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Valencia | Saugus | Newhall | Canyon Country | Stevenson Ranch | Westridge | Castaic | Val Verde

y a d Sun AUGUST 5, 2018


The Water Beat Boat patrol is different kind of first responder Page 6

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2 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018

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Rate is per person, land and round trip economy-class airfare from LAX only, based on double occupancy for check-in on November 12, 2018 & includes taxes, fees and surcharges collected by seller at time of booking. Airfare is non-refundable. Itinerary changes/cancellations are subject to Pleasant Holidays, airline and/or other supplier-imposed fees from $25 (for Canada or contiguous U.S. travel) or from $50 (for all other travel) per person, plus applicable fare differential (certain changes involve pre-notification deadlines). See General Disclaimer for additional information regarding air. 2Fees may apply for services. 3Kids stay free in same room as adults using existing bedding. Occupancy limits apply. 4Activity voucher does not apply to air/car only booking. Valid toward the purchase of a select optional activity. Not valid for hotel direct activity bookings. Minimum 5 night stay at participating AAA Vacations® properties required. Voucher is non-refundable, non-transferable and has no cash value. For all offers, unless otherwise indicated: Rates quoted are accurate at time of publication & are per person, based on double occupancy. Gratuities, transfers, excursions and, for non-airO`ahu, Hawai`i inclusive offers, airfare, taxes, fees & surcharges, are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, taxes, fees, surcharges, deposit, payment, cancellation terms/conditions & policies subject to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity-controlled. Advance reservations through AAA Travel required to obtain Member Benefits & savings which may vary based on departure date. Rates may be subject to increase after full payment for increases in government-imposed taxes or fees and, except for air-inclusive offers, for supplier-imposed fees. Blackout dates & other restrictions may apply. As to Air-Inclusive Offers Only: Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to, baggage limitations & charges for first & second checked bag, standby policies & fees, non-refundable airfare/airline tickets, advance purchase requirements & supplier & airline-imposed change/cancellation fees up to & including the price of the fare plus any applicable fare differential (which may involve pre-notification deadlines). Air component of packaged offers may be non-refundable; refunds are subject to supplier & airline terms & conditions. Supplier & airline fees & policies may vary. Contact your supplier & ticketing airline for more information; for baggage fees & other details, see www.iflybags.com. Rates involving roundtrip air transportation for travel dates or from gateways other than those advertised may differ. Not responsible for errors or omissions. The Automobile Club of Southern California acts as an agent for Pleasant Holidays. CST 1016202-80. © 2018 Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.

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1 Rate is per person, land and round trip economy-class airfare from LAX only, based on double occupancy for check-in on November 12, 2018 & includes taxes, fees and surcharges collected by seller at time of booking. Airfare is non-refundable. Itinerary changes/cancellations are subject to Pleasant Holidays, airline and/or other supplier-imposed fees from $25 (for Canada or contiguous U.S. travel) or from $50 (for all other travel) per person, plus applicable fare differential (certain changes involve pre-notification deadlines). See General Disclaimer for additional information regarding air. 2Fees may apply for services. 3Kids stay free in same room as adults using existing bedding. Occupancy limits apply. 4Activity voucher does not apply to air/car only booking. Valid toward the purchase of a select optional activity. Not valid for hotel direct activity bookings. Minimum 5 night stay at participating AAA Vacations® properties required. Voucher is non-refundable, non-transferable and has no cash value. For all offers, unless otherwise indicated: Rates quoted are accurate at time of publication & are per person, based on double occupancy. Gratuities, transfers, excursions and, for non-airinclusive offers, airfare, taxes, fees & surcharges, are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, taxes, fees, surcharges, deposit, payment, cancellation terms/conditions & policies subject to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity-controlled. Advance reservations through AAA Travel required to obtain Member Benefits & savings which may vary based on departure date. Rates may be subject to increase after full payment for increases in government-imposed taxes or fees and, except for air-inclusive offers, for supplier-imposed fees. Blackout dates & other restrictions may apply. As to Air-Inclusive Offers Only: Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to, baggage limitations & charges for first & second checked bag, standby policies & fees, non-refundable airfare/airline tickets, advance purchase requirements & supplier & airline-imposed change/cancellation fees up to & including the price of the fare plus any applicable fare differential (which may involve pre-notification deadlines). Air component of packaged offers may be non-refundable; refunds are subject to supplier & airline terms & conditions. Supplier & airline fees & policies may vary. Contact your supplier & ticketing airline for more information; for baggage fees & other details, see www.iflybags.com. Rates involving roundtrip air transportation for travel dates or from gateways other than those advertised may differ. Not responsible for errors or omissions. The Automobile Club of Southern California acts as an agent for Pleasant Holidays. CST 1016202-80. © 2018 Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.




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AU G U S T 5, 2018

y a d n Su [4] NEWS FEATURES

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3

August 5, 2018


[4] Tourism fuels hotel building boom in SCV [5] A struggle against cancer [6] On patrol at Castaic Lake [8] The fun of community gardening [9] Signal launches new multimedia site


Knight, local officials talk opioids, human trafficking; Neighbors come together during Railroad Fire; New program sets path to coding for students; Easier path to transfer for community college students; Getting to know local farmers; DA issues new alert about scam


Ken Striplin talks about response during the most recent fire.

[15] BUSINESS Things to know as solar power proliferates in SCV;

Marc Emmer: Most important traits of visionary leaders

[16] 100 Years in the SCV





A page from The Signal’s archives

[17] SPORTS Corby Segal makes name for himself in golf world. [18] OPINION Our View David Hegg, Tim Whyte, Gary Horton


Do L.A. without the kids; Affordable long weekends

[26] ENTERTAINMENT What’s hot in SCV in August;


Buddy Guy to play The Canyon

[29] YOUR HOME Remodeling 101 [30] FAMILY Making more time for family; Donna’s Day [32] FOOD STUFF Savory summer entertaining; RESTAURANT PROFILE: Man’oushee

[34] PROFILE Voice Maestro Dan Balestrero [36] SENIORS Senior Center highlights;


Volunteer profile; GETTIN UP THERE with Diana Sevanian


SignalSCV.com Richard Budman


Jason Schaff

[39] GARDENING Hardscapes [41] BRAIN GAMES Games, Crossword, Puzzles

Trish Galloway

The vitamin controversy; Fun ways to stay fit

On the cover: Deputy Trevor King, left, and Deputy John Liebe patrol Castaic Lake. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN

Publisher Sunday Signal Editor

Tim Whyte Perry Smith Brad Lanfranco

Signal Editor Graphic Design & Production Deputy Managing Editor Advertising Director

26330 Diamond Place, Suite 100 | Santa Clarita, CA 91350


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AU G U S T 5, 2018


With tourism on the rise, SCV hotel options expand By Crystal Duan


or 10 years, Karina Winkler has managed hotels with Holiday Inn. For four of those years, she has lived in Santa Clarita as manager of the Best Western/Holiday Inn Express near Magic Mountain Parkway. Now, Santa Clarita is seeing a tourism boom that is making Winkler’s company, and others, expand their local reach. Soon, the city will see a 28 percent increase in hotel rooms, and Winkler says this boom can only mean good things for the Santa Clarita Valley. “Santa Clarita is absolutely thriving,” Winkler said. “There are a lot of things coming up in our city, with new housing developments and now also these new business developments, too. It is growing tremendously and it is great.” Jason Crawford, the city’s economic

development manager, said 531 hotel rooms are planned to be added to the city in the upcoming months. All are in different phases of development, but should be slated for completion around 2020. And beyond the ones already planned, approved and in development are about 200 more rooms. A Vista Canyon hotel project, with the exact location to be determined, is

also in the works, he said. By the end of all the projects’ completions, the Santa Clarita Valley’s room count will be at 2,634. “As a community, we need more hotel rooms,” Crawford said. “We run at a really high occupancy rate.” In 2011, local hotels had a 74 percent occupancy rate, according to city statistics. The rate has gone up since, and was at 88 percent as of 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. Half of the hotels in the greater Santa Clarita area are inside the city, while half are in the unincorporated areas, Crawford said. There are already 915 hotel rooms in the city of Santa Clarita, while the unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley have 978 rooms. The hotels in development for pre-construction are: The Luxen Hotel, which will be on Railroad Avenue at 5th Street The Oliver/Element by Westin, set to be on McBean Parkway north of Valencia Boulevard The Residence Inn/Springhill Suites and Holiday Inn Express at the lot at Wayne Mills Place west of Tourney Road near Magic Mountain Parkway The Homewood Suites/Hampton Inn on Newhall Ranch Road The Luxen Hotel, a boutique hotel in Old Town Newhall, is set to have 42 rooms. The slightly bigger Oliver/Element Artist renderings of hotels under development: [Top] The Residence Inn/Springfield Suites [Above left] The Oliver/Element by Westin [Left] Homewood Suites/Hampton Inn

by Westin is planned to have 134 rooms. The Residence Inn/Springhill Suites hotel is planned for a total of 170 rooms. The five-story, 185-room Homewood Suites/Hampton Inn lot will be located between Rye Canyon Road and Vanderbilt Way. Hampton Inn will have 78 rooms for standard visits and Homewood Inn and Suites will have 107 rooms for extended stays. The biggest operating hotel in Santa Clarita is the Hyatt Regency, which has 244 of the city’s hotel rooms. As so many tourists pass through Santa Clarita to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the city trolley offers rides to and from the theme park from selected local hotels, including the Hyatt. This year, in response to its growth as a tourism destination, the city added a new evening stop in Old Town Newhall between 6:10 and 11:07 p.m., as tourism grows, for guests to also enjoy nightlife, said Evan Thomason, economic development associate for the city of Santa Clarita. “We’re becoming a travel destination, and we want visitors to discover everything,” he said. The trolley has been around for the last 10 years, servicing the Marriott Embassy Suites; Hyatt Regency (where the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall is); and Holiday Inn, all hotels located around Interstate 5. “We love it so much here in Santa Clarita,” Winkler said. “It’s a great community, but also it’s really a community that’s growing.” 

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 5


Doing it her way Cancer patient reaches out to God and community to help in her battle By Brennon Dixson

Step into Kalene Parker’s humble home on Tyler Lane and one might get the impression that she’s an ordinary woman who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, seeing as she’s beaten cancer once before and is trying to do it again. When she moved to Canyon Country in 2005, it didn’t take long for the Bay Area transplant to fall in love with the family-oriented community, wonderful scenery and a new church. The former theater actress soon found a job as a substitute teacher and adjunct instructor at an alternative adult education university, but her life would be forever changed in October 2012. “It presented itself with bleeding from somewhere you shouldn’t be bleeding,” Parker said, painfully remembering her diagnosis of breast cancer, which has now advanced to stage 4. After calling her aunt, a registered nurse, who demanded she go to the hospital, Parker scheduled an appointment and endured weeks of thorough testing. Like many times before, Parker stopped in to one of her regular doctor visits prior to a night class she had to teach, but this wasn’t the average doctor visit. “The doctors sat me down and said, ‘We know what it is. You have cancer,’” Parker said, “and I remember having two reactions.” The first was surprise, she added, “but my second one — in all honesty — was I don’t have time for this.” With the grim news and students waiting for her, a distracted Parker went to teach a class where she would be evaluated by another instructor.

The next few weeks and months went nothing like you’d expect, Parker said. “Those who know me, know I’m a Christian,” she said, “and I believe that we serve a God who speaks to us and communicates with us through His word.” At the moment she was diagnosed, “as doctors were saying, ‘You have cancer. You should have a mastectomy. You should have a double mastectomy, and radiation and chemo,’” Parker said she heard the Lord. “God doesn’t always speak audibly,” Parker said. “It’s usually through an impression or something, but this was audible. He audibly said, ‘No.’”

Searching the internet

Kalene Parker refuses to go the traditional route of treatment for cancer. COURTESY PHOTO

impossible to seek care through Oasis. As a result, four months would After adamantly telling the pass before she found an answer. doctors she wouldn’t be taking “In January of 2013, my alarm any of their suggestions, Parkclock went off one morning,” er said she rushed home and and it wasn’t the usual static began scouring the internet for that struganswers, “begled to come cause God “GOD DOESN’T through, didn’t tell me ALWAYS SPEAK Parker said. what to do — AUDIBLY,” PARKER It was Cherie he just said Calbom, The SAID. “IT’S USUALLY no.” Juice Lady, She found THROUGH AN and she was a facility IMPRESSION OR talking about called OaSOMETHING, BUT the effects of sis of Hope, juicing and THIS WAS AUDIBLE. which had how it can everything HE AUDIBLY SAID, ‘NO.’” heal the body. she sought, “It was a including revelation for alternative and natural cancer me,” Parker said, so she emailed remedies that focused on killing cancer cells without the toxic the radio station to get more details about the woman. risk that chemotherapy brings, “I went on the website and Parker said. thought that’s what I’m supposed The only drawback was it was to do,” Parker said, “I’m supin Mexico, and given the costs, posed to completely change my which she’d already struggled diet and revolutionize how I eat to afford, she thought it was

and what I put into my body.” With a clinic upcoming in six months, Parker knew she had to go, but she didn’t have the $1,000 necessary to reserve a spot. Determined, she called the clinic and explained her situation and said she would be attending no matter what. Three weeks from the clinic, Parker still didn’t have the money but she called periodically to check and see if there was still room, until one day, the clinic called Parker. “We’ve never had this happen before, but somebody donated a seat for somebody to attend the clinic and it’s paid for. I thought of you, so write an essay,” Parker said she was told.

Writing an essay

“It was a Monday, and I remember because the day before, when I was at church, I said a prayer asking for God’s words,” Parker said, “and the next day (the lady) called to say I had to See KALENE, page 23

6 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018


On the

Waterfront Boat Patrol there when you need them By Signal Staff


hey are the first responders that you might not be aware of. Like fire and police department personnel, the county Parks Bureau boat patrol is out there on Castaic Lake working hard to make sure residents’ summer recreational experiences are as fun and safe as they can be. No day is the same for these public servants--and it is a very different type of patrol job with a very different focus than the law enforcement official on a land beat. The patrol boats are constantly on the move--on water--looking for boating enthusiasts who may need their help, according to Sgt. Brian Lendman.. Unlike patrol cars, a boat can never be handled by one single deputy. There must be a deputy driving the boat, and another who is in contact with the person who may be in danger. So even a “traffic stop” can get complicated. Part of the job is to explain boating procedures and the rules of the water. “Each vessel has its own particular right of way to another vessel and a lot of people may not know that,” says Deputy Matthew Burnett. “They also may not know the maneuverability of their own vessel versus someone else’s vessel.” Vessels vary in size and maneuverability. “I recognize that our presence here is important because people spend their hard earned dollar to come here and participate in boating as a recreational activity...I feel like by us coming to work, if we can make this a safe and enjoyable environment then we’re making a difference.” Lendman says.  [Right] Deputy John Liebe docks the boat. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN

[Top] Deputy John Liebe, left, and Deputy Trevor King on the dock at Castaic Lake. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L Î&#x2021; 7

15829 Toscana Court $1,499,500 Canyon Country, CA 91387 â&#x20AC;˘ Active Listing MLS# SR18133234 [Below] Deputy John Liebe ties the boat to the dock. PHOTOS BY CORY RUBIN

Single Family Residence 4beds 4baths Sq. ft.: 3,608 lot size: 42,561 sqft Garage: 3/ attached Built in 2012

ABOUT THIS PROPERTY Here is your chance to live in this beautiful turnkey home in a gated community. This single story pool home is in the Preserve in Sand Canyon. You will be immediately impressed with the well maintained yard and walkways leading to the front door. Inside you will find a very open floor plan featuring travertine flooring large fireplace, and custom leaded windows. The chefs delight kitchen has granite counter tops, SS Appliances, double ovens, a large island and breakfast bar, walk-in pantry and so much more. The large dining room is perfect for entertaining. Going into the master bedroom you will find walk-in closets and opens to a beautiful master bath with large sunken tub with leaded glass windows and many amenities. All bedrooms are tastefully decorated. The oversize laundry is complete with sink, cabinets, and folding area. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this home is the back yard. It features a large pool and spa, fire pit with seating area, and so many beautiful plants and trees. Interior/exterior recently painted. For the golfer you will enjoy your own putting green. The solar is system is all paid for. You will be glad you saw this home.

