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Long-term Planning
November, 2020 - Issue #194
In Southern California, the autumn is always a little apocalyptic. Doom is in the air: smoke-reddened skies, Santa Ana winds and plenty of ragweed pollen. The fall of 2020 might be even more apocalyptic than usual since, well, you know. Unfortunately, being in such a mindset can lead to bad decisions. Why not make that pumpkin spice latte a venti when tomorrow is sure to bring some fresh new hell? But we need to snap out of it. This November, thinking long-term is essential, even if it isn't easy.

"Exercise is critical to our long-term health and wellness, so if virtual races and odd challenges get us moving, let's EMBRACE THE SILLINESS."
Election at the Mailbox
Politics for us Californians isn't as in-your-face as it is for much of the nation. For the presidential race, everyone assumes California is a lost cause/sure thing, depending on your party. Per the latest polling from FiveThirtyEight, Joe Biden is the choice for 61 percent of Californians, and Donald Trump is the choice for 32 percent. It's unlikely those numbers are going to shift seismically, so political ads and money go out to other states.

But don't forget that there are other contests and issues to be considered. Closest to home is the Santa Clarita City Council race. Councilmember Bob Kellar is stepping down at the end of his term and Mayor Cameron Smyth is trying to keep his own seat. That means there will be one or two new faces on the City Council. That's no small event considering that some council members have been around for decades. Then there are the state propositions to consider, which could affect issues including affirmative action, cash bail bonds, rent control, property taxes, voting rights and more. So even if you've been sitting at home a lot this year, be sure to get out for the vote - you only need to go as far as your mailbox.

The Run Around
If the stroll to drop off your ballot exhausts you, consider getting back into shape. There's no traditional November marathon in Santa Clarita this year, but a virtual "Run Santa Clarita" series of races is taking place from October to December. During a designated weekend each month, participants run a 5K or more and post their times. The races are virtual, but the cost is real at $40-$100, depending on how many races. Participants earn medals for each race, and all can be combined for what the city describes as a "large, one-of-a-kind medal."

There are free-er challenges you can try with the Santa Clarita CAN DOs program. I'm not sure who at City Hall let "can do" be released into the world unhyphenated (At least there's no apostrophe!), but just Google it to find the city's site. The latest challenge is to visit all 35 city parks, from Almendra to West Creek. Fill out a checklist, email it to the city and you could win a t-shirt that brags about your accomplishment. Exercise is critical to our long-term health and wellness, so if virtual races and odd challenges get us moving, let's embrace the silliness.

Of Turkey & Travel
There's no good way to COVID-proof Thanksgiving. Just think of what would be going on in a coronavirus-free world. An aunt might brave a crowded airport and an even more crowded cross-country flight to see her family. A son might invite a bunch of college buddies to dinner so they wouldn't be stuck in their dorms, far from home. A cousin could show up as a last-minute surprise, with nothing more than a smile and a supermarket pumpkin pie. If that happens this year, the receiving family might ask said cousin to leave the pie on the porch and skedaddle.

Santa Clarita is just like the rest of America when it comes to making tough decisions about how best to celebrate the holidays. Some will be trying a mask-your-guests approach - at least that's my explanation for Amazon's new selection of Thanksgiving-themed face masks, with sayings like "Huffin' for the stuffin'" and "Get your fat pants ready." Anyone considering a turkey feast via Zoom should remember to press mute; no one likes to hear chewing. We may not be able to share the SCV we heart with many others this Thanksgiving, but long-term, we'll get back to those traditions.
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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