice columnist, not an expert or the boss of you.) But, I would like to suggest you set a time of day AND a timer to limit your exposure. Think of it as an emotional sunburn you’re risking.

You know that you’re only seeing the highlight reel of people’s lives, but somehow forget that those folks: get food in their teeth; experience gastrointestinal distress; trip over broken sections of pavement; and occasionally bash their taillights into unseen poles in parking lots. None of that gets put in their fancy on-line crocumentary. They do normal, mundane things, too. Keep that in mind.

Disable the pings and dings that inform you that John/Jane Q. Public ordered/created the perfect dessert which doesn’t deter from great abs shown in photos from St. Maarten where their perfect companion sported Leboutin swim fins. Get CNN alerts instead. Be informed about important subjects.

Only compare you … to you. Strive to be the better version of yourself each day. Be kinder. Be smarter. Be stronger.

xo – t.

Living the Mentored Life in 2018

| Community | January 13, 2018

Having mentors in your life gives you an entirely different perspective on everything you do, as well as opportunities you may not have realized were available to you. My best friend growing up was named “Mentor,” so I knew from an early age this word meant teacher and trusted advisor. It wasn’t until I was out of college and well into adulthood that I understood and took advantage of mentors in my own life. These days I both mentor others and am mentored, and the results have been nothing less than spectacular for everyone involved.

How can you take full advantage of mentoring, and choose to live the mentored life this year and beyond? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you make this transition from attempting to do everything by yourself to allowing a teacher and trusted advisor to guide you to the results and goals you seek to achieve.

What do I want and need to learn to take me to the next level in my desired area of life or business?

Who do I currently know that is already an expert in this area, and has achieved this goal themselves?

What is the next logical step for me in this process of working with a mentor?

More than likely you already have a good idea of what it is you would like to achieve. Perhaps you want to finally write that book others have been telling you to write. Maybe you want to become more proficient with computers and technology, or playing chess, or with line dancing. These three are all areas I have pursued over the past decade and ones where a mentor made it all so much faster and easier for me to achieve the results I was hoping to master.

A good mentor is honest with you about everything; what you need to do to get started, how you are progressing, when it is time to do it on your own. Being mentored is much like being a baby bird, cared for by a skilled and loving mother and then abruptly pushed out of the nest to fly or sink like a rock. But great mentors catch you as you fall, spreading out their arms to glide you safely back to where you need to be at this point in time.

In return, you must trust and be honest with anyone who mentors you. If you are experiencing fear or doubt around the goals you are working to achieve, schedule a time to discuss this with them. If you find yourself taking a turn towards another goal instead of completing the one they advised you on, let them know you’re having second thoughts and wish to make a change in the direction you are going right now. They will be the one person best able to advise you, based on the relationship the two of you have been building over time.

For now, make a list of what you wish to achieve during the first part of 2018. Open up your mind and dream big! If I hadn’t been willing to do this starting in 2006, I would not be the author of more than a dozen bestselling books. What do you want as a part of your life experience that right now seems like it is too big for you to say out loud? Get in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and say it to yourself, for once you have expressed your desires the next step is finding someone to mentor you to completion and success.

Once you let it be known that you need help with a specific goal, the mentor will appear. When you can trust in this process the magic truly begins. Imagine what this year can bring when you are willing to live the mentored life and finally reach, and even exceed your own potential. I’d love to hear from you on this topic. Sharing your goals and dreams out loud is an effective part of this process that leads to excellent results.

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 fifteenth book and has been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. 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 2018 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.

Non-Profit of the Week: Bridge to Home

| Community | January 13, 2018

Bridge to Home provides support services – including an emergency winter shelter, case management, housing navigation, and medical and dental clinics – that help individuals and families in the Santa Clarita Valley transition out of homelessness.  Bridge to Home is funded through contracts with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, subcontracts with Los Angeles Family Housing, private and public grants, and extensive in-kind donations and participation from the local community.

As Santa Clarita’s only comprehensive homeless services provider, Bridge to Home helps to fill significant service gaps in the community’s safety-net, paving the way for people to transition out of homelessness.
Bridge to Home’s programs include:

•Emergency Winter Shelter in Santa Clarita

•Case Management for Housing Assistance and Homelessness Prevention

•Healthy Lives Medical and Dental Clinics

•Outreach and advocacy for homeless residents of Santa Clarita

•Hot meals for low income, homeless, and veterans

Each year, Bridge to Home provides these services to thousands of individuals, including housing for both individuals and families.
The non-profit organization continues to grow and work towards becoming a year round, permanent shelter. But at this point, the facility is open November through March.

