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AU G U S T 11, 2019

Meet the SCV’s ‘Hotshots’ from Bear Divide Laughs, lessons and life at 100 The magic of making people feel better CalArts alumni keep memory of Connie alive

9 Deputies have a ‘Night Out’ at Central Park Newest school in town: Castaic High School hosts ribbon cut 10 City takes ‘wait-and-see’ approach on Cemex suit 11 Supes OK free Wi-Fi for county parks Recycling chain closes all state locations 39 Burglary suspects detained after foot chase 47 Laemmle theater construction to continue despite rumors of sale












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12 A poppin’ new snack company in Santa Clarita 13 Money for nothing, these sites are free 14 Using storytimes to enhance early literacy skills 15 Using hard work to achieve major dreams 16 Cool off on the water in houseboat style 18 Mama’s Table — Inspired to serve food and love, just like mom does 22 ‘American Pie’ singer coming to the Canyon 23 Family-fun August events as the summer wraps up



25 Several steps to prepare for back-to-school Getting children the homework help they need 26 Donna’s Day: Tap into the power of fresh flowers 27 Michele makes ice cream … a cool, sweet treat 28 Fill trenches with slurry to avoid sink, second floor tiling 29 Paneling: a design trend making a come-back 30 Cameron Smyth has a heart for public service 35 Exercise and aging: how to work out safely after 50 37 Saturated or unsaturated fat: which is ‘bad’ 40 Leveling an uneven yard with underlying issues

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661-259-1234 The entire contents of the Sunday Signal is copyrighted 2019 by Paladin Multi-Media Group, Inc. All submitted letters and columns are strictly the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. If you would not like this delivered to your home, please call (661) 259-1000.

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 5

Meet the SCV’s ‘Hotshots’ from Bear Divide


By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer


estled high in the mountains above the Santa Clarita Valley sits a highly trained group of men and women who day-in, day-out overlook their battlefield. They sit in a stone barracks, joking with one another, living with one another and cooking alongside one another. They’re often either in a classroom or on a mountainside, with a pencil or pickaxe in hand. They’re the Bear Divide Hotshots, and a description of their work feels akin to discussing an elite paramilitary unit, due as much to their specialized training as it is to the dangerous and unique nature of their assignments. Their only target, however, is the wildfire racing toward them, and the unflinching, perilous topography that can obstruct their mission. If you ask Bear Divide’s Superintendent Brian Anderson, what they go to war with — what their weapon of choice is — he’ll simply respond: “Punching line.”


Hotshot crews were first established in the Southern California about halfway through the 20th century, and were designed to take on the hottest of wildfires. There are currently over a 100 interagency crews that work for the federal government , and their primary mission is to provide “a safe, professional, mobile and highly skilled hand crew for all phases of fire management and incident operations.” “The Hotshots are commonly referred to as the ‘elite of the elite’ of wildland fires,” said Anderson. “Our responsibility is to go into situations in wildland fires that most people aren’t capable of going into.” The men and women of these crews are formed into small modules or squads, who charge up towards mountain and hillside fires, find a strategic position, and begin cutting a fireline, or “punching line,” removing much of the dead brush and grass that the fire would use for fuel. “We typically go into the most difficult terrain, the most complicat-

Frank Reyes, left, and Daniel Lojero change the blade on their chainsaw at Bear Divide Hotshots’ base camp, after returning from two weeks in Alaska. Every year, the firefighters are dropped into some of the most dangerous situations imaginable. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

ed parts of fires and put them out,” he said. “We don’t carry water — we’re all hand tool and chainsaw-based. Our specialty is being able to sustain, with our 20 people, with very little logistical support, in the most remote areas.” The line that they “punch,” or cut out, is designed to be put in while the water comes from hoses or helicopter drops. If those options aren’t available, Anderson said the Hotshots then stand alone as they “build trails between where the fire has already burned and what hasn’t burned.” “Our chainsaws are usually at the front of the line and they’re cutting brush out of the way,” said Anderson, “and our hand tools (specially made for digging fire lines) essentially create a bare minimum, ‘mineral-earth’ trail all the way down to the dirt.” The crews cut out a trail as wide as the brush is tall, and depending on the type of grass, which can be 10 to 12 feet tall, a 10 foot wide trail will be cut. “The taller the fuel, the taller the flame height,” Anderson said. Depending on the season, crew positions can be limited in size, but the Bear Divide Hotshot crew, stationed at 21501 North Sand Canyon Road in Canyon Country, recently returned from Alaska after fighting a number

of fires in the span of only a couple weeks. “We get called to fires just like any other fire agency,” said Anderson, adding that their group’s primary responsibility is 650,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest. But the group can be called anywhere in the nation if they’re needed. “But because Southern California has such a heavy population, and heavy urban interface, most folks don’t associate wildland firefighters with Southern California,” Anderson added. “The biggest misconception for us is folks just not knowing that we’re out here, that we exist, and we have as much responsibility as any other fire department.”

The Bear Divide Crew

The Bear Divide crew, much like other Hotshot crews, have lessons drilled into them about safety, leadership and bravery; but one thing that they say will keep them alive is understanding the “Fire Triangle.” “You have fuel, weather and topography, and you need those three things to create the fire,” said Eddie Cerna, a 10-year veteran of the Hotshots. “So, what we’re doing is taking away the fuel, and that’s what the fire line does … in essence, it’ll stop

there.” “We hope it stops there,” said Edgar Magana, one of Cerna’s comrades on the truck and a member of the BD Hotshots for the last three years. Both men said they had both gotten back from BD’s two-week journey to Alaska, in an area dealing with large amounts of lightning and dry brush — the perfect ingredients for a wildfire. “The sun played a role in it with all the fires, because during the summer in Alaska, they don’t get a whole lot of darkness,” said Magana. “They get about 22 hours of daylight, and their sun kind of goes down, but goes right back up — so all that heat preheats the fire and it keeps going.” Cerna said when they’re out there, whether it’s Alaska or in California, the men and women of the Hotshots are prepared to self-sustain for long periods of time. They bring camping supplies, such as food, water and shelter, and with the proper preparation, they can find themselves in the wilderness fighting fires for days on end if need be. Neither Magana and Cerna said they ever imagined a lot of things they’d be doing as a Hotshot when they signed up. See HOTSHOTS, page 38

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AU G U S T 11, 2019


Laughs, lessons and life at 100 By Emily Alvarenga Signal Staff Writer


hen Santa Clarita resident Bernie Glass was told he would be a good standup comedian, he replied: “The toughest part of that would be to stand up.” Glass, who turned 100 on July 31, was thrown a surprise party by the Anthro/History Club at the Bella Vida senior center, which he is a part of, during the group’s weekly meeting the day before. “I have known (Bernie) since I began working at the senior center 15 years ago,” said Robin Clough, volunteers and recreation coordinator. “He really enjoys attending life-long learning activities.” Clough said Glass has been active in the club since it began at the senior center. “They’re very, very close,” Clough said, regarding the club. “What’s great is they work on whatever they’re going to speak about themselves.” The meeting, which typically centers around a significant time period in history each week, instead focused on Glass’ history, complete with a Powerpoint presentation that illustrated the historical milestones at each decade of his life. And the group brings people together in a way that only the Santa Clarita Valley community can sometimes. Joanne Coller met Glass when she joined the club in June, and the pair quickly realized they have the same hometown of Philadelphia. “He, my dad and I all worked at RCA (a major American electronics manufacturer for decades that went out of business in the late 1980s) — what a small world,” she said. “He thinks he knew my dad … I couldn’t believe it. I brought him RCA memorabilia of my dad’s and I gave it to him.” Coller made special folders for each club member, with Glass’ decorated especially for him, and included birthday activities along with a list of puns for growing older. “Today, we celebrate life through the ages with Bernie,” said Rene Valencia, who made the presentation.

Santa Clarita resident Bernie Glass blows out the candle on a birthday cake his friends at the Bella Vida senior center got him to celebrate his 100th birthday. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

The first three decades included the prohibition, the stock market crash of 1929 and Germany invading Poland, starting World War II. “Bernie has been around for some important events,” Valencia commented. As the decades continues, Valencia begins to include Glass, joking that he was there in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon and then at the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. “In 2019, Bernie is age 100,” Valencia continued. “Notre Dame Cathedral burnt down, and Bernie was there when it was first built,” she chided. Glass spent the remainder of the meeting sharing stories from his 100 years of life, including some memorable moments from his childhood growing up in Philadelphia. “I think the most memorable thing as a kid was the depths of the (Great) Depression,” he said, “what my family went through, what everybody went through. I was young, but it really impressed me.” He also remembers when the horse and wagon would deliver the milk and bread every morning at 3 o’clock, and said that learning how to drive a car with a gear shift drove him crazy. In fact, it also drove his father-inlaw, who was very “un-mechanically

inclined,” crazy, so his father-in-law wrote the shift pattern on a piece of paper and stuck it through the shifter to remember. “We didn’t have traffic lights, we had traffic cops directing us, so we came to an intersection and the traffic cop stopped us,” Glass said. “Just as he was starting, a strong wind came in and the paper swung about — he almost destroyed the transmission. I’ll never forget that, it felt like just a couple years ago.” Philadelphia is a very historic town, and the club enjoyed hearing about Glass’ experience visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. “It’s funny how each city has something special of its own,” he added. “In this case, it was cheesesteak.” In the 40s, Glass worked for RCA Corp. in Camden, New Jersey. “We worked on the first radar that was developed to be put on the coast of England to detect the incoming bombers over the channel,” he said. “Then, we worked on the radar that was used on the B-17s to be combined with the bombardiers to make dropping the bombs more accurate. It was rather interesting stuff.” When Glass was drafted into the service during World War II, RCA stepped in and he was deferred three times so he could continue working

with them. Finally, Glass went into what is now considered the Air Force and began training to become a pilot, where he learned how to fly a Piper J-3 Cub, North American Aviation T-6 Texan and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. In training, he had to learn how to parachute, so they sent him up a 50foot tower with a parachute harness. “I was hooked to a cable that came shooting down into a long trough of saw dust,” he said. “The idea being that you’re supposed to learn how to roll without putting your arms out because it would break your shoulders.” “Coming down that thing really scared the hell out of me,” he said, laughing. “That was the most dangerous thing I did in the service.” Once Glass had completed the training to become a pilot, the military realized he was a radar specialist. “They took me out and put me straight into radar school,” he said. “I went to three colleges for radar, and I became a radar instructor for the rest of my years in the service.” All of his friends were sent overseas and got caught in the Battle of the Bulge. “I felt put out about it, frankly, because I wanted to stay with my group,” he added. As an instructor, Glass had a lot of free time. “I had my wife with me all the time I was in the service, so the two of us would get out on the road and I would be in uniform and we would hitchhike all over the United States.” He even remembers once hitchhiking from El Paso to Colorado Springs. After his time in the service, he went to work for a dutch import-export organization and ran their American office in Manhattan, on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. “From my office window on the fifth floor, I could look right down Wall Street — it was a very historic place,” Glass said. “When 9-11 took place and the buildings collapsed, it collapsed that building as well.” Glass said his life was more or less uneventful, yet he’s very thankful for the experiences he’s had. “I may be old,” he said, chuckling, “but I’m not wise.”

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 7


The magic of making people feel better By Matt Fernandez Signal Staff Writer


ife is full of challenges, and while some might grow bitter after being dealt an especially bad hand, Dovid Rabotnick uses the magic of optimism and actual magic to keep his spirits up and give back to others. In 2008, Rabotnick lost his mass mailing business, his home and his life savings during the Great Recession. With his wife’s support, Rabotnick, who volunteered as an emergency medical technician, went back to school for nursing. Then, in December 2013, Rabotnick was dealt another blow: He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “I used to have a very strange way of brushing my teeth in that I would brush the left side of my mouth with the right hand and the right side with my left hand, and one day I found I couldn’t do it with my left hand because I couldn’t make those circles,” Rabotnick said. “I have a history other health issues, so I didn’t think it was a big deal, but my doctor said it was early onset Parkinson’s. It was life-changing — but thankfully, I have a slow progression and I’m fairly functional with the help of about 20 pills a day.” Rabotnicks’ wife, Robin, said that the diagnosis was a surprise and hit the family hard, but between laughing and crying about it, the family chose to remain optimistic. The diagnosis put his future as a nurse in question, but in the end, Robin pushed her husband forward. “We figured what else was there to lose by him continuing his career in nursing and not know what else he would do if we didn’t pursue that,” Robin said. “We just had to hope for the best and that he would be a nurse for as long as he could.” Doctors told Rabotnick he had to either use his dexterity or lose it, and rather than simply doing finger exercises, the lifelong magic fan took up learning sleight of hand. Parkinson’s disease mainly involves the improper regulation of muscle movements due to the brain’s inability to produce dopamine, but can also lead to other issues, such as sleeplessness, fatigue

and depression. It typically manifests in two forms, one with tremors and one with rigidity along the left side of the body. Rabotnick has the latter form which causes his left side movements to be slower. “In the beginning, I kind of sucked — but now, I joke that I’m the world’s OK’est magician,” he said. “When I was 21, I saw David Copperfield live and it turned me liking magic into a love because I saw things that I understand how to do now, but I thought were impossible at the time. I have had to alter my performance as the disease progresses, and my family has been tremendously supportive.” In 2015, Rabotnick created a Youtube channel called “Slow-Motion Magic,” named after his manifestation of the disease, where he would post videos of himself performing magic tricks and rating his ability to perform them with his impaired dexterity, using it as a log of his progression with the disease. Rabotnick soon decided that he wanted to use his platform to help others, and his videos changed gears towards raising awareness of the disease. “I wanted to bring Parkinson’s disease to the forefront so that people would donate whenever they saw the opportunity to,” he said. “There are a lot of organizations doing tremendous research, but that research doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and the fuel for that research in our society is money.” This past January, Slow-Motion Magic became a licensed nonprofit organization so that Rabotnick could issue tax receipts to donors. As a third-party nonprofit, Rabotnick said all of the money donated by Slow-Motion Magic goes directly to research. Rabotnick posts weekly videos and hosts fundraising events like the local annual Conjuring for a Cure show to support his efforts, and performs private shows across Los Angeles while distributing literature about Parkinson’s disease. Robin said that the development of Slow-Motion Magic has inspired their family, also. “It’s amazing that he took the initiative to do this, to try to inspire people he didn’t event know and to fundraise

Above: Magician Dovid Rabotnick of Slow-Motion Magic uses magic to exercise his dexterity, which helps him fight Parkinson’s Disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2013. Right: Rabotnick also uses magic to raise money and awareness in the fight to cure Parkinson’s. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

money for Michael J. Fox’s foundation,” she said. “I’m so proud of him. I’m thankful that he’s still able to do all of this.” Erik Shapiro, who has been Rabotnick’s best friend for 18 years, describes him as a generous, intelligent and humble man who always looks for opportunities to give back to others. Shapiro has been wheelchair-bound since he was in an accident 10 years ago, and said Rabotnick has taught him how to use humor and optimism as a way to manage the struggle. “Dovid has really taken this challenge and turned something that would normally be seen as adversity into a positive way to help others,” Shapiro said. “He took on magic as a way to cope with Parkinson’s, but transformed it into something new — striking a balance between genuine talent and giving.” While going back to school and being surrounded by young people may

seem daunting, at age 49, Rabotnick graduated with his nursing degree and now works the night shift at an Antelope Valley hospital. Rabotnick’s symptoms are slow progressing and he is currently able to mitigate most of them through medication and he is hopeful that research organizations will be able to achieve the lofty goal of finding a cure within his lifetime. “There’s still part of my brain that still thinks that I’m misdiagnosed and hasn’t accepted it yet since I’m still early in the progression,” the nurse and magician said. “Whenever I have a patient that is in the late stages of Parkinson’s it’s emotionally very challenging because that might be how I end up, but I can’t let the patient know that. I can either cry or laugh about my situation and I choose to laugh. I hope to one day doing magic for my future grandkids and I’m not willing to just lay down and die.”

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AU G U S T 11, 2019


CalArts alumni keep memory of Connie alive By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


or more than four decades, the case of murdered CalArts student Connie Marsh remained inactive as the tragedy slipped silently into history — until now. In the last year, more than a half-dozen CalArts alumni, from those who knew her to those who learned about her, have dusted off photos of the deeply committed young artist and began echoing the questions that plagued investigators probing her death in 1974. Her story resonates with them not only as women, but as artists and, particularly, as artists with the CalArts common bond. After all, it was her dedication to craft and her passion to pursue it that motivated Connie Marsh to get in her car on April 3, 1974, and drive to a remote rugged hilly area off of Pico Canyon, assemble her easel and begin


the work she loved. That’s the day she vanished.

Kindred spirit

One woman moved to know more about Connie Marsh is a woman named who couldn’t avoid relating to Connie’s story if she wanted to. She wanted to be referred to only as M. “I started at CalArts when I was 17,”

M said, Thursday. “I turned 18 there. It was a time in my life when I wanted to show my parents, ‘I’m not a kid at home. I’m on my own.’ “I wanted them to know that I’m not going to go to business school and that I’m going to be an artist,” she said. Like Connie, “M” found a place to fit in and a place to pursue her creativity. When Connie’s father, Dr. Julian Marsh, a professor of biological chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania where Connie was formerly a student, was asked in December 1974 about his daughter’s plans, he said she chose California for further study, drawn there by the beauty of the hills. CalArts, for Connie, became a perfect fit — close to those hills, closer to art and close to those evolving as artists as she was. The passion Connie Marsh showed for her craft inspires M to this day,

she said. Newspaper accounts about her disappearance paid attention to the circumstances of the day she vanished, particularly about unabashed critiques made about her art. “Connie favored painting with natural light. She was told, ‘That’s old school.’ But, like all of us, you had to be able to defend your art. “We lived in the same dorm. We were all struggling with the same things,” M said.


