I Heart SCV
Singled Out
October, 2020 - Issue #193
The basic principles of Africa's Serengeti and of Halloween movies are the same: Stick together and don't get singled out. You don't want to be the one wildebeest the lions separate from the herd, nor do you want to be the one girl at the party that the serial killer targets. Being looked over can be a blessing. Still, there will always come a time when we seem hand-selected to suffer. Recent events have resonated with certain Santa Claritans on an uncomfortably-personal level. Who's being singled out?

"Mayor Cameron Smyth said that of 349 PUBLIC COMMENTS submitted regarding the proposed acquisition, 9 were opposed and 340 were in favor. It didn't take long for the City Council to vote 5-0 in favor of acquiring the property."
Head Count
This August, pet owners felt targeted by a gruesome discovery in Valencia. It was displayed prominently near a "Lost Dog" flyer. Not long after, a second was also found on display in Valencia. If you remember receiving an unexpected reminder to lock up your pets securely for the night, this might have been why. Many suspected foul play, but the remains looked more like the work of a natural predator, not a human executioner.

After conducting an investigation, an official statement was posted on the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Facebook page. Experts confirmed the dogs had been killed by coyotes or other wild animals, but the pet had been placed on display by purportedly well-intentioned people: "Their intentions were to inform parties what had happened to their pets, and meant no harm. They just thought 'people would want to know.'" More questions than answers, no? To be fair, a head on a stake has been a warning beloved by tyrants and despots throughout history. Before modern technology, a body really was worth a thousand words. But these days, a social media post is usually preferable.

In what you might call "the current business climate," certain enterprises have been seemingly singled out to fail. Restrictions may have been imposed with the best of intentions, but it's still especially hard for businesses like hotels, bars, entertainment venues, amusement parks... and ice rinks. Indeed, Ice Station Valencia had to close in March. Continued operation simply wasn't feasible. This left many hockey players and curling enthusiasts concerned about where they'd go to practice. Bridgeport Lake doesn't usually freeze over in the winter, after all.

Enter the City of Santa Clarita. After some research and negotiations, staff presented the City Council with a proposal to buy the ice rink for a little over $14 million dollars. The facility would obviously be used for ice skating, but it's also suitable for conferences, other recreational activities and events, all of which could generate revenue to support operation. Mayor Cameron Smyth said that of 349 public comments submitted regarding the proposed acquisition, 9 were opposed and 340 were in favor. It didn't take long for the City Council to vote 5-0 in favor of acquiring the property. Having an ice rink will help life feel a little more normal for many Claritans.

Halloween Hardships
It's natural to assume that kids will feel the most singled-out by the damper that coronavirus is casting on this year's Halloween festivities. In the Venn diagram for good Halloween ideas and good COVID-19 ideas, the only overlap is wearing a face mask. Kids will almost certainly not be allowed to knock on dozens of strangers' doors, much less get close enough to take their candy. Instead, their parents will probably go to the store and buy them exactly the kind of candy they want, get a lot of it because they're feeling bad for their kids and not make their kids walk miles and miles to collect it.

In short, the kids will be OK. Maybe the real people who are being singled-out by a virus-plagued Halloween are attractive 20-somethings. As Jenna said in a "30 Rock" special, the pandemic is hardest on "hot extroverts." Just think of them on Halloween! Posting their cute costume pics is no substitute for flirting and flaunting at an honest to goodness Halloween party. Just know that all of us heart the sacrifices that hot Claritans and normal Claritans alike are making in these extraordinary times.
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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