Healthy Lives Dental clinics sees hundreds of low-income, homeless men and women, and veterans, providing cleanings, filling, extractions and dentures. Healthy Lives Medical clinics provide first aid, screenings and referrals at the shelter.

Outreach and Advocacy will walk the riverbeds, reaching out to homeless people – where they are – to connect them to services that, hopefully, will break their cycle of homelessness.

For two decades, Bridge to Home has helped thousands of families get back on track. These families have, in turn, given back to the shelter, as well as the community. In the aftermath of the “great recession,” hundreds of families and thousands of people are finding themselves in what is the bleakest time of their lives. We can help these people, we can guide these people, we can change these people’s lives, but we can’t do it alone. Through grants, corporate and individual financial and in-kind contributions, Bridge to Home will provide these much-needed services to the people in Santa Clarita who are at risk of becoming, or are experiencing, homelessness.

Bridge to Home’s shelter is located at 23031 Drayton St. in Newhall. For more information, call (661) 254-4663 or visit BTOhome.com.

Now and Then: ‘Auld’ Acquaintances, Part 1

| Community | January 12, 2018

2018 – a New Year and, for many, a promise to take a fresh look at life and make new goals for themselves – for the first few hours of January 1, anyway.

But while the main objective of New Year’s Eve celebrations is clearly about welcoming the future, the song that is so closely linked with the holiday reflects on the past and “old acquaintances.”

There are many “old acquaintances” that briefly brightened the Santa Clarita social scene, then left to pursue new goals. There was none more charismatic and closely tied to the celebrations of the ‘70s and ‘80s than the homegrown family band “Cindy and Co.” The group, comprised of father, John, and siblings Cindy, Andy, and Jack, specialized in mixing the smooth sounds of the era with plenty of rock, and then playing to the mood of their audiences.

Though originally from Dunkirk, Indiana, the Kress family moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in the late 1950s. Parents John and Jean were both musically talented. Jean played the piano and once sang with bands in Indiana, and John played various instruments in many different bands, but his instrument of choice was the saxophone.

When the couple’s four children came along, it seemed most natural that a family band would someday be formed. Yet, up until junior high age, eldest son Andy did little more than toy with piano lessons; Jack was more interested in sports; and Cindy memorized piano pieces by watching her mother play, and could read very little music.

For the boys, playing in junior high bands got them seriously thinking about music. Andy, the blond, outgoing drummer, received his first set of drums when he was 12. According to Cindy in a 1974 newspaper interview, “There hasn’t been a quiet moment at the Kress household since.”

Andy’s greatest learning experience with the drums came when he was in seventh grade and signed up with the summer school band. He was the only drummer and found himself inundated with percussion instruments, spending every spare moment pounding out rhythms. That gave him the valuable experience he needed to step into the professional arena at the young age of 15.

“Dad had a group called the “Mellow Men” and they played for dances and parties on weekends,” explained Cindy in 1974. “One night the drummer got sick and Andy stepped in to take his place. Dad has never used another drummer.”

Dark-haired and soft-spoken, Jack Kress seemed to be the one most likely to pursue a career in sports, with music as a minor diversion. However, he did dabble in off-the-cuff lessons with the bass guitar player in his dad’s group. One night the guitarist was laid up with back trouble and couldn’t make a gig. Jack was recruited for the job and became a permanent fixture.

It seemed like a pattern was emerging, but blonde, beautiful Cindy delayed joining the group by studying education at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She played the flute and piano and tended to prefer classical music.

Following graduation, Cindy applied for a job in the Saugus Union School District and was soon teaching at Highlands Elementary School. Playing with her brothers and fathers seemed unlikely, yet she did sit in on practice sessions occasionally.

Then one night the piano player in the group was stranded in the San Fernando Valley and Cindy immediately became a permanent member.

The family adopted the name Cindy and Co. in 1971 when they answered an ad to play at the Big Oaks Lodge up Bouquet Canyon. They were an instant hit, and were soon booking gigs from a variety of organizations, not only in the SCV, but Simi Valley, Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley.

Up to this point, Jean had efficiently combined motherhood with a full-time job. But she determined that the job would have to go when she found herself juggling the band’s costume fittings and bookings with her youngest son’s school and baseball schedules. While 12-year-old Bobby’s extracurricular attentions centered on baseball, he did play the guitar, so there was always the possibility that the group might have another member sometime in the future.