Bob Kellar 661.510.0987 16670 Soledad Cyn Rd kellar@earthlink.net CalBRE#01030351

8 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018


The Garden Spot Down-to-earth location brings community together naturally [Right] The Garden of the Month sign sits on a plot in the community gardens. PHOTO BY SAMIE GEBERS

By Brennon Dixson


t may be no Garden of Eden, but tucked away in Central Park is the Santa Clarita Valley’s own Garden of Eatin’. Once through the locked gates of the garden, nearly 70 individual plots scatter across Santa Clarita's largest park, where gardeners spend hours and hours every week tending to the sprouts, veggies and fruits that grow in every corner and are evident from the moment one enters. There’s a shaded picnic area complete with succulents, which are embedded in the table. There are fruit trees that offer organic oranges, apples and peaches.There are also herb gardens. Community garden member Anita Wiggins, who can often be found tending to the cucumbers, carrots

and other organic goods grown in her plot, absolutely loves this place.. “My vegetables are like my babies,” Wiggins said with a giggle. “It's funny, because I show pictures of my kids,” but she really just wants you to see the picture of her tomatoes. “I don't know how to describe the feelings I get when I’m here,” Wiggins said. “It’s what life should be like. It’s just being alive as time and life passes.” She admits it sounds “so new age,” Wiggins said, but seeing a perfectly grown fruit provides a bigger thrill for her than most. “I mean look at it,” she said in the middle of answering a question, as

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she got distracted by a cucumber close by. “I don't mean to be gushy, but it's a miracle because you get to witness so much of the natural world right in front of you.” The gardens enable residents who sign up as members to rent plots to grow their own pesticide- and preservative-free vegetables. In 2015, the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita Education Committee was formed, offering free organic gardening classes to valley youth and low cost organic gardening course to adults. Each year over 100 youth sign up to participate in the classes, workshops, and events. The organization offers weekend workshops and private classes for youth, as well as events, said Gardens

[Above] Volunteer Holland Eggers helps children make wildflower seed bombs at the Community Gardens. PHOTO BY GEORGIA RIOS

Education Committee Chair Gisa Seeholzer-Haggin. The gardens usually have a wait list for available plots. SCV residents can still get involved with the Community Gardens through volunteering, attending events and workshops, or by requesting a free garden tour. The gardens are home to a large composting area, greenhouse, chicken coop, Monarch Way station, pollinator bee garden, herbal garden, See SPOT, page 39

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 9


The Vault Signal launches new multimedia site for in-depth video, audio content By Perry Smith

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a high school football player scream his way through an interview on the Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain? Have you ever been interested to hear about the process behind determining which of The Signal’s stories end up on the front page? As The Signal gears up to celebrate 100 years of history, the Santa Clarita Valley’s most trusted news source is adding new features for readers and visitors to SignalSCV.com. “The Vault,” officially launched at 8 p.m. Wednesday, offering new multimedia content that’s never been available before. It’s going to be more than a “peek behind the curtain” or unusual interviews, but a website that truly brings unique perspective and never-before-seen features from a local news outlet. “It’s very exciting to be able to produce the type of content to the community and to be able to offer it at no charge to inform and educate people on the important issues that the public needs to be informed about,” said Richard Budman, co-owner and publisher of The Signal. “Austin Dave and his

multimedia team, along with our news staff, have truly produced some award-winning content that we’re looking forward to sharing.” “Addicted” is an episodic look at drug addiction that follows several individuals, as well as their families’ struggles, with one of the deadliest problems facing Santa Clarita Valley residents, as well as an honest talk about what our community’s response to the problem has been. “The micro-documentaries that Austin and the rest of our multimedia team is producing are elevating The Signal’s local coverage to a new level,” said Signal Editor Tim Whyte. “This is a major step forward for The Signal as a source of local news and information across every available platform.” Some of the content available as of the Aug. 1 launch includes “Fast Talk,” in which Signal Sports Editor Haley Sawyer invites local athletes to take part in rides and games at Six Flags while talking about their respective upcoming seasons. Another feature includes “First Responders,” which includes interviews and ride-alongs that give a snapshot into the daily grind of those who work to keep Santa Clarita Valley residents safe every day.

The Signal’s Vault will include micro-documentaries and interview segments, such as “Fast Talk” with Signal Sports Editor Haley.Sawyer.

“The Vault project allows us to think outside the box, and highlight what sets Santa Clarita apart from other communities through video, audio podcasts and more digital tools,” said Austin Dave, chief multimedia journalist for The Signal. “With a larger staff, we now have the resources to take a deeper dive into local issues like drug addiction, homelessness and crime, while keeping a finger on the local pulse.” The Vault website is available for viewing at https://vault.signalscv.com. 


at SC United Methodist Church:

Sunday, Sept. 9 Monday, Sept. 10 Children's Program Teen Service

Tashlich at Santa Clara River:

Monday, Sept. 10

at Temple Beth Ami:

Tuesday, Sept. 11

8:00PM 9:00AM 9:00AM 9:00AM


Join Temple Beth Ami and Congregation Beth Shalom as we "cast away" and begin again. We meet behind the ARCO gas station at the comer of Bouquet Canyon and Valencia. Part? at Chi-Chi's.


Please join Temple Beth Ami for the High Holidays! Services conducted by RABBI MARK BLAZER & ALYSSA ROSENBAUM

SC United Methodist Church: 26640 Bouquet Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita 91350 Tempie Beth Ami: 23023 Hilse Lane Santa Clarita, CA 91321

FOR RESERVATIONS & INFORMATION CALL: (661) 255-6410 www.templebethami.org at SC United Methodist Church:

Tuesday, Sept. 18 Kol Nidre Wednesday, Sept. 19 Morning Service Children's Program Teen Service Yizbor

9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 11:30 AM

at SC United Methodist Church: Wednesday, Sept. 19

5:00 PM

7:30 PM

,-,-n- -Jonah/Closing Service/Break Fast









1:1---- ,:,�-

' ' \ ... ...... ......-..-'-: .. : .... ...... .... .. .. ' ... ,.............:-t,�-:1· ..







10 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018


Knight meets with local officials to talk opioids, trafficking By Crystal Duan

Concern about the fight against opioid abuse and human trafficking peppered the discussion led by Rep. Steve Knight and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Monday. Knight, R-Palmdale, and McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, were there to talk about federal- and local-level efforts to solve the crises in California’s 25th Congressional district and throughout the state. Much of the discussion was about the magnitude of the problem and the need for more funding. “Santa Clarita is the third biggest city in Los Angeles County, and it’s close to the ports,” Knight said. “So (for trafficking), it’s an easy jaunt to get through. A lot of the goods that go north go right

through Santa Clarita.” Participants in attendance included Assemblymen Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, and Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita; Santa Clarita City Councilman Cameron Smyth; Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Lewis; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials and others. Lewis said overdose statistics have gone up, and there have been seven deaths from opioid abuse so far this year. That number is alarmingly close to the area’s record, which was 11 in 2011, he said. “We’re dealing with opioid abuse with a three-prong approach,” Lewis said. “We have rehabilitation, education and potential incarceration. But the number is slowly increasing and the epidemic is becoming stronger and stronger.” “A lot of people think of Santa Clarita as low-crime, but there have been problems with opioids and sex traf-

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, lead a roundtable at Santa Clarita Sports Complex.

Serving the Santa Clarita Valley for

ficking, which are issues we’d nev- level, too, such as the bureau’s L.A. Reer want to have in any community,” gional Human Trafficking Task Force. The Action Family Counseling CenKnight said. “But they still affect comter in Santa Clarita has around 70 resimunities like this greatly.” Cary Quashen, executive director dential beds always occupied, Quashen of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital said, and they also have approximately Behavioral Health Unit and direc- 50 intensive outpatients from the Santa tor of Action Family Clarita Valley. Counseling, said re“I don’t know anyhabilitation facilities one who doesn’t know PARTICIPANTS have been seeing not someone affected by DISCUSSED A just heroin, but also drugs,” he said. “When more crystal methwe talk about the stigNEED FOR MORE amphetamine and ma behind it, it’s getLAW ENFORCEcocaine addiction. ting better in my book MENT THAT “It’s clearly a crisis because everybody in the state, and the knows somebody afCOULD TACKLE challenge is to not fected. The first thing THE ISSUES. blame people who you want to do is not are addicts, but also fight this thing alone. have interventions You can’t get help until that are successful,” you reach out.” Lackey said. Knight said his biggest takeaway Participants discussed a need for from the roundtable was law enforcemore law enforcement that could tackle ment needed a funding source, and the issues. collaboration between departments “There is not a lot of funding for the was necessary. law enforcement side to identify traf“If the federal government does anyficking victims in L.A. County,” said thing with funding, it’s also a matter of Capt. Kent Wegener, of the L.A. Coun- getting the Department of Justice, the ty sheriff ’s Human Trafficking Bureau. Department of Labor involved,” he said. “We believe the most effective approach The House recently passed Knight’s is a regionalized approach. But smaller H.R. 5546, to use Department of Demunicipalities can’t assign a specific de- fense funds for combating opioid traftective because they have to prioritize all ficking and abuse in the United States. of the regional needs.” Earlier this year, President Trump Wegener suggested that more fund- also signed McCaul’s bill, H.R. 4708, ing should go toward helping munici- that provided guidance to agencies for palities share resources on the county stopping human traffickers.

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AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 11


Neighbors come together New pilot program sets path to coding during Railroad Fire Evacuees recall ‘terrifying’ moments By Tammy Murga

Despite the heavy smoke and falling ashes, Alejandro Cervantes sprinted up Valle Del Oro Drive toward the Terrace Apartments, as the building was threatened by the 10-acre Railroad Fire in Newhall on Monday afternoon. “I didn’t care how many times I had to go back and forth for water,” said Cervantes, who lives on the same street where the blaze took place. He and other neighbors were seen pushing carts stacked with water bottles for both residents of Terrace and first responders. “Everyone on (Valle Del Oro Drive) is like a family,” he said, as he waited for others in need of more water. “We all look out for each other, and I know that water helps a lot.” Among the Terrace residents who received water were Sonja Bravo and Cesar Carrillo. Both described their experience as “lucky,” when the fire slowed down after reaching concrete between a burning hill and their unit just feet away. “I told Cesar that the sun was very yellow and something smelled like smoke,” Bravo said in Spanish. “We saw that the entire hill was already burned before firefighters arrived. We evacuated immediately.” Both were among several other residents who rushed out of the apartments with no

time to grab important belongings. Bravo described the scene in Spanish as, “terrifying,” as she witnessed some neighbors crying and others begging first responders to check for loved ones inside homes. One resident, who wished not to be named, was seen running down Valle Del Oro Drive with sweat running down his forehead and a bloody finger. “I saw that part of the apartment was on fire,” he said of the flames that ran up the wash toward the structures. “I ran for my wife and my two cats. One of them bit me, which is why I’m bleeding. I’m just glad we made it out.” Alongside Cervantes were neighbors Raul Muñoz and his three young children, who were riding atop an empty push-cart as their father brought them down the inclined Valle Del Oro Drive. The locals had bought dozens of water bottles at a nearby Dollar Tree. They said they would stay there for as long as evacuees and firefighters needed water. By 6:30 p.m., just two hours before the start of the blaze, firefighters were in the mopping up stages. Joey Marron, Los Angeles County Fire Public Information Officer, said a damage assessment and a count of evacuees was underway. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

A man and his dog await news about his cats, possibly trapped inside his apartment building during a brush fire. MICHELLE LUTES/THE SIGNAL

By Signal Staff

Santa Clarita Valley students in grades K-8 may soon be able to learn critical computer programming skills following the state’s approval of a new pilot program and $15 million in one-time funding. With the Department of Education’s approval, the state will continue its attempt to offer coding curriculum and prepare students for careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — by allowing school districts to apply for a new pilot program. The recently approved program will seek to provide free after-school coding classes to students at more than 4,000 after-school sites by offering grants of up to $80,000 over three years. Coding, robotics and computer programming have all been areas of focus for multiple school districts across the SCV, according to various district leaders. “We are very involved in coding,” said Ken Chase, president of the Sulphur Springs Union School District board. “We teach coding in class and we have coding clubs, so I’m sure it’s something the district will look further into.” The funding may be a good fit for the Newhall School District’s robotics program, said board President Philip Ellis. “So, it seems coding would fit in naturally to the Newhall School District’s curriculum offerings.”

While the new grant is limited to children who aren’t in high school yet, William S. Hart Union High School District spokesman Dave Caldwell said it’s very likely that the district’s junior high schools will take advantage of the new program. “Coding is essential, along with robotics,” he said. Both are subjects that the district is greatly involved with, especially at the junior high level.

[Top] Mike Leathers, director of IT at Saugus Union School District, helps 8-year-old Mariangelo Montano code on the computer at Bridgeport Elementary School in Valencia in 2017. SIGNAL FILE PHOTO [Above] Primary and secondary school students will have access to free afterschool coding classes funded under California’s latest state budget.

12 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018


STROKE: Know the warning signs to SAVE A LIFE

Community college students get easier path to transfer out toward a bachelor’s degree. Oakley said the associate degree Students who successfully com- for transfer has been a proven success plete their associate’s degree require- since its adoption, as nearly 20 perments at College of the Canyons or cent of students with the degree earn another California community col- a bachelor’s degree from a California lege will now have an opportunity State University campus within two for guaranteed admission into more years, compared to just 27 percent for than 30 private four-year colleges and traditional transfer students, accorduniversities. ing to the 2017 Campaign for College Following the signing of Wednes- Opportunity report. day’s memorandum of understandThe “Degree with a Guarantee” ing between the California Commu- has assured student acceptance to a nity Colleges Chancellor’s Office and California State University campus the Association of Independent Cal- since the 2011-12 academic year, and ifornia Colleges and Universities, ju- the new agreement marks a signifinior college students with an asso- cant expansion of the program since ciate’s degree for transfer will have its inception, CCC a seamless pathleaders said. Caliway to move on fornia communito higher-learn“THE STATE WILL BY ty college students ing institutions with such a degree 2030 HAVE A SHORTin the California will now be guarAGE OF 1.1 MILLION State University, anteed that prior University of CalWORKERS HOLDING coursework will ifornia and, now, be transferable to A BACHELOR’S DEprivate college private, nonprofit systems. GREE NEEDED TO four-year instituChancellor MEET WORKFORCE tions ranging from Eloy Ortiz OakAzusa Pacific UniDEMANDS.” ley said the new versity to Whittiagreement is part – CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY er College, while of the ambitious COLLEGES CHANCELLOR also seeing a more goals he laid forth ELOY ORTIZ OAKLEY streamlined and in his Vision for simplified transfer Success, a strateprocess. gic plan designed “Projections from the Public Polito improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate cy Institute of California say the state will by 2030 have a shortage of 1.1 achievement gaps. “We’re very happy to announce this million workers holding a bachelor’s partnership with AICCU. I think it’s a degree needed to meet workforce degreat thing for students up and down mands,” Oakley said. “The associate the state,” because it gives students an degree for transfer program is vital opportunity to save time and money, to our economy, and we are proud to Oakley said during Wednesday’s tele- work with the Association of Indeconference call with AICCU leaders. pendent California Colleges and UniParticipating AICCU schools will versities in providing our students adcollaborate with community colleges ditional opportunities to further their to provide pre-enrollment informa- education and help guarantee their tion and advice to interested stu- chances of achieving upward social dents, as outlined in the agreement. mobility.” The schools will also engage in disThe AICCU is comprised of 78 pricussions about potential pathways vate nonprofit colleges and universities.

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AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 13


Santa Clarita Certified Farmers’ Market invites residents to get to know local farmers By Marilyn Chavez-Martinez

Every Sunday, local farmers set up shop in parking lot 5 of College of the Canyons and eagerly wait for patrons to arrive. “We’ve been really lucky because Santa Clarita has been a really good market for us,” said Karen Schott, the market’s operations manager, who has been with the market since it opened. The Santa Clarita Certified Farmers’ Market recently celebrated 25 years of providing Santa Clarita with farm-fresh produce. The market has grown both in customers and diversity. Schott took The Signal on a tour of the market and shared her insights on how the market has changed over time. “In the beginning, it was really interesting trying to get people interested in all the different ethnic foods and all the different…things that we have to offer,” Schott said. Over time, however, customers began to embrace new flavors and exotic crops. Schott attributes the change in customers’ willingness to try something new to the increasing popularity of cooking shows and the relationships built between local farmers. “They’re willing to try new stuff,” Schott said. “They have good long-term relationships with our farmers and they’ll say, ‘Oh, look here, I have some new pea tendrils…’ and customers will try it, and that’s the whole basis of what you want a farmers’ market to be.” As the market has grown, Schott has seen many vendors come and go. During the tour, Schott ran into two previous vendors who have since moved on to other opportunities. She also spoke with vendors who had been with the market for almost as long as she has. “I’d say there’s probably six to eight that have been here within the first two years. They’re really in this for the long haul,” said Schott, as she walked down the rows of vendors. Every farmer had a smile on their face and a story behind their produce. Schott shares her love for the farmers, their diversity and the community that has been fostered in the market. “I would have to say, what I have found the most fascinating and just so enriching, is to see our first generation immigrants coming to this country and just applying their hard work and their dreams,” Schott said. “They come from all over the world: Asia, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Argentina.” In a small parking lot of a local community college, Schott had found a melting pot of hard working farmers with a variety of culture to offer the Santa Clarita community.

DA issues alert about automatic subscription renewal scam By Signal Staff

As stone fruit season hits its peak, peaches, plums and nectarines are quick to go at the Santa Clarita Certified Farmers’ Market. MARILYN CHAVEZ-MARTINEZ/ THE SIGNAL

“To have them come and seeing what they can bring, and just their cultures and enthusiasm and their passion. Then, to have them develop these relationships with their customers and with us, with our staff and with their fellow farmers, it’s just so fascinating,” Schott said. How the market works In a certified farmers’ market, only products that are certifiable by an agricultural commissioner are allowed, meaning every farmer will have a permit which a commissioner will inspect. The market also has a non certified processed foods section, which includes baked goods, homemade jams and handcrafted probiotics. Santa Clarita market officials require that their vendors make their own goods, meaning the section is limited and further licensed, according to Schott. Often the market is busy on Saturdays, but Schott admitted that, sometimes, residents are not aware the market even takes place. “That happens all the time. Every day we have people say, ‘I didn’t know about the market and they’ve been living here all this time,’”said Schott, adding that if it wasn’t for the farmers’ market, some of the vendors would have gone out of business due to lack of outlets. “If anybody has been considering going to the farmers’ market, or has ever thought about going to the farmers’ market, they should try to make it out over in the next 60 days,” Schott said. “To try the freshness, to try the flavors and to see the old-fashioned variety that you can’t get in a supermarket. This is like our prime season, now through October.” The Santa Clarita Certified Local Farmers’ Market takes place every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a soft opening at 8 a.m. Vendors are set up in parking lot 5 of the College of the Canyons Valencia campus.

