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Fun Times
February, 2020 - Issue #185
Measured precisely, a year is not 365 days long. Rather, it takes 365 and a quarter days to complete one orbit around the sun. That's why every four years, including 2020, we have a February 29. We are given the day's worth of time that we've been banking. Should we use Leap Day to accomplish all of the things we said we'd get done but never did? That seems logical, but it's hard to write a novel and learn conversational Italian in a single day. Maybe it's better to devote those 24 hours to more recreational pursuits. Many Claritans have already gotten a head-start in finding fun.

"The glistening white peaks have BEEN BEAUTIFUL, no doubt, but also a headache for travelers."
Fun in the Snow
For weeks this winter, it looked like the mountains surrounding Santa Clarita had been swapped for the Sierras. Multiple storms brought more snow than we've seen in a long time. The glistening white peaks have been beautiful, no doubt, but also a headache for travelers. Over the holidays, many SCV-bound vehicles couldn't make it through the Grapevine due to road closures. Even getting to the Antelope Valley proved a challenge as snow levels dropped and icy roads contributed to accidents and slowing traffic.

Over Christmas and New Year's, I made the slogs through both the Grapevine and Lancaster and I realized that a lot of people had a different perspective. I had been too busy hating driving to remember a key piece of seasonal wisdom: Snow is fun! Endless masses of minivans and SUVs thronged wherever the snow was sticking to the ground. Claritans could, in as little as a half-hour's drive, bring their kids to a hillside for sledding and snowman building. Many did. Sure, the parking is often illegal, your kid could sled right onto the freeway and there were signs saying, cheerlessly, "No Snowplay," but when it snows in SoCal, grab the fun while you can.

Fun 'til the Cops Show Up
It's possible to have so much fun that the authorities show up. Two recent cases come to mind. First, deputies were alerted to a woman who seemed to have passed out in her vehicle in the middle of the night. People noticed because she took her impromptu car nap in the middle of a fast food drive-thru line. Reports withheld the restaurant name, but it was near Costco off Sierra Highway. Deputies arrived and tapped on her window for five minutes until she fully woke. At that point, they noticed clear signs of alcohol and marijuana consumption. Those substances are fun at home, but definitely not on the road. She was arrested. There was no word on whether the partier received her fast-food order first.

In another case, a young man surprised his parents by coming home for Christmas. Fun, right? They weren't around when he arrived and entered their Saugus home. A Ring doorbell captured video of him and his parents thought it showed a hoodie-wearing burglar entering the property. Six Sheriff's vehicles and multiple gun-wielding deputies responded. After explaining the misunderstanding, tensions eased considerably. Sometimes, high-tech home-security ruins fun holiday surprises.

Fun for All
Canyon Country always seems to miss out on the fun, as dramatized by a recent purchase. While at Walmart, I saw the SantaClaritaOpoly boardgame. I bought it without a moment's hesitation. Why? Well, in lieu of properties like Park Place and Boardwalk are SCV locales like Castaic Lake and "Downtown Santa Clarita" (Is that even a thing?). A solid half of the spaces are Newhall or Newhall-adjacent with little Canyon Country representation. Is it fair to have Newhall Avenue but not Soledad, and is the Newhall Aquarium really on the shortlist of must-see SCV?

Luckily, some efforts to help Canyon Country Claritans join in on the fun will be realized this year. Canyon Country Park has been upgraded with an "inclusive play area." It's a special playground that lets children with and without disabilities share one space. For example, there are four different kinds of swings to help every kid have a chance to play. Progress on the Canyon Country Community Center is also being made. Construction of over $20 million worth of recreational and community facilities will be underway soon. When city hall shows that it hearts all of SCV, that's fun for everyone.
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 iheartscv@insidescv.com.
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