Marsh went missing April 3, 1974. Her unfinished painting was found near her car on a rugged hill off of Pico Canyon Road. Her purse and wallet were found on the front seat. Deputies at the time said they found no signs of a struggle, not even a footprint. In the days that followed the discovery, deputies scoured the hills on horses and dogs. See CONNIE, page 14

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AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 9

Deputies have a ‘Night Out’ at Central Park By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer


efore the music began at Concerts in the Park, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station held its “National Night Out Against Crime” event at Central Park Saturday. The event was designed, according to SCV Sheriff ’s Station officials, to spread awareness about the latest information on crime prevention and safety to those in attendance. “It’s a way for us to provide any vital information to the community ... it’s a way to take back our streets, get a hold of crime and come together as a community,” said Deputy Natalie Arriaga. “We’re here offering all the vital information, and allowing people to ask questions on how they can participate.” The event was a part of a national campaign designed to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement personnel and the community they serve, according to officials. On average, the event draws out a total of 38 million participants across at least

16,000 communities nationwide. At the event, those who stopped by the L.A. County Sheriff ’s Department tent starting at 4 p.m. could pick up informational fliers, merchandise and contact information for their local law enforcement departments. Arriaga said the information provided at the booth ranged from how to keep your property safe, to how to report a crime to how to be engaged with law enforcement through their social media pages. “We have a variety of pamphlets that (people) can go ahead and review, and we have stuff for the kids, because the kids need to be informed also,” Arriaga said. Those in attendance at the booth said they could also meet-and-greet with a number of deputies and cadets who serve in the local community, providing an opportunity to bring deputies and neighbors together under positive circumstances. “It’s important for (LASD personnel), because they get to be a part of the community,” said Arriaga, “as well through the sheriff ’s organization.”


L.A. County sheriff’s explorer Karen Jimenez, right, hands out stickers to children at the sheriff’s booth to kick off the National Night Out Against Crime at the Concerts in the Park event, which was held at Central Park in Saugus on Saturday. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

Newest school in town: Castaic High School hosts ribbon cutting By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer


fficials from the William S. Hart Union High School District and Castaic High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday in celebration of its impending grand opening. Held in the school’s library — with bookshelves yet to be filled, ceiling panels awaiting placement but scenic views of the Santa Clarita Valley readily available — multiple officials discussed the lengthy process that precipitated the school’s first day of class less than a week away. “As we all know, it has been a longtime coming,” said Jessica Chambers, president of the Castaic Area Town Council. “I was actually supposed to be one of the early classes that graduated, but I am pleased to say that my children will be able to come to such a great, forward-thinking school.” Hart District Superintendent

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, second from left, presents a certificate to Vicki Engbrecht, superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District, left, Governing Board President Bob Jensen and Castaic High Principal Melanie Hagman, right, at the Castaic High School ribbon-cutting ceremony. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

Vicki Engbrecht, flanked by balloons and spirit banners decorated in the school’s official colors of charcoal gray, white and burnt orange, called the event a proud moment for her and the district in front of the 100 or

so attendees. “You look at this campus and facility, and see the things that it offers … you will know that students have the opportunity to the utmost to thrive, to reach their potential, at their full

capacities,” said Hart District board President Bob Jensen. “It’s a challenging process to build a school that will have this kind of impact.” When the campus opens for the first time next week — two and a half years after ground had first broke on the construction portion of the project — Castaic High’s first principal, Melanie Hagman, will welcome in approximately 350 ninth-graders for the school’s inaugural class. The anticipated capacity for the school is 2,600 students, and the campus sits on 58 acres of land. The contract awarded for the construction of the school was $126.2 million, which included a 450-seat performing arts center, specialized classrooms for career pathways programs and approximately 250,000 square feet of school and classroom space. Additionally, the school features a number of athletic fields and facilities, including one of the newest and largest See CASTAIC, next page

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AU G U S T 11, 2019


City takes ‘wait-and-see’ approach on Cemex suit By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


embers of Santa Clarita’s subcommittee on the Cemex issue said Tuesday there was no public announcement in response to the international mining corporation’s recently filed lawsuit because the city is not a party in the litigation. The decision runs contrary to years of campaigning by the Santa Clarita City Council, which fought a very public campaign against the mine, then engaged in a truce, then declared a victory against the mine earlier this year. The most recent announcement from the city came this past spring — the declaration of an end to the decades-long battle with Cemex due to a government ruling by the Interior Bureau of Land Appeals. However, court records indicate that, about two months later, the building material company filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to overturn the IBLA decision. In March, the Interior Board of Land Appeals ruled on two Cemex 10-year contracts that were canceled


Continued from previous page

gyms in the Hart District. “(Students) will be able to access career pathways, including welding, medical assisting and video production,” said Hagman. “They will access college classes through College of the Canyons, which minimally yield one year of college credits. They will access athletics, performing groups and ASB. What an amazing opportunity for all of our students coming here.” Hagman said students would be coming not only from the Castaic Union School District, but also from area charter schools and private schools, as well as the Antelope Valley, Bakersfield and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Hart District governing board member Steve Sturgeon has been working on the project since its inception, and said that after analyzing the 11 possible sites over the last two decades, and creating the largest dirt

by the Bureau of Land Management in 2015: Officials said the agency considered one of the contracts invalid, and the second is to expire in July 2020. Because the time necessary to obtain the required permits to mine sand and gravel just outside Santa Clarita’s eastern border in Soledad Canyon is estimated to take anywhere between 16 to 18 months, mine opponents considered the ruling a win. “After 20 years of fighting, we can finally say we believe there will not be a mega-mine in Soledad Canyon,” Councilwoman Laurene Weste said during a March news conference at City Hall following the IBLA decision. Cemex then filed a complaint in federal court May 1, stating the decisions of the IBLA, which handles appeals for Department of Interior decisions, and the Bureau of Land Management were “unlawful,” and that the company was being illegally deprived of its mining rights. In response, the federal government answered the complaint in court on July 15, admitting to certain claims and denying others, adding that Cemex “failed to act in good faith.” While local residents may remember

seeing banners and ads across the SCV as part of the city’s campaign against the planned Cemex mine, this new lawsuit is different in terms of making a public announcement, officials said. “The year was 2007 when Cemex and the city agreed to discontinue our outreach and public fight,” said Councilman Bob Kellar, who is part of the subcommittee. “That’s one of the reasons why you haven’t seen the issue as much as you had. Nevertheless, as a city, we continue to fight the battle every inch of the way; but in this lawsuit, we’re not named.” Weste mirrored those remarks, saying that because the city is “not a party in the lawsuit there should be no reason for an announcement. This is between Cemex and the federal government. We just recently learned this.” Kellar said he first heard about the May lawsuit during a trip to Sacramento in July, when he met with the director of the BLM for a separate matter, along with fellow Cemex subcommittee member Weste, and Mike Murphy, who retired Friday and, as the city’s intergovernmental relations officer, was the city staff ’s point person on the Cemex issue.

moving project in Los Angeles County history, the school had become a “star-studded campus.” “I’ve watched the tractors, Caterpillars and 150-average-on-site men every single day, working and moving ounces, pounds and cubic yards of dirt, equipment and facility day by day,” said Sturgeon. “I was criticized back in 2010, when we finally selected a site, after seven years of promising, for using the word momentous — I called it a ‘momentous occasion.’” “I stopped using that word … until tonight,” said Sturgeon. “This is a momentous occasion.” Following the ceremony, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, 5th District County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, COC Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook, Santa Clarita Councilman Bill Miranda, walked outside with Engbrecht and Hagman to cut the ribbon and open the school to the public. Thursday is the first-ever registration day for the campus, which plans to open alongside other Hart District sites Aug. 13 for its first day of school.

SCV dignitaries attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

“(The trip in July) was the first time any of us became aware,” Kellar said. “I can’t say I’m surprised. This has been many years of battle for the city of Santa Clarita and also our representatives in Washington, going back to (Howard “Buck”) McKeon and (Steve) Knight. I would approximate 30 trips to D.C. over the years.” Both Weste and Kellar said the matter hadn’t been discussed by the council in closed session due to the city not being involved in the lawsuit, which Mayor Marsha McLean reiterated Tuesday. “We have not met at all to discuss this,” she said, adding that she first read about the lawsuit in The Signal. “The city is not named in their suit, and so there’s nothing for us to do at this time than to just wait and see how their suit progresses.” It’s a waiting game for now. “I don’t think there was ever a surprise that (Cemex) would sue,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “We will continue to be vigilant and monitor the situation as it moves forward and make sure that this never comes back as much as possible.” To view a detailed Cemex timeline, visit

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Supes OK free Wi-Fi for county parks By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


n addition to sunshine and trees, county park visitors will soon be getting free Wi-Fi service after county supervisors voted Tuesday to make it so. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion co-authored by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn to provide free Wi-Fi service at all county parks. As Barger and Hahn explain in their motion: “The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation strives to provide residents and visitors with quality recreational opportunities across its 182 county parks.” To date, free Wi-Fi service is available at only 30 of those county parks.

While other parks offer computers, the lack of Wi-Fi access, according to Barger and Hahn, renders them inadequate for many park users’ needs. Technology plays an ever-important and influential role in enhancing customers’ park experience to increase access, mobility, and data insight, they note in their motion. They say offering free Wi-Fi at all county parks would benefit many residents who would otherwise have no access to the internet. Many children in after-school programs, they add, cannot complete their homework without internet access. According to the two supervisors, park patrons of all ages would benefit from internet access to enable them to easily obtain information about parks, reserve picnic areas and other See WI-FI, page 39

Recycling chain closes all state locations By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


alifornia’s largest bottle and can recycling center chain, rePlanet, shut its doors Monday, including both locations in the Santa Clarita Valley. “With the continued reduction in state fees, the depressed pricing of recycled aluminum and PET plastic, and the rise in operating costs resulting from minimum wage increases and required health and workers compensation insurance, the company has concluded that operation of these recycling centers and supporting operations is no longer sustainable,” read a company statement provided by David Lawrence, president and CFO of rePlanet. The two locations in the valley, located at a Ralphs parking lot in Valencia and an Albertsons in Saugus, will join the list of 284 centers that ceased operations Monday. “We regret that these site closures will negatively impact our employees, grocer partners, customers and the recycling community at large,” the prepared statement read. While Lawrence did not respond to

questions about how many employees are affected by the statewide closures, a 2016 news release indicated that the company kept 800 employees after it closed 191 recycling centers and laid off 278 employees throughout California. “Following the most recent reduction in state fees on Jan. 1, 2016, and after enduring 12 months of unprecedented declines in commodities pricing of aluminum and PET plastic, coupled with the mandated rise in operating costs as a result of minimum wage increases and required health and workers compensation insurance, the company has concluded that operation of these recycling centers is no longer sustainable,” the 2016 news release said. While the number of closures is significant, rePlanet centers only make up 18% of all recycling facilities available for the public, according to Lance Klug, spokesman for CalRecycle, the state’s recycling program. Other locations still available for recycling in the SCV include Sammy’s Recycling Center on 24953 Railroad Ave. and the Conservation Station on 20833 Santa Clara St. For additional locations, Klug suggests visiting


Local county facilities The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a move Tuesday that would put Wi-Fi at Los Angeles County’s 182 parks, thanks to a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn. County officials did not have a timeline for implementation of their Wi-Fi plan immediately available Tuesday, in what they described was a “first step” in providing the service at all of their locations. The county facilities in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation website, include the following facilities:

Canyon, Castaic

• Castaic Regional Sports Complex: 31320 N. Castaic Road, Castaic

• Tesoro Adobe Historic Park: 29350 Avenida Ranchero Tesoro, Valencia

• Del Valle Park: 28201 W. Sloan

• William S. Hart Regional Park

• Dr. Richard H. Rioux Memorial Park: 26233 W. Faulkner Drive, Stevenson Ranch • Hasley Canyon Equestrian Park: 29201 Avenue Penn, Valencia • Hasley Canyon Park: 28700 W. Quincy St., Castaic, • Jake Kuredjian Park: 25265 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch • Pico Canyon Park: 25600 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch • Placerita Canyon State Park: 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall

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A poppin’ new snack company in Santa Clarita

By Emily Alvarenga Signal Staff Writer


ost think of popcorn coming in a handful of classic flavors, such as butter, caramel or cheddar — but a new, local family business is bringing all those flavors and more. Mary Lou’s Gourmet Popcorn began with a base of 18 flavors — including all the classics you’d expect — along with other unique ones, like dill pickle, hot wing and birthday cake. There are also special flavors that cycle in each season, along with a flavor of the month. Run by the mother-and-daughter team of Shelia Moran and Amanda Bell, the pair teamed up to create the popcorn brand, naming it after their inspiration, Mary Lou, Moran’s mother. “She was, and still is, a major influence in our family,” Moran said. “For me, growing up every night we would

have popcorn … that was the snack before you went to bed.” “One of the reasons we started this was to be able to give back,” Bell added. In fact, 10% of each sale goes to Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala, which is run by Mary Lou’s granddaughter. “That’s another one of the attributes gleaned from Mary Lou,” Moran said. “We really like donating to events — it’s not just about getting our name out there.” Now, they look for any opportunity to give back, including doing fundraisers for schools and clubs in which they give back 50% of proceeds. The pair started the business on a whim, Bell said, after she had visited a gourmet popcorn shop in Ohio, and thought of bringing it to Santa Clarita. “We spent the next six to nine months, mostly Amanda, doing research,” Moran said, “looking up every gourmet popcorn place she

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Amanda Bell, left, and Shelia Moran, right, recently hosted their pop-up business at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. The mother-and-daughter team love operating a business in their hometown around a snack that has a special family meaning. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL

could find, seeing what flavors were popular.” “It was a little more complicated than I realized,” Bell added. In the summer of 2017, they created a group of about 20 taste-testers across the country. They would mail samples and tasters would reply via Survey Monkey to rate the flavors and give feedback. In April 2018, Mary Lou’s officially launched with their first show appearance and the launch of their website. The cooking began in their kitchen and moved to a commercial kitchen in Sherman Oaks, but neither was convenient. In early 2019, the pair found a commercial kitchen in Canyon Country where they now have free rein to cook whenever they need. “It allows us to create four times as much in a third of the time, so hooking up with them has been a

game-changer for us,” Bell said. They have created a good base line, so it’s now a lot easier to come up with new flavors. “When we first started, it would take several hours per recipe,” Bell said. “Just our basic caramel, I did like 19 different batches … That’s a lot of popcorn.” They want to keep the business local, and are mainly an online store that ships nationally with pop-up shops at local fairs, festivals and shows, but have begun branching out, doing popcorn bars at parties and weddings as well as partnering with local businesses who want to sell their product. The pair is currently working on their fall flavors, which will include flavors like pumpkin pie, cappuccino and cranberry vanilla almond. For more information, visit

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AU G U S T 11, 2019

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Money for nothing, these sites are free By Kim Komando Signal Contributing Writer


ometimes, money gets lost. We leave cash in odd places. We forget we even had it. I’m talking about back wages, old 401Ks, bank failures, utility deposits, unclaimed life insurance, FHA refunds, undelivered tax refund checks — the list goes on and on, amounting to billions of dollars. The best part: The ways to search for this money are free. Helping everyday citizens claim lost money is one of the duties of the U.S. Treasury Department. You don’t need to hire a dubious service or spend money to make money. Here are effective ways to track down those dormant dollars:

1. Start your search for missing

money in your home state. Finding money is pretty simple, but your search depends on where you live. Each state has an independent treasury website, which has a special search function for unpaid dues. Each site is a little different, but follow the step-by-step instructions, enter your information, and the database will do the rest. As always, use a secure network; this is precisely the kind of data that cybercriminals love to gather and use against you. To find the link for your state’s treasury website, go to Google and type unclaimed funds + state name. Make sure the treasury site is real. (It should have a “dot-gov” address.) Pro Tip in a Tip: If you have a name that is frequently misspelled or has variations that are often confused (Schmid, Schmidt, Schmitt), search those misspellings on the un-

claimed fund’s sites, as well. 2. Next, search for unclaimed property nationally. If you’ve lived or done business in many states, I recommend using MissingMoney, which is designed to connect you to the correct treasury departments. MissingMoney is a free government search site. All the site asks for is your name and your resident state(s). Living in several places does complicate your search. 3. Check the IRS for unclaimed tax refunds If you think the IRS might owe you money, you can file a claim to the IRS to update them about your new address. Additionally, if an employer withholds funds from you, the IRS gives you up to three years to submit a claim. 4. Look for retirement funds Every retirement plan is different,

and things can get complicated if you move from one company to another. As a former employee, it’s your task to see whether past benefits or retirement savings can be transferred or cashed out. Similarly, pension plans and retirement benefits are controlled by different governmental sectors. The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits will help you find money being held from prior employers, while the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation can assist in your search for money tied into pension plans. Make it an annual practice to search for unclaimed funds. Do it on an anniversary, your birthday, Fourth of July, or some other important day that you’ll remember each year. For information on Kim Komando on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks, visit her at

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Using storytimes to enhance early literacy skills By Mayor Marsha McLean


ow often do you read aloud to your children? In this day and age, before reaching the 1-year mark, children are already glued to digital screens and fully proficient at swiping between their favorite streaming shows. What we lose in these tablet interactions is the opportunity for parents and children to engage in back-and-forth conversations that naturally occur when reading printed books. Any simple act of reading a story aloud to your children — whether digital or printed — comes with many benefits that are crucial in building a foundation for future success. Reading to children supports cognitive development, increases concentration and discipline, improves language skills,

prepares them for academic success and helps you build a special bond with your child. Reading to your child at home is always a plus, but there are also multiple opportunities for your children to hear a story read aloud at your local Santa Clarita Public Library. The library’s Storytime program is offered for free and is a great way for your child to enjoy a new story read by a library staff member, while also getting to interact with other children their age. The storytimes are each an hourlong and take place at all library branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia. Storytimes geared for specific ages or milestones are offered in the following categories: Baby and Toddler, Just for 2s and 3s, School Readiness, Bilingual Storytime and Toddler Fridays. Baby and Toddler storytimes are designed to build early language and


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literacy foundations for children ages 6 through 36 months. This program includes singing, bouncing, tickling, reading, rhyming and talking with your loved one Just for 2s and 3s storytimes are catered for children ages 2 and 3 and focus on parent interaction. Fun stories, songs and projects are selected with the developmental tasks of the toddler in mind. School Readiness Storytime is a program for 3- to 5-year-olds and hones in on building early literacy, listening and group participation skills that are required for a successful transition into schooling. If you attend one of these storytimes, you can expect the best of children’s books, rhymes and singalongs, such as the toddler favorite “Baby Shark,” or “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Bilingual Storytimes are offered in English and Spanish. During these storytimes, traditional rhymes, songs

and stories are shared in both English and Spanish. Toddler Fridays are presented every Friday and feature a different toddler-friendly activity. Our library staff has some amazing activities lined up, including a dance party and crafts. I encourage you to explore our storytimes and stop by the next one happening at your local branch. Storytimes are also a wonderful place for kids (and parents!) to connect and make new friends. Luckily, storytimes are offered weekly through the fall, so if you miss one, you don’t have to wait too long for another opportunity.