County prosecutors warned residents that companies may keep consumers on the hook with the automatic subscription renewal scam. “It’s a deceptive scam disguised as an enticing offer, and it happens all the time,” Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun said in a video published recently. Some businesses lure in customers offering a complimentary one-month trial for a service. Once the promotional period is over, companies may automatically begin charging you. “In the automatic subscription renewal scam, companies get customers to pay for subscriptions they may not intend to renew by automatically charging their accounts or credit cards,” said a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. Businesses may hide important details in the fine print, including the possibility that a subscription automatically will be renewed unless canceled, the price will increase after a discount has expired — without clearly stating the new amount in advance — or they may make it difficult for customers to cancel their subscriptions. A new state law went into effect July 1 to strengthen consumer protections against automatic subscription renewals. Businesses are required to provide a clear and conspicuous explanation of price changes after free trials or gift offers, get consumers’ affirmative consent before charging them for automatic renewals and give information to customers about how to cancel their subscriptions. In response, the District Attorney’s Office offered the following tips: • Before signing up for a free subscription or membership trial, check out the renewal policy and price. • If a business fails to clearly and conspicuously disclose that a subscription will be auto-renewed, the consumer is not obligated to pay any auto-renewed charges and may keep for free any products that the business sent to the consumer. • Dispute unauthorized subscription charges with your bank or credit card company. Chun explains how the scam works in this video: http://da.lacounty.gov/community/fraud-alerts/ automatic-subscription-renewal-scam. Those interested in more information can follow @ LADAOffice on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news. The above information was shared with The Signal via a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.

14 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 5, 2018


Protecting our community By Ken Striplin


he images are both breathtaking and terrifying. A sheriff’s deputy kicking down a door, smoke and flames racing toward him as he tries to make sure everyone is out of the path of the fire. A firefighter, placing himself and his hose between someone’s home and a wall of flames that is nearly five times his height. These are the men and women that risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our homes and our families – just as they did last Monday when the Railroad Fire swept through a Newhall community. The Railroad Fire broke out late in the afternoon on July 30, and in less than 20 minutes it was reaching the balconies and patios of several apartment complexes, on three different fronts. Our Sheriff’s Captain Robert Lewis, along with other deputies and

CHP officers, were the first on scene and immediately went door to door to make sure everyone was out - helping residents and their beloved pets evacuate to safety. By the time firefighters got a handle on the flames, these first responders were coated in ash from head to toe. By nightfall the fire was under control, but more than 50 people were displaced as their homes were inundated with smoke, water and some ravaged by the flames. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze in temperatures reaching 100 degrees, and thankfully no lives were lost. Due to the quick actions of our first responders, the fire was not as damaging as it initially seemed it would be. Let this recent blaze serve as a reminder to review your personal emergency preparedness plan. To protect your home, it is essential to create a defensible space by clearing brush. Make

Firefighters work behind a structure in Newhall. PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF SANTA CLARITA

sure you have your emergency kit stocked, plan your escape routes and have a family meeting place. When public safety officials call for evacuations, please heed their warnings. Doing so will not only support your safety, but will allow firefighters to best maneuver their resources to combat the fire. For the latest information on evacuations, road closures and open shelters during a fire emergency, the city communicates through various channels, including social media and our Emergency Updates Blog at SantaClaritaEmergency.com. The City also utilizes Nixle, which allows real-time emergency notifications from public safety personnel to be quickly sent to you through email or text. Sign up by completing an online form at santa-clarita. com/ealerts or by texting “SCEMERGENCY” to the number “888777.” Making sure your family is ready and resilient is the first step in

Ken Striplin community preparedness. For additional emergency preparedness resource information, please visit santa-clarita.com/emergency. I also want to express my gratitude to the work that our public safety officials do, day in and day out. Their bravery is our protection. 

Fighting the fire on a hill in Newhall. PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF SANTA CLARITA

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 15


Solar Confidential SCV Homeowners need to know rules as systems multiply in area By Ryan Painter



t’s 4 p.m. in Santa Clarita, late The average cost of a 4 kilowatt July. The temperature’s just residential system, typical for sinover 100 degrees, and a solar gle-family homes, is roughly $34,000, installation, bolted diagonally according to Go Solar California. into the side of a shingled roof, radiA variety of state and federal inates with heat. centives, however, exist to help offset For the past eight hours it’s basked the high cost of solar. in the sunshine, its photovoltaic panThe California Solar Initiative els converting the light into electricoffers cash rebates of up to $10,000 ity. Below, the air conditioner clicks to customers of Southern Califoron. nia Edison, the largest provider in With an average of over 3200 Santa Clarita, who opt to install solar hours of sunshine a year, there aren’t systems. many places in the United States with The payoffs from these programs, brighter weather than Santa Clarita. however, may not be available in the In an attempt to convert this future. abundant natural capital into clean “Because of the declining rebates energy and diminutive utility bills, in the California solar programs, many Santa Clarita residents have the sooner you install your system, chosen to invest in solar energy systhe better your incentive and rebate tems for their homes. will be,” reads Go Solar California’s The City of website. Santa Clarita A variety of issued between BECAUSE OF THE federal subsi1,000 and 1,500 dies exist as well. DECLINING REBATES solar permits Legislators have IN THE CALIFORNIA for individual expanded the households over SOLAR PROGRAMS, Investment Tax the last year, acCredit, or ITC, to THE SOONER YOU INcording to City encompass solar STALL YOUR SYSTEM, Building and installations until Safety Official at least 2021, at THE BETTER YOUR John Caprarelli. which time the INCENTIVE AND REComparaprogram may be tively speaking BATE WILL BE. renewed. to a decade ago, The ITC is Caprarelli said, equal to up to 30 this figure is a lot. percent of the cost of the overall sys“From 2012 to 2013 is when we tem, with no upper limit. saw a real sharp increase in solar As for monthly utility bills, some energy systems,” he said. “We went Santa Clarita homeowners with solar from issuing a dozen permits a year, say they spend only a few hundred to issuing over 1,000 a year.” dollars a year for their electricity. Solar’s impending ubiquity, however, has not come without challenges. While the California Energy Commission voted in May that all new housing developments must After having procured the funds come with built-in solar systems by needed to install a system, perspec2020, those who own existing homes tive solar-owners must obtain the without solar technology must nanecessary permitting from their tivagte issues of cost and permitting respective homeowners association in order to purchase the systems. (HOA) and from the City of Santa

Homeowners Associations

Clarita. In recent years, residents have raised their concerns that HOA’s may reject solar proposal on the grounds that the installations are inconsistent with the association’s uniform architectural standards. State law, however, is favorable to solar installation. The Solar Rights Act of 1978 mandates that HOAs cannot bar their residents from installing solar panels, although they do retain the right to impose “reasonable restrictions” on proposed installations. AB 2188, passed in 2014, states that these restrictions can not exceed more than $1,000 in extra installation costs or diminish the efficiency of the system by more than 10 percent.

The city

Residents who live within the City of Santa Clarita must obtain a permit from the Building and Safety Department in order to fit their homes with solar systems. “When you put a solar energy system on your roof you’re really installing an electrical utility, and if not installed properly they could potentially be unsafe,” Caprarelli said. In general, solar contractors will apply for the proper permitting on behalf of the homeowner, Caprarelli said. Contractors, he said, must submit

plans showing how the proposed installation will comply with building and safety codes. “We have established a streamlined process for residential solar projects,” he said. “We complete our review of the plans in three business days, maximum.” Despite the city’s transparent application process, Caprarelli explained that it is difficult to ascertain exactly how many solar developments take place within the valley. “Some of the work gets done under LA County jurisdiction then gets annexed into the city,” he said. “It’s not as simple as just going and seeing how many solar permits we’ve issued .”  More BUSINESS page 21

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AU G U S T 5, 2018

One Community

FROM THE SIGNAL ARCHIVES August 10, 1923 Wildfires have always been a problem in our local area as this 95-year-old front page from The Newhall Signal shows. “Fires are

Numerous and Destructive” reads the headline. The Mint Canyon area seems to be the vulnerable place back then. 

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 17


SCV’s Segal makes name in golf world Experienced caddy qualifies for U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament By Natalie Gilmore


inding the balance between PGA tour caddy and amateur player, Corby Segal has put the Santa Clarita Valley on the map in the golf world once again. Segal qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament as of July 23 at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. The Santa Clarita native has 19 years of experience as a caddy on the PGA Tour. He has worked for professional players with well-known names such as Briny Baird, Tom Hoge , Brandt Jobe, Bob Burns, Woody Austin, Kevin Stadler, Brent Geiberger, and Carl Paulson. Segal is currently a caddy on the tour for professional Brandon Hagy. “The player that I currently work for hasn’t been playing much lately because of injury,” Segal said. “This enabled me to play a lot more tournament golf. I played well and gained a lot of confidence in my game and in tournaments.” In the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying, Segal shot five under par with a first round score of 70 and a second round score of 67. The Wilshire Country Club course par is set at 71, instead of the usual 72. His qualifying round total was 137, three strokes ahead of his competition. “At 47 years old, I don’t expect to win the U.S. Amateur Tournament but to qualify and compete with these college students and younger adults is fun,” Segal said. “To be able to compete is half the battle.” The Cal State Northridge alumnus leads the 2018 Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Player of the Year standings with 1095 points in six tournaments. “The U.S. Amateur is a young person’s tournament. To be able to get into that field based on my own play means the world to me. College students qualify based on rankings from college tournaments, so it’s built for the younger players,” Segal said. “There’s only about 10-15 players over 40 years old in that field. And to be one of those for all of the United States is pretty special.” In the 2017 U.S. Amateur


tournament, Segal shot a 2-over 72 at Bel-Air Country Club that put him at 8-over after two rounds, good for a share of 120th place. The top 64 players moved on. “My dream was always to play on the PGA Tour,” Segal said. “I don’t hit the ball far enough for that, but I hit it straight enough and putt well enough to play compete in the amateur.” Segel will be working as a caddy during the days leading up to the Amateur tournament at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif. “If [Hagy] makes the cut, I don’t know that I would even get a practice round for the tournament,” Segel said. “I would work straight into the tournament.” The U.S. Amateur Tournament is hosted in beautiful Pebble Beach, Calif. at both the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on August 13-19. “It’s my goal every time I tee up in a tournament to play my best for myself and my family and community,” Segel said. “I won’t have many more opportunities to do this, so I am going to play as well as I can.” 


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



A Reminder About 24-Hour Workdays

The Place of Opinion in Securing Public Discourse

By The Signal Editorial Board

By David Hegg


hen the Earth shook at 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994, it started a 24-hour workday for many people. First responders, of course. Municipal service providers, city and county officials, water agency workers. All had important jobs to do, controlling damage, saving lives, repairing and restoring infrastructure. It would take months, and in that first 24 hours, most of them didn’t sleep. The same for your local media: For example, the staff of The Signal literally started working as soon as the ground stopped shaking. Photographers and reporters, monitoring first responders’ radio frequencies, hit the ground running — with no communication or direction from their editors, because phone lines were down — and did what they knew they needed to do, covering the quake’s devastation. That day, the staff was reminded of the importance of a disaster plan — namely, because the paper didn’t really have one. It was improvised on the spot: The old Signal building on Creekside Road (still “new” back then)

was temporarily uninhabitable. The power was out and there were concerns about structural damage, so the staff was only allowed into the building to grab a few supplies: A copy of the masthead, some notebooks, and film — lots of film. This was, after all, before digital photography. News meetings were held in the parking lot several times during the day, with notice of them being spread via word of mouth. Management took on the task of figuring out just how to produce the next day’s paper, with no power, no computers and no presses. The solution came from a friendly neighbor: The Antelope Valley Press opened its newsroom to the staff of The Signal after the AV press finished its own earthquake edition late that night. Signal staffers, with full notebooks, that copy of the masthead, See OUR VIEW, page 20


f I have counted correctly, this is my 390th column written for The Signal. For several years now I have been privileged to put my opinions in print, and enter them into the marketplace of ideas. As I sit at my computer writing, it occurs to me that seldom do I give a thought to how my opinions land on the hearts and minds of those who read them. It isn’t that I don’t care about what others think, because I do. In fact, that’s essentially why I write: to influence the thoughts of others. But I am always mindful that this is an opinion column. I am not writing a research paper, or a legal brief. This isn’t a sermon or some other proclamation designed to present arguments backed up by careful attention to authoritative sources. And while opinion columns may influence thought, change minds, and even stimulate action on the part of the readers, they still only represent the opinions of the

author, presented without the benefit of supporting documentation, authority, or precedent. So what is the purpose of opinion? Simply put, it is to get people thinking in ways that will foster conversations that matter. It once was the case that, from the earliest age, children were taught critical thinking skills. They were taught according to the classical educational model: grammar, logic, rhetoric, together known as the trivium. Grammar, as the word suggests, pertained to the elementary things of any subject. If it were language, grammar consisted of learning the letters, the way words were put together, sentence structure, etc. If the subject were math it meant learning the numbers, their relationships, and the basic structure of mathematics. Next came logic. This section took what was learned in grammar and put it to use. It taught the way the elemental things could be put together to See HEGG, page 20


City Council: Questions on Buses Open letter to our City Council: As you go about your daily business here in our community, have you noticed the Santa Clarita Transit buses make their daily rounds? If not, you should and you will note that except for the driver, those buses are almost always empty! Has anyone ever done a study on the ridership of our buses, and if so, what were the findings? I suspect driving a bus in Santa Clarita must be the loneliest job in the state. If I’m wrong please tell me. I have no idea why we invested in larger buses instead of the smaller ones, but even now wouldn’t it be a good idea to sell ours and get the smaller ones?

Perhaps I’m totally wrong but I’d like to know. What can you tell me? Richard Myers, Valencia

Great City Bike Trails, But... To the city’s credit, Santa Clarita is a bike-friendly community that has a growing network of over 60 miles of bike paths that enjoy wide use by walkers, joggers and bicyclists. However, more needs to be done to ensure everyone’s safety. In the event of a medical emergency, a brush fire in adjacent riverbeds, a crime in progress (i.e. the female who was attacked earlier in the year on the South Fork Trail) or accident, it is virtually impossible to know

your exact location as there is a virtual absence of mile markers with the corresponding trail’s name. It is even more difficult for the many visitors to our community to know where they are that may have an occasion to enjoy our network of bike paths. In addition, I would like to see bridge overpasses (i.e. Valencia Boulevard, Decoro Drive, McBean Parkway, Copperhill Drive, etc.) stenciled with the name of the roadways above. Max Morgan, Valencia Submit a Letter to the Editor

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

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



County Preps Homeless for Export to Tesoro

Here in Santa Clarita: Yes, We Do All Get Along

By Tim Whyte Signal Editor


on’t sleep on this one, folks: The decision-makers in downtown Los Angeles are preparing to offload the big city’s homelessness problems on you. Specifically, they’re making it Tesoro del Valle’s problem. Here’s how: In a hearing Wednesday on the proposed addition of 820 homes to Tesoro del Valle, the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission not only reiterated its demand that the project include affordable housing, but also added a new demand: Somewhere in that 1,274-acre project, they want a homeless shelter. The public hearing was continued until Nov. 7, when there surely will be a lively debate over both the appropriateness and the need for a homeless shelter in Tesoro del Valle. I think there’s a consensus here in town that we need to provide shelter, compassion and other forms of assistance to the homeless in our community. So, I’m not saying there should be no such shelters or programs. But we also need to balance these decisions against factors like the local level of need, an assessment of what’s already being done to meet that need, and fairness toward property owners. Let’s start with need. Estimates of the number of local homeless vary, but the consensus puts it between 300 and 400. If county planners are bent on adding one new shelter for every 800 new units built, we’ll soon have as many homeless shelters as Starbucks. Then, one of two things will happen: Either the shelters will stand unused, or someone will find a way to populate them. Guess which way that will go. The county has stated a preference for dealing with homelessness

across all unincorporated territories, which includes parts of our valley that aren’t within Santa Clarita city limits. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach, without regard to community factors. Then there’s the question of what’s being done already. Hunt Braly, a local attorney and consultant for the Tesoro developer, Bristol Land Co., also serves on the executive committee of Bridge to Home, which operates Santa Clarita’s seasonal homeless shelter. So, he knows this stuff. At the hearing, Braly informed the commissioners there isn’t a need for a new homeless shelter site because we already have one: The city of Santa Clarita has donated $1 million in land to Bridge to Home, which has also received $700,000 in capital project funding from the countywide Measure H, to go toward development of a year-round, permanent shelter near Drayton Street and Railroad Avenue. That, evidently, isn’t enough for the county commissioners, who seem to think the SCV is not doing its fair share if all we do is address the needs of the homeless who are already here. We must, it seems, prepare to accept an export of homeless individuals from other communities. That brings us to the impact on existing residents. Again, understanding that we should provide services to people who really need them — and we are — let’s suppose you built two identical houses. Now put one of them next to a homeless shelter. Which one is worth more? The county is effectively making it the problem of every existing and future Tesoro resident, devaluing their property to “solve” a problem that’s See WHYTE, page 20

