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TABLE OF CONTENTS NEWS FEATURES
5 A winning deal to launch her sweet dreams 6 Old-age technology becomes new-age crime deterrent 8 Using resistance to reach ‘Complete’ goals 9 10 11 12
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Migrating butterflies fill the SCV skies Driver injured in rollover Burglar couple gets two years for gym thefts Firefighters respond to empty mobile home burning Man committed in 2016 stabbing death President Trump signs St. Francis Dam bill 30-foot-tall drill arrives at scene of failing hillside Bank heist ringleader gets 387-month sentence Dad of fatal crash victim reacts to sentence
SPORTS 13 13 Going the distance in the water with B1G win
14 Your next great adventure … at the library
BUSINESS 15 15 A how-to for professional break-ups
THINGS TO DO
TIME RANGER OPINION
CALENDAR HOME IMPROVEMENT
PLACES TO SEE
16 Public Markets: A touch of culture and customs 18 Our View • David Hegg • Tim Whyte
22 Pool deck color, fire pit, bath remodel 23 Southern Cal’s most glorious gardens
SCHOOL 24 24 Donna’s Day: Cheddar Cheese biscuits for St. Patrick’s Day
KIDS & FAMILY
25 Make new Easter traditions
ENTERTAINMENT 26 26 Wilson Phillips returns to The Canyon
FOOD 28 28 Chyll Creamery and Boba is full of surprises
SENIORS 29 29 Nothing but strikes for these seniors
TRAVEL 30 30 On a ‘Mission’ fit for a king’s spring break
Kellar Davis has over 18 years of experience and specializes in the Santa Clarita market. With 35 professional agents, we know how to make selling or buying your home a dream come true.
PROFESSIONAL WOMEN 32 ART 35 35 ‘Finding Wonder’ in Santa Clarita
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16670 Soledad Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, CA
36 ‘Rocky’ Turner: A life on (the) track
38 Remodeling kitchens is more than redecorating
GARDENING 39 39 Classes from the water experts
REAL ESTATE BRAIN GAMES | VILLAGE IDIOT
40 42 100 YEARS
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Richard Budman Perry Smith Tim Whyte Brad Lanfranco Doña Uhrig Karen Bennett • Abner Gutierrez
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The entire contents of the Sunday Signal is copyrighted 2019 by Paladin Multi-Media Group, Inc. All submitted letters and columns are strictly the opinions of the authors and not necesarily those of the publisher. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
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A winning deal to launch her sweet dreams By Michele Lutes Signal Staff Writer
fter winning $108,000 on the recently rebooted CNBC game show “Deal or No Deal,” Valencia resident Ally Teixeira is now ready to try her luck again: opening a vegan and gluten-free ice cream business Karma Ice Kreme. “My friend Jeanette Murillo and I had been trying to get our ice cream business off the ground, and we needed funding,” said Ally Teixeira. “This seemed like a great opportunity to potentially win money for our business.” Teixeira applied to the show when she saw a post online about it being rebooted. “I never thought I’d be selected as a contestant,” she said. “I just figured I had nothing to lose.”
“Deal or No Deal” returned to television on CNBC in 2018 with original host, Howie Mandel, after an eight-year hiatus. The show originally began in 2005 on NBC and then ran on syndication from 2008-10. Known as one of America’s most popular game shows, contestants play for a prize, up to $1 million. 26 briefcases are sealed by a third party with cash amounts ranging from 1 cent to 1 million dollars. Host Howie Mandel welcomes the models, holding the cases and welcomes up contestants. The contestants choose one of the 26 cases that they believe holds $1 million. A mysterious shadow known as “the Banker” offers cash in exchange for what amount might be in the contestants chosen briefcase. On Jan. 2, 2019, Teixeira’s episode aired on national television, “Ice Cream Dreams,” Season 5 episode 509. She made a deal with the banker to go home with $108,000 and a mentorship from Ben Van Leeuwen, founder of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.
Karma Ice Kreme
During the show, host and executive producer, Howie Mandel tasted
Deal or No Deal winner Ally Teixeira with a prototype bottle of vegan Karma Ice Kreme. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
Ally’s Dark Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream. “You say it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, so it might be goodness-free,” Mandel said during the episode. After taking one bite, Mandel couldn’t help but eat the entire bowl. “I don’t want to stop eating,” Mandel said after taking one bite. Teixeira and her business partner Jeanette Murillo are best friends and have been planning to open ice cream facility in Pasadena, she said. “Initially, our plan was to open up a storefront. After the show aired, we received so much unexpected interest from around the country.” With the support and excitement from people throughout the United States, they are now looking for a space that will allow them to manufacture and ship their ice cream, Teixeira said. “After that is in place, we will begin opening scoop shops,” she added. Teixeira and Murillo met almost 10 years ago at a Santa Monica community event, and instantly clicked. During a trip to NYC in 2015, they came up with the idea of starting an ice cream business, Teixeira said. “We were trying out unique desserts that we thought would do great in L.A. It took us a few years to perfect our product, formulate our plan and really become serious about starting the business.” Over the past four years, they have formulated not only a business plan, but multiple different
ice cream flavors, Turmeric and Gold, Salted Caramel Cashew, Lavender Taro “Honee,” Dark Chocolate Truffle and more. “It’s exciting to see how far we’ve already come,” she said. “There are so many people out there with dietary restrictions and we think everyone should be able to enjoy delicious ice cream.”
Teixeira, who is in her 30s, has been vegetarian for most of her life, and vegan for the past seven years, she said. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, but learned how to manage her thyroid condition with a vegan and gluten-free diet. She has completed multiple nutrition programs and plans to help others live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy. Teixeira is an American holistic nutritionist, travel host and entrepreneur, according to her website www. veganwithally.com. She received her MBA in international business from Pepperdine University. When she is not working on her nutrition ventures or ice cream business, she can be seen in film, television, and commercials as a trained actor and host. “I mostly act in commercials, they’re a ton of fun,” She said. Right now Teixeira can be seen in a Physician’s Mutual commercial, she
has also acted in commercials for GEICO, TitleMax, Dave & Busters and more. “I love the whole audition process and really enjoy any type of acting and improv classes,” she said. She lives with her husband, Jacob, along with their Italian Greyhound rescue Bellini, who were also featured on “Deal or No Deal” as her supporters. Teixeira’s husband is also in the entertainment industry, known for his work on “Survivor,” “Run Rabbit” and “Vegan on a Jet Plane.” Now that she’s close to realizing her ice cream shop dreams with her friend, she’s also looking at other ways to help and give back. “I’m still shocked,” she said, recalling her big win. “When I receive the money, a good portion is going to go toward start-up costs for Karma Ice Kreme. I also want to donate a portion to Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, they rescue abused animals and help find them homes.” For more information on Karma Ice Kreme, go to http://www. karmaicecreamshop.com.
To watch or for more information on the show, visit www. veganonajetplane.com. Teixeira’s episode has been being aired on CNBC and can be viewed online at http://www.cnbc.com/live-tv/dealor-no-deal/full-episode/ice-creamdreams/1418254915986.
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Old-age technology becomes new-age crime deterrent By Austin Dave Signal Staff Writer
s technology blends with do-it-yourself projects, more and more Santa Clarita Valley residents are taking a new approach in terms of keeping an eye on their homes. And for a growing number of homes, people are taking matters into their own hands. Small startup companies have turned the tables on traditional professionally installed security systems by innovating smaller and less cumbersome devices. For most consumers, it began with a device mostly unchanged since it’s invention by American scientist Joseph Henry in 1831 — the electric doorbell. Fast-forward 188 years, and now startup companies are locking horns in a heated battle to replace push-button chimes with gadgets one would expect in a “Jetsons” cartoon. Now, a multi-billion industry has shifted the task of securing houses from traditional brick-and-mortar companies and giving the option to homeowners of taking matters into their own hands. From remotely accessible features like streaming high-definition video, motion detection, cloud recording and an intercom, each product has its strengths and drawbacks.
The three most popular products to consider are built and designed by companies Ring, Nest Labs and August Home. Video doorbells are more commonplace and serve as an entry point to the do-it-yourself home security game, and have grown to become one of law enforcement’s most useful investigative tools. “It’s definitely a good tool to install these systems whether its a surveil-
After the success of an LAPD program, the city of Santa Clarita is providing $100 subsidies to 500 residents toward discounting Ring doorbells as part of a plan to drive crime down. PHOTO COURTESY RING
lance camera or motion detection,” said Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station. “They do help in the long run.” Somoano, the supervisor of the SCV station’s Detectives Bureau, confirmed sheriff ’s deputies commonly use home surveillance video to identify suspects committing crimes in the Santa Clarita Valley. “We’ve had several successes,” the lieutenant said. “Patrol deputies will recognize people that have been arrested before just by looking at the video.” Recognizing a rise in accessible surveillance footage, the station setup the email address SantaClaritaMedia@lasd.org for people to send video of crimes, Somoano noted. Ultimately, each device serves as a crime deterrent by contributing toward the facade of residents being home when they’re not. “People are more attentive and more likely to report a crime when it is taking place,” Somoano said. Aided by the ability to remotely see and speak to someone who approach-
VIDEO DOORBELLS ARE MORE COMMONPLACE AND SERVE AS AN ENTRY POINT TO THE DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME SECURITY GAME, AND HAVE GROWN TO BECOME ONE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT’S MOST USEFUL INVESTIGATIVE TOOLS.
es a front door using a combination high definition camera and two-way intercom, homeowners can stay guard while away from their house. But, the question remains — which product best serves households in Santa Clarita? The answer mostly depends on a balance between the ecosystem you’re already invested in — i.e. your supporting gadgets, according to your comfort level with such items — and the one you’re destined to have. We’ve broken down the top-three companies by popularity. Keep in mind, all three companies’ products share the same basic functionality like streaming video, duplex communication, motion detection and cloudbased recording; but they differ in the types of devices they offer.
Video Doorbell 2 — $199 Initially named Doorbot, Ring was founded in 2012 by businessman Jamie Siminoff and crowdfunded to the tune of $364,000. After declining a cash investment during an appearance on the television show “Shark Tank,” Siminoff rebranded the company as Ring and raised $5 million in sales. Online shopping giant Amazon acquired the company for more than $1 billion in February 2018 to “accelerate Ring’s mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods,” according to a
company press release. Over the course of six years, the company’s products have expanded past the video doorbell to include a full spectrum home security system, outdoor spotlight cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. “The Ring product line, along with the Neighbors app, enable Ring to offer affordable, complete, proactive home and neighborhood security in a way no other company has before,” a Ring spokesperson said via email. As part of a burglary-prevention program, the Los Angeles Police Department partnered with Ring in 2015 to install video doorbells on 10 percent of homes in the Wilshire Park neighborhood. The area saw a 55 percent drop in home burglaries as a result of the project. The city of Santa Clarita took note of that partnership and worked to forge its own cooperation by providing $100 subsidies to 500 residents toward discounting Ring doorbells as part of a plan to drive crime down. Large home security systems can cost thousands of dollars, said Jerrid McKenna, assistant to the city manager. “To give them that basic foundation so that they can feel secure feels very rewarding,” he said. The demand was enormous, McKenna noted, adding the city and Ring plan to partner again in the future to offer additional subsidies.
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N E W S F E AT U R E Part of the equation is Ring relies on is the online networking and sharing of information between residents and law enforcement regardless of whether they own the device. “In May of 2018, Ring launched the free Neighbors app as a way to expand our mission to reduce crime by creating a digital neighborhood watch that all local residents can participate in from their smartphone,” a Ring spokesperson said. Ring’s Video Doorbell 2 can be installed using existing powered-doorbell wiring. Homeowners can also opt to mount the device anywhere in range of their wifi network utilizing power from the device’s battery, which is designed to last an average 12 months. The device can be paired with a separately purchased wireless chime. The accessory allows you place the chime anywhere in your home within range of the doorbell which means you’re not limited to located it in traditionally muffled or muted places like closets. Ecosystem The company offers a wide variety of safety-oriented accessories with a plan to integrate them deeper into the Alexa and Amazon playing fields. From solar spotlight cameras and flood detectors to window contact sensors and smoke/ carbon monoxide listeners, Ring’s system all ties together through their smartphone app. If you’re looking to modernize your security system,
After a rough start, Nest Labs has found its footing in the smart security game with its Nest Hello video doorbell. PHOTO COURTESY NEST LABS
VIDEO DOORBELLS ARE “DEFINITELY A GOOD TOOL … WHETHER ITS A SURVEILLANCE CAMERA OR MOTION DETECTION,” SAID LT. IGNACIO SOMOANO OF THE SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SHERIFF’S STATION.
August Home was founded in 2012 and has expanded on its products’ capabilities like their August View Doorbell Camera. PHOTO COURTESY AUGUST HOME
this is the closest digital solution to a traditional setup.
Nest Hello — $229 Nest Labs was founded in 2010 by former Apple engineers, and initially focused on smart thermostats. The company expanded to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in 2013, and was acquired by Google in early 2014. After a few tumultuous years of mergers and executive departures, Nest found its footing in the smart
security game with the launch of Nest Hello video doorbell in 2018, quickly becoming the newest contender leaning on an established user base in the thermostat arena. What sets their flagship doorbell apart from others is the ability to record continuously. Other doorbells record clips of moments and are only triggered by motion and sound sensors. The trained eye can see the difference in the Nest Hello’s video quality, as it utilizes high dynamic range (HDR) imaging principles. In layman’s terms, it’s able to even lighting tones “so details don’t get lost in dark shadows or bright light,” according to Nest Lab’s feature list. With a personal touch, the Hello can recognize family members and friends on your doorstep and sends a special alert or prerecorded response, a feature others cannot. But one drawback may zap it’s chances of landing at your home — it has to be wired into an existing doorbell connection. Others allow battery powered installation and
wireless doorbell chimes. If you have a traditional wired push-button doorbell, you’re in luck. Ecosystem The Nest Hello is deeply integrated with the company’s existing products including Nest x Yale door locks, Nest Secure, indoor cameras and smart lights.
August View Doorbell Camera — $229, available March 28 August Home was founded in 2012 with a center of attention on automated door locks, and expanded to include smart doorbells three years later. The company was acquired in 2017 by Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy. It’s Doorbell Cam Pro, like other comparable devices, installation is a breeze with a mounting bracket, anchors and a standard Phillips screwdriver. A commonly reported drawback is its video quality. With a lack of HDR, images can come out silhouetted and shadows process to be fuzzy. There’s good news for diehard August smartlock fans. The company plans to debut a new wirefree video doorbell this month with promised improvements. The August View will feature a variety of interchangeable faceplates, a new high-performance imaging sensor to clear up fuzzy images. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the device gets a leg up on the competition because it comes paired with a wireless chime. Ecosystem The August View can be paired with any of the company’s smart locks to remotely allow guests into your home or ensure the house is secured. August Home plans to deeply integrate the device with Amazon’s Alexa products and Google Home services.
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Using resistance to reach ‘Complete’ goals By Brennon Dixson Signal Staff Writer
cience has prompted many changes in the ways people exercise over the years, but residents of the Santa Clarita Valley are beginning to recognize the benefits of pilates, prompting the formation of new businesses and programs in the area. When one thinks of pilates, most imagine a version similar to mat pilates, which is common in gyms and other workout facilities, but studios like Suzi Smith’s Complete Pilates & Fitness tend to specialize in an equipment-based version of the popular workout routine. Step into her studio between Monday and Saturday and you’ll surely find yourself thrust into a full-body workout that will offer unbelievable results, class participants said back in February. With a number of different machines and multiple reformers, Smith
Complete Pilates & Fitness provides an equipment-based version of the popular pilates workout routine. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL
is able to offer a complete pilates experience that will leave participants — young and old — feeling renewed, she said. “Every session we do legs, arms, core work, back and hips,” and there’s plenty of towers, cadillacs, chairs and
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barrels located throughout the studio, Smith said. As director of the studio, the master instructor can often be seen constantly moving throughout her various classes, focusing on the ways she can help each client. Usually it’s something as simple as an adjustment or modification to a stretch, but other injuries can require more workarounds. Luckily, all of the equipment is resistance-based, so it replaces weights and allows you to develop long and lean muscles, Smith said. “That’s what attracts people to pilates. You don’t get that bulky muscle. You look thinner, taller (and) it is great for bone density.” As the pedals to some machines creaked during one recent class, a pilates participant yelled, “It’s a lot harder than it looks.” Usually, the average Complete pilates class will feature 10 or so members exercising for about an hour. Some who have been doing the class for as long as a decade said once you do it, you’re addicted. Others added nothing alleviates their aches like pilates and the routine has helped them handle chronic pain and even osteoporosis. “That’s the beauty of pilates,” Smith said. “I’ve had people come in with a cast. I’ve got people who come in with crutches, but they all can still workout because it is all so easily modified for every person.” It’s not like that at every studio,
Smith said, “but in here, that’s what we do.” Smith said she first got into pilates as a dancer in an effort to prevent injuries and has been teaching for 19 years. She has taught in the space on Lyons Avenue for 15 years, and has owned it for the last five. Today, she offers a number of other services in her studio, according to her website, including Barre. Barre is pilates based, “but my class is also cardio based as well,” Smith said. “A lot of my clients come here because they don’t like the gym. They really want to come in and have a more intimate experience.” Smith said her barre class is low-impact, meaning it could be a good replacement for running and walking. It’s also modifiable for those who have ankle or knee injuries. “If you aren’t into weight or exercise machines then pilates is the way to go. It’s very popular and it’s certainly a form of working out, said William Holstein, general manager of the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health center. “We’ve done pilates mats, but there was definitely a demand for more,” Holstein said. This is why Henry Mayo Newhall Fitness and Health hopes to have a studio strictly dedicated to a pilates program of its own some time around July or August. Demolition work was recently completed in an effort to expand, Holstein said, “so we’ll now be able to have pilates reformers in the facility.” Six to be exact, he added, and the center is currently interviewing pilates instructors who could offer “private and semi-private pilates sessions.” “We want to make sure we get the best of the best,” the general manager said, adding, “It’s no different than any other of the other fitness programs available.”