Violence against women

Continued from page 8

There was no trace of Connie Marsh. Then, on Dec. 15, 1974, between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., Lawrence Brown of San Pedro was hunting quail and trudging through the brush near Texas Canyon, above Vasquez Canyon Road, and found a skull, later determined to be that of Connie Marsh. To reach the area where the skull was found required driving off Vasquez and then up Lost Creek Road, past an old hog farm. Investigators with the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner determined in subsequent tests that Marsh died of blunt force trauma to the head — murder. The location of the skull and the spot where Marsh’s car had been found are 10 miles apart. The mystery of her disappearance became the mystery of her murder. And, as her story moves steadily towards the half-century milepost, her legacy is being perpetuated and redefined by those following in her footsteps.

Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at mmclean@ The views expressed in her column are those of the city and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal. Emma Kemp runs the summer Art Residency Program at CalArts. “I came across a reference to Connie in the CalArts archives,” Kemp said Tuesday. “I immediately felt a kinship with this fellow artist — a young girl pursuing her dream.” Then, Kemp recently attended the “Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here” exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art (the display’s run ended in the first week of August), which affected her in a way that allowed her to see Connie Marsh in fresh new perspective. Lacy, the Los Angeles artist and educator, has frequently focused her art on social themes and urban issues, including the issue of violence against women. For Kemp, the exhibition got her thinking more vigorously about the short life of Connie Marsh. “(The exhibition) made me think about the stories of women abducted, raped and murdered in the 70s,” she said. So as a woman, an artist, a CalArts alumni and a murder victim, Connie Marsh is not likely to be forgotten at CalArts.

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Using hard work to achieve major dreams By Haley Sawyer Signal Sports Editor


laying baseball for Hart High School was hard work for Cole Roederer. Outside of the usual practices and games, he put in extra time to do sprints on the field or learn more tedious concepts, like the best angles when playing outfield or how to maximize information from a scouting report. Now, in his first full season of Minor League Baseball with the Single-A South Bend Cubs, he said completing those extra tasks his coach at Hart High, Jim Ozella, assigned him, is paying off. “That set me aside from every other outfielder, every other player and, honestly, he is a very big role in my career right now,” he said. Roederer, currently the Chicago Cubs No. 5 prospect, was prepared for the physical demands of playing professional baseball and some of the

Hart High alum Cole Roederer said coach Jom Ozella taught him valuable lessons that he still uses today, as he works his way up the depth chart as a prospect for the Chicago Cubs. COURTESY SOUTH BEND CUBS

mental demands, as well; although his tolerance for the latter has developed throughout this season — one that he says has been “kind of a roller coaster.” There have been over 30 games in which he didn’t record a hit, and he spent some time on the 7-day injury

list with a hamstring strain. But there have been highlights, too. On June 25, Roederer became the first player in South Bend baseball history to hit for the cycle. “I just remember getting on base and not really realizing it. The only time I actually remember, like, everything being on the line was my triple to left. I wasn’t going for it when I got up there, so when I hit it, I immediately knew what was at stake.” He also hit two home runs July 18 to bring his season home run total to five, while batting .213 with a .352 slugging percentage. Dealing with the ups and downs from game to game has been one of the most challenging parts of pro baseball, but Roederer says its helped him develop. “This game is a game of failure, so I think playing every day and dealing with the failure of every day (is difficult),” he said. “I’m going to go 0-for-4 this day, I’m going to go 3-for-


3 the next, trying to find that middle ground where I’m not going too high and then going too low, I’m just trying to keep that middle ground.” In his senior year of prep baseball at Hart, Roederer had a batting average of .392 and drove in 19 runs while hitting seven home runs in 18 games. Originally committing to UCLA, he was selected 77th in the MLB FirstYear Player Draft in 2018, his senior year. Roederer made the decision to chase his childhood dream and go right into pro ball. “I felt like I was going into a family and I truly believe that you have to have that feeling when you’re going to sign that contract,” Roederer said. “This is your life. There’s no pause button, there’s no do-over button, it’s the rest of your life,” he added. “You either sign away your college career or you go into pro ball and you’re going to try to make the dream come true.”

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Cool off on the water in houseboat style

Above: Tranquil Black Canyon at Lake Mead National Recreational Area is the perfect place to swim, water ski, jet ski, fish and relax. Right: Kayaking is another popular Lake Powell pastime. You can rent from the marina. You can also rent boats for water skiing and jet skis for more “on the water” fun. PHOTOS COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


t’s summer. It’s hot. What better way to cool off than to get on the water? Here’s five places where you can “float away” and beat the heat.

Shasta Lake

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa in the Napa Valley is a beautiful hidden gem that offers everything you’ve ever wanted in a houseboat vacation. It is also a great option if you want to rent a dog-friendly houseboat, as well as enjoy a unique wine tasting adventure. Enjoy one of California’s largest bodies of fresh water with more than 165 miles of shoreline. Summer water temperatures reach 75 degrees, making it the perfect place to swim, water ski, canoe and kayak. Dozens of vineyards and wineries surround Lake Berryessa. In addition, there are eagles, hawks and songbirds among the many birds you can watch soaring above your houseboat.

Houseboating is one of the best ways to spend a cool summer vacation, and Shasta Lake has been named one of the top-10 houseboating lakes in the nation. The lake covers 30,000 acres and offers great fishing, relaxation, swimming and sightseeing. It is surrounded by 360 miles of stunning mountainous landscape, which includes beautiful waterfalls, impressive caverns and secluded trails. It’s a great place to dock your houseboat and explore. Houseboating is a great family vacation. Renting a houseboat is like staying in a deluxe hotel suite … but on the water. Houseboats are equipped with full kitchens, air conditioning, bathrooms, living rooms and various sleeping areas. Grill outside on the BBQ while the kids glide down the swim slide into the water. Pull the houseboat up onto the beach and explore the scenery, build a sand castle or fish from the shore. Houseboating offers flexible fun, even for those with limited boating experience.

Lake Havasu


Info http://lakehavasuhouseboating. com

Info Lake Havasu on the California-Arizona border is a beautiful, yet uncrowded, lake surrounded by colorful desert mountains. It consists of 60 miles of lake and river waterways. There are 400 miles of shoreline where you can have your own secluded cove to spend your days swimming, water skiing, fishing, or just relaxing and enjoying quality time with family and friends. At night, after watching the spectacular desert sunsets, sit on the upper deck and look for shooting stars.

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Many are content to simply cruise Lake Powell and explore the many fascinating side canyons that narrow to just a boat width as they twist away from the main channel. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Lake Mead

Houseboats can be rented to explore the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Las Vegas. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead offers more than 550 miles of pristine shoreline with soaring red rock cliffs and countless bays and beaches. This is the perfect place to swim, water ski, jet ski, fish and relax. Get off the grid and enjoy quality family time, along with breathtaking scenery. Tranquil Black Canyon is one of the most beautiful spots on Lake Mead. The canyon gets its name from the black volcanic rocks that are found throughout the area. This is a perfect area to explore by kayak. Lake Mojave’s Cottonwood Cove resort also offers houseboat rentals if you are looking for one of Nevada’s best-kept secrets. Info and

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, on the Utah-Arizona border, offers excellent opportunities

Houseboats can be like staying at a luxury hotel with full kitchens, air conditioning, bathrooms, living rooms and various sleeping areas. Shasta Lake has been named one of the top-10 houseboating lakes in the nation. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA

for houseboat, fishing, swimming and water skiing. In the summer the water temps can reach 70 to 80 degrees, perfect for swimming. Explore the many fascinating side canyons that narrow to just a boat width as they twist away from the main channel. Many visitors are content to just cruise its waters by houseboat and spend nights on its beaches under

the stars. Hiking from the lake into the very rugged environs of Glen Canyon Recreation Area is an option for the adventurous. Kayaking is another popular Lake Powell pastime. Day trips around Wahweap Bay are common. Launch a kayak from your houseboat or rent one from the marina. You can also rent boats for water skiing and jet skis

for more “on-the-water” fun. Lake Powell is the largest reservoir by surface area in the U.S. It offers 1,900 miles of shoreline to explore with your houseboat. The average depth of the lake is 132 feet. The lake, formed in 1963 by the Glen Canyon Dam, covers approximately 200 square miles. Info

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Eat Real Cafe 23414 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 254-2237 27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 254-2237Iconic Eats 23460 Cinema Dr, Valencia (661) 481-9404 Grilled Cheese Factory 24201 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 888-1508 Islands 24180 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 284-5903

AMERICAN Backwoods Inn 17846 W. Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 252-5522 The Backyard Grub n’ Brews 26509 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 286-1165 Bergie’s 16404 Delone Street, Canyon Country (661)251-3133 Black Angus 27007 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 288-2000 Black Bear Diner 23626 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 799-4820

Brooklyn Bar & Grill 25860 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 284-6057 The Cheesecake Factory 24250 Town Center Dr #110, Valencia, CA 91355 (661) 286-1232 Claim Jumper 25740 The Old Road, Valencia (661) 254-2628 Crazy Otto’s Diner 25373 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 291-1733 The Daily Harvest Cafe & Juicery 22722 Lyons Ave #6, Newhall (661) 383-9387

Lazy Dog Cafe 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia (661) 253-9996 Mama’s Table 23340 Cinema Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 284-5988 Marston’s Restaurant 24011 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 253-9910 Nealie’s Skillet 25858 Tournament Road, Valencia (661) 678-0031 Newhall Refinery 24258 Main St, Newhall (661) 388-4477 Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co 18810 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 252-7883

Route 66 Classic Grill 18730 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 298-1494 Saddle Ranch Chop House 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia (661) 383-0173 Salt Creek Grille 24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 222-9999 Souplantation 24303 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 286-1260 Stonefire Grill 23300 Cinema Drive, Valencia (661)799-8282 The Old Town Junction 24275 Main Street Newhall (661) 702-4888 The Social 23329 Lyons Ave, Ste A, Valencia (661) 799-9155 Thelma’s Cafe 22876 Copperhill Drive, Saugus (661) 263-8283 Wing Stop 18547 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-9700 Wood Ranch Bar-B-Que & Grill 25580 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-9494


Mama’s Table —

Inspired to serve food and love, just like mom does By Michelle Sathe Signal Staff Writer


avid Cho wears many hats. Come into Mama’s Table Restaurant in Valencia and Cho, the owner, may be your greeter, server, clerk or busboy. Whatever role he plays, Cho always has a smile on his face. That’s because despite 7-day-work weeks, Cho finds the restaurant business pleasurable. “The reason I started this business is so that I can easily interact with people. I enjoy that,” Cho said. “Someone once told me that the restauranteurs are really in the business of making friends and I agree.” Originally from South Korea, Cho has been in the restaurant game for about a decade since initially relocating with his family to Washington. Once a director of a multibillion-dollar business, Cho became fond of diners during frequent business trips here.

Mama’s Table owner David Cho wears many hats including greeter, server, clerk and busboy. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

Cho first ran JD Diner in Washington, turning it around from bankruptcy and A 2-star rating on Yelp to a successful restaurant with a 4.5-star Yelp rating in just 8 years.

In 2016, the Cho family moved to Santa Clarita. They were looking for a space to open a diner-style restaurant and came across the former FreshWorks spot. Transformed into a

clean, yet warm, space, Mama’s Table features comfortable, burnt-orange leather booths around the perimeter with deep wood tables in the center. The name Mama’s Table was inspired by mothers across the planet. “Moms cook good, healthy food for their families, and this is the same concept,” Cho said. “We also give a lot of food, like mom does.” The menu is extensive, featuring breakfast all-day and lots of hearty options sure to satisfy any comfort food craving: a wide range of burgers ($8.95 to $11.95), Philly cheese steak and Reuben sandwiches ($8.95 to $11.50), fish and chips and hot wings ($10.95), as well as classics like stellar pot roast and turkey plates complete with mashed potatoes and gravy ($13.95 and $14.95, respectively). There’s even a half page of Italian specialties to choose from, including a fresh, delicious cappelini alla checa ($11.95) served with two big triangles of garlic toast. See MAMA’S TABLE, page 21

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BBQ Dickeys Barbecue Pit 18742 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 251-0840 L&L Hawaiian BBQ 18727 Via Princessa, Canyon Country (661) 251-8333 Lucille’s Bar-B-Que 24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 255-1227 Q&Q Hawaiian BBQ 27530 Newhall Ranch Road #101, Santa Clarita (661) 383-9098 Rattler’s BBQ 26495 Golden Valley Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-4195 Smokehouse on Main 24255 Main St, Old Town Newhall (661) 888-4585 Wood Ranch Bar-B-Que & Grill 25580 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-9494


Casa Canela 27647 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita (661) 523-7282

Crazy Otto’s Diner 25373 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 291-1733 Egg Plantation 24415 Walnut Street, Newhall (661) 255-8222 Eggs N Things 27560 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 702-8664 Halfway House 15564 W. Sierra Highway, Saugus (661) 251-0102 El Trocadero Mesquite Grill & Cantina 24274 Main Street, Newhall (661) 284-6615 Mama’s Table 23340 Cinema Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 284-5988 Marston’s Restaurant 24011 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 253-9910 Mimi’s Cafe 24201 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia (661) 255-5520

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


BJ’s Restaurant 24320 Town Center Drive, Valencia (661) 288-1299 Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. 18810 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 252-7883 Pocock Brewing Company 24907 Avenue Tibbits, Valencia (661) 775-4899 Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. 27746 N. McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 263-9653

BURGERS/SANDWICHES Bricks 23820 Lyons Ave, Newhall (661) 286-1091 Brother’s Burgers 20655 Soledad Canyon (661) 299-9278

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

Burgerim 23740 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 670-8939

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

Corner Bakery 24290 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 259-2813

Mexican Grill & Bar Explore Our

Delicious @Menu

Get Happy

Happy Hour

3-7pm Tue-Fri Mon All Day Sat & Sun 10am-4pm

Cousins Burgers 19318 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 298-4200 Everest Burgers 18645 Soledad Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91351 (661) 252-3412 Final Score 23754 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 254-6557 Firehouse Subs 23630 Valencia Blvd. Valencia (661) 255-3473 Five Guys 24201 W, Valencia Blvd #3672, Valencia (661) 255-0981 The Habit 25948 N. McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 291-1575 Italia Panetteria & Deli 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 294-9069 Jimmy Dean’s 22941 Lyons Ave, Newhall (661) 255-6315 JJ’s Bar and Grill 25848 Tournament Road, Valencia (661) 799-7557 See DINING GUIDE, next page

A huge thank you to the Santa Clarita community for voting The Old Town Junction “Best New Restaurant” of 2019 and also, voting Chef Otto “Best Chef” for the 2nd year in a row!

(Cantina only)

and place your order for pickup…ONLINE

Happy Hour

Mon-Fri 3:30-5:30

Also inquire about special events, banquets and fund raisers.

25387 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia, CA 91355 (Cross streets – Tourney Rd. & Magic Mountain Pkwy.)


