Athletes of the Week: Shawn Gallagher, Chloe Castaneda

| SC Living | July 21, 2017

Shawn Gallagher

Canyon quarterback Shawn Gallagher looks for an opening during an 11-on-11 man practice at Valencia on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

As the quarterback on the varsity football team at Canyon High School, Shawn Gallagher, a junior this year, is expected to lead the way.

“Shawn has not only taken on the role of quarterback with passion and enthusiasm, but has also showcased intangibles that are hard to duplicate within the football world,” said Rich Gutierrez, Canyon High School football coach. “Outside of that, he is a dynamite kid and an absolute pleasure to be around. I am excited for his future within Cowboy Football and beyond.”

Shawn grew up watching the Canyon Cowboys program, which he said is nostalgic for him.

“Being brought up from youth to play for this organization has been a true blessing,” Shawn said. “Having a receiving corps like Carson Strickland and Roland Hardson has allowed me the opportunity to use my skill set along with theirs to create big plays and a lot of consistency.”

Shawn said he plans to be counted on by his coaches to turn the tide after the Cowboys’ rough season last year.

“The coaching staff really pushes us to become great football players and even greater men,” he said. “The chance to be a cowboy is once in a lifetime and this upcoming season I hope to bounce back as a group and put Canyon’s name back out there with the best of them.”


Chloe Castaneda

This member of the Santa Clarita Blue Heat scored the first goal against the Houston Aces, and scored a second goal to break a 2-2 tie. The Blue Heat went on to win 4-3 and the team is currently 8-0. They have a sizeable lead in the UWS West Conference, and are the only undefeated team left in the league.

“Chloe is one of our best players,” said Carlos Marroquin, owner of the Santa Clarita Blue Heat. “This past game her performance was incredible! She scored two goals and fought the whole game! We are extremely happy to have her with the Blue Heat.”




Non-Profit of the Week: SCV Sheriff’s Foundation

| SC Living | July 13, 2017

Everyone has seen local sheriff’s deputies working in various roles and locations within the Santa Clarita Valley. But there is more coming from these professionals than law enforcement.

In 1984, a volunteer organization was formed by citizens in the community 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.

In addition, the Foundation has purchased equipment and provided help in accomplishing the law enforcement mission in the Santa Clarita Valley. Some items the Foundation has purchased are:

•Computer Equipment
•Gym Equipment
•Drunk Driving Trailer
•Training Video Equipment
•Child ID Kits
•Search and Rescue Radios
•Night Scopes
•Helicopter Equipment
•Posse Donations
•Women’s Self-Defense Classes/Equipment

More information about the foundation is available online at scvsheriffsfoundation.org.

Gatsby Fundraiser
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.

Athletes of the Week: Shawn Gallagher and Abbey Weitzeil

| SC Living | July 13, 2017

Shawn Gallagher

Canyon quarterback Shawn Gallagher looks for an opening during an 11-on-11 man practice at Valencia on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

As the quarterback on the varsity football team at Canyon High School, Shawn Gallagher, a junior this year, is expected to lead the way.

“Shawn has not only taken on the role of quarterback with passion and enthusiasm, but has also showcased intangibles that are hard to duplicate within the football world,” said Rich Gutierrez, Canyon High School football coach. “Outside of that, he is a dynamite kid and an absolute pleasure to be around. I am excited for his future within Cowboy Football and beyond.”

Shawn grew up watching the Canyon Cowboys program, which he said is nostalgic for him.

“Being brought up from youth to play for this organization has been a true blessing,” Shawn said. “Having a receiving corps like Carson Strickland and Roland Hardson has allowed me the opportunity to use my skill set along with theirs to create big plays and a lot of consistency.”

Shawn said he plans to be counted on by his coaches to turn the tide after the Cowboys’ rough season last year.

“The coaching staff really pushes us to become great football players and even greater men,” he said. “The chance to be a Cowboy is once in a lifetime and this upcoming season I hope to bounce back as a group and put Canyon’s name back out there with the best of them.”

Abbey Weitzeil

Abbey Weitzeil, team USA swimmer and former swimmer for Saugus High, swam 24.74 seconds in the 50 meter freestyle Final at the Phillips 66 National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana.

After what she had expressed was a rough transition into college after the Rio Olympics, Weitzeil finished in second place with her time, qualifying for the World Championship roster with her runner-up finish. She will be competing next month in Budapest, Hungary.


Athlete of the Week – Trevor Bauer

| SC Living, Sports | July 8, 2017

Former William S. Hart High School pitcher Trevor Bauer now plays for the Cleveland Indians. Last week the Santa Clarita native pitched 6.1 innings, struck out three batters, and allowed just one earned run, in the Indians’ 5-3 win over Texas. With the victory, Bauer has 7 wins for the season.

Described by Hart High baseball coach Jim Ozella as “one of the most decorated and dedicated student-athletes to play at Hart High School,” Trevor’s academic skills enabled him to leave Hart early, following an All-CIF junior year, to pitch at UCLA. His junior year of college he was named Pitcher of the Year for the Bruins and selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the MLB first round.

Queen Nation Takes Audiences Back

| SC Living | July 7, 2017

Like many of the past popular Concerts in the Park in Santa Clarita, this week’s band will bring up nostalgic feelings for some members of the crowd. Queen Nation will take the stage on Saturday, July 8 at 7 p.m., a group that has been hailed by critics as one of the best re-creations in the world of the ‘70s sensation Queen.

It is the opening performance in the annual summer concert series at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

Queen Nation is a tribute to one of rock and roll’s most successful bands. Lead vocalist Joe Retta recreates the iconic style of Freddie Mercury, and guitarist Mike McMannus nails the legendary riffs of Brian May, producing a live experience that some say could rival the original.

Concerts in the Park are free events put on by the City of Santa Clarita every Saturday night from July 8 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. For more information on Concerts in the Park, visit Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts.