But as of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Cindy and Co. was a four-member group interspersing outside hobbies and daytime jobs with the nighttime demand for their music. As the group’s popularity grew, the family branched out in larger pursuits. One of those involved buying the Big Oaks Lodge and hosting Sunday afternoon jam sessions with guest musicians who came from all over Southern California.

As rewarding as local success was, the family was always looking for ways to grow and stretch their talents. Sadly for their followers in our valley, one of those ways involved leaving California for a chance to join the burgeoning music scene in the Midwest.

Though the siblings returned from time to time for visits, most of their SCV fans lost track of the Kress family. Only their closest friends and family know the details of the family’s ultimate career paths and the new dreams they had found to pursue after they left our valley. As for the rest of us, we were saddened when news filtered down recently about Andy’s and Cindy’s deaths, but we can smile remembering the nights we danced and sang along with Cindy, John, Andy, and Jack to the most popular music of the time – everything from the Beatles and the Beach Boys to Elton John and Billy Joel, as well as the rock sounds of performers like Michael Jackson, Ike and Tina Turner, and Dire Straits.

Doctor’s Diary (Snippets from the Front Line)

| Community | January 6, 2018

The Silent Doctor

Doctors have been described as the best and brightest, and they should be, as medical decisions impact the lives of many people. But business has taken over medicine, with physicians losing their voice and becoming a commodity.

Over the past two decades, healthcare statistically worsened compared to other nations, while many Americans go into bankruptcy, lose their homes, face denial of tests and treatment, or have no insurance coverage.

Business decides whether you are admitted to a hospital, how long you stay, and when you are discharged. They decide what drugs you take, what studies you have, and whether you get chemotherapy or a mammogram.

Meanwhile, doctors sat silent except for a few whistle-blowing physicians who are under constant attack by hospital and insurance company administrators.  Many physicians live in fear they will lose their job and home, hospital or insurance contracts, or not be able to re-pay student loans.

Doctors have, therefore, relinquished most medical decision rights to business.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

Comments:  http://scvphysicianreport.com/2017/12/29/doctors-diary-december-29-2017-the-silent-doctor/

Ten COC Students to Have Free Freshman Year Subsidized by Logix

| Community | December 29, 2017

The First-Year Promise, or FYP program at College of the Canyons, offers qualifying freshmen free tuition and fees for one year. The college recently received a $10,000 pledge from Logix Federal Credit Union, which will underwrite $1,000 of expense for 10 FYP students in 2018 and 2019.

The donation supports the COC Foundation’s pledge to fundraise $500,000 over the next two years to ensure the future of the FYP program.

“College of the Canyons is a valued partner in the community, and this program is a great example of why,” said Logix Executive Vice President Andrea Carpenter. “We recently toured the COC campus and were impressed by the outstanding facilities and resources available to students of all walks of life. We want to be part of sharing First-Year Promise with the college and we look forward to helping further this program.”

In addition to receiving free tuition, FYP students are offered priority registration and helpful orientation sessions to learn about majors and receive academic guidance. FYP courses include digital textbooks, ongoing counseling and student support, as well as a $100 supplies voucher each semester.

“We are so grateful to Logix for their generous donation to the First-Year Promise program,” said Murray Wood, chief development officer at the college’s Foundation. “Their donation will help ensure the academic success of future First-Year Promise students at College of the Canyons.”

Logix also donated $2,000 in proceeds from a recent Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce mixer event held at Wolf Creek Brewery toward FYP.

For more information about the FYP program and how to make a donation, visit http://www3.canyons.edu/offices/foundation/fyp/index.html.

William S. Hart District Names Sturgeon President

| Community | December 29, 2017

Board member Steve Sturgeon will begin serving as president for the William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board in 2018. It is his fourth time in the position in the 18 years he has been on the board. Last week the board held its annual meeting to determine its other officers, as well. In addition to naming the incoming president, the board named Bob Jensen clerk and Linda Storli assistant clerk.

Non Profit of the Week – Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides

| Community | December 29, 2017

One of a parent’s worst nightmares involves a teen becoming inebriated and getting behind the wheel of a car. One local non-profit group is doing what it can to minimize situations just like that one — and there’s no better time to recognize the importance of these volunteers than the holidays.

Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides is an organization enabling teens to help other teens by, literally, steering their peers from the dangers of drunk driving by offering them rides.

Volunteers stand by for free rides on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Use of the service remains confidential. SCV Safe Rides offers the following suggestions for those choosing to use the program: Call as early as possible, give good information about your location, and wait for a call back.

