I Heart SCV
Follow the Rules
February, 2024 - Issue #227
It's easy to feel uneasy after the holidays. There was so much time for self-reflection, questions and comparisons. Why aren't you a jet-setting, happily-married, philanthropic brain surgeon who shares funny memes with Taylor Swift? Rules help calm this panic. New Year's resolutions will make us better versions of ourselves, following rules for love will assure a great relationship for Valentine's Day and, by this time next year, everything will have come together. It may be tempting to be cynical about such optimism, but who knows? Let's think about getting this year underway with an eye on the rules.

"Take heart: To get a ticket, drivers have to be traveling at least 11 miles OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. So if you only speed a little, you should be alright."
Reasonable Speed
The number of new laws that have come onto the books in California this year is staggering. Most don't seem particularly SCV-specific. For example, jobs statewide have become a little bit cushier. For starters, the minimum wage has increased. This includes special provisions for fast-food workers and healthcare workers. Workers are now entitled to earn a minimum of five sick days each year. And if your job has still got you down, don't fret about how you unwind. Employers are now forbidden from punishing employees for off-hours cannabis use.
One new provision, however, does seem to hit particularly close to home. Speed cameras and the penalties that go with them have arrived. Three of the cities that are trialing these automatic cameras aren't too far away, especially if you're speeding: Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach. I know in my bones that Claritan drivers would not have let this system come to our roads, though many could still be getting fined when they head south. Take heart: To get a ticket, drivers have to be traveling at least 11 miles over the speed limit. So if you only speed a little, you should be alright.

Brand Fans
Most big businesses follow a complex calculus and set of rules when strategizing their expansion. Claritans know the stores they want to see, but frustratingly, many of them fail to materialize. Some version of, "When is Santa Clarita getting a Porto's Bakery?" has been a running bit among SCV foodies for well over a decade. Saying the brand you crave is a way to say who you are; it's akin to what filmmaker Greta Gerwig called the "terrifying construction of a self through taste." Comments from directors aside, many Claritans will be rejoicing as fan-favorite chains arrive.
Daiso is a dollar-store, in essence, but it's cute and Japanese and not the same as the legion of other such stores in the area. You can get a plush little turtle toy and useful kitchen tools and all kinds of packaged snacks and gift bags with oddly-specific sayings. There's also a drive-thru Krispy Kreme - because who wants to have to walk to get a donut?

Rule of Four
In 2024, we'll have a presidential election, the Olympics and a leap year. These big events almost always happen in the same year - every multiple of four is the rule. And during these years, the events usually happen about four months apart. What's in store for Santa Clarita in particular? According to my informal tally of LA County's live birth data, about 2,500 kids were born in Santa Clarita zip codes last year, or roughly seven a day. So this February's leap day means we should brace ourselves for an extra seven Pisces in the SCV.
The Paris Olympics should be spectacular, and the moment they end, the clock will be ticking down to the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. Venues will be as close as the San Fernando Valley, which is set to host canoe slalom, equestrian events and shooting competitions. Sadly, there are already frequent shootings in the SFV, but at least the canoes and horses will be novel. And as for the final big event, let's hope for some civility in what's sure to be a tense election. As a rule of thumb, no matter who is president, life in the SCV is always something to heart.
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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