Non Profit of the Week – L.A. SummerFEST

| SC Living | July 7, 2017

Next week is the opening of the 8th annual LA SummerFEST, an eclectic, free, cultural festival of music, theatre and community events. The LA SummerFEST brings together musicians, performers, and three non-profit organizations and even local churches for 14 events in 5 weeks, presented at the Rivendale Park and Open Space in Towsley Canyon. The free events include: an Evening of Praise Music (Saturday, July 22) with local churches, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley; a Singer-Songwriter Concert (Saturday, July 29), with some of the best singer songwriters in Southern California; A Night at the Opera (Friday, August 4) with Center Stage Opera; Blues FEST (Saturday, August 5) presented in coordination with the SCV Blues Society; and Jazz at Rivendale (Sunday, August 6).

Also part of the LA SummerFEST is the free Shakespeare in the Park production, which this year is “Othello.” Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, July 21, 23, 28, 30, August 11, 13 and a special performance Saturday, August 12. Free Shakespeare in the Park is a tradition that reaches back nearly 30 years in the Santa Clarita Valley. Originally founded by David Stears with another theatre company, the tradition continues under the banner of the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival.

The site is a park setting with wood chips. Audiences are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket, and a picnic. Beer and wine will be available at the performances, and food trucks will be available at select performances.
The company is working with the City of Santa Clarita.

“The LA SummerFEST grew out of the Shakespeare in the Park performances,” Stears said, the company’s founder and executive director. “We were bringing the stage, lighting and sound to create a venue for the Shakespeare performances, (and) we thought we could make the stage available for other community performances.”

The LA SummerFEST works with the City of Santa Clarita, and is supported from “pass the hat” donations, local contributions, and sponsorships from local businesses. SCSG is also working with the city to create a more permanent performance space at the Rivendale site.

While most all the performances are free and family-friendly, there are two events where tickets are required: the GALA Opening of the Festival, which includes dinner, wine and desserts; and the annual Broadway review, Something Old Something New, presented be Leslie Berra and her company of hand-picked singers. This year’s concert includes favorite Broadway, pop, and rhythm and blues.  Both events raise funds to support the festival and the SCSF educational outreach programming.

This year the LA SummerFEST is offering more to patrons coming to the festival. Audience members can reserve a FREE “ticket” for an event, which will guarantee them entry. For a small donation, patrons may also reserve “Prime” blanket space for four. Patrons who don’t want to bring a blanket and chair can now reserve a table and chair for the events. And for VIP treatment, patrons may reserve a private table with a glass of wine and selected deserts.

For more information about LA SummerFEST and to reserve tickets visit www.LASummerFEST.org. You can also “like” the festival on facebook at  facebook.com/LASummerFest.

During the year, the Santa Clarita Shakespeare presents an extensive educational outreach program, providing free and low-cost programs to local schools. Last year their production of “Scrooge’s Long Night” reached more than 10,000 local students. This year their original adaptation of “Wáli Dád, the Grasscutter” is expected to reach nearly 11,000 local students. If your school is interested in scheduling a performance, you can book now by contacting education@scshakespearefest.org.

Whether during the summer with a free summer series, or providing outstanding programming in our local schools, Santa Clarita Shakespeare is dedicated to bringing the best professional theatre to our community.

Santa Clarita Shakespeare is a 501(c)(3) community benefit organization. For more information about the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, visit: www. SCShakespeareFEST.org or follow on Facebook: facebook.com/SCShakespeareFest.

Athletes of the Week – Deyna Castellanos

| SC Living, Sports | July 7, 2017

Santa Clarita Blue Heat player Deyna Castellanos scored the Blue Heat’s lone goal in the 62’ of a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake Women two weeks ago. The win kept a winning streak going for the undefeated Santa Clarita team and gave them a five-point lead for first place in the United Women’s Soccer West Conference. On July 1 the Santa Clarita Blue Heat beat the Calgary Foothills to become UWS West Conference champions.

“Deyna, once again, showed how much of an offensive threat she is to other defenses,” said Blue Heat Coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “She scored off a nice cross from Carolina. She continues to be a constant threat, not just through her shots and 1-vs-1’s, but also with her vision and passes.”

Non-Profit of the Week: A.S.E. Enrichment

| SC Living | June 30, 2017

A.S.E. Enrichment has been providing quality after school enrichment classes to schools in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 10 years. Some of the schools the non-profit organization currently services are James Foster Elementary, Stevenson Ranch Elementary, North Park Elementary, Valencia Valley Elementary, Sulphur Springs Community School, Cedarcreek Elementary, Mountainview Elementary, Highlands Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, SCVi, and Albert Einstein Academy.

A.S.E. provides a variety of classes including Arts, Sports, Video Game Design, Computer Technology, Cooking, Baking, Photography & 3D Design, and Lego Robotics, all taught by caring teachers who are passionate about their subjects. They provide these classes after at schools after dismissal and have also started evening academies to study topics in greater depth, especially technology classes, Lego robotics, and art academies. A.S.E. provides all these enriching classes in the spring, winter and at summer camps.

The biggest challenge A.S.E. faces is providing up-to-date equipment for classes, because old technology becomes obsolete so quickly that it is hard to keep up with all of the change in order to offer the most current, innovative opportunities for students. Most of their fundraising efforts go towards updating computers and robotics equipment. They want to be able to provide the best classes possible to all students and believe that part of reaching that goal is to have the most current technology available. A.S.E. is looking for technology sponsors to partner with them and to add fundraising with SCV families through a Scrip program, small electronics recycling, and some restaurant nights. The company’s leaders also hope to apply for some grants that could assist not only with technology upgrades, but offer scholarships to students who have financial difficulties.

