Sunday, December 21, 2008

SCVenger Hunt: CLUE 3

I can now present the last of the clues for the IHeartSCV Christmas SCVenger Hunt. If you think you have gathered all the items to which you were directed in this hunt, send an email to iheartscv AT gmail DOTcom and you will be given the prize pick-up location if the prize remains unclaimed.

For instructions and the first clues click here.
For the second clue click here.

Clue 3: You Can Lead a Horse to Water

The sculpture pictured above resides in front of a building in Valencia. A woman whose name is just one vowel away from the answer to the general clue has put in some very late nights in this building—usually no more than one or two a month.

Walk into the building of interest. As proof of your visit, take one of the flyers available to you in the lobby. (One along the lines of vector control would be nice and in keeping with the theme of this SCVenger Hunt, but any flyer will do.) Good luck.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HELP WANTED: Tree-Sitter

On Tuesday night, G&L Realty was given permission to commit unspeakable acts upon the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial campus. Indeed, MayorDude Ferry, Councilmember Ender, and Mayor Pro-Tem Weste gave the nod to a development agreement that will turn our community hospital into a cash cow for G&L Realty with three massive medical office buildings, 5-story parking structures and helipads. Destroying the integrity of whole neighborhoods for private profit will be bad enough. But murdering trees to make way for office buildings and parking structures, even our much-beloved Community Holiday Tree, is one step too far. Something must be done.

David Gauny of SmartGrowthSCV has mentioned the possibility of a lawsuit to halt construction. While I’m sure he and his group will have an excellent case if/when they proceed, a victory is far from assured. G&L Realty has ample resources and a major financial incentive for over-building the campus. If it becomes a battle of resources, we can’t expect a fair match.

Thus, a contingency plan is required. I am pulling a page out of the SCOPE playbook. Do you remember John Quigley from the winter of 2002/2003? He’s the guy who sat in Old Glory, a massive oak tree that a developer wanted to bulldoze to make way for a road widening[1]. Well, if he was willing to take a stand then, I hope someone in Santa Clarita will be willing to take a stand now. Yes, it’s time to make a stand for the trees by having a sit in them...

HELP WANTED!: Now Seeking Applicants for Tree Sitter Position

Description. Do you like the outdoors? Are you interested in defending the helpless? Does the idea of living in a large tree excite you? If so, consider a career in tree sitting. Primary duty is sitting for long periods of time (months to years) on a 4' x 8' plywood board chained to the Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) in front of HMNMH and known as the "Community Holiday Tree". This will stop said tree from being cut down for construction of a subterranean parking structure. Other tasks include giving interviews to local media and evading police and other authorities that attempt to forcibly remove sitter from tree. Positions sitting in other trees to be removed for road expansion, etc... will be considered if we find sufficient interest.

Qualifications. The ideal applicant should be strongly committed to preservation of our Community Holiday Tree/opposed to the HMNMH expansion as approved earlier this December. Leaving the tree is never permitted for the duration of the position, which may be several years. Affinity for piney scent a plus.

Compensation & Perks.
*Starting salary is $15/month with negotiable 10% raise after 3-month evaluation
*Sitter may accept all food, blankets, toilet paper, buckets with elaborate pulley systems, and other gifts for which he/she is able to grovel from members of the community
*Free Christmas decorations

For More Information. Please email IHeartSCV with “Tree Sitter” in subject line. Thank you for your interest.

Realistically, I'm not 100% certain that we will be able to fill this position despite its inherent glamor and importance. This would mean that, in several years, the Community Holiday Tree will have a date with a chainsaw and wood-chipper. Obviously, this would cause some community dissatisfaction, if not outcry. Apart from the very real death of our beloved tree, the felling would/will be a profoundly disturbing gesture: destroying a beautiful symbol of the community to build something that makes more money. This would be very bad P.R., so I suspect foul-play would occur first. Someone would poison the tree or introduce a disease and say "The tree is unhealthy and would have to be removed anyways." Alternatively, forces for HMNMH could stage the cutting down of the tree by some nameless vandal. Or it would be cut down in the dead of night with nary a witness in sight.

No matter what, then, we should be on the look-out for our community tree. How it gets treated is how we Claritans will be treated. As goes the tree, so goes SCV.

[1]Here's one exciting artcle from the LA Times to refresh your memory.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ALERT: No City Council Meeting Summary Tonight

Dear Reader,

I will be unable to watch--much less write about--tonight's City Council meeting. This is unfortunate, as I am sure there will be even more ridiculousness than normal to report on. Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry is becoming Mayor Ferry ("and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth"). G&L Realty will be formally granted the right to plunder Santa Clarita and her peoples. And then there are items concerning the cross valley connector, red light traffic cameras, and Newhall redevelopment.

I urge you to watch for yourself as much of the very best (i.e., worst) stuff goes un- or under-reported. Look for a post on meeting outcomes come Thursday.


IHSCV Blogger

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SCVenger Hunt: CLUE 2

This is the second of four clues in the IHeartSCV Christmas SCVenger Hunt. For background and the first clue, go here.

CLUE 2: I Hart SCV

If War and Peace is Peace or War and Paradise Lost is Hell Found and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is Noon Outside a Wasteland of Evil or Good, the title you seek is Your Death West or East. The man who wrote it lived in the best-known estate in Newhall and died in 1946.

Find the book bearing the title of interest. Item #2 in your collection should be a piece of paper on which you write the sentence that follows this quotation from page 315: “‘Well, if you’re not joking,’ I replied ‘it’s tough on you, lady, for you’re crazy.” While it may seem like you need to make a trip to the library to answer this question, you shouldn't need to leave your seat.

Monday, December 1, 2008

SCVenger Hunt: CLUE 1

Do you want to win free stuff that expresses your ambivalence towards Santa Clarita? If so, you're in luck!
Participate in the first (and last) IHeartSCV Christmas SCVenger Hunt and you'll have a chance to win some wonderful presents just in time for the holidays. Here's how it works:

1. On December 1st, 8th, 13th, and 19th, I'll provide a new clue. Each clue will direct you to some part of Santa Clarita and describe an item that you need to collect as proof of successfully solving the clue. A "General Clue" is also provided on the 1st and will help you in your quest.

2. Solve all the clues and gather all the corresponding items.

3. On December 19th, I'll specify a popular store/locale in Santa Clarita where you can bring your collection of items. If you're the first one to arrive, you can trade your collection for the prize package, which includes an I Heart SCV Christmas ornament, I Heart SCV bumper sticker, cheesy Santa Clarita postcards, and, best of all, an I Heart SCV T-shirt, pictured below.

GENERAL CLUE (Solving this clue will help shed light on the weekly clues)
It's a four-letter word that is very Santa Claritan. It can answer the question "Where should I go?" But, if you try to get there, you'll keep going in circles.

CLUE 1: Walk Amongst the Stars

This song preceded a classic TV show, parts of which were filmed at the Golden Oak Ranch in Newhall. Not so very far away lies a small monument to she who played Nellie's nemesis on the program. Gather proof that you visited this oft overlooked tribute--a pencil rubbing or photo will do--and you're well on your way to winning.