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4 · S U N D AYS I G N A L


M AY 19, 2019





5 6 8 17

Voicing his full potential SCV’s more infamous bank robbers Giving back to those who made a difference Mentryville, the SCV’s first boom town

9 7-year-old Valencia chess player brings home trophy Nealie’s owner spots burglary suspect 10 Passerby helps out after two-vehicle crash Fire crews take preventative measures 11 City repeals sex offender restrictions 12 City, owner of Canyon View face off in court Ceremony held to honor Veteran 13 Local Girl Scout troop among top L.A. cookie sellers Deputies probe ‘threatening’ text






16 18 20




24 25




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45 46

14 Stay safe on Santa Clarita streets this summer 15 West Ranch’s talented triple threat

20 Crazy Otto’s serves up enormous plates

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22 Herman’s Hermits come back to the SCV 23 ‘Tolkien’ and ‘Charlie Says’ 25 Road trips for the Memorial Day weekend 7 The perfect Memorial Day BBQ 26 Fun ways to help kids keep learning all summer 27 Donna’s Day: Mouthwatering bran muffins

30 Discover Santa Paula with a drive down Highway 126 32 Let the creativity flow at DIY home decor studios 34 Home Improvement: Holding your plumber accountable 35 SCV Water is more than just a water resource 34 Dr. Allan Pollack and the SCV historical society 37 Do a ‘digital detox’ while on vacation 38 It’s the time of year to groom your pets 39 Have Partner, Will Travel


40 Compost is part of the circle of life in gardens 42 Our View • David Hegg • Cameron Smyth

100 YEARS 818-348-3354 Richard Budman Perry Smith Tim Whyte Brad Lanfranco Doña Uhrig Karen Bennett • Abner Gutierrez

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The entire contents of the Sunday Signal is copyrighted 2019 by Paladin Multi-Media Group, Inc. All submitted letters and columns are strictly the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 5


Voicing his full potential By Nathanael Rodriguez Sunday Signal Contributor


rian Hull stood behind the recording microphone. His mouth stretched wide, his lips and teeth forming a thin line. “Hello, I would like a pot of honey.” It wasn’t Hull’s voice that said this but the voice of Winnie the Pooh. Next Hull’s lips had moved to the right side of his face, his tongue protruding slightly from between his teeth. “Hey there, buddy ol’ pal.” He was now speaking as Tigger. Since he was a child, Hull had been fascinated with cartoons and as a kid even refused to watch anything that wasn’t animated. Hull’s mother Melody remembers the phase of his life well. “He used to draw cartoons all the time, he even tried to write movies and screenplays,” said Melody.

Childhood dreams

Hull’s love for Disney also blossomed at this time, something that has played a large role in his life even today.

“He went crazy over ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Bambi,’ ‘Dumbo,’ he had to have ‘Dumbo,’” said Melody. Brian spent most of his childhood submerged in the world of cartoons. He loved everything from the music to the art work and storyboarding. Voice acting however, held a special place in his heart. “As a kid you never really put two and two together that there’s actually someone behind the character. I remember when I found out that people did this for a living,” said Hull. Jim Cummings, known primarily as the voice behind Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, was one of the first voice actors to inspire Hull. “I was shocked to learn that the same guy who did Pooh and Tigger was also the voice behind some of my favorite villains like Pete and the singing voice of Scar,” said Hull. The fact that one man could create the soft cuddly voice of Winnie the Pooh as well as the gravellings of Pete from “Mickey Mouse” was enough to inspire the 13-year-old cartoon fanatic. Hull began to practice voices on his own and was soon able to project

YouTuber and Voice Over actor Brian Hull with his YouTube Gold Play Button which is only given to channels with more than one million subscribers. PHOTOS BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL

the voice of Scooby Doo. From there he began adding to his repertoire. “I’d ask him to do something and he’d answer me in all kinds of different voices,” said Melody.

Passion and projection

Although he was never formally trained in voice acting, Hull attributes most of his success to his study of opera and musical theater at Dallas Baptist University. Through his education, Hull learned how to manipulate his voice. He then began to take the principles and apply them in ways to fit the voices of the characters he wanted to create. “I thought if I can open the back of my throat and get an open sound I can close the back of my throat and get this very soft sound,” said Hull. “If I can raise the soft palate and open up the nasal passages to remove a nasal sound I can close it to make somebody who sounds like they have a common cold.” Along with his experience in opera and theater, Hull trained his voice through experimentation, copying techniques of other voice actors, and discovering skills on his own.

Breaking into the business

Brian runs through some of his voices using techniques that sometimes creates caricatures of his face.

At first, Hull assumed that his skill wouldn’t amount to anything more than a hobby. However, in March 2014, he entered a “Let it Go” cover song contest. He sang the famous solo in the voices of dozens of Disney and Pixar characters like Gaston and Mike Wazowski. As a huge fan of

Disney, the winning prize of a $100 Disney Store gift card was enough for Hull to enter. After the video went viral however, he got so much more. “At the time I lived in Texas, nobody had any idea who I was,” said Hull. “All of a sudden people from Hollywood are calling and saying ‘Hey have you ever considered doing voice acting work?’” From there, Hull met with Disney and decided to move out to California to take a shot at a voice acting career. “I just wanted a giftcard to get a few movies and now I got a job,” said Hull. “Disney and Pixar Sings Let it Go” was the turning point for Hull. It now has over thirty million views on YouTube and brought him a fan base, something that pushed him into the realm of many others who have made YouTube a full time job. Hull currently has 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube and is sponsored by MickeyTravels a Disney vacation planner travel agency.

Building a following

Hull also has more than 200 million video views, which ranks him into the top 3% of YouTubers, according to research done in 2016 by Mathias Bärtl a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Most of Hull’s videos on YouTube involve voice impressions but he does a number of other things on his channel, including movie reviews, answering fan See VOICE, page 36

6 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


A few of the SCV’s more infamous bank robbers A bank-robbing pair

By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


ast week, the prison doors swung open for the woman known as the “Bombshell Bandit,” just one of a number of high-profile Santa Clarita Valley bank robbers. Sandeep Kaur, now 29, was released from Sacramento Residential Reentry Management, or RRM, on May 12, after she was sentenced in April 2015 to more than five years in federal prison. The RRM office is a halfway house contracted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Before she was sentenced, Kaur pleaded guilty to four charges connected to bank robberies including a robbery in Valencia. If the math seems wrong it’s because Kaur was released after four years, not five — and released from a halfway house, not even a prison. She earned the nickname, Bombshell Bandit, by threatening to set off bombs during robberies, though she also wore glamorous disguise of a wig and large sunglasses. On June 6, 2014, shortly before 3 p.m., she passed a note demanding money to a clerk at the Bank of the West branch on Magic Mountain Parkway at McBean Parkway, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in 2014.

‘Bombshell Bandit’

“The suspect threatened a bomb when she robbed the bank,” Eimiller said shortly after the incident. “We’re going to call her the Bombshell Bandit.” Soon after the robbery, the FBI released three still images lifted from the bank’s surveillance video depicting a woman wearing glasses and what FBI agents said was an auburn-colored wig. Like many of the other bank robbers to hit Santa Clarita, Kaur robbed banks in other cities. Kaur was sentenced to five years in prison, and released after four, but there are others still sitting in prison.

‘Seasoned Bandit’

Quickly recognized for the PT Cruiser he used to flee the scene of

Deputies respond to a bank robbery at the Chase Bank in Newhall. SIGNAL PHOTO

his crimes, the FBI named James Allen Hayes as the “Seasoned Bandit.” Last June, Hayes was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $38,424 in restitution. Between April and September of 2017, he held up a string of banks in Southern California, robbing, among other financial institutions: a Union Bank in Carpinteria; a Wells Fargo bank in Newhall; a Logix Federal Credit Union in Valencia; and a Coast Hills Credit Union in Santa Maria. He was convicted of four counts of bank robbery, after pleading guilty pursuant to a written agreement signed Feb. 23, 2018. To determine what his sentence should be, on April 27, 2018, the United States Probation Office filed a Presentence Investigation Report to assess Hayes’ total offense level under federal guidelines, prosecutors said in their sentencing recommendation. The report looked at two aspects for recommending an increase in his sentence — the fact that property was taken from a financial institution and the threat of death. It also weighed factors to have the sentence reduced — namely, that Hayes accepted responsibility. Hayes, who won the lottery in 1998 — a cash prize of $19 million — admitted in a February 2018 plea deal that he robbed four banks, including the Wells Fargo Bank on Lyons Avenue, in Newhall, on June 12, 2017; and The Logix Federal Credit Union on McBean Parkway, in Valencia, on July 25, 2017. He is scheduled to be released from federal prison on Terminal Island less than a year from now, Feb. 23, 2020.

A bank robber who hit SCV last year and was sentenced just eight months ago is eligible for parole in April 2023. In September 2018, James Lee Hamill, 28, of Valencia, was sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading no contest to two counts of robbery. Hamill and a woman named Samantha Yaworski, 22, also of Valencia, were charged in May 2018. Hamill was charged with six counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery. Yaworski was charged with one count of attempted robbery. Yaworski was sentenced last month to 364 days in jail after pleading no contest to attempted second-degree robbery. The two were believed responsible for several bank robberies in Southern California, law enforcement officials said. “The first bank they hit in Santa Clarita was in Newhall on March 7, on Lyons Avenue,” Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department said a year ago. “The second bank in Santa Clarita was the U.S. Bank on Valencia Boulevard on March 12,” he said. The robbery spree spanned about two months, during which two U.S. Bank locations in the city of Burbank also were robbed, Green wrote in a news release issued in May. Eligible for parole in April 2023, Hamill remains locked up inside the California Rehab Center.

‘Faux Badge Bandit’

At least one recent bank robber to hit the SCV has no parole date in sight, and that’s because he killed himself as the FBI moved in to arrest him. A bank robber called the “Faux Badge Bandit” by the FBI was blamed for five hold-ups, including one in Newhall in June 2018. Keith David Goodwin, 41, who killed himself following a bank robbery in Goleta, was dubbed the “Faux Badge Bandit” because of a seven-point badge he wore during robberies.

He held up the Wells Fargo branch inside the Stater Bros. store in Newhall on June 15, 2018. At about 11:30 a.m. that day, deputies responded to reports of a bank robbery at the Wells Fargo location, inside the Stater Bros., in the 26900 block of Sierra Highway. “There was just a demand note and possibly a gun seen,” Lt. Ignacio Somoano said at the time. The robber — described at the time as a male, white suspect, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, heavy-set, wearing a cowboy hat — walked into the bank, handed the teller a demand note and left with cash, officials said.

‘Palm Tree Bandits’

SCV’s most recently sentenced bank robber does not yet have a release date posted. The man who led the “Palm Tree Bandits” armed robbery crew that held up a Stevenson Ranch bank in 2016 — and other bank branches in Los Angeles and Kern counties, netting more than $85,000 in stolen money — was sentenced two months ago to 387 months in federal prison. Gary Lamar Henry, a.k.a. “G-Thing,” 38, was given the 32-year, 4-month term last week by U.S. District Judge Robert H. Whaley. Henry remains behind bars at the Victorville Medium 2 security prison. On Sept. 14, 2016, sheriff ’s deputies began looking for two armed bank robbers who held up a bank at gunpoint in Stevenson Ranch. About a minute before noon, two armed men walked into the California Bank & Trust on The Old Road, near Pico Canyon Road, and demanded money, Sgt. Dan Peacock told The Signal in 2016. That robbery is believed to have netted about $8,700, according to initial reports from first responders. In total, the robberies netted Henry and his co-conspirators $85,354, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum. All of Henry’s co-defendants in the case already have been sentenced, with three of them receiving prison terms in excess of 12 years.

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 7


Ribs, slaw, grilled corn — that perfect Memorial Day family BBQ By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


emorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer grilling season. Time to fill up those propane tanks for your gas barbecue and gather your ingredients for your signature barbecue “rub.” Invite friends and family for a fun outdoor get together this Memorial Day weekend and enjoy some ‘cue! Red chili powder, to taste Wrap the ribs in foil and place in refrigerator until ready to BBQ. The next day Heat grill to 225F. If you have a two-burner grill, light only one side and leave the other off. If you have a three- or four-burner grill, light the outside burners but leave the middle off. PHOTOS COURTESY MICHELE E. BUTTELMAN

Mr. Buttelman’s Signature Baby Back Pork Ribs My husband makes the best ribs I’ve ever eaten. He’s taken a few years to perfect his “rub” and his grilling technique. All great BBQ starts with a fantastic rub. We use this on everything, ribs, steaks, chicken, even corn! Experiment with flavors you like and create your own signature dry rubs for meat, chicken and seafood. The day before 1 rack of pork baby back ribs (remove the tough membrane from the back of the ribs by using a knife to pry up a corner of the membrane, then pull it down the entire length of the ribs. This is a must). Dry Rub 6 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp salt 1 tbsp dry mustard 1 tsp black pepper 1 tbsp garlic powder 1 tbsp onion powder 1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it really spicy you can use up to 1 tbsp) 1 tbsp chili powder Mix all the ingredients together and slather generously over front and back of ribs. Work the dry rub into the meat.

put it in a bowl. Add small bag of shredded carrots and mix. You can also add finely chopped celery, grated onion (only a teaspoon or two), green onion, chopped broccoli or cauliflower, really any vegetable that does not contain excess water.

Fold a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a handful of hickory chips in the middle. Wrap the wood in the foil, making a compact package, then pierce it in several places with a bamboo skewer.

Michele’s Homemade Potato Salad I don’t make this as much as I once did. It’s a lot of chopping and I find that after I’ve slaved away on this potato salad it disappears so fast there are rarely any leftovers.

Lift the grate and place the foil packet of hickory chips near the flame. Replace the grate and lay the rack of ribs over the burner or burners that aren’t lit. Close lid. Cook baby back ribs for 3 to 4 hours. Low and slow, as the pit masters’ say. The ribs are done when a rib bone rotates easily if you grasp the end and wiggle it back and forth. Cook until internal temperature reads 185F on an instant read meat thermometer.

For one cup of dressing use 3/4 cup of mayonnaise 1/4 cup of sour cream 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp sugar

Brush the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce, and crank up the heat on your grill to 450F. Cook the ribs for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce and make it stick to the ribs. Serve.

Stir together until the sugar dissolves. Thin with milk or cream to desired thickness, season to taste with celery seed, salt and pepper.

Celery seed, salt and pepper to taste

Note Ribs can cook faster or slower so keep an eye on them and check the internal temp often.

Add more vinegar or sugar to adjust to your taste preference.

My favorite Coleslaw

4 1/2 1 1/2 1/4 1

This is my favorite homemade coleslaw recipe, courtesy of my dear, departed friend Chris Dougherty. Exact ratio of cabbage to carrots and other veggies is up to the individual. Shred a small head of cabbage and

Remove husks of the corn and grill the corn until slightly charred on all sides. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and cilantro together. Remove corn from grill and slather with the mayonnaise mix. Squeeze lime juice over the corn and shower with Parmesan. Season with chili powder.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn ears corn cup mayonnaise cups sour cream cup chopped cilantro cup grated Parmesan

One lime, cut in half, to squeeze over cooked corn

5 2 1/2 4 1 1

large potatoes (Yukons or Russets) hard-boiled eggs, chopped cup chopped celery green onions, chopped can whole, large olives, sliced 8 oz. jar whole green olives with pimento, sliced 6 large radishes, sliced

Dressing 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp prepared mustard 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp dill weed 1 tsp celery salt 1 tsp salt Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, olives and radishes. In small bowl mix together mayo, mustard, lemon juice, dill weed, celery salt and salt. Add to potato mixture. Mix well. Chill 1 hour before serving.

8 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


Giving back to those who made a difference By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


t was his sixth-grade teacher who changed it all for Santa Clarita resident Tyler Anderson. When others failed to see his academic potential, his educator stood by his side to help him succeed. “This teacher took a personal interest in me,” said Anderson, owner of No Bugs Organic Pest Control. “Looking back I say, ‘Wow, that teacher made a difference.’” Now he’s paying it forward, not only to Michael Pace, who was formerly a teacher at Wiley Canyon Elementary School, but to all school staffers with his organization I Love Teachers, which partners with businesses to offer discounts to educators. “There’s discounts for sheriff ’s deputies, veterans and seniors, but there’s none for teachers,” said Anderson. He recalled an instance where a law enforcement officer received exclusive savings for coffee, but a former history teacher, who happened to stand in line behind him at a coffee shop, did not receive a discount. “I told the barista if they could give the teacher a discount and said that we wouldn’t have a deputy or any other professional if it weren’t for our teachers,” he said. “And the barista said, ‘Sir, this is free.’”

