I Heart SCV
SCV Hospitality
November, 2023 - Issue #225
I'd venture that Santa Clarita has more Thanksgiving guests coming than going - a net importer, if you will. With nearly perfect November weather, a couple of nearby airports and many homes built for hosting, we've got plenty of things going for us. Unfortunately, hospitality isn't one of them. Your guests will probably be tail-gated, brake-checked, and/or flipped-off while driving to your home. We could all do with a little more civility. Keep a watchful eye on our local news and you'll see that it's full of reminders about hospitality dos and don'ts for the fall.
"Runners from West Ranch High School's cross country team
TOOK SHELTER DOGS OUT JOGGING so the pooches could enjoy some time out of their cages."

Giving Charitably
In September, KHTS reported that a bartender named Sloan was arrested for grand larceny. Sloan, now a former local-bar employee, was apparently giving away drinks without charging for them. That seems like standard bartending discretion, at least to a degree, and I doubt that patrons were complaining. It must have been management that found his practices entirely too hospitable. Giving things away isn't sound business, but it is the basis of hospitality and charity - offering without expectation.
Good examples are all around. At this year's Santa Clara River Rally, over 1,000 volunteers walked through the dry riverbed to pick up trash. Runners from West Ranch High School's cross country team took shelter dogs out jogging so the pooches could enjoy some time out of their cages. The Santa Clarita Library offered to forgive up to $20 in late fees to library members who brought in canned food. To be clear, this was charitable because the food was for the Food Pantry and other such groups, not snacks for hungry librarians. So give freely if you're hosting this Thanksgiving to keep this generous spirit around. And yes, that does include the drinks, so stock up.

Politics is a Drag
With merely a year until 2024's big election, political discussions at the Thanksgiving table would certainly be timely. Is it worth re-thinking the notion that conversations about politics are taboo? When it comes to Santa Clarita, very few people care enough to get flustered. How's Congressman Mike Garcia working out for the 27th? Should Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo be re-elected? Thoughts on the Santa Clarita City Council? You're probably yawning already.
However, local politics can grow heated in a flash. This September, Konstantine Anthony, mayor of Burbank, attended a Santa Clarita Valley Democrats fundraiser. He's running for LA County Supervisor, so this hardly seemed remarkable. The trouble came when he bent over to be spanked by a drag queen as part of the bingo night hijinks. Video of Anthony being paddled by hostess Roxy Wood got national news coverage - some pundits called it undignified mayoral behavior. There were rumors that youths were present. In a statement, the mayor acknowledged "shenanigans." On Facebook, the SCV Democrats wrote that there were absolutely no minors at the event, stated support for the LGBTQ+ community, and added, "We refuse to engage with this fake outrage." With elections approaching, the political controversies are surely just beginning.

On Exhibit
A key requirement of Thanksgiving hospitality is keeping visitors entertained. Museums are usually a safe bet. I like the Getty because it's fairly close and the architecture is spectacular even if their hundreds of millions in art isn't. An alternative with marginally less cultural clout is the William S. Hart Museum at Hart Park. Unfortunately, the park recently lost a beloved bison named Trouble. Trouble, so-named for how she lived her life, died in her thirties, which experts have said is exceptionally old for the buffalo kind. Visitors will have to content themselves with the park's 10 remaining bison and exploring the home of a very, very unusual movie star.
In years to come, another museum option may arrive. Mayor Jason Gibbs and the City of Santa Clarita have requested input on what Claritans would hope to have in a "Santa Clarita Museum and Cultural Center." My shortlist: miniature replicas of our public art, even the ugly stuff; an earthquake simulator that lets you ride out all out historic quakes; and a definitive map drawing the official boundaries of Newhall, Valencia, Saugus, etc. When future visitors ask us why we heart the SCV, the museum will hold our answers.
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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