Serving Lunch & Dinner, Monday - Sunday

Hours: Mon - Thurs 10:30am - 10pm, Fri 10:30am - 11pm, Sat 10:00am-11:00pm, Sun 10:00am - 10:00pm

Free Wi-Fi


8am-2pm Every Sat and Sun Lunch Menu starts at 11am


JUNCTION 24275 Main St. Santa Clarita



Chef Daniel Otto

Santa Clarita’s BEST CHEF of 2018 & 2019

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Continued from previous page

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

CHINESE China Express 19417 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-8783 Golden Wok Restaurant 16668 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 424-0888 Grand Panda 23802 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 253-1898 27924 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 297-9868 Mandarin Wong Chinese Restaurant 23758 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 259-5823 Moon Wok 23460 Cinema Drive Suite H, Valencia (661) 288-1898 Pick Up Stix 25960 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 288-2090 WaBa Grill 19120 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 367-7297 31739 Castaic Road, Castaic (661) 295 9222 Wok’s Cookin’ Chinese Restaurant 31565 Castaic Road, Castaic (661) 257-2890

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

DELICATESSEN Bob’s Country Meats 19012 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 251-5995 Cathy’s Delicatessen 23120 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 288-2217 Italia Panetteria & Deli 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 294-9069 Maria’s Italian-American Deli 22620 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 259-6261 Mariciano’s Chicago Style Deli 18635 Soledad Canyon Road (661) 299-1100 The Sandwich Shop 25530 W. Avenue Stanford, Valencia (661) 257-4811

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

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

INDIAN An Indian Affaire 23360 W. Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 288-1200 Karma Restaurant, Bar & Lounge 23460 Cinema Drive, Valencia (661) 288-0080 Royal Tandoor 26532 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 263-7100

ITALIAN Bella Cucina Ristorante Italiano 27911 Seco Canyon Rd, Saugus (661) 263-1414 Buca di Beppo 26940 Theater Drive, Valencia (661) 253-1900 Italia Panetteria & Deli 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 294-9069 Maria’s Italian-American Deli 22620 Lyons Ave, Newhall (661) 259-6261 Numero Uno Pizza 26111 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 252-5011 Olive Garden 27003 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 799-8161 Piccola Trattoria 18302 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 299-6952 Presto Pasta 24375 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia (661) 284-7737

Spumoni Restaurant 24917 W. Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 799-0360

JAPANESE & SUSHI Achita Sushi 22913 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 476-5522

Kogiya 2 Korean BBQ 23410 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 678-0999 Lee’s Korean BBQ & Tofu House 23360 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 254-2307

Bonsai Garden 19358 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-9008

Sam’s Flaming Grill 24802 Orchard Village, Santa Clarita (661) 222-9060 19433 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 298-0115 25347 Wayne Mills Pl, Valencia (661) 254-2154 23874 Copper Hill Dr, Valencia (661) 294-1100

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Dining 27025 McBean Pkwy, Valencia (661) 254-2355

ZingGa Grill 26910 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita (661) 250-7592

Asako Sushi 27540 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country (661) 251-6010

Hibiki Restaurant 27625 Shangri La Dr., Canyon Country (661) 298-0273 I Love Sushi 26526 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita 661-673-5200 Kabuki 24045 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 799-8655 Kisho Japanese Teppan Grill & Revolving Sushi Bar 23430 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 284-3856 Masa Ramen 27051 McBean Pkwy, #101, Valencia (661) 254-4229 My Hot Pot 26238 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 288-1998 Shogun Sushi Japanese Restaurant 26807 Seco Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 513-0015 Sushi 661 26850 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita (661) 252-9831 Sushi Song Japanese Restaurant 22896 Copper Hill Dr, Santa Clarita (661) 297-5659 Xevichez Sushi Bar 24250 Town Center Dr #180, Santa Clarita (661) 288-1477 Yamato Restaurant 24947 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 799-0707

KOREAN & MONGOLIAN Charcoal Korean BBQ Restaurant 19158 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-9292 Genghis Khan 24506 W. Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 254-0351 Gogi House 26524 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 263-0048

MEDITERRANEAN Cafe O 20655 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 424-0401 Flame & Skewers 25870 McBean Parkway, Valencia (661) 799-7538 Grill Kabob 27653 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 263-7445 Kebab House 24201 Valencia Blvd, Valencia (661) 799-5844 Manoushee Mediterranean Restaurant 27131 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country (661) 251-6666 Olive Terrace Cafe 28261 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 257-7860 Zankou Chicken 24463 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia (661) 705-7265

MEXICAN Azul Tequila 25387 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 254-5500 Cabo Cabana Restaurant 25710 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 222-7022 Casa Pasilla 27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 295-1989 Dario’s Mexican Restaurant 24523 Newhall Avenue, Newhall (661) 255-6868 El Trocadero Mesquite Grill & Cantina 24274 Main Street, Newhall (661) 284-6615 La Cocina Bar & Grill 28022 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 297-4546 Las Rocas Mexican Grill 27923 Sloan Canyon Road Castaic (661) 257-6905 Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant 19319 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita (661) 367-4945

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MEXICAN Rosarito Grill 19425 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-2732 Solita Tacos & Margaritas 24201 Valencia Blvd., Suite 3470, Santa Clarita (661) 291-1399

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

PIZZA Ameci Pizza & Pasta 28013 Seco Canyon, Santa Clarita (661) 296-6131 Chi Chi’s Pizza 27117 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country (661) 252-4405 23043 Soledad Canyon Road, Saugus (661) 259-4040 Magic Pizza SCV 26870 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 291-1921 Mama Mia Pizza 25708 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch (661) 286-9183 Pizza Di Marco 27674 Newhall Ranch Rd, Valencia 661-295-8769 Pizza Rev 24341 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia (661) 260-1257


Continued from page 18

Mama’s Table also features four homemade soups every day, including a tortilla soup that’s a cross between vegetable soup and chili and silky, smooth, satisfying baked potato. Salads (chicken, shrimp, or tuna, $9.95 half or $11.95 whole) are substantial here, with lots of good stuff packed on top of a fresh bed of mixed iceberg, romaine, purple cabbage and carrots. Bonus: salad dressings, like creamy, flavorful blue cheese, are made on the premises. Cho says popular breakfast options include the fresh corned-beef hash topped with eggs of your choice, and a chicken-fried steak ($10.95), all served with your choice of toast. To top your toast, make a stop at the jelly/jam bar, which features a bright blueberry, a tangy orange marmalade and a stellar strawberry, all made inhouse. As for substitutions and special

Tomato Joes Pizza & Taps 19167 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita (661) 250-7550 Tomato Joes Pizza Express 27732 McBean Pkwy. Valencia (661) 263-8646 Toppers Pizza 23710 Valencia Blvd, Santa Clarita (805) 385-4444

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

THAI Life Thai Fusion 22911 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (661) 259-9226 Mom Can Cook Thai Kitchen 18358 Soledad Canyon Rd, Cyn Country (661) 251-8103 Original Thai BBQ Restaurant 27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 257-6421

Home Made Flavor, Home Made Desserts

Weekend Breakfast Special Fri, Sat + Sun

8 oz. New York Steak and Eggs $14.99 8 oz. Rib Eye Steak and Eggs $17.99

Homemade Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Made with Mama’s Love!

Siam Rice II 25845 Railroad Ave, Santa Clarita (661) 287-0099

VIETNAMESE Pho Sure 23876 Copper Hill Drive, Valencia (661) 257-3888

orders, Cho is all for it. “If possible, I always say yes to my customers.” Anyone with a sweet tooth will have a hard time passing up a slice of homemade apple, peach, cherry, coconut cream, or chocolate cream pie sitting atop the counter or strawberry cheesecake ($3.95) or a thick milkshake (vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate $4.50) showcased in the refrigerated case up front. Mama’s Table recently celebrated its second anniversary and when the third one rolls around, Cho is hoping the business is steady enough for him and his wife, who cooks at the restaurant, to take a break for missionary work. “We want to be used for God’s purpose and be a part of His plan,” Cho said. Mama’s Table, 23340 Cinema Drive, Valencia. Open 7 am to 9 pm daily. Beer and wine available. For more information, call (661) 284-5988 or visit

Homemade Cooking!

4 Homemade Soups Served Daily Turkey Noodle, French Onion Clam Chowder, Taco Tortilla

nior Spec Homemade 15e% ial O FF Jelly Bar! S

Mond W/Cou ay- F pon M rida ust Beve y, 7am- be over rages 9 5 not inpm exp 5 clude 8/23 /1 d


Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange Marmalade, Green Tomato


23340 Cinema Dr Valencia CA 91355

online order by Postmates • DoorDash • Uber Eats

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‘American Pie’ singer coming to the Canyon By Perry Smith Sunday Signal Editor


or an artist who’s been on the recording charts for nearly 50 years, Don McLean travels pretty well. Last Friday, he played New York; then the following week, he was in Ojai. And before he flies to the Netherlands for a show at the end

of the month, Santa Clarita Valley music fans will have a chance to hear an American classic straight from the source on Saturday, Aug. 17 at The Canyon Santa Clarita. The artist who brought us “American Pie,” one of the most celebrated and covered songs of all time, as well as “Castles in the Air”, “And I Love You So” and “Crying,” to name a few, still regularly tours.

An artist who’s amassed more than 40 gold and platinum records over the years, and a 2004 induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, McLean still enjoys playing his mellow, folksy brand of music, which has been performed and reconfigured in numerous genres for generations now, in front of live crowds. While the artist shows no signs of slowing, it’s a great opportunity to

catch the 73-year-old star at a live show. Find the Canyon Santa Clarita on the ground floor of the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Get tickets at the box office 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, by phone at (888) 645-5006, or via For more info, visit Wheremusicmeets

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Family-fun August events as the summer wraps up By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


t’s hard to believe that summer is winding down for school-age children. Most schools in the Santa Clarita Valley are set to open their doors for the 2019-'20 school year this week. However, to ease the transition to the school routine, here are some fun August adventures that hopefully you can make room for in between homework and weekly spelling tests.

Right: The Annual Wrightwood Classic Car show features more than 300 classic cars, food vendors and entertainment for the entire family. Below: Wings Over Camarillo offers vintage aircraft performing stunts, as well experimental aircraft and WWII fighters. There will also be a WWII re-enactment camp.

Aug. 16-25

Antelope Valley Fair AV Fair and Event Center, 2551 W. Avenue H, Lancaster Info There’s nothing as fun as a county fair. Eat funnel cakes, corn dogs and deep-fried candy bars. Climb aboard old-time carnival rides, win a stuffed animal on the midway and visit the farm animals. Attend a free concert or wander through the inspirational gardens of the Floriculture department. Make sure to check out all of the exhibits and displays throughout the fair. You might want to enter one of the cooking contests, as well.

Aug. 17-18, 4-5:30 p.m.

Getty Garden Concerts for Kids Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles Info families/programs/garden_concerts. html Free outdoor concert series for kids and their families in the Getty Center’s Central Garden. The Lucky Band will perform. Admission to the Getty is free. Parking is $15.

Aug. 17-18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wings Over Camarillo Camarillo Airport, 555 Airport Way, Camarillo Info This family-friendly annual air show will be held the first weekend after school starts and offers vintage aircraft performing in-air stunts, as well experimental aircraft and WWII fighters. Get up close and personal with the planes, pilots and crews. Aerobatic performances scheduled daily noon-4 p.m. The show also offers pet adoptions, antique cars and

Above and Right: The Antelope Valley fair is a great place enjoy the typical fair features from carnival games to fair food to concerts in the arena.

motorcycles, helicopter and airplane rides, a War Veteran’s tent, WWII re-enactment camp, and food and street vendors. Tickets: Adults $25, students ages 6-12 $10. Free parking and shuttle service.

Aug. 17 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

25th annual Wrightwood Mountain Classic Car Show 1350 Highway 2 (Angeles Crest Highway), Wrightwood Info events/3744405.html Take one last summer drive into the mountains to admire a range of beautiful classic cars at the 25th annual Wrightwood Classic Car show. This car show features more than 300 classic pre-1973 cars, as well as food,

vendors and entertainment.

Aug. 23-25

D23 Expo, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim Info The largest Disney fan event in the world, D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including the best of Disney, Marvel, Pixar and “Star Wars” across film, television, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment and more. D23 Expo 2019 marks the sixth biennial Expo held in Anaheim.

Aug. 28, 5:30-10 p.m.

End of Summer Celebration Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso

Drive, La Cañada Flintridge Info event/end-of-summer-celebration Say goodbye to summer in style with this fun, family-friendly garden party. The gardens stay open extra late for the End of Summer Celebration. Grab a cold drink and relax to the tunes of the The Flashdance DJs, wander through the gardens to the sounds of live music. Enjoy the sunset, then end the night with some stargazing in the Oak Woodland. Bring your own flashlight. Tickets: General $9, seniors 65 and over/students with ID $6, children (5 to 12 years) $4. Must purchase tickets in advance on the Descanso Gardens website.

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= Family Friendly Event

24525 Town Center Drive, Valencia Thursday, August 15, 7-10 p.m. An unmistakably tropical vibe will come to Main Street as SENSES Block Party celebrates Havana Nights. Enjoy the sounds of Latin jazz and learn new dances, such as the tango and salsa. Grab a friend and come enjoy some festive adult fun right here in Santa Clarita. Friday, August 16, 8-11 p.m. Join the Friends of Hart Park and Museum for free movies under the stars featuring “Mary Poppins Returns.” will be selling snow cones, popcorn, candy and drinks. Bring your chairs, blankets, towels, etc. 24151 Newhall Ave., Santa Clarita. Info: Saturday, August 17, 10 a.m. to noon. Raising the Curtain Foundation is producing the live radio play “The Man with Bogart’s Face.” The cast consists of 9 men, 5 women, with some characters speaking in dialects and actors playing multiple roles. The audition will consist of a cold read. Newhall Family Theater for the Performing Arts, 24607 Walnut St., Santa Clarita. Info: newhallfamilytheatre. com/events/live-radio-play-auditions/ Saturday, August 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join Barn and Charm for a Calligraphy 101 workshop of creativity, relaxation, learning a new skill and lots of fun with Kathy Tanabe as your teacher. Start a new spring learning a new skill that you will find useful throughout the year. In this workshop you will receive a booklet along with all the necessary tools and goodies to take home to continue your new craft. Refreshments will be served. $85. Call to reserve a spot. 22700 Lyons Ave., Ste A, Santa Clarita (661) 255-5466.

Saturday, August 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come to an open house at the Mondays, 10 a.m. Toddler Hart Museum. Rather than tours scheduled Storytime at the Children’s Stage, throughout the day, you are free to explore the with various children’s books read to museum as it suits your needs. We will focus on toddlers and parents. Barnes & Noble, 23630 film (silents, Westerns, early talkies) and Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita. Info: stores. hands-on activities related to the subject of the day. William S. Hart Museum, 24151 Mondays, 11-11:45 a.m. House Newhall Ave., Santa Clarita. Info: hartmuseum. of Bounce is offering Princess org/experience-hart Storytime. Foster a lifelong love of reading Saturday, August 17, noon to 1:30 p.m. as your child joins a live character guest for Premier Martial Arts will host a free constories, bubbles, dancing and crafts. centration seminar that every child who is Westfield Valencia Town Center Suite no. challenged to focus should take. This session 2312, Valencia. Info: houseofbouncevalencia. will benefit your children as they attempt to com/events/month tackle the challenges of math, science and English. The session will be followed Every Tuesday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. by a pizza party and a few games. 17750 The Community Drumming Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita. Info: Experience is an hour of fun entry-levevents/688791734879428/ el experiential music making with drums and percussion that is accessible Saturday, August 17, 2-4 p.m. In partnerto anyone who wants to participate. All levels ship with the Old Town Newhall Library, a unit of ability are welcome and no prior musical of the Santa Clarita Library system, the Santa experience is necessary. Drums and percusClarita Historical Society presents a lecture sion instruments provided at no cost. by Jean-Guy Dube based on his new book Remo Music Center, 28101 Industry Drive, “Railroad Depots — A Southern Pacific Valencia, Santa Clarita. Info: Collection.” Dube was awarded the national events/302675810411528/?event_time_ Leicester B. Holland Prize for 2017 by the id=302675867078189 National Park Service and Library of Congress, professional draftsman and apprenticing EVENTS BY DATE architect Jean-Guy Dubé has researched and written about Southern Pacific depots since Sunday, August 11, 2-3 p.m. Arthritis 1983. Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main St., Foundation Live Yes! Connect brings adults with Santa Clarita. Info: arthritis and rheumatoid conditions together to share their experiences. This month’s Saturday, August 17, 7 p.m. Comedian topic is music, deep breathing and gentle moveAdam Yenser will perform at JR’s Comedy Club. ments. The event is free, contact Sarah Nelson to Yenser is an Emmy Award winning writer RSVP at (763) 360-9965 or sarahn.lycsc@gmail. for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” who comcom. Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center, bines sharp observational jokes with uniquely conservative political humor and was named Best New Political Comedian of 2015 at Politicon. $20. 24201 Magic Mountain Parkway Santa Clarita. Info: ONLINE CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Walsh for correctly event.cfm?id=530564 identifying Italia Panetteria on page 21. Sunday, August 18, 11:30 a.m. Wolf Creek Identify this advertiser and the page number in this week’s Brewery and Longshot Cornhole will host a issue, and you will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate for cornhole tournament to raise funds for the a local restaurant. Valley Jethawks Baseball Club to go to All Star One game and one winner each week. Village in Cooperstown, New York. First place Mail your entry to The Signal – Contest wins $300, second place wins $100. $60 26330 Diamond Also Placeinquire | Santaabout Clarita, CA 91350 special events, banquets and fund raisers. per two person team. Wolf Creek Brewery, Or email 25387 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia, CA 91355 25108 Rye Canyon Loop, Santa Clarita. Info: Advertiser: _____________________________ Page # ______ Name: _____________________________________________ Sunday, August 18, 2-3 p.m. Come to the Address: ___________________________________________ Placerita Canyon Nature Center for a lecture with Linda Castro, assistant policy director Phone: _____________________________________________ for the Oakland-based California Wilderness This week’s entries are due Wed. August 21 Coalition, who will provide an informative preWinner to be announced in 2 weeks. sentation on the California Desert National






Conservation Lands. You’ll learn what they are, how and when they were designated, and how they are now under threat. 19152 Placerita Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita. Info: events/426408588219444/ Monday, August 19, 6:30 p.m. Taking her inspiration from nature, Abby Diamond creates colorful, unique and evocative landscape collages using torn pieces of magazine paper. Diamond will demonstrate paper collage at the free public meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association. Barnes & Noble 23630 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita. Info: Tuesday, August 20, 7-10:30 p.m. Come to the 10th annual Burrito Bowl Committee burrito eating contest fundraiser to support six local high schools. Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia, Santa Clarita. Info: Thursday, August 22, 7:30-10 p.m. Back by popular demand, the 8th Annual Comics for the Cause event brings together numerous talented and hilarious comics all under one roof to make you laugh and raise awareness for the Youth Project! Laurie Kilmartin, Steve Simeone, and Jimmy Shubert are confirmed to perform. $40-55. Info: helpnothassle. org/8th-annual-comics-for-the-cause-2-2 Saturday, August 24, 6:30-10:30 a.m. Join the Paseo Club’s 7th annual triathlon! A portion of all proceeds will go to A Light of Hope in its mission to provide healing and freedom for youth and families in our community. The race will consist of a 150 yard swim, 10 mile bike and a 1.25 mile run. The kids triathlon, 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike and 1.25 run. 27650 Dickason Dr, Valencia, Santa Clarita. Info: Saturday, August 24, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Do you have questions or concerns about state issues, or need help with unclaimed property or dealing with a state agency? Sen. Scott Wilk’s office will be holding mobile district office hours at the Newhall Farmers Market. No appointment necessary. 24500 Main St, Santa Clarita. Info: (661) 286-1471 Saturday, August 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join museum scientists and educators, and Placerita Canyon staff and volunteers, to discover the natural wonders of Placerita Canyon at the free community science meetup. Guided hikes, nature-inspired crafts, story times, and light snacks will be provided. Guided hikes will include pro-tips on how to take photos of wildlife. 19152 Placerita Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita. Info: events/681925135613835/

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Several steps to prepare for back-to-school

teacher and learn about the classroom routine,” she said. Carson also encourages parents to join the school PTA and see if they can volunteer in the child’s classroom. “Involved parents are important to schools and to children,” she said. Another way to show support is by giving positive feedback. “How you speak to your child is very important,” said Carson. “Words are powerful.” Learning the best ways to motivate your child, without causing negative emotions, is key to creating an empowered, successful child.