By Gary Horton


hy can’t we all just get along?” Uttering these simple yet seemingly unattainable words, none other than Rodney King went down in public memory as a fatally flawed yet nascent philosopher. Why can’t we all get along? What’s so darn hard about mutual cooperation? Well, I’ve got news for you: we most often do. Yet, with all the never-ending rancor coming out of the White House and Congress, and ever-present tweets bashing this, that, or him or her, we feel like we’re constantly at one another’s throats. Perhaps Washington politics is actually that way. Maybe we’ve got bought-off boneheads calling our national shots. But maybe rancor is just getting amplified by the media because, like sex, a good fight sells. After all, where would Info Wars or Rush Limbaugh or MSNBC be without windmills at which to joust? Who would watch TV just to see people politely agree with each other? Ditch the national news and we see we’re much more civil than we think, even among folks of differing religions, races, politics and persuasions. Oh, disagree we may, but be constructive, we nearly almost always are. So, take heart, we’re not yet a lost civilization… Carrie and I had the fine opportunity of hosting an informational fundraiser for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital at our home last week. A wide assortment of dedicated SCV residents stopped by and learned about the new tower being finished up and the exciting new services to be provided to the community. And it is exciting. New all-private rooms, some 90-plus new beds, new

women’s and maternity facilities, on-roof helipad and much, much more. But this level of construction is costly, at approximately $160 million, and the hospital is fundraising to help cover the downstroke on the financing arrangements. Yes, the process of providing critically needed care carries serious costs. The folks attending our event are mostly already active in varied community concerns, and was also manifest, come from a wide political spectrum. Those attending certainly wouldn’t all agree on many national or state policies. But all understand that eventually all our lives intersect in common cause and providing much-needed hospital services to our community members transcends almost any other difference. We’re all born, and we’ll all get sick, and likely, we’ll all end up sometime in emergency care, a trauma center, an ICU, or operating theater. We’ll all need expert, urgent medical care when the time comes. And Henry Mayo is the only game in town when time is short and the going gets tough and the conditions are serious. Quick fact: Way back at the start, it took Henry Mayo 40 years to serve its first 1 million patients. With all the growth in the SCV, it’s now estimated that HMNH will serve 1 million in just the next 12 years. Henry Mayo will serve three times the volume on the same patch of land we’ve all driven by for so many years. Building upward is mandatory to keep up with the intense need. Today, HMNH sees 70,000 patients a year. Most come through the emergency room doors. It’s a busy and very needed and appreciated place! When it’s 2 a.m. and you have to call the ambulance, or there’s another crash See HORTON, page 20


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solve problems and was the primary place that critical thinking came into play. Certain uses of the basics just wouldn’t work, and in logic these inconsistencies were recognized and addressed. In so doing, students were taught not only to know, but also to think critically about how what they knew was to be used. They also learned to recognize those patterns that just didn’t work. These were considered against logic, and reckoned as foolish and even dangerous. The last section of the trivium was rhetoric. In this stage of learning the students were instructed on how to take the grammar and the logic and use them to teach or persuade others. My interest here is in the middle section of logic. Because we have moved away from this classical model of early instruction many are unable to formulate logical thought patterns, and even less able to critique the thought patterns of others. This puts them at risk of accepting and adopting harmful ideas and conclusions. They simply lack the discernment mechanism that can be so helpful in spotting error, refuting it, and turning more profitably to those ideas that are internally consistent, or logical. One of the few places left where we can practice critical thinking is the marketplace of opinion. Fortunately, we have many arenas for this. Talk radio is a great example. I view it as a good learning experience to listen to the pundits on both sides of the intellectual battle in order to


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up on the interstate, or you fell off your ladder and hit your head – time is everything and every minute counts. HMNH is the only local trauma center quickly reachable. Its very community location may save your life someday. Or, you need cardiac services or maternity services or hip surgery and don’t want to fight traffic up and down into the valley. Ditto again – Henry Mayo is your only local option – and it comes with a big plus. It’s a modern, 4-star-rated hospital and is among California’s best. The folks at our fundraiser know all this. And they know, as you likely know, we’ll never see another multi-billion-dollar hospital in the SCV in our lifetimes. The cost is simply too prohibitive. The SCV is a one-pony show when it comes to this level of medical care, so helping HMNH keep up with both demand and state of medical arts is of top concern to all, transcending any other differences we otherwise might share.

sharpen my ability to discern truth from error. Do their arguments really stand up? Are they substituting robust language, sentiment, and emotion for real evidence and logical conclusions? Does their conclusion follow from their arguments? Are they being irenic and properly representing their opponents? All of these used to be questions posed to school children as they were carefully taught to think logically. Today our schools have gone down another path and whole generations are being loosed on society with little or no ability to take in arguments, synthesize their substance, recognize their weaknesses, and discern what is truthful from what is masquerading as such. It is little wonder that our political process has deteriorated into a contest of sound bites and photo opps. We’re quickly losing our ability as a society to think critically, to evaluate truth claims, and recognize when we’re being lied to. This column is but one grain of sand on the seashore attempting to offer opinions that can serve as an exercise in critical thinking, regardless of whether you agree with me. That’s not the point. What matters is that you think, and you discern, and you do so logically. What matters is that we start thinking deeply about what truth really looks like, and how we believe life should be lived. If we don’t, I’m afraid we’ll wake up someday and wonder just how nonsense and error became the staples of public discourse. David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident.“Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays.  We can all get along when we get behind great common causes like Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, where you come from or how you think. Like good schools and safe communities, we’re all together on this one. Working together on good causes has a great side benefit: It brings us closer and builds bridges and community. It makes friends. It gets us connected. It helps us feel good to help others. The SCV is blessed with opportunities to volunteer, serve, and contribute – all bettering the lives of those around us. Helping Henry Mayo help us is surely at the top of the list. To learn how you might help, call 661-200-1200. And yes, on the important stuff, we really can all get along, we really do work together, and we make great things happen together. Indeed, building good community together is the keynote history and culture of the entire SCV. Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” regularly appears Wednesdays in The Signal. 


Continued from page 18

and many rolls of film in hand, trekked to Palmdale and put together a special quake edition. At 4:30 a.m., on the day after the quake, the staff rolled back into Santa Clarita, with the special edition ready to hit the streets. At the time, The Signal was proud to say it had never missed a scheduled edition — but this was scary-close. We were reminded of that “past life” newspapering experience a week ago, when Mylar balloons knocked out power to more than 20,000 customers — including our own offices in Centre Pointe. While we now print the paper off-site, electricity is as important as ever to our production, and perhaps just as important is a reliable internet connection. We can’t upload newspaper pages over a spotty hotspot connection. While last week’s power outage was nowhere near as significant of a situation as the ‘94 earthquake, it still raised two points, one immediate, and one for the future: 1) How were we going to get the news covered, and get the Saturday paper out, with no electricity and no internet? 2) Was this a reminder that we need to prepare an updated disaster plan? (Short answer: Yes.) Thankfully, we got the answer to No. 1 quickly, again thanks to a friendly neighbor: We called Leon Worden, president of SCVTV, who agreed to let us bring our page layout computers and staffers to the SCVTV studios in Newhall so we could produce the newspaper there. Thanks to SCVTV and some quick work by our news, photo and sports staff, we made deadline that night — and The Signal still has not missed a scheduled edition in its nearly 100-year history. It was a reminder, though: The next quake or other disaster will, inevitably, present itself. Not to be overly ominous about it, but when it comes to quakes, we are certainly due. We know the first responders and local government put a great deal of effort into preparing for such things, but for us, this power outage served as a reminder that we have some planning and updating to do, to make sure we’re prepared to do our part in delivering the news to the community the next time a 24-hour work day lands in our lap. We’re working on an update to our disaster plan now. How about you? 


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already being addressed here. I hope this doesn’t indicate a resurgence of the things that caused this community to form its own city in the first place: A county government that is distant and out of touch with our community, and doesn’t seem to care about actual need vs. the impacts of its decisions on existing taxpayers. I know our own Supervisor Kathryn Barger doesn’t match that description, but she is just one vote out of five on the Board of Supervisors. Like I said. Don’t sleep on this. The county is getting ready to export L.A.’s homeless to our sleepy little burg. Tim Whyte is editor of The Signal. His column appears Sundays. Email: twhyte@signalscv.com. Twitter: @TimWhyte. 

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The most important traits of visionary leaders By Marc Emmer

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed on an American citizen. In November 2016, legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully received the award at a star-studded event in the East Room of the White House. As President Obama presented the award, Scully stood teary-eyed, seemingly embarrassed by all the attention. He shared a stage with Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Diana Ross and 18 other beacons of American culture. After the ceremony, Scully was interviewed by John Dickerson of Face the Nation, who asked about his keys to success as a broadcaster. Scully quoted Laurence Olivier, saying, “My success comes from a humility to prepare.” I found Scully’s comment stunning but only mildly surprising. Scully was acknowledging that his mastery as an announcer had less to do with what he did in the booth, and more to do with what he did before he climbed into it. A lack of preparation is pervasive in our business culture. It’s on display every day with people who miss critical deadlines and are ill-prepared for meetings. I have had the honor of working with wildly successful entrepreneurs, and a common trait among them is the humility to prepare.

They are the ones who value feedback from board members, advisors and people like me. They are the type who listen before they speak and have a clear intention in everything they do. They typically employ the following practices:


Make your values nonnegotiable. Leaders constantly reinforce their values in meetings and through visual management. For example, if your values are important to you, they should be on display in your office lobby, meeting rooms and facilities. In my company we demand absolute integrity. I don’t have the time or inclination to constantly supervise people, so my staff has to be accountable to themselves.


Get feedback from a broad range of constituents. Build systems to regularly obtain feedback from employees, advisors and customers. One of my clients, a consumer-packaged goods company with more than 500 employees, solicits feedback from every employee in the formation of strategy. As many of the company’s frontline employees are closest to the customer, they are a primary source of innovation. I am the person gathering this feedback, and it can be hard to hear. But getting unbridled feedback from

your employees and customers is the best way to improve.


Plan your work and work your plan without making excuses. Great business owners don’t use excuses like a lack of time or money for not having a plan and sticking to it. Our best clients hold strategy meetings at least once a quarter and they make their plans visible. This drives accountability and improves the results of departments and individuals. Companies who execute well also have systems to see and track progress versus objectives, action items and results.


Know your numbers. Even if you aren’t an accountant, you have to know how the sausage is made in your business. This is especially true for gross profit and levers that you can pull, such as labor. Have a formal, monthly financial review and a real-time scorecard in public view. Teach your people what the numbers mean. Visibility promotes accountability.


Have a holistic view of well-being. Futurist Bob Johnson points out that there are seven types of well-being: physical, spiritual, societal, financial, mindful, interpersonal, and in work. Start by defining what happiness is and set up your schedule to pay yourself first. I have run a virtual company for 15 years, in part because when I worked for others, I felt imprisoned by the arbitrary constraints of physical walls and schedules. So I started a company that could provide employees with the freedom to be the best versions of themselves.

Marc Emmer I block out time for things that are dear to me (like working out) and plan my work accordingly. I encourage our employees to put their families first.


Bring your employees along for the ride. The best-run companies have a special energy in which employees understand the vision of their company. Departments work together because their objectives cross organizational boundaries. Don’t set objectives for a single department in a way that creates silos. For example, if only Accounting is responsible for receivables, how likely is it that Sales will lend a helping hand? Not very.


Lead the tribe. Hierarchy is dead. Today’s organizations require collaboration and buy-in. Understand the dynamics present among teams, departments and cliques. In my case, I make sure my employees know I care about them as individuals: their dreams, their fears and their aspirations. Lead your company with intention and humility. It’s a better way to live. Let’s all make Vin Scully proud. Marc Emmer is the author of Momentum: How Companies Decide What to Do Next, a contributor to Inc.com and President of Valencia-based Optimize Inc. Marc is recognized throughout North America as a thought leader on strategic planning and has facilitated strategy sessions for more than 140 companies. Reach him at marc@optimizeinc.net or on Twitter: @MarcEmmer 

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= Family Friendly Event

26550 Heritage View Lane, Valencia. Info: http://www.santaclaritaartists.org. Music Saturday, Aug. 11 ~ 7 p.m. City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park presents Matchbox Twenty Too tribute band, based in San Diego, with powerful shows that recreate the signature sound and style that defined the ‘90s. Free. Family-friendly atmosphere. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets, and food vendors will be on site selling a variety of concessions and snacks. Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, EVENTS BY DATE Saugus. Info: Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts. Resort Waikiki Beach O`AHU, HAWAI `I Alohilani Gardening 1 11~ 9 a.m.-noon. Proper Groups Saturday, Aug. INCLUDES 5 NIGHTS Tuesday, Aug.FROM 9 ~ 7 a.m. Toastmasters Turf Care and Turf Substitutes AIRFARE Meeting for Newcomers. Learn public speak- Do you want your lawn to look its best? Come ® YOUR PACKAGE ing skills.AAA CollegeVacations of the Canyons, University INCLUDES: learn about techniques to maintain your turf Room 315, Rockwell Canyon that will keep it thriving and may improve ROUND TRIP26455 AIRFARE from Los Angeles, California (LAX) •Center to Valencia. Honolulu, (HNL) Road, Info:Hawai`i email vpm-9641@ water efficiency. Or, if you’re looking for some ideas for turf substitutes, we’ve got that covFive nights’ partial ocean view accommodations •toastmastersclubs.org eredResort too, with2 Waikiki plants that work well instead Beach `AHU, HAWAI `I theAlohilani O access to Island Club & Spa •ArtComplimentary of turf in your landscape. All classes are held TRAVEL: Select dates December 31,Water, 2018127234 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saturday, Aug. 11through ~ 5-8 p.m. at SCV INCLUDES 5 NIGHTS FROMArt Festival. Artists SCAA Summer Saugus. RSVP orAIRFARE info: http://yourscvwater. reception The Oaks Club at Valencia com/index.php/event/basics-of-a-sustain® ® AAA Vacations BOOK THIS PACKAGE YOUR AAA Vacations PACKAGE INCLUDES: able-landscape.


Animals Saturdays and Sundays (except rainy days and holidays) 9:30 a.m.noon. The Gibbon Conservation Center is open to the public. A tour is given at 10 a.m. and self-guided tours are available at all times. Admission: $15 (adults); $12 (teens and students); $10 (seniors); $5 (children 6-12); $0 (Children under 5). Gibbon Conservation Center, 19100 Esguerra Road Saugus. Info: http://www. gibboncenter.org

History Saturdays and Sundays 1-4 p.m. The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society invites guests to visit Heritage Junction Historic Park inside William S. Hart Park in Newhall. Tours are held every Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. 24101 Newhall Ave, Newhall. Info: https://scvhs.org.

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Tuesdays 7:30-8:30 p.m. Remo Community Drumming Experience is an hour of fun entry-level experiential music making with drums and percussion that is accessible to everyone. Family-friendly environment with facilitator. All ages and levels of ability are welcome and no prior musical experience is necessary. Drums and percussion instruments provided at no cost. Free. Info: santaclaritaarts.com.

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Saturdays 11 a.m. Family Nature Walk and a Native Live Animal Presentation at 1 p.m. Free. Placerita Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Info: www.placerita.org.