Complete Pilates & Fitness is located at 22800 Lyons Ave., Ste. 120 in Valencia. Call (661) 208-8900 or visit www.completepilatesfitness. com. For more information about Henry Mayo’s program, call (661) 200-2348 or visit www.henrymayo fitness.org.
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Migrating butterflies fill the SCV skies By Emily Alvarenga Signal Staff Writer
he Santa Clarita skies are aflutter as butterflies fill the air on their migration through Southern Califor-
nia. “Never in my 53 years have I seen them in these numbers,” local resident Thora VanDerwilt said in a Facebook post. They’re “painted ladies” to be exact, and nearly 1 billion are migrating across the state at speeds of up to 25 mph, according to Art Shapiro, an ecologist at the University of California Davis who has been tracking butterflies for almost 50 years. After spending the winter in the deserts of northern Mexico, these painted ladies are headed to their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest, Shapiro said. “Yesterday, it was almost to the point where they would qualify as a cloud because there were so many
of them,” said Doug Yanega, senior museum scientist at University of California Riverside’s Entomology Research Museum. The migration itself isn’t out of the ordinary — these butterflies are natives — but the unusually heavy rain and cooler temperatures have helped their population levels soar, according to Yanega. “At first it looked like leaves blowing in wind, but there was no wind,” local resident Mike McCleary said. “On my drive home, I counted 40 butterflies at one red light, but there must have been hundreds on the entire drive.” This is a welcome change as the number of butterflies were at a record low last year, according to Shapiro’s research. Scientists say there haven’t been this many butterflies traveling through the state since 2005 after one of the wettest years in California’s history. “It was a unique and beautiful
sight,” local resident Karen Verkouteren said. “I’ve lived in Santa Clarita for 19 years and have never seen anything like it.” Butterflies lay their eggs on plants so that the caterpillars will have something to eat after they hatch, so with such green vegetation this year, they have plenty of food to munch on, Shapiro said. “The cooler tempera-tures This butterfly was among the thousands passing prolong the time it takes through the Water Conservatory Gardening for the plants to die, which & Learning Center in Saugus. The butterflies means that if the weather are “painted ladies,” according to a UC Davis stays cool and everything ecologist. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL stays green, we could continThen, the next generation will conue seeing them until at least a month tinue the trek north. after the plants dry out,” Yanega said. “You’ll see that there are two disThe butterflies then use that food tinct sizes of butterflies migrating,” store as fuel to fly hundreds of miles Yanega said. “Some look very small without stopping, and when their reserve runs out, they stop and breed, for painted ladies, so those are probably the local products and are the first which may not be until they reach generation that just hatched and are central or northern California, accontinuing north.” cording to Shapiro.
Driver injured in rollover By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer
Los Angeles County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies respond to an overturned SUV on the 28400 block of San Francisquito Canyon Road afternoon. One person was sent to the hospital. PHOTO BY CORY RUBIN / THE SIGNAL
day trip to see flowers blooming in Lancaster was cut short for a group of friends after the SUV they were in lost control and flipped over on San Francisquito Canyon Road, injuring four and sending one to the hospital. The crash happened a couple of minutes before noon Wednesday, when a gray, four-door Mazda SUV rolled over on a winding stretch of San Francisquito, just west of Copper Hill Drive, past the Jump for Joy Ranch. The driver, a man, was injured and taken to the hospital by paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Three passengers, all women including the driver’s wife, were initially reported as trapped in the overturned SUV. A woman who identified herself as the driver’s wife complained of a head injury and kept holding her head and, at least twice immediately after the
crash, kept sitting down on the dirt shoulder of the road. At the suggestion that she was lucky to be alive, she looked up and said: “Thank God. My husband went to the hospital,” she said, adding that the four occupants of the overturned SUV were from Orange County, on their way to Lancaster. “We were trying to see the flowers,” she said, pointing north. “We were going to see the poppies and flowers.” When paramedics arrived at the crash site at 12:06 p.m., they found the vehicle on its roof amid broken glass and four occupants out of the vehicle. A deputy at the scene said it appeared the driver lost control of the SUV and tried to over- correct. The three women piled their belongings in a heap around an insulated cooler on the shoulder as deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station stopped traffic along San Francisquito.
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Burglar couple gets two years for gym thefts By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer
29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman who stole from the lockers and parked cars of LA Fitness patrons across the Santa Clarita Valley were sentenced to two years in prison recently after both pleaded no contest to one felony count of second-degree burglary. Louis Jon Hanna and Kali Draves, former residents of the Santa Clarita Valley, appeared last month in San Fernando Superior Court, where they entered their plea. As soon as they pleaded no contest to second-degree burglary, they were both sentenced to two
years in prison. At least 18 victims had property — including handbags, wallets and credit cards — stolen from them at each of the three LA Fitness locations in the SCV, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station, said at the time of their arrest. Gyms included facilities on Golden Valley Road, Newhall Ranch Road and Pico Canyon Road. The arrests were made following an investigation led by Deputy Juan Muralles, of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff ’s Station Crime Impact Team. The crimes took place in the two months prior to their arrest in July 2018 at a Castaic motel room.
Detectives seized a large amount of stolen material from the motel room, including driver’s licenses, payroll checks, key fobs, jewelry and clothing from local stores. The pair was also found to be in possession of keys that are commonly used to open community mailboxes, Miller said in July. “They were stealing out of lockers and cars parked at the gyms,” Miller said shortly after the arrests. “The couple admitted to their involvement with the thefts at the three local LA Fitness clubs and said they were heading to another LA Fitness in the San Fernando Valley to commit another burglary.”
Firefighters respond to empty mobile home burning By Tammy Murga Signal Staff Writer
irefighters responded to a structure fire late Tuesday night at the abandoned Soledad Trailer Lodge mobile home park in Canyon Country. At least one unit of the mobile home park on the 18200 block of Soledad Canyon Road was fully involved in the fire by 11:20 p.m., according to Jeremy Stafford, a dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “The call came in at 11:20 p.m., regarding a possible abandoned mobile home fire and one unit was fully engulfed,” he said. There was no exposure to any other mobile home units, he added. Four engines and one truck arrived at the scene by 11:26 p.m., including Fire Station 107, which is located right across the street. Southern California Gas Co. was also called to the scene. The damaged mobile home was located on the southeast corner of the park, which is next door to Joe’s Liquor. The cause of the fire was still under investigation as of Wednesday morning, but firefighters on the scene believed it may have been human-involved. The blaze appeared to have
Stolen goods seized by detectives in July 2018 from the hotel room where two burglary suspects were arrested included driver’s licenses, jewelry, payroll checks and clothing from local stores.
Man committed in 2016 stabbing By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer
A Firefighters foam down a smoldering tree after a blaze at an abandoned mobile home park on the 18200 block of Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. PHOTO BY AUSTIN DAVE / THE SIGNAL
started near a pile of wood before making its way to the corner of the affected unit. The mobile home park has been abandoned for several months. Members of the community and neighboring businesses had called the locale an “eyesore” and say it was known as
a place for drugs, looting, graffiti and other illicit activities. Demolition of the park started Friday on the south side of the location, followed by an investigation by the Air Quality Management District, which has slowed demolition.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge committed a Saugus man to a state mental health hospital Wednesday after the man pleaded no contest to one count of seconddegree murder, having stabbed his mother to death in 2016. Jesse Lucatero, 26, appeared Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court, where he entered his plea. “Today, he pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday. “Then, following a court trial on the sanity phase, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity,” he added. At that point, the judge committed Lucatero to a state mental health hospital, Santiago said. In January, Lucatero waived his right to have a preliminary hearing, which placed him on track for a murder trial. See FACILITY, page 12
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President Trump signs St. Francis Dam disaster bill By Brennon Dixson Signal Staff Writer
n the 91st anniversary of the second-deadliest disaster in state history, President Donald Trump agreed to the formation of a national monument at the St. Francis Dam site Tuesday, when he signed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act into law. In a news release Tuesday, David Bernhardt, U.S. Department of the Interior acting secretary, applauded the president for signing S.47, which was formerly known as Natural Resources Management Act. S.47 is comprised of more than 100 individual bills that were introduced by several senators and a number of House members, according to congress.gov. The legislation was presented to the president on March 6. Former Rep. Steve Knight was one of the House members who worked
on earlier versions of the recently signed legislation declaring the St. Francis Dam site a national memorial. He previously said he was confident the bill would get passed this year, adding, “It’s something that’s deserved for the community.” Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, continued the work of Knight during the 116th session of Congress as she co-authored and introduced her first bill with Rep. Julia Brownley. The St. Francis Dam is notorious for a disastrous flood that killed more than 400 people, caused millions of dollars in damage and destroyed homes, ranches and many other properties that were in the path of the floodwaters between San Francisquito Canyon and the Pacific Ocean. The dam’s collapse is considered one of the worst civil engineering failures of the 20th century and is the second-deadliest tragedy in California’s history. In a previous statement of support for the bill, Hill said from the con-
The St. Francis Dam’s collapse is considered one of the worst civil engineering failures of the 20th century and is the second deadliest tragedy in California’s history.
gressional floor she was proud that the community will finally be able to amplify the stories of the tragedy, “and provide a constant reminder of how critical infrastructure is to the safety and security of our communities.” Bernhardt said in Tuesday’s release, “This bill is extremely beneficial to the American people, and I look forward to working with Congress and
local communities to implement the many local conservation wins within the bill.” Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Community Hiking Club, has said she is excited for the legislation and has already began forming the prospective plans for a memorial and visitor center.
30-foot-tall drill arrives at the scene of failing hillside
By Brennon Dixson Signal Staff Writer
he clinks and clanks of a nearly 30-foot-tall drill rang throughout the Trestles neighborhood Tuesday as employees of Tri Valley Drilling worked near a landslide threatening multiple homes. The 40,000 square feet of plastic sheeting that covered the failing hillside in the rainy recent weeks has
A drilling rig takes soil samples behind homes on Trestles Drive. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
now been removed along with the accompanying pumps, which were used to remove water from the failing hillside. Despite the equipment remaining in place throughout last week’s period of storms, officials still expected the weather to affect the slope, and those on the scene Tuesday said one can certainly notice the changes in the hill with the tarps off. Cracks as wide as 3 feet were visible in multiple areas of muddy slope Tuesday, prompting flashbacks to Stephanie Estrada’s backyard nearly three weeks ago when the slide was first discovered. The cracks in the Estradas’ backyard began to increase and sink a few days after they became visible. A Tri Valley Drilling official said during a phone call Tuesday that he was not at liberty to share any information about the equipment being used or why the company was on site in the afternoon. Officials who have experience working with equipment similar to the one used at the scene of the land-
slide Tuesday identified the drill as a bucket auger rig, which was used on the Vasquez Canyon Road collapse several years ago. Typically, the rig is used to take samples periodically as it progresses down through the earth. City officials were contacted late Tuesday but they were preparing for the night’s City Council meeting, so more information about the work being done on the slope was not immediately available. However, citing the recent sunny
skies and a lack of rain in the forecast, Landscape Development Inc. workers said they will no longer be needed on the site as much as they were in prior days. However, they will return if the forecast were to change for any reason. In the meantime, workers had to demolish a built-in backyard barbecue grill belonging to one of the Trestles homes because it was beginning to push into the walls, according to Landscape Development Inc. officials.
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12 · S U N D AYS I G N A L
M A R C H 17, 2019
Bank heist ringleader receives 387-month sentence By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer
he man who led the “Palm Tree Bandits” armed robbery crew that held up a Stevenson Ranch bank in 2016 — and other bank branches in Los Angeles and Kern counties, netting more than $85,000 in stolen money — has been sentenced to 387 months in federal prison. Gary Lamar Henry, a.k.a. “G-Thing,” 38, was given the 32-year, four-month term on Monday by U.S. District Judge Robert H. Whaley. After a six-day trial in May 2018, Henry was found guilty of his role in bank robberies that occurred in Brentwood, Santa Monica, San Marino, Arcadia, South El Monte, Bakersfield, Stevenson Ranch and Hacienda Heights. On Sept. 14, 2016, sheriff ’s deputies
began looking for two armed bank robbers who held up a bank at gunpoint in Stevenson Ranch. About a minute before noon, two men armed with firearms walked into the California Bank & Trust on The Old Road, near Pico Canyon Road, and demanded money, Sgt. Dan Peacock told The Signal in 2016. That robbery is believed to have netted about $8,700, according to initial reports from first responders. A jury found Henry guilty of 11 felonies: one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery; seven counts of bank robbery; and three counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, Ciaran McEvoy, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, wrote in a news release issued Monday. Between April 14 and Oct. 7, 2016, Henry contacted his co-conspirators, organized the crews, planned the rob-
beries, and gave his co-conspirators the guns for the robberies, according to the evidence presented at trial. Henry watched outside the bank branches while he sent his armed co-conspirators inside to rob them. On some occasions, the co-conspirators pointed the firearms at bank employees and customers. Though no bank employees or customers suffered physical injuries during the robberies, Henry’s actions placed innocent lives in danger and inflicted considerable emotional trauma on the dozens of victims present during the robberies, according to court documents, McEvoy wrote in his news release. In total, the robberies netted Henry and his co-conspirators $85,354, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum. All of Henry’s co-defendants in the
Dad of fatal crash victim reacts to man’s prison sentence By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer
he father of a young woman killed in a 2016 crash takes little solace from the driver pleading guilty for the crash — or the more than 22 years he’ll spend behind bars. “There is no equity, no redemption, no winners here,” said Willie Littlefield, whose daughter Michelle was one of three killed in the 2016 crash. “I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m satisfied,” he said Monday. “My daughter is not here,” he said, his voice changing on the phone. “We’re starting at ground zero. We are still devastated,” he said, referring to himself and his wife. “I haven’t dealt with the pain, yet,” Littlefield said, noting this despite his attendance in group counseling, family counseling and more. “I know I haven’t dealt with it. One day, there’s going to be a big emotional crash, when I get there,” he said. “Little by little, I’m starting to comprehend.” On Feb. 27, 2016, Dealio Lockhart raced his Dodge Challenger with another driver on Interstate 5 in
Commerce, causing a chain-reaction collision that killed Littlefield’s 19-yearold daughter, Michelle, and Brian Lewandowski, 18, both of Valencia, and Scott Treadway, 52, a UPS truck driver from Mira Loma. Littlefield and Lewandowski were passengers in a Nissan with two other young people who were critically injured. All four occupants of the Nissan were employees of Six Flags Magic Mountain returning from a trip to Disneyland. On Friday, Lockhart, 35, admitted “all crimes charged in an 18-count amended complaint for a negotiated term of 22 years, 4 months,” Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said. Lockhart is scheduled to be formally sentenced on April 12. The amended complaint against Lockhart alleged the following crimes: Three counts of vehicular manslaughter. Four counts of engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway causing a specified injury. 10 counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. There are a few issues, according to Littlefield, that need to be dealt with.
“We need the MAIT Report ASAP,” he said, referring to the detailed accident reconstruction prepared by the California Highway Patrol, called the Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team. “That will shed some light,” he said. “My understanding is the vehicles involved in the crash will soon be released. Perhaps we could ask the DA and (California Highway Patrol) to allow us to see the vehicles before the vehicles are released out of the protective environment.” Littlefield said he is already preparing his victim impact statements in time for Lockhart’s sentencing. “I will be attacking not only Dealio, but the Dodge, the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, Vin Diesel and his Brotherhood of Muscle, and the overall street racing lifestyle,” he said. “We are hoping that the DA, Michael Blake, (L.A. County Sheriff ’s Department) and the CHP make a press conference that will send a message to the street racers — too many people (are) still being killed or hurt,” he said. Lastly, Littlefield said he wants to thank Blake and the law enforcement community.
Sheriff’s deputies talk outside the California Bank and Trust in Stevenson Ranch after a reported robbery occured in September 2016. SIGNAL FILE PHOTO
case already have been sentenced, with three of them receiving prison terms in excess of 12 years. This case was investigated by the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department. This matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky and Joseph D. Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.
Continued from page 10
At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in a case and the defense can respond, after which the judge decides if the case should go to trial. Over the past couple of years, there have been at least five failed attempts to set a date for Lucatero’s preliminary hearing. Lucatero faced one count of murder with the allegation he used a knife in killing his 56-year-old mother, Maria Acevedo, inside the family home on the 19500 block of Castille Lane. He was arrested Oct. 3, 2016, four hours after the stabbing, initially as a person of interest and then as a suspect, prosecutors said at the time of his arrest. Acevedo’s body was discovered by the victim’s husband, who is the defendant’s father, prosecutors noted in a news release issued shortly after the arrest. The Acevedo family owns and runs the Margaritas Mexican Grill restaurant on Valencia Boulevard.
M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 13
Going the distance in the water with B1G win By Diego Marquez Signal Staff Writer
That’s the distance that Valencia High School grad and former Paseo Aquatics swimmer Julia Wolf had to travel to the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana from Santa Clarita about a year ago to get her college swimming career underway. Moving more than halfway across the country, the freshman admits that it’s still taking some time getting used to the weather, but overall, the transition has gone better than expected. “I’m adjusting pretty well, I would say,” Wolf said. “I’ve gotten really close to my teammates and I’m still not used to the weather, it’s still a little cold. It’s really different from growing up in Southern California where there’s a lot of people and its close to a big city, but I like that I’ve been able to experience both.”