By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


ack-to-school preparation is important to starting the new school year on the right foot,” says retired school teacher Joyce Carson, who taught for 35 years at Sulphur Springs Community School in Canyon Country. Here are some of her recommendations to get the year started off right.


Enough sleep is one of the most important factors to your child’s success in school. Sleepy children are not efficient learners. “Summer vacation is a time where many children stay up late and sleep in,” said Carson. “It is important to reset your child’s internal sleep clock” as soon as you can.

Homework station

Find a quiet, distraction-free place for your child to do homework. And, try to schedule homework at the same time each day. Most families have busy lives between school, work, sports and other activities, but having a routine helps the process run more smoothly. If your child completes homework in an after-school program, be sure to review it when you get home.

School orientation

Does your child know what to expect on the first day? A new school, a new teacher, even a new classroom can be scary. Explain what is different, and what will be the same this year. Have an emergency plan. For example, who will pick up your child if you can’t get to school because of car trouble or traffic? Teach your child to memorize important phone numbers and the full names of people they can trust. Practice with your child if there is a new drop-off or pick-up location at your child’s school. If possible, show them where their new classroom is located.

Menu planning

Talk to your child about food. Paying for school lunches may be easy, but do they serve food your child wants to eat? Packing a lunch may be a healthier option. Don’t forget to send snacks, especially if your child is involved in an after-school program. Also, get your child involved with choosing


snacks and food. This will help them understand the importance of nutrition.

Set a routine

Some children crave a routine, and many parents need a routine for their own sanity. It is important to restore the “school-day” routine for your child, especially younger children as soon as you can. Begin to limit screen time according to rules you have in place during the school year. Encourage your child to make reading a regular part of their routine. Read to your younger children at a set time each day. And, encourage older children to read what interests them, said Carson. “It doesn’t matter if it is a comic book, as long as they develop a love of reading,” she said. “Let children pick out their own reading material, then dedicate a time for them to read each day. It is important parents read, too. Model behavior you want your children to copy.”

Be organized

Make sure your children are organized for school. Make a plan and stick to it. One way to organize school work is to have an “in basket” where your children can put important papers for you to review. This could include permission slips, test results, school notices and other important papers. For younger children, make sure they have a dedicated place for their backpack. As a parent, it is your job to check your child’s backpack for important school papers and homework assignments. However, also teach your children to be responsible for important school assignments and exams.

“You can find inexpensive colorful baskets for children to put their school papers into,” Carson said. “I have a bright pink basket for my granddaughter’s papers and we pull everything out of her backpack and put the papers into the basket immediately.”

Support them and their school

Carson said it is important for parents to attend Back-to-School nights at the beginning of the year. “It is a great way to meet your child’s

Set goals

Finally, goal-setting is an important life skill. Teach your children the importance of setting goals. “Teachers are required to set classroom goals at the beginning of each year,” Carson said. “Your child should set their own individual goals as well. It is a practice that will serve them well in life. It is never too late to start teaching children, even high schoolers, the importance of personal goal setting.”

Getting children the homework help they need


omework has long been a way to reinforce lessons learned in the classroom and ensure that the learning process continues when students leave school each day. A recent survey of teachers conducted by the University of Phoenix College of Education found that high school teachers assign about 17.5 hours of homework each week (3.5 hours per class), middle school teachers assign about 3.2 and elementary school teachers assign about 2.9 hours per week. Thanks to ever-evolving curricula and new problem-solving methodologies — particularly in mathematics — parents may no longer have the expertise to help their children with their homework, leading to confusion and frustration. So where does a parent and student turn when homework has become challenging? Students who are struggling should not feel embarrassed about the fact

that homework has become an issue. They should speak with their parents, teachers or school counselors if they are having difficulty with their homework. Teachers can be important resources because they can give specific advice on assignments or strategies for tackling complex processes. Families also can do their best to make the environment at home conducive to homework. Scholastic suggests setting up a schedule that includes a time indicating when assignments must be completed, and setting up a quiet, distraction-free zone for doing homework to help kids concentrate on their assignments. Students can tackle harder assignments first, as they will likely take the bulk of the time, and then move on to the easier assignments. If homework is taking a long time to complete, parents can speak to teachers about when it might be right to offer youngsters some extra help. (MC)

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Donna’s Day: Creative Family Fun

Tap into the power of fresh flowers


ou can have your cake and blossoms too,” was the greeting my friend Janet proclaimed when she arrived for coffee time on my deck. Carrying a freshly baked BlueberryLime Pound Cake recipe from Fine Cooking magazine, the allure of her culinary presentation wasn’t just about the yummy cake. Ringing the confection were eye-popping clusters of bright orange and yellow organic nasturtiums. The delightful decoration of natural blooms she had just picked from her garden turned a simple get-together into an event. Tap into the power of fresh flowers that are in full bloom right now.

Let your kids pick their favorites and enjoy “flower play” as you create something together. It can be as easy as tossing rose petals down the center of your dinner table. There’s an idea for everyone.

1. Set a pretty bloom and floating candles in a clear glass bowl or wide-mouthed vase half-filled with water. Set on a patio table and light the candles for an al-fresco family supper. 2. Tuck an aromatic gardenia in your daughter’s hair for an eye-catching ‘do. No need for perfume with nature’s floral scent. 3. Press a flower in a summer jour-

nal. It will be a treasured keepsake when you thumb through the pages this winter. 4. Make a basic arrangement in a water-filled vase following the simple principle of using a focal flower, such as a rose, and adding a few smaller flowers, such as daisies, along with a pretty vine or hosta leaves. When kids do the creating, the look will be less contrived and more informal. Name the flowers as you clip and arrange them together. 5. At a family party, top an icecream cone or cupcakes with edible flowers such as pansies and johnny jump-ups. Or, for a

CLIP N SAVE Elementary School Menus

unique presentation, arrange a few nontoxic flowers in a narrow jar or vase, and place it in the center space of an angel food cake. Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” © 2019 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

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

(choice of one entree, seasonal fruit and milk)



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ccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental caries, or tooth decay, is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that children with dental caries in their baby teeth are at much greater risk for cavities in their adult teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to the acids that can contribute to tooth decay. Parents, even those whose children do not yet have any teeth, can discuss fluoride drops or chewable fluoride tablets with their youngsters’ pediatricians. The CDC notes that more than 40% of children have tooth decay before reaching kindergarten, but dental caries is often preventable. Parents who are diligent about their children’s oral care and mindful of potential problems, such as stains on the teeth, can reduce their sons’ and daughters’ risk of tooth decay. (MC)

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Michele makes ice cream … a cool, sweet treat By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


t’s summer in the Santa Clarita Valley. It’s hot. What can you do with the family that’s fun and gives you a sweet, cool treat as a reward? One of the simple joys of summer is ice cream. A great family activity is making homemade ice cream with your kids. Experimenting with flavors and ice cream recipes is one of my favorite summer past times.

Making ice cream

There are a few ways to make ice cream. Most ice cream recipes can be “churned” in just about any ice cream maker you purchase. Your choice of ice cream maker can be inexpensive or high end. Hand crank, electric crank, freezer bowl or ice cream compressor, spend as much, or as little, as you want. There’s just nothing that compares to homemade ice cream. You can even make ice cream in a bag. This is a great exercise for children. It’s a fun activity that rewards your child with a treat they made themselves.

Use 2 cups of your favorite mix-ins. Follow the directions on your ice cream maker as to the use of mix-ins. These can include: • Brownie chunks • Toffee bits • Cookie dough • Swirls of salted caramel sauce • Reese’s Pieces • Chopped up candy bars • Gummy bears • M&Ms • Berries • Fruit

Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream

My mother’s favorite ice cream was Butter Brickle. She always had a quart of Darigold Butter Brickle Ice Cream in the freezer. As a little girl I loved it, too. Then, one day, Butter Brickle disappeared from the grocery store freezer. I was confused. It must just be a temporary absence, right? Decades have passed. No Butter Brickle ice cream to be found. Yes, there is “toffee this” and “salted

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

This basic recipe works with just about any home ice cream maker and serves six. 1 3/4 cups heavy cream 1 1/4 cup whole milk 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt 1 tbsp. vanilla extract Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add sugar and salt. Warm the mixture over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add remaining cream, milk and vanilla extract. Stir until combined and place into refrigerator to chill (about an hour).

Take Basic Vanilla Ice Cream and add in all sorts of goodies to turn your ice cream from delicious to incredible.

Butter Brickle Sauce 1 1/4 2 1/2 1/2

tbsp. butter cup packed brown sugar tbsp. heavy cream tsp. vanilla tsp. salt

Butter Brickle Ice Cream 2 3 1 4 2 1 1 1/2

cups half and half tbsp. butter cup brown sugar tbsp. toffee sauce cups heavy cream tsp. vanilla cup toffee bits tsp. salt

Sauce Add butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in saucepan and stir until butter melts. Simmer over medium-low heat without stirring for three minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Cool.

Ice Cream Add butter, brown sugar and half and half over medium heat until butter and sugar combine. Add the sauce and vanilla and mix. Chill minimum of 4 hours; preferably overnight. Add heavy cream and process in ice cream machine. Add the toffee bits at the end just to mix them in. Freeze a minimum of four hours before serving.

Way-Too-Easy Vanilla ice cream Way-Too-Easy Vanilla Ice Cream in a Bag 1 2 1 3 1/3

cup half-and-half tbsp. sugar tsp. vanilla cups ice cup kosher salt Toppings of your choice (chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, strawberries or chocolate chips).



In a small plastic bag that you can seal (like a Ziplock bag), combine half-andhalf, sugar and vanilla. Squeeze the air out of the bag and make sure it is completely sealed shut.


Into a large gallon-size resealable bag, combine the ice and salt.



When ready to churn, whisk mixture briskly then pour into your ice cream maker. Churn with mix-ins (see list below) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Make it Better

caramel” that, but none of it is real Butter Brickle. I have searched high and low for the Darigold ice cream recipe to no avail. Butter Brickle was the registered trademark of a toffee ice cream flavoring and of a candy bar produced by Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy Company from Sioux Falls, S.D. The ice cream was first sold in the 1920s at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. In the 1970s, the trademark and formula were sold to Heath Bar then acquired by The Hershey Company in 1996. This is a two-part recipe. A butter toffee sauce to give the ice cream that butterscotch flavor and the ice cream recipe itself. The “butter brickle” bits I remember were more butterscotch than toffee, but this is a recipe still in refinement. For now, toffee bits will suffice.


Place the small bag inside the bigger bag. Make sure to cover the small bag of ice cream with the ice/salt mixture before sealing the larger bag.

Shake for 8-10 minutes. The finished ice cream is rich and smooth, and has firmed up.

Scrape the ice cream out of the bag, cover with toppings and enjoy. Tip To give your kids a chance to experiment, offer them a choice of extracts to add flavoring to the vanilla ice cream

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Fill trenches with slurry to avoid sink, second floor tiling By Robert Lamoureux Signal Contributing Writer

Slurry after escavation Hello Robert, My name is Jerry F. I live in Santa Clarita and I’m not sure if you’ve ever answered questions on commercial properties. I’m hoping you can help me on this, it’s not a big deal, but I have a concern. I have the cable company who wants to go onto my property and trench about 18 inches wide, going back about 150 feet. My concern is that any time I’ve seen this being done, they cut the concrete open, due what they have to do and after everything is put back and time passes, you see this 18” wide concrete area sinking. This is the last thing I want to have happen on my property. How do I ensure that this wouldn’t happen here?

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After digging a trench through a concrete-covered area, fill it back up not with dirt but with a slurry of Portland cement and sand.

They’re asking me permission and I’d like to oblige but I also need to protect the property. I’m a computer guy and don’t understand a lot about construction, so looking to you for guidance. — Jerry F. Jerry, It’s simple. When they do their excavation, depending on what they’re spec’d out at, they’ll go down 18 to 24 inches for their dig. Once they install their cables then it is time for the important part. You don’t want them putting the dirt back. You want them to slurry the excavated area. Slurry is typically a 6-sack mix of Portland cement and sand, which is the equivalent of 90% compaction, if you were to use a compactor. This will ensure that there won’t be any sinking. The other thing that

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can be done but with this slurry mix generally isn’t, is that they can add some rebar. If it is a bargaining chip for you to get this done, you can ask that every 24 inches a piece of rebar be installed into the existing concrete on either side, and this will be extra insurance. You truly won’t need this with the slurry, but if you feel better, then request it. When they do this, they’ll leave it about 4 inches from fill, let it set up for a week and then they’ll come back and finish the concrete. This method will give you a good finished area that will not sink. Good luck on this. — Robert Tiling above the threshold Hi Robert, I live in Canyon Country and recently had some tile put down onto my second floor deck. This was about a month ago. I have plants up there and water them, and wash down and now I’m seeing wet spots in my living room. I called the tile contractor back and he said it’s not from his work. I’ve sent you photos, about 20 with close ups, can you tell what is causing this? — Ilene F. Ilene, It’s very clear what is causing this. Thank you for the many photos. They tell the story completely. The tile has been set atop the deck and now the height of it is above the threshold. So it is acting like a pocket or funnel, and the water is traveling via the path of least resistance,

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heading to your living room. First things first, if this area is wet enough, it needs to be dried out to prevent mold. Opening the drywall may be necessary, and until this problem is fixed, no more washing down on that new tile. Definitely get this fixed prior to the rains, as you’ll end up with a mess inside your home. Bring the tile contractor back out. He is the central cause of this. The tile should have never been put higher than the threshold, and truthfully it should have never been put onto the decking system. The decking system needs to breath, and if it is worn and in need of an aesthetic improvement, then it should have been redone instead of having tile put onto it. Keep in mind the weight added to the deck also. You may be compromising the structural integrity, if it is too much weight for how the deck was engineered. Do yourself a favor, remove the tile and redo the decking system, you’ll be much happier without the worry/ water intrusion issues. Good luck. — Robert Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at

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S U N D AYS I G N A L · 2 9


Paneling: a design trend making a come back


esign trends come and go, but some have a funny way of resurfacing years after they first became popular. Homeowners who may have been considering renovating their home to remove a design element they believe to be passé might want to see if that feature has experienced a resurgence in popularity. In fact, one of the more derided home decor trends of yesteryear has slowly crept back into style, albeit in moderation. Wood paneling is back and better than ever, advise many design professionals. It’s the formerly ugly duckling that filled homes starting in the 1950s, creating drab dens and faux-wood family rooms. Paneling had long been an element of choice because it is relatively easy to install and can camouflage problem walls in a home, like those covered in boisterous wallpaper prints. Wood paneling reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, and since then homeowners have been tearing down these faux offenders for years or masking them in paint to brighten up spaces. However, the experts at Apartment Therapy report that wood paneling in shades of brown are making a comeback in cozy spots such as dens or studies. The warm tones of wood paneling elicit a retro vibe. But unlike their fake predecessors, today’s paneled walls are being outfitted in real wood, making them more eco-friendly and stylish than ever before. Designers have flocked to re-

Wood paneling reached its peak of popularity in the 1970s. However, it is making its way back into homes.

claimed wood and veneer panelings to incorporate them into design elements. And while wood paneling used to be hung vertically, designers now experiment with hanging paneling. Many people no longer use paneling to cover an entire space. Paneling is used sparingly as an accent wall or another feature for character. Wood walls can be stained in a rich mahogany to look upscale or be weathered and rustic. Homeowners who are ready to re-embrace wood paneling can choose to enhance one wall in a room. Think about the space above a fireplace or a strip of wall behind a sitting chair and side table. Paneling also can serve as a headboard behind a bed in a master

suite. Painted horizonally, paneling can add dimension and texture to walls, even in a bathroom.

Wood paneling is slowly making a comeback, proving that no design trend ever truly goes away. (MC)

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Cameron Smyth has a heart for public service By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer


ity Councilman Cameron Smyth currently serves as mayor pro tem for the City of Santa Clarita. Per tradition, in December, Smyth is expected to be elected by his fellow councilmembers to a one-year term as mayor. This isn’t the first time he has served as mayor. His previous terms were in 2003, 2005 and 2017. In 1999, Smyth married his wife, Lena. “We just celebrated 20 years,” he said. The couple have three children: Gavin, 15; Rowan, 13; and Kenley, 9.