Hawai`i (HNL) ! Nto!Honolulu, Benefit N I ! N FiveInights’ partial ocean view accommodations W WI •W KIDS 17Saturday, Aug. 11 Circle of Hope’s 17th DAILY Annual&Vine2Wine Complimentary access to the Island Club Spa $ 6-10 p.m. AAA Vacations ®







Mail your entry to: The Signalx– Contest CALL: 26330 Diamond Place | VISIT: Santa Clarita, x CA 91350 Or email to: contest@signalscv.com

CLICK: AAA.com/Travelmore Benefit Saturday, Aug. 11 Silents Under the Stars 6 p.m. Friends of Hart Park fundraiser. Live muASK FROM sic byABOUT The GratefulRATES Dudes Cowboy Band, and Rate is per person, land and round trip economy-class airfare from LAX only, based on double occupancy for check-in on November 12, 2018 & includes taxes, fees and surcharges collected YOUR LOCAL AIRPORT! by seller at time of booking. Airfare is non-refundable.Page Itinerary changes/cancellations are subject to Pleasant Holidays, airline and/or other supplier-imposed fees from $25 (for Canada or # silent Toll Gate,” with live contiguous U.S. travel) or from $50 (for all other travel) per person, plus applicable fare differential (certainclassic changes involve pre-notifiWestern cation deadlines).“The See General Disclaimer for additional information regarding air. Fees may apply for services. Kids stay free in same room as adults using existing bedding. Occupancy limits apply. Activity voucher does not apply to air/car keyboard accompaniment and a BBQ dinner only booking. Valid toward the purchase of a select optional activity. Not valid for hotel direct activity bookings. Minimum 5 night stay at participating AAA Vacations properties required. Voucher is non-refundable, non-transferable and has no cash value. from Twilight tours of the For all offers, unless otherwise indicated: Rates quoted are accurate at time of publication & are per person, basedRattler’s. on double occupancy. Gratuities, transfers, excursions and, forHart non-air- ManO`ahu, Hawai`i inclusive offers, airfare, taxes, fees & surcharges, are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee sion anddeposit, silent auction. William& S. Hart amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, taxes, fees, surcharges, payment, cancellation terms/conditions policies subjectHall to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity-controlled. Advance reservations through AAA Travel required to obtain Member Benefits & savings which may vary based on departure date. Rates may be subject to increase after full payment for increases in government-imposed taxes or fees and, except for air-inclusive offers, for supplier-imposed fees. Blackout 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall. Event CALL: x CLICK: AAA.com/Travelmore sells dates & other restrictions may apply. As to Air-Inclusive Offers Only: Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to, baggage limitations & charges for first & second checked bag, standby policies & fees, non-refundable airfare/airline tickets, advance purchase requirements & supplier change/cancellation fees up toin & including the price ofTickets: the out& airline-imposed fast, purchase tickets advance. fare plus any applicable x fare differential (which may involve pre-notification deadlines). Air component of packaged offers may be non-refundable; refunds are subject to supplier & airline VISIT: terms & conditions. Supplier & airline fees & policies may vary. Contact your supplier & ticketing airline for$50 more information; baggage fees & other details, see www.iflybags.com. Rates each.forInfo: www.friendsofhartpark.org, involving roundtrip air transportation for travel dates or from gateways other than those advertised may differ. Not responsible for errors or omissions. The Automobile Club of Southern California acts as an agent for (661) 222-9542. Pleasant Holidays. CST 1016202-80. © 2018 Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved. 1

CALL: 661-288-5570 VISIT: AAA Travel Santa Clarita 23770 Valencia Blvd. 2

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Saturday, Aug. 11 ~ 7 p.m. City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park presents Fooz Fighters, one of the nation’s top tribute bands. Since forming in 2014, the band has played Foo Fighters music for packed crowds around the country. Free. Family-friendly atmosphere. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets, and food vendors will be on site selling a variety of concessions and snacks. Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Info: Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts. Benefit Tuesday, Aug. 14 ~ 7:30 p.m. The 7th Annual Comics for the Cause to benefit the SCV Youth Project. Tickets: $55 and $40. VIP add-on $35. VIP ADD-ON: $35. Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. Info: (661) 257 – YOUTH (9688) or http://www.helpnothassle.org/7th-annual-comics-for-the-cause-2/ Benefit

Tuesday, Aug. 14 ~ 6 p.m. The WiSH Education Foundation Annual Burrito Bowl. Free. Cheer for your favorite team, cheerleaders, bands and dancers. Held at the top of Town Center Drive at Westfield Valencia Town Center the fundraiser benefits local public high schools through the sales of raffle tickets. Info: www.WiSHscv.org.


Vine2Wine: An Evening of Wine, Brews & 3 CONGRATULATIONS to Donna LeeTRAVEL: JonesBREAKFAST ofSelect Valencia — the December ACTIVITY dates through 31, 2018 4 FOR TWO fine wines, craft brews, VOUCHER winner of $100 for correctly identifying the artwork as FREEFood. Experience PER BOOKING gourmet food, live music and silent auction being from the Academy Swim Club advertisement on to benefit ® Circle of Hope. $120 VIP ticket BOOK THIS AAA Vacations PACKAGE page 16 of our July 22 issue. entry 6 p.m. $90 General admission 7 p.m. AND GET THESE SPECIAL INCLUSIONS! Tickets may also be purchased at the door for Identify this piece of artwork and $100 for General and $130 for VIP. Alcohol AAA Vacations ASK ABOUT RATES the page number that it is on in AMENITY free tickets $55. Guests must FROM be 21 or older. KIDS 17 DAILY one of the advertisements in this YOUR LOCAL AIRPORT! – AND – California $ CONTINENTAL YOUNGER STAY week’s issue, and you will be Institute of the Arts, Main Gallery 24700 3 BREAKFAST ACTIVITY entered to win $100. One game FREEMcBean Parkway, FOR TWO VOUCHER Valencia.4 Tickets: www. PER BOOKING O`ahu, Hawai`i and one winner each week. circleofhopeinc.org/vine2wine.





This week’s entries are due Wed. Aug 15th. Rate is per person, land and round trip economy-class airfare from LAX only, based on double occupancy for check-in on November 12, 2018 & includes taxes, fees and surcharges collected by seller at time of booking. Airfare is non-refundable. Itinerary changes/cancellations are subject to Pleasant Holidays, airline and/or other supplier-imposed fees from $25 (for Canada or Winner to be announced contiguous U.S. travel)in or from2$50weeks. (for all other travel) per person, plus applicable fare differential (certain changes involve pre-notification deadlines). See General Disclaimer for additional 1

information regarding air. 2Fees may apply for services. 3Kids stay free in same room as adults using existing bedding. Occupancy limits apply. 4Activity voucher does not apply to air/car only booking. Valid toward the purchase of a select optional activity. Not valid for hotel direct activity bookings. Minimum 5 night stay at participating AAA Vacations® properties required. Voucher is non-refundable, non-transferable and has no cash value. For all offers, unless otherwise indicated: Rates quoted are accurate at time of publication & are per person, based on double occupancy. Gratuities, transfers, excursions and, for non-airinclusive offers, airfare, taxes, fees & surcharges, are additional. Advertised rates do not include any applicable daily resort or facility fees payable directly to the hotel at check-out; such fee amounts will be advised at the time of booking. Rates, terms, conditions, availability, itinerary, taxes, fees, surcharges, deposit, payment, cancellation terms/conditions & policies subject to change without notice at any time. Cruise rates capacity-controlled. Advance reservations through AAA Travel required to obtain Member Benefits & savings which may vary based on departure date. Rates may be subject to increase after full payment for increases in government-imposed taxes or fees and, except for air-inclusive offers, for supplier-imposed fees. Blackout dates & other restrictions may apply. As to Air-Inclusive Offers Only: Other restrictions may apply, including, but not limited to, baggage limitations & charges for first & second checked


Friday, Aug. 17 ~ 8 p.m. Summer Movies in the Park Series starting at dusk. “Black Panther.”Family friendly movies at the Hart Picnic Grounds area. Admission is free. 8 p.m. William S. Hart Park 24151 Newhall Ave., Newhall. Info: (661) 259-1750 or http:// friendsofhartpark.org. Music

Saturday, Aug. 18 ~ 7 p.m. City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park presents returning favorite The Pettybreakers. Sing along to classics from Tom Petty and help pay tribute to one of the most legendary bands ever. Free. Family-friendly atmosphere. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets, and food vendors will be on site selling a variety of concessions and snacks. Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Info: Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts. Hiking Saturday, Aug. 18 ~ 8 p.m. Placerita Nature Center Twilight Hike. 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Info: www.placerita.org.

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write an essay.” Of course, Parker went right to work on the essay. “I got the spot, went to the clinic (using her aunt and uncle’s airline employee discount) and by October the doctors cleared me,” Parker said. “They couldn’t find the cancer (because) I followed God and did what I was supposed to do.” Everything was good for about two years until Parker started noticing symptoms again in 2016. Due to her unwillingness to perform the painful biopsies and hear the same spiel from doctors, the cancer — which had returned and developed into stage 4 — went unconfirmed, Parker said, “but I knew what was happening.” Despite family members pressuring her to go through chemotherapy, Parker’s resolve remained strong to beat cancer without the toxins. Knowing she’d need more money to afford the “out-of-pocket traditional doctors,” Parker said, she would begin working as many as five jobs simultaneously, while still struggling to make ends meet. “It made me angry that I was willing to work so hard and so much during the day and night, and not be able to get ahead or get help,” Parker

said, but she kept persisting and would land a job in the classroom again earlier this year. Things weren’t great, but she remained positive and able to work until March 28. “I remember feeling a thud and the next thing I knew, I felt a girl patting my hand outside on the concrete,” Parker said. “During the nice ride in the ambulance, all I could think about was money.” When a clinic called to set up an appointment on a work day, Parker said she screamed at the employee, prompting her to seek out a mental health professional. Thanks to her best friend, the mental health professional and the support of Hope Vineyard Church, Parker was able to take time off of work and focus on her health. Similar to 2013, Parker hit the internet and began to call places that fit her requirements. Doctors said she would die soon, “but what better opportunity for the glory of God to make himself known than stage 4 cancer when nobody can deny that I was accidentally healed,” Parker said. “The Lord never changed what he said, so if I want to live then my obedience matters.” Parker decided she was willing to do whatever

it took to get healthy, so she made the call to Oasis of Hope, the in-patient facility she had found in 2013. Following the liquidation of her mother’s retirement accounts, Parker was able to go into the alternative hospital for the first time and found great success there. “I can tell you the tumors are shrinking. I can feel the difference,” Parker said. “People keep saying that I don’t look like a cancer patient,” but she always retorts with the fact that she’s not a chemotherapy patient. Despite her success with the treatment, Parker said she fears she will be unable to finish it due to a lack of job prospects, income and the $15,000 needed before her next visit. Even though she is in remission and raised 25 percent of her expected goal, Parker said, she is far from finished with her journey to beat cancer, which is why she set up a GoFundMe account. (gofundme.com/ y8vf5-healing-for-kalene) “I’m not able to work or return to what I (was) doing before,” Parker said, “but we’re a community who enjoys donating to causes, so I’m asking the community to save a life that they know.” 


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AU G U S T 5, 2018


Travel L.A. Without the Kids You can have fun at some obvious places By Michele E. Buttelman


very so often, adults need some “adult playtime.” Just mom and dad, rediscovering why they still like each other. Family time is important, but so is the chance to “run away” for a weekend and “recharge.” Anniversary coming up? A special birthday? Simply need some “mental health” time? Here’s a few suggestions for a memorable weekend, close to home, but without the kids in tow. Before booking your getaway be sure to check out available deals from hotels.com, hotwire.com, priceline.com or other websites that offer hotel discounts. Many hotels are now offering discount prices on the hotel’s own website, so make sure you check around for the best deal.


Looking for a romantic escape from the heat? From San Diego to Newport to Zuma and beyond there’s a cozy bed and breakfast, or a seaside inn, with your names (and price point) on it. To find your perfect bed and breakfast getaway browse the offerings and ideas found at bedandbreakfast. com. If a luxury hotel resort is more to your liking with spa services and indulgent dining there are many beachside options: The Waterfront Beach Resort is located on the picturesque coastline of Huntington Beach, (Surf City USA). (From $200+ per night). Hotel del Coronado is located on 28 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island in San Diego. The legendary hotel was built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. This is a “bucket list” hotel. (From $400+ per night). Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point offers (From $600+ per night). This is one of Southern California’s most exclusive and luxurious beach resorts offering ocean views, beach access, golf, fine dining and an extensive menu of spa services.

Don’t Forget Hollywood

Hollywood is so close it often never occurs to most Santa Clarita Valley residents to take a weekend and see the city as a tourist. It’s great fun to pretend you’ve arrived in town to attend a movie premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, or pretend you are taking a weekend break before you’re needed back “on set” Monday morning. The legendary hotels of Hollywood offer luxury accommodations and fine dining, as well. What to see: The Hollywood Walk of Fame will turn 60 in just a few years. Where does your favorite celebrity have their star on the historic Walk? (Find a celebrity star here: http://www.walkoffame.com/starfinder). The Dolby Theater is the home of the Academy Awards. Take a tour of the theater and see the home of the Oscars, “beyond the red carpet.” Info: http://dolbytheatre.com. Since the Hollywood Bowl opened in 1922 it has been an iconic destination for live music in Southern California, hosting everyone from Billie Holiday to The Beatles to Yo-Yo Ma under the famed silhouette of its concentric-arched band shell. Info: https://www. hollywoodbowl.com/ about/bowl. Don’t laugh, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum offers up hundreds of life-like wax figures of celebrities and stars. It’s a unique way to spend an afternoon in the heart of Hollywood. Info: https://www.madametussauds.com/ hollywood/en/ If you’ve never seen a movie at the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, you should. When the El Capitan opened on May 3, 1926 it was the largest legitimate theater in Hollywood with 1,550 seats. In 1941, the El Capitan Theatre was converted from a playhouse to a movie theater. Orson Welles rented the El Capitan to debut his first feature film, “Citizen Kane” on May 8, 1941. It was the first showing of a film at the theater. In 1989, the Walt Disney Company joined forces with Pacific Theatres and launched a two-year, museum quality restoration of the El Capitan which recreated the original 1926 look and feel of the theater. Ornate plasterwork found hidden behind walls and

the opera boxes in the main auditorium were restored to opening night glory. The El Capitan’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” was originally installed in 1929 at the San Francisco Fox Theatre and now entertains a new generation at the El Capitan. Info: https://elcapitantheatre.com. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre opened in Hollywood on May 18, 1927. A top tourist destination is the Chinese Theatre’s courtyard where the footprints and handprints of Hollywood’s “elite” have been preserved in cement. Info: www.tclchinesetheatres.com. Just think what a great tour guide you’ll make for visiting family and friends after your “up close and personal” look at Hollywood. Where to stay: The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel opened May 15, 1927 and is the oldest continually operating hotel in Los Angeles. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel May 16, 1929, inside the Blossom Ballroom. (From $200+ per night). Chateau Marmont was completed in 1929. This historic Hollywood landmark was designed and constructed to be earthquake proof. Chateau Marmont survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987 and 1994 without sustaining any major structural damage. (From $900+ per night). Lowe’s Hollywood Hotel offers a great location on Highland Avenue and fantastic views of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills. A sleek, modern glass palace of luxury Lowe’s offers first-class accommodations and service. (From $200+ per night, select a City View room).

Be ‘Rich and Famous’

To truly live the life of the “rich and famous” stay at one of the many five-star hotels in Beverly Hills and eat at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Restaurant (make reservations here: http://wolfgangpuck.com/dining/ Continued next page

AU G U S T 5, 2018

inexpensive long weekend destinations to visit

By Martha Garcia


ooking to get away, but your budget holding you back? Check out these three destinations perfect for a long weekend that are also easy on the wallet and loads of fun.

Nature lover’s retreat

Take a pause from the busy bustle of life and slow down in idyllic Ojai. About an hour’s drive toward the Ventura coast, Ojai has a long history of providing a nurturing atmosphere to creatives, is a favorite among health enthusiasts, and offers a haven to the spiritual seeker. Home to less than 8,000 residents, Ojai is a small town that will give you an “at home” comfort feel.


A great place to begin your weekend is The Lavender Inn. Nestled among elegant flower gardens, the Lavender Inn is a gorgeous and historic Bed & Breakfast that was built in 1874. Centrally located, it has the feel of a country cottage with amenities like facials, massages, and cooking classes. Rooms start at $165 per night. The Lavender Inn, 805-646-6635, lavenderinn.com. Be sure to take a stroll through town and visit the Ojai Art Center, boutique clothing stores, wine and olive oil tasting rooms, or head for the outdoors. Ojai is a naturalist’s dream. Located on the edge of the Los Padres National Forest visitors can bike, rock climb, or nature Take a romantic hot air balloon ride in Temecula. COURTESY PHOTO

Continued from previous page

spago/) before window shopping on Rodeo Drive. Where to stay: The Beverly Hills Hotel is a luxury, five-star hotel, located on Sunset Boulevard in the center of Beverly Hills and surrounded by 12 acres of lush, tropical gardens, exotic flowers, and private walkways. This iconic, L.A. hideaway is famous for playing host to Hollywood royalty throughout the years. (From $600+ per night). Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills represents the best in California lifestyle and luxury. Designed inside and out by the legendary Pierre-Yves Rochon, this elegant hotel offers worldclass service and lavish accommodations. The name itself conjures up images of old money and East Coast sophistication. (From $700+ per night). Montage Beverly Hills is vintage glamour with modern elegance that offers advanced skincare technology at Spa Montage Beverly Hills and fine dining at renowned chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian’s debut L.A. restaurant, Georgie. After dinner enjoy an evening of cocktailing at The Garden Bar. (From $500+ per night). 

[Above] Lavender Inn in Ojai. PHOTO COURTESY LAVENDER INN

watch. Take a guided hiking tour with Trails by Potter to catch the best spots in Ojai and learn some of the history. Trails by Potter, 805646,0382, hikingojai.com. Ojai has no shortage of delicious restaurants, but Agave Maria’s is a local favorite. Whether it’s the fresh Mexican food, handmade chile rellenos, handcrafted margaritas, or the trademark Mojitos, a meal at Agave Maria’s is like no other. Agave Maria’s, 805-646-6353, agavemarias.com.

Wild water adventures

If you want the action and vibe of Las Vegas, but a more affordable family friendly environment, head to Laughlin, Nevada. A four and a half hour drive from Santa Clarita, Laughlin is tucked away on the Colorado River in the southern most tip of Nevada. See DESTINATIONS, page 40



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What’s Hot in the SCV? Movies, music, comedy and car shows part of the lineup By Michele E. Buttelman


he hottest months in the Santa Clarita Valley have traditionally been August, September and October. It’s fitting that some of the hottest entertainment available in the SCV can be during the “dog days” of August.