Julia Wolf Enrolling at Indiana University, Wolf understood that the past year would be difficult, but never wavered on her ultimate goal of winning the B1G (Big Ten) title in her freshman year. Accomplishing her goal at the B1G
Conference Championships on Feb. 23, Wolf was an integral part of the No. 17-ranked Hoosiers knocking off No. 2-ranked Michigan Wolverines to claim the school’s sixth B1G title and their first B1G title since 2011. “My goal was to win the B1G and make NCAAs, which I accomplished both, but I probably wanted to swim a lot faster by now,” Wolf said. “We still have NCAAs and hopefully, I can get my times down by then.” Wolf placed 10th in the 50-yard freestyle (22.53 seconds), 11th in the 100-yard freestyle (49.35) and was also part of the third-place 200-yard freestyle relay team (Wolf, Christine Jensen, Shelby Koontz, Laurel Eiber) that finished in 1:28.49 and set the benchmark for the fastest time this year. The chemistry and camaraderie that Wolf developed with her teammates, over the course of the year has flourished and developed into a family atmosphere.
“So fun — your sprint group at IU is super close,” Wolf said. “There are probably 15 of us, but we pretty much do everything together, no matter if your a senior or a freshman. We work out together, pretty much everyday, twice a day. You get really close with everyone and you go through a lot of pain together.” Wolf ’s IU swim family qualified for the NCAA tournament that is set to begin on March 20-23 in Austin, Texas Wolf hopes to carry over the same passion and tenacity that she exuded at the B1G Conference Championships and win another team title. “If you see some girl before you on your team swim crazy fast, it does so much for your confidence and it’s inspiring because you are there cheering and you want the best for your team,” Wolf said. “You see them every day working so hard and to see it paying off, it just inspires you to go and give it everything you have.”
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M A R C H 17, 2019
FROM THE CITY MANAGER
Your next great adventure … at the library By Ken Striplin City Manager
here is something quite unique about losing yourself in a book. I see it in my children when they find a story that captivates them, and they can’t bear to put the book down until they have reached the end. I find it in the books that inspire me, make me think, or challenge me to open myself up to a new perspective. No matter the topic or genre, books have the power to transport you to a new reality. There is no better place to set off on your next adventure than at our Santa Clarita Public Library (SCPL). Within the three branches — Old Town Newhall, Valencia and Canyon Country, you are sure to find what you’re looking for. From fantastic, fictional tales to biographies and
“BOOKS ARE THE PLANE, AND THE TRAIN, AND THE ROAD. THEY ARE THE DESTINATION, AND THE JOURNEY.”
— ANNA QUINDLEN “HOW READING CHANGED MY LIFE”
educational resources, our SCPL has something for everyone, and in whatever form they prefer. If you enjoy the tactile experience of turning a page in a beautiful hardcover edition, like to hear a voice bring the story to life through an audio book or prefer to use your technology to download content — all of these options are available at SCPL. In addition to resources, SCPL also has a full slate of events and programs. The entire month of March you can join readers from around the City in the One Story One City program. Our community will come together through the pages of “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by
Lisa See. After you finish the book you can take part in discussions and activities centered around this story of tradition, tea and the enduring connection between mothers and daughters. Our libraries offer a world of adventures for children. They can move to the beat at dance parties, conduct science experiments, create art and even meet a live llama. Make sure to visit SantaClaritaLbrary.com for the full roster of events. We are also welcoming back a favorite friend this year — who is spending a lot of time at our library branches. Sammy Clarita is back, decked out in his green library vest
and reading glasses. Sammy Clarita has become popular with residents of all ages since he made his first appearance in 2017 in honor of the city’s 30th anniversary. This year not only does Sammy have a new look — he has a new book! Sammy wrote a special story about his experiences in Santa Clarita, highlighting our community’s history as well as City events, programs and classes. This book is available at all three of our SCPL branches and soon will be available in elementary school libraries, as well. No matter what type of adventure you have in mind, the Santa Clarita Public Library has what you need. Happy travels.
Ken Striplin is the Santa Clarita City Manager, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of The Signal.
7th Annual SCV Charity
Thursday March 21st 2019 @ 6pm AN EVENT FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, COMMUNITY AND CHARITY T MIGHT FIND WHAR NEXT BE YOU ET AND P AMAZINGANION P M O C
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M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 15
A how-to for professional break-ups By Caleb Lunetta Signal Staff Writer
elationships are tricky. Whether it be with girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife — navigating a partnership while still showing you’re a compassionate, committed individual has challenged some since the dawn of humanity. But what happens when these relationships turn toxic in the workplace? Or it’s just time to move on? The parting of ways can cause both immediate and long-term problems, and according to business professionals around our local communiThere’s definitely a right way and a wrong way ty, there are a couple reasons to to leave a company, and it’s never a good idea end the working relationship to “burn bridges” when you leave a job. between yourself and your company and/or employee, according And for employers, if the breakup to Lettie Bowen of Antelope Valley is something from more of your end, Human Resources. where the business breakup is because the recent hire or current emAccount for the situation: ployee is not the “right fit” for your There are a number of reasons an employee would want to leave a com- operation, it’s important to communipany, and those reasons should never cate with the employee. “You’re communicating with them involve one being angry, Bowen said. on a regular basis on what responsi“It is hard, but for a lot of times, bilities you want them to fill. And if when an employee wants to leave, it’s it comes right down to it, set up little best to not leave when you’re angry,” meetings to make sure they have an said Lettie. “You don’t want to leave understanding of, ‘This is the job we when you’re unloading something have,’” said Bowen. emotional on the situation.” Bowen said “rage quits” can lead to Realize the big picture: bad experiences for both the emIt’s important for both parties, reployee and employer, and therefore, gardless of whoever has initiated the both the worker and business owner breakup, to understand that down the should come to an amicable underroad, maybe in the near future or in a standing of the situation. couple years’ time, that your ex-employer or employee may be the thing Be Understanding: you need for a situation. And you For employees who are leaving, want to be able to call them up again. it’s important to be honest with an “Right now, with the market, it’s an employer about why you’re leaving, employee market and people are going while framing it to say things that to take opportunity to fulfill themyou’re looking for that might be out selves and it’s important to know how of their control. to leave,” said Bowen. “But it’s import“It’s better to let them know you ant for your employees (both current found something else that you’re interested in career-wise or it’s a closer and former) to know that they have an commute for you or that the hours are opportunity, if that’s something both possible,” said Lettie. “You also want to of you would want, of coming back. give them as much notice as possible.” There’s a way to not leave.”
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M A R C H 17, 2019
THINGS TO DO
A touch of culture and customs
By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
ublic markets started as a way to bring food directly to the public, without the higher prices, or delays, of a “middle man.” Modern public markets are often cultural touchstones, providing a detailed look at the food, culture and customs of a region. The new definition of a public market is of a year-round, carefully crafted, intentional and diverse medley of owner-operated shops, stalls and/or “daytables.” However, many public markets offer more than just fresh food, they include arts, crafts, flowers and sundries. They are more than just “farmers’ markets.” Here are three “must-see” West Coast public markets that are rich in
history and diverse in dining, shopping and tourist experiences.
Vancouver, B.C.’s Granville Island Public Market
My daughter and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, B.C. It is everything a public market should be, with dozens of small shops of all kinds offering art, curiosities, jewelry, books, flowers, food and more food. Perhaps the most amazing part of the market was the “food court.” Spread over two adjoining buildings, separated by a short breezeway, the food offerings spanned a multi-cultural panorama of tastes. Among the offerings were Mexican, Asian, Greek and deli food along with bakery items, candy and snacks. I enjoyed a traditional Cornish meat pasty while my daughter indulged in arancini balls.
The Granville Island Public Market has 50 permanent retailers and more than 100 “day vendors.” PHOTO BY MICHELE E. BUTTELMAN
L.A.’s Grand Central Market opened in 1917 in the area that was once the commercial and entertainment corridor of downtown. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA
I wandered through numerous photo and art galleries, a store with hand-painted silks, and the Granville Island Broom Company, which specializes in the art of handcrafted brooms. The day was over before we knew it. I can’t wait to go back. I’s located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. The Granville Island Public Market is everything a public There are 50 permarket should be, with dozens of small shops of all kinds manent retailers and offering art, curiosities, jewelry, books, flowers, food and more than 100 “day more food. PHOTO BY MICHELE E. BUTTELMAN vendors” in stalls Grand Central Market opened throughout the market selling a variin 1917, and offers visitors a ety of artisan cottage-industry foods 30,000-square-foot arcade of culinary and handmade crafts, and shopping delights. The market also includes a “kids’ About 100 years ago, Broadway market” designed for children. was the commercial and entertainInfo granvilleisland.com/publicment corridor of downtown L.A. market Bunker Hill, to the west, was covered L.A.’s Grand Central Market with stately Victorian mansions, and During the 20 years I worked in residents rode down to the market on downtown Los Angeles, the Grand Angels Flight to shop for groceries. Central Market was only steps from Today, there’s a place to eat that can my office. It was a frequent place to satisfy anyone’s palate. visit for lunch and snacks, as well as a From Berlin Currywurst to Eggslut, few fresh veggies to take home. from Kismet Falafel to The Oyster The market has evolved in the years Gourmet, the market has you covsince to become a trendy gathering ered. place for downtown L.A. residents See MARKETS, page 27 and workers.
M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 17
Signal Burns Down & Tibby Off to Hades Top of a Sunday morning, you bunk huggers. Hope you had a most splendiferous Saturday night, free of bail bondsmen, exes and the probing flashlight from the CHP stationed in Burroughs Ridgecrest. C’mon. Shake off the cobwebs and launch those Mousercise heinies into the saddle. We’ve some Santa Clarita historical exploring ahead. We’ve got — oh, heavens. Get up on horseback. We’ll chat as we ride … WAY BACK WHEN & THEN SOME
• Had he lived, Hank’d be 194 On March 13, 1882, town founder Henry Mayo Newhall died after a horse-riding accident. Newhall came west in 1849 the day after his wedding. He was a failure as a gold prospector. Penniless, he sold all his few possessions and within 18 months, was one of America’s richest men. At one time, he owned the entire Santa Clarita Valley.
the street. Just to make this clear: Downtown Newhall had TWO Swall Hotels, open at the same time. The blaze from the wooden hotel was so intense, it popped windows out in many of the buildings around it and across the street. After the ashes settled, future western screen legend, Tom Mix, helped demolish the structure by using his horse, Trixie, to pull down the chimney.
• Never made it to 40 The famed womanizing bandito Tiburcio Vasquez was hanged in San Jose on March 19, 1875. Prior to his death, lady admirers slipped him their home addresses through the bars of his cage on the back of a wagon. He and his brother owned property in the SCV and Tibby often posed as a wealthy horse rancher here. He was lifelong friends with mining baron Remi Nadeau. The elder Nadeau once saved Vasquez’s life after he had been shot and left for dead in the Mojave desert. While at Nick Rivera’s saloon in Newhall, Vasquez boasted he would shoot the next man to enter the pub. It was Nadeau. Instead of shooting the millionaire, Vasquez wept and hugged him.
• The Signal moves from the Swall to the Swall Another interesting tidbit — the first Signal office was lodged in the wooden Swall Hotel. Ed Brown, this paper’s first publisher, had put out only a month’s worth of papers before his business burned to the ground. He managed to drag out the old-fashioned print press and a few supplies. Brown moved into the brick Swall Hotel. Interestingly, the paper burned to the ground again in 1964, a few months after new owner Scott Newhall bought it.
MARCH 17, 1919
• Yup. There were two Swall at the same time A century ago, one of Los Angeles County’s oldest buildings burnt to the ground. The old Swall Hotel, about where the intersection of Market and San Fernando Road is today, was originally the site of the swank Southern Hotel — a bona fide 5-star resort. That burned down in the 1880s. A.C. Swall built a wooden hotel/blacksmith shop (nice combo) from the wreckage. Then, in 1917, Swall built another hotel — this one made of brick — just down
• We were almost real close to LAX Newhall International Airport (named such because it made a mail run into Mexico) was a pretty busy place 80 years ago. Actually, several times during the fall and spring, NIA was backed up with many major airlines circling to land. The major L.A. airports in Southern California would be fogged in and Newhall was the first alternate strip. We had 42 large passenger planes taxi in one morning alone. The airport became a favorite hang-out for local kids who liked to chat with the pilots. A state bond passed in 1939. It was to build Los Angeles International Airport — right here in the SCV. World War II came along and afterwards, the project slipped from our fingers. MARCH 17, 1949
• Trash, and life, are circular Trash dump fights are not exactly a new issue here in the SCV. Starting back in the 1940s, hog ranchers (hogs were used to dispose of certain kinds of trash just by eating it) tried to create giant slop farms here to help dispose of LA’s and the SFV’s massive refuse problem. One hogmeister kept getting blocked by court orders. He just moved his pigs from one location to another. The rancher’s name? Art Kazarian, father of Ken Kazarian, owner of BKK Industries who 20 years ago tried to build the world’s largest trash dump in Elsmere Canyon. MARCH 17, 1959
MARCH 17, 1929
• Not bad, considering no paved roads This item, from the front page of The Signal 90 years ago, reads: “Earl Graham, superintendent of Wayside Farms of Castaic, has driven 38,000 miles on Firestone balloon tires on his Studebaker, and he tells Mr. Kessels, Firestone dealer, that he will drive 2,000 miles more before he buys new ones.” If today you went to your tire dealer to talk about getting 40,000 miles on your tires, you’d probably be yelling.
• New meaning to ‘got its goat’ Loren Clymore’s practice roping goat got loose on this date and wandered all the way into town. The big billy wandered into the women’s fashion shop on San Fernando Road, Quality Togs, to taste some of the fabric. The owners couldn’t get the goat out and making matters worse, it spotted its twin in a full-length mirror. The goat charged itself at full speed, breaking the mirror. John Newlin from Newhall Hardware came to the rescue, wrestling the goat to its senses.
MARCH 17, 1939
MARCH 17, 1969
• Happy Birthday Grandma Engle Five generations of Newhallians were represented at the birthday party of Sarah Engle. She was celebrating No. 103. Her great-great grandson, Dickie, was 3.
• Years later, you wonder if the parents were right The Saugus school board had a near-riot on their hands after 300 jeering, cat-calling parents booed them for trying to introduce sex education courses for the elemen-
tary schools. “I cannot see what could possibly be taught to kindergarten and first graders about sex that would be acceptable to me,” said trustee James Southwell. • Yeah. Right. Deep down, he’s a kind and caring man It was a scene played out over the years: husband beats wife; wife refuses to press charges. Except that in this case, the wife was either in major denial or had heard that song, “Stand By Your Man” too often. A 35-year-old Saugus housewife had baked a special birthday cake for her husband. Instead of reacting with joy, he told his woman he didn’t like cake, followed by dumping the cake on the woman’s head, followed by shooting her in the buttocks with a .22 pistol, followed by attacking her with a butcher knife, followed by a beating. Local sheriff ’s deputies wanted to press attempted murder charges. The woman said if they did, she wouldn’t identify her mate/attacker. MARCH 17, 1979
• I like Mike A little known ex-assemblyman announced he would be running for county supervisor on this date. His name? Mike Antonovich. • Lee “The-Ham-Ham-Hammiest” Smelser The film, “Fast Break” was released. While comedian Gabe Kaplan got top billing, the movie featured COC basketball coach Lee Smelser as a referee. Smelser got his SAG card from this one with the lines, “Time out, Red!!” and “No coach, he’s out! He used his fists!!” What do you know? That swirling vortex ahead? That’s us. Santa Clarita, 2019, hopefully down to the split second. Thanks for the company, dear saddlepals. Truly, you mean a lot to me. See you next week with another exciting Time Ranger adventure. Until then — tener una vida interesante hoy y vayan con Dios! (Have an interesting life today and ride with God!)
John Boston, aka, Mr. Santa Clarita Valley, has been writing about and teaching the history of the SCV for more than 40 years. Read his historical tome, “Images of America: The Santa Clarita Valley.” It’s available on Amazon.com.
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MA R C H 17, 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.
