I Heart SCV
February, 2010 - Issue #64
Santa Clarita rarely tops the list of romantic getaways. Castaic Lake's waters are not quite as warm and crystal clear as those of the Bahamas, the Six Flags Sky Tower makes a poor substitute for Paris's Eiffel, and the Travelodge on Sierra Highway lacks some of the charm of a New Hampshire B&B. So when it comes to February 14 trips booked on those travel websites, you can be sure that Santa Clarita will be entered in the "Departing From" box, not the "Destination."

Rather than a place where love grows, Santa Clarita is a place where love gets put to the test. Young couples move here to start a family and put down roots. But the lovebirds are soon faced with the reality of kids, commutes and years of getting to learn about the annoying habits of their spouse. Dates give way to dance recitals, and one-on-one-time all but disappears until the kids go to college (hopefully). Against considerable odds, many couples do manage to make it. The keys are endurance and commitment. Possessing these qualities is advice worth heeding this month - and not just in matters of love.

A Swap for Sand
Congressman Buck McKeon showed his constituents the meaning of persistence when he introduced HR 4332, yet another bill aimed at resolving the mining conflict in Soledad Canyon. CEMEX USA holds the rights to mine sand and gravel in the canyon, but doing so would mean environmental damage and more crowded roads for Claritans. After a lawsuit filed by the City years ago didn't succeed, McKeon took up the cause. So far, his bills have proven similarly unsuccessful. While McKeon's tenacity in the face of failure is admirable, at this point we'd prefer to see victory.

The current bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to negate the mining contracts in Soledad, and CEMEX would be compensated with the proceeds from the sale of BLM land near Victorville. According to KHTS, the congressman's office is hopeful that work over the holidays might mean the proposed actions are discussed as early as this February. If history is any indication, though, the bill won't go anywhere but the waste bin once the current session ends. Still, McKeon's persistence has probably saved the City a hefty amount of legal fees as CEMEX is on-board with the bill and not currently mining the site. Maybe this year, persistence will pay off.

Fresh Competition
In December 2009, Laurene Weste seized power at City Hall in a peaceful, bloodless coup. This means that Santa Clarita now has something in common with the Family Guy town of Quahog - a Mayor West (though ours has an "e" at the end and is not thought to have access to the Batmobile). Weste has served in the capacity of mayor before, and she has seen the nineties, the naughts, and now the teens from the dais. Despite these many years of service, her reelection campaign signals that she is ready for more, as are fellow CC veterans Bob Kellar and Marsha McLean.

This pattern of serving many, many terms is as common as it is inexplicable. What's less common is the age of one of the challengers this cycle, 19-year-old Harrison Katz. His Facebook election page has hundreds of members and he seems earnest in his quest to represent the interests of SCV's youth in office. Still, one wonders if Santa Clarita is ready to elect someone who would have to toast his political victory with club soda. Katz, like all of the candidates for City Council, has a couple more months of forced smiling, interviews and debates to endure before the big vote.

Substance over Style
Very few people look forward to Valentine's Day. All of them are female. This year, their expectations will be devastatingly high. Indeed, V-Day falls on a Sunday and President's Day is the Monday after, meaning that they may be hoping for lavish, extended getaways.

As noted earlier, there aren't a lot of particularly romantic spots to visit in Santa Clarita. But then, it's the staying in love and not the falling into it that ultimately matters. Planning a date in the SCV could send the message that you're in the relationship for the long haul, not for the flashy, fleeting extravagances. Why not visit your favorite, reliable restaurant in town and relive old memories? Or you could take a lesson from Corny Date Planning 101 and return to the site of your first date, first kiss, or first awkward conversation while still in the getting-to-know-you phase of the relationship. And perhaps while visiting these places, the two of you will remember not only why you heart each other but why you heart SCV. With the mostly unromantic, uninspiring backdrop this City provides, you can be sure that when you feel love, it's not just the atmosphere; it's real.

This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to
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