Executive Director Elmarie Hyman and Savannah Leighton, the program director for SCV, along with their teaching team, work tirelessly to accomplish these goals. They are currently busy with the Summer Camp 2017 series with over 100 fun camps and academies. For more information, visit the website: ASEenrichment.com or for any more info, feel free to contact them at 661-310-3330 or info@ASEenrichment.com.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | June 29, 2017

Alex Burge


Now gearing up for his senior year, Alex Burge has played both pitcher and outfielder for three years on West Ranch High School’s baseball team. Last Friday he went 2-3 with three RBIs in a 9-6 victory over Saint Mary’s. The win was the first in a three-day tournament for the Wildcats.

“Alex has committed to play baseball at Loyola Marymount University as a pitcher,” said Casey Burrill, coach of the West Ranch baseball team. “But he has proven this summer that he will be just as valuable at the plate in 2018 for the Wildcats. His ability at the plate may be as impressive as his talents on the mound.”

Ryann Torrero

As goalkeeper for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, Ryann Torrero tallied four saves in a 1-0 shutout against the Houston Aces two weeks ago. The team is 5-0 — still undefeated for the season and in first place in the United Women’s Soccer West Conference. The Blue Heat plays third place Calgary Foothills at The Master’s University on July 1.

“Ryann was fantastic last game. She was put in a very difficult situation and she responded very well,” said Coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “She had a few very good saves and a brilliant save in the last minute of the game to give us the victory.”


Athlete of the Week: Anthony Santillian

| SC Living | June 24, 2017

An incoming senior at Canyon High School and pitcher for the varsity baseball team, Anthony Santillian struck out nine batters last week as the Cowboys defeated Saugus High School 2-0. The win was Canyon’s fourth in a row.

“Anthony is entering his fourth year in the Cowboys baseball program,” said Drew Peterson, Canyon Cowboys baseball coach. “He didn’t really pick up pitching until he entered high school, but with his desire to get better, he has worked tirelessly during summer workouts and during the fall and winter seasons to improve. He enters his senior year as the most experienced pitcher in the program and looks to be our number one starter.”

Non-Profit of the Week: Junior Chamber International (JCI) Santa Clarita

| SC Living | June 22, 2017

JCI Santa Clarita is a membership-based non-profit organization of young, active citizens between the ages of 21 and 40, providing development opportunities to empower young people to create positive change. Internationally, JCI has a vibrant global community with active chapters in more than 100 different countries and an active membership of more than 200,000 people. Every member shares the belief that in order to create lasting, positive change, we must not only improve our communities and the world around us, but we must also work to improve ourselves.

JCI Santa Clarita was launched in January of 1998 and has been a longstanding partner in the community – working with many of the other nonprofits in the Santa Clarita Valley for the last 19 years. They are philanthropically active, both in and outside of our community, building homes in Tijuana in 2006, launching the Brenda Mehling Cancer Fun Fight It! walks every year since 2002, delivering supplies to evacuated fire victims in 2007, and providing a highly successful holiday program known as Santa’s Helpers for the last 19 years. The SCV Chapter is nationally recognized within the JCI organization, receiving #1 Chapter in the State and #1 Chapter in the Nation awards several times.

This year has been a great one so far for JCI Santa Clarita and its members, focusing on internal and professional development for its members. The Jaycees have crafted a four-part leadership training journey with Dan Williams, a leadership coach who has worked in various executive coaching capacities and as senior VP of a career management firm. Dan has already given the first two parts of the training: “Developing the Leader within you” and “Developing the Leader Around You/How Leaders Crash and Burn – What you can do to avoid it.” The trainings are highly attended, and both Jaycees and non-members enjoy learning and employing the strategies taught by Mr. Williams. The last two parts of the development journey will be coming up in the next few months.

The Jaycees also expanded upon their program known as Politics on Tap, a quarterly event for 2017. Politics on Tap is a mixer and speaker series that provides its members and the community an opportunity to be civically engaged. Held at local bars and restaurants, attendees have the opportunity to network, enjoy some great food and drinks, and have a conversation with a local elected official. In 2017, Politics on Tap has brought in both Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth (a founding JCI Santa Clarita member) and Senator Henry Stern (SD27) to talk about issues effecting our community.

The second half of the year is jam packed with various events and exciting opportunities, including 40 under Forty and Santa’s Helpers. This week the Jaycees will be opening nominations for the 40 Under Forty recognition event this November. The awards program allows the Jaycees to recognize community members between the ages of 21 and 40 who are making an impact in the community. Santa’s Helpers, the Jaycee’s annual toy drive and Christmas party for underprivileged families, will be kicking off this summer as well.

However, the Jaycees aren’t all business all the time. They try to meet once a month to socialize, catch up, and just have a good time. Their monthly socials have included private gatherings at local restaurants, climbing at Top Out Climbing Gym and a pool tournament. July’s social event will be a wine and cheese tasting at Hoi Polloi Winery on July 13 (find it on Facebook).

If you are a young person between the ages of 21-40 looking to make an impact in your community, or maybe you know one, JCI Santa Clarita would welcome you to the group. They meet the first Thursday of every month at Wolf Creek Brewery (25108 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia) from 6:30-8 p.m.

Learn more by finding them online at jcisantaclarita.com or on Facebook – JCI Santa Clarita.


History of the Flag Presentation at Elks Lodge

| SC Living | June 16, 2017

Photo: Scouts from Lodge Troop 2379 retires one of the many flags at the Elks Lodge, under the guidance of a Scout leader last Friday night, June 9th.


by Phyllis Walker 

In commemoration of Flag Day, which is June 14, members of Elks Lodge 2379 in Santa Clarita presented an annual tribute to the history of the American flag. Scouts in attendance presented the evolution of our country’s flags, followed by a ceremony showing the group how to properly dispose of flags that have flown and are ready to be retired.

The practice of carrying banners has been a custom for ages, representing governments and individuals from many cultures. The evolution of the American Flag marks the progression of the U.S. government, beginning after the Revolution. “The Pine Flag” was adopted for all colonial vessels, and was the banner carried by the Continental Army in the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Southern colonies used the “Snake Flag” from 1776 to 1777.