E T H I C A L LY S P E A K I N G
A Monument That’s Been 91 Years in the Making
A Foundational Ethical Question on How We Live
By The Signal Editorial Board
By David Hegg
t’s a decision that’s been a long time coming: 91 years, to be exact. On March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam burst, sending a wall of water through San Francisquito Canyon and bus tour and hike to the scene of the dam break, which, if you didn’t know into the Santa Clarita Valley and then better, is just a nondescript gap in the the Piru-Fillmore-Santa Paula valley canyon marked by a few seemingly leading to the Pacific Ocean. random chunks of Death toll esti91-year-old conmates vary but the crete. official count is over Credit is due to Most of the big400. Imagine, today, gest pieces were dea disaster killing 400 numerous advocates stroyed in the years people from here after the disaster, as who have pushed to Ventura. Now they had become a imagine the relative hazard when tourfor the monument, scope of that disaster ists and lookie-loos at a time when this and in particular began climbing on region was far less the ruins. populous. to our valley’s The dam break It was California’s has all the ingresecond deadliest representatives in dients of a Holdisaster, after the lywood disaster Congress. 1906 San Francisco movie: an emerging earthquake, and the metropolis in Los state’s worst manAngeles, seeking to made disaster. acquire enough water — by any means Every March, the St. Francis Dam necessary — to facilitate its growth, disaster is recapped in the pages of The Signal, and commemorated by the See OUR VIEW, page 20 SCV Historical Society with a guided
or most of human history, philosophy and ethics were based on what is known as the “axial” view of human existence. The axial position holds that this life is not all there is; that there is another level of existence that encompasses this one, and holds out the promise of fulfillment. In the axial view, this life is a journey toward the next, a journey from darkness to light, from brokenness to health, from shame to honor, and from guilt and estrangement to perfection and unity. This theory also asserts that there are powers at play in this life that emanate from the spiritual realm, and that the central challenge of this life is to understand these powers, submit to them, and through it all be prepared to enter the next life well. Most religions are based on the axial view although they differ greatly in how they define the future and the best way to live today. The axial viewpoint raises the most vital question in ethics: are we as humans accountable to a higher being –
vis-à-vis God? – or are we free and unaccountable to anyone or anything other than ourselves? Before Darwin the general view of existence was that God was in control – in some way – of creation and human history. This was how human society explained the reality around them. But with Darwin came a sweeping change. Through his theory of evolution Darwin said, in effect, “I can explain reality without God.” And while this sweeping assertion has had major effects on almost every area of learning, perhaps the one most overlooked is its effect on personal ethics. Today we can recognize the effect Darwinian evolution has had on personal morality and ethics. The institutions that once were considered foundational are being minimized at best, and discarded at worst. Take marriage, for example. In the axial way of life marriage was ordained by a higher power for a set of purposes considered essential to ordered society. A father and a mother, bound by commitment, provided a stable base for the See HEGG, page 19
Another Side to the North Korea Problem Re: Lois Eisenberg, letters to the editor, March 12. We could not agree more with Lois’ statement of sympathy and regret for the death of (Otto Warmbier). It is indeed a tragedy that reflects the cruelty and evil regime of North Korea. Unfortunately, there is another side to it. You have a mad man who holds the trigger to a weapon that threatens not one person, but a whole nation and more. The fact that the U.S. took a hard line, “Rocket man” realizes that he cannot appease the U.S. and get his way. He also knows that he would be annihilated if he ever attempted to take serious action. But these dictators are so full of themselves, that a little flattery
(though undeserved) may get them to be more open to some reasonable negotiations. Doing nothing will only leave them to aggressively continue with their nuclear arms program and thereby increase their negotiating strength. Attempting to disarm an irresponsible government to potentially save thousands if not millions of lives is definitely worth every effort, despite the terrible tragedy that befell the Warmbier family. Hilmar Rosenast, Santa Clarita Submit a Letter to the Editor
Include name, address & phone number; Anonymous letters are not printed; Email: email@example.com; Mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Signal, 26330 Diamond Place, Ste. 100, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.
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Contact: Tim Whyte, Signal Editor Phone: 661-287-5591 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: 26330 Diamond Place, Suite 100, Santa Clarita, CA 91350
D R AW I N G CO N C LU S I O N S R I C K M C K E E
N AT I O N A L P E R S P E C T I V E
The Confounding Story of Kitty Genovese By David M. Schribman National Perspective
t began with a lunch at a place called Emil’s, not far from police headquarters in New York, and the trigger was a six-word sentence. “That Queens story,” the police commissioner said to A.M. Rosenthal, then the metropolitan editor of The New York Times, “is something else.” It was something else, though in the Times it was something very small — a four-paragraph story about the death 55 years ago this month of a woman identified as Miss Catherine Genovese of 82-70 Austin Street in Kew Gardens. Stories like that appeared in the newspaper every day, terrible murders that did not rate terribly much space, or terribly much attention. New York was a big, crowded city, and people got murdered there with sad and senseless regularity. Four paragraphs. Just one murder in a city in which 636 were committed that very year. But there was something different about this murder — not about the way that Kitty Genovese was killed: a hunting knife, following an attempted rape and a robbery — but about the circumstances of the crime. It occurred with witnesses, more than three dozen of them, according to the legend, passive men and women who watched this drama unfold as if they were watching it through a pane of glass or, more likely, through a television screen. They watched it begin, they watched it continue, they watched it end, goes the narrative that has entered history. And by the very passive act of watching — watching, and not acting — they became bit players in one of the signature crimes of the era. Bit players who soon would be swept to the center of the stage: witnesses so numbed by violence, or so disinterested in their neighbor, or so dismissive of their moral responsibilities, that they did
nothing, and by doing nothing became the most important part of the drama. That transformation occurred because Mr. Rosenthal, a hard-bitten onetime foreign correspondent with a sharp intellect that oftentimes was overcome by an almost febrile emotion — this man who inspired terror in colleagues and news sources and yet was a serial hugger and often was reduced to tears — saw a big story inside the small death of Kitty Genovese. Over the newsroom loudspeaker he summoned Marty Gansberg and asked him to look into a story that his own staff had determined rated so little attention. The result shook New York and startled the world. It also helped lead to the establishment of 911 emergency telephone numbers. It transformed the name Kitty Genovese from a noun into an adjective. It produced an image of New York — so sprawling that an individual human is subsumed, so dense that human instincts are suppressed, so violent that human life is devalued — that endured for years. It stained an entire neighborhood, then an entire city, then an entire generation. And it made the phrase “I didn’t want to get involved,” attributed to a neighbor in the Gansberg piece, a symbol of cold-hearted complacency that prevailed far beyond Kew Gardens. The debate over Kitty Genovese has many dimensions, but one of them is the debate over what really happened. How many witnesses were there, really? (The narrative says 38, but there are many who say there were far fewer, and some who believe that some of the witnesses saw only a part of the encounter, not an actual murder in the making.) Is it true no witnesses reacted? (Kitty’s brother argued that one woman tried to scare the attacker by bellowing from her window, and he suggested calls were made to police.) See SCHRIBMAN, page 20
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raising of children and the furtherance of societal values. Today, marriage is being systematically eroded, discarded, mocked, and even fundamentally re-imagined by those worshipping at the altar of progressive morality. And while marriage is being either trashed or twisted, our children are paying the price. No longer are Mom and Dad raising the children together in a loving environment. Now, raising children — if couples even choose the “inconvenience” of starting a family — has become a corporate event through the use of commercial child raising centers. By cutting the cords of responsibility and accountability to the divine, Darwin freed mankind from those institutions meant to provide both resources and restraints such as are needed for society to maintain ethical integrity. But, when accountability to God is no longer a reality, humanity is free to live out our natural desires, which are largely fueled by self-interest. But the basic questions still need to be asked. Who are we to live for? Are we really free to live for self, unaccountable to a higher power? And lastly, are we better off now as a society than we were when our ethics were grounded in the axial view? As I see it, we are not better off, but are descending to greater and greater
levels of egocentrism. We have been captured by the twin gods of personal comfort and convenience. Politically we have lost the will to suffer pain in order to fix our economic problems. Relationally, we are increasingly putting pleasure before commitment in our marriages and with our children. Spiritually, we have re-imagined a god that is in our image, and then had the audacity to scold him for being too weak to assist us. In our freedom from accountability to anything, we have thrown open our lives to everything that appeals to us, and it is killing us. As a pastor I have lived my life in the axial mode. And along the way I have found it has brought a balance to my life – what the Jews call “shalom” – that makes life satisfying, every day, in innumerable ways. If you play with an open mind and open eyes, you’ll have to agree that mankind’s evolutionary freedom hasn’t solved our problems. A serious and truthful look at our world will prove that every evil known through human history is as prevalent today as ever. The god of evolution apparently can’t stem the tide of human weakness. Fortunately for us, God isn’t dead and he continues to grant peace to those who walk in his ways, living this life in light of the next. David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident.“Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays.
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and an engineer, William Mulholland, who might be revered as an undisputed L.A. hero were it not for the unstable land he failed to recognize when he designed the concrete dam that was intended to hold back 12.4 billion gallons of water. Its failure marked the end of his career — and cost hundreds of lives between the dam site and Ventura. There are a couple of small historical markers and plaques at different locations, including one adjacent to an L.A. Department of Water and Power powerhouse downstream from the site of the dam. Otherwise, there’s no official memorial or monument to recognize the tragedy that occurred right here in the Santa Clarita Valley. That, soon, will change. On Tuesday, ironically 91 years to the day since the dam’s fateful collapse, President Trump signed the Natural Resources Management Act, an omnibus parks and monuments bill that includes plans for, at last, a federal monument to the dam disaster and its victims. With the bill’s signing, the secretary of agriculture will have up to three years to submit recommendations to Congress regarding: “the planning, design, construction and long-term management of the memorial; the proposed boundaries of the memorial; a visitor center and educational facilities at the memorial; and ensuring public access to the memorial,” according to the bill’s text. It’s an appropriate measure of commemoration, one that will serve to not only memorialize, but also to educate and provide a valuable connection between Californians and an important, tragic part of our shared history. Credit is due to numerous advocates who have
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Then there were questions about what kinds of people intervene and what kinds of people simply watch. About whether the Genovese murder spawned an “era of apathy.” About whether the murder and the Great Society Lyndon Johnson proposed two months later were twin products of the contemporary view that government, and not mere citizens, was responsible for civic functions that earlier were assumed by individuals. About whether the American instinct for risk-taking in commerce did not convey to risk-taking in the community. Kitty Genovese was the oldest of five, the daughter of a man who operated a coat and apron supply company, a graduate of Prospect Heights High. She was a bartender at EV’s 11th Hour tavern, kept the books there, oversaw the inventory. She listened to the Beatles, liked to dance, loved to laugh.
Photo by George R. Watson The 'Tombstone' stands, before its demolition, in the aftermath of the collapse of the St. Francis Dam.
pushed for the monument, and in particular to our valley’s representatives in Congress. The concept of a memorial was initiated while former Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon was in office, then his successor, former Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, made the monument one of his major local legislative priorities while he was in office and gained its passage in the House. He predicted, correctly, that the bill would gain passage in both houses of the 116th Congress, after his November loss to Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce. Hill delivered on Knight’s prognostication, making the St. Francis Dam monument one of her top legislative priorities after she took office in January.
And now, not even two months later, the monument legislation has been signed into law. We thank both Knight, for his efforts in carrying the legislation, and Hill, for making it a priority and delivering success, pushing it across the finish line. It’s one of those bipartisan accomplishments that we’d love to see become more common. Thanks to their efforts and others, the St. Francis Dam disaster will soon stand as it should: as a monument to the lessons of history, and the very real human price that was paid to bring water to a thirsty Los Angeles.
The killer was Winston Moseley, a father of two with a quiet, dark, desperate, craving side, which apparently was what took him, in his sporty Corvair, to the rendezvous that would change his life, end her life, and give life to one of the most powerful urban myths in American life. He was given to stealing televisions and later admitted to eight rapes, more than three dozen burglaries and two other murders — and, once imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility, would escape on a hospital visit, rape another victim and hold hostages at gunpoint. Moseley’s trial, ending with a death sentence, was part inquiry, part spectacle. He said he didn’t feel sorry for the crime, that he knew what he was doing, that after sexually assaulting her he took $49 from her wallet — and, pointedly, that he heard someone yelling from an open window, so clear that it frightened him. Later he returned to the scene to stab her in the throat to halt her cries. But those cries were heard, contrary to legend and lesson. A man who lived seven floors above the crime
scene testified that he heard a young woman say, “Help me, help me” and then yelled, “Leave that girl alone!” (That interchange obliterates the say-nothing, do-nothing narrative.) Others testified they saw the incident, or heard it and went back to bed. In a sense, what really happened is far less important than the reaction to flawed news stories. Because several important questions linger: What is personal responsibility? What makes for community? Where do moral imperatives begin? Is personal responsibility inversely related to the number of people in a group? Does a broad sense that injustice is pervasive in society lead people to ignore their better instincts, even in the last 35 minutes of a young woman’s life? And — this one cannot be ignored — can great truths be revealed in a story that itself is not entirely true? David M. Shribman is the former executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tim Whyte’s column will return next week.
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= Family Friendly Event
THIS WEEK’S CALENDAR
ONGOING Mondays, 10 a.m. Join Barnes & Noble every Monday morning at 10 a.m. for a special Toddler Storytime at the Children’s Stage. Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita. Info: stores. barnesandnoble.com/store/2642 Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Drop in to Pocock Brewery weekly trivia night with Trivia with Budds. Trivia night.The weekly night also includes a rotating selection of food trucks. Pocock Brewing Company, 24907 Ave. Tibbitts, Ste B, Santa Clarita, Info: triviawithbudds.com/trivia-locations Thursdays, 6 p.m. Come to the Canyon Club every Thursday for an 18+ night of line dancing lessons and county music presented by Borderline Bar & Grill. Canyon Club, 24201 Valencia Blvd., #No. 1351, Santa Clarita. Info: wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/canyonsanta-clarita/# Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. California farmers and specialty food purveyors come together each Saturday, rain or shine, to bring you a farmers’ market with the finest in fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, including organic, baked goods, flowers, herbs, cheeses, and prepared foods. The market offers patrons a chance to come face to face with their food source. Old Town Newhall, 24500 Main St., Newhall. Info: oldtownnewhall.com/old-town-newhallfarmers-market Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Each weekend, the Gibbon Center is open to the public and a tour is given at roughly 10 a.m., no reservations are required. $15 Adults, $12 Teens & Students, $10 Seniors, $5 Children 6-12, Children under 5 are free. 19100 Esguerra Road, Santa Clarita. Info: gibboncenter.org Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Grab the young’uns and mosey on up the hill in William S. Hart Park to the glorious hilltop Mansion, where you can not only take a free guided tour, but your young ones can have some free craftin’ fun! Set up right outside the Mansion’s back door, on the covered back patio, is the new weekly Crafterday Saturday craft table! The young ones can try their hands at simple crafts like making their own totem poles, designing their own rope art, making their own dreamcatchers, and so much more!. The event is free. Activities are geared towards younger participants, but anyone who enjoys crafts will have a grand ol’ time, so don’t miss it. 24151 Newhall
Ave., Newhall. Info: (661) 254-4584, hartmuseum.org
EVENTS BY DATE Sunday, March 17, 1-4 p.m. Come to Valencia Lanes to help raise funds for Circle of Hope. Men, women, kids, and team competitions will take place with prizes for the highest scores. Don’t forget to wear green. $25 per person, $125 per team of 5. Includes lunch and shoe rental. Valencia Lanes 23700 Lyons Ave., Santa Clarita. Info: (661) 254-5218 or circleofhopeinc.org/bowling Monday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. Come to Barnes and Noble for a watercolor demo by artist David Deyell hosted by Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA). This event is free and open to the public. Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, Info: santaclaritaartists.org. Wednesday, March 20, 10-11 a.m. Freedom Riders were Civil Rights activists who challenged the segregated bus systems in the southern United States. They were instrumental in expanding the momentum of the newly emerging Civil Rights movement. Join Professor Lissa Brassfield to explore the role and discuss the impact these brave Americans had on race relations. SCV Senior Center, A1 and A2, 22900 Market St, Santa Clarita. Blyth Birchall, Info: bbirchall@ scv-seniorcenter.org Wednesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m. Join L.A. Film Locations as they host the SCV’s premiere monthly business networking event this month. Chamber Board Member Monica Harrison will she discusses filming in the Santa Clarita Valley. LA FIlm Locations, 24367 Walnut Street, Santa Clarita. Info: chamberorganizer.com/members/evr/reg_ event.php?orgcode=SCVC&evid=46311035 Thursday, March 21, 6-10 p.m. Come celebrate 7th annual SCV Charity Chili Cookoff at the Oaks Club featuring live band, DJ and dancing along with a live and silent auction, kids’ corner and chili cookers far and wide looking forward to presenting their prized recipe in hopes of winning first, second or third prize, People Choice Award or Judges Choice, all critiqued by local celebrity judges. Our goal has no cap and we are benefiting two charities this year, so we need twice the donation power to help both amazing causes with their continued success. 26550 Heritage View Lane, Valencia, Santa Clarita. Info: scvcharitychilicookoff.com Thursday, March 21, 7-10 p.m. Take a trip to Louisiana as Main Street transforms
into Bourbon Street and celebrates Mardi Gras for this month’s SENSES block party! Grab a drink from the on street bar, dance the night away to high energy performers, and order a bite from the food trucks or local restaurants. Don’t miss this fun and festive adult setting right here in Santa Clarita. Main Street and Market Street, Santa Clarita. Info: thursdaysatnewhall.com/senses/ Friday, March 22, 5:30-10 p.m. Lady Luck can be yours at Casino NIght presented by Assistance League Santa Clarita. Your $100 ticket includes a 3-course dinner followed by Las Vegas gaming fun including crap tables, roulette, blackjack and poker. Proceeds of the evening benefit Assistance League Philanthropic programs in the Santa Clarita Valley. Hyatt Regency Valencia 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia. Info: assistanceleaguesantaclarita.org Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Green Thumb invites you to the Spring Opening 2019 for a day full of fun with vendor exhibits, garden design seminar, 10% discount on purchases, popcorn, and raffle prizes. Green Thumb Nursery, 23734 Newhall Ave, Newhall. Info: greenthumb.com/santa-clarita-greenthumb-nursery/
March 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The City of Santa Clarita is celebrating Youth Art Month by hosting the Santa Clarita Youth Arts Showcase. The free event gives students in the Santa Clarita Valley an opportunity to showcase their talent by performing or displaying their art for the community. Each school district will highlight their visual artists and performing artists, local dance studios will lead participatory movement and dance classes, student artists will display their street painting masterpieces and local art studios will give interactive art demonstrations. Enjoy a celebration of youth art with an array of performances, interactive art activities, art vendors, food trucks and more! The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Pkwy, Santa Clarita. Info: santa-clarita.com/YouthArtsShowcase Saturday, March 23, Noon-5 p.m. Come to the CalArts Print Fair! Enjoy, celebrate, purchase, trade, and sell printed goods from local artists and designers! Everything from posters, prints, clothing, zines, stickers, and much more! Admission, parking, and signing up to be a vendor are all free. CalArts Main Gallery, 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia. Info: email@example.com
N!IN! IN! WIW W CONGRATULATIONS to RICK KOSKI of NEWHALL — the winner of $100 for correctly identifying the artwork as being from SMILE CITY advertisement on page 13 of our March 3 issue. Identify this piece of artwork and the page number that it is on in one of the advertisements in this week’s issue, and you will be entered to win $100. One game and one winner each week.
