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Invisible Threats
April, 2020 - Issue #187
We're all a bit like a 16-year-old, blind and deaf, six-and-a-half pound poodle named Porschia. This winter, helpless little Porschia was attacked by a hawk in her Pennsylvania yard. Her owner searched frantically after the bird swooped in and carried the pup off, but to no avail. Miraculously, Porschia was later found alive, dropped some four blocks away. She was reunited with her overjoyed owner after surviving an attacker she neither saw nor heard coming. The moral of the story? We're oblivious to so many threats around us, often just getting by thanks to sheer luck and cosmic grace.

"They went from providing the news to being the news in the SCV's most 'what are the odds!?' STORY OF THE YEAR."
Hometown Coronavirus
When Carl Goldman and Jeri Seratti-Goldman embarked on a Diamond Princess cruise in Southeast Asia, they had no idea that a microscopic bundle of protein and RNA would turn their lives and much of the world upside down. But it just so happened that theirs was the ship on which over 600 people became infected with coronavirus. If you don't recognize the names, Carl and Jeri are the owners of KHTS Radio right here in Santa Clarita. They went from providing the news to being the news in the SCV's most "what are the odds!?" story of the year.

Throughout their posts at hometownstation.com, the couple has maintained admirable patience and good humor despite enduring an amazing ordeal. There was an on-ship quarantine in Japan, day after day stuck in small rooms, and a return trip to the US. That's when Carl Goldman became one of the first Americans to contract the virus. As of this writing, he is recovering in Nebraska. He was feeling well enough to joke about how he wouldn't have gotten a plastic straw for his Gatorade had he been quarantined in California. We Claritans hope for his recovery and return to the SCV very soon.

Political Hacks
On-going talk of Russian meddling with US elections provided fertile ground for a story of more home-grown political meddling to take root. In February, Arthur Dam was arrested on suspicion of orchestrating cyber-attacks that targeted the campaign of Bryan Caforio during the 2018 primary election for the 25th Congressional District. If you'll recall, Katie Hill beat Caforio in the primary and went on to defeat incumbent Steve Knight later that year. Dam's multiple alleged attacks consisted of engineering web traffic to overwhelm Caforio's website, rendering it inaccessible for a combined total of over 20 hours. Did Katie Hill know? There's zero evidence that she did, and she released a statement saying, "I have no information of knowledge of the conduct alleged." Still, Dam was close to the campaign. Arthur Dam was paid for services including, ironically, "website security consultation" and Dam's wife worked with and for Hill. The cyber-attack story was picked up by USA Today, Politico, Buzzfeed and many other outlets, which certainly isn't helping Katie Hill escape the shadow cast by her resignation. The shady deeds of campaign associates are one of the nasty invisible threats of politics and there may be no way around it.

Pass on Fast
Santa Clarita's City Council has been busy at work protecting Claritans from the invisible threat posed by...waiting in line for fast food. The very visible threat of high calories, sugar and salt isn't the problem. Rather, staff members at City Hall explained that queues of cars have become unacceptably long and that they don't want them to create a "public safety issue." The solution was a temporary ban on new restaurant drive-thrus that just got extended to 2021. Apparently, Claritans are so starved for french fries and so incapable of driving courteously to buy them that the government has seen fit to step in and take action.

Heaping sorrow upon shame, we learned that, in the midst of the ban, a popular chicken-sandwich restaurant withdrew an application to build a second restaurant along Bouquet Canyon Road. For nugget lovers, these are dark days indeed. The one glimmer of hope is that restaurants can get around the ban if they conduct a queueing analysis to prove that their drive-thru won't create problems. Out home is full of threats both visible and invisible, but if we heart the SCV as much as we heart drive-thrus, living here is worth the risk.
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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