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Accept our Imitation
May, 2013 - Issue #103
Santa Clarita is big enough that most SoCalers have heard of it. But I wonder what image, exactly, jumps into their mind at mention of the name (barring the obvious choice of Six Flags). Say Santa Monica and you picture the pier, say Westwood and you envision the drive down Wilshire Boulevard. What about Santa Clarita? There's a mall that looks like most other malls, homes that look like most other homes and schools that look like most other schools. As we continue to grow, it's hard to tell whether Santa Clarita is coming into its own or just looking more and more like everyplace else. I hope it's the former, because we're not very good at trying to be something we're not.

"He swore to challenge the candidates that Boydston supports and promised to
SPEAK HIS MIND even when friends advise him to stay quiet. "
COC as Think Tank
At the official TED conference, people like billionaire thinker-entrepreneur Elon Musk speak alongside renowned musicians like Evelyn Glennie and brilliant scientists like E.O. Wilson. There are presentations that will literally change how you see the world.

And now COC's having a go at it. Our beloved community college will be hosting a TEDx conference - that is, an independently organized and licensed event in the spirit of TED. They're talking a big game: "Having developed a reputation across the state as an institution where innovation can thrive, this spring College of the Canyons will take those efforts one step further with TEDxCollegeoftheCanyons." Yesit'salloneword.

Will TED writ small be as compelling as the real thing?

Fake It 'til You Make It
Pretend it's any old Wednesday. If you were to find someone who had never been to Santa Clarita, blindfold them, drive them to the heart of Old Town Newhall, remove the blindfold, and ask them if they felt like they were in the middle of a bustling arts and cultural hotspot, two things would happen. First, they would answer "Not exactly," and second, they would have you arrested (I do my research on these things.). But if you were to do this not on a Wednesday but instead a Thursday, the answer might be different -though you would still get arrested. That's because Thursday is the night that Old Town Newhall transforms, whether for Art Slams on the first Thursdays of the month or for SENSES on the third Thursday.

Changing one of Santa Clarita's most historic corners into an arts destination hasn't happened organically, so these events are trying to help theaters, boutiques and restaurants reach a kind of critical mass to sustain an entertainment-based economy. But while the occasions may be contrived, you may discover genuine enjoyment of what Newhall's becoming.

El Tigre
Santa Clarita City Council Member Frank Ferry is unique. He developed a reputation for being blunt and loud to a fault, but it's been a different Ferry for the past couple of years. He has seemingly imitated the classic politician - calm and measured in what he says, appropriately restrained and gracious to his colleagues. No more.

At a recent meeting, Council Member TimBen Boydston made Ferry angry when he questioned whether Ferry's "Mayor Dude" campaign from four years ago had been a legal and appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. Ferry said there had been no wrong-doing. Then, calling himself "the Tiger," he promised to fight TimBen "the Sheep" Boydston, of whom he had had enough. Ferry questioned whether Boydston possessed "even minimal human decency" after the Mayor Dude smear, and he claimed, "I don't want [the SCV] going to hell as a result of you and your minions." He swore to challenge the candidates that Boydston supports and promised to speak his mind even when friends advise him to stay quiet. Frank's back and, like him or hate him, we all heart an SCV where people don't imitate someone they're not.
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 iheartscv@insidescv.com.
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