Mail your entry to: The Signal – Contest 26330 Diamond Place | Santa Clarita, CA 91350 Or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertiser: Page # Name: Address:
This week’s entries are due Wed. March 27. Winner to be announced in 2 weeks.
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Pool deck color, fire pit, bath remodel After this many years I’m sure things behind the walls and such aren’t in the best condition, but is this something that we need to worry about? For now we are planning tile and fixtures for the shower, and counter and fixtures for the sink area but since you are so trusted we will change anything that you think we should, while we are at it. — Jason K.
By Robert Lamoureux Signal Contributing Writer
Pool Deck Color Robert, My pool deck is in great shape as far as the condition of the concrete — no crumbling, missing pieces or damage. The color, however, is fading. We bought the house with the concrete having a color coating to it, but it’s not the actual concrete that was colored and then poured. It’s getting pretty worn looking, and we’d like to look in to getting it fixed, but have no idea where to begin and what type of contractor to reach out to. We will consider doing it ourselves if you think that the ‘average Jo’ could do this type of work on their own home. Based on my photos do you think this is a project that we should tackle? If not, then can you recommend what type of contractor to call on for this? What should we ask of them and what type of warranty should we expect to receive on their work? Thank you in advance for your help, we read your article weekly and truly enjoy it, and learn a lot from it. — Richard C. Richard, I can recommend a concrete finisher to come in and dye the concrete and seal coat it. I would recommend that you not tackle this on your own, as it can get out of control pretty easily and you’ll
SCV LOCK & KEY
The pool deck is in good shape but the color coating is fading. Tackle it alone or use a professional is the question.
end up with a mess. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when applying the dyes and the controlling of these products. I strongly recommend you leave it to a professional. I’ll forward the name of a local company here in town, they’re reputable and have done work at my own home, for me. Good luck. — Robert Fire Pit Hi Robert, I live in Saugus and am considering putting in a built-in fire pit for our backyard. Is this something that I need to pull a permit for? What do I need to consider for resale issues, when installing such a thing? Are there rules for how far it
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needs to be from certain things? Summer is here and we really want to get this project in and done, but we do want to consider the proper steps so that when we sell our home in the future, we won’t end up in a situation having not followed the proper steps or design. Any help you could give would be wonderful, thank you. — Armando L. Armando, You will need permits to run the gas line to the pit, from the meter. As long as you are not burning wood logs and it’s just the gas flame and the glass beads, then there are no issues. If you decide to go to a log burning pit then you’ll need to talk to the building department at the city of Santa Clarita, and probably check in with the local fire department due to the high risk brush areas we have. — Robert Bath Remodel Robert, Thank you for this column. I have learned so much and have come to trust your opinion very much. Our home is about 28 years old and we are considering remodeling the master bath area. Can you recommend anything in particular for this upstairs bathroom that we need to do while we are in the process that will help prevent any future issues?
Jason, This is contingent on your budget. The ideal situation is that if you’re doing a remodel, to do lock, stock and barrel. Replace all the visible plumbing in the walls when you have them open, replace any rotted timbers as needed. Put in new fixtures, tubs, showers, lavs and toilets — and make it like new. I would spend some of the funds in mid-range for fixtures as they will last you longer than the entry level fixtures that you can buy in the big box stores. Always change out the supply lines, do not re-use old lines and angle stops as they will fail and can possibly cause leaks. I would use ¼-inch turn shut offs and not the full turn. In an emergency you’ll be happy to have the ¼-inch turn shut-offs. If this is going to be an upstairs bathroom, then I would put Bituthene (roll-out rubber membrane) on the floor before you set the finish flooring to minimize potential leaks to the downstairs. 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 robert@ imsconstruction.com.
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Southern Cal’s most glorious gardens By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
Left: Cherry blossum time at The Huntington Library with the “Pink Cloud” cherries in bloom. PHOTO BY MICHELE E. BUTTELMAN / THE SIGNAL Below: A stroll through the Arboretum will take you through a variety of gardens and landscapes that you might not expect to see in Southern California. PHOTO BY LOS ANGELES ARBORETUM
pring is sprung … buds are budding and flowers are blooming. Some of the most beautiful gardens in the world are in Southern California. The recent rains should make SoCal’s public gardens lush and abundant. Spring is the perfect time to embrace nature and tiptoe through the tulips (and daffodils, too.) Remember, the flowers and plants are to be enjoyed by everyone, not to be picked or cut by visitors.
1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge Open daily except Dec. 25. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free parking. Admission: General $9; Seniors 65 and over/Students with ID $6; Children (5 to 12 years) $4. Descanso members and children under 5 are free. Info www.descansogardens.org.
Thousands, yes, thousands of tulips are ready to burst to colorful life at Descanso Gardens. Every year nearly 20,000 tulips are planted at Descanso Gardens so visitors can marvel at the spectacular blooms as they arrive in waves during the early spring. Yellow, red, orange, purple, pink and every shade in between will be represented as photographers gather to immortalize the amazing display.
Check on the status of your favorite flowering trees, including the magnificent cherry blossoms, by using this “bloom tracker” www. descansogardens.org/visit/bloomingtrees.
Descanso Gardens encourages visitors to wander through the lush gardens. Feel free to step off the paths and find the hidden places and secret spaces that exist. Find a quiet bench next to the soothing sounds of a small street, or a quiet pond, and let nature restore balance and calm to your life.
What to see
Among the beautiful blooms on display this spring will be camellias, magnolias, cherry trees, daffodils, tulips, irises and more.
The Japanese-style garden is one of my favorite places. The garden blends design elements from four classic garden styles. Cross an arched bridge and walk on shaded paths along a koi-filled stream to the teahouse, designed by architect Whitney Smith and built in 1966. The plants in this garden are all native to Asia and include camellias, azaleas, mondo grass and Japanese maples. Descanso Gardens is home to North America’s largest camellia collection with both rare and familiar camellias. It is a camellia lover’s paradise. Newspaper publisher E. Manchester Boddy planted thousands of camellia plants in the 1930s and 1940’s to provide blooms for the cut-flower industry. After Boddy retired his estate was sold to the County of Los Angeles to become the Descanso Gardens we know today. The best part of Descanso are the numerous trails that wind through the giants of the Descanso landscape, the Coast live oaks. The trees, some centuries old, are the remainder of a forest that once blanketed the region. Be sure to find the Ancient Forest, the newest plant collection of cycads in Descanso Gardens. Opened in 2015, the collection includes more than 180 plants representing 60 varieties including several endangered species. Virtually unchanged in form since the days of the dinosaurs, cycads provide a glimpse of the earliest types of flora on Earth.
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, 91108. Open: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Admission: There are two price points at The Huntington, weekday rates and weekend/holiday rates. Adults: $$25/$29; Senior (65+) and student with ID: $21/$24; Youth (4-11) $13; Child (under 4) free. Free parking. The Huntington is part library, part art collection and part botanical gardens. In the spring, the garden is where you want to direct your attention. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, there is a lot of walking in this garden. Info www.huntington.org.
What to see
The Huntington Botanical Gardens encompasses approximately 120 acres with 16 themed garden areas and some 15,000 different varieties of plants. My favorite spot in the gardens is the bamboo garden located on the way to the desert garden. There is something just powerfully beautiful about this stand of bamboo, how tall and straight the plants stand, that fills me with awe.
Other garden highlights
Orchid Collection With more than 10,000 orchid plants, this is one of the largest orchid collections in the United States. The collection contains more than 3,600 unique varieties. The orchids and other tropical plants are maintained in three greenhouses
and one public conservatory with more than 26,000 square feet of space. Bonsai Collection Visitors to the Bonsai collection are treated to an ever-changing display of one of the largest and finest public masterpiece bonsai collections in the United States. Started in 1968 with personal trees donated by the late Bob Watson, the bonsai holdings now number in the hundreds, representing many different species, styles and sizes, from centuries-old twisted junipers to majestic pines, stately elm forests, and more. Some bonsai in the Huntington collections are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.
In 1903 Henry E. Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch, a working ranch about 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles with citrus groves, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows and poultry. His superintendent, William Hertrich, was instrumental in developing the various plant collections that comprise the foundation of The Huntington’s botanical gardens.
The final phase of construction is underway at The Huntington for its renowned Chinese Garden, known by the poetic name the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. The new features will increase the garden’s footprint See GARDENS, page 39
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M A R C H 17, 2019
SCHOOL | KIDS
Donna’s Day: Creative Family Fun
Cheddar Cheese Biscuits for St. Patrick’s Day By Donna Erickson Signal Contributing Writer
henever I run into my Irish-American friend Margaret Wachholz, I feel like I’ve just won a ticket to the Emerald Isle. It’s not just her catchy sayings and accent that inspire me; she simply exudes joy whenever I tell her about my attempts to be just a wee bit Irish, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. When I recently shared a favorite biscuit recipe made with cheddar cheese and scallions, which I thought might be ideal for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, she exclaimed, “’Tis, indeed,
but be sure to add lashings of butter! Irish butter.” Good thing, because this recipe calls for butter in the batter and for brushing on top of the warm biscuits — perfectly suited to accompany an Irish-themed meal on March 17. This easy recipe skips mixers, kneading and biscuit cutters in the prep. Just set out a big bowl, grab a wooden spoon and call in the kids. They can measure and stir before you pop the doughy mounds in the oven. When baked, they can brush the lightly browned tops with “lashings” of butter and top with a shamrock-shaped flat parsley leaf as a nod to the “green.”
CLIP N SAVE Elementary School Menus Menus courtesy of Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services which serves these school districts: Castaic USD • Newhall USD • Saugus USD • Sulphur Springs USD
(choice of one entree, seasonal fruit and milk)
Monday, March 18 Tuesday, March 19 Wednesday, March 20 Thursday, March 21 Friday, March 22
Blueberry Bash Mini Waffles Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fruit Juice
Mini Corn Dogs Spicy Chicken Sandwich Chicken Sandwich Smart Choice Pizza*^ Seasonal Salad Bar
Super Star Corn Muffin Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit
Turkey Taco Dippin’ Chicken & Sauce PBJ Sandwich^ & String Cheese Smart Choice Pizza*^ Seasonal Salad Bar Orange Chicken w/ Rice Cheeseburger Smart Choice Pizza* Seasonal Salad Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie
Pancake Sausage Stick* Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit Fruit Juice Sausage Biscuit Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fresh Fruit Breakfast Burrito Breakfast Bun Cereal Chilled Fruit Fruit Juice
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich* Dippin’ Chicken & Sauce Smart Choice Pizza*^ Seasonal Salad Bar Frozen Fruit Cup Toasty Grilled Cheese Sandwich Popcorn Chicken Smart Choice Pizza* Manager’s Choice* Seasonal Salad Bar
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www. donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2018 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.
Cheddar Cheese and Scallion Biscuits (Makes 16 medium biscuits)
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup whole milk 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter (resources below) 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese (look for Irish cheddar for St. Patrick’s Day) 2 teaspoons scallions, chopped 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 16 whole leaves from flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional) To prepare oven and baking pan Heat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To prepare dough In a large mixing bowl, let your kids measure and combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder, sugar and salt. Stir with a big spoon. Add milk and 1/2 cup of the melted butter, and combine lightly until flour is mixed in. (Do not overstir!) It will be sticky. Fold in the cheese, scallions and chopped parsley. To bake Use an ice-cream scoop or large spoon to drop equal-size mounds on the baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned. To serve Remove from oven. Brush each biscuit with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and press a parsley leaf shaped like a shamrock on top. Resources Kerrygold brand pure Irish butter is widely available. Kerrygoldusa.com.
M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 25
K I D S & FA M I LY
By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
ne of the best parts of being a kid is hunting for Easter eggs. It is better if they’re chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, but real, hard-boiled eggs are just as fun to find. Easter can be a time to make new family traditions beyond the traditional, and colorful, dyed eggs.
Dye Easter Eggs
If you like egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, chef ’s or Cobb salads, dying hard-boiled eggs and hiding them for your children to find is always a great place to start making family memories, and have hardboiled eggs on hand to eat, as well. The premade dye kits now offer a variety of options, with stickers, transfers, new colors and finishes and other special egg designs. You can also make your own Easter egg dye by combining 1/2-cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of food color (found in the spice section, or baking section at the grocery store) in a cup to achieve desired colors. Repeat for each color. Dip the eggs in dye for about 5 minutes. Interested in organic Easter egg dyes? Try this. Combine 1-quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a medium pot. Bring it to a boil, add your dye ingredients lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the dye is cool, strain it before adding the eggs.
Yellow eggs add 3 tablespoons turmeric (wear rubber glove, turmeric stains your skin) to the boiling water. Pink eggs add 4 cups of chopped beets. (Eggs turn pink after drying).
Make new Easter traditions Blue eggs add 3 cups of chopped red or purple cabbage. For robin’s egg blue, let the eggs soak for 30 minutes. If you want a deeper hue, soak your eggs overnight in the fridge. Orange add 4 cups of yellow onion skins. For a brighter orange, soak overnight in the fridge. Silver eggs forget the vinegar; just combine 4 cups of water and 4 cups frozen blueberries in a bowl. Let the mixture come to room temperature and strain. Soak eggs in the dye overnight in the fridge.
Plant Magical Beans
Here’s fun way to engage your children in the magic of the Easter Bunny. Replace each “planted” jellybean with a colorful lollipop or a variety of Easter-themed treats. A few items you can plant (each tied with a colorful ribbon and on a stick or skewer): Marshmallow Peeps, colorful lollipops, chocolate bunnies, Easter Egg shaped cookies, pastel-colored marshmallows and marshmallow-filled chocolate eggs.
Find the Big Chocolate Bunny
An Easter Bunny hunt is always a great way to keep kids entertained, as well as teaching children how to follow clues with deductive reasoning. Hide a large chocolate bunny somewhere in the house or yard. Assemble your list of clues that will lead your children on the hunt for the bunny by finding a series of clues. Example: Clue 1: Find your first clue where bathing is done. (Bathroom) Clue 2: Where 1 plus 1 is 2 and 5 plus 5 is 10. (math book) Clue 3: What do you take to school every
day? (backpack) Clue 4: Find a container to boil water (pots and pans cupboard) Clue 5: Where you keep your toys (Toy chest).
A beautifully decorated “Easter Tree” is easy to assemble with a broken tree branch (with several smaller branches to hang eggs) set in plaster of Paris in a small tin pail, or in a medium to large vase filled with sand or small pebbles. It is best to spray paint your branch white before placing in the plaster or vase. “Blow” a dozen fresh eggs by poking holes at the top and bottom of the eggs with pins. Use a small nail to enlarge the holes enough to blow out the egg. Make the bottom hole a little bigger than the top hole. Put your mouth over the top of the egg and blow until all the egg runs out of the bottom and into a bowl. Dye the eggs in a rainbow of colors and then decorate (carefully) with pieces of lace, sequins, glitter and rhinestones. Glue a piece of colorful ribbon at the top and hang the eggs on the “tree.” This is a fun family craft for all ages.
Easter basket treats
Not everything in an Easter basket needs to be candy. Put non-candy presents into baskets along with the traditional sweets. Items like stickers, chalk, craft supplies, small toys and books will delight the kids and keep the “sugar high” to a minimum.
Make a bunny cake
I’m about as artistic as a rock, so making a cute bunny cake always seemed beyond my cake-decorating
abilities, until I discovered this clever “bunny cake hack.” Bake two 9-inch round cakes, any flavor, according to package directions. Cool. Cover a large sheet of cardboard with foil. Place one round cake in the center of the “tray.” Cut curved ovals from the sides of the remaining cake. What will be left should look like a bow tie. Place the bow tie piece below the round cake (the face) and the two curved pieces above the “face” as ears. Cover with white frosting and white coconut flakes. If you are very ambitious, use some pink frosting to decorate the inside of the bunny ears. Use green or blue gumdrops for eyes, a pink gumdrop for a nose and string black licorice for whiskers. Draw a mouth with a tube of black décor icing. Decorate the bow tie with more gumdrops or pink frosting.
Easter egg hunts
It isn’t Easter morning if there aren’t children scampering around the backyard looking for hidden Easter eggs. See FUN, page 27
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M A R C H 17, 2019
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
‘Hold On’: Wilson Phillips returning to Canyon SCV By Perry Smith Sunday Signal Editor
he members of Wilson Phillips have put their touring days behind them, for the most part. But that’s what makes the group’s April 6 show at The Canyon Santa Clarita such a special opportunity. The famous threesome — which had several No. 1 hits on the Bill-
board Hot 100 chart in the 90s, including “Hold On” and “Release Me” — is in a “celebratory” stage of their careers, said singer Carnie Wilson, in a recent interview. “We’re not trying to prove anything,” Wilson explained, discussing how between the three vocalists, the nine children among them have somewhat shifted priorities, but also allows them to really enjoy their live shows. Speaking of family, the trio, consist-
ing of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips, plan to perform not only their own hits, but a few that harken back to the days of their famous parentage: Chynna Phillips is the daughter of The Mamas & the Papas band members John and Michelle Phillips; Carnie and Wendy Wilson are sisters and the daughters of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson. “We like to integrate a little bit of our influence, and that would be our
parents, of course,” Wilson said, also mentioning a few others, such as Abba and Electric Light Orchestra.
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 TicketMaster. com. For more info, visit WheremusicmeetstheSoul.com.