Continental Congress appointed a committee in the latter part of 1775 to consider the question of a single flag for the 13 colonies.  The committee recommended a design of 13 alternate stripes of red and white, an azure field in the upper corner contained the red cross of St. George, and the white cross of St. Andres.  John Paul Jones, senior lieutenant of the flag ship “Alfred,” hoisted this flag to the masthead on December 3, 1775. One month later it was raised over the headquarters of General Washington at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in compliment to the United Colonies. This flag, called “The Continental Colors” and “The Grand Union,” was never carried by Continental land forces, but was used by the Navy. It was the first American flag to receive a salute of honor – 11 guns from the Fort of Orange in the Dutch West Indies.

In response to a general demand for a banner more representative of our country, the Congress on June 14, 1777 provided  “that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes of alternating red and white and the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

It is generally believed that in May or June 1776, George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross Commissioned Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia Quaker, to make a flag from a rough design that was provided. Supposedly she suggested that the stars should have five points rather than six.

This starry banner was flown at Fort Stanwix  (then Fort Schuyler) near Rome, New York on August 3, 1777 and was under fire three days later during a British and Indian attack.

The first official salute to the “Stars and Stripes” on  February 14, 1778 was made by France, when the “Ranger” under command of John Paul Jones was saluted by the French fleet on the French coast. This flag was made by young women of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from stripes of their best colored silk dresses and the white wedding gown of a recent bride. It is said that the Flag was flown by Jones’ ship, the “Bon Homme Richard,” in its thrilling fight by moonlight, upon the high seas with the British frigate “Serapis” in 1779.

The original Stars and Stripes represented the original 13 colonies. In 1796, two additional stars and stripes were added to represent the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. The War of 1812 was fought under this banner. The site of it flying over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, inspired Francis Scott Key to write what became our national anthem: “The Star Spangled Banner.”

On April 14, 1818, Congress adopted a resolution that on July 4, 1818, the number of stripes should be 13 and a blue field should carry one star for each of the 20 states in the union; a new star would be added for each state admitted thereafter.

Since 1918, the flag’s design has not changed, except that 28 new stars were added before July 4, 1912. This flag, with 48 stars, flew over the nation for 47 years until July 4, 1959, when a star was added for Alaska, our first non-connected state, and a year later, for Hawaii.

Our present flag — 50 stars and 13 stripes — proudly represents our country.  It is at once a history, a declaration and a prophecy.  It represents the American nation as it was at its birth; it speaks for what it is today; and it holds the opportunity for the future.

For more information about Elks Lodge 2379, their programs and projects, contact Phyllis Walker at 661-251-1172 or visit www.Elks.org.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | June 15, 2017

Chris Devery

The first Colorado State University ThunderWolves player to ever be named National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Chris Devery is team royalty. He made the “triple crown” when he added that distinction to Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Week and NCBWA Player of the Week titles — also firsts for him.

A graduate of Saugus High School, Devery batted .556 in the four-game series against Adams State University with two home runs, four doubles and a triple. He batted 16 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .579.

A junior at CSU-Pueblo, Devery ended the season with 34 RBIs and batted an average of .387 for the year, leading his teammates.

Chandra Eigenberger

A member of the SCV Blue Heat, Chandra Eigenberger scored the lone goal in the Blue Heat’s 1-0 victory over the Calgary Foothills. The goal is the first in the season for Eigenberger, and keeps SCV tied for first in the United Women’s Soccer West Conference with Real Salt Lake Women.

“Chandra scored the game winner in Canada. It was a very difficult game and she came up huge for us,” said Blue Heat Coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “Her speed and skill on the ball is very difficult to deal with. She has a powerful strike, plus she is one of our set piece specialists. She has a wonderful delivery on her crosses.”

Photo from SCV Blue Heat website.

Non-Profit of the Week: Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club

| SC Living | June 15, 2017

Anyone interested in amateur radio is welcome to join the Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club. Dues are $25 per year, payable in January, with reduced rates for later membership. A family rate of $30 provides for membership for the entire household. Seniors age 60 and older may join for $15 and youth under the age of 18 may join for free.

The membership application is available on the organization’s website, w6jw.org.

Both the group’s board meeting and monthly club meetings are held at the Santa Clarita Senior Center, located at  22900 Market Street in Newhall. The meeting room is in the back of the facility and attendance is free.

Amateur Radio Field Day

The American Radio Relay League, ARRL, is the national amateur radio association. The organization, joining with the Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club, will host an open house for ham radio aficionados and friends on June 24-25 at Castaic Lake Water Agency in Saugus. Amateur Radio Field Day will draw upwards of 40,000 visitors to share a day of mutual information, emergency preparedness, community outreach and technical skills.

“Hams” from throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places each year to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to numerous communities and to the nation. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933 and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

The public is welcome to arrive as early as 8:30 a.m. at the guard gate entrance from the parking lot at Central Park. Transmissions begin at 11 a.m. for a contest event.

The event will be held at Castaic Lake Water Agency, located at 27234 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus, above Central Park. For information on Field Day, email Chris Sheridan at Coolcas59@yahoo.com or visit w6jw.org.



Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | June 9, 2017

Max Weinstein

A former member of Canyon High School’s baseball team, Max Weinstein is currently a second baseman for California Lutheran University. Last week he went 3-10 with one RBI, one run, and one double play, giving the Kingsmen two wins against Washington & Jefferson 12-4 and 7-3 in games 2 and 3 of the NCAA Division 3 College World Series. His skills helped CLU win their first ever national championship in baseball. Weinstein led the team in hits with 84, and was tied for first in homeruns at 5.

Natalie Ramirez

Already a standout after just two years at West Ranch High School, shot put thrower Natalie Ramirez came in ninth place last week with a throw of 40-8.75 in the CIF State Track and Field Championship.

