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Remains of the Year
October, 2022 - Issue #214
There's a very specific moment on the Claritan calendar between summer and fall. For some, it happens at Green Thumb Nursery in Old Town Newhall. You're buying mulch to reduce the impacts of the newest drought on your landscaping - and then you see the Halloween stuff. For others, it happens at Refined Vintage Boutique. You're buying a giant platter to showcase your corn-tomato-basil "it's all from the farmers' market" salad. And then you see, yes, the Halloween stuff. Whatever the venue, the realization that the year is mostly over hits like a knockout punch. But after reeling from the initial shock, there's a great chance to reflect. What can and needs to get done before 2022 is over?
"Council agendas COVER EVERYTHING from development to public safety to homelessness to taxes to recreation, and you can show up to the meetings to speak with - or more usually at - council members directly."

There's an Election, Right?
Since voting is more of an October-and-November activity these days, it's time to figure out who will get your support. The choice that's likely to have the most direct impact on your daily life is the one that's closest to home: the Santa Clarita City Council. Council agendas cover everything from development to public safety to homelessness to taxes to recreation, and you can show up to the meetings to speak with - or more usually at - council members directly.
This year, there are nine candidates for three seats. Incumbents Laurene Weste, Marsha McLean and Bill Miranda are all running; Weste and McLean have each served for decades. Also running are Denise Lite, David Barlavi, Douglas Fraser, Jeffrey Malick and Selina Thomas. Will you vote for the establishment - or for a new face? There's still time to decide, but not much.

Deadly Substance
One of the most urgent items on the to-do list of the entire Santa Clarita community is fighting to end deaths from fentanyl. The incredibly potent opioid is readily available, it's often sold in deceptive ways and even very small amounts of it can prove deadly. In 2020 and 2021, there were over 2,000 fentanyl-related deaths in LA County, and this year could surpass that grisly milestone yet again. In just our region of the county this year, there have already been over 20 deaths. Teens and young adults have frequently been the victims.
In August, Action Drug & Rehab's Cary Quashen hosted US Representative Mike Garcia, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Mayor Laurene Weste and other officials to talk about the problem. In his opening comments, Congressman Garcia said, "I don't think anyone really understands the magnitude of the problem and I don't believe they understand the severity of the problem." He explained that many kids order what they think is Xanax or Adderall online and then unwittingly consume fentanyl-containing look-alikes instead. "Stop it here, stop it now," said Mayor Laurene Weste. Few matters are more urgent.

Whose Park is It?
There are some jobs that just can't be completed by year's end and the re-making of Six Flags' image appears to be one of them. We learned about Six Flags CEO Salim Bassoul's plan to attract a more specific clientele to the park when he made a very memorable earnings call this summer. He said that Six Flags theme parks have always been for "the middle-class and even lower middle-class," but described his plan to change the average Six Flags customer from "the Kmart, Walmart to maybe the Target customers." He also hoped to attract more families, lamenting that Six Flags had become "a cheap daycare center for teenagers."
Perhaps as a result of increased prices, attendance has been down at parks. The stock was trading in the $20s in the week after Bassoul's call; shares had been in the $40s for much of 2021. As for our local Magic Mountain, there has been some confusion over changing season pass prices and perks. But perhaps the return of Fright Fest this October will attract more visitors. And whether they're more Walmart or Target, I'm sure they'll find something to heart about 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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