M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 27
Continued from page 16
Among my new market favorites are McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream (probably best for me they didn’t have that option 30 years ago) and Wexler’s Deli. (I am a sucker for a good corned beef on rye.) I am most anxious to try PBJ.LA, the gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich restaurant that recently opened at the market. The trip from the SCV the Grand Central Market isn’t that difficult: Take the Hollywood Freeway, exit at Temple Street, stay in the center lane and go straight, make a left on 1st Street, right on Broadway. Turn right on 4th Street and right on Hill Street. Park in the paid parking garage at 308 Hill St. It’s $3 for the first 90 minutes and $2 each 15 minutes after that, with a maximum of $25. Info www.grandcentralmarket.com
Seattle’s Pike Place Market
The most common image associated with the Pike Place Market in Seattle is the oft-seen video of flying salmon being tossed among fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market at the front of Pike Place Market. The flying fish always attract a throng tourists and others who enjoy watching the fish soar above other creatures of the deep that are laid out on the
Continued from page 25
Even more fun is a community Easter Egg hunt like the one offered by the city of Santa Clarita each year. Plan to attend Eggstravaganza, Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m. in Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. The popular free egg hunt is open to children 10 and under. Info: www.santa-clarita. com/city-hall/departments/recreation-community-servicesand-open-space/events
Easter Adventure Trains
The Fillmore & Western Railway will offer two special trains on Easter weekend. Train 1 Scenic Train to Santa Paula Easter Celebration Saturday, April 20. Adults $26; Senior $24;
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is much more than flying fish, the iconic neon-lit clock and a brass pig. It’s fresh produce, intriguing shops, arts, crafts and fabulous food. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT SEATTLE
ice-covered beds below. Landing with ease into the waiting arms of a rubber-aproned clad co-worker the airborne fish are quickly wrapped and placed into the arms of the eager buyer. But Pike Place Market is much more than flying fish, the iconic neon-lit clock and a brass pig. It’s fresh produce, intriguing shops, unique arts, crafts and fabulous food. I was born in Seattle, and I still remember the first time I visited Pike Place when I was 9. The smell of fish, of flowers and of spice was intoxicating. Pike Place Market opened Aug. 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. Youth (4-12) $16; Child (2-3) - $12 and infants are free. Departs at noon from Fillmore. Travel to the historic city of Santa Paula. Spend full hours visiting the downtown, museums and Easter-related events. Then return to Fillmore at 4 p.m. Train 2 Easter Lunch Train. Depart the Fillmore station at noon on Sunday, April 21. Adults $50; Youth (4-12) $29; Child (2-3) $25 and infants under 2, free. Enjoy a three-hour scenic ride through the Heritage Valley with the fragrance of orange and lemon blossoms to enjoy. Bring the family for lunch as you travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in the area. The Easter Bunny will be visiting with treats for all. Reservations required: http:// www.fwry.com.
When you visit Pike Place Market don’t forget to “feed” Rachel, the brass pig, that sits outside the market at the corner of Pike Place and under the iconic “Public Market Center” sign and clock. Rachel is a bronze cast piggy bank created by Georgia Gerber, a sculptor from Whidbey Island, Wash. In 1986, the nonprofit Pike Place Market Foundation decided a piggy bank was needed to help raise funds to support housing and services for low-income neighbors. Fun fact: The pig was named “Rachel” in honor of a 750-pound pig who won first place at the 1985 Island County Fair on Whidbey Island. The Main Market offers street-level stalls and a subterranean warren of shops. It stretches in an L-shape from 1st Avenue and Pike Street (named for pioneer builder John Pike) to Pike Place and then along Pike Place to Virginia Street. Across Pike Place, the Sanitary Market and related buildings rise toward 1st Avenue. The Sanitary Market got its name because it banned horses from it’s interior.
Artisan cheese, chocolate-covered Washington cherries, preserves, dried fruit and jams are plentiful. Pike Place Market offers 30-plus restaurants, including an authentic Parisian bistro and a casual diner serving the fresh catch of the day with a view of Elliott Bay. Many restaurants found in the market are multi-generational family enterprises. Market favorite Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar was founded as a bakery and luncheonette by three Greek brothers in 1909, the restaurant is still operated by the same family. I can attest to the excellent food served at the Athenian. My daughter and I recently enjoyed the smoked salmon platter, Alaskan cod fish and chips and the “Famous Fishwich.” We cleaned our plates. My all-time favorite items from Pike Place include the Growing Washington Strawberry Rosemary and Strawberry Vanilla Jam and the Pike Place Market Spice Cinnamon Orange Tea. I’ve been buying the tea for decades. It always reminds me of home. Info www.pikeplacemarket.org
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M A R C H 17, 2019
Chyll Creamery and Boba is full of surprises By Michelle Sathe Signal Staff Writer
hat’s a cross between an ice cream parlor, American diner and an Asian food court? Chyll Rolled Creamery and Boba in Castaic. Anyone familiar with the Valencia location knows that Chyll serves up dozens of fabulous bobas and fun ice cream concoctions with names like “Cereal Killer” and “I Ain’t Go No Thai for That.” What you may not know is that the newly opened Chyll in Castaic also has an extensive menu of unique Vietnamese and Asian fusion dishes that’ll blow your mind. Walk into the former Telly’s Drive Thru space and admire the warm wooden interior accented with modern metal touches. Sit on a padded leather stool at the counter to watch ice cream being rolled like thin crepes into little bundles of creamy heaven before being stacked into a cup, cone or atop a waffle. Inhale the savory scent of meat and veggies being grilled before grabbing a big, comfy booth to enjoy your meal. You’ll be greeted by friendly staff, including the seemingly tireless owner, Sarah Tramondo, who created the menu. A former beauty industry executive, she still looks incredibly put together despite working long hours at both the front and back of the house. Tramondo, who hails from Vietnam, is one of 10 children born to a mother who ran a restaurant and a father who was very particular. “My dad would not eat a dish if it was missing just one thing. That’s where I learned to perfect my food,” she said. That means no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG and only the highest quality ingredients at Chyll, where meats are marinated for up to 24 hours and bones are boiled for two days to create the most flavorful broth for Tramondo’s stellar pho ($10.75 to $12.95). You’ll want to start with a cold drink ($3.75 to $4.75) and add boba (50 cents) since Tramondo insists on making the big tapioca balls from scratch every four hours, resulting in perfectly soft, slightly chewy honey-infused spheres.
Chyll Creamery owner and chef Sarah Tramondo poses with the BBQ Beef Short Ribs (above). PHOTOS COURTESY CHYLL
There are seven lemonades and 10 teas to choose from. The Thai Tea is sweet, bold, refreshing, and downright delightful with the boba, and makes a fantastic foil for Tramondo’s take on Asian street food and grilled specialties. To start, the plump spring rolls ($7.25) are packed with tender shrimp, crisp spinach, mint and cilantro, decadent bits of pork, and crispy wonton noodles for a welcome bit of crunch. Dip into the homemade peanut sauce for a cool kaleidoscope of flavors and textures. Chyll Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($8.50) feature savory ground chicken layered atop elegant sheets of romaine lettuce with a surprise bit of sweet and spice from apple and jalapeño slices.
The chicken wings are so delectable, there’s no dipping sauce required.
The Chicken Wings ($8.75) are amazing – moist, yet crisp, with a sweet and spicy glaze. Topped with a mound of friend shallots and garlic, these wings are absolutely delectable — no dipping sauce required. If you’re a noodle fan, the Garlic
The Garlic Chicken with Noodles are a must for any noodle lover.
Noodles with Chicken ($11.50) are a must. Think chunks of juicy, savory dark meat chicken cascading over a tangle of luscious oiled egg noodles that are somehow tender and crispy at the same time. You also can’t go wrong with the BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($14.25), served in a generous mound atop a sizzling plate with a pile of fluffy steamed jasmine rice. The grilled meat is permeated with hints of soy and garlic, with just the right ratio of fat for melt-inyour-mouth deliciousness. Of course, you’ll have to end the meal with ice cream. While you can’t go wrong with any of the traditional flavors like chocolate or vanilla, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try something new, like The Incredible Hulk, available in a cup, shake, waffle taco or bowl, Hong Kong Waffle, or The Whole Enchyllada ($6.25 to $7.75). The ice cream’s green hue is derived from pandan, a plant known as the vanilla of southeast Asia, while the
purple comes from ube or purple yam. Both have a mild, vanilla-esque flavor which meld beautifully when served “Whole Enchyllada” style atop a warm waffle, festooned with big puffs of whipped cream, and sprinkled with toasted coconut and nuts. It’s a lot of fun to eat and definitely enough to share. Chyll also offers breakfast daily, with classic diner options like Belgian Waffles and Scrambled Eggs ($9.95 to $12.95), with more unusual options including a Banh Mi Breakfast Sandwich featuring over easy eggs, Chinese sausage, cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon radish, cilantro, jalapeños and house mayo ($10.25) or a rolled pandan or traditional pancake ($12.95), stuffed with low fat yogurt, granola and topped with organic maple syrup. Like just about everything at Chyll, including the ice cream and sauces, the granola is made in-house with a lot of care by Tramondo and her staff, whom she personally trains to recreate her recipes. The payoff comes when her customers are happy. “I love to see people enjoy my cooking,” said Tramondo, who’s lived in Castaic for 17 years. “I hope Chyll becomes part of the community, a place where everyone can come hang out, enjoy our food, and talk about their day.”
Chyll Creamery and Boba, 31703 Castaic Road, Castaic. Open Sunday to Thursday, 7 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, 7 am to 11 pm. 20 percent discount for first responders. For more information, visit www.chyllcreamery.com or call (661) 702-1774.
M A R C H 17, 2019
S U N D AYS I G N A L · 29
Nothing but strikes for these seniors By Emily Alvarenga Signal Staff Writer
he Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s Wii bowling team is on a winning streak. That’s right, Wii
bowling. The Alley Oops, as they call themselves, are competing in the senior Wii bowling tournament that spans all of California. They have won two weeks straight and are looking to keep the ball rolling. “We have a lot of fun when we play,” said Rita Hendrixson, 93. “I like seeing everyone try their best, and when someone can get a strike, it feels so good. It’s so nice to see them successful.” Neither age nor health matter when
Joe Gotto swings a Nintendo Wii controller during a game of bowling at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. The center’s Wii bowling team, The Alley Oops, is competing in a statewide tournament and has won two weeks straight. PHOTOS BY EMILY ALVARENGA / THE SIGNAL
it comes to playing. The easy-touse hand controller makes it so that anyone can join, even those who have disabilities. “It’s probably one of the healthiest things you can do as an older person,” league member Steve Baldwin said. “Interacting with people and being active instead of sitting on your couch is important.” The seniors on the team definitely take it seriously, and most are tough competitors. Players were getting “turkeys” — three strikes in a row — left and right, and some even got up to eight strikes in a row. Between strikes, Joe Gotto, longtime league member, was explaining to a new member how to release the ball at just the right time. “I love to help coach the new players,” Gotto said. “They’re getting a lot better, and it’s fun to see their progress.” Gotto said he loves to watch each player develop their own technique. And, just like in real bowling, each senior has a pre-shot routine. Whether it’s a little wiggle, a huge swing or an extra long aim, they swear it makes all the difference. “Joe’s a character,” Baldwin said. “He goes through this routine that you cannot believe, but it works!”
Wii bowling takes place from 1-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the SCV Senior Center, located at 22900 Market St. in Newhall. For more information, call (661) 259-9444.
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Rita Hendrixson, 93, bowls a strike at the senior center. “We have a lot of fun when we play,” Hendrixson says.
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M A R C H 17, 2019
T R AV E L
On a ‘Mission’ fit for a king’s spring break Tours available by advance request. Info missionsandiego.org
By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
or decades, fourth-grade students in California traditionally made models of a California mission to fulfill the California history curriculum requirement mandated by the state Department of Education. However, the new educational framework adopted by the state Department of Education is sending the annual mission model project into the dustbin of history: “Attention should focus on the daily experience of missions rather than the building structures themselves. Building missions from sugar cubes or popsicle sticks does not help students understand the period and is offensive to many,” said the new History-Social Science Framework adopted in 2016. “Missions were sites of conflict, conquest and forced labor. Students should consider cultural differences, such as gender roles and religious beliefs, in order to better understand the dynamics of Native and Spanish interaction.” California missions remain an influential part of the state’s history. The surviving mission buildings often have beautiful architecture and include some of the oldest buildings in California. Spring break will occur April 1-5 in the William S. Hart Union High School District, Sulphur Springs School District, Saugus School Dis-
Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo
3080 Rio Road, CarmelBy-The-Sea The second of the California missions was founded in 1770. The mission built the first library of thirty books in 1778. It is the burial place of St. Junipero Serra. Info carmelmission.org/ visit/museum
Mission San Antonio de Padua
End of Mission Road, Jolon Founded in 1771, this mission was strategically Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo is the chosen as a key central Calionly one of the missions to have its original bell tower dome. fornia location by Spanish Mexico. One of the first trict, Newhall School District and known marriages in early California Castaic School District. was celebrated here in 1773. Make history come alive this spring Info missionsanantonio.net break and visit a California mission. Mission San Gabriel Arcángel Hours, accessibility and fees vary 428 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel from mission to mission, so visit the Entrance to the mission museum mission websites for details. is at the gift shop: 427 Junipero Serra History of California’s Drive, San Gabriel 91776. The fourth missions California mission was founded in There were 21 missions built in 1771. More than 6,000 Native AmeriCalifornia, the earliest missions were cans were buried on mission grounds. built between 1769 and 1777. The In the 18th and 19th centuries, the missions were constructed by Franmission was known for its vineyard ciscan padres in order to “colonize” and wines. the territory of Alta California, which Info parish.sangabrielmissionchurch. was “discovered” by Spain more two org centuries earlier. Franciscan padres Mission San Luis Obispo were motivated primarily to under751 Palm St., San Luis Obispo, take the effort because of the oppor93401 tunity to convert the Native AmeriEstablished in 1772 the mission cans to the Catholic faith. vineyard became so productive by the St. Junipero Serra (sainted in 2015) 19th century wine was exported to founded the first California mission, Russia and Great Britain and a total of nine of the 21 missions Info missionsanluisobispo.org before his death.
Mission San Diego de Alcalá
One of the several historic bells on the 600-mile El Camino Real, which links California’s 21 missions. MISSION PHOTOS COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA
10818 San Diego Mission Road, San Diego This was the first California mission founded by Saint Junipero Serra in 1769. The location was chosen to provide easy access by sea to Alta California from Spanish Mexico.
Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) 3321 16th St., San Francisco Established in 1776 at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, the mission was named for Catholic saint Francis of Assisi. Mission Dolores is the oldest intact
building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 missions. Info missiondolores.org/64
Mission San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano Founded in 1775, the chapel built by St. Junipero Serra, though enlarged, is still original and the only one surviving in which Serra is known to have celebrated Mass. The mission church’s original altar came from Barcelona, Spain. The mission is famous for celebrating the annual “return of the swallows to Capistrano.” Info missionsjc.com
Mission Santa Clara de Asís
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara Founded in 1777 the mission is located next to the oldest university in California, the University of Santa Clara. The Franciscans used colorful cactus-based paint to create a vibrant chapel. Info scu.edu/missionchurch
Mission San Buenaventura
225 E. Main St., Ventura Founded in 1782, this mission is known for beautiful gardens and is one of the most-visited missions. An easy drive from the SCV, the mission is open daily, with self-guided tours. Info sanbuenaventuramission.org
Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna St., Santa Barbara Founded in 1786 it is known as the “Queen” of the missions and the 10th California mission. It is home to a community of Franciscan friars, a church with a large and active parish; a museum and gift shop; a cemetery and mausoleum and 12 acres of gardens. Info santabarbaramission.org
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S U N D AYS I G N A L · 31
T R AV E L
Mission La Purisima Concepción in Lompoc one of only two of the Spanish missions that is no longer under the control of the Catholic Church.
Mission La Purísima Concepción
2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc Established in 1787 the mission was best known for its hides and blankets, and at its peak inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep. Info lapurisimamission.org
Mission Santa Cruz
144 School St., Santa Cruz Established 1791 the mission is now managed by the California State Parks as Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. It is a popular wedding site. Info www.parks.ca.gov/?page_ id=548
Mission Nuestra Señora de La Soledad 36641 Fort Romie Road, Soledad Founded in 1791, the mission has reconstructed the South Wing and Chapel. Visitors can also view remains of the historic original walls. Info missionsoledad.com/history
Mission San Jose
The 214-year-old Mission Santa Inés is considered a hidden gem of the California mission chain.
Mission San Miguel Arcángel
775 Mission St., San Miguel Founded in 1797 this is a state and federal historical landmark. The church’s appearance today is much the same as when it was built. The inside of the church has never been repainted. The wall frescos are the originals that were painted by Salinan artists under the direction of Esteban Munras. Info missionsanmiguel.org
Mission San Fernando Rey de España
15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills Founded in 1797, this is the 17th
California mission. It was named to honor Saint Ferdinand III, King of Spain. The closest mission to the Santa Clarita Valley, the mission is open daily. Info discoverlosangeles.com/thingsto-do/mission-san-fernando-rey-deespana
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia
4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside Established in 1798, this was considered the “king” of California missions because of its large size. The first known pepper tree planted in California is found here. Info sanluisrey.org
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont Founded in 1797 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen (who founded nine of the 21 California missions after the death of St. Junipero Serra), it’s the 14th California mission. Info missionsanjose.org
Mission San Juan Bautista
406 Second St., San Juan Bautista Established in 1797. When visiting the Mission, pay special attention to the church floor tiles. There are animal prints in the tiles that were made while the tiles were left outside to dry in the sun. Also, note the “Cat Door” carved into the blue side door in the Guadalupe Chapel. This allowed cats access at all times to catch mice that used to munch on mission crops stored inside. Info oldmissionsjb.org
Mission Santa Inés
1760 Mission Drive, Solvang The last of the southern California missions was built in 1804. The mission’s nearby town, Solvang, was founded by Danish settlers. The Mission museum displays four bells. The 1804 Juan Baptisia bell is the oldest. The Ave Maria Purisima bell was cast in 1807. Still hanging in the top arch of the bell wall is the 1818 Lima bell which was recast in 1953. The 1912 St. Agnes bell was used for the dedication of the new tower that same year. Info missionsantaines.org
Mission San Rafael Arcángel
1104 Fifth Ave., San Rafael Constructed in 1817, no structures from the original mission still exist, however the Hearst Foundations rebuilt the razed original buildings in 1949. Info visitmarin.org/business/mission-san-rafael-arcangel
Mission San Francisco Solano
Mission Santa Barbara was founded on Dec. 4, 1786 and was the 10th of the 21 missions founded by the Spanish Franciscans.
