I Heart SCV
Time Goes By
January, 2020 - Issue #184
Thinking about the passage of time as we enter the new year is about as corny and predictable as a Hallmark Christmas movie. Luckily, we Claritans are so sentimental this time of year that there's room in our hearts for all of the seasonal cliches. The calendar is on its last page, the days are short and cold and time is on our minds. How does that carol go? "For I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older..." Yes, sounds about right, though maybe not the leaner part (Even my jokes are corny and predictable this time of year.). Time keeps passing, so we might as well stop and take a look.
"If you're in need of suggestions, why not resolve to heart the SCV and your fellow Claritans even MORE? That's number one on my list."

Time for Politics
In "A Christmas Carol," there's a ghost of Christmas past, present and future. The roles are usually played by three different actors. In Santa Clarita, we have a councilmember of city past, present and future. This role is played by one person: Laurene Weste. Come January 1, she will be the one and only person to have been on the city council in the '90s, '00s, '10s and '20s. Most of her city hall companions have records that are nearly as remarkable: Bob Kellar, Marsha McLean and Cameron Smyth will all have been councilmembers in the '00s, '10s and '20s.

The 2020 city council election is still shaping up, but expect some new blood as Councilmember Bob Kellar has announced plans to bow out. Far more attention is being paid the March special election to fill the seat left vacant after Representative Katie Hill resigned, though. Assemblymember Christy Smith is vying for the seat as is Steve Knight, who formerly sat it. So too are some more colorful candidates, like George Papadopoulos, former campaign advisor to President Trump, and Cenk Uygur, the often controversial lawyer, commentator, etc. whose "Young Turks" program has won billions of YouTube views. Stay tuned.

The Darkest Time
For some Santa Clarita families, 2019 was the worst, most profoundly-tragic year they could have imagined. There is still a sense of disbelief surrounding the shooting that occurred at Saugus High School in November. Why there? Why then? Why at all? That otherwise normal morning, 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell and 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger were killed and three other students were wounded by a classmate with a gun. The shooter would later die from a self-inflicted gunshot, marking the third death.

All across Santa Clarita, parents and students felt an unsettling mix of empathy for the victims and fear for their own families and friends. Residents rallied and tried to offer their support as best they could. Charitable sites collected donations, services were held and schools brought in extra counselors and other support services. At a football game, West Ranch High School's players placed "Saugus Strong" stickers on their helmets and Saugus blue was worn by students throughout the bleachers. It's fair to say that there is no way to know what the future holds, except I do know that the people of Santa Clarita will always support those grieving and remember those lost.

This Time, a Decade Ago
Surprise - 2020 is both new year and new decade. Much has changed. Ten years ago, most people still didn't own a smartphone. And if you did, you weren't using it to set up a date on Tinder, nor telling your friends how it was going on Snapchat, nor hailing an Uber to Doc's Inn (Cheers!) to make your stealthy escape. None of that was an option then. Foreclosures were common, the BP oil spill hadn't happened, and Donald Trump was hosting "The Apprentice." The one anomaly is that Santa Clarita was tens of thousands of people fewer, yet traffic was just as bad.

It's tempting to think about what we could have done differently in 2010 that would have made things better for us here at the start of the 2020s. (I think there's a hindsight is 20/20 pun in there somewhere, but it escapes me.). That's not the way to think, though; we all have regrets enough. Instead, think about the New Year's resolutions to help out 2030 you and yours. If you're in need of suggestions, why not resolve to heart the SCV and your fellow Claritans even more? That's number one on my list.
This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions and catty comments intended for the author can be e-mailed to
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