Holy Crap, We’re Spending $2M on Bus Stops!
or, The State of the City Newsletter
Did you know our city has a color scheme? According to Alisha Celestine, writer of “The New Look of Transit”, we do! It’s a “refreshing color scheme of rich greens and blues.” Cool! Literally! I can’t stop using exclamation points!
Refreshed? I am!
Application of this color scheme in new signs will be a fundamental component of a two-million dollar project to improve bus stops. The Bus Stop Improvement Program (BSIP) will apparently spiffy-up 51 existing shelters and put 40 new shelters into existence. That comes out to about $22,000 per shelter, for which we get “solar security lightning [sic], steel strap benches with backs and intermediate armrests, and trash receptacles with covered lids […and] a public art component at 25-percent of the bus stop locations.” The solar security “lightning” will doubtless eat up most of the budget.The remainder of the newsletter consists of the City patting itself on the back. The words “vision”, “success” and “future” figure prominently throughout.
“…stories of Santa Clarita people who have accomplished success”
or, the August/September 2007 élite magazine
Pity Linda and Moe Hafizi: their computer must have a broken comma key! The publishers of the modestly titled élite magazine—an SCV bi-monthly that “takes it up a notch and invites you to come along”—certainly appeared to be victims of a busted keyboard in the newest issue.
Indeed, what but a broken button could explain the sentence “As will, our ‘Looking Back’ feature on Glen Blackshaw, married more than 50 years, the start to their union may have been a bit unconventional since neither could understand a word of what the other was saying”? Yes, that’s really a sentence from this issue’s letter from the publishers. Unsurprisingly, the fairer half of the publishing duo responsible for that gem is also editor-in-chief. While the magazine’s rough edges aren’t easily overlooked, they are easily forgiven. After all, élite gives a glimpse into the lives of the privileged class that us common folk are rarely afforded. In this issue, for instance, I’ve learned how the president of the Bank of Santa Clarita stays fit and got a private tour of the home of the Hovsepians, an elite Claritan family! I was even introduced to General Hospital actor Rick Hearst, a man who has “overcome insurmountable odds in the competitive world of entertainment.”
But as fun as it is to read, the best part of élite magazine is the game I get to play in every issue. It’s called “Count the Flemings” because photos of Cheri, Don, Scooter, and Spark Plug are, to use one of the French phrases so beloved by the mag, de rigeur. To be fair, this is due in large part to the fact that they do a lot of charity work and go to many charity events--many heavily photographed charity events. Likewise, there is never a shortage of pictures of the Hafizi clan. The April/May issue included six photos for a total of ten Hafizis.
One Fleming (Don), two Flemings (Cheri), three Flemings ("Speed Bump"), ah ah ah...Finally, every issue includes locals modeling clothes bought at the hottest, hippest SCV boutiques (e.g., Macy’s in this issue) and an amazing recipe. This month I enjoyed learning how to make Chef Olivier Quinn’s Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese. The secret is buying tomatoes and cheese and then putting them on the same serving platter. Très gourmet!
If you don’t receive élite, there’s a reason: only elite addresses get élite magazines. According to the website, it’s mailed to a “targeted” set of residences, “numerous upscale locations”, and “select local hotels.” How it arrived in the ghetto of Valencia I do not know, but I appreciate the mistake.
That’s Linda, to be specific. Ati and Alex Hafizi are responsible for graphic design, and they do a remarkably good job.
Based on the article, these "insurmountable odds" were the death of his grandfather and the separation of his parents. By these criteria, I too have overcome "insurmountable odds"!
No, not even a title like élite is sufficiently pretentious for this magazine. They gush over houses in the “La Maison” section, and photos of important, event-attending Claritans are published under the banner “Crème de la Crème.”
If I've sold you on the magazine (or, rather, if it has sold itself to you), click here. Try to ignore the clutching of jowls.