A native son

Smyth was born at Huntington Memorial Hospital on Aug. 19, 1971, in Pasadena to Sue and Clyde Smyth. His father, an educator, had been named principal of Placerita Junior High School in 1969. “My parents and older brother had lived in Sierra Madre, but the family moved to the Santa Clarita Valley the year I was born,” Smyth said. “Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital was not yet built, and the 210 freeway had just been opened, so they decided to keep the same doctors they had for my brother Colin.” Smyth attended Peachland Elementary School, Placerita Junior High and Hart High School before majoring in rhetoric and communications at the University of California, Davis where he received his bachelor’s degree. He lettered in track, volleyball and football in high school. “In football, I played wide receiver and free safety,” he said. In college, Smyth played volleyball and football the first year, then focused on football, where he was a wide receiver, for the remaining three years. Today, Smyth still lives in Newhall, not far from where he grew up. “Except for college, and a short stint living in Valencia, I’ve lived in the Happy Valley area of Newhall my entire life,” he said. “I currently live three minutes, at most, from the house I grew up in, and where my mother still lives.” Smyth’s children are attending the same schools he did as a child. “It is

From left: Cameron Smyth, Rowan, Kenley, Lena and Gavin. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

fun to see all three of my kids following the same path,” he said.

Growing up in Santa Clarita

“Growing up in the SCV was great,” Smyth said. “It was one of the reasons I chose to stay here and raise my kids, because of the great experiences I had growing up.” Smyth said the SCV was much more rural than it is now, with no mall and just a few shopping centers. Newhall Ranch Road and Golden Valley Road had yet to be built, and the population hovered around 65,000, compared to more than 250,000 residents today. “I had the very traditional 1970s and 1980s childhood where we spent our summers playing the sport of the season out in the street, until the street lights came on, drinking from the garden hose, leaving the house after breakfast, getting on our bikes, coming home for lunch, then back out until the end of the day,” he said. “It was different than what my kids are experiencing, but Santa Clarita is still a great place to grow up.”

Clyde and Sue Smyth

Smyth’s parents were well-known in the Santa Clarita Valley during his youth.

Clyde Smyth served as principal of Placerita Junior High School from 1969 until he was named superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District in 1974. He retired from the position in 1992. “The fact my dad was able to stay as superintendent is really a testament to his ability and his success in the job,” said Smyth. “Most superintendents don’t last almost 20 years. It’s just not the nature of the job.” Smyth’s mother, Sue, was a teacher at Peachland Elementary when Smyth attended the school. “The joke was always that if I got busted for something before lunch, my mom would hear about it in the lunchroom,” he said. His father was Hart District superintendent while Smyth was in junior high and high school. Smyth said his father endured some contentious times as superintendent with teacher contract disputes. “My dad always made it clear to my brother and I. If a teacher disagreed with him, it wasn’t up to us to fight his battles,” he said. “We were to show that teacher nothing but respect.” Clyde Smyth died in January 2012 at age 80.

Back to the SCV

After graduation, Smyth returned home to help with his father’s campaign for Santa Clarita City Council. Clyde Smyth, now retired, had decided to continue his life of community service by running for public office. In April of 1994, he was elected to the council and served as mayor in 1997. “After college, I went to work for my dad’s campaign. I was much more nervous on my dad’s election night than I ever was on mine. I think that’s normal. I am more nervous at my son’s soccer games than I ever was at mine,” he said. “My assignment was to sit at City Hall and call my dad every time a precinct was announced. When the final precinct came in, he won by eight votes. After the recount dad ended up doubling his victory and earning the nickname of “Landslide Clyde.” Cameron Smyth then completed an internship with then-Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon-R, Santa Clarita, followed by a brief job with the California state Republican party. Smyth then became the Santa Clarita field representative for state Assemblyman Pete Knight. He worked

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S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3 1

PROFILE for Knight from 1994-2000, and was his campaign manager when Knight was elected to the California Senate in 1996. Newly married, Smyth decided to switch to the private sector and went to work in communications for Shell Oil Company from 2000-05.

Santa Clarita City Council

“I ran for City Council in 1998 after my dad finished his term, and I lost,” Smyth said. “That was a real pivotal time for me to make a decision on which direction I wanted to go. I took a couple weeks feeling sorry for myself and finally got some perspective. Everybody who had beaten me had run before and lost.” Smyth was 26 at the time and feels he wasn’t mature enough to run a successful campaign. “I decided to run again in 2000, and do all the things I had advised other candidates running for City Council to do. If I lost, I would know that I had put everything I could into it and I could live with that.” He was elected to the council in 2000 at age 28. He served as mayor in

Lena Smyth (center) runs lines with Kenley (left) and Rowan for an upcoming audition.

2003 at age 31, and was re-elected in 2004. Smyth became a state Assemblyman representing Santa Clarita in 2006 which required him to resign from the City Council.

A heart for service

Smyth left the Legislature in 2012 and went to work in the private sector for Molina Healthcare as vice president of state affairs. “When I was

termed out of the assembly, I still had a heart for service,” he said. “However, it was time for me to come back home and be a better husband and a better father. “Spending eight months of the year in Sacramento, I missed a lot of my kids’ development and my daughter was born when I was in theAssembly. Lena was basically a single mom

during that time.” After getting his new job and reconnecting with Santa Clarita, Smyth found himself being encouraged to run again for Santa Clarita City Council. “I hadn’t thought about it, but once that idea was put forward, it seemed to be a perfect fit,” he said. “I still wanted to serve, but I wanted to do it here at home. Lena and the kids gave the green light, so I decided to jump back into local government.” Smyth said it is funny how things go full circle. “When I was running for council in 2016, my older son was at Placerita and I found myself giving my son the same talk that my dad had with me,” he said. “I told him, ‘Not everyone is going to think I’m as cool as you do.’ I told him, ‘It’s not your job to engage in those discussions. It’s your job to do your work in school.’ I did find the irony that 30-some years later I’m having the same discussion with my kids that my dad had with me.” Smyth’s office in City Hall is the

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Congratulations to our 2019 Best Of Winners Deli Maria’s Italian Deli Desserts Nothing Bundt Cake Dinner Le Chene Best Donuts S&S Donuts

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Burger Rustic Burger

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Business Lunch Salt Creek Grille

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Mediterranean Restaurant Zankou Chicken

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Mexican Restaurant La Cocina Bar & Grill

Chinese Restaurant Grand Panda

New Restaurant Old Town Junction

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Electrical Contractor Saufley Electric Emergency Restoration Paul Davis Restoration

Sandwiches Jersey Mike’s Subs

Furniture Store Consumers Furniture

Seafood Restaurant California Fish Grill

Glass & Mirror SCV Glassworks

Social/Country Club The Paseo Club

Interior/Exterior Paint Ayers

Sports Bar Schooners Patio Grille Steak Larsen’s Restaurants Sushi Light & Healthy

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Cleaning Company (Residential) Molly Maid

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Hypnotherapist Sara Fogan / Calminsense Hypnotherapy

Acupuncture Balance Point Spa

Imaging Services Tower Imaging Valencia

Audiologist Audiology Associates

Internal Medicine Dr. Dhanda

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Lasik Surgery Helm Vision Group

Children’s Dentist Adventure Dental

Life Coach Amazing You

Children’s Fitness Center My Gym

Martial Arts The One Taekwondo

Chiropractor Dr. Unruh

Medical Center Kaiser Permanente

Cosmetic Dentistry Dr. Smudee

Medical Group Providence

Cosmetric Surgery Dr. Heller

Optometrist Dr. Corbin

Crossfit Gym F45 Training

Oral Surgeion SCV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dance Studio D’Wilfri DanceArt and Entertainment

Orthodontist Embrace Your Smile

Dentistry Go Dental Dermatologist Advanced Dermatology Esthetician Angela Family Practice Dr. Jenkins Fitness Center/Gym CozmoSize Golf Course Valencia Country Club Gymnastics Center Gymnastics Unlimited Hair Removal European Wax Center Health Care Insurance CIS Insurance Services, Inc. Hospital Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Urgent Care Henry Mayo Newhall Yoga Studio Yoga Yoga

PROFESSIONAL Accounting & Tax Preparation Stern, Kory, Sreden & Morgan, AAC Engineering and Architectural Design AL7 Engineering Bankruptcy Attorney Donahoe & Young, LLP Bookkeeper Valley Bookkeeping Business Attorney Poole & Shaffery Civil Attorney Owen, Patterson & Owen Commercial Real Estate Agent Pam Verner

Veterinarian Animal Medical Center/ Dr. Oh

SERVICES After School Care Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley Air & Heating Service Nicholas Aire Systems RAACO Heating Appliance Repair Hillside Appliance Repair Art School California Institute of the Arts Assisted Living / Retirement Community Oakmont of Santa Clarita Auto Paint & Body Shop Exclusive Image Paint & Body Auto Repair AAMCO

Orthopedist Jeffrey Kantor Southern California Orthopedist Institute

Criminal Attorney Law Offices of Jonathan LaFrance

Auto Stereo Santa Clarita Auto Sound

Family Law Attorney The Reape-Rickett Law Firm

Awards / Trophies R&R Awards

Outpatient Surgery Valencia Surgical Center

Insurance Company LBW Insurance Services

Bail Bond Company SCV Bail Bonds

Pediatrics Santa Clarita Pediatrics

Interior Designer Pat McPherson Interiors

Bank Logix

Periodontist Dr. Abelson

Investment Company Primeria

Barber Shop Aldo’s Barber Shop

Personal Trainer Matt Cather

Mortgage Lender Augusta Financial

Beauty Salon Salon 7

Physical Therapy Vargo Physical Therapy

Networking Group Santa Clarita Valley Business Group

Charity Event Carousel Ranch

Pilates Studio Pilates Pros+ Plastic Surgeon Dr. Heller

Personal Injury Attorney Robert J. Kaiser

Podiatrist Dr. Levy

Private Investigator Shannon Tulloss Investigations

Swim School Academy Swim Club

Real Estate Agent Jeannine Walker

Child Care Center Sunshine Day Camp Cleaning Company (Commercial) Liberty Building Maintenance & Services, Inc. See BEST OF, next page

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Pet Groomer Precious Pets Grooming Salon Pet Hospital Animal Medical Center Saugus Animal Hospital Pet Trainer AngelDogs Training


Continued from previous page

Photographer Mel Carll Place to volunteer Assistance League

Web Design Company Scorpion Internet Wedding Coordinator Galas by Gerry Best Storage Storage Center of Valencia

SHOPPING Balloon Design A-1 Party

Preschool St. Stephen’s Nursery School

Bicycle Store Valley Bicycle

College College of the Canyons

Printing & Graphics Company Creative Marketing Solutions

Boat/RV Sales Camping World

Commercial Real Estate Company SCV Commercial Real Estate

Private School Legacy Christian Academy

Boutique Propinquities

Computer Repair The Chip Credit Union Wescom Federal Credit Union Escrow Company Escrow Advantage Executive Suites & Office Barrister Executive Suites High School Valencia High School Insurance Agent Ernie Bolanos Mortuary Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary Moving Company Affordable Quality Moving & Storage Music School Lowe’s Music Party Rentals 24/7 Events Performing Arts School Vibe Performing Arts

Real Estate Company Realty Executives Santa Clarita Religious School Legacy Christian Academy Santa Clarita Christian School School District William S. Hart Union High School District Security Services Bay Alarm Senior Care Comfort Keepers Storage Storage Center of Valencia

Bridal Shop Cruz’s Bridal Car Wash Dapper Dans Children’s Clothing Store Children’s Orchard Custom Framing Fast Frame Day Spa The Ivy Day Spa Dealership Service Department Keyes Lexus of Valencia Dry Cleaners Flair Cleaners

Massage Golden Hands Therapeutic Massage Men’s Clothing Store J. David’s Custom Clothiers Motorcycle Dealership Harley Davidson Music Store Lowe’s Music Nail Salon The Nail Forum New Car Dealership Valencia Acura Nursery Green Thumb Garden Center Off Road Dealership Big John’s Performance Pawn Shop Abe’s Pawn Shop Pet Store PetSmart Pharmacy Santa Clarita Pharmacy Retail Wine Shop BevMo! Self Storage Facility Storage Center of Valencia

Summer Camp Sunshine Learning Centers

Floral Arrangements Charmaine’s Bouquet Canyon Florist

Tanning Salon Hawaiian Moon

Golf Equipment & Supply Vista Valencia

Tire Store Mountain View

Tattoo Shop Eternal Art Tattoo

Hotel Hyatt Regency Valencia

Temp Agency Sage Staffing

Tuxedo Rental Men’s Wearhouse

Jewelry Store Ro Ma Jewelers

Tutoring Center The Tutoring Club

Luxury Car Dealership Mercedes-Benz of Valencia

Shoe Store Runners Lane

Used Car Dealership Frontier Toyota Women’s Clothing Store Salt & Freckles

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3 5


Exercise and aging: how to work out safely after 50

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Exercising after 50 can help people live healthy well into retirement. But caution must be exercised when aging men and women return to exercise after a long break.


n an ideal world, people young and old exercise each day. But as men and women age, finding time to work out is not so easy. Commitments to work and family often take precedence over daily exercise. As a result, many people 50 and over might not have exercised regularly or at all in many years. But as children grow up or even move out, people facing down their golden years are often compelled to get back in the gym. That’s a wise decision that can increase a person’s chances of being healthy and happy in retirement. But before beginning a new exercise regimen, men and women over 50 should take heed of the following safety tips to ensure their efforts are not derailed by accident or injury.

Speak with your physician

The National Institute on Aging notes that even people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis can be physically active. However, anyone with such a condition and even those who don’t fall into those categories should consult with their physicians and receive a full physical before exercising. Such a consultation and checkup can shed light on any unknown issues, and physicians can offer advice on how to safely manage any problems that may arise.

Begin with low-intensity exercises

Even if you feel great and have maintained a healthy weight, don’t push yourself too hard at the start. Your body needs time to adjust to physical activity, so choose low-intensity exercises like walking and light strength training so your muscles, tendons and ligaments can adjust. Initially, exercise every other day so your body has ample time to recover between workouts.

Choose the right places to exercise outdoors

Exercising outside provides the best of both worlds for many people, providing a chance to get healthy all while enjoying the great outdoors. When exercising outdoors, choose areas that are not remote and where others can see you and offer help if you suffer an injury or have an accident. Public parks and outdoor gyms are safer places to work out than wooded areas or other places well off the beaten path.

Stay hydrated

The NIA notes that many people lose their sense of thirst as they age. But just because you aren’t thirsty does not mean you don’t need water, especially while exercising. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates the joints, thereby decreasing your risk of injury during exercise. (MC)

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Bad Men, Good Women, Fortunes & Foibles Loren was bragging his pony Rocket could beat any horse in town over two furlongs (a quarter mile, or, about one lap around a football field). Rocket lost by two lengths. Some say it was because the guy riding him was named “Tubby” Goodrich. While Don John was clocked at 24.7 for the race, the Time Ranger’s dad and expert cowpoke in these matters, tells us 24.7 was so-so. “Let’s say 21.3 starts getting into the arena of fast — for a thoroughbred,” says Pops, “and 19-flat for a quarterhorse.”

Well a happy Sunday in August to you, dear saddlepals. Hope you survived Saturday night and still possess your car keys, spouse, loved one and most of your brain cells from the carousing. We’ve a most interesting trek ahead. I’d tell you where we’re headed, but what would stop you from just sticking around in 2019 and taking a nap in your car? WAY BACK WHEN & THEN SOME

• The constant gusher Back on Aug. 14, 1875, Charles Mentry began drilling for oil in Pico Canyon. His well would continue producing oil for over a century. • Born under a bad sign Up in Monterey, a cute little baby boy was born on Aug. 11, 1835. He would grow to be a legendary Californio bandito, pistol fighter, womanizer and the subject of the largest manhunt in California history. They would even name a section of otherworldly rocks after Tiburcio Vasquez. • Training day Aug. 12, 1876, the first train passed through the Newhall Tunnel and 123 years later, after a few touch-ups and improvements, trains are chugging through that very same tunnel — one of the three longest in the world when it was built and still one of the longest in the world today at nearly 7,000 feet in length and most of that dark. AUG. 11, 1919

• Built like a brick, er, uh what’s the word we’re looking for? We took a pretty big step toward civilization. One of the 20th centuries early pioneers, Albert Swall, started construction on the valley’s first “Class A all-brick block” on this date. It was in downtown Newhall, right across the street from his famous all-brick Swall Hotel, where The Signal’s offices used to be. • Nominated for the official song of the SCV We were primarily farm and ranch land here, so you’ll have to excuse the corniness. This little song appeared on the front page of The Mighty Signal on this date, 100 years ago. It’s a tribute to local farmers and goes a little something like this: “I want to be a granger, And with the grangers I will stand; A horny handed farmer With a haystack in my hand.”

AUG. 11, 1959

OK. Now this half of the valley sing ... AUG. 11, 1929

• Picking a nice grave for yourself Two young men who shared a cabin up in Haskell Canyon on the old Pettinger Ranch made a grim discovery of yesteryear. I guess that might be double yesteryear in that we are, as we speak, IN yesteryear. Anyway, amigos. They found the skeletal remains of what they fathomed to be a gold miner. Sheriff ’s and unofficial detectives surmised the person died in a cave-in of his mine when an overhead bluff collapsed. Odd thing was, one of the roots from an oak tree, maybe 300 years old, was growing up through the bones of the corpse. Folks figured the miner had sent up his camp under the shade of the tree. AUG. 11, 1939

• Another hunter dies Vincent Raggio, young member of the historic San Francisquito family, was killed instantly on this date. A hunter in a car sat on a rifle. The rifle went off, leaving a big hole in Vincent’s heart. • No hissing from the lawyers From the Attorneys, 1-Rattlers, 0 Dept. — on this date, lawyer Huber Collins killed a 40-inch rattlesnake that had somehow managed to crawl into his coupe parked up Mint Canyon. You would have thought Huber would have spared the snake’s life as a professional courtesy. AUG. 11, 1949

• Low horse expectations The sporting event of the summer here was the big horse race between Loren Clymore’s quarterhorse Rocket and Salvatore Lombardi’s Don John.