114 E. Spain St., Sonoma The final California mission was built in 1823. The location of the mission in Sonoma intersected many mission trails in northern Alta California. When California declared independence from Mexico in 1846, the new flag was hoisted over Mission San Francisco Solano. Info sonomacounty.com/culturalarts/mission-san-franciscosolano
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or 26 years, Melanie Meyer has helped clients build and protect wealth to fund their retirements.
As a Certified Financial Planner® professional and Wealth Advisor with Thrivent Financial, Meyer has built a practice geared around a simple mission statement: Help clients make wise decisions with money so they live more content, confident and generous lives. With her husband, Associate Jeff Meyer, Melanie has built a holistic financial planning practice in Valencia built around commitment to clients’ goals with a focus on investment and insurance planning and estate strategies. A special area of interest for Meyer is helping women thrive in moments of financial transition, particularly after a divorce or the death of a spouse or a life partner. Over the past year, she has conducted several Wine, Women and Wealth workshops to provide female attendees a comfortable space to ask questions and learn from each other. Meyer also is in the process of writing a book to accompany the workshops, and has spoken to Santa Clarita non-profits, small businesses and other organizations about women’s financial education and empowerment. Underlying her advice, is a commitment to helping clients grow their wealth while working so that in retirement they have enough income to maintain their lifestyle and potentially provide charitable support to organizations they love. Melanie and her husband are also active volunteers in the community, serving on boards for Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita, Family Promise of Santa Clarita and leading international work trips for Habitat for Humanity.
They can be reached for a complimentary consultation at 661-799-0230. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., a registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC, and a subsidiary of Thrivent. Licensed agent/producer of Thrivent. Registered representative of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. Advisory services available through investment adviser representatives only. Thrivent.com/disclosures. 2450253-030619
etsy James' first experience in sales was at the age of 9, selling Girl Scout Cookies at the Oak Tree Gun Club. An unlikely spot for cookie booth sales - or is it? "I would tag along with my dad every Saturday, when he would go trap and skeet shooting with his friends. Oak Tree was my biggest account, and my Troop exceeded our sales goals every year." Having been taught at a very young age to respect firearms and appreciate the safe recreational sport of trap and skeet shooting, she felt right at home on the range. At that time, it was uncommon to see many women or children at Oak Tree. Throughout the years, Betsy and her father Jim would often discuss ideas about how to make firearm businesses they visited more family friendly, accessible and welcoming to the community. After graduating from UCSB in 1999, Betsy (along with her dad), finally had the chance to acquire and transform the Oak Tree Gun Club property into the destination that they had envisioned, the incredible facility that is has become today. "We truly deliver a lock, stock and barrel compliment of services to anyone interested in the shooting sports. You can come to our facility with little or no knowledge about guns and the laws pertaining to firearm use and ownership, and leave feeling educated, and empowered with true appreciation and understanding of the sport. We want our clients and members to feel comfortable asking questions, and give them a safe, fun experience at our range." As CEO of this family owned and operated enterprise, it is Betsy's wish that her children will someday work in the business. "At a young age, my children appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to work in the service industry." In addition to employing many veterans of the US Military and retired law enforcement officers, it is Betsy's goal to offer employment opportunities to young residents of the Santa Clarita Valley and those who aspire to have careers in Law Enforcement. "A job at Oak Tree Gun Club provides a great foundation for future Highway Patrol, LAPD, and Sheriff 's officers, or any profession in Law Enforcement." Oak Tree Gun Club truly is a staple in the community of Santa Clarita, and beyond. It has been in operation since the mid 1970's, and has been home to many law enforcement departments for training, in addition to providing the most comprehensive instructional, shooting range, restaurant, and retail services in the firearm industry. Oak Tree is not only a recreational shooting range, it also serves as a venue for charity events, church functions, community outreach, weddings, bachelor parties and filming locations. Betsy's goal is to continue the tradition of promoting safe, accessible recreational shooting services to the community and educating the public about firearm safety awareness and education. At Oak Tree Gun Club - We Aim To Please!
661.259.7441 - 23121 Coltrane ave Newhall
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In Loving Memory Russ Cochran
ongtime resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, Russ Cochran actively affected the lives of seniors, children, alcohol/drug abusers, domestic violence victims, and musicians since the 1970s. He was born in Ontario, CA, on March 27, 1932. He lived mainly in foster homes until he was 15 when he moved in with his aunt and uncle. During the time he was in foster care, he was a Ward of the Court and a judge gave Russ a violin and paid for lessons for him to make sure he was active and not running the streets. That began his music career in Kings County—singing in choirs and playing in symphony orchestras as he matured into adulthood. He was a pilot in his younger years and earned a living as an aircraft mechanic. He enlisted in the Army in 1950 and served as a Combat Medic in Japan until he was released in 1952. He never finished high school but earned his GED, attended Chafee College and Long Beach State, and subsequently obtained his PhD in School Administration from USC. He began his school administration career in 1955 serving as teacher and principal in numerous elementary schools in Barstow, San Leandro, Hanford, and Saugus until he retired in June of 1992 after 24 years in the Saugus Union School District. His community involvement included: 1972 - Founder and President of the Santa Clarita Valley Community Health Council (with assistance of business leaders in the community who realized there was a lack of medical services in the Santa Clarita Valley) 1972-74 – County Mental Health – Initiation and development of a Grant to fight Substance Abuse in SCV Founder and President of Board of Directors – Santa Clarita Valley Coalition on Substance Abuse Founder of the COC Symphony Orchestra Founder of SCV Senior Center Board of Directors – SCV Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors of Child & Family Center President of Board of Directors of Committee on Aging Board of Directors of North L.A. County Coalition on Substance Abuse Chairman of Newhall Advisory Board for Urban Development Member of Interagency Task Force on Substance Abuse for LA County Member of Alcohol Task Force for LA County United Way Budget Committee – Region I – North LA County As a result of community involvement he met Barbara Stearns in 1973 and they married in Las Vegas in 1996. They played golf, loved music, traveled to dozens of countries, enjoyed European river boat cruises, rode motorcycles, went glider flyingand treasured Friday dinners with friends. He was a member of the SCV Elks lodge and the OFFC (Old Farts Flying Club), a model airplane club. He built and flew model airplanes for over 40 years. Russ adored Barbara’s children, Chuck (deceased), Diedre and Scott and they have six grandchildren and six great grandchildren living in Palmdale and Virginia. After a doctor diagnosed Russ with pneumonia on January 16 during a house call visit, he was admitted to the hospital. In late February, while still in Henry Mayo Hospital, when Barbara told Russ she was going to donate $10,000 in his name to the SCV Senior Center, Russ was too weak to talk, but approved the action with a smile. She made this announcement at the Senior Center’s Celebrity Waiter Dinner. Russ passed away peacefully four days later on February 27, one month shy of turning 87. The donation was a final fitting gesture for a quiet, private man who had not only given life to the Senior Center but to many other causes in this community.
A Celebration of life and reception will be held Saturday, March 23, 1:00pm at the Upper chapel at Eternal Valley. The Signal, March. 17, 2019 Sign the Legacy online guestbook at www.signalscv.com.
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‘Finding Wonder’ in Santa Clarita By Patti Rasmussen Signal Staff Writer
ave you ever wondered what it would be like to be as small as a bug and live among a field of flowers? Well, wonder no more. “Finding Wonder,” an interactive play produced by Santa Clarita resident Lisha Yakub Sevanian will make you feel as if you live among the flora and fauna. To be held on the grounds of California Institute of the Arts, “Finding Wonder” will be coming to the Santa Clarita Valley in the fall of this year. The story, written by Natasha Rabin, takes its cue from several childhood fairy tales, including “Thumbelina and the Rose Elf ” by Hans Christian Andersen. “The character, the Rose Elf, is like a superhero,” Sevanian said. “Then there’s Thumbelina, a toad, a spider and bluebird. They are all looking for “Wonder,” who they think is a
Producer Lisha Yakub, center and Production Designer David Asling discuss the placement of the activities for their family event entitled Finding Wonder with Jesse Smith, CalArts Assoc. VP, Chief Operating Officer, left, as they tour the Tournament Valley Site location at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
person. You walk into their world and observe their life.” Sevanian, owner of Calgrove Media, said she always wanted to produce “fly on the wall” theater. The idea of using interactive fairy tales came to Sevanian over 10 years ago when she was in college. She had attended a production in New York called “Sleep No More,” and said she
Bumper (Speedbump) Earl Fleming 1907-2019
Bumper was an incredible companion and the most loving family member for 12 short years. He is survived by Don and Cheri and adopted sister Tessie (Test Drive Noelle). He came into our lives when Don (maybe influenced by too much wine) won the bid for him at the Child & Family Center’s Taste of the Town live auction. Bumper needed some extra training in the beginning with us, but quickly became the best official greeter and car sales dog we’ve ever had. When a potential customer was sitting on the showroom floor, Bumper would gently rest his head
on their toes, exuding love and calmness. He couldn’t wait to be groomed every Friday by Toni or Byron from Whisker’s mobile pet grooming service. A couple of years ago he developed diabetes and later diabetic cataracts, but his sense of loyalty, love and service were not impaired. He made us all very proud once again when he led the canine walk team (Team Bumper) for the diabetes walk at Magic Mountain. Bumper took his last breath giving mom a million kisses. He is missed so very much – we know his late brothers, Scooter and Spark Plug welcomed him with open paws on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. xoxo The Signal, March 17, 2019 Sign the Legacy online guestbook at www.signalscv.com.
To place an obituary notice or share a memory please call or email: 661.259.1234 | obits@SignalSCV.com To view obituaries visit SignalSCV.com
was blown away by they way the cast and crew executed the play. She has always been fascinated with fairy tales and she likes taking old stories like Shakespeare and make it modern. Sevanian is actively seeking sponsors for her production to keep costs and and allow the production to be open free of charge. She received a
grant from the city of Santa Clarita and CalArts is an active partner. Artist are also needed to paint the flowers and backdrops. A stipend will be given to those artist who are selected. Her goal at Calgrove Media is to make sure children have quality content to watch or experience that adds to their life experiences and development. The name Calgrove Media comes after her feeling of coming home after leaving the Santa Clarita Valley. She describes the mountains off Calgrove Avenue as magical. “To me, Calgrove represents all the wonder of nature and adventures ahead,” Sevanian said. “Children need positive role models on television and films, “Sevanian added. “We can learn so much with quality kids programming.” For more information regarding “Finding Wonder,” to sponsor the production or an artistic interest, contact Sevanian at calgrovemedia. com or at (661) 481-0751.
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‘Rocky’ Turner: A life on (the) track By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
t was 10:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2016, when Racquel “Rocky” Turner and one of her six children decided to take a walk around their Saugus neighborhood. As they walked near the intersection of Copper Hill Drive and Agajanian Drive a car attempted to cross the busy boulevard. That car was broadsided by another vehicle and careened onto the sidewalk. As the car slammed into Turner it pinned her against a stone monument sign for a nearby housing tract. Her 15-year-old son avoided the hurtling car and was uninjured. However, Turner suffered a shattered right leg, broken hip and various other injuries. Taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Turner had surgery to place a titanium rod in her leg.
Growing up SFV
Turner, the Saugus High School
Coach Racquel “Rocky” Turner during warm-ups at practice on the Saugus High track. PHOTOS BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
sprinters’ coach, was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Fernando Valley, splitting her time between her divorced parents in Granada Hills and North Hollywood.
A graduate of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Turner attended Glendale Community College before transferring to California State University, Northridge ,where she studied health education and earned her bachelor’s degree. Turner ran track all four years of high school, and two years at Glendale Community College. She became league champion in the 400-meter sprint as a high school sophomore. “I think that is the reason why I love the 400 meter race so much,” she said.
Moving to the SCV
Turner met her husband, Jeff Turner, in 1997, when she worked as a sales rep for Canon and her husband was a client. After the couple married, they decided she would stay home to raise children. “I had three boys in three years,” she said. The trio were added to the young son her husband had from a previous marriage. In short order, the Turners adopted two girls. Their children are now ages 13 ,14, 16, 18, 19 and 24. “It was a struggle when you have five kids in elementary school,” said Turner. “It was crazy.” The couple moved to Saugus in February 2004. In addition to the normal daily
challenges of raising six young children, the Turners discovered one of their sons suffered from a learning disability and behavioral issues. “At the time, I thought it was ADHD,” she said. “Then we figured out he was having reactions to artificial colors, preservatives and artificial flavors in his food. We didn’t figure this out until second grade, we called it allergies.” Turner discovered the symptoms abated when she eliminated the offending substances from the family’s diet. “A lot changed for us for the better when we changed his diet in the second grade,” she said. “I’ve learned over the years to meal plan in advance because you can’t really stop at the store every day to buy something for dinner.” In addition to meal planning, Turner’s recipe for family success is keeping organized. “The more kids you have, the more organized you really have to be,” she said. “Everyone is on a schedule. Keeping that strict every day schedule is really how we survive.”
In addition to the broken bones, Turner suffered severe injuries to several ligaments in her right leg. The LCL and IT Band were severed. “The fact the ligaments were completely severed meant I was in a knee immobilizer for two months, and it took months and months and months before I could bend my knee again,” she said. Turner underwent three surgeries to repair the damage to her body. She also spent 250 hours in physical therapy at Vargo Physical Therapy in Granary Square in Valencia. “I can’t tell you how much they saved me, emotionally and physically. They taught me how to walk again,” she said. Turner said her history as an athlete helped her recover. “If I wasn’t a track athlete before the accident, I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this,” she said. “When people ask me how I got through it I tell them that I felt I like didn’t have a choice. What I learned from track is that you have to push through it. If
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PROFILE you want to walk again you just have to get up and do the work.” Turner said the Santa Clarita Valley community “is amazing.” “If you become involved in the community, it is amazing what you get back,” she said. “The students who came by, the parents who came by, the cards I received, that kept me going Turner, who started coaching at Saugus two years before the accident, said the track community provided a great deal of support to her family. “They organized a food train — my husband didn’t have to cook a meal for two months,” she said.
Turner said as a result of the accident, she also suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome. “What people often don’t talk about is that I had, and still do, have PTSD from the accident,” she said. Turner waited nearly nine months before she sought help for the condition. “I was in a hospital bed for three months downstairs at my house. I made a choice I wasn’t going to deal with the emotional side of the accident until I could walk again. I wasn’t hiding from the PTSD,” she said. As part of her therapy, she visited the site of her accident for 45 minutes a day for a week listening to sirens on a headset.
Turner started coaching track in the SCV with the Santa Clarita Storm Track Club. She volunteered with the
club nine years ago as an assistant track coach. In addition to coaching at Saugus High, Turner also serves as a coach for children in the area seeking to compete at the USATF National Junior Olympics. Turner takes coaching seriously. “I think coaches have the ability to either help or hurt a child. The responsibility of not only being a kind coach, but also a knowledgeable coach is important,” she said. Turner took it upon herself to educate herself. She joined USATF and recently earned her latest certifications as a USATG Level 3 Elite Youth Coach and a USATF Level 1 Instructor. “Track is about learning a discipline and pushing yourself farther than you think you can,” she said. “I have seen coaches all over the country and sometimes the things they tell children is painful to listen to. I decided that to help as many children as I could I needed to get to the coaches.” Turner said the accident may have made her a better coach. “I understand injuries better. By spending 250 hours at physical therapy and watching the people around me, I am more compassionate about people with injuries,” she said.
Mothers Fighting for Others
In 2007, Turner founded Mothers Fighting for Others as a result of her work with orphans in Kenya. “I volunteered in Kenya and fell in love with the children we were helping. I came home from that experience and started the nonprofit,” she
said. “It changed me completely, it changed me as a mother, it changed me as a woman.” The nonprofit helped run an orphanage in Kenya and put orphan girls through high school. “Now they’re graduating college,” Turner said. However, the accident forced Turner to resign as executive director of the nonprofit. “It was a disservice to the charity to try and make it work while dealing with my accident. I had to focus on my recovery,” she said.
“I think the lessons sport gives to kids can be life lessons. That’s what I try to do with my athletes,” she said. “My high track coach Joe McNabb is still the track coach at Notre Dame. What I got from track was a strong work ethic, goal setting, confidence, perseverance and lifelong friendships. Turner said she is still friends with people she competed with 30 year ago. Her stated philosophy as a track coach is: “I want to teach my athletes the sport itself all the while loving it as much as I do. I want to teach them self-respect, respect for their fellow athletes and their future competitors. I want them to push themselves and teach them to believe in themselves and each other. I want them to know how to set realistic goals, teach them how to achieve them and have a ton of fun in the process.”
Coach Turner gives instructions to Brandon Cruz, 15 during warm-ups at practice on the Saugus High track.
Two months before the accident, Turner had made the decision that she wanted to run again competitively. “This isn’t like I want to run around the block,” she said. “I mean competitive running. I come from a sprinting background and there isn’t much for old lady sprinters to do. I didn’t want to run a 5K, sprinters don’t do that. I made the decision to start training again and join a Master’s team. That’s
why I was out walking the day of the accident. I thought, I haven’t run in a long time so I will walk before I can run.” Turner is still looking to run again on the competitive Master’s level, but her family is her first priority. “I still have children to raise and some things have to stay on the back burner because I will have three kids in high school next year and my main priority is being there for them in their teenage years,” she said. Turner also enjoys her work as the Saugus High Sprint coach. “I want to help Saugus develop great sprinters and teach them life lessons along the way,” she said. “Discipline and determination are what got me through my accident. I want them to think, ‘If Coach Turner can get through that then I can get through this.’” After the accident Turner returned to her coaching job at Saugus, in a wheelchair. “The kids saw me go from a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutches, to being able to walk again,” she said. Turner would also like to coach at the college level at some point in the future. “I just want to help,” she said, “as many young people as I can help.”