“Natalie is an outstanding sophomore athlete who has continued to improve throughout the season, making her one of the best throwers in the state,” said Sara Soltani, track and field coach at West Ranch.

West Ranch’s Natalie Alvarez throws the shot put during a dual meet at Saugus on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Non-Profit and Hero of the Week: Circle of Hope

| SC Living | June 8, 2017


Circle of Hope Inc. provides emotional, financial and educational support to those diagnosed with cancer in the Santa Clarita Valley. The non-profit organization’s members are dedicated to the Santa Clarita community, serving patients and families since 2004.

The charity began by offering support for breast cancer victims, but currently they welcome those affected by cancer of any kind. This includes family, friends, and those who have long-since recovered from the disease. The extensive education and support services are open to everyone affected by breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and uterine cancer. They have provided for families of those suffering as victims of childhood cancers as well.

Hundreds of patients are assisted every year with finances, emotional support, education and more. One of their programs is Team Pink, a cancer awareness and community outreach program promoting healthy behaviors associated with cancer risk reduction, including healthy eating, exercising daily, balancing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight. Team Pink offers community service opportunities, as well, for students focusing on leadership, education, and compassion for people affected by breast cancer.

Support groups are available for those suffering from the disease or providing care for someone who has been diagnosed. It is important to know you are not alone.

The organization reaches out to Santa Clarita, as well as patients located in the San Fernando Valley. Circle of Hope is located at 23560 Lyons Avenue, #224 in Newhall.

Circle of Hope, Inc. is again bringing its premier, signature event, Vine2Wine: An Evening of Wines, Brews and Food, to the community. Organizers have received the green light to plan for use of The Main Gallery, a California Institute of the Arts venue that many call “perfect” for the vibrant and popular wine and food event, traditionally held in mid-August. Presenting Sponsor, Logix Federal Credit Union, will again be on hand to share in the festivities, as will Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology, the event’s Title Sponsor.

The 16th Annual Vine2Wine will be held on Saturday, August 12 from 6-10 p.m. at CalArts, Main Gallery, 24700 McBean Pkwy in Valencia. There will be fine wines, craft brews, gourmet food, live music, silent auction and more. Past events have showcased a variety of local, California and international wines, including selections of fine library varietals, and this year, coffees, microbrews, IPAs and traditional brews will be yours for the tasting. A dozen or more renowned local eateries will be dishing out hot and cold offerings of their tastiest menu items.

Live entertainment by Lance Allyn & Company will complete the night’s ambience, while support goes to Circle of Hope. All proceeds go to support local uninsured and underinsured cancer patients who live, work or are treated in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Tickets are now available at http://circleofhopeinc.org/vine2wine.

There are sponsorships available. Contact Taylor Kellstrom at info@circleofhopeinc.org for more information on how you can be associated with Santa Clarita’s premier wine and food event.

For more information, call (661) 254-5218 or visit Circleofhopeinc.org.

Hero of the Week: Lori Carpenter

Technically, Lori Carpenter serves as Circle of Hope’s office administrator, but she is much more to the non-profit organization. As a breast cancer survivor, Lori knows firsthand the demands and challenges of fighting the disease that affects each of the charity’s clients, giving her tremendous passion for her job and compassion for those who serve. She keeps the office organized, but more importantly, she never misses an opportunity to spread the word about the organization; she’s constantly putting in extra effort to reach out to the Santa Clarita community.

Lori recently co-captained Circle of Hope’s Relay for Life team, literally spending more than 24 hours at Central Park in service of their mission. She is also a member of the SCV Nonprofit Cancer Coalition, Team PINK committee and serves on all of Circle of Hope’s event committees. Lori is married and raising two kids in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Circle of Hope is proud to call Lori Carpenter their Hero of the Week.

Non Profit and Hero of the Week

| SC Living | June 2, 2017

Non Profit – The Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation, A Local Tradition since 1951

by Elaine Foderaro

The Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation, originally founded in 1951, is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Santa Clarita. It is managed and operated 100 percent by volunteers, with an investment of 10,000-plus volunteer hours per year.

The SCVSF’s mission is to reward excellence and to encourage continuing education. The motto is “Helping Today’s Scholarships Become Tomorrow’s Leaders.” More than $3.7 million have been awarded to local students since its incorporation in 1977. For the Class of 2017, nearly a quarter of a million dollars was awarded to 147 graduating seniors in the Hart District. Funding is provided by the generosity of local businesses, individuals, community organizations and those honoring friends and loved ones through memorial scholarships. The number of scholarships available varies at each high school site. Many sponsors/donors select the school they prefer to have their scholarship awarded.

People who knew the SCVSF founders described Walter and Gertrude Baugher as warm, friendly people who had no children of their own. They were wealthy in the eyes of their fellow Mint Canyon homesteaders.

Gertrude received a large inheritance from her brother when he passed away, and the couple lived frugally. They were generous with others and very discreetly helped the neighborhood children, providing money for school supplies and necessities so they could remain in school. In 1951, they founded the William S. Hart Union High School District Scholarship and Loan Foundation with the help of their friend, Judge MacDougall.

In 1964, a trust fund of $20,000 was invested to provide annual scholarships to students at each school in the District. After Gertrude’s death in 1975, additional funds were added to the trust and the Hart School Board recommended that the Foundation’s operations be separated from the District.

On July 27, 1977, the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3), a federal and state tax-exempt non-profit corporation, which enables donors to claim tax deductions. In keeping with the original charter, the Foundation has a symbiotic relationship with the WSHUSD.

In 1981, the Henry Mayo Newhall Family Foundation began funding scholarships, which are administered by the SCVSF. Following an interview selection of graduating seniors recommended by their comprehensive and alternative high schools, the recipients are awarded scholarships at their respective senior awards presentations in May. The scholarships at each comprehensive school are one at $5,000, two at $4,000, two at $3,000, and two at $2,500. There is one at $1,250 at each alternative site.

