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Time for a Change
March, 2024 - Issue #228
March 19 marks the first day of spring, and thereafter the days only grow longer, brighter and sunnier. The light stirs up all kinds of trouble. Sunshine reveals dust and clutter in previously dark corners of our homes. Time for spring cleaning. "It's too cold" no longer works as an excuse. Time to re-enter society. There's a quiet panic as we realize that pool days and beach trips are around the corner. Time for that Ozempic appointment. The energy seems to be contagious, because everywhere you look in Santa Clarita, it seems to be time for a change.

"While Santa Clarita doesn't have any community synthesizers on staff, AT LEAST ITS MUSICAL EVENTS ARE FREE. Senses Block Parties will be held on Main Street every third Thursday night of the month starting this March."
Change at the Office
Princess Cruises employs hundreds of Claritans. It has been headquartered in Santa Clarita since the turn of the millennium. Its offices sit in the heart of the city - the street is quite literally named Town Center. So when Princess recently announced plans to sublease hundreds of thousands of square feet of its office space, there was certainly cause for concern. An icon of local industry was advertising office subleases for about $2 a square foot per month. Combined with Westfield's recent exodus from Town Center, I imagine city staff might be talking abandonment issues with their therapists.
This move may indicate that Princess Cruises realized it was time for a change to its footprint in Santa Clarita. "Remote work" was mentioned as part of the explanation in a story from Seatrade Cruise News. But encouragingly, just last summer, Princess doubled down on its presence in Los Angeles by announcing itself as "Official Cruise Line Vacation Partner of the Los Angeles Rams," and anointing itself with the moniker,
"Los Angeles' Hometown Cruise Line." Santa Clarita's hometown cruise line must not have had the same ring. In any case, there's now a chance for change cruising into town.

Change of Leadership
2024's election year really gets rolling with Super Tuesday. On March 5, over a dozen states, California included, will hold their presidential primaries. To date, polling has shown that Donald Trump is strongly preferred over Nikki Haley by California's Republican primary voters. Barring some major development, the presidential race will be a case of deja vu. On the Santa Clarita City Council, however, leadership changes much more frequently, and folks are still fighting about the last change.
In December, Cameron Smyth became mayor. Yes, again. Laurene Weste nominated Bill Miranda to be mayor pro tem, and Miranda seconded the nomination himself to force a vote. This upset Marsha McLean, presumably because Miranda was mayor in 2021 and she hasn't been mayor since 2019. It was her turn, unofficially. Miranda got the title. Since then, McLean gave Miranda a perhaps unduly hard time over his choice for Parks Commission, and Miranda wondered about McLean's "bitterness" in an interview with The Signal. There's certainly more angst and ego-bruising to come as the city officially moves to a district-based city council later this year.

Change of Routine
Everyone could do with getting out of the house a bit more. According to polls and research by Newsweek, Americans are seeing their friends less often, are feeling less sociable and are more likely to cancel plans than they were in the past. Even Gen Z, our proverbial "youths," are often choosing gaming, crafting or posting about their anxiety on TikTok instead of the time-honored tradition of drinking and making bad decisions. This month, it's easy to change that. RASA, which describes its team as "experience curators and community synthesizers" (Eyeroll, I know.), is promising a night of world-class DJs at Six Flags the evenings of March 16 and 17. The event is called, "Thrill City." Dancing, beat drops, roller coasters: what's not to like?
While Santa Clarita doesn't have any community synthesizers on staff, at least its music events are free. Senses Block Parties will be held on Main Street every third Thursday night of the month starting this March. The first theme is "Neon Night Block Party," and there will be music along with local vendors selling food and alcohol. What more do you really need? So change your routine, go out and you might just discover something new to heart in 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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