The idea for Safe Rides stemmed from the community of Darien, Connecticut when they lost seven teenagers in DUI traffic collisions in one year. The local chapter was formed in 1986 after Santa Clarita saw the tragic deaths of six teens in alcohol-related traffic collisions over approximately a year’s time.

On Friday and Saturday nights, teen volunteers and an adult supervisor meet in the Safe Rides headquarters, where teenagers act as dispatchers. Other teens are paired into coed driving teams—a driver and navigator—and give the caller a ride using their own family’s vehicle. Drivers are reimbursed for gas.

SCV Safe Rides is primarily student organized and operated. Adults simply support and supervise. Students in grades 9-12 who are at least 15 years old may volunteer for SCV Safe Rides. It requires a training session and attendance at monthly meetings. Trainings are held twice a year and include drug and alcohol awareness, plus navigation tools, as well as safe driving instruction.

Adult volunteers are an essential part of Safe Rides, as all activities must be supervised by trained adults. There are ways local adults can get involved in the program. There are fundraising efforts to support, an annual recognition banquet for drivers, and supervisors are needed in the office while teens are driving callers. According to the SCV Safe Rides website, to be an adult volunteer, you must be at least 25 years old, available one Friday or Saturday night every 4-6 weeks until 2 a.m., and you need to like teenagers. To become involved, email SafeRides@socal.rr.com.

Afternoon T – Tidying Up

| Community | December 28, 2017

Q: My mother-in-law recently came for a visit and told us we have “too much stuff.” My spouse thinks she’s right and I think they’re both being a bit mean, especially right after we exchanged gifts (more stuff!) over the holiday. Now I’m considering a serious purge before the year ends.

A: George Carlin had a wonderful routine about “stuff.” I suggest you look for it on the internet, from your computer, where all of your digital stuff is stored. Think about that for a moment: computers. A long, long time ago a lot of the information stored there took up space on our bookshelves and cabinets. Now, a drawer full of tiny flash drives can hold all of that stuff. Even the way we watch TV means we don’t need to store loads of DVDs or big, bulky VHS movies. We’re streamlining year after year.

If you ever want to take a serious look at how much stuff you have or what you should consider chucking, think about having to evacuate your home in a disaster. That’ll winnow down your choices, trust me. When you are forced to look at what is most important to you, a lot of your stuff will be pretty stinkin’ far down that list. I’m all for a good sweep, or purging (as you call it), but my advice is to first prioritize the Six P’s of Preparedness (which you should pin to your pantry door, for possible evacuation) to determine the priorities of your important stuff. That might help you figure out what stays and what goes and then you can look at the rest of your home with a more discerning eye:

  1. People/Pets. If it has a heartbeat, I am certain it is your most valued item in life.
  2. Papers. The important ones. Identification, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce papers, passports, deeds, wills/living wills, etc.
  3. Prescriptions. Medicine, eyeglasses, etc. If a doctor prescribed it, it’s vital.
  4. Pictures. In a flash, which ones are irreplaceable? [Also, start storing others on a flash drive.]
  5. Personal Computers. Laptop or hard drive, but again … store critical info on thumb drives.
  6. Plastic. Credit cards and debit cards.

Those items are the top of your pyramid list of things to bring, when your life and well-being depend on it – so, know where that important stuff is, in case of an emergency. You’ll be relieved you did when a stressful situation arises.

Now, since we’re trying to eliminate the stress of stuff: What really makes you feel at peace? Build what’s left in your living space around that. Notice I did not ask about happiness. That’s because happiness is an inside job. It has nothing to do with the inside of your house/apartment/condo/prefab home and the stuff you put in it. Start your tidying after considering the Six P’s, and be honest about what stuff after that is truly significant in your life. You’ll find that’s the stuff life is made of. xo – t.

Public to Meet More Than 40 Authors at Local Library

| Community | December 28, 2017

For several years, the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library has hosted a Celebration of Local Authors in Newhall. The community is invited to the free event on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Old Town Newhall Library, located at 24500 Main Street. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet more than 40 authors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Celebration of Local Authors event aims to spotlight local writers and provide residents a chance to explore the work of skilled storytellers in genres including children’s, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, self-help and poetry/short story. Attendees will get the unique opportunity to participate in moderated panel discussions, as well as purchase signed books.

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

For more information about this event, visit SantaClaritaFOL.com or email friends@santaclaritalibrary.com.