• Local cowboy makes good Some local cowpokes made rodeo history. Art Cook was named America’s top bare bronc rider of the year. • It’s ‘Ready. Aim. Fire.’ Not ‘Ready. Fire. Aim.’ Here we go again. Warren Smith, 16, was added to the list of Wyatt Earp wannabes. With quick draw shooting THE fad of late ’50s and early ’60s, people kept coming up to the SCV to practice their leather slapping. Young Warren managed to catch his revolver on his belt. The hair-trigger went off, sending a slug right through his left calf. AUG. 11, 1969

• Judge not, lest ye be judged Ah, civilization. A bill passed both state houses on this date, allowing the SCV to have a second municipal judge. It was the first time, sort of, the SCV had two judges. In the 19th century, we had John Powell and the unofficial version of Judge Roy Bean, our own gunfighting jurist, Mr. W.W. Jenkins up in Castaic. • The SCV was swimming with lions Africa USA, the exotic animal compound that sat where Shambala is today up Soledad Canyon, moved to Fillmore on this date. Dozens of lions, tigers, bears, elephants, pumas and upper end of the food chain critters were moved after a series of catastrophic incidents at their former home. A record flood earlier in the year raised the Santa Clara River 12 feet deep over a 250-foot-wide swatch, running through the compound, drowning some animals in their cages. Several animals had to be euthanized in their cages because they couldn’t transport them safety. Three African lions escaped and were shot to death

in a rampage at a nearby mobile home park. Snipers would sometimes shoot at people and animals. There were fires and landslides. A train wrecked in the compound. Two hippos escaped and were caught walking in front of a train. I’d say that’s enough reason to move ... AUG. 11, 1979

• Your government at work A big local developer stopped by the County Engineer’s office for a permit. It was about 2 p.m. and the forms and interview questions took about two hours to complete. Then, with just a couple tiny details to work out and a needed signature, the county worker disappeared at 4:15, which was disconcerting to the developer because the office closed at 4:30. The developer walked around the counter to look for the county worker and found him in the lounge, sipping coffee and taking his break. When asked if they could finish the two minutes worth of business, the worker told the developer to “come back tomorrow.” • Dump the dump. Again. More than 1,000 stomping, clapping citizens showed up at COC to protest the construction of a mega-dump. No. It wasn’t in Elsmere. This one was in tony Sand Canyon. The IT Corp. wanted to build a 720-acre toxic waste site above ground wells and next to an elementary school that would handle one-third of Southern California’s garbage. The dump was dumped, but you wonder about the shenanigans that were pulled to even get the process that far. Oh, darn it. Right beyond that cluster of scrub oaks, you can see it, a glowing, circular time hole. Take a confident seat because you don’t want your steed to start bucking and send you into a Smilodon-rich Pleistocene Epoch. See you saddlepals in seven with another exciting Time Ranger adventure. Until then — vayan con Dios, amigos! John Boston has been writing about SCV history for more than 40 years. Read his historical tome, “Images of America: The Santa Clarita Valley” on Check out his History of The Mighty Signal series on Saturdays on A1.

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3 7

H E A LT H & B E A U T Y

Saturated or unsaturated fat: which is ‘bad’


at can be confusing as it pertains to diet. If asked to describe fat in a single word, many people might be inclined to say, “Bad.” However, fat is more complicated than that and is actually an essential component of a healthy diet. According to the American Heart Association, between 25 and 35% of a person’s daily calories should consist of fat. Not all fats are the same, and food typically contains both saturated and unsaturated fat. Understanding the distinction between the two can help people make sound dietary decisions.

What is saturated fat?

According to the online medical resource Verywell Health, saturated fats have no double bonds in their chemical structure. It’s because of that structure that saturated fats have a solid consistency at room temperature. Saturated fat can be found in various foods, including animal meat, coconut oil, cheese, butter, milk and

regarding its effects on overall health. Saturated fat has long been considered unhealthy, and the AHA recommends that less than 6% of daily caloric intake consist of saturated fat. Some studies have indicated that high amounts of saturated fats are linked to an increased risk for heart disease, while other studies refute such claims.

Is one type than another? Not all fats are the same, and food typically contains both saturated and unsaturated fat.

processed meats, such as bologna and sausage. Prepackaged snacks, such as cookies and crackers, also may contain saturated fats.

What is unsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats contain one or more double bonds in their chemical structure and are typically liquid at room temperature. Not all unsaturated fats are the same. Some are monounsaturated fats, which contain

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only one double bond in their structure. Examples of monounsaturated fats include canola oil and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are those that contain two or more double bonds in their structure. Safflower oil, sunflower oil and corn oil are some examples of polyunsaturated fats.

Is one type worse than another? Part of the difficulty surrounding dietary fat is conflicting studies

Unsaturated fats are generally considered more beneficial to overall health than saturated fats. The AHA recommends that people should get most of their daily fat intake from unsaturated fats, which can be found in foods such as nuts, olives and avocados. Fish, such as tuna and salmon, also are good sources of unsaturated fats. Fats and how they fit into a healthy diet can be difficult to understand. Adults can consult with their physicians to determine which foods and fat sources are right for them. (MC)

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Continued from page 5

For instance, the BD Hotshots were up close and personal with the Sand Fire, which began in the early afternoon of July 22, 2016, near Highway 14, just northeast of Sand Canyon Road. It burned at least 41,432 acres, killed one Sand Canyon resident, destroyed 19 homes and prompted the evacuation of several SCV neighborhoods. Inside of the BD barracks, alive and well, waiting it out, as the fire burned all around him, was Cerna. “It had burned around our compound, and there were a couple of us up here,” said Cerna, who added they knew the fire was coming and so had worked to protect their barracks until the very last minute. “We kept minimal people up here ... we knew it


Continued from page 31

same office his dad occupied during his stint on the council. “That’s very meaningful to me,” he said.

Lena Smyth

Lena Smyth was born in Panorama City and raised in the Antelope Valley. The oldest of four, she has two brothers and one sister. She grew up in Lancaster before the family moved to Quartz Hill, and is a graduate of Paraclete High School. “I did yearbook, was a cheerleader and in ASB, all that fun stuff in high school,” she said. She is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach with a double major in journalism and

Brian Anderson, superintendent of the Bear Divide Hotshots, sits inside the team’s base camp north of Santa Clarita. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

was going to be hot, but we knew we were going to be fine.”

“We were the last vehicles here, and we got told to head out down

political science. “My first job out of college was working at a local TV station in the Antelope Valley,” she said. “I was an on-air reporter, and that was where I met Cameron. The first time we met, I was covering a Lancaster City Council meeting. He was making a presentation on behalf of Pete Knight to the council.” Lena Smyth said she always liked to write and enjoyed public speaking. “That’s why I chose broadcast journalism,” she said. “I was always very passionate about politics. Cameron comes from a very political family, but I don’t at all. I really enjoyed all my political science classes.” After she married, she knew her future was in the SCV. “I love re-

porting, but I don’t miss it,” she said. “When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I went back to school and earned a master’s degree in political science from California State University, Northridge.” Lena Smyth said she had always planned to eventually transition into teaching. Today, she is an adjunct professor in political science at College of the Canyons, where she has taught for 11 years. However, she said, “I think my biggest passion right now is my family and my kids.”

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the road (to fight the fire) and some of the guys decided to wait here and rough out,” said Magana. “Wild men,” he joked while looking over at Cerna. Cerna and Magana both said despite going to an average of 25-30 fires a year, that they loved their work and they loved being able to help people. “We catch airplanes that take us off to the middle of nowhere, and we just fend for ourselves for basically two weeks solid,” said Magana. “It’s an eye-opener; and you get to see amazing views … it’s really awesome.” “We work in a dangerous environment, but I don’t think anyone of us signed up to be firefighters and didn’t understand the dangers associated with the job,” said Anderson. “Some of us pay the ultimate price, and God save anyone from that — but this is the life that we’ve chosen and we all understand that.”

Show business

Two of the three Smyth children are now working in “the business.” Rowan Smyth is currently in the mini-series “Shangri-La” on Showtime. He has also appeared on “CSI: New Orleans” and in the Christian film, “I Believe,” for which he was nominated as Best Actor at the International Christian Film Festival. Smyth’s daughter Kenley has appeared in the show “American Horror Story,” and with Nicole Kidman in the film “Destroyer.” The children also have appeared in national commercials and print ads. Smyth said his oldest son, Gavin, “plays soccer and runs track at Hart. It’s fun to see him compete on the same fields I did all those years ago.”

Kenley makes the family-favorite Ranger cookies with her dad.

Giving back

Smyth said his parents’ years of service to the community made a big impact on his life. “It’s something I take great pride in that my parents were so well thought of as community leaders and supporters,” he said. “It’s nice to know that your parents set a high standard for my brother and I. Hopefully I can pass that on to my kids.”

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 3 9


Burglary suspects detained after foot chase

A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy searches a car after three burglary suspects led officials on a foot chase PHOTOS BY GILBERT BERNAL / THE SIGNAL By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer


wo men were arrested and a juvenile detained after a foot chase through the streets near the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall mid-afternoon Wednesday. “Initially, we thought this was in connection with a stolen vehicle, but the vehicle was not stolen,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station. “These are actually burglary suspects,” she said, referring to three people detained. At least one of the two adults ar-


Continued from page 11

amenities, register for recreation programs, and sign up to volunteer at their local parks. Internet availability increases access to jobs, educational opportunities, civic engagement, and critical public services. According to a study conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 36% of county residents have no access to the internet. Barger and Hahn stated in the motion that providing free Wi-Fi service in parks and open spaces is an effective step toward bridging the digital divide among socio-economic levels to ensure diverse communities, including children and patrons

rested was identified as a parolee, she said. “We are no longer looking for suspects.” A foot chase got underway about 3 p.m. when deputies with the SCV Sheriff ’s Station began running after two suspects, one of them being pursued along Citrus Street, between the sheriff ’s station and the mall, then along Valencia Boulevard. A containment was set up in an area bounded by City Hall on Valencia, Citrus and Magic Mountain Parkway. Deputy dispatched to the manhunt were advised shortly before 4 p.m. that all three suspects were in custody. who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness, have access to information, including details about county resources and services. In unincorporated communities, parks serve as community hubs, and for many residents, are the only government facilities they interact with on a regular basis. Barger and Hahn want the director of the Internal Services Department, in collaboration with the director of Parks and Recreation and the chief information officer, to report back during the board’s supplemental budget process about providing new and free Wi-Fi service, with open access to all social media sites for the public at county parks. They also want a feasibility study done reflecting the cost-benefit analysis in making free public Wi-Fi service available at all county parks.

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Leveling an uneven yard with underlying issues


any things can cause a yard to be uneven. Drainage problems, leaky pipes beneath the grass and pests can wreak havoc on a yard, resulting in uneven turf that can be both unsightly and unsafe. Addressing an uneven yard might be homeowners’ ultimate goal, but the home experts at note that homeowners should first figure out what’s causing the problem and make fixing that their first task. Fixing uneven ground above leaky pipes will only be a temporary fix if the leaks themselves are not addressed. Professional contractors might be necessary however, once the underlying issue has been addressed, many homeowners can handle it on their own.

Get the right tools and materials Leveling an uneven yard may require various tools. Thatch will likely need to be removed from the lawn before it can be leveled out, so home-


owners will need a thatch rake or dethatching machine to get this task started. A shovel, bow rake and push broom are other tools homeowners will likely need. Materials such as topsoil, compost and sand will be necessary as well, and these are typically sold at local garden centers.

Fill in areas beneath the grass

Areas beneath the grass can be filled in with a mixture of sand, topsoil and compost. The experts at advise using two parts sand, two parts topsoil and one part compost. Each plays its own role in restoring the yard to full health. Sand helps the ground stay level, while the topsoil and compost provide the grass with valuable nutrients. If the low spots are not especially deep, this mixture can be applied without removing the grass. However, before filling in holes when addressing spots that are deeper than two or three inches, remove the grass then place it back in place once the hole

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has been filled. To dig up the grass, put the blade of the shovel at the outside of the low spot before sliding it under about two or three inches so you do not upset the grass roots.

Spread the top dressing

Fixing an uneven lawn is simple once the underlying issue is

Once the holes addressed. have been filled and the grass has been placed back on the ground (if it was removed), spread the top dressing mix with a shovel. The mix should be spread evenly with the back of the bow rake at a depth of no more than half an inch. Make sure the mix is worked into the low spots and that it’s not completely covering the grass, as that will suffocate the lawn. If necessary, use the push broom to work the mix into the soil.

Water the lawn

Finally, water the lawn to help the top dressing settle into the grass. If necessary, repeat the process of applying top dressing and watering until the lawn is even and has returned to full strength. An uneven lawn is an eyesore and potentially harmful. But fixing an uneven lawn is simple once homeowners discover and address what’s behind the issue. (MC)

AU G U S T 11, 2019

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28657 Farrier Dr. Valencia, 91354


42 · S U N D AYS I G N A L

AU G U S T 11, 2019

Just minutes from SCV. Enjoy all 4 seasons on this 20+ acre ranch Home is 6247 sq. ft. with incredible VIEWS


$1,550,000 8072 Cuddy Valley Road in Frazier Park

DRE #02082408

(818) 517-3318 (661) 705-3200



6 beds 5 baths 3,674 sq ft 4 car garage Beautifully upgraded Hasley Canyon Estate. Travertine flooring, crown moldings, plantation shutters, mirrored closets, surround sound and recessed lighting! Tons of upgrades throughout this spacious open floor plan. Beautiful views looking down on the valley from every room. Private serene country setting with perfect backyard for entertaining. $1,250,000

Manufactured Home Affordable 3 bedroom 2 bath manufactured home in gate guarded Community. Open Floor plan, updated kitchen with large living area. Common Area amenities include pool, spa, tennis court, play area, clubhouse. Financing is available -$181,500 20087 Northcliff Drive Santa Clarita, CA


HUGE YARD WITH POOL Virtual Tour: • New Flooring & Paint Throughout! • Updated Kitchen w/Recessed Lighting! • Premium Lot / Entertainment Yard • Master Bedroom off back! • Easily Add Sqft To This Home! • No HOA or Mello Roos!



(661) 313-4284 DRE 01819459

Beautiful Property ~ Beautiful Home


Country Estate on easily one of the most beautiful pieces of property in all of Agua Dulce! Single story, Hacienda style ranch house, 4,080 sf, 5 Bedrooms/4 bathrooms. Spacious kitchen with Center Island. Formal Dining room. Family-room with raised hearth fireplace and wet bar. The Master suite has a fireplace & giant walk-in closet. Absolutely stunning park like 7.2 flat and usable acres is completely fenced and private. 3 car garage. Incredible views from everywhere on the property. This property will not disappoint.

This Newhall Friendly Valley 2 bd/2 bath +Den ~ Stand-alone home has approx. 1561 sq. ft. Incredible view, great floor plan, 2 golf courses, gated/guard community,many activities, pool, much more! Come Home Today $565,000

SARA P. SEELEY CalBRE # 01241142

(661) 609-6200

Marilyn Garner

State Lic: 01484482


35356 Sierra Vista Dr, Agua Dulce 91390

Office: 661-904-1323

23914 Summerhill Lane, Valencia, CA 91354

25711 Shady Oak Ln is a true masterpiece in the most prestigious guarded & gated community in Valencia, Westridge Estates. Custom built home was meticulously designed with comfort and luxury in mind. Massive 12car underground garage and entertainment space, gourmet kitchen is equip with top grade appliances, open breakfast and living area. Large patio with outdoor kitchen and amazing views of private pool and city lights. This is truly a one-of-a-kind home

Each office independently owned and operated.

Let’s Make A Deal 4 beds 3 full baths~ 3,194 sqft ~11,217 sqft lot. Built in 1987 Single Family Residence. Magnificent VICTORIAN one of a kind home with studio above garage could be yours. Exquisite detail from the moment you enter...

Gary Wat

Suzie Wing Wood


DRE# 01826800

Cell: 626.236.2709 - $3,999,000 CalBRE##01968039


20501 Blairmoore St., Chatsworth, CA 91311

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 4 3

Happy Valley Single Story Home 5+3 – 2,950 sq ft, single story, classic California ranch style pool home in Happy Valley. Lot is 11,822 sq ft and there is tons of RV/Boat/Toy parking. $850,000


BEAUTIFUL HOME + ADJOINING LOT INCLUDED! • FREE SOLAR (It’s Owned!) • Open Floorplan! • New Flooring!

• RV PARKING! • Fresh Interior & Exterior Paint! • No Mello Roos & No HOA!

Beat Out Other Buyers To HOT NEW LISTINGS!



For Current Price and Info, call

24 Hour Recorded Message

Dean Cox


RE/MAX of Valencia CalBRE #01331788


23322 Maple St., Newhall, 91321

Newer 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home in gated community, Villa Metro. Beautiful wood laminate floors, high ceilings and recessed lighting. Large kitchen with granite counters, center island, stainless steel sink and appliances. Large master bedroom with walk in closet. Master bath with dual sinks & separate water closet. Stackable laundry upstairs. Nice size secondary bedrooms, one has a “Romeo and Juliet” balcony! Very sweet back yard/courtyard. Large 2 car attached garage. Community boasts resort style pool, clubhouse, playground, barbeque and garden to grow your own vegetables or flowers!! $489,000 21860 Moveo Dr , Saugus 91350

Property Website:

A Must See!!

Santa Clarita Valley

Dre# 01311715


CalBRE # 0040871

Office (661) 252-9000 Fax (661) 252-9003 19310 Ave. of the Oaks, Newhall, Ca 91321

Oak Creek Ranch.