Tyler Anderson of I Love Teachers holds a sign thanking his former teacher Michael Pace, who was formerly a teacher at Wiley Canyon Elementary School, for a social media campaign on Instagram. PHOTOS COURTESY TYLER ANDERSON

and businesses. In February, I Love Teachers launched nationwide and now offers 1.8 million discounts, said Anderson. The organization’s website,, also offers ad placement for tutors and summer jobs. In mid-June, Anderson expects to launch, a companion website for I Love Teachers. The site will include a “report card” section where teachers can grade a business’ customer service with an aim to strengthen the symbiotic relationship between business owners and teachers, he said. “Businesses can earn an ‘A’ or in the unfortunate event a lower grade that will show the business owner the areas that may need attention to improve the grade, to improve the customer experience. Like in school, a business could work to get their My Tire Store Inc. in Newhall is among the 30 Santa Clarita businesses that have grades up if their performance was joined I Love Teachers. shown to be subpar,” reads a section popularity, other businesses wanted I Love Teachers was created to of to jump on board. make moments like those more The organization’s growth has Among those businesses was Pita frequent. To receive savings, teachers proved successful as more businesses and staff sign up for the program and Pit in Valencia. For nearly a year, the locale has been offering educators up are joining and more school staffers access scores of benefits and offers, are receiving benefits, but Anderson to 50% off on their pitas. Employee ranging from automotive to restauMiranda Firth said, “Teachers are rants and travel. The membership said the biggest obstacle has been that costs participants a monthly fee of $6, really ap“teachers ask, preciative $2 of which goes to a teacher assis‘What’s the tance program to of this and I LOVE TEACHERS IS CURRENTLY catch?’” they can’t help educators in “People are ASKING THE PUBLIC TO SHARE A need and another believe saying that STORY ABOUT A TEACHER WHO that the $2 is designated it’s too good discount to a scholarship “CHANGED YOUR LIFE, MADE is offered fund for stuto be true,” YOU FEEL SPECIAL OR MADE because dents interested he added. YOUR SCHOOL EXPERIENCE not many in entering the “Because this BETTER,” BY USING THE HASHTAG (service) is businesses education field. offer disThe remaining #YOURTEACHERSTORY ON new, we’re counts to $2 goes toward INSTAGRAM. running into teachers.” operating I Love buyers resisSoon Teachers. enough, My Tire Store Inc. in Newhall tance for fear. On Instagram, people But it first began offering free oil changes and tire are asking, ‘What are you doing with began under his rotations. Today, about 30 Santa Clari- my information?’ I say, ‘Wait a minown pest control ta Valley businesses are on board to of- ute, it’s not too good to be true.’” company, where he advertised free fer teachers exclusive offers including, One of the ways I Love Teachers no wait time at Sabor Cocina Mexiservices for local is working to improve its services cana, complimentary yoga sessions at school staffers and credibility, said Anderson, is by Yoga Yoga and 50% off appetizers at during the sumoffering Apple Pay, PayPal and other Saddle Ranch. mer of last year. It doesn’t only benefit SCV educators accredited payment offers. After growing in

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 9


7-year-old Valencia chess player brings home trophy By Lorena Mejia Signal Staff Writer


t’s only been a year since 7-yearold Aakashi Ahuja began playing chess, but she already has dozens of trophies and medals as evidence of her skills. “My dad taught me how to play chess, and I like to play it, because it’s like a game you can get famous in,” said Ahuja. Recently, the first-grader added yet another trophy to her collection, a U.S. Chess Foundation honor, which only the top-30 players received, at a recent national tournament. Out of 310 participants in the kindergarten through third-grade category, Ahuja placed 15th at the 2019 National Elementary Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, over Mother’s Day weekend. “The entire time they called me ‘Destroyer,’ because I always won. I just lost one game,” she added. Ahuja played seven rounds — she won five, lost one and the seventh was a draw.

Aakashi Ahuja, 7, recently placed 15th at the 2019 National Elementary Championship in Nashville, Tennessee. PHOTO BY LORENA MEJIA/THE SIGNAL

“Her rating has gone up significantly,” said her father, Aakash Ahuja. “She went from 624 to 781.” A chess rating is an estimate of the player’s “playing strength” based on prior results. It can change drastically after winning or losing, according to the U.S. Chess Federation. The national ranking is even more impressive given the fact that while Aakashi enjoys playing chess, she initially wasn’t even planning to compete when she went to Nashville.

Nealie’s owner spots restaurant burglary suspect By Emily Alvarenga and Jim Holt Signal Staff Writers


man suspected of breaking into Nealie’s Skillet restaurant last month was spotted by a co-owner of the restaurant, Haydee Scott, as she was dropping her son off at school Wednesday. “My wife was dropping off my son at Placerita Junior High (School), when she spots this gentleman at the (Newhall) Park,” restaurant co-owner Neal Scott said late Wednesday afternoon. The man had the same backpack and the same hat that were seen in the video, he said. “She goes up to him and says, ‘Can I talk to you for a second?’ Then she says, ‘You’re the guy who robbed us last month.’ He said ‘No, no. It’s not me.’ “Then she shows him a photo and says, ‘Here’s your picture.’ Then he

gets nervous and starts shaking. He walked away toward the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club. She’s trying to stay right with him,” Neal Scott said. “At the same time, she’s calling me.” He added that, at one point in her pursuit of the suspect, the man turned around and said, “Why are you following me?” And, he said, she told him why. At that point, Scott said, the suspect ran into the wash. When he emerged on the streets of Newhall his clothes were different, he said. By that time, deputies were on their way. The suspect was arrested near El Trocadero Steak House restaurant, near Market Street and Railroad Avenue. “When (deputies) went through his backpack, they found the (initial) clothes he was wearing and the gloves See BURGLAR, next page

The family’s plan was to travel from Valencia to Nashville to support Ahuja’s 8-year-old brother, but her three coaches told her parents that she was also ready to compete. She entered the competition about a month before, with just enough time to complete her training, according to her mother. “I feel proud of both of my kids,” said their mother, Sarika Ahuja. “When coach Jay (Stallings) told us

that Aakashi was going with us, we were (doubly) excited.” Ahuja says she also felt proud of herself, and she showed it by taking her shiny new trophy to school. “She took the trophy to school. She isn’t letting it leave her side,” her father said. And while the dozens of trophies displayed in her home symbolize her improvement and success, Ahuja plans to keep playing and become famous like the current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. “I want to be famous and earn money, because I want a house with a pool and a dolphin,” she said with a smile on her face. Ahuja’s parents say they support their children and their dreams, especially because they enjoy working toward their goals. “Never give up,” her mother said, sharing the advice the parents give their children. “Keep on going, and keep up with your hard work.”





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10 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


Passerby helps out after a two-vehicle crash By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


hree people were shaken up following a two-vehicle head-on traffic collision on Soledad Canyon Road and Ruether Avenue mid-afternoon Wednesday. The crash happened shortly after 3:10 p.m., prompting a nurse who was driving through the same intersection to spring into action — calling 911 and then rushing to check on each of the victims. “It’s what we do,” said the woman, who identified herself only as Gerrie. “I’m a nurse.” A Nissan sedan with two male occupants travelling northbound on Ruether and a Ram pickup with a sole occupant traveling southbound on the same street collided.

Emergency response crews help out two motorists after a two-vehicle collision on Wednesday. A nurse, identified only as Gerrie, was passing by and helped out. PHOTO BY LORENA MEJIA / THE SIGNAL

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department checked out

the three men but did not take any of them to the hospital.

First to check on their medical condition, however, was Gerrie. “I heard this ‘blam,’ and I saw these two kids hit (in the Nissan),” she said. “I checked their pulse, made sure no bones were broken,” she said, noting she checked on the pickup driver as well. The crash deployed airbags in both vehicles, each of which sustained front-end damage. “Everyone was conscious, no broken bones, no bleeding,” Gerrie said.

Fire crews take preventative measures with controlled burns By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


f you saw smoke or smelled smoke around the Santa Clarita Valley this past week and wondered why you saw no mention of a brush fire, it’s because firefighters jumped on the chance to get rid of brush fire fuel while it’s cool and windless. Since Monday, fire crews have been going to spots where brush fires are likely to break out and getting rid of the stuff that fuels them — the brush. On Wednesday, between 8 a.m. and noon, about a dozen work crews including a handful of paid firefighter teams and about half a dozen crews made up of inmates set up on the 32100 block of Castaic Lake Drive. “If we had enough fire goats to eat up thousands of acres, we’d have them out there — but we don’t,” said Sky Cornell, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Goats can eat an acre a day,” he said. “So, instead, we have crews out there to burn all that off right now.” The controlled burns were done this week since the weather allows it.

“We do them now because it’s windy and it’s not too hot,” Cornell said. A controlled burn is a strategically set fire intended to burn dry brush. They reduce the fuel in areas considered likely to burn so that a fire there during the height of wildfire season will be more easily extinguished. Every year, fire officials bring in bulldozers, set up fire lines and put hoses down for carrying out prescribed fires. Typically, fire crews start at the top of a ridge and do a test burn to see if lighting a small area is OK. Then they progress to (igniting) larger strips. Bigger wildfires and more of them are what fire officials have told civic leaders to expect, in light of the devastating Woolsey Fire last year. In December, Los Angeles County supervisors paid $4.5 million to learn what fire officials need to fight deadly wildfires, such as the Woolsey Fire. They agreed to hire a consultant who would conduct a one-year public outreach project. It was their understanding that such a project would “create awareness of the new realities” faced by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The county fire chief is expected

to report back to the board with a status, as well as a final report at the end of the project. Supervisors called the Woolsey Fire “the worst to hit Los Angeles County in modern history,” noting it raged for almost two weeks, burning through 97,000 acres, including pristine open space in the Santa Monica Mountains. It destroyed 2,000 structures and


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that were seen in the video. “The sheriff ’s deputies did their job,” Scott said. “Tomorrow, they’re coming back to interview me.” The suspect in the burglary of Nealie’s Skillet, a popular Valencia breakfast restaurant, was taken into custody in Newhall on Wednesday. At approximately 10 a.m., a witness recognized a man who matched the description of the suspect in connection with the burglary based on information from the investigation, said Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station. That witness turned out to be the

displaced thousands of residents. According to the needs assessment performed earlier this year, the cost for replacing old fire engines, purchasing additional helicopters and replacing their communications system is over $170 million. The cost for repairing fire stations — and in some cases replacing fire stations that are over 50 years old — is close to $750 million. restaurant’s co-owner. Deputies then responded and found the suspect near Market Street and Railroad Avenue, where they discovered evidence associating him with the crime, Somoano said. The suspect was taken into custody and is expected to be charged in connection with the burglary, according to Somoano. The restaurant was burglarized last month, making it the third time in the past three years that it had been broken into, according to sheriff ’s officials. A thief or thieves broke into Nealie’s Skillet restaurant at 3:30 a.m. April 30, smashing the front door of the Valencia family business.

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 1 1


City repeals sex offender restrictions By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


he Santa Clarita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal sex offender residency restrictions after a state Supreme Court ruling deemed similar ordinances unconstitutional. Council members reiterated that the decision would not change how the city deals with sex offenders. “The council’s action tonight, if they choose to repeal the ordinance, does not effectively change how we deal with sex offenders in terms of monitoring and restrictions that are currently being enforced,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “The restrictions that are in place and have been enforced, and are currently being enforced, will continue on moving forward.” Their vote approved the introduction and adoption of an “urgency ordinance” to annul Chapter 11.74 of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, which reads that any registered sex offender is prohibited from residing within 2,000 feet of a school, park, library or child care center, based on Proposition 83, also known as Jessica’s Law, which California voters passed in 2006. The ordinance also prohibits sex offenders from living with each other in the same residence or unit of a multi-unit building. City staff recommended the City Council repeal its ordinance for three reasons, according to the agenda report: the state Supreme Court’s 2015

determination in that similar ordinances are unconstitutional, residency restrictions are no longer enforced by the California Department of Corrections or the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department, and due to pending litigation. That lawsuit was brought by Janice M. Bellucci, a civil rights attorney who has sued 34 other cities for failing to annul their ordinances after the court’s ruling. After learning about the City Council’s vote, Bellucci said Tuesday, “The impact of the City Council’s decision is that we will file a motion to dismiss the case. It will happen within the next seven days.” City Attorney Joe Montes said the L.A. County Sheriff ’s Department has not enforced restrictions since 2011, but there are still laws regulating the activities of sex offenders. For example, he said, the California Department of Corrections enforces the requirement that a sex offender cannot live within a half-mile of a school if the victim is a child, nor can they enter a park without a parole agent. The Sheriff ’s Department, under penal code, can prohibit the entering of a school without permission from school officials. The most commonly known federal law in place is Megan’s Law, which requires offenders to register their residency information with local law enforcement agencies and allows online public access to that data. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station uses this law to monitor offenders. SCV Sheriff ’s Capt. Robert Lewis

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M AY 19, 2019


City, owner of Canyon View face off in court By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


Chatsworth Courthouse judge heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys representing the city of Santa Clarita, which is suing Canyon View Limited over a slew of solar panels that have crowded a Canyon Country hillside. A tentative ruling led to the court scheduling a nonjury trial in October, as the judge indicated plans this week to deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss the city’s lawsuit. The owners of the Canyon View Estates mobile home park filed a request for the hearing March 15, looking to dismiss the city’s formal complaint filed last year, in which the city seeks to have the solar panels behind the


park removed. Santa Clarita responded that same month in opposition to the arguments raised in the motion. The judge’s tentative ruling, however, showed that the judge plans to deny the motion based on several arguments not being addressed, including for “violation of open space requirements,” “submission and wrongful denial of any application

for the installation of a solar energy system” and “failure to establish an ultra vires action by (the city) in the determination regarding the propriety of the panels on the mobile home park portion of the property.” Lawyer Brian Inman Hamblet for the city and Douglas J. Evertz for Canyon View Limited appeared in court for a reply to the motion and the court took the matter under submission, which a judge often does in order to further review evidence. The motion argues that the city lacks jurisdiction to regulate the solar power system because the state of California holds jurisdiction over the mobile home park through the Mobilehome Parks Act. The defendants also challenged the terms of a conditional use permit utilized to build the mobile

home park of more than 400 homes. The tentative ruling said the city “presents numerous arguments in opposition, including improper moving parties, improper requested relief, reliance on extrinsic evidence, and the applicability of Mobilehome Parks Act exemptions.” In September, the city’s complaint had asked the court for “preliminary and permanent injunction,” and to “abate a public nuisance.” The lawsuit comes after Canyon View’s installment of what the city alleges to be about 6,000 solar panels spread across more than 2 acres of land without city permits in 2017, which violates Santa Clarita’s municipal code. A nonjury trial between the two parties has been scheduled at the same courthouse Oct. 21.

Ceremony held to honor veteran, former tank commander By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer


nbeknownst to former U.S. Marine tank commander Cpl. Sid Kirshner, as he drove up to a military storage yard in Newhall, he was about to be surprised with a small ceremony in his honor. In an event organized by his friends and his son, Kirshner, an 84-year-old-veteran who served in Korea from 1953 to 1954, was greeted by the Marine Corps League Color Guard and a small group of his family and close friends at the military vehicle storage yard one recent Saturday on the corner of Sierra Highway and Newhall Avenue. As he walked into the gated area, Kirshner saw Steve Chambers, president of the U.S. Marine Corps Tankers Association, who was there to recognize Kirshner’s service. Behind Chambers was an M-47 tank, which resembled the one Kirshner served in during the Korean War. “We were going to see my grandson, and I was completely blindsided with this event,” said Kirshner. Surrounded by vintage military Jeeps and tanks, Kishner received the honor from Chambers, and then

Korean War veteran and former U.S. Marine tank commander Sid Kirshner, right, stands in front of a Korean War-era tank, as he is honored by Steve Chambers, president of the U.S. Marine Corps Tankers Association, during a ceremony to honor Kirshner for his service. The ceremony took place at a military vehicle storage yard in Newhall. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

thanked all those who surprised him. “Today was about honoring my dad’s service,” said Sid’s son Shawn Kirshner. “We thought it would be great to do it in front of the tank.” Shawn said the commendation was an honorary designation and recognized him as a member of the Marine Tankers Association. He added that holding the ceremony in front of the tank was made possible after he reached out to Paul Veluzat, a family friend who happens to own both the yard and the tank. “Even if we didn’t know them,

anytime we can honor a veteran … it’s a great thing to open the gates and do something like this,” said Veluzat. “You saw it in his own eyes, and just seeing his hand shake to come back and look at that tank and run his hand down the fender, it’s exciting. To honor a man like Sid is an awesome thing.” The tanks are at the Newhall lot almost year round, Veluzat said, and are taken out only when they’re rented out to the entertainment industry. After the ceremony, the party honoring Sid Kirshner then relocated to

Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio for lunch and a tour of the various movie sets around the ranch.


Continued from previous page

said the station registers offenders every Thursday and provides biannual address verifications, although it’s not required by law. On May 10, The Signal compiled a map of address-specific sex offender registrants in the SCV who are listed on the Megan’s Law website. Councilman Cameron Smyth suggested bringing forward at a future meeting an alternative ordinance that would comply with the law but allow for enhanced monitoring of sex offenders.

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 1 3


Local Girl Scout troop among top cookie sellers in L.A. By Emily Alvarenga Signal Staff Writer


t’s a sad time of year for those who are down to their last box of Thin Mints, but for Girl Scout Troop 2352, things are just starting to heat up. Now is the time when the Scouts are rewarded for selling all those cookies. There are just under 47,000 Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and those Scouts alone sold more than 5.6 million boxes this cookie season, according to GSGLA. Rewards for the cookie program, which are cumulative, include things like a participation patch when girls sell more than 24 boxes, fun merchandise at different levels and even trips to destinations like Hurricane Harbor at 500 boxes or camping in Big Bear at 1,500. Of the local troops, only 309 Scouts sold more than 1,200 boxes and joined the “Sweet Elite” selling level — four of them were in Troop 2352.

SCV Food Pantry Executive Director Susan Caputo, left, accepts a donation from the Girl Scouts of Troop 2352 at the SCV Food Pantry in Newhall on Wednesday. The troop donated part of the money they earned selling more than 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

These four scouts included Charlize Beato, 10; Amber Griffiths, 10; Sophia Rose Pennington, 10; and Kaitlyn

Deputies probe ‘threatening’ text

By Lorena Mejia Signal Staff Writer


threat directed at students of a local junior high school resulted in one student being detained, according to law enforcement officials. On Wednesday night, Rio Norte Junior High School staff became aware of a “threatening text message” that was received by a group of students. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station was notified immediately and conducted an investigation, according to school officials. “The (sender of the) message threatened to harm approximately 11 students,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff ’s Station. During the investigation, the student told deputies it was merely a joke, but he was taken into custody on suspicion of criminal threat charges and later released to his parents, according to sheriff ’s officials. A complete threat assessment was also conducted by detectives throughout the night, Miller added.

“(Considering) current national incidents, such as the shooting at a Colorado school this week, we are very sensitive to any perceived threats that we are made aware of,” Miller said. After the investigation, deputies determined that it was safe for students to attend school the next day. To assure the situation was safe, the school principal sent an email to parents that same night. “We are grateful to the students and parents that brought the information to our attention, and to the Sheriff ’s Department for a swift response,” said Principal Audrey Asplund. “It is our desire to act out of an abundance of caution when it comes to student safety.” Miller advised parents to have a conversation with their children — if they haven’t done so already — about not saying things to others that threaten harm to other students or target a school. “All threats made by students, even if they’re joking, are treated as actual unless proven otherwise,” Miller said.