Why is the ‘Next Financial Crisis’ Going to Be the Largest Ever Seen?

| Community | December 28, 2017

Most people believe their pension is going to be there for them with the certainty of the sun rising in the morning. Pensions are supposed to be as solid as the granite mountains in the Western United States. However, a lack of understanding of how and what these pensions actually are is going to be the beginning of a potential financial earthquake that modern America (and possibly the world) has never seen.

A pension is a guarantee, of sorts, set up by your employer to benefit you financially in your retirement years. The purpose was to entice and reward you for the acceptance and performance of your work for the decades you are employed. Today, they have become a financial monster that is being ignored and will ultimately demand attention in the most vocal way possible – a complete collapse and reorganization.

Pensions began by taking a portion of the employee’s money and a contribution by the employer and investing it into an asset that was designed to pay interest and dividends. The assets were to grow until needed, then sold in order to be turned into money, and paid out in the form of a monthly pension check to the retiree. Someone or some company would buy that asset and exchange money to the pension plan. When there is a seller, there has to be a buyer (Economics 101).

As pension plans have grown, they have had to vary their investment strategy and actual investment options. At first, they primarily owned shares of large, blue chip companies. Today, they own real estate, gold and even “junk bonds.” This was done just to keep up with the ever-increasing need to earn higher rates of return and grow the plan’s assets.

According to a 1991 Harvard Business Review article, author Peter Drucker addresses the growing influence and ultimate vulnerability of modern pension funds. Not only did his predictions largely come true, in some cases they are much more dire than once thought. At one point in the early 1990s, America’s top pension systems owned 40 percent of the stock of large companies. That meant the influence and power of a pension plan over the ultimate direction of a company was enormous. Think of the conflict a union would have negotiating a deal for the workers when the very profitability of that union’s pension hinged on the deal leaning in favor of the corporation’s shareholders (the pension plan) and not the actual workers’ salaries and conditions. Today the numbers and corporate influence are not much different. This could possibly be the reason that benefits like healthcare and vacation time became such an integral part of negotiations, while pay raises (which affect the pension) have stayed relatively the same when inflation is factored in.

When a pension system has to pay out a monthly paycheck to a retiree who was statistically forecast to have died five years ago, the pension is forced to sell an asset. Today, that asset is most likely stocks or bonds. When one of the only other possible buyers of such vast amount of shares is another pension plan (because they have the cash), you can see where there could be trouble. If you and the pension are selling at the same time, what happens to the price?

Your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan is probably also invested in the stock/bond market. When there are more sellers of something than there are buyers of something, prices drop. I believe when the panic comes it will come fast. When everyone is trying to sell at statistically the same time, I believe people will panic.

People have panicked in 57 crashes of 20 percent or more since 1950. The big crashes included 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008. You may remember these because that was when you had finally saved some money for your future and you began to build “wealth.” Now imagine you are about to retire or you are in retirement and a 20 percent gain comes to your portfolio. Do you change your lifestyle? Buy a new, bigger house? Drive a Ferrari or fly in private jets? Probably not. Instead, most likely you would have a feeling of comfort and security. But what if the market drops by 20 percent and you lose more than one out of every five dollars you have saved in your lifetime? What does that now feel like? What plans do you have to change?

Remember, you are not the only one who is going to try to get to the exit fast and sell some/all of your portfolio. So are the pension plans. They have to sell just as fast, or faster than you do, because they have to have next month’s pension checks ready to be mailed. Who do you think will have priority to sell first at the higher price? You, your broker, or the pension plan that owns nearly half of all the largest companies in the world?

Arif Halaby is a Certified Estate Planner in California and President/CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc., a financial and insurance services company in Santa Clarita that prides itself in protecting principal, eliminating fees, and designing higher income strategies. 661-753-9683

Canyon High Teens to Help Homeless

| Community | December 28, 2017

There were 32 Canyon High School students who were homeless this season, but are celebrating the holidays with gifts, thanks to their classmates. The 270 students in Canyon High School’s Safe School Ambassadors (SSA) program were seeking ways to give back to the community and they found it right on campus. This year the group decided to supply the 32 students at the school with holiday presents.

The SSA students started asking for donations. They also went to local stores like Target and WalMart asking for gift cards, which originally raised just $20 in gift cards for 21 families.

So they took their cause to social media, asking for money and gift cards, in the hopes of getting all 32 students and 28 families at least a little holiday cheer — and the community responded. When it was finished, those 270 SSA students had raised $8,320 in gift cards, enough to give each family with one Canyon High School student $250 in gift cards, and those with two Canyon students $400.

