You've probably noticed the number "30" creeping into all the mail, posters and postings put out by the City of Santa Clarita. Now, the drumbeat of thirty-fication is reaching a crescendo. It's not to advertise that we're in the TMZ (thirty-mile zone), nor is it our ranking among LA's best cities, nor is it a memorial of the infamous Saugus Skirmish three decades ago. Rather, it's there to mark the fact that on December 15, 2017, the City of Santa Clarita will turn 30 years old. We've come a long way, Claritans, and it's worth pondering whether we are indeed acting our age.
Family members visiting for Thanksgiving usually have a to-do list, especially if it's their first time. Magic Mountain is open the whole week, so that's one easy stop, but all the rest require you to spend the holiday on a southbound freeway: Disneyland, trendy restaurants, the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, big museums, Rodeo Drive, the Santa Monica Pier. No matter the destination, sitting in a car will be the main activity, which is actually about right for an authentic Southern California experience. But after all the running around, it's nice to have this dull, quiet place to return to. Santa Clarita is home to many - and people are looking to make it welcome even more.
It feels like Santa Clarita has a lot of murder trials because (1) We do, and (2) All of them drag out unresolved for years. Los Angeles courts are busy and attorneys are often in no particular hurry to get to trial, so we wait. But as summer gives way to fall, a few murder cases are finally moving forward, and some may even be wrapping up. Before you catch these cases on "Dateline"or binge-watching the Investigation Discovery channel, pay attention to the news as it's breaking.
Outdoor grilling season should mean burgers on the barbecue, not Fido in your Fiat. Yes, it's that time of year. Sheriff's deputies have already responded to multiple calls about dogs being left inside parked cars in the heat. They've even gone so far as to break windows of at least two cars in order to rescue the panting pooches inside. Excessive heat makes vehicles dangerous to man and man's best friend alike, but that's just the beginning. The destructive capacity of our beloved cars has been on full display all summer long.
Imagine living in Parma, Italy. You might know about the esteemed university, the art history, about the good and bad parts of the various towns, about some local folklore and colorful characters. But any time you told people where you were from, they'd immediately think of parmesan. Unavoidably, your identity would be tied to a pungent cheese. Magic Mountain is Santa Clarita's parmesan. It remains the defining element of our identity though we are far more than just some houses around an amusement park. To locals, at least, we're known for more - both good and bad.
The concept of "too late" is uniquely depressing. It's watching a movie where you know the ending, don't like the ending and can't pause or rewind to soften the blow. You can't even look away; it's coming, whatever it is. News is usually of the "too late" variety, but some of the happenings in the SCV have felt especially so lately. A few narratives that kept stretching on endlessly have come to abrupt ends in one way or another.
No one goes to Sacramento on purpose except for politicians - and our local radio station. This spring, KHTS AM 1220 ("Your Hometown Station") made its annual bus trip to California's capital city. Claritans go in hopes of influencing state politicians and power players. In other words, influential Santa Claritians mush into a confined vehicle, drive one of California's most desolate highways and disembark in a city that's like LA - the parts of LA without culture, celebrities or hope. But importantly, the visit to Sacramento reminds far-away politicians not to forget about Santa Clarita.
After all of the torrential rainfall, mudslides in burned areas and flooded roads this winter, the arrival of spring in Santa Clarita is very welcome indeed. We might even have a week to get outside before it's 100 degrees and the hills are crawling with rattlesnakes. Unfortunately, the springtime sunshine can't quite shed light on all parts of the SCV. Several dark and perplexing events shaded in mystery still linger on past winter's end.
Maybe it's our proximity to Hollywood. Maybe it's the "Real Housewives" idea that suburbs breed drama. Or maybe we just have a lot of attention seekers. Whatever the reason, Claritans want places to perform and to watch others shine on stage. We're in luck because more venues for performances of all types are on the horizon.
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, you might be thinking about the love of your life. If things are going well, is it worth buying a really nice present, maybe even an engagement ring? And if things aren't going so well, is it worth sticking it out - at least until you've gotten your Valentine's gift? With all of these questions, it can be easy to forget that we have all recently started another important new relationship in our lives. It's the one between us and our recently-elected representatives. They're still new on the job, but first impressions are forming fast.