Berg, 9. They were rewarded with a trip to Disneyland with early park access, a special Girl Scout breakfast in Toontown and exclusive access to a few rides. “I want to sell more cookies so I can donate more to charity and support our troop at the same time,” Amber said. “I wouldn’t want to sell as many cookies if my Girl Scout sisters weren’t there with me.” Kaitlyn agreed, and attributed her success to her Girl Scout sisters’ encouragement, but her favorite part is “having a goal and being able to achieve it.” And while this may seem impressive on its own, it doesn’t stop there. Sophia Rose and Kaitlyn were two of the 39 girls in GSGLA who sold more than 2,000 boxes, and Sophia Rose went one step further, reaching the highest reward level and joining the 12 other Scouts who sold more than 3,000 boxes. At this level, she will become a GSGLA spokesperson and receive an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience in Hollywood to prep for her media debut. Sophia Rose has thought up countless selling tactics, including persuading a man who was sure he didn’t want any cookies to buy some as gifts for his grandkids, as well as encouraging people to put the least

popular flavor, Toffee-tastic, and the new cookie, S’mores, in the microwave because they become “gooey and melty.” Although most of the girls admitted to being shy before they began selling cookies, they still said it’s their favorite time of year. “My favorite part of selling is being with my friends,” Charlize said. “But when people say no, it’s hard.” Her 8-year-old sister, Leila, agreed, and said she likes “when they say they’ll come back and then they actually do.” And it may seem like all fun and games, but cookie sales are an important part of fundraising for Troop 2352, and all of the proceeds generated from the cookie program will stay within the local council to support programs for Scouts in the community.

Giving back

The success of the troop’s cookie sales also doesn’t mean that the importance of giving back to their community has been forgotten. In fact, the troop used 10% of the funds generated from the 10,207 boxes they sold to give each girl a chance to donate to a local charity of their choice. On Wednesday, the troop presented the SCV Food Pantry, 6-year-old Ella Dvorsky’s charity pick, their $75 donation check along with $125 worth of groceries. Last year, Ella chose to help an animal shelter, but this year, she said she wanted to “feed the people, too.” “When people don’t have food, they can’t live, and I don’t want people to die,” she said. In addition to the donations from the cookie program, the troop has also done service projects for the Castaic Animal Care Center, Sunrise Senior Living, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and The Gentle Barn.

14 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


Heads up!

Stay safe on Santa Clarita streets this summer By Mayor Marsha McLean


ike month is wrapping up in Santa Clarita. If you did not take advantage of the rides and excitement, don’t worry. Our beautiful trails and paseos are always there for your cycling enjoyment. Coupled with our new Pace Bike Share program, there has never been a healthier or more environmentally friendly way to get around. I encourage you to visit BikeSanta for more information on bike trails, safety tips and community cycling events in our City. Being more than halfway through the month of May also signifies that the end of the school year is nearly upon us. With schools out of session for the summer, I know families are

looking forward to quality time spent together at the City’s parks, Aquatic Center and events throughout Santa Clarita. However, this means there will be more cars, pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the City. As such, it is an important time of year to review safe behaviors as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist with the City’s “Heads Up!” public safety campaign. We all play a role in the safety of our City, which is why it is important to always disconnect from distractions. Drivers must obey posted speed limits and anticipate pedestrians in crosswalks, and pedestrians should only cross the street at marked crosswalks, unless they are taking advantage of a pedestrian bridge or paseo. Especially since our youngest residents will be out of class and outside more often — playing with neigh-

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borhood friends and walking to parks — drivers please exercise extra caution and slow down through residential zones. This way, we will ensure everyone in Santa Clarita returns home safely at the end of each day. Pedestrians and cyclists can also help improve safety on our streets by taking extra time when crossing intersections and ensuring they are seen by motorists. Being predictable and following the rules of the road can be a life or death decision. Please don’t be on your phone, don’t forget to stop at the curb, be sure to look both ways and then cross when it is safe. And, please teach your children to do the same. As we move into the summer months and enjoy all of the fun that comes with it, let’s remember to take a second and evaluate our safety

behaviors, whether we are cyclists, pedestrians or drivers. With more people on the roads and sidewalks, we must do our part as residents to maintain Santa Clarita’s status as one of the safest cities in the nation and keep the number of auto incidents, especially those involving pedestrians and cyclists, on a downward trend. Let’s all continue to work together to protect our families and neighbors in this City we all love. Please visit to learn more about what you can do to improve traffic safety in Santa Clarita. Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at


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M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 1 5


West Ranch’s talented triple threat

By Jason Greenwald Signal Contributor


hen West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill constructed his roster before the 2019 baseball season, he knew one thing for certain: He had one of the best outfielding cores in the Foothill League, even in all of Southern California. Garret Monheim and twin brothers, Ryan and Jovan Camacho, were the backbone of the Wildcats’ offense and defense. Their athleticism was often on display, whether in the form of the ability to track down a fly ball, throwing capabilities, immense speed or their acumen at the plate. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be around an outfield that has been as talented as the one we’ve had here the last couple of years,” said Burrill. The three skillful outfielders have been making plays for West Ranch since their sophomore seasons, respectively. They lead the team to a 24-6 record in 2019 and second place in the Foothill League, going 12-3. Right field was manned by Monheim, who came back from a disappointing 2018 campaign, by his standards, and had a great 2019 season. Monheim’s average this season was .394 with 27 hits and 26 runs. He managed three home runs, six doubles and 26 RBIs. He led the team in batting average, RBIs, doubles and tied both Camacho brothers in runs. “We had all three of us contributing this year, and in the past three years, we’ve been a big factor,” Monheim said. “I think that we came out and showed that we had one of the best outfields.”

Center field belonged to Jovan Camacho, and he had a significant impact in the outfield with his glove, often making incredible plays on defense. Jovan helped out on the offensive side of the ball by hitting .256, accumulating 27 runs and 20 hits. He finished the year with five doubles and 17 RBIs. “For the past three years, I was fortunate enough to be a part of one of the best outfields in the area,” Jovan said. “Ryan and Garret are both people that the whole team would depend upon throughout each season.” And in left field was Ryan Camacho. He was willing to do whatever it took to get his team the win and it showed whenever he stepped to the plate. He had a .296 average, 27 runs, 24 hits and 15 RBIs. After barely missing out on a piece of the league title, the Wildcats looked to make a run in the 2019 CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. The outfield continued to lead by example in the first playoff game against Foothill of Santa Ana, collectively amassing five hits, three walks, two runs and one RBI in a 3-2 victory. Unfortunately, the Wildcats lost 1-0 to in the second round to Yucaipa. Burrill understands that replacing this outfield next season is going to be difficult, but he enjoyed coaching them as they became a force to be reckoned with for West Ranch. “It’s definitely something we are all going to miss,” Ryan said. “We’ve been in the outfield for the past three years. Since our sophomore years, we’ve all been playing a lot out there together.”


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West Ranch senior outfielder Jovan Camacho makes contact in a Foothill League matchup with Valencia at West Ranch High School Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL


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16 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


The Mighty Signal & the Smut Spider Is it me or have we somehow magically leapt from January to near June? Fortunately, with the invention of time travel, time is not an issue and we’ll be slicing through it in a few seconds. This fine morning, we’ll be floating to yesteryear in the Santa Clarita to witness epic feuds, our first school computer and Wild Bill Hickock’s best pal. There’s crooked politicians, fistfights and rasslin,’ which is not to be confused with wrestling. C’mon. Pick out a pony and hop up in the saddle. We’ve some interesting vistas ahead, right past that swirling vortex. Let’s see the trouble our ancestors used to get into … WAY BACK WHEN & THEN SOME

• Road in name only Back on May 19, 1851, a combination of essentially horse trails linking the Mission San Fernando with the Santa Clarita and Lake Elizabeth areas were declared an official California roadway. Most of the stretch couldn’t accommodate a wagon or stage. • Take a left at Williamson In May 1853, Army Lt. R.S. Williamson was in the SCV, surveying land for a possible trans-California railway. He also “discovered” the future housing project-destroying itty-bitty fish, the spiny stickleback. For years, Soledad Canyon was named the Williamson Highway.

• Must have been El Nino before there was El Nino We had an entire week of light May rain here 70 years back. MAY 19, 1959

• Adios, Mary Mary Mentry died. She was the widow of Charles Mentry, the famous Pico Canyon oil pioneer.

• Decades before Placerita One of the SCV’s oldest myths was that gold was first discovered in California in 1842 — in Placerita Canyon. Actually, there were reports of Piute Indians pulling nuggets out of the creek centuries earlier. Then, there was the Lost Padre Mine in Castaic in the 1790s and sophisticated mining in San Francisquito in the 1820s. Residents celebrated the fourth annual Gold Pageant in Placerita Canyon park. The old fest honored the 1842 alleged first major gold discovery.

MAY 19, 1939

MAY 19, 1969

sign with 18-inch-high glass letters, spelling the word, “Newhall.”

• So how many times did he get beat up? Former L.A. City District Attorney Pete Werner paid a visit to Dwightville. That was the early nickname for Wayside Honor Rancho, the white-collar “country club prison.” Years later, it would change names again to the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. D.A. Werner had been convicted of accepting bribes. He traded in his three-piece and briefcase for an inmate jumpsuit and a hoe for garden duties.

• A hushed yippie coyote so’s not to wake the baby May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, Marion Robert Morrison was born. He’d come out to the SCV in later years, making dozens of movies. You’ll recognize Marion by his stage name — John Wayne.

• Speaking of fights Folks were packed in to capacity at Baron’s Athletic Club on old Highway 99. The Baron put on Wednesday night prize fights, dancing and dinner. Arena prices were 75 cents for guys, 40 cents for ladies and 25 cents for children. Once in a while, they’d even put on wrestling matches at Baron’s.

MAY 19, 1919

MAY 19, 1949

• Any votes for less houses? Editor Ed Brown, in this paper’s first frontpage editorial, wrote: “What we need here is more houses...” Back in 1919, there were less than 200 in the whole valley. “We know that building material and labor are high, but probably there are people with idle money who could easily and with benefit to themselves and others, start a home building movement that would work to the general advantage of all concerned.” MAY 19, 1929

• I’d kill to have that sign The downtown merchants passed the hat and collected $350 for an electric

• “HEY WILD BILL! WAIT FOR ME!!” Not too many remember TV’s “Wild Bill Hickock’s” sidekick, Jingles P. Jones and his famous opening in the show. The Falstaffian Jingles was played by Andy Devine, who also owned Newhall International Airport (called so because it made mail runs to Mexico). On this date, the Civil Aeronautics Authority cut the purse strings to N.I.A. The field was leased to the Probert-Devine Corp. The reason why the CAA withdrew financial support was because the airfield was too small for some of the “larger, more modern planes.”

• Ground 1, Virginian 0 Actor James Drury, who played “The Virginian” in the famed TV series, was hurt during filming here. The cowboy was tossed from his horse and spent two days in the little Newhall hospital. • Snakes 2, Humans 2 Newhall had its fourth encounter in a week with rattlesnakes. The stats ended with a tie with two folks bitten and two snakes being clubbed to death. • Babies 1, Cars 0 Gregory Hawkins of Saugus climbed into the family station wagon, wrestled the gear shift into neutral and went for a brief but exciting 100-yard ride, knocking over mail boxes and slamming into a tree. Greg had a few minor scrapes and bruises, but mostly, he was scared. Gregory was 3. • Wouldn’t hurt Local educators were in Sacramento to discuss a proposed morality code to be added to the state’s high schools. One of the planks was to give Creationism equal time with Darwinism. • Our gadfly newspaper Same week, the builders of Deane Homes, based in Orange County, ruled that two local housewives could not use the neighborhood club house to hold a discussion group about the pros and cons of teaching sex education in schools. Getting into the spirit of the issue, The Mighty Signal started a “Name The Smut Mascot” contest. The unnamed mascot in question was a spider. • One billionth as powerful as a

cell phone On this date, Hart High got its first computer — a $10,000 Olivetti Underwood Programma 101 Calculator. It looked more like a big adding machine and, sadly, did not accept video games. • Still lamenting it wasn’t called Yuppieville J.C. College of the Canyons was officially named. The handle was pulled from a list of 10 possibilities, including Santa Clarita Jr. College and Valencia JC. The Cougar was also chosen as the mascot. That would be the mountain lion. Not the sexually obsessed hot older lady. MAY 19, 1979

• ‘Wrecked’ em!?’ dang near killed ’em. Another one of those Scotty editorials. Mr. Newhall penned a frontpage editorial, condemning the ITT Corp.’s attempt to put a massive dump here and the county’s attempt to place other garbage mounds here. “We are not a Chamberpot” was the huge headline. Wrote Scotty: “There is a wretched plot afoot to transform the beautiful bucolic Santa Clarita Valley into the rectum of Los Angeles.” • Boy howdy. You can’t do that today I’ve mentioned before, the gas crunch made some folks find alternative ways to get to work. One couple, Bernice and Pete Kalland, rode horses 38 miles round trip from their ranch in Agua Dulce to their jobs in Hasley Canyon. It was about 90 minutes one way, riding in washes and along the highway in spots. • Would love to pay it today One Gorman station got into trouble for deceptive advertising. A big sign read: “62.5 cents” in huge letters and, underneath in smaller letters “per 1/2-gallon.” Today, gas prices are at $2 per. Half gallon… Wish we could all just traipse around the back canyons for hours more. You are dear companions. Do come back next week. We’ll head out on another exciting Time Ranger adventure. Until then, vayan con Dios amigos … John Boston has been writing about SCV history for more than 40 years. Read his historical tome, “Images of America: The Santa Clarita Valley” on Check out his History of The Mighty Signal series on Saturdays on A1.

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 1 7

Mentryville, the SCV’s first boom town By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer


n 1876, Charles Alexander Mentry would bring in California’s first commercially viable oil well in Pico Canyon. He pulled liquid gold out of the ground, and a small town grew around the apparatus. The well, named Pico No. 4, produced well into the 20th century, as the town grew to over 100 families. In 1990, the well was finally capped, but not before it earned the distinction of being the longest continually operating oil well in the world. It now sits as part of a ghost town, with the buildings and architecture of the former community, named after the original oil tycoon as Mentryville, became a California State Historical Landmark. Despite the town having a well-studied history that dates across three different centuries and thousands of people visiting the park each year, there are still a few unique pieces of this relatively lesser-known slice of SCV history held by the stewards for this antiquated town’s special past: the Friends of Mentryville.


Leon Worden, one of the last remaining members of the Friends of Mentryville club that started back in the mid-90s, knows the modern history of Mentryville and Pico No. 4 better than most, from both first- and second-hand accounts. He says the way the town is situated now, with the particular buildings, is because of their necessity at to the operations of the community at the

Mentryville is currently open to visitors and hikers alike, and the house where Alex Mentry lived is still standing. PHOTO BY CALEB LUNETTA / THE SIGNAL

time. “Single men lived in bunkhouses up the canyon, while married men with families lived in cottages down-canyon,” said Worden. “Alex Mentry built himself a 13-room mansion that’s sort of jokingly called the Pico cottage. Some people call it ‘the Big House,’ even though it wasn’t a prison.” In terms of the other buildings, the townspeople built a number of others in order to create “a lifestyle out of the canyon,” according to Laurene Weste, who is another member of the Friends of Mentryville, as well as being a member of the SCV Historical society. “The town flourished for a real long time,” said Weste. “It was a beautiful community.” The kids used to dam up the creek in the summer so that they could swim in it and create a waterfall like structure, gaslights lit the town, a recreation area that allowed them to play horseshoes and socialize and

(Left) This picture shows Mentryville in its early days, as a cluster of hastily throwntogether structures. (Right) This photo shows the town in the 1920s, after several decades of development. PHOTOS COURTESY SCV HISTORICAL SOCIETY

they built a school house that could hold 13-14 desks. By the early 1930s, there were too few children, and the kids took a little bus or rode their horses down to Newhall School in order to get their daily education, according to Worden. “There was a bakery that made a special coconut dessert that people loved,” said Weste. “And it was a dry town, so if they wanted to drink they’d have to come into Newhall.” The town was one of a kind, Weste said.

Ghost Town

The 1994 Northridge Earthquake rocked the region about four years after the historical well Pico no. 4, closed down. Chevron owned Pico No. 4 at the time, and while the earthquake was a deadly disaster for the area, the Friends of Mentryville, managed to turn the tragedy into an opportunity to preserve history. “Chevron, Standard Oil’s new name, was divesting itself of all its unproductive assets (and) Mentryville was an unproductive asset,” Worden said. “Our community had its sights set on creating an open space buffer around the developed parts of what is now the city of Santa Clarita.” Thanks to state Sen. Ed Davis and his Chief of Staff Hunt Braly; then-Supervisor Michael Antonovich and his deputy Jo Anne Darcy; and Weste, as well as a few others, it was starting to happen, Worden said.


“They successfully rallied support for park bonds that enabled the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, an arm of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, to purchase Towsley Canyon from Chevron,” he said, “which then also donated the 854 acres of Pico Canyon-Mentryville.” A total of about 3,000 acres were set aside, which are now known as the Santa Clarita Woodlands. In 1995, there was a big grand reopening celebration in Mentryville, and a group of local residents and hobbyist historians formed a new group, known as the Friends of Mentryville, which would work with the Conservancy and restore the buildings in Mentryville and open them a museum, Worden said. “We started to do it, thanks to volunteers like Richard Rioux and Duane Harte, but the Conservancy never dedicated the park bond funds to take it the rest of the way. Then came the October 2003 wildfire,” Worden said. “By that time, volunteers from the Friends of Mentryville had already removed the historic artifacts from the buildings, and the city of Santa Clarita graciously offered to store them for us.” A number of the schoolhouse desks, chalkboards, the charcoal stove the teachers used for heating the classroom and other materials from the town are still being preserved in storage.