Twenty-eight bags were filled with the gift cards and other donated items, such as toiletries.

“Our hope was that in addition to getting the necessities, the parent(s)/guardian(s) would get to experience the joy of picking out a gift for their child(ren),” said Canyon English teacher Cheryl Hanks, advisor for the SSA program.

The students will never know who their efforts helped, but they know 32 students in 28 families will at least get to share in the joy of the season.

Tax Tips Topic of Workshop

| Community | December 28, 2017

A workshop to help participants understand and file their taxes is scheduled for the January LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of SCV. The free women’s workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Savia Community Center, 23780 Newhall Ave. The workshop will help participants understand the basis for income taxes, whether they file their own taxes or use a professional.

Presenters will be Laura and David Troost, husband-and-wife certified public accountants. Laura is a specialist in income tax and accounting for individuals and businesses and has more than 16 years of experience. David is a CPA with the firm of BPE&H.

The workshop will help participants understand how income taxes are calculated and help audience members recognize common errors and omissions that could cost them money. The workshop also will provide answers to income tax questions and detail what information an income tax professional needs. The speakers also will help participants understand how to select an income tax professional if they choose not to file their own taxes.

Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register at least one week in advance at (661) 288-0117 or online at www.singlemothersoutreach.org. Spanish translation also can be provided with advance request. The topic is expected to be a critical one for women who are newcomers to filing their own taxes or who have specific questions they need answered before the upcoming tax season arrives. The topic is a timely one, since many tax issues will be changed by newly passed legislation on the national level.

Previous workshops in the series have helped women select career options and pursue meaningful employment, work on goal setting and time management, deal with anger management, set budgets, deal with drug and cyber bullying issues, establish a career path and get a job, maintain healthy eating and exercise habits, and go after financial support after a divorce. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be!

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

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic. Pre-registration is not required for those who simply wish to attend a workshop, but those who wish to hold a space for the more popular workshops, arrange for child care or obtain further information on the upcoming workshop, can call (661) 288-0117.

Does Your Home Have Damage? Can You Recognize the Signs?

| Community | December 21, 2017

by Jenee Child

Mold and water damage are clear signs that your home either has a plumbing problem or other water intrusion issue. The sooner these are identified and addressed, the better chance you have of minimizing repair costs. To avoid incurring unnecessary expenses, do a cursory walk through of the interior of your home.

Knowing what to look for is important in identifying problem areas. Main areas to inspect are the ceilings, walls, cabinets, flooring and baseboards:

•inside bathroom and kitchen sink cabinets
•around the base of and behind toilets
•around showers and tubs
•above and beneath your water heater unit
•near dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines
•directly below windows and around sliding glass doors
•near chimneys and fireplaces
•around air conditioning units

It is a good idea to also inspect other rooms in the surrounding areas mentioned above, in case water seeps through walls. Look for damage in rooms located on the other side of shared walls where sinks, toilets, showers, tubs and appliances are situated.

For example, you may find wet flooring in your dining room on the other side of the wall directly behind your refrigerator, even if you don’t see water in your kitchen. Clothing or shoes in your bedroom closet may be moldy from a hot water pipe leaking inside the shared bathroom shower wall or from a plumbing line leak in the concrete slab.  You could see a stain or bubbling paint on your ceiling directly below your upstairs bathtub or toilet. If your home is single story, a ceiling stain could either be plumbing related or you could have a leaky roof. If you are smelling a musty odor, this could also mean that you have a moisture problem or leak.

First, conduct a visual check and then see if your home passes the touch test. The following signs could indicate that you have issues that need immediate attention:

•dampness or wetness
•small puddles or standing water
•peeling or bubbling paint
•dark stains or discoloration
•black, green or white mold
•rust or corrosion of pipes
•moisture or water on or around pipes and plumbing •fixtures
•warping or buckling
•soft, mushy or brittle materials
•rot or deterioration

In next week’s article, we’ll review how to recognize a mold problem in your home, health symptoms to look for, who are most at risk if exposed to mold and the do’s and don’ts of removing mold.

Jenee’ Child is CEO of SOS Solutions, Inc., which offers free help to home and building owners in calling, scheduling and managing emergency contractor services. Mention “Mountain Views News” to receive 75% off ($225.00 savings) on home inspection services when you call SOS at 1-888-589-1868. You may also download your free “Home Inspection Checklist” from SOS’ website at www.TrustSOS.Solutions.

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