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Simple Goals
November, 2019 - Issue #182
"To meet the six-county target of 1.3 million homes, SANTA CLARITA'S SHARE is reckoned to be between roughly 10,000 and 20,000 new homes."
Thanksgiving is approaching and every bit of advice insists that we keep it simple. Simple table settings. Simply buying a pie instead of baking one. The simplest way to cook a turkey. Frankly, it's all nonsense. Thanksgiving is a time for many things, but simplicity is not one of them. One's love of family is directly proportional to the number of side dishes offered, and travel/sleeping arrangements should be sufficiently inefficient and complicated to show that you really care. We should realize that simple goals for this fall, like having a nice Thanksgiving, often aren't simple in execution - the details matter.

Simply Healthy
If you want to make a group of parents uncomfortable, you need only say, "vaccinations." Even though state law now requires vaccinations for children enrolled in public school, controversy remains - and more than one moms-group-chat has imploded over the topic. But vax-talk is unavoidable this fall. First, there's flu. After Australia's particularly nasty flu season, which directly precedes ours, there has been a push to get people vaccinated early. Getting the details right is the tricky part. Scientists must anticipate the right strains of the virus to target and it's not until flu season hits that we'll know if they got it right.
Whooping cough has also been forcing the conversation. At time of print, at least 40 cases were documented in the SCV this fall, prompting the LA County Department of Public Health and school officials to take action. Most everyone gets vaccinations to protect against it as babies, but there are caveats. Immunity wanes with age, and even people who have been vaccinated can come down with whooping cough. Staying healthy is the goal - but matters of human health and biology are rarely straightforward.

Simply Home
The California Department of Housing and Community Development has a simple goal for Southern California: more housing. Between Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties, the department is requiring planning for 1.3 million new homes over the next 10 years. The goal can be stated simply, but execution is beastly. That housing target equates to about one new home every five minutes until 2029. Even SoCal's vast army of realtors might be stretched thin with that kind of inventory.

To meet the six-county target of 1.3 million homes, Santa Clarita's share is reckoned to be between roughly 10,000 and 20,000 new homes. About half would need to be planned for low or very-low income levels. On a not unrelated note, the city has reached a point where it has hired a homeless coordinator, Gabriela Martinez, to address growing homelessness challenges. Regardless of the grand plans for housing that are laid out on paper, the units don't actually have to be built by law, just accommodated in planning. So no one really knows what the next 10 years will look like, but a big housing boom is the goal for many.

Simply Finish
Running a marathon sounds like a simple goal. You only need three words to say it, and you only need a 26.2 mile path to do it. But if you try to run one without months of preparation, you're going to fail or hurt - probably both. To help kids learn to tackle such a big goal, this November's Santa Clarita Marathon festivities include a "Final Mile Challenge." The idea is for local students to do short runs, adding up to 25 miles over the course of weeks. Then, they tackle one final mile in a big group run.

As for the main-event marathon, this year will be the "Heroes Edition." Racers and spectators are encouraged to dress according to the theme. Since scenic offerings along the race route include parking lots and riverbed homeless camps, the superhero costumes should provide a welcome distraction. This will be my second time running the marathon, and I have little goals like improving my time and not annoying my family by talking about it so insufferably much. But the big goal is to enjoy running through the SCV alongside hundreds of others who heart it - and that should be simple.
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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