The SCVSF expresses appreciation to the Newhall family and community members who fund the scholarships in “helping today’s scholarship become tomorrow’s leaders.”


Hero of the Week – Connie Hertenstein

Connie Hertenstein, counselor at William S. Hart High School, recalls attending her first meeting with the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation (SFVSC) in 1995.

“I remember meeting in Sandy Hurley’s living room with a group whose motto was: “We do it for the kids.” The sole focus was to inspire students to step up to the challenge of post high school education with the hope that they would give back to others in the future.

Connie was hired as a special education teacher at Hart High School in 1989. After teaching for seven years, she became a counselor in 1995 and remained at Hart.

Laurence Strauss, principal of Hart from 1983-1997, hired Connie for both job assignments. “She is kind, caring, and has provided wise, effective guidance to hundreds of her counselees,” Strauss said. “She does not seek approval or recognition for her effective daily work on behalf of students; without hesitation, I would entrust my children’s academic and personal guidance to Connie Hertenstein.”

In addition to her responsibilities as a counselor, Connie represents Hart High as a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation. Her SCVSF responsibilities begin in the fall to include advertising scholarships through Hart TV and the senior classes. She oversees the responsibilities of ensuring the seniors download the applications when available beginning December 1. For the students who do not have access to a computer, she prints hard copies.

After the applications are collected February 1, transcripts are attached, and names of applicants are forwarded to selected Hart staff members for consideration for the Newhall interview process. Following the input of the total staff as a baseline, Connie meets with the representatives from each department to select the eight nominees for the Newhall interviews conducted by the SCVSF. Invitations are distributed to each of the eight Newhall interviewees with the process explained regarding the interview, expectations, and appropriate attire.

“I love giving out the invitations and seeing the kids glow,” Connie said.

For some of these applicants, this is the first time they will have interviewed before a committee comprised of local community members, retired Hart District employees, and high school counselors.

Connie attends all the SCVSF meetings, which are held four times a year. At the March meeting she volunteers to be part of the Selection Committee to assist in choosing the recipients for a specific school. Counselors do not select students from their own schools, nor from any schools where they have an affiliation.
The scholarships are presented at the invitation-only senior awards nights at each high school in the Hart District. The SCVSF board attends each of the 10 high schools’ awards programs to present a total of 150+ scholarships.

“The only downside is that many of the Foundation’s members wish there was more money, because there are so many incredible kids in Santa Clarita!” Connie said.

Connie Hertenstein and her husband, John, a payroll accountant for CBS Television and a real estate agent, have lived in Santa Clarita for 34 years. They have two daughters who both graduated from Canyon High School, Nicole in 2007 and Courtney in 2011. Both continued their educations at Pepperdine University, where Nicole studied political science and Courtney majored in integrated marketing communications.

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Non Profit of the Week – Habitat for Humanity SCV SFV

| SC Living | May 25, 2017

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys and Homes 4 Families held their first-ever Rainbow Build in partnership with the LGBTQA+ community of Northern L.A. County. Volunteers formed build teams to help with construction on the remaining 24 homes of a 78-home community for low-income veterans and their families in Santa Clarita. The event was chaired by John Musella, chairman of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce.

This build is to help complete the third phase of a CalVet REN (Residential Enriched Neighborhood), following the Homes 4 Families (H4F) Enriched Neighborhood model. In attendance was Vito Imbasciani, secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). There are 54 veteran families who have already moved into their homes. Enriched Neighborhoods previously built by the organizations include 63 homes in Pacoima and 12 in Sylmar. They will soon break ground on an additional 56 homes for vets in Palmdale.

The model, in addition to providing homes, offers an outcome-based program of wrap-around services and education that enables under-served families to build equity, self-sufficiency skills, and advocacy capacity to move themselves up in socio-economic status. For veterans and their military families, these wrap-around services are enhanced with much-needed trauma-informed programs and services to address PTSD, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury and other issues.

The mission of Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys is to build affordable homes for low-income civilian and veteran families, and provide services that empower them to build brighter futures as homeowners. They are a locally run, independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization service in North Los Angeles city and county, building houses and futures for low-income families. This Habitat affiliate specializes in building Enriched Neighborhood communities which hold the promise to move low-income families up into the middle class, and they have built 320 homes to date. Learn more at www.HumanityCA.org.

Homes For Families is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving low-income families through the development and replication of the Enriched Neighborhood model. This model offers a powerful outcome-based program of wraparound services and education that empowers underserved families to build equity, self-sufficiency skills and advocacy capacity to move themselves up in socio-economic status. For more information, go to www.Homes4Families.org.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | May 20, 2017

Victoria Kirshner

A senior at Santa Clarita Christian High School, Victoria Kirshner has left a legacy in swimming. Last week at the CIF SS Finals in Riverside she won two CIF titles — one in the 50 free (24.18 seconds) and the other in the 100 free (52.86 seconds). Throughout her four years swimming for Santa Clarita Christian she has won a total of six CIF titles. Initially committing to swim this fall for the University of California, San Diego, Victoria changed her mind and will be attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York following graduation. She is anxious to attend the Academy and serve her country.

“Victoria is a remarkable athlete and person,” said Elizabeth Kirshner, Santa Clarita Christian swim coach. “She is one of the hardest workers I know and I couldn’t be happier for her and SCCS. I trust that her success in and out of the pool will inspire future swimmers at SCCS to reach their goals.”

Jaeyeol Kim

College of the Canyons sophomore Jaeyeol Kim recorded a 36-hole score of 151 (70/81) to help the Cougars claim the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande on Monday. Kim’s opening round score of 70 was tops on the day, while his combined 36-hole score of 151 ranked sixth in the field of 60 individuals. As a result, Kim was named to the CCCAA All-State team. COC claimed its most recent state championship — the program’s eighth overall — with a 24-stroke cushion over second place Cypress College (785).