Ghost town rally

Worden said that the only major development since the 2003 fire has been that the Conservancy has closed off all the buildings except to film companies like HBO, who filmed their series “Big Love” on Mentryville’s grounds. “The Conservancy hasn’t used the film permit fees or anything else to open the buildings as a museum,” said Worden. “They’re just sitting there, rotting away. It is an incredible and inexcusable shame that the Conservancy has not kept its promise to open Mentryville as a public museum.” However, officials at the Conservancy say they have been good stewards of the park, there’s just simply not enough funds in their budget — which services See BOOMTOWN, page 31

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M AY 19, 2019

BBQ Black Bear Diner 23626 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 799-4820

AMERICAN Backwoods Inn 17846 W. Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 252-5522 The Backyard Grub n’ Brews 26509 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 286-1165 Bergie’s 16404 Delone Street, Canyon Country (661)251-3133 Black Angus 27007 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 288-2000 Black Bear Diner 23626 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 799-4820 Boston Market 26543 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (Saugus) (661) 297-4447 Brooklyn Bar & Grill 25860 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 284-6057 The Cheesecake Factory 24250 Town Center Dr #110, Valencia, CA 91355 (661) 286-1232 Claim Jumper 25740 The Old Road, Valencia (661) 254-2628 Crazy Otto’s Diner 25373 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 291-1733 The Daily Harvest Cafe & Juicery 22722 Lyons Ave #6, Newhall (661) 383-9387 Eat Real Cafe 23414 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 254-2237 27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 254-2237 Iconic Eats 23460 Cinema Dr, Valencia (661) 481-9404 Islands 24180 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 284-5903

Lazy Dog Cafe 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia (661) 253-9996 Mama’s Table 23340 Cinema Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 284-5988 Marston’s Restaurant 24011 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 253-9910 Nealie’s Skillet 25858 Tournament Road, Valencia (661) 678-0031 Newhall Refinery 24258 Main St, Newhall (661) 388-4477 Red Robin 27063 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 260-2411

Dickeys Barbecue Pit 18742 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 251-0840

Saugus Cafe 25861 Railroad Avenue, Saugus (661) 259-7886

JJ’s Bar and Grill 25848 Tournament Road, Valencia (661) 799-7557

BJ’s Restaurant 24320 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 288-1299

Q&Q Hawaiian BBQ 27530 Newhall Ranch Road #101, Santa Clarita (661) 383-9098 Rattler’s BBQ 26495 Golden Valley Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-4195

Wood Ranch Bar-B-Que & Grill 25580 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-9494

The Old Town Junction 24275 Main Street Newhall (661) 702-4888

Jimmy Dean’s 22941 Lyons Ave, Newhall (661) 255-6315

Lucille’s Bar-B-Que 24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 255-1227

Salt Creek Grille 24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 222-9999

Stonefire Grill 23300 Cinema Drive, Valencia (661)799-8282

The Old Town Junction 24257 Main Street, Newhall (661) 702-4888

Way Station Coffee Shop 24377 Main Street, Newhall (661) 255-0222

Smokehouse on Main 24255 Main St, Old Town Newhall (661) 888-4585

Souplantation 24303 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 286-1260

The Habit 25948 N. McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 291-1575

L&L Hawaiian BBQ 18727 Via Princessa, Canyon Country (661) 251-8333

Saddle Ranch Chop House 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia (661) 383-0173

Sizzler 19013 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 250-7300

Mimi’s Cafe 24201 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia (661) 255-5520

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH Casa Canela 27647 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 523-7282 Crazy Otto’s Diner 25373 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 291-1733 Egg Plantation 24415 Walnut Street, Newhall (661) 255-8222

Thelma’s Cafe 22876 Copperhill Drive, Saugus (661) 263-8283

Eggs N Things 27560 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 702-8664

Wing Stop 18547 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-9700

Halfway House 15564 W. Sierra Highway, Saugus (661) 251-0102

Wood Ranch Bar-B-Que & Grill 25580 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-9494

Mama’s Table 23340 Cinema Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 284-5988 Marston’s Restaurant 24011 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 253-9910


Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. 18810 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 252-7883 Pocock Brewing Company 24907 Avenue Tibbits, Valencia (661) 775-4899 Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. 27746 N. McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 263-9653

BURGERS/SANDWICHES Bricks 23820 Lyons Ave, Newhall (661) 286-1091 Brother’s Burgers 20655 Soledad Canyon (661) 299-9278 Burgerim 23740 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 670-8939 Corner Bakery 24290 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 259-2813 Cousins Burgers 19318 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 298-4200 Everest Burgers 18645 Soledad Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91351 (661) 252-3412 Final Score 23754 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 254-6557 Firehouse Subs 23630 Valencia Blvd. Valencia (661) 255-3473 Five Guys 24201 W, Valencia Blvd #3672, Valencia (661) 255-0981 Grilled Cheese Factory 24201 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 888-1508

Panini Palace 23120 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 678-0552 Pita Pit 28253 Newhall Ranch Road (661) 702-9977 Route 66 Classic Grill 18730 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 298-1494 Rustic Burger 24025 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 254-1300 Rustic Eatery 25343 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 254-8100 Submarina California Subs 26517 Carl Boyer Drive, Canyon Country (661) 259-4782 Tiny’s Submarine Sandwiches 27251 Camp Plenty Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-5885

CHINESE China Express 19417 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-8783 Genghis Khan 24506 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 254-0351 Golden Wok Restaurant 16668 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 424-0888 Grand Panda 23802 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 253-1898 27924 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 297-9868 Mandarin Wong Chinese Restaurant 23758 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 259-5823 Moon Wok 23460 Cinema Drive Suite H, Valencia (661) 288-1898

M AY 19, 2019

New Moon 28281 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 257-4321 Pei Wei Asian Diner 24250 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 600-0132 Pick Up Stix 25960 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 288-2090 WaBa Grill 19120 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 367-7297 31739 Castaic Road, Castaic (661) 295 9222 Wok’s Cookin’ Chinese Restaurant 31565 Castaic Road, Castaic (661) 257-2890

CUBAN Hidden Havana Cuban Cafe 23548 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 254-4460

DELICATESSEN Bob’s Country Meats 19012 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-5995 Cathy’s Delicatessen 23120 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 288-2217 Maria’s Italian-American Deli 22620 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 259-6261 Mariciano’s Chicago Style Deli 18635 Soledad Canyon Road (661) 299-1100 Piccola Trattoria Italian Deli 18302 W. Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country (661) 299-6952 The Sandwich Shop 25530 W. Avenue Stanford, Valencia (661) 257-4811

FRENCH Le Chene French Cuisine 12625 Sierra Highway, Agua Dulce (661) 251-4315

GREEK Gyromania 20655 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 252-4976

INDIAN An Indian Affaire 23360 W. Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 288-1200 Karma Restaurant, Bar & Lounge 23460 Cinema Drive, Valencia (661) 288-0080

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 1 9

Royal Tandoor 26532 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 263-7100

ITALIAN Bella Cucina Ristorante Italiano 27911 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 263-1414 Buca di Beppo 26940 Theater Drive, Valencia (661) 253-1900 Italia Panetteria & Deli 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 294-9069 Maria’s Italian-American Deli 22620 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 259-6261 Numero Uno Pizza 26111 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 252-5011 Olive Garden 27003 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 799-8161

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Piccola Trattoria 18302 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 299-6952 Presto Pasta 24375 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia (661) 284-7737 Spumoni Restaurant 24917 W. Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 799-0360

Homemade Cooking!


Achita Sushi 22913 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 476-5522 Asako Sushi 27540 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country (661) 251-6010 Bonsai Garden 19358 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-9008 Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Dining 27025 McBean Pkwy, Valencia (661) 254-2355 Hibiki Restaurant 27625 Shangri La Dr., Canyon Country (661) 298-0273 Kabuki 24045 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 799-8655 Kisho Japanese Teppan Grill & Revolving Sushi Bar 23430 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 284-3856 Love Sushi 18521 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 299-6526 See DINING GUIDE, on page 21

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20 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

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Crazy Otto’s Valencia —

Serves up enormous plates, even bigger smiles By Kirsten Smith Signal Staff Writer


ince its inception in the 1970s, iconic breakfast and lunch diner Crazy Otto’s has been dishing out meals big enough to satiate a lumberjack — literally. Chef Otto Lindsel originally got his start by cooking for lumberjacks in the northern West Coast, before moving to Lancaster to start up a new venture. When Lindsel opened shop near the train tracks of Sierra Highway, the first Crazy Otto’s was born. For almost 25 years, the humble diner continued to grow to accommodate the large crowds that came in for a hearty serving and some train-time discounts. Rumor has it Lindsel mounted a numbered wheel on the wall and spun it each time guests could hear the cars rattle by. Wherever the wheel landed, the corresponding booth would enjoy a side of savings with their breakfast — and get their meal for free. With generous portions and fast service, Crazy Otto’s quickly developed a reputation for serving the biggest omelettes around, and in 1993, Lindsel made it official by preparing an astonishing 1,364-square-foot omelette that won the Guinness World Record. Though a Portuguese diner has since claimed the behemoth omelette title, today’s Crazy Otto’s diners don’t disappoint when it comes to history, portion size or creativity. In fact, the franchise has been so

In 1993, Crazy Otto’s set the Guinness World Record for the largest omelet coming in at an astonishing 1,364-square-feet. Today, you can order from a nice variety of smaller omelets, including a build your own. PHOTOS COURTESY KIRSTEN SMITH / THE SIGNAL

successful in recent years that they opened two locations in Santa Clarita, one on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country, and the other in The Shops at Tourney shopping center in Valencia. The first week of May was “our first full week in business,” said Brian Hernandez, franchise owner of the Valencia location. “And we’re busy!” The newest location maintains all the charm and history of the original, including its own decorative wheel hung on the wall, as well as the bright, industrial decor of a modern diner. Patrons may spy wall hangings reminiscent of the old Lancaster train station, plus a panoramic photo of

Lindsel’s first location in Lancaster. While the ambiance absolutely hits the mark, most patrons end up feasting their eyes on the mouth-watering plates of classic American cuisine. The menu at Crazy Otto’s features full breakfast and lunch, including prime rib specials, half-pound USDA elect beef burgers and classic hot sandwiches and melts. For breakfast, first-timers must test their appetites on the world-famous omelettes. Favorites include Crazy Otto’s Burgermeat omelette — seasoned ground beef, onions, Ortega chiles and choice of cheese for $13.95 — and the Avocado — diced bacon, freshly mashed avocado, and choice of cheese for $14.95. The “Build Your Own” omelette also comes with any choice of five ingredients for $16.50. All omelettes come with a side hash browns, as well as a choice of toast or biscuits and home-style gravy. The flaky biscuits and rich, seasoned gravy is not only delicious but also a fantastic deal with no extra charge. Another delicious breakfast choice is the 10-ounce top sirloin with two eggs ($17.40). Perfectly seasoned and cooked to order, it also comes with hash browns and a choice of toast or biscuits and gravy.

Other delicious breakfast choices include the Top Sirloin and Eggs, made with a 10-ounce steak and the same selection of sides for $17.50, as well as the original Hobo Eggs — scrambled eggs, hash browns, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms all cooked together for $13.95. When it comes to lunch at Crazy Otto’s, the portions are just as legendary. All burgers are made with a half-pound of USDA Select, seasoned ground beef, and if you get the Bacon Cheeseburger, it also comes with thick-cut strips of bacon and your choice of cheese for $12.50. The menu also offers both hot and cold sandwiches, and the Club House is a tower of thick-sliced meat and freshly sliced veggies for $12.50. For French fry lovers, the steak-cut spuds are cooked to absolute perfection and worth a visit alone. Plus, you can’t dine at Crazy Otto’s without taking home a side of good ol’ community diner charm. With every arrival and departure, the staff makes sure to shout a warm hello and a gratuitous thank you to each guest who walks through the door. After all, Crazy Otto’s couldn’t call itself an iconic American diner if the people weren’t as comforting as the food. 

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 2 1


Continued from page 19

JAPANESE & SUSHI My Hot Pot 26238 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 288-1998 Sushi Song Japanese Restaurant 22896 Copper Hill Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 297-5659 Xevichez Sushi Bar 24250 Town Center Dr #180, Santa Clarita (661) 288-1477 Yamato Restaurant 24947 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 799-0707

KOREAN & MONGOLIAN Charcoal Korean BBQ Restaurant 19158 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-9292 Flame Broiler 18519 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 252-5918 Gogi House 26524 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 263-0048 Kogiya 2 Korean BBQ 23410 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 678-0999 Lee’s Korean BBQ & Tofu House 23360 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 254-2307 ZingGa Grill 26910 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita (661) 250-7592


Cafe O 20655 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 424-0401

NOW OPEN CATERING for any occasion delivery or pickup!

Flame & Skewers 25870 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 799-7538 Grill Kabob 27653 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 263-7445 Kebab House 24201 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 799-5844 Manoushee Mediterranean Restaurant 27131 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country (661) 251-6666 Olive Terrace Cafe 28261 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 257-7860 Zankou Chicken 24463 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia (661) 705-7265

MEXICAN Azul Tequila 25387 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 254-5500 Betito’s Mexican 18902 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-0557 Cabo Cabana Restaurant 25710 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-7022 Casa Pasilla 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 295-1989

La Cocina Bar & Grill 28022 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 297-4546

Tomato Joes Pizza Express 27732 McBean Pkwy. Valencia (661) 263-8646


Ameci Pizza & Pasta 28013 Seco Canyon, Santa Clarita (661) 296-6131

La Charrita Restaurant 24225 Main St, Newhall (661) 288-1204

Toppers Pizza 23710 Valencia Blvd, Santa Clarita (805) 385-4444

Las Rocas Mexican Grill 27923 Sloan Canyon Road Castaic, CA 91384 (661) 257-6905

Chi Chi’s Pizza 27117 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 252-4405 23043 Soledad Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 259-4040

Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant 19319 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 367-4945

Magic Pizza SCV 26870 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 291-1921


Mama Mia Pizza 25708 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 286-9183

Rosarito Grill 19425 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-2732

Numero Uno Pizza 26111 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 259-3895

Solita Tacos & Margaritas 24201 Valencia Blvd., Suite 3470, Santa Clarita (661) 291-1399

Pizza Rev 24341 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia (661) 260-1257


Persia Lounge & Restaurant 24328 Main Street, Newhall (661) 259-4100

Tomato Joes Pizza & Taps 19167 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 250-7550

Pierogi Spot 26511 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 254-4850

THAI Life Thai Fusion 22911 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 259-9226 Mom Can Cook Thai Kitchen 18358 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-8103 Original Thai BBQ Restaurant 27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 257-6421 Siam Rice II 25845 Railroad Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 287-0099

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22 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

M AY 19, 2019


Herman’s Hermits come back to the SCV By Perry Smith Sunday Signal Editor


erman’s Hermits have played all over the world, and they’re no strangers to the Santa Clarita Valley. Thanks to Canyon Santa Clarita, fans of the band that’s been around continuously since the “British Invasion” have a chance to see the band

May 31, when the Peter Noone-led group returns to the SCV. The band, which first burst onto the scene with their cover of Earl-Jean’s “I’m into Something Good,” landed a pair of hits at the top of the Billboard 100 list, including “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” Fans who plan to come to see their classic songs won’t be disappointed,

according to lead singer Peter Noone, who promises the band will stay true to its original sound. “We play as many Herman’s Hermits hits as we can, and we know over 300 songs so no two concerts are ever the same,” Noone said, “as we don’t have a set list or good memories.” If you’d like to check out the soundtrack to an era performed by the original voice that’s been doing it

for decades, the Canyon’s upcoming Herman’s Hermits’ show is one you won’t want to miss. Find the Canyon Santa Clarita on the ground floor of the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Get tickets at the box office 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, by phone at (888) 6455006, or via For more info, visit Wheremusicmeetsthe

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 2 3


‘Tolkien’ and ‘Charlie Says’ By Dianne White Crawford Signal Contributing Writer

“Tolkien” (General Release)

(From left) Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Gibson, Anthony Boyle, and Tom GlynnCarney in “Tolkien.”

As fascinated as we are with great writers, the cinematic appeal of watching someone put pen to paper, clack away on a manual typewriter or peck at their laptop keyboard is at best negligible, and more likely, non-existent. Still, award-winning Finnish director Dome Karukoski chose renowned writer J.R.R. Tolkien as the subject of his first English language film. Tolkien’s actual writing time on screen is mostly limited to a single shot at the film’s conclusion; however, the script attempts to connect the dots between his real world life to his middle-earth characters and adventures from “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Harry Gilby portrays the young John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and then Nicholas Hoult stars from college age forward. The film bounces between Tolkien’s childhood as an orphan, his elite private school education at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, matriculating at Oxford University and soldiering in WWI. It’s during his stay at Ms. Faulkner’s boarding house when he meets Edith Blatt, the love of his life. While attending prep school, he and three friends: Robert Gilson, Christopher Wiseman and Geoffrey Smith (poet), form the TCBS (Tea Club and Borrovian Society), a club dedicated to changing the world through art. It’s at Oxford where Tolkien’s love of language kicks into a yet higher gear, though it’s during his time in the Battle of the Somme — one of the deadliest battlefields of WWI — that we see his “trench fever” contribute to many of the visuals later associated

with his books. Lily Collins portrays Blatt at the age where Tolkien must choose between her and his Oxford education, but as often happens with true love, the two later reconnect and remain married for more than 50 years (until her death). This film doesn’t cover their later years and instead focuses on the formative ones — both for his imagination and their relationship. We see his early childhood games (The Shire inspired from his time in Sarehole outside Birmingham) and the film often slaps us with an “obvious stick” on how certain segments of life translate directly to his familiar stories in future years. In fact, there is no mention of C.S. Lewis and The Inklings — his friends who later supported his writing efforts. We do, however, get a sequence with Tolkien and Blatt backstage at Wagner’s “The Ring Cycle” opera … a dot that requires the simplest of connectors. The film looks terrific — especially in the battle scenes, which are staged dramatically and horrifically (much as we imagine the war was) by cinematographer Lasse Frank Johannesson. Unfortunately, that’s the highlight. This is mostly a generic biography of an extraordinary writer. Adding to the frustration is the fact that Nicholas Hoult recently portrayed reclusive writer J.D. Salinger in “Rebel in the Rye” … roles too similar for the same actor. “The Hobbit” was published in 1937 and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy in 1954-55, the latter being the best-selling fiction of all-time before being overtaken by J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Tolkien’s key seems to have been his lifelong fascination with language. He even created his own – not just words, but complete languages. That would likely have made a better focus here. Seeing the foundation of “the Fellowship” was somewhat interesting, although much of that segment came across like a poor man’s “Dead Poet Society.” Supposedly, the Tolkien family has refused to endorse the film, likely placing the script “In a hole in the ground … ”

“Charlie Says” (Limited Release)

Sosie Bacon, Hannah Murray and Marianne Rendón in “Charlie Says.” PHOTOS COURTESY IMDB.

