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Autumn Tradition
November, 2021 - Issue #205
If you don't think Santa Clarita has any Thanksgiving traditions, then explain how I know exactly how your family will be arriving. After landing at LAX ("I told you Burbank would have been better!"), you'll drive to pick them up if you love them. If love is perhaps too strong a word, you'll advise the FlyAway bus to Van Nuys ("It's actually quicker!"). Then comes a little drive through the Valley ("No, this isn't our valley.") and the Newhall Pass. And finally, as you pull into your Santa Clarita driveway, you will overhear muttering about how much you paid for your home ("Yes, that would have gotten me a mansion in North Carolina."). I know it's true because it's November:
Time for tradition.

"THE FUNDS will go towards developing four more athletic fields and more parking, plus some smaller projects like an exercise staircase. Interestingly, project money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act."
Running Deferred
While its name may sound made up, the Calorie Control Council's numbers are not. The CCC is behind the widely-cited statistic that the average Thanksgiving meal has 3,150 calories. What could you do with all that energy? Since running burns about 100 calories per mile, you could run an entire marathon and you'd still have some to spare. In years past, that would be the perfect introduction to Santa Clarita's traditional November marathon. But after a coronavirus cancellation in 2020 and yet more challenges in 2021, the marathon will now be taking place in February.
The change has been hard on me because the marathon was my November tradition. I did it all the way back in 2018 and up until as recently as 2019. To fill the void, maybe the new November tradition is remembering to register for the thing and taking a few extra months to train. A post-feast run along the Santa Clara River bike trails is made beautiful this time of year thanks to the brilliant yellow leaves of our cottonwoods. And if you ate too much, a more leisurely walking pace is fine, too.

Buy Something Pretty
There is no greater financial tradition than paying taxes, seeing how they get spent and complaining about it. This fall, the Santa Clarita City Council voted to spend nearly $12 million on expanding and improving Central Park. The funds will go towards developing four more athletic fields and more parking, plus some smaller projects like an exercise staircase. Interestingly, project money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act. A lack of economic activity due to cancelled sports tournaments counts as an impact of coronavirus, it seems. Most speakers and the council members were supportive of the project, but a vocal few grumbled.
Decidedly more grumbling followed a vote made by the LA County Board of Supervisors. They will require developers to pay 1 percent of building valuations on public art or to a public art fund. The SCV Chamber of Commerce wanted more time to consider the new fee and Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained from voting, but it passed nonetheless. The fee is anticipated to generate $2 million for the arts each year, which amounts to about 50,000 IKEA canvases or one-fiftieth of a Hockney original. Such is the art world.

Growing Up
The latest batch of results from the 2020 Census confirmed that the City of Santa Clarita has grown by a lot. Since 2010, the population increased by 52,353 people for a total population of 228,673. In the demographic breakdown, most of the population was identified as white (44 percent) or Hispanic
(34 percent). And perhaps our greatest claim to fame is that even with a quarter of a million people living in Santa Clarita, nobody's heard of us still.
Since Santa Clarita's population has grown so dramatically and so quickly, a big question is how to make our new neighbors feel welcome and how to introduce them to Santa Clarita's traditions. Odds are good that there's someone new on your street, and odds are nearly as good that you haven't made the time to go over and introduce your family to theirs. Thanksgiving seems like a good time to change that. Share a tradition like feeding the hungry, getting pumpkins, getting pumpkin spice lattes...it can be a reach, but it's worth it. Share something you're thankful for, and let these new folks know why you heart the SCV.
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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