Non-Profit of the Week: Paint Care

| SC Living | May 18, 2017

Back in October 2012, a group of paint manufacturers created a structured method for recycling leftover paint. They established a non-profit organization called PaintCare, making it convenient for individuals to drop off cans they no longer need.

There are 801 drop-off sites in California, thanks to PaintCare, mostly at retail stores—usually home improvement, hardware and paint stores. Members of the public can take unwanted, leftover paint for recycling, as these shop owners are willing to accept them from any household or business in California.

Santa Clarita has one paint retailer, Vista Paint, located at 21010 Golden Triangle Rd., which joined the program in its first year – 2012 – and it’s one of the 801 drop-off sites statewide.

Next weekend, the public has an additional opportunity to turn in their old paint cans at a one-time drop-off event held in Santa Clarita next Saturday, May 20, 2017 (see sidebar).

A number of PaintCare drop-off sites are household hazardous waste programs — either facilities or “round-up events.” These programs are run by a local county or city government agencies, often in partnership with the local garbage and recycling company or transfer station. In addition to accepting paint, these programs usually accept other non-paint hazardous wastes (e.g., pesticides, solvents). Most of these government programs limit participation to households in certain cities or towns. Some of these government programs also allow businesses to make appointments during special hours. Businesses are usually charged fees for non-paint hazardous waste, and sometimes they are charged an administrative fee to schedule an appointment, but they are not charged for paint, on a per gallon basis, if the agency is a PaintCare partner.

A few restrictions apply: there are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit. Certain businesses — those that produce more than 220 pounds (about 20-30 gallons) of hazardous waste per month — can only drop off latex paint (they may not drop off oil-based paint).

Products Accepted
PaintCare sites accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish), but they cannot accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products they accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” or “architectural paint,” and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. Paint must be in its original container and the container must have an original printed label and a secured lid. They cannot accept open or leaking cans.

Free of Charge
There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site. PaintCare is funded by the “PaintCare Fee” which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in the state. These fees are paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers, then passed down to retailers and to their customers. When you buy paint, you may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container. The fee is not a deposit — you don’t get it back when you drop off paint — a common misunderstanding. These fees are used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. Fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage old “legacy” paint — the paint that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started. PaintCare sites accept old paint, even if it is 30 years old!

Paint events like the Santa Clarita drop-off (sidebar) are an ongoing part of the PaintCare program, which is set up year round. This event will accept larger amounts of paint and is a good opportunity for those who have accumulated paint over many years. Residents and businesses from any place in California can bring paint (not just those from Santa Clarita).

If you plan to take your paint to one of PaintCare’s year-round drop-off locations, call the location before bringing your paint to check to see if they can accept the type and amount of paint you would like to recycle. Visit www.paintcare.org/california for locations and phone numbers.
There will be a one-time drop-off event at Via Princessa Metrolink Station, 19201 Via Princessa in Santa Clarita from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday May 20, 2017.

Open to all California households and businesses, you may drop off containers meeting the following criteria:
Only cans with original labels
House paint and primers (latex or oil-based)
Deck and concrete sealers
Clear finishes (e.g., varnishes and shellac)

For details on what products are accepted (and not accepted), visit https://www.paintcare.org/santaclarita/.

For more information, call call (855) 724-6809. Or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paint-drop-off-event-via-princessa-metrolink-station-santa-clarita-tickets-33154525077.

Non Profit of the Week – The Canyon Theatre Guild

| SC Living | May 12, 2017

The Canyon Theatre Guild has always done its best to make the world a better place by entertaining, educating, enlightening and enriching the community through quality live theatre. Forty-seven years ago, in early April of 1970, a notice appeared in the local Santa Clarita newspaper inviting interested members of the public to a community meeting to explore the possibility of forming a local theatre. In July of 1970, the Canyon Theatre Guild (CTG) mounted its first production at the William S. Hart High School Auditorium. There were 20 people in the audience that night and the auditorium seated approximately 1,000 — but the CTG spirit was born with that first show.

For years after that performance, the members of the CTG performed wherever they could find a space and an audience. Their first longtime home was at “Callahan’s Old West” up Sierra Highway. They kept producing successful shows, and from a total of 2,500 audience members for the four shows in its 1986-87 season, the theatre grew to an audience of over 13,000 for the nine shows of the 1999-2000 season. The work was accomplished 100 percent by volunteers from the theatre. And with the ingenuity of their technical volunteers and the tenacity of dedicated audience members who faithfully drove up Sierra Highway to support them, the theatre mounted productions the size of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Annie.”

By 1996, the Canyon Theatre Guild had the opposite challenge of that first show at Hart High. The Sierra Highway location was bursting at the seams. Members of the CTG again began to search for a new home which would meet their growing needs. In 1996, TimBen Boydston located a perfect, 6,000-square-foot property in downtown Newhall, and with the blessing of the board of directors, they started fundraising. The quest began to call 24242 Main Street the new home of the Canyon Theatre Guild.

Members of the Canyon Theatre Guild worked tirelessly to raise the funds. They hired Boydston as their full-time director of operations to facilitate fundraising efforts and coordinate the location purchase and renovation.

“It’s hard to believe that the very property that we wanted for our theatre was available three years later when we had finally secured enough money to make an offer,” Boydston said. The City of Santa Clarita Redevelopment Agency awarded one of its first grants to the CTG to assist in the purchase of the property, and in 2000 the Canyon Theatre Guild opened its new, state-of-the-art theatre with a seating capacity of 285 in Old Town Newhall.  This new and central location allowed them to better serve the citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley with their existing programs and the increased space allowed them to expand programming.

The Canyon Theatre Guild has now been serving the citizens of Santa Clarita Valley with quality live theatre for over 47 years. The Guild produces 10 full-scale productions each season and has been voted the “Best Live Theatre” in the Santa Clarita Valley every year of the Reader’s Poll. Over 30,000 people attend performances each season. Over 500 SCV citizen artists and volunteers consistently demonstrate their love of the theatre through their donations of time, talent, and hard work. The CTG also receives support from local government, businesses, and corporations and thousands of Santa Clarita citizens.

