I Heart SCV
Efforts Rewarded
March, 2023 - Issue #218
Hear the words "March," "gold" and "luck," and you'll probably think of St. Patrick's Day. But you'd be mistaken. True Claritans will think of their hometown origin story. That's because on March 9 some 181 years ago, in our very own Placerita Canyon, Francisco Lopez had the luck to dig up wild onions with gold clinging to their roots. This started a mini gold rush and spawned who-knows-how-many dreams of striking it rich. Of course, most gold miners didn't share his good fortune. More often than not, a rich reward only comes after a lot of effort and struggle.

Coveted Seats
For much of Santa Clarita's history as a city, Buck McKeon was representative. After over two decades in Congress, he gained some real clout. McKeon chaired the House Armed Services Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee, and he helped shape policy and steer huge budgets. That's not bad for a guy who used to sell cowboy boots. Today, it's a much different seat, but Representative Mike Garcia got his most auspicious appointment yet in the current session. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he will assess security threats and engage with the US Intelligence Community.
Up in Sacramento, Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo is off to a running start in her new role. She is assistant majority whip and was appointed to five committees. These include Emergency Management, Utilities and Energy and the Committee on Public Employment and Retirement. While Schiavo called all her committees "important" in remarks, "boring" may be more apt. Of course, she may be rewarded with more if her political career continues. Though their parties and positions differ, let's hope that both Garcia and Schiavo use their positions to help Santa Clarita.

"Alumni of CalArts, our school on a hill - or three-quarters
of the way up a hill - are NOMINATED in both categories."
Golden Statues
When the Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 12, keep an eye on the Best Animated Film and Best Animated Short Film categories. Alumni of CalArts, our school on a hill - or three-quarters of the way up a hill - are nominated in both categories. Joel Crawford could win for "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" and Sara Gunnarsdottir is nominated for her short film about adolescence (The name of the film is a little too racy for this publication.). Though killer doll movie "M3gan" didn't come out in time for this year's awards, I'd like to start some Oscar buzz now for Santa Clarita's very own Violet McGraw, one of its stars.
Some decidedly more niche awards in entertainment will be presented in Valencia at the end of March. Parapod Festival will celebrate the paranormal in film and podcasts. The very best will receive gleaming awards shaped like alien heads. Linda Moulton Howe is set to accept the Media Legend Award for her tireless investigations of crop circles, extraterrestrial phenomena and other "high strangeness." In a nod to the host city, a ghost tour of Mentryville is planned - but I'd probably opt for alien abduction stories.

After the Rain
Much as Christians follow their prayers with a reflexive "Amen," Santa Claritans follow remarks about rain with a reflexive "We need it." But even the most stalwart precipitation enthusiasts were put to the test this winter, when a couple of storms created some real headaches. The Santa Clara River swelled to treacherous proportions, roads were dangerous and The Canyon at Westfield Valencia Town Center announced plans to close, implying that flooding issues may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
But after much suffering, there should be much reward, right? Castaic Lake's water level rose by tens of feet in the weeks after the major storms. Hiking has been made much more fun, especially for kids, by all the creeks that have roared to life. While Towsley Canyon is always the most popular trailhead off the Old Road, try driving just a little farther down. There, Rice Canyon offers a half-dozen stream crossings (None too perilous.), beautiful wildflowers and smaller crowds. Of course, it will be hard to go wrong with a hike anywhere through Santa Clarita this spring. Just pick the part of SCV you heart the most and enjoy what the rain has grown.
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
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