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For years Santa Clarita teenagers have fallen victim to a deadly trend - reckless driving. All too often this community is struck with the news that yet another accident has taken the lives of local youths. Some say we learn from our mistakes, but if so, why do these accidents keep happening?
"I don't want you to go back, but I know you have to," Pam Sweeny says quietly to her son Erik. He's been home from Iraq for additional training, and spent part of his leave time helping Santa Clarita's Blue Star Mothers make care packages for his comrades. Louder, Pam announces that her son turned 21 overseas, but that they celebrated when he returned home. Privately, she admits that having a son on active military duty can be paralyzing. "I would eat ice cream and barbequed potato chips while lying on the couch, watching the news, 24-7. I couldn't function. My friends didn't understand. The group has given me an outlet to do something."
So much has happened in the Santa Clarita Valley over the last few years, and 2004 has been no exception. We've seen the good, the bad, and the beautiful - with emphasis on the beautiful - and the valley continues to flourish.
I pace the floor, checking the clock every few minutes. "Why doesn't he have his cell phone on?" I wonder. Running the risk of annoying parents of my son's friends, I place late night calls searching for him. I even consider checking nearby trauma centers and sheriff's stations.
Driving through what felt like miles of mountainous terrain to reach the secluded Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch (thank goodness for my SUV) and later dodging clouds of dust and rocks being pummeled at me during a scene with an accelerating Bronco, made me doubt if my first time on a movie set would be as enjoyable as I had hoped.
Still looking for holiday decorating ideas? Wondering where you'll get that precious nutcracker or angel for your holiday mantel? Resist the temptation to go out and buy the latest Better Homes and Gardens or Architectural Digest. Stay away from the crowded malls. Santa Clarita residents, you are hereby invited to the 24th Annual Holiday Home Tour and Boutique, taking place on Saturday, December 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Do you live in the City of Santa Clarita, or are you really a resident of Los Angeles County that lives in the Santa Clarita Valley? If you fall into the later category, your answer may change in the near future. Approximately 25 areas, including neighborhoods, have been annexed into the City of Santa Clarita since its incorporation 17 years ago. Currently, the following areas are at some point in the process of annexation: The Stonecrest Community, California Canyons, Lyons Ranch, North Park and the Valencia Commerce Center.
When you think "art-oriented community," what comes to mind? Probably Los Angeles, with its many theaters, museums and concert venues. Santa Barbara's outdoor art exhibits may pass through your cranium, and you might even rank Pasadena up there, too, for the town's popular playhouse. Did Santa Clarita even make your list?
About six months ago, a local real estate agent knocked on my door to give me some news: "I know of three couples that want to buy your house," she said. "There will be a bidding war, which will only work to your advantage because it will drive your sale price up even higher. We'll have all the paperwork done and the money in your hands in a couple of weeks. How does that sound?" Well, it sounded great, except for one minor problem - I had no intention of selling my home and this agent was only one out of the many who regularly visited my Valencia neighborhood with promises of fast sales and huge profits.
Currently, the position of mayor of the City of Santa Clarita is rotated among the five elected sitting city council members on an annual basis. This has been the tradition since the city incorporated in 1987, though there have always been rumblings of having a mayor elected by the people rather than the other councilmembers. After recent decisions in council rotation seemingly broke away from precedent and left Council Member Marsha McLean without a better title or recourse, local politicians and voters alike have discussed the pros and cons of having a Mayor of Santa Clarita elected by the voters.
Attention holiday humbuggers: You are about to be filled with festive cheer. Resistance is futile, so grab a peppermint mocha, throw on a candy-cane-colored scarf, forget your "Why are there Christmas decorations out in October?" mantra, and head over to Festival of Trees.
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