I Heart SCV
Too Late
June, 2017 - Issue #153
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.
"One hopes the survivors will realize how close they came to it being TOO LATE for themselves."

Overdoses Abound
We know that Santa Clarita has a drug problem, and efforts have been made to help those who struggle to overcome addiction on their own. The city, law enforcement and non-profits are all involved. Unfortunately, intervention came too late for too many. In late April, the use of some especially-dangerous heroin caused two deaths and nearly a dozen hospitalizations in just 24 hours. It started when one young man was found dead in the bathroom at Bouquet Canyon Park. Drug paraphernalia found with him told the story. Another man overdosed in a retail store - authorities arrived just in time to administer medical aid that saved his life. Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital saw many overdose patients, one of whom died while doctors were attempting to treat him.
Based on how widely spread the cases were and how quickly they all came into the hospital, it's clear that a lot of heroin is on the move all the time in the SCV. It was a sudden, sweeping reminder of how many people are in danger of drug-related deaths. One hopes the survivors will realize how close they came to it being too late for themselves.

Dump Approved
You know the Chiquita Canyon Landfill proposal that no one really cared about for the past few months (Or years.)? The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved it. Currently, Chiquita could be said to operate on the outskirts of Santa Clarita and really only affects the small town of Val Verde, but if/when Newhall Ranch gets built, the dump will be very much integrated within the community at large. With the recent approval of its operational extension, it will be able to accept 12,000 tons of waste daily and it will run for 30 more years. That works out to about 100 pounds of trash every single day for every man, woman, and child in the SCV for decade after decade to come.

Efforts to garner support probably didn't cost the landfill very much. They made some fairly-modest donations to local politicians, they've bought ads in the paper and they employed a fairly run-of-the-mill PR guy to sanitize their image and run the Twitter account called, rather cynically, "@ChiquitaFacts." Three community groups have promised to continue fighting the approval, but frankly, it's already too late. The dump isn't just staying, it's getting bigger.

Too Late for One, not All
On Earth Day, a columnist wrote in The Signal about the hole left by the giant heritage oak that once grew near the Bridgeport Marketplace. It was an unusually-touching piece. When the tree fell a couple years ago, its rings revealed that it had been around since the Civil War. It had endured much, but disease and winds took their toll and now it is no more. Holt's touching tribute included a picture of the fence that remains to this day.

When we lose our oaks, it really is too late to replace them, at least on the human scale. None of us have centuries to wait and watch them grow. But this year might be a good time to look out for that most quintessential of Claritan trees. According to oak tree researchers, warm, dry springs are often good for acorns because it lets the pollen travel far and set a good crop. Cooler, wetter springs like this one are more beneficial to sensitive young seedlings trying to get established. In the SCV, it's too late to change a lot of things, but you're just in time to look out for the seedlings that many future generations will heart.

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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