Not only will your local cinema be full of fun summer films you can also watch a free family friendly film under the stars (just like the good ole days of drive-ins, but without the car) at the Summer Movies in the Park event starting at dusk in the Hart Picnic Grounds at William S. Hart Park in Newhall. “Black Panther” will be showing on Friday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. The park is at 24151 Newhall Ave., Newhall. Info: (661) 259-1750 or http://friendsofhartpark.org. For a truly unique movie-going experience attend the “Silents Under the Stars” Friends of Hart Park fundraiser. Listen to live music by The Grateful Dudes Cowboy Band and view the classic silent Western “The Toll Gate,” with live keyboard accompaniment under the stars in the backyard of Hart Hall in Newhall. The event includes a BBQ dinner from Rattler’s, twilight tours of the Hart Mansion and silent auction. Saturday, Aug. 11 6 p.m. at William S. Hart Hall, 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall. This event sells out

fast, purchase tickets in advance. Tickets: $50 each. Info: www.friendsofhartpark.org, (661) 222-9542. Move the screening room inside for the Castaic Library Family Movie Night showing of “A Wrinkle in Time” Friday, Aug. 17 3-5 p.m. Meg and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers as they search for Meg’s father. Rated PG. Recommended for ages 7+. Castaic Library, 27971 Sloan Canyon Road, Castaic, (661) 2577410, lacountylibrary.org/libs/Castaic/.


Join friends, family and neighbors at the City of Santa Clarita’s Concerts at Central Park in Saugus. Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Info: Santa-Clarita.com/Concerts. The concerts are free with a family-friendly atmosphere. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets, and food vendors will be on site selling a variety of concessions and snacks. Saturday, Aug. 11 7 p.m. Matchbox Twenty Too tribute band, based in San Diego, with powerful shows that recreate the signature sound and style that defined the ‘90s. Saturday, Aug. 11 7 p.m. Fooz Fighters, one of the nation’s top tribute bands. Since forming in 2014, the band has played Foo Fighters music for packed crowds around the country. Saturday, Aug. 18 7 p.m. The Pettybreakers. Sing along to classics from Tom Petty and help pay tribute to one

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of the most legendary bands ever. Saturday, Aug. 25 7 p.m. The final concert of the summer 40 oz. to Freedom. This award-winning tribute to Sublime has one of the world’s largest followings and brings people to their feet with powerful vocals and a So-Cal vibe. The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons will present country music singer-songwriter Cam 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19. Besides writing and performing her own work, Cam also penned the track “Fall Madly in Love with You” from Maggie Rose’s debut album “Cut to Impress,” as well as “Maybe You’re Right” from Miley Cyrus’ album “Bangerz.” Tickets: $60-$80. PAC, 24000 Rockwell 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. Buy tickets at https://www3. canyons.edu/Offices/PIO/CanyonsPAC/cam.html. Note by Note Showcase. Thursday, Aug. 9 7-9 p.m. Free evening of music of all genres at Note by Note, a musical showcase presented by Valencia Auto Center. Bands, duos and soloists will play their blend of music for your listening pleasure. Come enjoy a wide range of music styles, including rock, folk, Celtic, Americana, Blues, Jazz,

Country, experimental, Western. The MAIN, 24266 Main St., Newhall. Interested in performing at a future Note by Note? Application info: http://thursdaysatnewhall.com/ notebynote


The 7th Annual Comics for the Cause to benefit the SCV Youth Project will be held Tuesday, Aug. 14 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $55 and $40. VIP add-on $35. Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. Info: (661) 257 – YOUTH (9688) or http://www.helpnothassle.org/7th-annual-comics-for-the-cause-2/ The Society Improv - A Night of Laughter is a family friendly “clean” night of improvised music, comedy, scenes, the works. Appropriate for all ages. Tickets: $15. Saturday, Aug. 4 8 p.m. The MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall. Info: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/the-society-improv-a-night-oflaughter-tickets-45488136240 or www. santaclaritaarts.com. See WHAT’S HOT, page 28

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Buddy Guy to Electrify the Blues Aug. 12 Will play at Canyon; still shredding like a kid at 82 years young By Stephen K. Peeples


acking his signature Fender Stratocaster, blues guitar legend Buddy Guy and his band will electrify the Canyon Santa Clarita with a headlining set Sunday night, Aug. 12. The Grammy-winning Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer and Kennedy Center honoree just celebrated his birthday July 31 at his famous blues club in Chicago, Buddy Guy’s Legends. At 82 years young, Guy – No. 30 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 200 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and a direct, acknowledged influence on youngsters like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan – can still outshred players of just about any age. “I was born on a farm, picking cotton,” the son of a Louisiana sharecropper told me backstage at the Hollywood Bowl after he and protégé Quinn Sullivan, then 13, rocked 18,000 fans at the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 12, 2011. “I didn’t know what running water was until 17,”

Guy said. “So you know I didn’t have electric lights. I couldn’t even play a [bleeping] radio at seven years old, man.” Snitching strands from an aluminum screen door to make strings for his first homemade guitar, Guy picked up hot licks and showmanship from players like Lightnin’ Slim, B.B. King and T-Bone Walker. The youngster came up on the chitlin circuit in the ‘50s and ‘60s, then moved to Chicago and helped pioneer the Chicago blues style, recording for the Chess brothers. That led up to a breakthrough performance at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival, and Guy’s first encounter with rock’s greatest guitarist in a New York City club. “They told me, before I left Louisiana, to never play New York -- you will never make it,” Guy said. “And I proudly played Newport in 1967 and got invited to New York. I saw this kid, on his knees with a reel-to-reel, and he was listening. “And I was, like, wild and crazy and drinking my wine,” Guy said. “Sixty cents a bottle, then. And I heard voices saying, ‘This is Jimi Hendrix.’ I said, ‘Who in the hell is that? I didn’t know.

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“I (played) the guitar behind my head [a la T-Bone Walker], and [Hendrix] came up and told me who he was,” Guy said. “They’ve got a tape out on that, with him recording me [see the 2004 documentary “Lightning in a Bottle”]. And we became good friends about two or three years before he passed away.” As a senior blues ambassador, Guy still has serious fun on stages worldwide: “I give them the blues, but make them smile,” he said. As to his plan for the Canyon Santa Clarita: “I wanna play something so funky, you can smell it.” *****

Canyon Santa Clarita doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m. and the headliner takes the stage at 9. Buddy Guy tickets are $78/$88/$98 plus applicable fees. If you purchase a ticket at a table, you must also purchase dinner and arrive by 7. Minimum is $25 per person. Juniors younger than 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available through TicketMaster and the Canyon Santa Clarita box office. TicketMaster is open 24/7 at 866-448-7849 or online at TicketMaster.com. Club box office walk-up hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Telephone hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; call

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Guy: “I wanna play something so funky, you can smell it.” COURTESY PHOTO 888-645-5006. You can enjoy Sunday Brunch with live music every week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Lobby Bar and CaliBurger are open seven days a week. Find the Canyon Santa Clarita on the ground floor at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall, 24201 Valencia Blvd., #1351, Santa Clarita 91355. Get more info about the club at www.WhereMusicMeetsTheSoul.com.

***** Stephen K. Peeples is an award-winning journalist based in the Santa Clarita Valley who has covered the SCV music scene for local media since 2004. Contact him via stephenkpeeples.com. 

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Wine Tasting

Circle of Hope’s 17th Annual Vine2Wine Saturday, Aug. 11 6-10 p.m. An evening of wine, brews and food. Experience fine wines, craft brews, gourmet food, live music and silent auction to benefit Circle of Hope. $120 VIP ticket entry 6 p.m. $90 General admission 7 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $100 for General and $130 for VIP. Alcohol free tickets $55. Guests must be 21 or older. California Institute of the

Arts, Main Gallery 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia. Tickets: www.circleofhopeinc.org/vine2wine. One August Night “A Special Wine Event” to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of SCV will be held Thursday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Salt Creek Grille, 24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia. Tickets: $100. Join Jake Bilbro of Sonoma County’s Limerick Lane in a tasting of select wines from the winery’s collection. Well-known wine critic Robert Parker says of Limerick, “If you haven’t caught onto the magic that is emerging from Limerick Lane, it’s about time. Impressive heights of quality.” The event will also feature exclusive auction items available only that evening. Hosted by: Carl and Terry Kanowsky. Hors d’oeuvres provided by: Salt Creek Grille. Info: email info@scvbgc.org or (661) 254-2582. Register: https://

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Car Shows

Route 66 Classic Car Show. Saturday, Aug. 11 5-9 p.m. Free admission for spectators, $10 vehicle registration fee. SCV’s longest running Classic Car Show. The 19th year hosting 125+ classic cars and trucks. Fundraiser for SCV Safe Rides. Safe Rides have been offering Safe Rides to SCV high school students for over 30 years. Live band, raffle prizes, food and bar. Route 66 Classic Grill, 18730 Soledad Canyon Road, See WHAT’S HOT, page 42

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Remodeling 101: Where do I start? By Michele E. Buttelman


t’s time. Your tired kitchen needs to be gutted and reborn. You are finally going to have the bathroom of your dreams. You don’t want to move, but you need more space. For every homeowner there comes a day of reckoning. Will I move? Or will I improve what I already have? Sometimes the two thoughts converge into one, I think I’ll move, but I want to get the most out of selling my home, what can I do to make it more attractive and earn top dollar on my investment? If you’re handy, and the project is small, sweat equity make be the solution for simple projects. However, how much do you trust your own sense of style and taste? Many homeowners should consider hiring an interior designer to handle the project. Interior designers are usually aware of the most on trend materials, colors and fixtures to modernize your dated home. You might be in love with the idea of a purple kitchen, but an interior designer might be able to explain, in terms you understand, how that might not be the best choice. In addition, they have ready access to contractors and subcontractors (plumbers, electricians, etc.) they trust, as well as discounts on home remodeling materials. Step one: Decide the scope of your project. There are important questions you have to ask. Is the project large or small? Will it require the use of a general contractor or will you serve as your own general contractor? Is this a project I can do myself or will I need professionals to complete? Is this a project designed to improve the market value of my home or is it a project designed to make me happier with my home that I plan on living in for years to come? Step two: The budget. When thinking of the budget it is important homeowners know the maximum amount of money they want to dedicate to the project. According to the National Association of Realtors only 1 in 5 home remodeling projects comes in under budget. The major reason is the unpleasant discovery of the unexpected during construction. Rotting subfloors, outdated and illegal wiring, termite

damage or asbestos are among the surprises that often await the unsuspecting homeowner. Step three: Hire the professionals you need, designer, architect, contractor, subcontractors, for your job.

Tips from the pros

Two Santa Clarita Valley-based contractors offer important advice for homeowners looking at home remodeling projects. Robert Lamoureux writes the Your Home Improvement column for The Signal. He has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting and owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. He said that “word of mouth” is often the best way to find a contractor. If your family, friends and neighbors have experience with a contractor and have good results it usually follows your results will also be good. Randal G. Winter, president of Randal G. Winter Construction (www. rgwinter.com) suggests homeowners interview at least three contractors who specialize in the work they want to be done. Winter has also written a book on “How to Select the Right Home or Building Contractor.” Lamoureux, who can be reached by email robert@imsconstruction. com, said readers can contact him for personal referrals to subcontractors. Readers are also welcome to ask him questions on their specific projects, before or during the construction process. He warns homeowners that there are still many “shady characters in the home improvement business. There is an opportunist on every corner.” Lamoureux said some unscrupulous contractors will take the license number of a legitimate contractor and put it on their letterheads or business cards. “It is important to go to the California State Contractor’s Licensing Board to make sure your contractor is licensed and is who he says he is,” Lamoureux said. You can check the status of a license at: www2.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/ CheckLicenseII/checklicense.aspx

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If the names don’t match, you might have a contractor using a fraudulent license. Lamoureux said some home improvement projects can be completed with help from one of the home

supply “big box stores.” “If you decide to buy from a big box store they will offer to do the entire design for you at no charge. The layout is See YOUR HOME, page 42

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6 ways to make more time for family

Turn chores into family projects. METRO CREATIVE


s school starts to ramp up later this month, time will be at a premium for today's families. Many households are dual-income, and children may engage in one or more extracurricular activities after school. The challenge often lies in finding ways to spend quality time together as a family. Although that can sometimes feel impossible, with a little creativity and thoughtful planning, families can find time with one another. 1. Adjust wake-up time. Have the family get up with the earliest riser. Then everyone can enjoy breakfast together and touch base about their day to come. Many activities that keep families busy occur after school, so this ensures at least one family meal together every day. 2. Take off for school holidays. Working parents can adjust their schedules to include a few vacation days used on school holidays. This way everyone benefits from sleeping in and spending time together. 3. Schedule a family day off. Preplan for a weekday when the entire family stays home from work

or school. Museums, indoor play areas, movie theaters, and other attractions are less busy during the week than during the weekend. This allows families to have more fun together. 4. Turn chores into family projects. Work around the house will get done much more quickly if everyone pitches in. Plus, this is a great opportunity to work together and learn new skills. Kids may enjoy learning how to prepare meals or plant a garden. 5. Host a family reunion. Extended families may only have the opportunity to see each other a few times a year. Annual family reunions help strengthen the bond adults and children have with their extended families and provide a fun reason to get together. 6. Schedule a weekly family night. Families can make sure that at least one night each week the schedule is free so that they can spend time together playing a game, watching a movie or doing another family-friendly activity. METRO CREATIVE ď&#x201A;&#x203A;

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Donna’s Day: Creative Family Fun Easy fresh fruit cookie tarts By Donna Erickson


ell your kids that they can be the “King and Queen of Tarts” when they make this gem of a summer dessert. The fresh fruit ingredients from your local market or fruit stand are luscious and good by themselves, but when they’re combined with a cookie base, you’ll have a “WOW” can’t-miss finale to a barbecue or outdoor get-together with friends. These cookie fruit tarts are super simple to assemble and look “tres francais,” but there’s no from-scratch pastry with mini fluted rims that you have to fuss over. Instead, the easy recipe starts with good, large sugar cookies you purchase at your bakery or grocery store.


8 large sugar cookies or your favorite plain round cookie 8 ounce package of cream cheese 1/3 cup white or vanilla chips (find them in the baking section of your store) Assorted fresh fruit and berries for toppings, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries and sliced peaches and plums, washed and dried 1/4 cup currant jelly or powdered sugar (optional)

1. Set cookies on a work surface such as a cutting board. Place cream cheese in a medium-size mixing bowl. 2. In a microwave-safe dish, melt chips, spoon into cream cheese and stir until smooth. 3. Spread the mixture evenly over the cookies. Let kids arrange the fresh fruit and berries in pretty designs on the top. 4. Meanwhile, if you would like a glaze, an adult should melt the jelly in a saucepan. Cool. Let kids drizzle or lightly brush with a pastry brush over the fruit to glaze the tarts. Or, dust over each tart with powdered sugar. 5. Arrange on a serving platter. Variations: ~ Get creative with the presentation and decorate the serving platter or top the tarts with coconut flakes, sprigs of mint leaves, tiny blooms of edible flowers or fresh lavender. ~ Make a larger quantity of bite-size tarts using packaged cookies such as gingersnaps. ~ Instead of using cookies, make a larger single tart. Press prepared piecrust from the refrigerated section of your market on the base and sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Prick sides and bottom. Bake according to package directions. Cool. Spread cream cheese mixture on the base, arrange fruit attractively, and brush on the glaze. ***

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 www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” ©2018 Donna Erickson



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Savory Summer Entertaining Island infusion for warm-weather festivities


lavorful foods and cold drinks are the focal points of just about any summer gathering. Create a party atmosphere that can stand out by adding a bit of island infusion to both bites and beverages so your warm-weather soiree can soar to new heights. To help add that island spark, an ingredient like bitters provides a potent flavor made from botanicals like aromatic herbs, bark, roots and fruit. While known for their ability to balance countless cocktails, it may come as a surprise that bitters are regarded by some chefs as a pantry staple, adding real depth of flavor to a variety of dishes. Bitters can be added to classic and contemporary cocktails and a range of cuisines to create taste-tempting creations. Much like vanilla extract, when cooked, the

alcohol in bitters evaporates, so bitters-infused recipes can be enjoyed by the whole family at your next backyard barbecue or patio party. Center your spread around a summer favorite like Pulled-Pork Sliders with Bitters, a tangy Caribbean twist on a classic dish featuring a spicy chili rub. Coupled with a vinegar-based sauce dashed with Angostura aromatic bitters, an unmistakable culinary and cocktail essential made with the same secret recipe since 1824, the flavorful sliders make for a crowd-pleasing main course. Add to the island vibe with a unique take on a tried-and-true sweet treat like cake. Orange Butter Sponge Cake enhances every party’s dessert course with the sweet and tangy combination of citrus and bitters.

