I Heart SCV
A Most Important Anniversary
December, 2012 - Issue #98
Thank goodness the 16th of December is a Sunday, because you'll need it to sleep off all the partying you've done on the 15th.
December 15, of course, is every Claritan's favorite holiday: the Anniversary of Cityhood. And this year, it's not just any anniversary but
our 25th! That's right, 25 years ago, Santa Clarita went from being that blob of houses between the freeways to an official city.
To celebrate, you should plan to drink a lot, eat way too much, pass out, and wake up wondering what happened. This course of
action works whether you want to celebrate the SCV or are utterly depressed about living here, but hopefully, it's the former.

2012, in Brief
The past year gives reason to mourn and celebrate. Santa Clarita caught the attention of the world at least twice. Most notoriously, it was for being the filming location of "Innocence of Muslims," the film that was initially blamed for setting off the US consulate attack and riots in Benghazi; the real story eventually emerged and took attention off the film. We made international news for far more inspiring reasons during the summer Olympics, where Santa Clarita athletes dazzled. Some, like silver-medal winning track star Lashinda Demus, were given a key to the city this past October.

Ken Pulskamp, one of just two city managers in Santa Clarita history, announced his retirement. TimBen Boydston managed to win more votes than incumbent Mayor Laurie Ender, and now he's in and she's out on city council. We became the third largest city in LA County. The Newhall Ranch development went into limbo over environmental issues (again). Newhall got a new library. We watched criminal trials and investigations involving the likes of Jerry Moon and Casey Crockeytt. Deaths from heroin and motorcycle accidents made the news with alarming regularity. And a survey revealed we really want an Applebee's. That was 2012.

25 Years, in Brief
If we take a longer perspective on history, a trend emerges from the mish-mash of yearly events and happenings. Recall that Santa Clarita became a city because of a lack of local control. Despite being quite a large community in the 1980s, Claritans were frustrated with being short-changed on parks, driving to LA to have our voices heard and our inability to decide local matters locally.

After this remarkable dissatisfaction earned us cityhood, however, we've been largely satisfied with the way things are. Just look at our attitude about nature and politics. Our very first law was an oak tree ordinance that forbade people from cutting down the stately trees. (It's quite comprehensive, even devoting a section to the intentional exploding of oaks). We tax ourselves to buy more open space and we rally to oppose Cemex mining. We also like to keep things the same politically. Clarita remains a conservative town, a new council member is a rarity, and we've had just two city managers in 25 years. History makes our civic character clear. We don't want to change any more than we have to.

The Future, in Brief
Imagine, if you will, a spectacular party on December 15. There is a countdown to 4:30 p.m., the official time at which Santa Clarita became a city 25 years ago. Cheers resound, fireworks crackle and champagne flows. Imagine further that all of Santa Clarita's power players have managed to clear their schedules for the celebration. In the afterglow of reaching the 25th Anniversary, what would they predict for the next 25 years?

I wager very few of them would have any idea whatsoever. It's probably a fool's errand, this business of thinking about what the future holds. Though we may not embrace change as a community, we certainly don't escape it. Now that the city is largely built out, who knows what comes next? There were no cell phones or news blogs or smart buildings when we became a city, and technology may change just as radically in the coming decades. It's fair to wonder whether someone who hearts the SCV of 1987, 2012, or 2037 is even talking about the same SCV. But I'm optimistic. With a little luck and our culture of staying the course, we might hold onto the place we heart today. We just might.

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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