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Summer Lingers
September, 2022 - Issue #213
Scientists say that, if you were approaching a black hole, the immense gravity would make time seem to slow down, stretching on and on. A similar phenomenon can be experienced while driving from Santa Clarita to the beach. It doesn't matter the beach or the day or the time. The quintessential summer drive takes forever, plus or minus an hour, even though we objectively know the great Pacific really isn't that far away. Maybe it's not such a bad thing. At this time of year, as summer is rapidly coming to an end, it's nice to have moments where summer seems to linger on.

"Why would Castaic's old leadership team leave en masse, creating such a VOID in the first place? It's a good question, and one that hasn't been fully answered."
Pre-term Assignment
School work sometimes creeps into summer - SAT prep, a book to read, a class to make up in summer school. As much as students put them off, there are jobs that must be done before the new term begins. Apparently, this holds true at the administrative level as well. It wasn't until July that Hart District Superintendent Mike Kuhlman reported completing the summer assignment of finding a new principal, Vince Ferry, along with three new assistant principals for Castaic High School. Why would Castaic's old leadership team leave en masse, creating such a void in the first place? It's a good question, and one that hasn't been fully answered. Perhaps instead of "congratulations" we should wish the new team "good luck."
Ferry's new gig meant some re-shuffling was needed elsewhere. Brenda Bennett has replaced Ferry at Rio Norte, becoming the school's new principal. This created an opening for assistant principal at Arroyo Seco, her former post. And on it goes. The new school year is now underway, so everyone has had to adjust quickly, but the education of SCV's youth seems to be in capable hands. Maybe next summer won't be as hectic.

Freak Accidents
Summertime seems to produce its own brand of chaos. Despite all the warnings that come before a Six Flags Magic Mountain roller coaster ride, someone had their phone out on Twisted Colossus. Then they didn't have it. The phone flew until it struck Evie Evans, age 8, badly gashing her forehead. She required 10 stitches. In an interview with the New York Post, Evans' sister said a man looking for his cell phone after the ride said to "stop freaking out" over the injury. Classy. Magic Mountain, which recently opened its record 20th roller coaster ("Wonder Woman Flight of Courage"), has emphatically reminded guests to follow safety rules.
Other accidents have seemed straight out of summer blockbusters, including the part where the lead escapes. I cringed upon hearing about a train-hits-car collision in Newhall, but luckily, the car owner escaped. Also lucky was the driver of a Ram pickup truck that ran into a large sinkhole on Decoro. A water main break precipitated the mini-disaster, but neither the driver nor anyone else were reported injured. As for the truck? The front end was half-swallowed by the sinkhole, so a scratch or two seems likely.

Yup
With a summer release date, action and thrills, and a big opening weekend, it's fair to say that Jordan Peele's Nope was a summer blockbuster, unconventional or not. Nope explores extraterrestrial contact while remaining firmly grounded in a picturesque swath of the terrestrial universe spanning two dusty ranches in eastern Santa Clarita and Agua Dulce. The characters even acknowledge that they're in Agua Dulce, with a few liberties taken.
Some particular themes in Nope may have resonated with Claritans. Characters occupy a liminal space as both Hollywood insiders and outsiders. Everyone seems to have a hustle to make it big. Cowboys, sitcoms and storylines of the past are still present, sometimes in big ways. The Santa Clarita Film Office reported over 600 permits and over 1,700 film days over the past year. The industry is a big, perhaps even mundane part of life here. Still, there's great pleasure in escaping for three hours of air-conditioned distraction in a movie theater on a hot sunny day. It can make the feeling of summer linger, and the odds aren't bad that you'll see some part of the SCV you heart on that silver screen.
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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