One of the very few things that I'm truly good at is sitting under a pile of blankets and not moving for long periods of time. Sadly, human hibernation doesn't seem to be a viable way to spend the winter, so this innate talent goes unused and unappreciated. How to spend a chilly SCV winter, then? Storytelling is always welcome. There are plenty of new stories in the making and old, forgotten bits of history to be rediscovered and cherished. But for this month, let's look beyond the stories and consider the storytellers themselves - the people turning the chaos that is Clarita into meaningful tales.
According to the experts, Santa Claus maintains a naughty list and a nice list. For Santa Clarita, however, I think a WTH list would be far more useful. ("WTH," of course, stands for "What The Heck?" We're Santa Clarita, not Glendale, after all.) Why a WTH list? Well, a number of Claritans have been acting in ways that are equal parts naughty and bizarre. Their behavior makes you shake your head and scratch it all at the same time. Everyone's on edge this time of year, but let the following serve as cautionary tales so that you don't end up making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Politics is going to come up at the Thanksgiving table this year. It's simply unavoidable. If your gathering is a small one, everyone might hold similar political views. But if you're having a lot of people over, disagreement is a foregone conclusion. Counterintuitively, I advise seating political enemies right next to each other for dinner to keep their arguments contained. If you put them at opposite ends of the table, they're still going to disagree, but they're going to have to scream across the whole table to let the other person know. Thanksgiving dinner politics can't come soon enough for me, but first we've got the election that will set the stage.
People in Santa Clarita are used to having backup options - to going with Plan B. Santa Clarita might itself be the backup plan because, as lovely as it is, Malibu is generally regarded as lovelier. But I'd like to talk about a few people who don't follow this norm. These are the people who have made the news for trying to make their Plan A work at all costs, because sometimes, it's the only plan there is.
During the Sand Fire, thousands of Claritans were forced to evacuate their homes. Those who didn't crash with family or at an evacuation center were in for quite a surprise when they looked for a hotel on Orbitz. Several people discovered that the travel website was charging outrageous amounts for even one- and two-star hotel rooms, presumably driven by demand from evacuees. La Quinta may have Wi-Fi and clean towels, but $500 for a room is pretty steep. As outraged screenshots were shared across the internet, the prices came down and agencies took notice. Still, it was a good reminder that there's always somebody or some company ready to push the boundaries. Santa Clarita may seem orderly and restrained, but the limits are always being tested here.
No one watches Game of Thrones to relax. You can't even mention the name without causing panic ("No spoilers! I'm only on season 5!"). Something bad and violent and unexpected always happens. The only thing that changes is exactly how bad, how violent, how unexpected: crossbow to the back, charred by dragons, or evisceration? In such a world, you watch with alert interest and surrender all hope. That's a mindset we could use a little more of in Santa Clarita. It's not as though we're on the brink of disaster - knock on wood - but we can be pretty bad judges of our own safety. A more discerning approach is often needed.
Santa Clarita is made for the Fourth of July. The traffic congestion slows you down just enough to appreciate the beautiful display of flags hung along the roads. The suffocating heat makes the pool that much better. And the fact that no one gets a good view of the fireworks show really makes you feel like part of one big, almost-happy family. It's pretty great. And while Independence Day is perhaps the pinnacle of patriotism, Santa Clarita's embrace of the patriotic extends well beyond the Fourth.
asiye he de da :D
merve ne diyorsa odur :D
fasulye burunlum :D
Even if you belong in Santa Clarita, and you know that you do, where exactly you belong is another question entirely. We like Santa Clarita in the abstract, but what about the day-to-day realities of geography? Does the Target in Valencia or the one in Canyon Country feel more like home? Do you feel like cursing at traffic on Soledad or McBean? Will personalities on Stevenson Ranch or Northbridge HOAs be easier to endure? Finding one's niche is no easy matter.
The loveliness of April has been forever sullied by what happens on April 15. This year is especially bad. For in addition to the non-stop H&R Block commercials, TurboTax pop-ups and insipid news stories about last-minute filers waiting in line at the post office, it's election season. Everyone is giving their tax plans and telling us what they'll do with our tax dollars. I am powerless to resist the sheer inertia of it all, so let's explore the local angle on taxes. If you're the sort who gets riled up about this kind of thing, grab a drink and put on some soothing music before proceeding further.
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