Author Joan Didion wrote “the 1960s ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,” and as we approach the 50th anniversary of that tragic night … actually two tragic nights (August 8 and 9) … there is no shortage of recollections and reenactments through both print and visual media. For anyone who was alive at the time or has read the story since, the grisly murders and cult commune lorded over by Charles Manson remains nearly beyond belief. Unfortunately, it’s all too real. Director Mary Harron and screenwriter Guinevere Turner previously collaborated on “American Psycho” (2000) and “The Notorious Bettie Page” (2015), and here, “inspired by” books from Karlene Faith (“The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult,” 2001) and Ed Sanders (“The Family,” 1972, also one of the film’s producers), we get a glimpse of the Manson cult through the eyes of the women, especially Leslie Van Houten. And let’s be honest, that’s where the real mystery is. A domineering, arrogant, white supremacist is not nearly as interesting as the story of how these women became so enchanted by him that they were willing (even anxious) to murder innocent people on his behalf. Hannah Murray (“Game of Thrones”) stars as Leslie Van Houten, nicknamed “LuLu” by Manson not long after they meet for the first time. We see Van Houten, Susan “Sadie” Atkins (Marianne Rendon) and Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon, daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) in an isolated cell

block of a California Women’s Prison five years after the murders. They are going through therapy sessions with Faith whose goal is to remind them of who they were before meeting Manson. During the prison therapy sessions, we get flashbacks to the Spahn Ranch where Manson ruled over his followers which also included Mary Brunner, Squeaky Fromme, Linda Kasabian and, of course, Tex Watson, who initially comes off as quite aloof, but eventually buys in totally — in a most violent manner. It’s these flashbacks that are meant to help us understand the brainwashing which stuck with these women through the crimes, through their trial, and through years of incarceration. We hear the “garbage dump” song. We hear about money and ego. We learn that “the new rules are no rules.” We see Manson’s dream of becoming a rock star shattered by music producer Terry Melcher (the son of Doris Day) after his introduction from Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys drummer), who hung around the ranch sometimes. And we hear Manson’s rantings about the correlations between The Beatles’ White Album and the Bible, and about how a race war is coming (and it’s named Helter Skelter). Matt Smith plays Charles Manson, and oddly enough, this comes on the heels of his playing artist Robert Mapplethorpe in “Mapplethorpe.” Smith seems to have fun with the role, but it’s these segments that feel underwritten. We want more of an explanation of how this could happen. On the other hand, the therapy sessions in the prison actually provide more insight to the lasting effects of the man and the cult that brainwashed them right into committing cold-blooded murder and a life behind bars. The thankless job of a prison therapist becomes clear as Faith realizes that if she breaks the Manson spell, these women will be forced to live with the unimaginable atrocities they committed. For a different perspective, track down the 1976 TV movie “Helter Skelter” that was based on prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book. It starred Steve Railsback as a terrifying Charles Manson.

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= Family Friendly Event

Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with The Friends of Hart Park, presents its Seventh Annual Artisan Row Home Arts and Crafts Show,”with handmade and commercial art & crafts. The public is invited to attend an indoor showcase featuring handmade toys, bed and bath items, and an array of fashion accessories both commercial and handcrafted at William S. Hart Regional Park. Also, browse through visual art and graphics, all of which are available for purchase. William S. Hart Hall , 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall, Info: row_home_arts_crafts_show_6966# Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pinot’s Palette will host a Family Day painting session. Bring your kids and customize this cute unicorn design with your favorite colors to make your masterpiece magical! 25850 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Info: valencia Sunday, May 19, 1-5 p.m. Chill out this summer during the Skate into Summer Open House event. Ice Station’s olympic rink will be open for free open skate while the pond rink will have snow for kids to enjoy! The event will also feature raffles and other giveaways. Ice Station Valencia 27745 Smyth Drive, Santa Clarita. Info: (661) 775-8686 Monday, May 20, 6:30 p.m. Courtroom illustrator Bill Robles will talk at the Santa Clarita Artists Association The 1970 Charles Manson trial launched a career as a television news courtroom artist, and has resulted in a long succession of high profile trials. Robles’

illustrations include the trials of Patricia Hearst, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, OklaWednesdays, 7 p.m. Come learn to dance homa City Bombers Timothy McVeigh and in a fun and welcoming environment! You’ll Terry Nichols, Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton, have the chance to meet new people and Lindsay Lohan, Arizona shooter Jared Lee enjoy Latin music and dancing every Loughner and Aurora theater shooter James Wednesday! Doors at 6 p.m., Beginner Salsa Holmes. Barnes and Noble 23630 Valencia Lessons at 7 p.m., Intermediate Salsa Lessons Blvd., Santa Clarita. Info: Visit santaclaritaat 8 p.m., Social Dancing at 9 p.m. $10. The for more details. Canyon — Santa Clarita, 24201 Valencia Thursday, May 23, 7-9 p.m. Note by Note Blvd., Suite 1351 Santa Clarita. Info: is a music showcase presenting audiences with a variety of genres at this free evening Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. of fun. Each month, bands, duos, and soloists Come hug the cows, give the pig’s will play their own blends of music for your tummy rubs, cuddle the turkeys and enjoy a listening pleasure. This May will feature the beautiful day at the Gentle Barn! Donation: Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra — Adults $22, Kids $12. Tickets are nonrefundGuitar Orchestra, Christopher Ramirez and able but rain checks are available. The Gentle Austin Jons and the Immortals. Admission is Barn, 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita. free. The MAIN 24266 Main St., Newhall. Info: Info: May 4-May 27, Weekdays 2-10 p.m., Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Weekends noon to 10 p.m. Pop Sk8, CaliCome to the Chancellor’s Cabaret – Spring fornia’s first themed pop-up outdoor roller Fever/Vocal Jazz concert. The College of the rink is coming to Westfield Valencia Town Canyons vocal jazz ensembles are on fire! Center. Come for a different musical theme Hear the fabulous music of Just Jazz and each day. $15. Westfield Valencia Town House Blend. Tickets available at the door. Center, 24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia. $20. Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University CenInfo: ter, College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita. Info: www3. EVENTS BY DATE html Sunday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guide Dogs of America will hold their 15th annual Friday, May 24, 8-10 p.m. The Main will Ride for Guides motorcycle ride. The host the second edition of The Sidecar ride will start in Sylmar in the morning and Music Series featuring School of Rock Santa make its way through Santa Clarita. An event Clarita. Come out to see aspiring musicians featuring poker, raffles and a barbecue lunch perform the music of Black Sabbath and will be held afterwards. Registration after selections from the “Guardians of the GalMay 10 will go up to $45 per person. 3479 axy” soundtrack. $12. The MAIN, 24266 Main Glenoaks Blvd, Sylmar. Info: guidedogsofamStreet., Newhall. Info: Friday, May 24, 9 p.m. Puddles Pity Party, from “America’s Got Talent,” is coming to Santa Clarita. The ‘Sad Clown with the Golden Voice’ is here with his heartfelt anthems and a suitcase full of Kleenex! This CONGRATULATIONS to Donna Dailey for correctly Pity Party is not all sadness and longing. The W O N identifying Las Rocas Mexican Grill on page 22. show is peppered with a brilliant sense of the N E P O Identify this advertiser and the page number in this week’s absurd, mixing lots of humor with the awkissue, and you will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate for ward, tender moments. The Canyon — Sana local restaurant. CATERINGta Clarita, 24201 Valencia Blvd, Suite 1351, One game and one winner each week. for any occasion delivery or pickup! Santa Clarita. Info: wheremusicmeetsthesoul. Mail your entry to The Signal – Contest com/events/puddles-pity-party-santa26330 Diamond Place | Santa Clarita, CA 91350 clarita/ Or email Saturday, May 25, 8-10 p.m. Soundcheck Advertiser: _____________________________ Page # ______ is back with an acoustic-filled performance, Name: _____________________________________________ setting the stage for an intimate night. Address: ___________________________________________ During her time as a performer, Sabina Estrella Arias explored the intersections of Phone: _____________________________________________ music traditions from different cultures, and This week’s entries are due Wed. May 29 has performed around the world and draws Winner to be announced in 2 weeks. inspiration from Mesoamerican culture.





Sleepy Valley is a 4-piece alternative punkfolk band that have performed around the Santa Clarita Valley since 2015.Tickets for adults is $10, $8 for students and seniors. The MAIN 24266 Main Street., Newhall. Info: Wednesday, May 29, 7 p.m. Performing under the direction of composer Bernardo Feldman, 12 up-and-coming composers, DJs and producers from College of the Canyons present a variety of music, dance and lights of exquisite beauty and boundless energy that will expand and challenge your expectations. Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita. Info: PAC/electronica2019.html Thursday, May 30, 7-9 p.m. Come to The MAIN’s Harry Potter and the Quizner of Azkaban: Trivia Night. Do you think you have what it takes to be the Hermione of our trivia night? Or will your knowledge prove to be more like that of a Troll? Put on your House colors, Accio your trivia team, and head over for a night of libation and examination! Trivia Night is free to attend, and is appropriate for witches, wizards, and muggles aged 13 and older. Teams should consist of no more than 5 players. Costumes strongly encouraged. Adult beverages available for purchase. The MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall. Info: Friday, May 31, 6-9 p.m. The nonprofit Raising the Curtain Foundation, which supports the Newhall Family Theatre, will host a family fun night of animation film screenings from the students of CalArts at the NFT. A professional animator will share insights into the possibilities of an animation education and career. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will benefit the Newhall Family Theatre. Newhall School District students will be admitted free. Students must be accompanied by an adult. Newhall Family Theatre, 24600 Walnut Street, Newhall. Info: animation-showcase-tickets-60097817189 Saturday, June 1, 7-9 p.m. House of Bounce is hosting a Mom’s Night In. Treat yourself to an evening of pampering and rejuvenation at House of Bounce, in association with SCV Mom Connection! At this exclusive “No Kids Allowed” event, you’ll enjoy facials, massages, complimentary food, a photobooth, and so much more! $60. Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 West Valencia Blvd Suite 2312, Valencia. Info:

M AY 19, 2019

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Memorial Day road trips to places you’ve never seen before at Road Trip Expresso, which serves coffee from a vintage trailer. Gold Country has a deep history (thanks to the prospectors) and impressive natural features. Miles from the SCV: 330

By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


oad trips should be spontaneous and are best taken in a convertible with plenty of junk food stowed aboard and no schedules to keep. While familiar haunts are favorite road trip destinations, the best road trips are to places you’ve never seen. You might need more than a threeday weekend to see some of these places, but that’s part of the adventure. California is a large and wonderous state, why not explore some of its hidden places and secret spaces? Family road trips are, by necessity, a bit more structured, but that doesn’t mean you have to visit Legoland or some other famous “roadside attraction.” Teach your family the joy of spontaneity while exploring the unknown. However, always keep your AAA emergency roadside assistance card at the ready. Here are some ideas to truly “get away from it all” this Memorial Day.

Point Arena — Stornetta Public Lands

45500 Lighthouse Road, Point Arena, 95468 Info This rugged northern coastline is perfect for whale-watching and enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Located about 140 miles north of San Francisco, the untouched beauty of Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, contains 1,700 acres filled with dramatic seascapes.

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

The Point Arena Lighthouse is the tallest of its kind on the Pacific Coast. PHOTOS COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA

The protected lands in Mendocino County are so special that President Barack Obama declared them part of the California Coastal National Monument in March 2014. View the rugged coastline from the top of Point Arena’s 115-foot historic lighthouse, the tallest of its kind on the Pacific Coast. Depending on the time of year, you’ll catch glimpses of humpback, blue or gray whales coming up for air as they migrate between Alaska and Mexico. Grays have become yearround, but December through April are the prime months. Humpbacks are more common in the summer months. Miles from the SCV: 490


Road Trip Expresso, 1391 Utica Powerhouse Road, Murphys, 95247 Info or What? Where? Under-the-radar wine-tasting in California’s Gold Country can be found about 85 miles southeast of Sacramento. California has no shortage of wine country tasting destinations. But if you’re looking for a lesser-known locale for sipping, head to the quaint town of Murphys, where more than two dozen boutique wineries are open year-round. Murphys calls itself “The Queen of the Sierras.” It is fitting to start your experience

Info www.sierravistascenicbyway. com This hidden treasure starts at North Fork, 45 miles from Fresno, and is in the geographic center of California. If you’re into granite domes, glaciated peaks and twisty scenic roads with barely any people around, drive this 100-mile stretch of road between Yosemite National Park and Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. It is an epic alpine byway worth a road trip. You’ll immediately get a feel for what California looked like a century ago, and you can embrace the time-machine theme with stops at the Jesse Ross Cabin from the 1860s and Jones’ Store, which still doesn’t have electricity (but does have great pie). There’s lots to see and do, and if you dare, try a classic California rafting adventure. Miles from the SCV: 250

Gilroy Gardens

3050 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy, 95020 Info To find the craziest trees you’ve ever seen travel to Gilroy, 40 miles inland from Santa Cruz. If you’ve heard of Gilroy at all, it is probably in relation to its world-famous Garlic Festival, held annually in July. However, there is more to Gilroy See TRAVEL, page 31

Considered the first International Dark Sky Community in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park provides some of the most breathtaking views of our stars.

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M AY 19, 2019


Fun ways to help kids keep learning all summer


id you know 96 percent of teachers say that each fall, students appear to have forgotten or lost some of the knowledge or skills they learned the previous school year? But don’t worry, the good news is that 89 percent of parents plan to continue some form of educational activities with their children during the summer. Many of these activities may be things you already do with your children. And, 92 percent of teachers agree that students will be more successful overall if they keep learning during the summer months. What are the most enjoyable and successful ways to help your children learn while they’re having fun and enjoying their summer? Here are five ideas to keep your kids’ minds and bodies active all summer, so they’ll be eager to pick up where they left off when the new school year begins.

1. Plan fun field trips. Take advantage of your community’s attractions, museums or historical sites that offer wonderful learning opportunities, as well as being really fun outings the whole family can enjoy. Find interesting locations to visit online, involving older children in the search. Use trips to the zoo, farm or museum as learning opportunities by engaging your children in a little pre-trip research, exploring the background of the animals, artwork or history of the location beforehand to get them excited.

flash cards that are easy to use, even on the go — that engage your child at their reading level and build their self-esteem. Designed for preschool through eighth grade and aligned with state standards, these award-winning, teacher-recommended workbooks include monthly goal-setting to help children work toward a completion certificate for a sense of accomplishment. Pages are numbered for each day, making it easy for kids to complete the activities on their own, with plenty of time left in the day for play!

4. Find summer camps.

According to studies, 92 percent of teachers agree that students will be more successful if they keep learning during the summer months.

Plan what you’ll do when you get there, and follow up with a related activity after you get home. Many family-friendly venues offer learning materials and guides for schools and parents, so call or check their website ahead of your trip!

2. Visit your public library. Most libraries offer summer reading programs to encourage kids to read, as well as fun events for infants through middle-schoolers. Older students love choosing their own books and delving into reading for pleasure that they may

not have time for during the school year. And all reading helps children develop their vocabulary and reading comprehension. There are a lot of activities available at the Santa Clarita public libraries. For more information, visit www.

3. Invest in daily learning activities. Help your kids retain skills in math, reading and language arts, as well as exploring science, social studies, fitness and character development with Carson Dellosa Education’s Summer Bridge Activities workbooks, available in paperback and as eBooks. Just 15 minutes a day of fun, ageappropriate activities and hands-on projects help children review skills and knowledge learned the previous year. Then the lessons transition into exploring exciting new levels of learning to prepare them for the coming school year. Summer Bridge Activities provide recommended reading lists — handy

Just 15 minutes a day of fun, ageappropriate activities and hands-on projects help children review skills and knowledge learned the previous year.

Any parent knows that kids thrive with structure, so finding day camps or other group activities your children will enjoy is a terrific idea. Whether built around physical activity, creative pursuits or specific interest, find programs that include skills you want to see your child keep up, like reading, writing, math, science or physical education. Classes that encourage your child’s curiosity and keep them engaged will help your children learn even while they’re socializing and having fun. The April 28 issue of Sunday Magazine had a special section on Camps and Schools in the Santa Clarita Valley. A digital version of the issue can be found at

5. Involve the whole family. If one set of skills or area of knowledge you want your child to develop is not your strong suit, enlist help from a grandparent or other relative to spark your child’s interest. Often learning about hobbies or the career of someone they know has more impact than just telling them that math is useful in real life, for example. Learning how to measure correctly to build a treehouse with grandpa is a great — and practical — lesson in using math skills. Summer is all about fun and relaxation, but it’s easy to include effective learning with a little planning and creativity. For more information, visit sum — Brandpoint

M AY 19, 2019

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Donna’s Day: Creative Family Fun

Mouthwatering bran muffins to make with kids By Donna Erickson Signal Contributing Writer

2 1 1/2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1/2

Yummy Bran Muffins

cups whole-wheat flour 1/2cups wheat bran cup wheat germ tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 teaspoons baking soda teaspoon salt cups plus 2 tablespoons milk egg, lightly beaten tablespoons vegetable oil cup raw blue agave sweetener or 1/3 cup honey 1 ripe banana, mashed 3/4 cup raisins soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


’ve been baking and writing about bran muffins for years. This spring, I put my favorite recipes to the test, and if my family tasters are honest, I’ve hit on an updated version that is so good, I have to hide them in the recesses of my cupboard pantry if I’m going to get my share. Still full of good and healthy stuff, I now soak the raisins a bit so they puff up before stirring into the batter. I added more chopped walnuts. When I did a taste test with two recipes, one with a smooshed-up ripe banana, and one without, the banana won. It adds a nice taste and texture. Taste testing aside, the fun part of muffin-making with kids is that there’s a job for all ages and stages. One child can measure and stir together dry ingredients in one bowl, while another cracks the egg or smooshes the banana in a different bowl. Within minutes, the batter comes together and is ready to scoop into little paper cups and bake. Wash and dry the prepping dishes as a team, and before you know it, you’re poking a toothpick in the middle of a muffin to test doneness and enjoying a healthy homemade snack in a kitchen where the baking aroma of home wafts through the air.

