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I Heart SCV
Resolutely Santa Claritan
January, 2009 - Issue #51
New Year's resolutions are the natural consequence of irrational, out-of-control holiday behavior. We drink, eat and spend too much during December, so we decide to push the pendulum the other direction upon ringing in the new year. We resolve to become trimmer, more responsible, better versions of who we are: Self 2.0 (a catch-phrase I'm sure some motivational speaker has already branded - sorry).

But why should we limit resolutions to improving ourselves? Why not resolve to improve our community at the same time? We - that is, ourselves and our City of Santa Clarita - can get better together. Below, I offer some resolutions that will help both you and Santa Clarita be stronger and more successful in the coming year.

Resolve to Improve Finances
Drive through more photo-enforced red lights to boost City ticket revenue. Then, write-off tickets as charitable donations on your tax return. It's a win-win.

Compete with the San Fernando Valley for a larger share of the lucrative adult film industry.

Join the Chamber of Commerce. It's like a church for capitalism, but with more money and less singing.
Shop local. Think corner shop, corner market, corner drug-dealer (Get your mind out of the gutter. We're talking "Saugus Drugs" here.).

Learn to snorkel. This will allow you to visit fountains at the mall and elsewhere and collect all the coins that have been tossed in. Then spend them at SCV businesses to help yourself and the valley as a whole. It's almost as good as charity.

Resolve Better Health and Fitness
Don't just drive by the paseos; walk on them.

Befriend local Olympians like Allyson Felix or Crystal Bustos. You'll get fitter by diffusion.

Over-eat only at locally-owned restaurants.

Run in the next City of Santa Clarita marathon. This time, try to avoid staging a sprained ankle at the half-mile mark.

Buy 16 year olds new walking shoes, not cars. Their physical health and the mental health of all SCV drivers stand to benefit.

Resolve to Forge Stronger Relationships
Introduce yourself to neighbors who moved in three years ago. Since they haven't been foreclosed on yet, they may be sticking around for a while.
Call City Manager Ken Pulskamp just to say "hi." He likes that.

Learn the name of the people who have mowed your lawn for the past eight years.

Join a community group based on common interests. If no such group exists, consider surrendering to loneliness.

Visit with Santa Clarita's elderly population. They've known today's community leaders since they were babies and will have plenty of trash to talk and dirt to dish. (Take copious notes).

Resolve to Be More Involved in the Community
Figure out if Jo Anne Darcy is still mayor.

Remind City Council members how much you donated to their reelection campaigns. Copies of checks and receipts are helpful.

Try voting in a local election, even if none of your friends are doing it.
Become an activist. Scribble illegible nonsense on poster boards, then protest ardently at the corner of McBean and Valencia Boulevard during rush hour. People will admire your conviction even if they don't know the cause.

Spearhead a movement to allow popcorn and other snacks at City Council meetings. This will increase attendance by at least 200 percent, perhaps by 400 percent if throwing of snacks is approved.

Resolve to Grow Personally
Explore membership options with some of the less threatening cults in the hills of Canyon Country.

Visit CalArts. Refrain from issuing harsh condemnations and judgment until you have left the campus.
Volunteer with a local charitable group. If you can't find the time, pay someone to volunteer for you.

Resolve to look past the small stuff. This includes the lady who doesn't apologize or reprimand her kids after they rummage through your cart at the market; the left-hand turn light at Old Orchard; the never-quite 140-degree latte at Starbucks; your teen's emo phase and the unbearable musical soundtrack to accompany his/her angst; the letter from the HOA to remove a piece of yard art not approved before being placed; those people who walk three-across on the bike trail; the customer service clerks who ring you up while talking on their cell phones... On second thought, resolve all but this last resolution. And while we're at it, let's resolve to never stop hearting SCV.

This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to iheartscv@insidescv.com.
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