These tasty foods paired with hot temperatures call for cooling off with inventive bitters-forward drink recipes like the Queen’s Park Swizzle, Angostura’s signature Trinidadian cocktail, and a summertime go-to, the Traditional Mojito. These drinks balance the art of the swizzle with the tastes of tiki to provide guests with refreshing beverage options. Whether you’re an aspiring home chef, an amateur bartender or anything in between, you can elevate summer entertaining with bitters to complement an array of ingredients for exceptional entertaining all summer long. Find more summertime food and drink recipes to savor at: AngosturaBitters.com. – Family Features 

Traditional Mojito Makes: 1 cocktail

ters it B h it w s r e d li PServuingsll: apeprdoxim-Patelyo14rsmkall Ssandwiches aromatic bitters Chili Rub: poons Angostura es bl ta 2 powder tablespoons chili 2 teaspoon salt lder roast 1 boneless pork shou ds un po 2 1/ 3-3 g oil tablespoon cookin 1 Bitters Sauce: 1 1/2 2 1 1 3 1-2 14

seasoned can (15 ounces) un tomato sauce own sugar cup packed dark br tent re’s In tablespoons Natu r apple cider vinega tters stura aromatic bi tablespoon Ango wder tablespoon chili po ped chop large cloves garlic, arch (optional) st tablespoons corn small slider buns t. 10 minutes. remove some fa d salt; let stand an r de w po ili t into chunks to ch cu , s, d er ed an tt ed t bi ne ea ic If m at t. ss fa arom l. Add b: Stir together k slices; trim exce with lid, heat oi ic Ru n th pa ili e ch Ch in ut e 2sa ak 2ed m 1/ id To into 1 nch wide, high-s m. lder across grain ar t pot or 9-10 -i qu plate; keep war ~ Cut pork shou 8wder and garon In e . ac re pl tu d ix an m t ili ea ch m ic bitters, chili po e at ith ov w om m t ar ea Re r, l. m ga b ta to ne Ru vi es ~ der minut om of pan. n sugar, apple ci sides, about 15 d scraping bott ato sauce, brow an m brown on both g to in g meat half way ne irr bi st , m es Co 5 minut Sauce: low, rearrangin er rs on m te m it es B Si ut e n. in ak m pa m y 15 pt To t, em cook 1 hour and ell. Pour into ho meat. Cover and er ov lic cloves; stir w e ntinue to cook uc m. sa n oo . Bring to boil; co foil to keep war to pan; sp t ch ith ea ar w m st r rn rn ve co tu co in Re e; at sk ~ whi t to pl 5 minutes then g. Transfer mea uce cool in pan through cookin sa t Le d: re si e. e, if de iz zled with sauc To thicken sauc arm on buns, dr ickened. w th e ly rv ht Se ig . sl rs til ge o fork s or fin and whisk un eat apar t with tw To serve: Pull m

1 cube brown sugar 1/2 ounce simple syrup 12-15 mint leaves 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 2 ounces white rum 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitt ers crushed ice 1 bottle club soda 1 mint sprig, for garnish In Collins glass, muddle brown sugar cube and simple syrup, then add mint and lightly press to extrac t flavor.

Add lime juice, rum and aromatic bitters. Fill glass with crushed ice and swizzle. Repack with crushed ice and top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 33


Marvelous Mediterranean

Man ’oushee! By Michelle Sathe


aral Sabounjian has always had a passion for cooking. Over the years she was often told, “You should open a restaurant.” Most people given this compliment don’t actually go on to do this, without any previous restaurant experience, leaving a completely different career (real estate) in the middle of a recession. But Maral is not most people. She followed her passion and opened Man’oushee Mediterranean Bakery & Café in 2008. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Canyon Country restaurant continues to offer delicious Mediterranean food that combines the authentic flavors of Sabounjian’s native Lebanon with a California twist. Since its inception, the focus at Man’oushee has been home cooking with everything made from scratch. The recipes are inspired by Maral’s childhood. “We are a food family. My grandmother and father were fabulous cooks. Food was everything to us,” she said. Over 60 percent of the menu here falls under the vegan or vegetarian category and most items can be veganized as well. “We love fresh vegetables in Lebanon and so many of our dishes are vegan naturally. Every season, we focus on different produce. It’s our culture,” Maral said. One of the most popular vegan items is the falafel, chickpea fritters made with fresh chickpeas, herbs, garlic and spices. The golden-brown spheres are crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside; perfectly paired with house-made tahini sauce and creamy hummus. Try it in a pita wrap with tomatoes, parsley, onions, romaine, pickled turnips, and tahini sauce or on a plate with rice, salad, hummus, pickled turnips, tahini sauce and pita bread.

Lebanese Hash

You can also order it a la carte, add it to any salad or have it as the protein in their rice bowls or Lebanese Hash. (The latter, also known as patata harra, is an exclusive of Manoushee, created by Maral’s daughter). The Lebanese Hash with beef shawarma (savory beef roast that is marinated in spices, then slow-cooked for hours and sautéed just before serving) starts off with a bed of fresh romaine

lettuce, a crispy disc of potatoes, a fried egg, tahini or garlic sauce, and pickled turnips. Cut and toss the components for a revelatory contrast of flavors and textures. Another popular dish is The Whole Shebang, created by Maral’s younger daughter. It’s a combination of three salads (garbanzo bean, green, and quinoa), topped with a protein (beef or chicken shawarma, falafel or Lebanese) , pickled turnips , parsley and finished with tahini or garlic sauce.

Maral Sabounjian holds up a tray of freshly baked baklava at her restaurant, Man’oushee Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe in Canyon Country, which is celebrating a 10-year anniversary.

Garlic sauce

Whatever you order, make sure to ask for a side of their garlic sauce or get a large container to split at the table. The fluffy, luscious, garlicky spread is a specialty of the house and with good reason. It’s the best garlic sauce not just in town, but possibly all of Los Angeles. And let’s not forget about the baked goods. Maral makes her own pita bread daily and it’s stellar: soft, chewy, filled with little air bubbles and crunchy bits, all the better to scoop up Man’oushee’s magnificent dips and sauces. Then there are the many varieties of baklava, including walnut, cashew, and a custard-filled version that combines the flaky decadence of pastry with a smooth, velvety center. “You won’t find too many places that make custard baklava,” Maral said proudly of the latter. “It’s really time consuming and you have to have the right technique.”


Maral’s time, technique, and love are also apparent in two refreshing homemade beverages: the tangy, floral rosewater mint lemonade, which also makes a fantastic Arnold Palmer, and the Lebanese iced coffee, a bold blend of cold brew coffee, Lebanese coffee and condensed milk over crushed ice. If you’re hosting a party, or just want some awesome Mediterranean food to nosh on at home, Man’oushee offers hummus, baba ghanouj, pickled turnips, garlic sauce, tzatziki, olives, and grape leaves ready to go in their deli

Beef shawarma over Lebanese hash, romaine, tomatoes and topped with a fried egg, creamy tahini, and pickled turnips.

section. Small to large catering orders of any menu, bakery, or deli item can be placed over the phone with a minimum of 24-hours notice. Portions here are generous, so be prepared to bring some home. Of course, you could just linger inside of the restaurant to soak up the warm, yellow and warm- toned dining room or weather permitting, hang out at the shaded patio, take your time and eat the whole thing. Man’oushee Mediterranean, 27131 Sierra Highway, Suite 100, Canyon Country. Open Tuesday-Friday 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 3 pm. Delivery available via Uber Eats or Grub Hub. For more information, call (661) 251-6666 or visit www. manoushee.com. 

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Dan Balestrero

The Voice Maestro of the SCV

By Michele E. Buttelman


s the sunset bathes the nearby striking rock formations of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area in warm yellow and orange light, nearly a dozen of Dan Balestrero’s voiceover students arrive at his nearby Agua Dulce home for their weekly class. Balestrero’s Azzurra Media Ranch is a warm Tudor home decorated with film memorabilia and movie posters. It is also outfitted with topof-the-line studio equipment. His Wednesday evening professional voice-over training class includes students of all ages. “We just had a 75-year-old recently record his demo tape,” Balestrero said. Students must be age 18 or older, but occasionally minors will be allowed if accompanied by parents.

Moving to Agua Dulce

Balestrero moved his business, masteringvoiceover.com, to Agua Dulce from Marina del Rey seven and a half years ago. “This is more of the environment I wanted for my own creativity and a setting to teach people,” he said. He discovered Agua Dulce by chance. “I came up here to shoot some stock footage at Vasquez Rocks,” Balestrero said. “I had never been here before. We started looking around the area, it’s not that far from L.A. and it is up at 2,500 feet and the air is clean.” Balestrero and his wife of 15 years, Dagmar Liepa, MD, bought the home on five acres and Balestrero set up his studio. “We were in Marina del Rey for five years, we had a lovely condo by the water, but found that even though West Hollywood is only six or seven

miles away, it would take people an hour to get there. The idea was to live close to everything, but nobody could get there,” he said. “We thought it was time to do something different. I was worried that people wouldn’t want to come this far out but I’ve discovered that people from the San Fernando Valley enjoy coming up here from the valley.” Balestrero grows fruit trees and a vegetable garden on the property, which is also home to five pet goats, adults Sheldon and Leonard and kids Crimpy, Stuart and Raj. Fans of the “Big Bang Theory” television show may wonder why there is no Howard. “Crimpy was going to be named Howard, but he was born with a bent ear, so he had to be Crimpy,” said Balestrero. His fruit trees produce peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears and figs. “When the fruit is ripe everyone shows up to class a half hour early

and we pick fruit that people can take home,” Balestrero said. He also offers up his bounty of cherry tomatoes and zucchini. “This year I’m growing giant pumpkins so people will have a pumpkin to take home in October,” he said.

The journey

Balestrero was born in Palo Alto, Calif. and graduated from San Jose State University with a Master’s in acting and directing. “I sang for a number of years, I did Shakespeare plays for years and by the time I was 35 I had done 50 different productions in various places,” he said. He lived in Chicago for five years and taught opera and musical theater singers and was a master voice coach and acting coach at the San Francisco Opera for six years. Balestrero said he quickly knew that “if you’re not working in film or television, it’s just a hobby.” “I met a lot of really lovely people, but in the end, you have to find an acceptable way to turn what you know into money,” he said. Balestrero said he realized that he knew how singing, speaking Shakespearian text and voice development intersected. “I sort of backed into teaching and have been teaching voice, in some version, for 40 years,” he said.

The voice-over business

Balestrero said the opportunities for voice-over work have exploded exponentially in the past few years.

Dan Balestrero, center, adjusts the microphone for Karan Kales during the Mastering Voiceover class at Balestrero’s home in Agua Dulce. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 35 Dan Balestrero talks to attendees during the Mastering Voiceover class at Balestrero’s home in Agua Dulce. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON

“When people ask, isn’t it competitive? I answer, yes, it’s incredibly competitive, but what isn’t?” he said. When the average person thinks of voice-overs they think of commercials, movie trailers, cartoons and animated films. But voice-over work extends to many areas of modern life, said Balestrero. “Everything is being digitized and somebody is narrating it. This is the great age of voice-overs for me. There’s never been a better time than now,” he said. “Companies hire a voice-over artist to accompany PowerPoint presentations. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions on inhouse pieces that are never broadcast and they are all narrated. On hold messaging for small companies needs voice-over talent.” Voice-over work extends to videos made for in-flight airline safety presentations and other “industrials.” “Human Relations Departments are not personally telling each of their hundreds or thousands of employees about their health care benefits,” Balestrero said. “There are instructional videos to employees on how to use equipment.” Voice-over work includes books on tape and nearly every recorded voice you hear, including background voices on film and television. However, voice-over work means more than being able to read a script.

Balestrero worked for the California State Franchise Tax Board before the financial collapse of 2008 to determine why so many users were bypassing the interactive voice recognition system and demanding to speak to a live person. “I listened to their messages. It was all very authoritarian and very disapproving,” he said. “I explained that if they changed a few things and talked to callers as if they were best friends it would reduce opt outs by 10 percent.” In the end, the changes Balestrero recommended reduced opt out calls by 20 percent.


Listening to Balestrero’s melodious voice it seems impossible he once had a severe speech impediment. Yet, that experience set the stage for his work years later as a voice-over coach.

“When I was 9 I remember being in the speech therapist’s office and her face is burned into the rods and cones of the back of my retina I liken a damaged tattoo from a nuclear blast,” he said. “I remember her leaning forward and saying, ‘NO! NO! Can’t you hear that you are doing it wrong?’ I remember at age 9, thinking to myself, there has to be a better way. And that was the beginning of me hunting around and learning to find that better way.” Balestrero said his teaching techniques include “support, feedback and laughter because that’s how people retain information.” There are no “beginning,” “intermediate” or “advanced” classes taught at masteringvoiceover.com. “This is not elementary school,” he said. “It’s my personal point of view that if you want to learn, you learn from people who are better at

something then you are. That’s how people learn, they learn from each other.” Balestrero compares the spoken word to music. “The whole gig for us is to use variations of cadence and melody to solve problems of meaning and articulation,” he said. “We have to become masters of that skill.” Just because someone has told you that you have a “nice” voice doesn’t mean you can be successful in the voiceover business. Most people need training which includes voice development and breathing exercises. “If you want to go to the Olympics you have to train like you’re going to the Olympics,” he said. Balestrero said he tells students that having a good “demo tape” may get you the job, but only your ability to perform the required tasks will allow you to keep the job. “If you want to make A-list money you better have A-list skills,” he said. Balestrero believes learning is more conducive in a supportive setting. “Life is enough work so coming to a class like this should be fun,” he said. “Humiliation is not a learning tool. Psychological abuse doesn’t do anything but make people more afraid.” None of which makes Balestrero go “easy” on his students. “It is important to be supportive but also be relentless on what the standard needs to be so you are not See MAESTRO, page 40

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The SCV Senior Center is located at 22900 Market St.. in Santa Clarita. Phone: 661-259-9444

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Creative Writing


Come and meet Rabbi Blazer, Cantorial Student Alyssa Rosenbaum, our Judaica instructors and members of our dynamic congregation. Learn more about the new and exciting programs that make TBA 'the place to be in scv'. Refreshments will be served.

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At Santa Clarita United Methodist Sunday, Sept. 9 8:00 PM Monday, Sept. 10 9:00 AM Children’s Program 9:00 AM Teen Service 9:00 AM At Santa Clara River Tashlich, Sept. 10

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8 a.m.-8:40 a.m.: Beginning T’ai Chi Ch’uan

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9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.: Tap Dancing

9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.: Archaeology & History Discussion

1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Digital Drop-In Tech Assistance

10 a.m.-11 a.m.: Emotional Support 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Wii Games Group FRIDAY AUGUST 10

10:30 a.m.-Noon: Blood Pressure Screening 11 a.m.-Noon: Grief Support Group WEDNESDAY AUGUST 8 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Learn Spanish 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: French 1;30 p.m.-3:05 p.m.: Senior Cinema 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.: Zumba Gold Chair 4:15 p.m.-5 p.m.: Flex & Flow Yoga

9 a.m.- 10 a.m.: Computer 1 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Caregiver Workshop 9:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m.: Sit-N-B-Fit Chair Exercises 10 a.m.-11 a.m.: Computer 2 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Food & Knick Knack Bingo 

AU G U S T 5, 2018

Spotlight: Jeri Okamoto By Robin Clough


CV Senior Center volunteer Jeri Okamoto is high energy even when she is packing meals for homebound seniors at 6:00 in the morning. Jeri manages to fit in a few hours of much-needed assistance before she heads off to her full-time job. “Jeri is always here at the crack of dawn. We often joke about never seeing her in daylight,” said food service director Joanna Vallelunga. “She’s always upbeat, full of humor and possesses a very contagious positive attitude. Jeri is a pleasure to work with and is heavily valued by our staff and volunteers. We thank her for her dedication and commitment to helping us serve safe, delicious and nutritious meals.” Jeri has been a State Farm office representative for 40 years. She is active in the Girl Scout Gold Awards and serves as a mentor for their projects. Jer loves to cook and practice the ancient Chinese art of Qigong. She is a native Californian with a large, closeknit family. Jeri’s passion for helping seniors began when she assisted at her mother’s nursing home. After her own mother passed away, Jeri continued visiting another resident she had become close to and refers to as her “adoptive grandmother.” By the time she too passed away Jeri had been visiting and helping at the nursing home for 12 years. This huge void brought her to the senior center. “I love volunteering here. There are so many different types of people volunteering and it is interesting and fun to interact with them,” Jeri said. “I love to hear their stories and really enjoy being with the youth who are here helping.” Food Services Operations Specialist Lisa Andrews shares, “Jeri is hilarious, upbeat and always has a positive attitude. Her humor keeps us laughing. She does such a great job.” In addition to ensuring homebound seniors receive a lunch, Jeri’s positivity and cheerfulness have a great impact on those volunteering with her. The SCV Senior Center is grateful for the wonderful volunteerism of Jeri Okamoto. Robin Clough is the volunteer and recreation coordinator at the SCV Senior Center. 

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 37

Confessions of an obituary reader


all me an Obituary Page aficionado, for throughout much of my life, I’ve been fascinated with how other people have lived theirs. How did they spend their dash? I’m referring to that vast little space between one’s birthday and death day. This very human interest of mine – deemed morbid by a few fellow corporeal beings – has largely been fueled by a desire to see what lives “read like” when they’ve been well lived. Such synopses of existence are often a source of inspiration – and even provide reminders of what to focus on during my own temporary residence, while hopefully sweetening the memories I leave behind. So, every morning, cup of coffee in one hand and obit notices in the other, I humbly step inside the biographies of the deceased. Some obituaries quickly catch my eye and reduce me to tears and frustration. While they are present much less frequently than those of full-fledged adults, these obits tell of the little children and young adults; precious blooms cut short due to cancer, genetic disorders, trauma/suicide, and other major misfortunes. My heart aches for their families. The unfairness of their brevity clutches me. But then I am reminded of something a longtime friend and psychotherapist, Judith Harris, often told her elderly support group members who complained about the unfairness of their own life circumstances: “The only fair is in Pomona.” The obits that I selectively hone in on are usually for men and women who lived full and cherished lives. These are the lengthy giving trees of golden information. Some only made it to age 50, but most saw at least 80 candles on their last birthday cake. Regardless of how far they journeyed along the mortal timeclock, all tended to share certain commonalities, besides being sorely missed now by their mourners.