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. 2. Stir together the flour, bran, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, vegetable oil and agave sweetener or honey, until combined. 4. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined, then fold in the banana, raisins and nuts with a few swift strokes. Do not overstir. 5. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups. An ice-cream scoop works well.

6. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. 7. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. Makes 12 large muffins. Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” ©2019 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

CLIP N SAVE Elementary School Menus Menus courtesy of Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services which serves these school districts: Castaic USD • Newhall USD • Saugus USD • Sulphur Springs USD

(choice of one entree, seasonal fruit and milk)



Breakfast Burrito Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fruit Juice Egg & Sausage Wrap Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit BreakfastQuesadilla Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit Fruit Juice

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes Cheeseburger Dippin’ Chicken & Sauce Smart Choice Pizza Seasonal Salad Bar Baja Fish Taco Dippin’ Chicken & Sauce Mini Corn Dogs Smart Choice Pizza Seasonal Salad Bar Teriyaki Chicken over Rice Chicken Nuggets Bean & Cheese Burrito Smart Choice Pizza Seasonal Salad Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie

Thursday, May 23

Pancake Sausage Stick Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit

BBQ Meatballs & Mashed Potatoes Dippin’ Chicken & Sauce Deli Sandwich Smart Choice Pizza Seasonal Salad Bar Brownie Cup

Friday, May 24

Yogurt & Crackers Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fruit Juice

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Chicken Nuggets PBJ Sandwich & String Cheese Smart Choice Pizza Manager’s Choice Seasonal Salad Bar

Monday, May 20 Tuesday, May 21 Wednesday, May 22

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l 18th Annua

M AY 19, 2019

“Best of” 2019 Ballot

Dining & Entertainment


24355 Lyons Ave Suite #160 Newhall, CA 91321 661-600-9494 Fax 877-646-7426

American Restaurant Atmosphere Banquet Facility Bar Barbecue Breakfast Brewery Brunch Burger Business Lunch Catering Chef Chinese Restaurant Cocktails Deli Desserts Dinner Donuts Family Entertainment Family Restaurant Fast Food Frozen Yogurt Happy Hour Health Food Ice Cream Store Indian Restaurant Italian Restaurant Live Entertainment Lunch Spot Mediterranean Restaurant Mexican Restaurant New Restaurant Pizza Place for kids to have fun Place to throw a party Restaurant Service Romantic Restaurant Sandwiches Seafood Restaurant Social / Country Club Sports Bar Steak Sushi Takeout Thai Vietnamese Restaurant Wine Bar


Promote Your Business during the Voting Period! (661) 287-5564

Air & Heating Service Carpet / Flooring Store Carpet Cleaning Cleaning Company (Residential)

Contractor/ Remodeler Door Company Electrical Contractor Emergency Restoration Furniture Store Glass & Mirror Interior/Exterior Paint Landscaping Mattress Store Pest Control Plumber Pool & Spa Supplies Pool Services Roofing Contractor Solar Installer Synthetic Lawns Window Cleaning Window Company Window Coverings

Health & Fitness

Acupuncture Audiologist Cardiologist Children’s Dentist Children’s Fitness Center Chiropractor Cosmetic Dentistry Cosmetic Surgeon Cross Fit Gym Dance Studio Dentistry Dermatologist Esthetician Family Practice Fitness Center / Gym Golf Course Gymnastics Center Hair Removal Hospital Hypnotherapist Imaging Services Internal Medicine Lasik Surgery Life Coach Martial Arts Medical Center Medical Group Optometrist Oral Surgeon Orthodontist Orthopedist Outpatient Surgery Pediatrics





M AY 19, 2019 Periodontist Personal Trainer Physical Therapy Pilates Studio Plastic Surgeon Podiatrist Swim School Urgent Care Yoga Studio


Accounting & Tax Preparation Architect Bankruptcy Attorney Bookkeeper Business Attorney Civil Attorney Commercial Real Estate Agent Criminal Attorney Family Law Attorney Health Care Insurance Insurance Agent Insurance Company Interior Designer Investment Company Mortgage Lender Networking Group Personal Injury Attorney Private Investigator Real Estate Agent Veterinarian


After School Care Appliance Repair Art School Assisted Living / Retirement Comm Auto Paint and Body Shop Auto Repair Auto Stereo Awards / Trophies Bail Bond Company Bank Barber Shop Beauty Salon Charity Event Child Care Center Cleaning Company (Commercial) College Commercial Real Estate Company Computer Repair Credit Union Escrow Company Executive Suites and Office Rental High School Mortuary Moving Company Music School

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 2 9 Party Rentals Performing Arts School Pet Groomer Pet Hospital Pet Trainer Photographer Place to volunteer Preschool Printing & Graphics Company Private School Real Estate Company Religious School School District Security Services Senior Care Summer Camp Tanning Salon Tattoo Shop Temp Agency Tutoring Center Web Design Company Wedding Coordinator Balloon Design Bicycle Store Boat/RV Sales Boutique Bridal Shop Car Wash Children’s Clothing Store Custom Framing Day Spa Dealership Service Department Dry Cleaners Floral Arrangements Golf Equipment & Supply Hotel Jewelry Store Luxury Car Dealership Massage Men’s Clothing Store Motorcycle Dealership Music Store Nail Salon New Car Dealership Nursery Off Road Dealership Pawn Shop Pet Store Pharmacy Retail Wine Shop Self Storage Facility Shoe Store Tire Store Tuxedo Rental Used Car Sales Women’s Clothing Store

City ____________ State ___________ Zip _____________ __________________________________________

One entry per household, per ballot. Must be 18 or older to vote. Voting ends 11:59 pm on May 31, 2019.

Sale Going On Now, thru May 31st!



24220 LYONS AVE., NEWHALL• 661.255.3337

ote Dr. Hyun Oh

Scv’s Best Veternarian

25848 McBean Pkwy, Valencia,661.255.5555

1. 2. 3.


Address __________________________________________




Voter Information Name


Santa Clarita’s Only Full Service Day Spa

Please complete this ballot and return it to: The Signal 26330 Diamond Place Santa Clarita, CA 91350

4. 5. 6. 7.

“Best Of” Contest Rules

Businesses may not win in multiple categories. Only official ballots will be accepted (no photocopies). All ballots must have a minimum of 5 categories completed. Employees and families of The Signal are ineligible to participate. The Signal will not enter into a written or oral discussion regarding the contest results, and all entries become the property of The Signal. The Signal reserves the right to publish the results of the reader survey, delete questions, or restructure, and to refuse questionable or duplicate entries. Winners will be notified by July 1, 2019.

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Discover Santa Paula with a drive down Highway 126

ters in the city’s history such as the city’s first inhabitants the Chumash Indians on 119 North 8th Street, and the discovery of oil on 123 N. 10th Street. For walking tour maps, contact the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce at (805) 525-5561.

By Nathanael Rodriguez Signal Contributing Writer


hose heading down Highway 126 toward Ventura are often in search of sandy beaches and blue ocean

waves. But this well-traveled, two-lane road has a lot more to offer than just a sunny weekend destination or an eye-catching drive. Along the well-known route lies a number of lesser-known tourists sites offering attractions whether you’d like to enjoy learning a little bit of history or looking for a more outdoorsy type of weekend adventure. Just off the side of Highway 126 in Santa Paula for example, stand several historical sites, including a pair of interactive transportation museums.

‘Chain of Hangars’

A nonprofit organization located on the Santa Paula Airport, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula contains what the group calls the “Chain of Hangars.” Each hangar exhibits a unique collection of the owner’s personal aircrafts. These include antique, classic and experimental aircrafts. Along with this display, the museum exhibits automobiles, such as race cars and motorcycles, a giant antique radio, a jukebox and phonograph collection, paintings and photographs, model aircrafts and aviation artifacts.

Lake Piru

The famous Santa Paula murals are a beautiful merging of art and history and can be found on the walls of various downtown buildings. PHOTOS COURTESY FILLMORE & WESTERN RAILWAY CO.

The Chain of Hangars, museum gift shop, and aircraft display are open to the public on the first Sunday of each month between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., weather permitting. The airport is also open all day, weather permitting. Special ground tours are available by appointment. For more information, visit aviation or contact them at (805) 525-1109.

The Agricultural Museum

Dedicated to the region’s farming and ranching history, the Museum of Ventura County Agricultural Museum is located in the historic Mill building, built in 1888 in downtown

Santa Paula at 926 Railroad Ave. The museum contains a variety of agriculture themed exhibits, including “Good Earth: Tilling the Soil,” a look into the soil preparation techniques from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. The exhibit also explores the collection of antique local plows, harrows, subsoilers, and other agricultural tools. The museum also has a new exhibit set to open in March of 2019. It explores the local agricultural highlights in the community spanning over thirty years. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and $1 for children. Children five and younger are free. For more information visit www. or contact them at (805) 525-3100.

Murals of Santa Paula

While in downtown Santa Paula, don’t forget to visit the famous Santa Paula murals, a beautiful merging of art and history in the form of nine murals painted on the walls of various downtown buildings. The murals depict important chap-

The Santa Paula Art Museum’s Cole Creativity Center is home to art classes and special programs. It is located at 123 N. 10th Street, just next door to the museum. One of the exhibits currently on display at the museum is the “Face of California.” For more information, call (805) 525-5554.

While making the trip to view the history and art of Santa Paula, be sure to visit a number of other tourists sites nestled along Highway 126. Just inside the Los Padres National Forest, lies Lake Piru. located next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and less than an hour away from Santa Clarita, Lake Piru provides the perfect destination for those seeking to escape the city life for a day or even multi-day adventure. The site offers well-shaded camping sites, clean restrooms, coin-operated hot showers and a store for all of your camping and boating needs. Day users and overnight campers can enjoy playgrounds, picnic tables, a horseshoe pit and a 9-hole disc golf course. The area is friendly for RVs campers, trailers, and tents and even offers boat rentals. For more information, contact (805) 521-1500.

A sweet treat

For a sweet treat during your highway drive, make a stop at Bennett’s Honey Farm on 3176 Honey Lane just off of Highway 126. The farm boasts high quality 100% pure raw gourmet honey that is both kosher and organic. The honey is produced in Ventura, home of some of the best sage and wildflower fields in California. The farm produces, packs and distributes its honey from a solar-powered facility and unlike other facilities who filter their honey, Bennett’s Honey Farm uses a process called gravity straining. This process allows the honey to retain its naturally perfect components. The tasting room and store is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. For more information, visit www. or call them at (805) 521-1357. See HWY126, page 36

M AY 19, 2019

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Continued from page 25

than garlic. Take in the elaborately grafted trees at the Gilroy Gardens theme park. Watch the trees twist and contort in fanciful ways that you have to see for yourself. The park, in California’s Central Coast, combines a unique adventure in Mother Nature with amusement park rides. The family-friendly theme park features more than 40 rides, many with produce-inspired themes, such as the Mushroom Swing, the Artichoke Dip, the Garlic Twirl (a no-brainer in the Garlic Capital of the World) and a water park. However, the world-famous Circus Trees, are really the highlight of this road trip. Miles from the SCV: 340

Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace

2800 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, 93308 Info In Bakersfield you’ll find a honky-tonk venue where you can


Continued from page 17

over 75,000 acres of land — to put a strong emphasis on making Mentryville a “living history” museum. “We have a lot of territory to cover and we’re a small government agency,” said Dash Stolarz, the public affairs director for the Conservancy. “If the world worked the way it should, we should do something like a museum.” Solarz said the government agency has used its limited grant money and payments from the production companies to oversee things at the park such as new handicapped parking, regular wear and tear on the buildings and repairing much of the vandalism and graffiti that has damaged the historic landmark. However, with the state putting emphasis on things such as water, climate change and fire prevention, there’s not enough money in the general fund to put into a full time museum like the Friends of Mentryville are requesting, she said. “When you apply for grants, museums have a really hard time,” said Stolarz. “It’s hard to get something


still dance to live country music. Country fans: Put on your boots and head to this Bakersfield venue for live music and dancing that celebrates the rock-meets-country musical style known as the Bakersfield Sound. Country star Buck Owens opened his namesake Crystal Palace in 1996, and today, it still boasts a full calendar of music and events. The venue is also home to a museum filled with music memorabilia, much of it from the 1960s, when Owens put his stamp on the music scene. Owens died in 2006, but his legacy lives on in Bakersfield.

cool there, like living history, cause how could we open that, how would we afford a full-time staff?” “It’s like budgeting when you’re a poor person and you only have so many quarters in your pocket,” said Stolarz. “We love the place … and if there was a way to make it into the way they want we would.” Regardless of the budget, there is still hope for seeing a revival in Mentryville, according to Weste. “We’re very proud that we were able to save it,” said Weste. “And we would like to see it reopened as a living re-enactment space.” Weste compared her vision to Mentryville to the likes of Heritage Junction in Newhall, which has actors occasionally roam its campus reenacting 19th century life, and festivals like the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival bringing thousands in to its historical setting. “It’s one of a kind … and it’s our history,” said Weste as an explanation for why the community continues to fight for Mentryville’s preservation. “But we’ll need the community’s help.”

While you’re in Bakersfield, experience the Central Valley city’s other cool features, like its Basque cuisine and the Kern River. Miles from SCV: 95

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, 92004 Info id=638 and “just for kids’ info” www. Borrego Springs, 90 miles northeast of San Diego, is one of the best spots for stargazing in California.

You haven’t seen a night sky until you’ve seen it in the remote Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Surrounded by mountains and with a local focus on eliminating light pollution, this is the first International Dark Sky Community in California, making it a prime spot for stargazing. During daylight hours, explore the town of Borrego Springs and keep an eye out for the cool statues of other-worldly creatures made by metal sculptor Ricardo Breceda. One of Breceda’s largest collections of work can be viewed in the city of Borrego Springs. As you drive through the roads in the area, you’ll see sculptures of wild horses in a nearby field, sabretooth tigers in pursuit and desert tortoises that seem as if they’re crawling through the brush. More than 130 metal sculptures are located in Borrego Springs. A map to the sculptures can be found at www.desertusa. com/borrego/bs-art.html. Miles from SCV: 180

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Let the creativity flow at DIY home decor studios creative skills, from woodwork to pottery to furniture painting.

By Kirsten Smith Signal Staff Writer


he secret to creating display-worthy, do-it-yourself home decor is all in the maker’s ability to relax and trust the process, say the experts of Santa Clarita’s DIY design studios. A little bit of hands-on instruction also helps. “My biggest tip is to try to relax and not make it perfect. The instructor is there to guide you, but it doesn’t need to look exactly like the example,” said Stephanie Sewell, owner of Pinot’s Palette in Valencia. “The goal is to step back and let the creativity flow.” As DIY home decor continues to be a rising trend, local studios offer a safe environment, engaged teachers and fail-safe experiences that invite creatives of all degrees to enjoy the process as much as the final product. Take a look at these five businesses in Santa Clarita that teach varying

Board & Brush

One of the newest shops on the block is Board & Brush, an instructor-led wood sign workshop in Old Town Newhall that hit the nail on the head when it comes to wall decor. “When you come in, we have all the raw wood and materials ready for you,” said owner Sue Wilkin. “We work from stencils, so you don’t need any artistic abilities or experience, and an instructor walks you through the process, step-by-step, during a 3-hour workshop.” With more than 300 designs to choose from, guests can look through an online gallery, register for a design and class time, and just show up. Everything else is taken care of, Wilkin says. While some customers like to work solo, many come in groups for birthday parties, wedding or baby showers, company team-building events,

d n e k e e w

Robin Cutenese turns her clay bowl on a potter’s wheel at Ceramic Artist Studio, Inc. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

fundraisers, and other occasions. “It’s also a great date night because it’s totally different than the usual,” Wilkin said. “Every guy who’s come in has loved it.” Part of the draw, Wilkin said, is the atmosphere. Music plays throughout the studio, while beer and wine is

available at the bar. Guests also are invited to bring their own food or snacks. With a relaxed vibe and plenty to choose from, there’s one thing for sure, Wilkin says, and it’s that you’ll leave happy. “Even if you have no idea what you want to create, we’ll help you make something you’re proud to hang on your wall,” Wilkin said. Board & Brush is open to guests age 21 and older. Projects are priced at a flat rate of $65 for three hours of instruction, the raw materials and the finished product. Some additional charges may apply. Board & Brush is located at 24417 Main St., and can be reached at (661)202-3044.

Ceramic Arts Studio, Inc.

While the name may sound more sophisticated than the average person’s pottery experience, Ceramic Arts Studio, Inc., in Newhall is as approachable as a wheel of wet clay on a hot day.



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HOME&GARDEN “Everyone makes their own style of art here, and as long as you’re having fun and picking up some techniques, that’s what it’s all about,” said owner Rima Raulinaitis. To get the full experience, Raulinaitis recommends new students take the Beginning Ceramics class, an eightweek, instructor-led workshop that teaches all the basic skills necessary to successfully create with clay. Each class begins with the demonstration of a new technique, followed by supervised time to practice and build your own piece. Students typically walk away with eight pieces of what Raulinaitis calls “functional art.” “Think about all the functional art pieces you use every day,” she explained. “Who doesn’t love using a favorite mug or vase? They’re quite easy to make, and the results are stunning.” A few student favorites include mugs, cups, planters, vases and wall plaques. Succulent art also started a huge craze last year that has continued strong into 2019. Wheel-thrown projects, however, aren’t taught until the intermediate class, Raulinaitis added. “Most students think of our studio as an escape,” Raulinaitis said. “We play music and encourage friendly conversation. We like to call it the ‘Zen Zone.’” Open to adults 18 and older, the Beginning Ceramics class costs $295 for eight classes, or 20 hours of instruction, plus three hours a week of open studio time. CASI is located at 22504 6th St., in Newhall and can be reached at (661) 260-2274.