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M A R C H 17, 2019
Remodeling kitchens is more than redecorating By Ken Dean Signal Contributing Writer
he kitchen has always been the hub of activity in the family home, whether for the family itself or a gathering of friends. No matter what area of the house you set up for a party or dinner, people tend to congregate in this area. It’s the place where major household decisions are made, great dinners are prepared and guest are entertained. Throughout the years, as most decorating styles and trends have undergone dramatic changes, very few have been made in the basic structure and design of the kitchen. Kitchens are no longer “kitchens,” they are grand rooms, and they are a most personal room. The perfect kitchen is for those with a passion for family, food and life. Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important: Building or designing a more desirable house starts with the kitchen, and it must be designed for the visual, as well as for efficiency. You may be considering remodeling or updating your kitchen, and if so, remember that remodeling a kitchen entails much more than mere redecoration. More important than aesthetics, kitchens must be functional, practical and a pleasant environment to work and live in. When making decisions concerning the decor of your kitchen, you should steer toward home decorat-
You may be considering remodeling or updating your kitchen, and if so, remember that remodeling a kitchen entails much more than mere redecoration.
ing concepts that fall more closely in line with your active lifestyle. To help you achieve that special kitchen atmosphere, you could choose between five different design concepts: “the Cook’s Kitchen,” for cooking, saving steps, appliances near each other; “the Serious Kitchen,” with good storage for a well-stocked chef, used and enjoyed by the whole family; “the Country Kitchen,” with its rustic, moody, darker tones, Scandinavian or Spanish feeling, old-fashioned look; “the Sophisticated Kitchen,” striking, formal, architectural features; and “the Purist Kitchen,” easy to work in, modern, no rustic or prettiness, white or light tones. Give a lot of thought and research as to what type of flooring you
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would like, such as ceramic tile, brick, hardwood, granite, etc. Since the cabinets are eye-level and take up much of the kitchen, you must give thought to the type of wood you’d like and what it’ll look like when stained or painted. There are many types of wood that can be used: oak which is the most popular; cherry, which is very formal and elegant; pine, birch, ash, douglas fir and redwood. In dealing with your cabinets, do you want custom-made cabinets or stock? You also need to consider what type of lighting you prefer. Today, many homes are going with recessed lighting on dimmers. Recessed lighting gives you a nice open ceiling with excellent light. Think about task lighting under top cabinets and for concentrated lighting zones. Also, do you want natural daylight, a light box, wall-mounted fixtures, hanging fixtures and/or a drop ceiling? When remodeling or updating a kitchen there are so many features to consider that can be worked into your design and needs such as a spice rack outside of a cabinet or a spice rack built into a cabinet. If you enjoy wine with your meals think about a wine rack built into the cabinetry or a free-standing wine cabinet.
There are many types of hoods on the market to choose from in designs using brass, copper or wood to match your cabinets. If you want your hood to be an accent, go with brass or copper. You will find that there are sinks to fit every need in size, color, recessed or self-rim. Many people are putting cooktops in their islands along with sinks and an area for sitting. Islands are a great place for extra storage. Finally, give some thought to cabinet storage for trays and pull-out shelves for pots and pans. When considering designs and materials that can create the ambiance you want in your environment, kitchen ideas are endless. For me a good time element is when I design a kitchen I like to order all the appliances in advance of the cabinet installation and have them stored in the garage. This way there are no surprises or problems such as a late delivery throwing off the schedule, or an item not fitting into an allocated space. Everything is there for the last-minute measurements and installations.
Ken Dean is an award-winning and published professional interior designer, design teacher and writer for 40 years. His website is www. deaninteriordesign.com. He can be reached at (661) 251-0170.
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Gardening classes from the water experts By Michele E. Buttelman Signal Staff Writer
he Santa Clarita Valley has a unique microclimate. If you have been frustrated by your gardening efforts — or by a lack thereof — and you want to learn more about gardening in the SCV, the SCV Water agency hosts free monthly classes on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Classes are taught by Tim Wheeler, John Windsor and Stephen Williams. Wheeler has degrees in both horticulture science and park administration. He has been in the green industry for more than 25 years. Windsor is a certified arborist and a California-certified nurseryman, and a horticultural adviser in the SCV for the last 21 years. Williams received his horticultural training at Mt. San Antonio College and honed his skills at Descanso and Huntington Botanical Gardens where
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from the initial 3.5 acres to 12 acres, making it one of the largest classical-style Chinese gardens in the world. Inspired by the centuries-old Chinese tradition of private scholars’ gardens, the garden opened in 2008 with eight tile-roofed pavilions situated around a one-acre lake. In 2014, two new pavilions and a rock grotto were added. The garden will remain open to visitors during construction, with the new sections anticipated to open in February 2020.
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, 91007. Open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Dec. 25. Admission: Adults: $9; Students with ID and Seniors age 62 and older: $6; Children 5-12: $4 and children under 5, free. Parking is free. A stroll through the Arboretum will take you through a variety of
he worked for 10 years. Williams is professor of horticulture at Mt. SAC, where he’s been teaching free, weekly home gardening classes for 10 years.
Thursday classes are a recent addition and were added so the gardening program could reach a wider audience, Wheeler said. “For many people, the Saturday morning classes doesn’t work for them,” he said. In addition, the Thursday classes have a slightly different focus. “They were born out of the drought. They are little shorter and focus more on sustainability,” he said.
It’s not your fault
Wheeler said conditions in the SCV present many challengers for gardeners. “You’d never know you are living in a desert when you come over the Newhall pass into the SCV,” said Wheeler, but the SCV presents a host of difficulties for the home gardener. “It has very challenging soils. Heavy clay soils tend to be the soil type throughout the whole valley,” he said. “The SCV typically has colder winters then the rest of the L.A. Basin, (and) hot, hot summers and wind. You have all the challenges you can have in a landscape rolled into one in the SCV.” He said many of the people taking SCV Water’s gardening classes come from other parts of the United States where gardening is easier. “I have people tell me, ‘I used to have the most beautiful yard and I
gardens and landscapes that you might not expect to see in Southern California. It is uniquely beautiful and offers a chance for children to run along the trails and explore and adults to savor the serenity of the plants, lake, peacocks and the natural beauty. Info www.arboretum.org.
Encompassing 127 acres, the Arboretum is located on a remaining portion of the Rancho Santa Anita, one of the original Mexican land grants in Southern California. In 1947, with urging from Dr. Samuel Ayres’ Arboretum Committee of the Southern California Horticultural Institute, the state of California and the county of Los Angeles jointly purchased 111 acres from Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler’s Rancho Santa Anita, Inc. to create an arboretum. Additional acreage was purchased in 1949.
What to see
Magnolias Among the Arboretum’s most spectacular late winter/ early spring features, more than 60
Professor of Horticulture Steve Williams discusses waterwise vegetable gardening. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL
didn’t have to work hard at all, and now I come here and I’ve failed at everything,’” he said. “I tell them, ‘It’s not you — honestly, it’s not you.”
magnolia cultivars reach peak bloom in March. Plumerias More than 70 fragrant, brilliantly colored plumerias, popularly associated with tropical vacations, are found in this collection on Tallac Knoll. Canary Islands collection Iconic dragon trees and aeoniums highlight this collection of outstanding garden plants originating from this small island group off the northwest coast of Africa. Tropical Greenhouse Treasures from the Arboretum’s tropical plant collections, which include several thousand orchids, can be found in this lush greenhouse display. Aquatic Garden A serene landscape of gentle pools, water lilies and shaded benches, the Aquatic Garden sits at the picturesque summit of Tallac Knoll, with the Meyberg Waterfall below. Peacocks Peacocks were introduced to the area in the 1800s. They thrived and now can be found throughout the Arboretum grounds.
Wheeler said the philosophy behind the gardening classes is to teach sustainability. “It benefits everyone to use water as efficiently as possible,” he said. “The customer benefits from a lower water bill and the water agency benefits by being able to store more water for times when they need it.” Other benefits include “a better looking and more efficiently maintained landscape.” Wheeler said the goal is to landscape with “less water, less pesticides, less green waste while still achieving a high aesthetic standard.” A conservation garden was built during the construction of the Rio Vista Water (above Central park on Bouquet Canyon Road) as part of a water use education program designed by the water agency. The garden allows visitors to view plants that work well in SCV gardens and conserve water.
Wheeler’s tips for SCV gardeners include the need to mulch garden plants and to water deeply and infrequently, a much more natural way to water. “There is a mentally to water every day for a little bit, people think that is the way to conserve water, but it’s actually just the opposite,” said Wheeler. “Plants are designed through their root system to receive water sporadically.” All classes are held at SCV Water located at 27234 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita 91350.
For class reservations or information: https://yourscvwater.com/ gardening-classes
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M A R C H 17, 2019
R E A L E S TAT E
Common title problems By Ray the Realtor Signal Contributing Writer
y friend Laura Langen of Lawyers Title is a wealth of knowledge, and has always been there for me and my clients. Today’s column is dedicated to her, and the awesome work that she does. Laura is a true professional and expert at all things Title. And like any true professional, if she doesn’t know it, she finds out, pronto. Sometimes, there are problems with title and vesting, and they need to be resolved before clear title to a property can be transferred in a real estate transaction. Some problems can be fixed fairly easily, but as you will see, some will take time and money. 30 COMMON TITLE PROBLEMS 1. Impersonation of the true owner of the land or real property. 2. Forged deeds, releases, etc. 3. Instruments executed under fabricated or expired power of attorney 4. Deeds delivered after death of grantor/ grantee, or without consent of grantor 5. Deeds to or from defunct corporation 6. Undisclosed or missing heirs 7. Misinterpretation of wills 8. Deeds by persons of unsound mind 9. Deeds by minors 10. Deeds by illegal aliens 11. Deeds by persons supposedly single but secretly married 12. Birth or adoption of children after date of will 13. Surviving children omitted from will 14. Mistakes in recording legal documents 15. Want of jurisdiction of persons in judicial
proceedings 16. Discovery of will of apparent intestate 17. Falsification of records 18. Claims of creditors against property sold by heirs or devisees 19. Deeds in lieu of foreclosure given under duress 20. Easements by prescription not discovered by a survey 21. Deed of community property recited to be separate property 22. Errors in tax records, e.g., listing payment against wrong property 23. Deed from a bigamous couple 24. Defective acknowledgements 25. Federal condemnation without filing notice 26. Corporate franchise taxes, a lien on all corporate assets 27. Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials 28. Administration of estates of persons absent but not deceased 29. Undisclosed divorce of spouse who conveys as consort’s heir 30. Marital rights of spouse purportedly, but not legally, divorced As you can see, while some of these items may be rare, if they affect title to your property, they will delay or prevent the sale or purchase of real property, and sometimes can be very expensive to cure. If one or more of these issues may affect you, consult a reputable real estate attorney. Ray “the Realtor” Kutylo is the team leader of the SCV Home Team at Keller Williams VIP Properties. The Team brings experienced and professional service, commitment and value to every transaction, whether you are a home buyer or seller. Ray can be reached at (661) 312-9461 or by email at email@example.com. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of The Signal. CA DRE 00918855
SANTA CLARITA VALLEY CLOSED SALES 3/2/19 TO 3/8/19 AREA/St#
CANYON COUNTRY 17940 18804 18169 26863 18040 17602 20242 18820 19960 18915 25107 28312 26922 27270
River CIR #3 Mandan ST #803 Sundowner WAY #910 Claudette ST #127 Flynn DR #5201 Sierra Hill ST Lakemore DR Wellhaven ST Tracy CT Claycrest DR Grapefruit LN Klevins CT Flowering Oak PL Rolling Hills AVE
$261,000 $267,000 $284,900 $305,500 $338,900 $397,000 $487,000 $490,000 $535,000 $555,000 $591,950 $700,000 $722,500 $4,600,000
662/A 860/A 964/A 910/A 1040/A 796/A 1551/A 1475/A 1962/A 1628/A 1599/D 2879/D 3313/A 10000/S
CASTAIC & VAL VERDE 31439 Arena DR 29783 Cambridge AVE 29070 Madrid PL
$460,000 $562,000 $630,000
1933/A 1912/A 3472/A
Oak Branch CIR Winsome CIR Walnut ST Valley Oak CT
$255,527 $343,000 $375,000 $740,000
1107/AP 1135/A 504/A 3247/A
Jack PL Plum Canyon RD #913 Laroda LN Propello DR Angela Yvonne Ave Hyssop LN Altena DR Raintree LN Santa Catarina RD Pembrook PL Tamarack Pinebank DR Barbacoa DR Robin AVE Nield Court Agajanian DR Redwood Canyon PL Leaf Spring CT Black Pine WAY
$306,000 $371,000 $430,000 $440,000 $515,000 $519,000 $522,000 $525,000 $572,000 $599,999 $615,000 $628,000 $640,000 $649,000 $682,000 $710,000 $771,000 $840,500 $950,000
1610/A 1001/A 1440/P 1167/P 1471/ 1776/A 1650/A 1592/A 1665/A 1542/A 2214/A 2334/A 2025/A 2322/A 3382/A 2550/A 2997/A 3528/A 3526/A
$409,000 $464,900 $470,000 $470,000 $550,000 $570,000 $570,000 $598,800 $600,000 $626,000 $629,000 $644,000 $645,000 $657,500 $725,000 $750,000 $760,000 $769,000
1025/A 1934/E 1219/A 1934/A 1693/A 1498/A 1259/A 1463/A 1336/A 2023/P 1902/A 2141/A 1927/A 2088/A 3002/A 2906/A 2750/A 2784/S
NEWHALL 26857 26755 24326 23802
SAUGUS 21714 20000 19540 21793 21512 27612 21115 28813 28426 25552 28605 27934 22432 28366 28224 28544 28523 22507 29214
STEVENSON RANCH 25304 Wells CT 26802 Alcott CT
VALENCIA & WESTRIDGE 26505 23658 23021 23657 23762 23556 26135 23761 23603 28048 28309 24312 27809 25557 29235 24247 28622 23510
Sedona DR Marion WAY Cheyenne DR Marion WAY #55 Maple Leaf CT Silverhawk PL Bungalow Court DR Via Helina Latana CT Keepsake WAY Berylwood PL Spring Leaf CT Sandstone CT Meadow Mont ST Bernardo WAY English Rose PL Stonegate CT Hearthside CT
M A R C H 17, 2019
Give your mind a workout with these brainy exercises!
S U N D AYS I G N A L Î‡ 41
42 · S U N D AYS I G N A L
M A R C H 17, 2019
THE VILLAGE IDIOT
‘Did tonight’s meal kit get delivered yet?’ By Jim Mullen Signal Contributing Writer
’m trying to recall how many times I heard my mother say those words. Oh, yeah, never. It’s hard to believe that there was a time not so long ago when you had to go to a restaurant or to a friend’s house to eat something you didn’t make yourself in your own home. The idea that almost any restaurant would and could deliver food right to your door was as laughable as having more than three channels on the television or having a computer in your house. Why would anyone on Earth need that? Now, there is one commercial after another telling us how wonderful it is to have meal kits delivered right to your home: “Get three scrumptious, gourmet meals for the price of two. Get five for the price of three. If that sounds like a bargain — it is! Especially compared to eating at a three-star Michelin restaurant. In France. That’s why we never mention the price in these commercials, but how do you think we pay for all this advertising? Order today.” You’re still cooking the stuff, you’re just not going to the grocery store to get it. Seems to me that the only people who can actually afford to buy food this way are Silicon Valley CEOs and hedge fund managers. Well, probably not the hedge fund managers. They have private chefs at home, so it’s really only the vested “techionaires” who use meal kits. The biggest meal kit company, Blue Apron, has about 750,000 subscribers. Grubhub, a service that delivers food from restaurants that don’t have their own delivery systems, made over $1 billion last year off 14 million customers. How did it come to this? Has shopping become that loathsome? That hard? Has cooking become more difficult in the last 50 years? Is throwing pasta into a pot of boiling water beyond anyone’s skill set?
It probably all started with pizza delivery. It’s easy, inexpensive and there’s not much to clean up. And who doesn’t like pizza? Maybe people had one delivered twice a year in 1965 on special occasions? A few years later, once a month. A few years later, once a week. Now Domino’s is on the speed-dial. Was it Pandora’s Box that let the evils of food delivery into the world, or was it a pizza box? But meal kits are not easy and inexpensive. It’s hard to imagine a more expensive way of eating than having a meal kit delivered to your door. It’s just a guess, but something tells me the kind of people who can afford to eat this way are also the ones who have the fanciest kitchens. The kind of kitchens you see in the glossy magazines, the kind that have a water faucet over the stove so you don’t have to lug a pot full of water from the sink to the stove to boil pasta. The kind that have custom Italian tile all over the walls and granite and steel countertops and top-drawer appliances and islands with sinks in them. Yet, the last thing these folks want to do is cook. It’s like those people who live on the golf course but don’t golf. Why? There are lots of commercials for meal kits, but you’ll never see a commercial for “Cook at home from scratch and save thousands of dollars a year,” just like you’ll never see a commercial for a head of broccoli or a tomato. It’s almost a law of consumerism: The stuff you need the least does the most advertising. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we want food delivered right to the house. After all, online stores deliver things to us all the time. But dinner isn’t a thing. It’s a ritual. Dinner is sharing, it’s talking, it’s listening, it’s healing, it’s being part of a whole. Can all that come in a kit? Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@ gmail.com.
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