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Chance Events
March, 2022 - Issue #208
Many Claritans are not fans of leaving things to chance. They live at an address that gets their kids into the best schools, or they bluff a good address to game the system. They hear the words "master planned" and feel an involuntary frisson of delight. They might drop their friend if said friend drops in for a visit, unannounced. Yet even the most chance-averse Claritans can't lead lives that are as boring as they'd like; the rest of the world has plans of its own. Chaos is a part of life Santa Clarita, for better or worse.

"All of these events happened in just the first month of 2022. Hopefully, the chances of such run-ins WILL DECLINE in months to come."
One in 38 Million
Do you remember news from last Thanksgiving about how someone bought a winning SuperLotto Plus ticket at a Plum Canyon gas station? Well, finally, after a couple of months, William Walgamuth came forward to claim that prize. He won $38 million dollars, which is almost enough to buy a small condo in Valencia. Or, if my calculations are correct, the jackpot would be sufficient to give every one of his fellow Santa Claritans about $150.
What many might label as a chance event, I'm guessing Walgamuth would consider anything but. That's based on an interview he had with The Signal. Walgamuth described prayer journaling, visualizing his post-jackpot life and keeping faith that he would win some day. Whether it was all that positive intentionality or simple dumb luck that deserves the credit, he comes across as a gracious winner who will use the money to help his family. The Shell gas station that sold the winning ticket also got a nice pay day, and superstitious Claritans might well be frequenting it in hopes that lightning strikes twice. The odds of winning a jackpot remain astronomically low, but for a buck or two, it's a chance many are willing to take.

Shots Fired
2022 got off to a dangerous start in Santa Clarita, with gun crimes seemingly much more prevalent in the news. A pregnant woman was shot at a family party. According to reports, there was a disagreement, a suspect then brought out his gun and the woman was shot during the ensuing struggle between him and others. Miraculously, she and her baby didn't sustain life-threatening injuries. Weeks later, a 17-year-old boy in Canyon Country was fired on in an apparent drive-by shooting. Fortunately, his injuries were not fatal.
That's not all. Gang members are alleged to have threatened a group of youths with a gun at Todd Longshore Park. Arrests followed and a gun was recovered. In Newhall, two men robbed a man at gunpoint as he was returning from the ATM. They were subsequently arrested. In yet another incident, a suspect was accused of brandishing a gun at another driver on the road. He was taken into custody near HomeGoods in Valencia - no bargain home decor was harmed in the process. And all of these events happened in just the first month of 2022. Hopefully, the chances of such run-ins will decline in months to come.

Chance of Rain
Santa Claritans never grumble about a chance of rain in the forecast - we simply don't have many opportunities to. But this winter has come with far more "weather" than the last. Freezing temperatures, soaking rainfall and strong winds have all made appearances. After the heaviest rains, I walked along the bike path by the Santa Clara River to toss a stick into the roiling, muddy, fast-moving flood water. I knew full well the video would get at least one "pls be careful!!" with the prayer hands emoji. As a rule, Claritans love over-reacting to rain as much as they love under-reacting to earthquakes.
The rain has helped. Most of LA County is now in moderate drought conditions - an improvement over "severe" - and Castaic Lake's water level has risen by over 50 feet since the start of the rainy season last fall. Even more rainfall may come since March averages our fourth wettest month. And rain or shine, it's one of the best months of the year for a hike. There's minimal heat exhaustion, moderate crowds and maximum spring wildflowers. That's something to heart about the SCV in March - a beautiful hike isn't just a chance, it's a sure thing.
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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