Barn & Charm

Barn & Charm, a vintage boutique in Old Town Newhall, is as much about creating decor as it about shopping for it. With a wide range of semi-private workshops, Barn & Charm students can learn furniture painting and refinishing, transfers, hand lettering, quilting, sewing, candle making, planter design and more — all in an instructor-led, smallgroup setting. “Everyone makes different pieces, chooses different colors and tries different workshops,” said owner Carol Reesha, “yet they all leave the workshop with their piece exactly the way they want it.” Though there’s a wide range of workshops available, each class or series teaches students the basic tech-

niques necessary to finish a project, and everyone walks away with a completed piece. Since offerings evolve with students and trends, class availability and times are always changing. Barn & Charm first alerts its customers of new workshops through an email newsletter, and if the class doesn’t fill up, then it’s opened to the public, usually via Facebook and Instagram. Classes fill up quickly, Reesha says, and the most popular ones include chalk/clay mineral based paints, furniture design, succulent terrariums, hand lettering, sewing and quilting. Prices vary per workshop, from $15 for a single class to $138 for a fiveweek series. Barn & Charm is located at 22700 Lyons Ave., Suite A in Newhall and can be reached at (661) 255-5466.

Pinot’s Palette

For creative instruction the entire family can enjoy, Pinot’s Palette in Valencia teaches painting with a stepby-step, foolproof approach even kids can follow. “The whole atmosphere lends itself to taking a break,” explained owner Stephanie Sewell. “You’re unplugged from technology, and after a couple of hours, you look up and think, ‘Wow, I connected with something other than my phone.’” Artists start by checking the online calendar and registering for a time or painting they like the best. When they arrive at the studio, the materials will be set up, and their spot will be marked with their name on the table. Once the two- to three-hour class begins, an instructor will walk the group through a painting lesson, shape by shape, while another instructor walks around to assist and answer questions. At the end of the evening, each artist goes home with their own personal masterpiece. Wine, beer and music set the tone for a relaxed, creative session, and guests are invited to bring their own food or snacks. “Generally, you don’t come in looking to learn painting techniques, but you end up picking them up anyway,” Sewell said. Different classes cater to different age groups, starting at age six. Classes cost $30-$45 depending on the age range and duration of class time. Pinot’s Palette is located at 25850 McBean Pkwy., Valencia and can be reached at (661) 260-0846.


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34 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

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Holding your plumber accountable the pipe repair. We put all the hardwood flooring back down and not long after that we noticed a musty smell. Being afraid that the pipe may have broken again, we went out and bought a moisture meter and tested the flooring. Depending on the day, it is reading anywhere between 14 percent to 20 percent. It’s not showing 100 percent, so we’re not sure that the pipe is broken but these are high end wood floors and we need to get this figured out sooner rather than later. It doesn’t feel wet but we can smell the humidity and of course it’s worse if we get down on the floor. There are no visible signs that it is wet but the smell and moisture meter tells us that there is an issue. Do we need to rip out these floors again? How can we be sure that our home will be safe and undamaged? — Diane Diane, It sounds like when the plumber demoed the concrete they broke

By Robert Lamoureux Signal Contributing Writer


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through the visqueen which is a plastic 6 ml or greater. It’s likely that they made the plumbing repairs but did not repair the visqueen, and the symptoms that you are getting are due to the static pressure of humidity/moisture that is traveling through the concrete. I’ve seen this a time or two and am most certain that this is the source of the moisture. You have two options: You can either live with it, which I don’t recommend because the moisture is a source for much more damage over the course of time; or you can go back to your plumber and begin the process of holding him accountable. I do recommend that if you go this route that you document each and every step and use as many photos to state your claim. Hopefully, (the person responsible) will own the error, but you may have a challenge on your hands with this one. The visqueen is a vital part of the original construction, keeping the moisture from the earth away from

the building materials and ultimately, the interior of the homes. When that is compromised, this is a perfect example of what can happen. Given enough time that moisture will do plenty of damage, including potential mold growth. Unfortunately, this will be a big one to tackle, but ultimately will be worth it. You may even need to reach out to your insurance so that they can guide you through the process. Good luck to you. — Robert Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to robert@imsconstruction. com.




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Handbook will help you with step-bystep instructions on how to remove your lawn. Check out and peruse SCV’s Hottest Plant Guide to find shrubs, groundcover, trees, grasses and perennials for your landscape. They are beautiful, drought-tolerant, thrive in the SCV, and you can find them at your local nursery. Visit and look for the Inspiration tab under “Save Water & Money”. Conservation rebates and programs We want to help you find your fit with our conservation rebates and programs. Manage your irrigation better — and from anywhere with your smart phone — with a smart controller rebate up to $150! Or if you want to remove your lawn, our rebate program offers up to $5,000 for living grass removed. Application and preand post-inspections required. Visit for all conservation rebate program details.

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Continued from page 30

The Fillmore and Western Railway Company

For movie fanatics and train lovers, Fillmore and Western Railway Company is a must see. The “Home of the Movie Trains” is located on a stretch of railway owned by the Ventura County Transportation Commission on 351 Santa Clara St. in Fillmore. The majority of the trains on the railway were acquired from three major film studios: 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and MGM. The railway


Continued from page 5

questions and days at Disneyland. “Sometimes it’s as simple as, ‘I saw ‘Dumbo’ yesterday, let’s sit down and talk about it.’ Some days I’m going to Disneyland all-day filming,” said Hull. As of now, Hull is a one-man crew but is seeking to change this due to the level that the channel has gotten to and the potential he sees for it in the future. “I’m going to get an editor very soon and possibly an assistant to help with the day to day tasks,” Hull’s also looking to take complete advantage of the website’s potential. “I love the fact that I’m my own boss and get to decide what goes on this channel,” said Hull. “I’m a family-friendly man anyways and I want to stay family friendly in everything I do.”

Finding representation

Along with his full time YouTube job, Hull is currently working with CESD a talent agency located in Los Angeles that specializes in voice acting. They have worked with everyone from Kevin Michael Richardson, the voice of characters like The Joker in “The Batman,” to Frank Welkner the voice of Scooby Doo. “They are a powerhouse, and I’m still shocked that I got in with them,” said Hull. CESD originally came into contact with Hull through a character voices division of Disney in April 2016. Hull immediately wowed them with his talent. “He’s incredibly versatile,” said CESD agent Pat Brady. “As a voice actor, the more versatile you are, the

provides the public with weekend train tours that will take you through the Heritage Valley on historic train cars that were used in well known movies and TV shows. There are also a number of holiday train events, as well as special events, such as the recent Beer, Wine and Blues Train. In June for example, the railway is offering a trip to a local bee farm for the freshest honey imaginable for the Honey Harvest Festival. For more information on tours and events visit or call at (805) 524-2546. more work you’re going to get.” Through his connections with CESD, Hull has landed a number of roles, including four “Airbud” films, as well as the narration voice for Osmo Mickey and Friends. “He’s one of the best voice matches for Disney characters,” said Brady. “He’s also just one of the best guys.” Hull also has two larger roles in films set to premiere in the near future. One entitled “Fairytale Afterall,” and another whose title he is required to keep under wraps. His role in this film will be one of the larger ones he has played.

New roles

“I started with characters that had two or three lines but now I’m getting involved in bigger and bigger projects,” said Hull. With his rising career as a voice actor and his love of Disney growing with every step of his journey, Hull sees great things on the horizon. “The ultimate dream I have is to be a comedic sidekick in a Disney feature animated film,” said Hull. “If I could be an Olaf or a Pumba or Timon, I could quit my job right now and be totally happy.” With “The Lion King” as his favorite Disney film and Winnie the Pooh as his favorite voice to impersonate, Hull finds Disney to be his greatest inspiration. Being a voice actor is Hull’s way of keeping his inner child alive like Walt Disney so strongly advocated. “That clean unspoiled spot, there’s something so wholesome and wonderful and magical about that and I’ve never wanted to lose it,” said Hull. “I always want to believe like Walt did, everyone still has it, it just needs some help getting out. That’s one of the things that I love to see.”

M AY 19, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3 7

Do a ‘digital detox’ while on vacation


leanse” diets are designed to help people clear their bodies of foods that might have an adverse effect on their health. Many people find such diets effective, prompting others to wonder if a digital cleanse, particularly while on vacation, might produce equally beneficial results. Advances in technology make it possible for people to essentially be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Free Wi-Fi is available at restaurants, rest stops and hotels — beckoning people to stay connected. In fact, according to information from, free hotel Wi-Fi has become the most sought after amenity at resorts and places to stay. But is there a price to pay by remaining so available to work and other outside influences while traveling for recreation? Studies have shown that unplugging while on vacation — or at other

Save the phone for fun selfies on vacation rather than for keeping connected on stresses from back home.

times — can boost meaningful conversations and more. The study, “Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality,” indicates devices can negatively impact closeness, connection and conversation quality, essentially interfering with human relationships. Phones and other digital devices also

force people to multitask. Evidence suggests that multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, leading to preventable errors and actually delaying the completion of tasks. A 2010 study from researchers in France found that the human brain can handle two complicated tasks relatively easily because it has two lobes that can divide responsibility equally between the two. Add a third task, however, and it


can overwhelm the frontal cortex and increase mistakes. Trying to multitask on vacation can lead to stressful feelings and not being fully immersed in the experience. Being connected while on vacation may leave a person dealing with stresses they normally would avoid until returning home. A study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life indicates that stress accrued on vacation can cause people to feel like they had lower energy at work after returning from a relaxing vacation. Taking a step back from their phones, tablets and laptops while vacationing can help people make the most of their getaways. Such a break can promote mindfulness, encourage people to try new things and lead to more meaningful conversations with travel companions. — Metro Connection

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It’s the time of year to groom your pets By Michelle Sathe Signal Staff Writer


iz Otis of Castaic has several poodles that require frequent grooming to prevent matting around the ears and all over their bodies. She takes Saxby, 8, and Grizwald, 1, to Bark Avenue Grooming in Canyon Country every two months or so. On a warm April day, the two dogs were getting their annual cut. “Usually, when it gets hotter, like now, I like to keep their hair short,” Otis said. “That way they can swim and play in the water and not have any issues.” For Randi Storm of Castaic, it’s a year-round process keeping her four cats groomed, but this time of year is a crucial time, especially for her longhaired kitty Toki. “The seasons change and their fur changes, too. Right now is a shedding time when they’re losing winter coats,” she said. “Grooming takes the bacteria, dirt and dust they’ve collect-

Deborah Hansen of Kitty’s Purrfect Spa grooms Brayden at his home in Valencia.

ed off and helps them to stay clean. Cats like to stay clean.” Storm has Deborah Hansen of Kitty’s Purrfect Spa groom her cats about every six months. Hansen is a certified master cat groomer, who started her business six years ago. Since then, she’s groomed more than 3,000 cats, all in the comfort of her clients’ homes. Hansen noted that grooming isn’t just beneficial for cats, but their owners, too.

“In spring, there are pollens in the air and humans notice allergies more. Bathing reduces dander on cats and that can make people feel better,” she said. Cats are known for grooming themselves by licking, but as Hansen pointed out, it’s not a substitute for a professional. “What cats are actually doing is removing dead coat, which they ingest, but can’t digest, so they have to vomit or poop it out,” she said. “Controlling your cat’s coat also greatly reduce furballs, which can sometimes create a blockage that can be dangerous and expensive.” How often do pets need to be groomed? For cats it depends on a number of factors, according to Hansen, with age as the most critical. “Older cats produce more oils in coat and they’re not as active,” she said. “If you have a kitten that’s dashing around the house, the dead coat is flying around, whereas an elderly cat laying in one spot, does not have its dead coat being removed as effectively by natural movement.” Other factors include environment, genetics and diet. “Some cats need grooming every three weeks, while other cats can do one groom and go years without another,” Hansen said. After an initial grooming session, which includes set up, nail trim, bathing, facial, ear cleaning, drying, disinfection of bathing, area and a thorough vacuuming, Hansen will return to the client’s home at no charge to evaluate the cat and estimate the date for the next grooming session. For dogs, grooming schedules

largely depend on the type of fur. Non-shedding breeds have hair that keeps growing and can get matted without regular brushing, bathing and trimming, as do dogs with thick undercoats, such as Huskies. Belinda Raine, owner of Bark Avenue Grooming, recommends a bathing or grooming session every four to eight weeks. Baths and a haircut include nail trims, ear cleaning and anal gland expression. According to Raine, signs that your dog needs to be groomed include the beginning of matted fur, excessive shedding or scratching, dry flaking skin and the presence of fleas. Coming in sooner rather than later is better for both you and your dog. “Waiting until your dog has bad matting that’s really tight to the skin is really uncomfortable for them,” she said. “It can cause skin problems, because we have to cut the hair really short. It’s a lot more work for us and the price is going to be more.” For cats, greasy fur is a key indicator that it’s time for a grooming. “If you run your fingers through your cat and the fur doesn’t fluff back up, they need to be cleaned to prevent matting from starting,” Hansen said. Daily brushing is recommended in between grooming sessions. For cats, you’ll want to use a comb and keep the sessions short, Hansen noted. “A brush just doesn’t do the job. You really need a comb. A basic $5 version will do,” she said. “Just two to three minutes a day. Any more, and the cat can get angry and the human can get frustrated.”


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M AY 19, 2019


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Have Partner, Will Travel By Mary Petersen Signal Staff Writer


ast month, my husband and I traveled abroad for almost three weeks. We spent a magnificent week with family in the Lake District in England. It was a wonderful big group including two sets of grandparents, four children, two grandbabies and assorted friends. It was a memorable gathering in a majestic old manor with seven bedrooms and a huge dining hall. We spent a joyful week together going on walks, sharing meals and taking photos of the ubiquitous sheep. (They are everywhere!) We piled into vehicles and toured the breathtaking countryside and even took a train to Edinburgh. Traveling is what retirees are encouraged to do, with the unspoken caveat that we should travel before we’re too old to manage it. The clock is ticking we are tacitly reminded. See the world while you still can, we are gently urged. There is some truth to this. Travel tests our mental abilities and puts our problem-solving skills to work. We didn’t have to worry while we were surrounded by family in The Lakes. Most were English and they carted us around in a hired minivan. This was their home turf and we had very few decisions to make. But then my husband and I launched off on our own — a day in Stratford-Upon-Avon, two days in London and a week in Dubai. We had to depend on one another to catch trains, check in at airports and negotiate ground transportation. We had to set a daily plan and determine how to complete it. Traveling is interesting, invigorating and inspiring, but it’s not without frustration. We’re out of our comfort zone; navigating unfamiliar languages, currency and localities makes the simplest task stressful. Errands we took for granted at home now required a concentrated effort to complete. These days, digital resources make things easier. When our mental math skills were overtaxed converting dirhams to dollars, we simply used an exchange rate app. In unfamiliar neighborhoods, we used the Google maps walking feature, although we

frequently had to pause as the fickle directional pointer capriciously spun us in one direction, then another before making up its mind. We had to face that mishaps are inevitable, and to be resilient when adventures took a downturn. In Dubai we wanted to visit the Spice Souk, a marketplace in the old part of town. We determined that this involved crossing the Dubai Creek by metro. Of course, we could have just paid a taxi, but where’s the adventure in that? It was our personal challenge to successfully navigate public transportation, and we did cross the river. But the way back was not as smooth. We had hoped to return via a pedestrian bridge, but we could find no way to access it. After walking for miles we located a ferry, but the dock was on the other side of the freeway. As Murphy says, “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.” We settled on the least adventurous option. We walked a mile to the metro station, and took it one stop back across the river. You have to have your wits about you when you travel. No slipping into auto-pilot. I always say that if we can just have two good eyes and one good brain between us, we’ll do all right. I might add two good ears because invariably when we ask for help, we have each heard something different. If we’re lucky we can cobble together a plan with the different bits each of us has remembered. He missed a sign that I saw. I misinterpreted an instruction that he correctly deciphered. Neither one of us can figure out whether the arrow on the mall guide is pointing upstairs or straight ahead. It takes two of us to get where we are going. Despite the sometimes irritating challenges and personal squabbles with partners, traveling is transformative. It feeds the human need for discovery and exploration. Travel expands our world view, keeps our mind sharp, and promotes flexibility in the face of setbacks. It also solidifies the bonds in personal relationships. In the end, if you don’t kill one another, it’s a memorable experience to share with a partner or friend. We’re planning our next trip before we get too old. Mary Petersen is a retired COC English Instructor, 30 year SCV resident, and two-time breast cancer survivor.


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M AY 19, 2019


Compost is part of the circle of life in gardens


he season for fresh fruits and vegetables grown right in the backyard is upon us. Warm weather breathes life into fresh berries, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and many other delectable fruits and vegetables. Home gardens can be supplemented with delicious finds from the supermarket or farmer’s market, including melons, corn and more. The bounty of the garden can be made more abundant and fruitful with the addition of the right soil amendments. Compost is a key element of rich, nutritious soil. Scraps from items that have been grown in the garden can then be reused in the production of the compost that feeds that same garden. It’s a continuous circle of garden life. Getting started with compost is relatively easy. Homeowners should choose an outdoor space near the garden but far away from the home so that it won’t be disturbed by kids or

Getting started with compost is relatively easy. Choose a space that is near the garden and away from the house, but not too far that you won’t want to walk out to it.

animals. Some people opt for an open compost pile, while others choose closed bins to contain the possible smell and to camouflage the compost. A sunny spot will help the compost to develop faster, according to Good Housekeeping. The next step is to start gathering the scraps and materials that will go into the compost. Better Homes and Gardens suggests keeping a bucket or bin in the kitchen to accumulate kitchen scraps. Here are some kitch-

en-related items that can go into the compost material:

• Eggshells • Fruit peels • Vegetable peels and scraps • Coffee grounds • Shredded newspaper In addition to these materials, grass and plant clippings, dry leaves, bark chips, straw, and sawdust from untreated wood can go into the pile. Avoid

diseased plants, anything with animal fats, dairy products, and pet waste. A low-maintenance pile has an equal amount of brown and green plant matter in the compost plus moisture to keep the bacteria growing and eating at the right rate. Aerating the compost occasionally or turning the bin when possible, will allow the compost to blend and work together. Compost will take a few months to form completely, says the Planet Natural Research Center. The finished product will resemble a dark, crumbly soil that smells like fresh earth. Compost will not only add nutrients to garden soil, but also it can help insulate plants and may prevent some weed growth. It is a good idea to start a compost pile as a free source of nutrition for plants and a method to reduce food waste in an environmentally sound way. — Metro Connection

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MAY 19, 2019

Unless otherwise stated, the views and opinions expressed are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of The Signal.