Making a positive difference

They lived with integrity, intention, and passion. They deeply loved and were deeply loved back. Many were devotedly married to the same spouses for their entire adult lifetimes. They cherished their families, friends, communities, pets, gardens, and making a positive difference in other’s lives. They worked hard to get what they had. Of course, they were also human, replete with faults and weaknesses, but when faced with challenges they worked even harder to overcome them. They built businesses and people up. They remained active and engaged until their bodies and/or brains gave out. These

GETTIN’ UP THERE By Diana Sevanian Signal Columnist

were the dreamers, planners, sharers, faithful companions, adoring matriarchs and patriarchs, selfless caregivers, ageless learners, forgiving souls, relentless contributors of compassion and humor, and so much more. From these obituaries I witness testimony to what is of authentic and ever-transformative value. It’s not about the tchotchkes, bank accounts, eyelash length, or groovy titles. To love and be loved in return, to consciously function as if you are going to die one day, and yet live as if you never will. A thought-provoking message, titled “The Dash,” was given to me years ago at a friend’s funeral. Sue Stone, who died in her prime following a long, courageous battle with metastatic cancer, made sure when pre-planning her service that all attendees received a copy. Each sheet also had a loving handwritten reminder from Sue, imploring us to read the words and live our days accordingly. Written by Linda Ellis, here is The Dash: “I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears – but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we lived and loved, and how we spend our dash. So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged. To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more. and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?” Wishing you all your best dash… ---------Diana Sevanian is a Valencia resident, longtime Signal journalist and contributor, adoring mother, grandmother, and dog-mother, and is currently working on her own dash. 

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DEAR DR. ROACH: Do you prescribe vitamins or treatments to enhance the immune system? – C.N. ANSWER: I do not. In my opinion, a healthy diet makes a deficiency of a vitamin or mineral severe enough to weaken the immune system unlikely. Stress reduction (through many techniques) and good sleep are more important than supplements. People think that a daily vitamin and mineral supplement is like an insurance policy against a good diet. However, many studies have shown that taking vitamins does not, in general, lead to improvements in prevention of disease, including heart disease, cancer or infections. So I would be much more likely to recommend a better diet (especially in the fresh fruits and vegetables) than I would a supplement. Many adults have not gotten all the vaccines that are recommended, and these are a huge benefit to your immune system for those specific bacteria and viruses. *** DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 81-yearold male in generally good health. I am maybe 10 pounds overweight. I have had no heart attacks or cardiac symptoms. I walk on the treadmill for exercise. I have controlled hypertension, and have been taking simvastatin, 10 mg. My LDL is 71, very favorable. My HDL is also good, at 73. Several years back, when I started the statin, my doctor added Zetia, 10

mg. At the time, I wondered why this would be OK, and he said, “Well, there is a certain synergy there.” While I have continued taking the Zetia and suppose it might be helpful, I wonder if I need it. I say this because it is rather expensive (about $500 a year with my part D coverage). It is the only thing I take that costs me this much. My reading of the literature suggests that while Zetia might help the LDL level, there is no evidence that it improves longevity (i.e. cardiovascular). – J.P. ANSWER: This is a confusing subject, because the theory (that lowering cholesterol protects your heart) and the evidence (that it actually works) don’t exactly align. High cholesterol certainly is associated with a higher likelihood of heart blockages, which can lead to heart attack and death. However, not all treatments that lower cholesterol reduce risk of heart attack. On the one hand, there are treatments that lower cholesterol that do help your heart. The Mediterranean diet clearly reduces risk of heart attack. Dr. Dean Ornish’s plant-based diet of very little fat and little or no meat, in combination with stress reduction and smoking cessation, actually reverses blockages in arteries in some people. Statin drugs reduce cholesterol and help prevent heart attacks, at least in people at high risk for them. On the other hand, ezetimibe (Zetia) reduces cholesterol, but like most nonstatin drugs to treat high cholesterol, it has not been proven to reduce heart disease risk. It tends to have few side effects and probably is not harmful. But you are correct that it is expensive, and like all medications, it can possibly cause harm. Being conservative about medication, I very rarely prescribe it. Studies are ongoing, and I will readdress this topic when there is more evidence. *** Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med. cornell.edu. © 2018 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved 

H E A LT H & F I T N E S S

5 fun ways to get fit By Metro Connection


xercise benefits both the mind and body. Study after study indicates how physical activity can reduce the propensity for illness, boost mood, lower stress levels, and much more. Still, certain people find it difficult to muster the motivation to get up and move. In 2013, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from more than 450,000 American adults ages 18 and older who were randomly polled across the 50 states. Participants were asked about aerobic physical activity outside of their jobs. The findings were eye-opening. Estimates indicated nearly 80 percent of American adults do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week. People most likely to exercise, according to the CDC study, were between the ages of 18 and 24. Lack of time and inspiration may be to blame for disinterest in exercise. Boredom with routine and being unaware of alternative fitness regimens also may be contributing factors. Increasing the fun associated with workouts could lead to greater success in or outside of the gym.

1. Do what you enjoy.

Wasting time on activities that you don’t enjoy may cause you to throw in the towel prematurely. Don’t base fitness choices around what worked for others; find things that work for you. Exercise physiologists at John Hopkins Weight Management Center say to start with an activity that you already enjoy, even if it’s aligned with the trend of the moment. Chances are you can find a class or make up a routine that works for you.

2. Tweak your playlist.

Music can improve performance during a workout and may actually take your mind off of strenuous or repetitive activity. Tunes also can be coordinated to the workout. Songs that feature lyrics

such as run, punch, push, or groove can reinforce movements in the routine, offers the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Also, tailor songs to coordinate to the beats per minute of different activities. Strength activities and endurance activities can feature songs with higher BPMs.

3. Exercise with friends or a group.

Having other people around can make workouts more enjoyable, and that interaction may spur competition that can make you more inclined to stay the course. People who were in the competitive groups in a study of 800 graduate and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania went to 90 percent more classes than those who exercised independently or were not competitive. The results were published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports. Competition can be a driving factor in efforts to exercise.

4. Head outdoors.

You may be more inclined to workout if you do so outside. Activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, and cycling on natural courses can be inspiring and burn calories.

5. Try sports or another activity.

Exercise regimens do not have to include running on a treadmill or lifting weights. All types of activities can work, and some may be more enjoyable to you than traditional exercises. Everything from martial arts to dance classes to volleyball can offer cardiovascular and muscle-building benefits in a fun atmosphere. Making exercise fun motivates many people to embrace fitness and stick with their workout regimens. 

AU G U S T 5, 2018

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 39


Defining hardscape and how to use it


urb appeal is beneficial in various ways. Curb appeal can make a home more attractive to prospective buyers and give existing homeowners a place they want to come home to. In its study of the worth of outdoor remodeling projects, the National Association of Realtors found standard lawn care and overall landscape upgrades were most appealing to buyers, as well as the most likely to add value to a home. Although plants, grass and other items can improve curb appeal, homeowners should not overlook hardscaping. Hardscaping is an industry term that refers to the non-living features of a landscape. These features can include everything from decks to walkways to ornamental boulders. Introducing paths or paver walls to a property helps develop that home’s hardscape. Hardscape and soft elements often work in concert to create inspiring landscape designs. DIY landscape designers can heed certain tips to make the most of hardscape features on their properties.

Choose materials

As with many landscaping projects, homeowners must first determine what types of additions they would like on their properties. Common hardscape features include patios, decks, walkways of pavers or bricks, and retaining walls. Hardscape elements can be functional or simply decorative features that add whimsy to the yard.

Choose a theme

The right style allows hardscaping and softscaping materials to work together. For example, homeowners may want to give their yards an eastern feel, complete with a koi pond and decorative bridge or trellis. A formal English

garden, however, may include manicured paths with stepping stones and ornate topiaries. Mixing too many styles together can take away from the overall appeal. The pros suggest looking at the overall plan of the design, even if all of the work can’t be completed at once. This way the eventual finished project wil be cohesive.

Think about the purpose

Hardscaping can look good but also serve key purposes. Pebbles or gravel can mitigate trouble areas that don’t grow grass or plant life well. Retaining walls hold back soil in yards with sharply inclined hills. Mulch can set perimeters around trees and shrubs, as well as planting beds. Fencing, another form of hardscaping, is essential for establishing property boundaries and adding privacy.

Hardscaping refers to the elements in a landscape that aren’t living, such as paths, walls and fences.

Consult a professional

While many hardscaping additions can be handled by novices, large-scale projects, such as patios and decking, can change the grading of the yard. Professionals can map out how to handle drainage issues and meet building codes. In addition, professional installation can ensure hardscaping features last for years to come. Hardscaping should blend with the nature around it and take its cues from the surrounding environment. This can help softscaping and hardscaping work as one. – Metro Creative 


Continued from page 8

native garden, and orchard. It also has a bluebird nesting box and two barn owl nesting boxes inside the gardens. As much as she loves the natural world, Wiggins said, “The stuff that isn't invited is the worst part. “You’ll plant everything and have a big dream with all this potential,” she said, “but nothing comes out of it because the pests, rats and disease destroyed it.”

It’s the way of life, though, Wiggins said, so you throw the damaged plants in the compost bin and start anew, “which is great because in the store it's considered trash, but here (at the garden) it has a use.” It's the way the world is supposed to be, Wiggins said, “So join if you want to be happy, (because) it's a really fun place and a great way to connect with nature, with

life and with people.” The city of Santa Clarita, along with the Community Garden Council, launched the nonprofit in 2011. For more information, go to communitygardensofsantaclarita.org. Central Park is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road. Crystal Duan contributed to this article. 

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Continued from page 25

AU G U S T 5, 2018


Continued from page 35


Stay at one of the most central locations, with easy access to the river, at the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino. The Riverside also features an antique car museum, two pools, a bowling alley, arcade, laser tag, movie theater, and day spa. Rooms start at $90 per night and during the off-season can drop to as low as $60 per night. The Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino, riversideresort.com. Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Laughlin’s climate tends toward hot and dry, so pack your sunscreen. But with the proximity of the river, there is an abundance of water activities for the whole family. Watercraft Adventures, with seven locations in Laughlin and one inside the Riverside Resort, is the largest watercraft rental operator in the area. They rent jet skis for river fun all summer long. Watercraft Adventures, 928754-1221, watercraftadventures.com. For even more river fun, visit Laughlin August 11, for the annual River Regatta. The River Regatta is a massive river float festival. Attendees link floats and glide down the river for a wet and wild time. The whole event is kicked off the night before with a beach party concert. River Regatta, laughlinriverregatta.com. Laughlin also offers a wide range of big chain restaurants. Yet, the area also features beloved casino buffets and local favorites, like Casa Serrano, featuring genuine Mexican cuisine. Casa Serrano, 1650 S Casino Dr., 702-298-2535.

Wine country in SoCal

Nestled in the Santa Rosa Mountains 30 miles from the ocean with unique microclimate, Temecula is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets with its abundance of vineyards, wineries, and old world charm. A two hour drive from Santa Clarita, Temecula is the perfect stop for a romantic weekend. Visitors can opt for the luxury of a vineyard hotel or central accommodations. The Hampton Inn & Suites is within walking distance of Old Town Temecula’s charming Old West buildings, fine eateries and tourist activities, with rates starting at $109 per night. Hampton Inn & Suites, 951-506-2331, hamptoninn3.hilton.com. Temecula’s rolling hills, plush vineyards, and verdant citrus groves offer the perfect backdrop for a romantic sunrise hot air balloon ride with A Grape Escape tours. A Grape Escape offers a variety of balloon flight packages to celebrate every occasion. A Grape Escape, 951-699-9987, hotairtours. com/grape-escape/. When in Temecula, there is no better place to dine than The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars. Located adjacent to the tasting room, the Restaurant at Leoness overlooks acres of green vines and picturesque views. From hand cut truffle french fries, to a unique take on caesar salad, or sea bass on a bed of perfectly made truffle risotto, Leoness is unmatched in taste and quality. The Restaurant at Leoness, 951-302-7601, leonesscellars.com. 

Class members watch and prepare for their turn as Dan Balestrero, second from right, watches Karan Kales read her script during the Mastering Voiceover class at Balestrero’s home in Agua Dulce. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON

enabling delusion,” he said. “You have to be able to read like your demo when you show up on the job.” His classes include a “pizza break” where students enjoy a snack, visit and network before heading back before the microphone. A stuffed animal mascot, “Dufus” watches from a nearby desk as does a dragon perched atop a recording booth.

Social skills

“I’ve seen people hired in this business who might not have the best voice, but they are easy to work with and deliver clean ‘reads’ consistently,” Balestrero said. He said it is important to teach not just the mechanics but also the jargon and social skills involved in the job. “If they don’t know how to navigate the industry all the classes in the world won’t get you hired,” he said. Among his insider tips: No one in a recording session is going to be upset if you flub, but they will be annoyed if you write an opera about it. Don’t complain, don’t explain, just shut up and fix it. “None of it is rocket science, but someone has to show you,” he said. “Someone might say A,B,C that for me. That means give me three versions of something and those three versions have to be more related to each other than not.” Another rule: Don’t talk too much on the job. “When you’re in a work setting and you see everyone laughing and telling jokes, that doesn’t mean you can tell your jokes,” he said. “Laugh at their jokes and wait

until it’s time to roll. An astonishing number of people don’t know that. You have to learn how to behave on set.” At a recent class Balestrero listened carefully as each student stood before the microphone practicing the voiceover craft. He carefully explained the vocal subtleties and differences of reading ad copy for financial institutions versus copy for childcare centers. He was quick to give praise where due and constructive criticism as needed, many of his comments were delivered with a wry and casual sense of humor.

Everyone communicates

“I tell the people that are studying here to be voice-over artists that the most important work you’ll ever do is the first time you talk to somebody on the phone who might hire you. They are calculating, friend or foe?” Balestrero said. “Over 90 percent of communication has nothing to do with the actual words you’re speaking. It’s all about the harmonic geography of one’s tone of voice and how that’s used. Your voice is the engine that carries your ideas to everyone else on the planet. It’s one of the most important things we do, yet tone of voice is astonishingly overlooked.” Balestrero is the author of “Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Hell: Some Thoughts on Turning Darkness Into Light, or How To Escape The Mess You've Made.” His 103-page book is available on Kindle and Amazon.com. It is a guide to overcoming self-defeating mindsets and a reminder everyone is responsible for their own success or failure. 

Relax Give your mind a workout with these brainy exercises!

S U N D AYS I G N A L Î&#x2021; 41


AU G U S T 5, 2018

42 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

CROSSWORD TIME Answer to Sunday 7/29 Crossword

AU G U S T 5, 2018


Continued from page 28

Canyon Country. Info: http://route66classicgrill.com. Rotary Pint Night and Car Show at Wolf Creek Brewery. Free. People’s Choice Car show with beer, food, trucks and a live band. Trophies for People’s Choice participants. Only pre-registered vehicles will enter Wolf Creek Brewery’s parking lot to be set up and staged for the show. Tuesday, Aug. 21 4 p.m. The Car Show starts at 6 p.m. and trophies along with raffles will be presented at 8 p.m. Registration deadline is Aug. 14 $20. Call Glenn Terry (661) 312-7268. Wolf Creek Brewery, 25108 Rye Canyon Loop, Santa Clarita. Info: (661) 254-4401 or www. scvrotaryclub.com/calendar/ or https://wolfcreekbrewery.com.

Block Party

SENSES Block Party – Old Hollywood. Thursday, Aug. 16 7-10 p.m. Live music, food trucks, “Old Hollywood” themed activities and adult beverages. Snap a photo at the lounge, grab a drink from the on-street bar (hosted by 8th and Rail, El Trocadero, or Newhall Refinery), dance the night away to high energy performers, and order a bite from the food trucks or local restaurants. Fun and festive adult setting. Main Street in Old Town Newhall, Main Street and Market Street, Newhall. Info: http://thursdaysatnewhall.com/senses 


Continued from page 29

computer generated from photos of your existing space,” he said.

Homeowner mistakes

Lamoureux said the biggest mistake he sees homeowners making is giving money upfront to contractors and subcontractors. “That is my biggest pet peeve, it makes me very angry when I see a homeowner being taken,” he said. The Contractors State License Board website states homeowners who are considering hiring a paintDon’t let mistakes in hiring contractors lead to er, landscaper, or any other type of unfinished business. METRO CREATIVE construction contractor, should be aware that it is illegal for the contractor to ask for or accept a down payment of more than 10 percent of the total home improvement contract price or $1,000, whichever is less. To prevent mechanics liens that can be filed on your home by laborers, subcontractors, and materials suppliers whose prime contractors have failed to pay them make sure you do not allow payments to get ahead of the project work, never pay in cash and require joint signatures on payment checks between the prime contractor and the subcontractors and prime contractor and suppliers. Homeowners also should have all parties involved sign lien release forms for progress payments and when the final payment is made. Homeowners can obtain these forms at www2.cslb.ca.gov.

Worker’s Comp

Be aware of your liability exposure. “Workers comp insurance is huge,” said Lamoureux. “If your contractor doesn’t have workers comp insurance and a worker gets hurt on your job, you will be held financially responsible.” 


AU G U S T 5, 2018


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