6 lots on 40 acres. Most development fees already paid. Ready to build. Lots are reasonably priced.


Bob Kellar




16670 Soledad Cyn Rd CalBRE#01030351

*Seller & Brandon must agree on price and terms. DRE 01819459

Mountains, trees and nature all around. What an opportunity for full time residence, personal get away or rental. Beautiful 3 bed- 2 bath well maintained 2002 manufactured home on permanent foundation. Back deck for outdoor dining & enjoying the view. Open updated kitchen w/custom cabinets, granite counters, newer flooring & morning room. Master suite has two walk in closets. Ensuite with soaking tub, separate shower, water closet and vanity dual sinks. Living room with wood burning fireplace, vinyl dual glaze windows & increased insulation in walls, ceiling & floor. Single extra length garage. Amenities at Pine Mountain Club include pool, tennis, golf, Equestrian Center, hiking trails, lake, etc..................$275,000


Unique opportunity to build your custom dream home in Sand Canyon’s most private and exclusive subdivision,


Manya Prybyla

(661) 341-6226

Build Your Custom Dream Home


CalBRE #01920105

Gorgeous 2+2 unit in secluded setting. No expense spared when doing the many upgrades…scraped and textured ceilings, crown and shoe moldings, laminate wood flooring, ceiling fans with lighting, new bath fixtures, Anderson entry door with storm door, tile flooring, quartz counter tops, new kitchen sink and fixtures, 2 carports with ample storage, lovely outdoor living room, washer & dryer, electric fireplace & more! Friendly Valley is a SENIOR community/ guard gated and patrolled 24/7. Country club amenities including two golf courses. $369,500


“You deserve to be treated like Royalty!”

DRE 01819459

26330 Oak Highland Dr #C Newhall, CA 91321

CARLOTTA LEVY Phone:(661)714-3559


Sierra Bonita 80 acre ranch

Marilyn Garner

REALTOR® Lic. 01484482 Realty Executives Agua Dulce

REALTOR® Kellar-Davis, Inc.

Located just 40 miles north of Los Angeles. 5 houses built on a high plateau with 360 degree unobstructed views of the Sierra Pelona Mountains and beyond. Built in 2009 the single story main house is 3+3, and is 2,908 sf of understated elegance. The other 4, more rustic, houses range in size from 822 to 1,204 sf and are ideal for the ultimate family compound or corporate retreat. A huge resort style patio with pool & spa, Tennis Court, helicopter garage, airplane hangar, pond, mature trees and 3 wells are also included on the property.

Located in Agua Dulce - $13,500,000


44 · S U N D AY S I G N A L


AU G U S T 11, 2019

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



Cemex Mine and Crickets When It's Not a ‘Win’

Familiarity, Contempt, and Inaccurate Clichés

By The Signal Editorial Board

By David Hegg


fter we broke the news last week that Cemex had filed a lawsuit seeking to restore its federal contracts for sand and gravel mining in Soledad Canyon, a few logical followup questions came up. Among them: The lawsuit was filed in May. Why didn’t the community know sooner? And why, over the past few months, whenever a reporter asked a governmental official if there was anything new on Cemex, the answer was, “Nope. Nothing new.” It took a tip from a non-government source to find out the lawsuit had been filed in federal court, where Cemex seeks reversal of the Bureau of Land Management’s 2015 decision to cancel the mining contracts. Cemex also seeks to set aside the March ruling by the Interior Board of Land Appeals, which upheld BLM cancellation of one contract and determined the remaining contract expires in 2020, leaving Cemex too little time to start mining. When the IBLA ruling was handed down, local government officials shouted from the rooftops about it. A celebratory press conference was held in which Santa Clarita city officials and Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, basked in the glow of the victory, taking credit for, once and for all, slaying the Cemex

beast. Except it wasn’t quite slain yet. Cemex still had the courts as a potential option, and the May 1 lawsuit is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the 20-year battle to prevent Cemex from mining 56.1 million tons of aggregate just outside Santa Clarita’s eastern border. Mine opponents correctly fear the impacts would be devastating. Air quality, water supplies, traffic, the environment — all would suffer. So, when we found out the lawsuit had been filed and not a peep had been said about it locally for three months, we asked: Why? The answers at once make sense, and don’t. They went something like this: “We didn’t know about it until July.” “It wasn’t our place to announce it.” “The city isn’t a party to the lawsuit so we are staying on the sidelines.” “Cemex isn’t really saying anything new in the lawsuit.” It’s been... weird, especially in light of how “public” this long-running battle has been. It does make sense that the See OUR VIEW, page 45


ometimes it turns out that famous clichés are just plain wrong, or at least wrong in enough important situations to make them suspect. One with which I particularly disagree is “Familiarity breeds contempt.” I know what it is supposed to identify, and I flatly disagree. Familiarity, with the right people, in the right way, and for the right reasons, actually breeds contentment. You’ll notice that “familiarity” relates to a concept found in the word group derived from “family.” The core idea is that those in a family come to know one another in a deeply personal way. And, being “family” means having a relationship that is much more than surface recognition. This is at the essence of the cliché as usually understood. Too often when we get to know too much about someone, our familiarity with their faults leads us to hold them in contempt. But what is the alternative? Never get close to anyone? Life without deep relationships just can’t be the answer since the greatest joys in life come through relationships with others. What is necessary is a deeper con-

sideration of the whole concept of familiarity. And for our purposes here we can substitute the idea of friendship. If real friends are those who know us best, and still love us, then we might better coin the cliché to say “friendship breeds contentment.” Friendship is one of the most valuable commodities a human being can possess. And I greatly fear that this wonderful moral value is at risk today for at least three reasons. First, because of the social media blitz that has overrun our society we are much more apt to have connections with people than commitments to real friendship. Anyone who has cultivated deep relationships knows that they are fueled by communication. As well, the best conversations don’t happen by text or email, but in a setting where the whole person can be involved in listening, responding, emoting, and validating mutual understanding. Second, when we do seek out friendships, we too often do so in a selfish way. It is as though we truly believe that God’s purpose in this world is to make us happy by making sure everyone around us is focused on our well-being.


See HEGG, page 45

Mass Shootings and the Need for Action in Congress By Katie Hill Congresswoman


n Nov. 7, I found out that you elected me to be your member of Congress. Our team planned to go line dancing at Borderline Bar & Grill that night to celebrate, but we were all too tired and decided to go the next night instead. On Nov. 8, I woke up to a panicked call from a

friend who thought we had gone as originally planned. That’s when I learned 13 people were dead and even more injured in a shooting that took place exactly when and where my team and I were supposed to be. Our campaign interns lost friends, my stepsister’s roommate climbed out of a window to escape, and our community was left reeling from a tragedy too close to home. And every week since, communities

across the country have continued to lose loved ones to gun violence. On July 28, a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival injured 12 and killed three, including a 6-year-old boy. On Aug. 3 in El Paso, a shooting at a Walmart killed 22 and injured 24. Less than 24 hours later, a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, injured 27 and killed nine. See HILL, page 45

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AY S I G N A L · 45


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


Continued from page 44

While these tragedies have been pretty well covered by the media, there were 16 other incidents across the country this week that meet the criteria of a mass shooting. All told, in a single week in the United States, 100 people were left dead and another 119 injured from mass shootings. This violence is heartbreaking, unimaginable, and now, commonplace. As your congresswoman, I cannot simply tweet, “My heart is with the victims and their families,” every few weeks. That is not my job. My job is to take action. My job is to save lives. That’s why you elected me and that’s why I go to work every single day. So, here’s what I’m working on to address this epidemic. Back in February, the House passed its first gun violence prevention legislation in decades. One bill would expand background checks (H.R. 8) and the other would close the Charleston loophole (H.R. 1112), which enabled Dylann Roof, the murderer of nine innocent churchgoers in Charleston, to get his hands on a handgun he would have otherwise been denied due to a delay in his background check processing. These bills are great first steps, but they’re also not enough. I’m a co-lead of the TAPS Act, which is a bipartisan bill to develop a national strategy to prevent violence like these mass shootings through behavioral threat assessments, strengthening the ability of law enforcement to stop tragedies before they happen. This isn’t a bill about regulating gun purchases, but that’s because we need to address this crisis from every single angle. Experts from The Violence Project, a nonpartisan think tank for research on policy related to reducing violence, identified four commonalities among mass shooters: childhood trauma, current crisis, a fascination with other mass shooters and mass casualty events, and a means to carry out violence. We need to use this information to make the best, most comprehensive laws to save as many

lives as possible, but we need more data. That’s why a big focus of my efforts has been working to make sure that the Centers for Disease Control has the funding to conduct research on gun violence. That’s how we’ll be able to pass holistic laws that focus on threat assessment, mental health evaluations and support, and keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people. Though there are a lot of good ideas and some lawmakers are taking action, I’m still extremely angry. And you should be too. I’m angry that in the House, my colleagues and I are focused and dedicated to this fight – but the Senate simply won’t act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has continuously refused to vote on H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 in the Senate. He has refused to vote on the Violence Against Women Act, which closes other critical loopholes related to domestic partner violence. And, he hasn’t voted on our appropriations package, which would provide $50 million to fund research into gun violence prevention. Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues must be held accountable for this total abdication of duty. As people are dying and families are being torn apart, they are folding to the pressure of the NRA – which has spent $1.6 million over the course of the year lobbying the Senate to ensure the bills we passed continue to sit on McConnell’s desk. The public pressure has to continue in every possible way, because that’s the only way McConnell will take action. Otherwise, the NRA will win over the security of our communities. That’s why our community is coming together: join me on Wednesday, Aug. 14, for an evening of action organized by our local leaders. Details to come – sign up at https://www. Together, let’s get loud and ensure Mitch McConnell knows that if he won’t take action, we will. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, represents the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.


Continued from page 44

We make ourselves the center of the universe and then hold our friends responsible for making sure our universe runs well. And when they don’t, we appease our consciences by saying, “Well, I guess now I really know what kind of person she is!” And we turn away, agreeing that familiarity breeds contempt. But the problem isn’t familiarity but pride. If we sought out relationships with others for their sake as much as ours things would be different. If we determined that the best life is the one that lives to serve rather than be served, we’d probably find that familiarity breeds opportunity to come alongside our friends in a much deeper and satisfying way. And in the end, we’d find that sacrifice for others is actually the stuff of satisfied living. Third, friendship suffers when we’re afraid to be real in a world where every little defect is magnified. I get it. We’re so afraid that others’ familiarity with us will indeed breed contempt because they will


Continued from page 44

city isn’t getting directly involved, because it’s not a party in the lawsuit. But there seems to be almost a forced sense of complacency about it and, if nothing else, it’s odd that three months would pass before the city, or Hill’s office, would find out. If you think none of our local leaders are plugged in to this issue, we have a bridge to sell you. Once they did find out, shouldn’t someone have said something? To be fair, it seems like the community isn’t as worked up about Cemex as it was 20 years ago when the battle started. But that’s a mistake, too. If you live on the west side of town and think the mine wouldn’t affect you because it’s on the east side, think again, and imagine the Santa Ana winds blowing fine particulate matter across the valley. On the up side, car washes would thrive. But anyone or any thing that breathes would suffer. So long as there remains a smidgen of a chance that the mine will come to pass, our collective vigilance — by the community, this news organization and our

see the real us. But the truth is that those who refuse to connect with the real us will never be satisfied with us no matter the façade we erect. Friendships are built on grand familiarity coupled with a desire to be used in the lives of others for good. Good friends are those driven by an ethic of undiluted love for those around them. And, if you are blessed as I am to have many of these golden individuals in your life, you’ve already learned that a growing familiarity with them only breeds contentment. Certainly the idea of living with an “others-centered” focus is at odds with the “me-first” environment of our day. It always has been. Jesus recognized it, and still asserted that he was a friend to sinners. When he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened with cares, and I’ll give you rest,” he set the tone for what it means to love others. And that kind of love, when truly understood and received, brings rescue and refuge, never contempt. David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident.“Ethically Speaking” runs Sundays. government leaders — is essential. What’s transpired the past couple of weeks hasn’t exactly sent that message. If nothing else, it was a study in stark contrasts: the shouting from the rooftops in March, when there was a victory to declare, and the crickets in August, three months after Cemex filed its lawsuit. Take none of this to mean we believe our city or elected officials are rolling over on the issue. We are confident they are not. Actually, we tend to believe the silence and passivity is a strategic posture. But by the same token, we don’t think it’s unreasonable for those fighting on the community’s behalf to act in the spirit of transparency — and keep the community abreast of the latest developments. Hopefully, soon that will mean a final nail in the coffin for Cemex’s Soledad Canyon plans. There’s scuttlebutt the lawsuit is destined to be settled. That may be, and who knows how much it may cost. Now that we know the lawsuit exists, we will be monitoring its progress. As soon as we know of any new developments, we will share them — and we hope our government officials will do the same.

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AU G U S T 11, 2019


You’ll love our low, low prices By Jim Mullen Signal Contributing Writer


et your checkbooks out — it’s bargain time. The average price of a Manhattan apartment has dropped from $1.2 million to $1.1 million. And at those prices, we’re talking about real luxury: a 500-square-foot studio on the fifth floor, with a view of the service entrance of the 30story building next door, which blocks out all the sunlight except between 11:50 a.m. and noon. It’s in a so-so neighborhood that Uber drivers charge you extra to go to, and has a laundry room in the basement. It has an eat-in kitchen, if you eat standing up, and a bedroom with room for a queen-sized bed and absolutely nothing else. The good news is, you’re making tons of money working for one of the world-famous companies headquartered in New York. Like Uber or Lyft. I don’t know what kind of money you have to make to live in one of these expensive hives, but that’s OK — once you make it on Broadway or Wall Street, you’ll be able to trade up to a $2.2 million one-bedroom in Chelsea with a view of an air shaft! It’s not just Manhattan. Bloomberg just reported that someone living alone in Brooklyn would need to make at least $115,000 a year to keep their rent at “only” 40 percent of their paycheck. You wonder how anyone who’s just starting out can afford to live there. Well, some people have been living there a long time, and property values have gone up over the years. A married couple I know had a row house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that they’ve been living in for some 50 years. They were well-off, but they rented out the top two floors to help pay the bills. The entire building burned to the ground a couple of years ago; thankfully, everyone escaped unhurt, but it was an absolute tragedy. A lifetime of memories gone in a couple

of hours. Then, some months later, a developer paid them $6 million for the empty lot. With that and the insurance money, they now live in a “luxury” apartment. It has a doorman and a view of the East River, and the last time we spoke, they seemed to be coping quite well. Still, that’s not really a useful example of how to score an affordable Manhattan apartment. I looked up my old Manhattan ZIP code on Zillow to see how much it would cost me to live in the old neighborhood. The first building that came up was listed at $30 million. And here’s the description of a one-bedroom apartment in my old building: “426 sq ft. $1,043,706.” They tell me it’s worse in San Francisco and parts of L.A. How are young people who want to go live in a big city with lots of career opportunities going to be able to do it? It was hard when I was young, but doable. All we had to do was split the rent with nine other people, work three jobs apiece and live in a neighborhood that our parents would beg us to be “careful” in. Now, even welloff people can’t afford it. So who is buying and renting all these expensive properties? There are stories of entire 20- and 30-story apartment buildings in New York that no one lives in. Oh, the owners, usually from another country, come for a week or two each year, but it is their second or third (or fourth) home. It’s a great place to park their money. If you’re a rich person in an unstable country (or even a stable one), buying a $10 million apartment in the U.S. makes a lot of sense. What’s the worst that can happen? The market crashes and suddenly it’s only worth $9.5 million? Poor dear. But in their own country, a rule change or inflation could make them lose everything overnight. That’s the funny thing about money. The rich worry about losing it, while the rest of us worry about getting it. Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@

AU G U S T 11, 2019

S U N D AYS I G N A L · 4 7


Laemmle theater construction to continue despite rumors of sale By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer


onstruction of the new Laemmle Theatres location in Old Town Newhall is continuing despite rumors of the arthouse cinema chain being up for sale, officials said Monday. “We’re continuing with the Newhall development,” said Greg Laemmle, president of the family-owned business, which has nine other locations across Southern California. Laemmle said he “can’t comment on the story,” neither confirming nor denying speculation that the entity or portions of the business are up for sale. He referred to a Friday report by Deadline Hollywood, which also said that “it’s not clear whether it will be a portion or the entire 41-screen chain.” The Laemmle Newhall project site, which broke ground in October for a two-story, seven-screen location with

Foundation work continues on the Laemmle Theatre as the Newhall Crossings buildings take shape next door. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL

500 seats, is located on the corner of Lyons Avenue and Railroad Avenue and adjacent to the mixed-used development Newhall Crossings and a multi-story parking structure. The property is owned by Laemmle after entering into a sale agreement with the city of Santa Clarita in February 2016, through Laemmle’s single-purpose entity Laemmle Newhall LLC. On Monday, the city did not have

any information regarding the reports of a potential sale and its relation to the Newhall development, according to City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. While the theaters were expected for completion by this summer, wet weather conditions during the winter have pushed back the project to open sometime by the end of the year or early 2020, according to Laemmle. “We have some delays with the

mixed-use project that were brought by rain and we can’t open until the central courtyard is finished,” he said. “There’s no delay on our hold. We want the theater to open as fast as possible.” Crews worked on foundation work through April and quickly moved toward vertical construction, setting up steel beams, which are taking form as the bones of the structure. The theaters will be connected to Newhall Crossings, a mixed-use space with 20,000 square feet of retail, 47 residential units and a 372-stall public parking structure, via a central courtyard. The developers, Serrano Development Group, were unavailable for comment Monday with the latest on Newhall Crossings. President Jason Tolleson said in April the project would undergo interior work in the coming months and was also expected to open by the end of 2019 or early 2020.

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