With all this success, The Canyon Theatre Guild now gives back to the community in multiple ways. They serve the youth of the community through the Youth Theatre Institute, offering 10 full production workshops throughout the year for kids of all ages. Tuition is low, fun factor is high – AND – all experiences are designed to teach much more than theatre! Best of all, 10 percent of all workshop participants are given full scholarships by the CTG, based on financial need as identified by the Boys and Girls Club. In addition, each year the CTG awards 2-3 $500 scholarships to graduating seniors from local high schools. The theatre donates hundreds of free theatre tickets to the Boys & Girls Club, churches and other non-profit organizations. They donate goods and services to over 90 community non-profit organizations and gallery space to the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association for the display of local artists’ work.

From day one, the Canyon Theatre Guild has truly been a community effort. Literally, thousands of volunteer hours go into the efforts of CTG in all areas, from design and construction to financing. The hundreds of shows that have been produced by the non-profit group have brought seasoned actors together with beginners in a spirit of fun and cooperation. For information on summer shows, summer youth theatre camps and volunteer opportunities, call the CTG Box Office at 661-799-2702 and become part of a vibrant, working theatre with a robust history and future.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | May 6, 2017

Alexa Skorus Neely 

Coach Darren Stieff considers senior Alexa Skorus Neely one of Canyon High School’s most talented female swimmers ever. Last week she posted a CIF consideration time of 7.16 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke, helping the Cowboys defeat Golden Valley 84-71.

Alexa is competing this week in her final high school meet for the Foothill League Finals. She swims in the 4 X 200 medley relay, the 4 X 200 freestyle relay, the 200 IM, and the 100 Backstroke, in which she currently holds an automatic CIF qualifying time of 1:05.69.Her high school swimming career will wrap up next week when she competes in the CIF Southern Section  State Championships in Riverside. She will enter University of California, Berkeley to continue swimming and begin her college studies in the fall.


Andrew Benser

A junior at West Ranch High School, Andrew Benser is a lead member of the boys’ volleyball team. Last week he recorded six aces, including three in a row in game one, as the Wildcats defeated Canyon High School 3-0. The win makes West Ranch 9-0 in the Foothill League, and gives them the league title outright.

“Andrew Benser brings a fire to the court every time he subs in to serve,” said Wildcats coach Nathan Sparks. “It hasn’t been the only one this year. He has gotten multiple aces in matches and tournaments. He is definitely an asset that West Ranch needs.”



Non-Profit of the Week: Gibbon Conservation Center

| SC Living | May 4, 2017

For more than 40 years, the Gibbon Conservation Center has been dedicated to promoting the existence and study of the rarest group of apes in the Western Hemisphere. Not only does the non-profit organization provide observation and non-invasive research opportunities for students and scientists, staff members do consulting work with zoos, museums, and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Originating from countries that include Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia, gibbons are endangered arboreal apes with entertaining antics making them “acrobats” and “songbirds.” They live in the dwindling rainforests of Southeast, South and East Asia, where they mark their territory by vocalizing (singing). Adult gibbons and their mates sing duets and their offspring join in. Swinging from branch to branch, which is known as brachiating, the rare mammals leap distances as high as 40 feet at speeds of up to 35 mph while 200 feet above the ground.

The apes eat fruit, young leaves, flowers, bird eggs, insects and birds. The Gibbon Conservation Center houses the following species: Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon, Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, Javan Gibbon, Pileated Gibbon and Siamang, which is the largest.

The founder of the Gibbon Conservation Center is the late Alan Mootnick, who did not enter the field through academia. He was a self-taught primatologist who grew to earn the respect of leaders in the industry. He gained important insights into gibbon social behavior, species identification and captive management, at the same time publishing nearly 25 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

“Having your own primate center takes a great deal of dedication, and a person cannot just walk away from it,” Mootnick said. “It becomes your life.”

The Gibbon Conservation Center operates on the generosity of donors. The organization’s website invites the public to donate time, skills and talents, or money in the form of a tax deductible contribution. Members of the community can visit the center and groups can book tours year round.

The public is invited to visit at an upcoming fundraiser, Breakfast with the Gibbons, on Saturday, May 13 at 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The event will feature breakfast, a tour of the center, face painting, kids’ activities and a silent auction. Tickets are $25 and $15 for kids and seniors. Children under age 5 are free, and families of five cost $60.

The Gibbon Conservation Center is located at  19100 Esguerra Road in Santa Clarita. For more information, email Info@gibboncenter.org or visit www.GibbonCenter.org.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | April 28, 2017

Will Chambers

This junior at West Ranch High School and first baseman on the baseball team hit the walk off sacrifice fly in the Wildcats’ 5-4 win over Hart last week. The walk off hit came after Hart rallied to tie the match. With the victory, West Ranch’s Foothill League record goes to 8-1 and keeps them in first place.

“Will Chambers is mature beyond his years,” said West Ranch baseball coach, Casey Burrill. “He is a big time player who wants to be at the plate when the game is on the line. His enthusiasm for the game and desire to be the best he can be is contagious. A true team leader.”


Natalie Ramirez

A shot put and discus thrower for West Ranch High School’s track and field team, Natalie Ramirez set a personal record in shot put last week with a throw of 44 feet and 1.5 inches, taking first in the event. She also placed first in discus, as the Wildcats girls’ track and field team earned their first Foothill League title.

“Natalie is an outstanding sophomore athlete who has continued to improve throughout the season, making her one of the best throwers in the state,” said Sara Soltani, track and field coach at West Ranch. “She is undefeated in League in discus and in contention to win League in both shot put and discus this season.”

West Ranch’s Natalie Alvarez throws the shot put during a dual meet at Saugus on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal


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