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Explanation Requested
June, 2019 - Issue #177
Santa Clarita's elementary school teachers may be the only force keeping the sticker industry alive. The coming summer months exist mostly for them to re-stock their supply of happy faces and gold stars. There's a particular sticker I've seen only used for math tests, but it's one that should be plastered everywhere. It says "Show your work!" Don't just give an answer, but explain the steps that got you there. If only we could slap that sticker on current events that left us scratching our head in want of some explanation.

"I don't need to spell out what happened for you. But if I were to, I'd probably need the letters U, F AND O."
Political Debate
Representative Katie Hill recently held a town hall for Claritans. It was a chance for her and a couple of guests to touch on topics like health care, gun violence and other legislative priorities. Several loudmouths in the audience tried to dominate the event. It can help to have an experienced and authoritative moderator direct question and answer, but Hill decided to have a 15 year-old-student fill that role instead. By all accounts, the teenage moderator was intelligent, articulate and passionate about politics. Still, it's hard to command a room when you are years from voting age.

Why the decision? Cassidy Bensko, the moderator, led a local March for Our Lives event. That tied in with Hill's plan to discuss gun control, so there was at least some justification. More importantly, between the student moderator, misbehaving audience and special guests, there wasn't all that much focus on Representative Hill herself. Hill's is a very middle-of-the-road district, so maybe a town hall with more attention on antics than politics wasn't so bad for her. Not that a politician would ever act politically. Whether the moderator of Hill's next event is old enough to drive remains to be seen.

The Plane that didn't Crash
In the early afternoon of April 19, the LA County Fire Department received reports that a small plane had crashed about 10 miles from the Agua Dulce Airport, just east of Santa Clarita proper. The reports were sufficient for LA County Fire to deploy helicopters and ground crews for a thorough search of the rugged terrain. The event was even hashtagged #MoodyIC - "Moody Incident" - on Twitter for the Moody Canyon Truck Trail in the supposed crash vicinity.

No plane was found. Officials mentioned a prescribed burn in the area. Perhaps witnesses had mistaken the fire for a plane crashing en route to Agua Dulce. It's only too human to err, and no one reported a missing friend or family member. There was one curious tweet, though, from the official-unofficial LA County Fire Incidents Alert (@lacfd): "Per LAX Tower they have multiple reports of some type of aircraft down." In sum, that's multiple reports of a downed craft, a very conveniently timed fire, a remote location, and a quick resolution of "nothing to see here, folks." I don't need to spell out what happened for you. But if I were to, I'd probably need the letters U, F and O.

Bloodthirsty No More
Netflix cancelled "The Santa Clarita Diet" after its third season. The dark comedy took place in our city, had a cast including the delightful Drew Barrymore and was the only place in the entertainment landscape to hear banter about McBean and Magic Mountain. The cancellation was keenly felt; Netflix has some explaining to do. That's unfortunate because Netflix is very much in the business of not explaining. It's rare for them to release data on viewership. In such a vacuum, we have to rely on critics and social media. That's what makes the cancellation so puzzling. According to rottentomatoes.com, 14 out of 14 critics wrote positive reviews about Season 3. CNN even ran the headline, "Fans in a Twitter uproar after Netflix cancels 'Santa Clarita Diet.'"

What gives? According to The A.V. Club's William Hughes, it may just be because Netflix is trying a three-season strategy with this and other shows. The only problem was that Season 3 didn't neatly tie everything up, leaving fans wanting more. In his eulogy, Hughes wrote, "At least it went out as it lived: violent, goofy and absolutely weird as hell." The zombie show that hearted SCV is gone, but the hometown that was its muse remains.
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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