Sex Offender Law: Fight or In Search of Nobility: Is it Punt? City Choices Limited Futile in this Day and Age? By David Hegg

By The Signal Editorial Board Rock. Santa Clarita. Hard Place.


hat about sums up the situation the Santa Clarita City Council was in this past week, when council members faced a staff recommendation to repeal a city ordinance restricting the residency of registered sex offenders. Regrettably, the council members had only two choices: repeal the ordinance, or face a very long, costly and most likely losing legal battle. What does this mean for you and your family? In a nutshell, it means registered sex offenders can pretty much live wherever they want. There are a few exceptions. For example, the state Department of Corrections can still prohibit a sex offender from living within a half-mile of a school, but only if their victim was a child. But otherwise, rapists, child molesters and serial flashers in trench coats are free to live wherever they want. Across the street from a public park, where small children play? Yep. Green light. Next door to an elementary school? You got it — with, of course, the aforementioned exception. Just make sure

you pay the rent on time. Church? Library? Day care center? Check, check, and check. Yet, the city didn’t have much choice. At issue was the city’s ordinance, enacted after the 2006 passage of California’s Proposition 83 — approved by a whopping 70 percent of the voters — that facilitated restrictions on where registered sex offenders could live. The Santa Clarita ordinance, in short, stipulated that no sex offender could live within 2,000 feet of local parks, schools, libraries or day care centers. Sounds reasonable, right? However, Prop. 83, known as Jessica’s Law, almost immediately faced legal challenges from attorneys who stood up for the rights of sex offenders versus the safety and security of families like yours. By 2015, the California Supreme Court had ruled such restrictions unconstitutional. (It bears noting that the Jessica’s Law cases did not impact See OUR VIEW, page 44


n Mother’s Day last weekend my wife and I were treated to a performance of “Les Miserables” at the Pantages. What a wonderful venue in which to appreciate such a stirring stage play! The music soared, the passion was palpable, and the story of courage seen in various modes of redemption left an indelible mark on everyone in the audience who had ears to hear and eyes to see. The story of Jean Valjean set against the stirrings of revolution in France continues to haunt me, but not for the reasons you might expect. Yes, the story is riveting, and the music insists on occupying my subconscious. But what has really captured my thinking is how the soul of the play so clearly illustrates what is sorely missing in our culture. We have lost our nobility as a people. By this I’m not talking about having a tradition of royalty here in America. Rather, I use the word to describe a deep-rooted passion for high moral qualities and courageous convictions. Even more, to be noble is to prefer the highest good, even at great personal

expense. It is to see a cause as worth our lives, and even our deaths. It is to recognize the best things don’t come easily, or conveniently, or cheaply. Lastly, nobility is seen when we as individuals are deeply committed to a cause that is bigger than our personal welfare and are willing to lose personally if it means the noble cause will triumph. While I don’t remember the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as President of the United States, I do know the line from his speech that has resonated down the halls of history. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” The newly elected President was actually saying this: Be noble! Live beyond yourselves, not selfishly focused on yourselves. Understand life is more than your personal desires, and devote yourself to the noble cause of freedom, and to the personal sacrifices and courage such a cause will demand. Today self-centered, entitled living increasingly oozes from the pores in See HEGG, page 44


The Voters’ Mayor or the Council’s Mayor? I found Jonathan Kraut’s article in the opinion section on Tuesday, April 23, titled, “Santa Claritans should choose our own mayor,” interesting whereas he states in part, “A petition drive could place a ballot measure to change this. But it would be expensive and almost impossible to meet the requirements of a petition drive to enable a public vote authorizing mayor as a new elected position.” On the other hand, it would take little effort for our current City Council to place a choice on the ballot that would allow voters to determine if electing a mayor versus continuing the practice of allowing the council to pick among its own is appropriate. I call upon our City Council to do the right thing and place on the ballot

a new mayoral position of two years per term. Let’s give voters the option of whether we should select our own spokesperson. I would like the mayor to be our mayor, not the “council’s mayor.” However, Mr. Kraut neglected two major issues that the city needs that should be first. In fairness to all citizens in Santa Clarita, we need district voting, and parallel to this we need term limits. But let’s face facts. There is no way that the City Council will now or at any time in the future put any of these on the agenda, if for nothing else but public discussion. Ken Dean, Santa Clarita Submit a Letter to the Editor

Include name, address & phone number; Anonymous letters are not printed; Email:; Mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Signal, 26330 Diamond Place, Ste. 100, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

MAY 19, 2019

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Contact: Tim Whyte, Signal Editor Phone: 661-287-5591 | Email: Mail: 26330 Diamond Place, Suite 100, Santa Clarita, CA 91350



Costs of Renewable Power Hurt the Poor

Sex Offender Case Posed Dilemma for City Council

By Paul Steidler Inside Sources


ccording to a Sept. 19 study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one in five American households goes without food or medicine at least once a year to stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Seven million households face this decision nearly every month. The elephant in the room is highpriced renewable power. America’s energy-production revolution has cut the cost of natural gas by more than 50% since 2009. Natural gas is now the largest source of American electricity, accounting for 35% of generation. Plummeting natural gas prices and new natural gas power plants have put tremendous downward pricing pressure on coal and nuclear facilities, which have slashed prices due to market forces. Yet, despite large federal and state subsidies, renewable power, not including long-established hydro-power, today accounts for just 10% of America’s electricity generation. In many places, wind and solar simply cannot survive without vast direct and indirect subsidies paid for by energy consumers and taxpayers. Those subsidies include: — Continued Large Federal Tax Breaks. According to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, wind and solar corporations are scheduled to receive $34 billion in tax breaks from Fiscal Years 2017-21. By contrast, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the main federal program providing direct energy bill assistance to the poor, has $3.6 billion in annual funding. — State Purchasing Mandates. One way to increase wind and solar production, and bypass market forces, is to specify fuel sources by law. Large-population states like California, New Jersey and Massachusetts have

specified dramatic increases in renewable power by 2030. — Hamstrung Regulators. America’s public utility commissions have a long and proud history of being insulated from political pressures so they can adopt sensible policies to promote affordable and reliable electricity. But when politicians prescribe fuel types and start to micro-manage energy production decisions, absurdly expensive things happen. A case in point is the Nov. 2 decision by the Virginia State Corporation Commission to approve offshore wind facilities. The commission determined that the cost, at 78 cents per kilowatt hour, is 26 times the market price. It also determined, “Customers bear essentially all of the risk of the proposed project, including cost overruns and lack of performance.” The commission was clear that its hands were tied by statute, explaining “the commission’s standard analysis of prudency as a purely factual matter must be subordinated in large measure to the public policy established by the General Assembly.” States like New Jersey, which are considering major offshore wind projects, should be mindful of Virginia’s experience before committing to high-cost projects that are unfriendly to consumers. Renewable power subsidies and costs could balloon in the years ahead. One central reason is that the transmission grid needs to be overhauled. For starters, much of the grid is more than 50 years old and electric companies are spending $50 billion annually to modernize it. A heavy push to renewables will spike these costs. Because wind and solar power are intermittent, subject to unreliable natural forces, they present significant transmission management challenges. See STEIDLER, page 44

By Cameron Smyth Mayor Pro Tem


ver the course of three weeks in January, the Edelman institute conducted their “Trust Barometer” poll where they interview Californians on a variety of issues, and the results should sadden all of us who care about the future of the Golden State. Of the respondents, 62% said California’s best days are behind us and a majority of residents (53%) are considering moving out of state. More alarming is that number is even higher (63%) among Millennials. A number of factors play into the desire to leave, and I am afraid that after Tuesday night’s City Council meeting those numbers will grow. Some background: In 2015 a unanimous decision by the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 83, also known as Jessica’s Law, was unconstitutional despite passing with over 70% of the vote in 2006. Jessica’s Law not only restricted where sex offenders could live, it also gave cities the authority to enact ordinances that added further restrictions. Based on that authority, the city of Santa Clarita adopted an ordinance that prohibited any registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of a school, park, library or child care center. The city’s ordinance also restricted sex offenders from living with each other in the same residence, or unit of a multi-unit building. Due to similar litigation in Los Angeles that was pending while the California Supreme Court case was ongoing, the California Department of Corrections and the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department have not been enforcing the residency restrictions of Jessica’s Law for more than eight years. Therefore, having it on

our books really had no material impact. However, a California-based attorney decided it was a good business model to seek out cities with residency restrictions, and threaten litigation in order to remove them, and it was just a matter of time before she made her way to Santa Clarita. The lawyer, after filing the lawsuit in March, gave the city until May 31 to comply or face costly litigation that would result in the removal of the residency ordinance due to the Supreme Court ruling, not to mention rewarding the attorney with additional revenue to be used in her continued assault on local communities in support of convicted sex offenders. One of the hardest things I have to do as a council member is vote for items that I’m morally, ethically and passionately against – because of extenuating circumstances. Tuesday night’s vote, which repealed the sex offender residency restrictions, was one of those votes. Do I want convicted sex offenders to be able to live near my kids’ school, near the park where they play or by any of our libraries? Of course not. That was not what this vote was about. This vote was about the state of California continually chipping away at local control and in fact our public safety. When you combine the Supreme Court ruling with a number of initiatives like Assembly Bill 109 and Propositions 47 and 57, which were sold as a compassionate way to reduce the state prison population — but have resulted in dangerous and violent criminals being released back into our communities — it just adds more reason for people and businesses to leave California. In fact, since Prop. 47 passed See SMYTH, page 44

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Continued from page 42

Megan’s Law, which requires the addresses of registered sex offenders to be made available to the public.) While we understand that sometimes the courts must apply constitutional principles to protect the rights of the few from the whims of the many, in the case of Prop. 83 the court has protected the few — the sex offenders — while putting the many at risk. In the aftermath of the 2015 ruling, attorneys like Janice M. Belluci started targeting cities that had imposed residency restrictions on sex offenders. Belluci, who has filed at least 34 such lawsuits, sued Santa Clarita on behalf of an unnamed “John Doe” client. Belluci told the city she would drop the case, if the city would drop its residency restrictions. That brought us to Tuesday night. First, we thank


Continued from page 43

in 2014, nearly 60,000 criminals in the Los Angeles County sheriff ’s jurisdiction alone have been arrested, released and committed additional crimes. Where do we stand now? I want to reassure the community, as our sheriff ’s captain did at the meeting on Tuesday, that the way sex offenders are registered and monitored in Santa Clarita has not changed. The action we took on Tuesday night does not affect California’s Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as Megan’s Law, which requires anyone who lives

the council for pulling the item from the consent calendar. This is the sort of item that should at least get the benefit of a discussion before the council vote. In that discussion, there were two major topics of note: First, the Sheriff ’s Department hasn’t been enforcing Santa Clarita’s sex offender residency restrictions for the past eight years. So, if you thought you were living in a city where sex offenders can’t live within 2,000 feet of your kids’ schools, guess again. They’ve been free to do so since 2011, regardless of what the city ordinance said. We understand the rationale for non-enforcement. The legal environment clearly pushed in that direction. But boy, if our memory serves correctly, that little bit of non-enforcement sure happened quietly. And second, as Councilman Cameron Smyth noted in the discussion, the city faced quite a dilemma: You could repeal the ordinance, and avert the lawsuit. Or, you could fight the good fight, perhaps taking appeals

in California after being convicted of a sex crime to register with the police of the city or county where they live, for the rest of their lives. Information about where they live and the crimes they’ve committed is available publicly on the internet, as well as at the sheriff ’s station. Other restrictions implemented specifically here in Santa Clarita are also still in effect — for example, Santa Clarita is one of only two stations in the county that require a weekly residency check for the sex offenders registered in the city, and the Department of Corrections maintains some residency restrictions authority that can be implemented on a case-bycase basis for certain categories of


Continued from page 42

our national skin. We expect the country to exist for us, to provide for us, and to mold its convictions to the shape of our dreams and desires. The whole idea of suffering for the common good is a lost ideal. We have lost our desire to be noble, to spend and be spent for something bigger than ourselves. I must admit we should have seen this coming. The idea of personal sacrifice in pursuit of a noble cause suffered a lethal blow when it became popular to “look out for No. 1”, “be the master of your own fate,” and “pull your own strings.” On the way to the Pantages we passed a billboard triumphantly declaring “self-love is not selfish.” But – spoiler alert – yes it is. The self-focused life poisons its container. To promote love of self above all is the evil intention of that ageold demon called hubris whose mission it is to eradicate self-denial through a deceptive form of individu-

as far as possible, spending who knows how many tax dollars on legal fees, and still, most likely, lose. Sometimes a “good fight” is worth fighting. And sometimes, you punt. Weighing the factors on both sides, we don’t blame the council for punting. We share in their frustration, because this feels like a decision that was not in the best interests of local families. That’s the California we live in: Sacrificing the will of the voters, local control and the safety of our children, while protecting the rights of sex offenders. Does it have to be that way? While we understand that the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is taking additional measures to keep local sex offenders honest — like routine residency checks — we also implore our city leaders to explore other potential options. Here in Santa Clarita, we must devise new measures that can be taken to protect our community’s children — where California won’t.

sexual predators. In addition to these restrictions, I asked the city attorney to work with law enforcement to develop a replacement ordinance that will pass any constitutional challenge, while ensuring the continued safety of our residents and their families. Please be assured that the council’s top priority is to maintain Santa Clarita as the safe, family-friendly community we all enjoy. In 2018 we experienced the lowest crime rate in the city’s history and we will not let decisions from Sacramento deter our efforts. Cameron Smyth is mayor pro tem of the city of Santa Clarita.

alism. And in the end, nobility is abandoned in favor of self-aggrandizement, as the family, neighborhood, and nation devolve into a mass of individuals who are self-centered, thick headed and thin skinned. Now, I know this is not true across the board. We all know those who are grounded in high morals and committed to noble causes even at the cost of personal well-being. Most of them wear a uniform of some kind, and run to defend others when danger arises. But who among us can deny that we are fast on the way to creating a post-noble society filled with entitled, self-centered, cynical, and stubborn individuals intent on convincing the rest of us that we exist to make their lives all they want them to be? Throughout the story of “Les Miserables,” Jean Valjean is forced to make difficult choices in situations where acting nobly will mean losing his freedom. Time after time he opts to tell the truth, live out the highest moral option, and courageously absorb the negative consequences. And, in the end, we are moved by his nobility and feel a visceral passion to


Continued from page 43

Americans’ patience with renewable energy subsidies is also wearing thin. In November, Washington state voters rejected a carbon tax, and Arizona voters soundly defeated a proposal to require half of electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. It seems the time has come for many renewable power advocates to recognize that non-emitting nuclear power and lower carbon emitting natural gas have important roles to play in America’s energy future. Paul Steidler is a senior fellow with the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank in Arlington, Virginia.

live a noble life as well. It is not a huge stretch to suggest that our society is, as well, made up of a bunch of miserable people. We are rich, but lonely, frustrated, despondent, and too often depressed. Yet, as the play suggests, what relieves misery and triumphs in the end is a settled determination to pursue a noble cause for noble reasons, even knowing it may cost more than we may be willing to pay. Perhaps Jesus said it best when he declared, “If any would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Don’t buy into the “selffirst” delusion. Don’t live out your days asking what the world can, should, and ought to do for you. Spend your life asking how you can love, serve and save those around you. David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident.“Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays.

M AY 19, 2019

Give your mind a workout with these brainy exercises!



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M AY 19, 2019


Don’t have it your way By Jim Mullen Signal Contributing Writer


atty’s Place is a small downtown restaurant that serves lunch from 11 to 4. The place is busy, but quick, clean and pleasant. Patty cooks everything herself, the menu is short and the regular customers love it. Her specialty is a large wedge of crustless, green-chile quiche with a side salad and a thick slice of her own bread slathered with butter. She has other items on the menu, but most people come for the quiche. It’s all the regulars order. Today, a man none of us had ever seen before walked up to her counter and asked if she had any homemade sticky buns. She said no, and then he asked, “Do you know where I can get some?” “Yes,” she said. “At your home.” Did I mention that Patty is not big on happy chat? The next customer wanted to know what she had that was gluten-free and lactose-free. “Crustless quiche, salad, fruit.” Without a word, the woman turned around and walked out. The next customer wanted the quiche, but didn’t want it microwaved. Patty doesn’t microwave her quiche, it’s fresh and warm, but regardless -- you don’t normally tell restaurants how to cook their food. What would Pizza Hut say if you told them “... and I’d like that pizza boiled.” I’m still puzzled why anyone would walk into a restaurant and ask for “homemade” anything. What answer was the sticky-bun guy expecting to hear? “Why, yes we do. Even though we’ve never seen you before and we didn’t know you were coming in today, we decided to do something different this morning and whipped up two dozen homemade sticky buns. How many do you want?” He’d probably reply, “Oh, I don’t want any. I just wanted to know if you had some.” It’s like going to the Gas and Go Away and wondering why they don’t have tofu hot dogs. I can just imagine

what people behind the counter must hear all day. “Where do you keep the fat-free, lactose-free milk? What? You don’t have any? What kind of a gas station are you running here?” “No Himalayan pink sea salt? I’m never coming back to this 7-Eleven!” “No vegetarian plate? What kind of a steakhouse is this?” “I’m never going back to that sushi place. They wouldn’t make me a hamburger.” It’s that old “Have It Your Way” slogan gone insane. “No pickle, no lettuce, no burger, and stand on your head while you make it.” Then get all upset if they don’t. I’m sure you can find Walmart staffers who have had customers who act surprised to find they don’t carry tuxedos, and clerks at auto parts stores who have been asked why they don’t sell seedless grapes. Ask anyone in retail and they’ll be happy to tell you stories about difficult and wacky customers. They’ll be happy to tell you about it as they knock back another stiff drink, trying to unwind after a day of dealing with “the public.” Which brings up the unimaginably bad retail experience: working in a liquor store. I’m sure the homemade sticky-bun man has made special requests there, too. “Do you have any homemade bathtub gin?” “No, sorry, sold out yesterday.” “Do you know of someone who would have any?” “You mean the post office didn’t have any? Have you tried the public library or the pet store?” Is this kind of behavior really about shopping, or is it some oddball psychological disorder like “asking for things you know you can’t have syndrome,” or “making other people crazy disease”? I once had a boss who would go shopping when he was under pressure. He called it “retail therapy.” But he could afford it, and most salespeople were happy to see him coming. No one is happy to see homemade sticky-bun man coming. But I think that makes him happy. Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@

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