Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happenings: SCValentine's and Kid Soldiers Ain't Cute

Finally, SCV Gets Her Valentine

Mrs. Laurie Ender delivered an unforgettable invocation to tonight’s City Council meeting[1]. Simply smitten with Santa Clarita, she put together a video Valentine’s Day message for the valley we all love. To my knowledge, this is the first instance of a city councilmember dedicating a love song and photo montage to SCV. The tribute was set to the Plain White T’s[2] “1, 2, 3, 4” and went something like this:

[…]There’s only one thing, two do,
[photo of squirrel in tree]
three words, four yooouuu
[photo of town center fountain]
I love you (echoes).
[photo of park]
There’s only one way, two say,
those three words,
and that’s what I’ll doooo

[photo of basketball hoop]
I love you… [continues for several minutes]

Both restrained and intimate, chaste and impassioned, I found the video to be slightly unsettling in the best way possible. Mayor Ferry called it “one of the better invocations” he has seen in twelve years.

Hooray for La Berge
Next came the traditional City recognitions. Mayor Ferry held up a heavy-looking plate emblazoned with city seal and said that “we only give this thing away” to people who are especially deserving. It went to Captain Anthony La Berge, the man who was (and is) charged with keeping Santa Clarita safe. After Ferry described how La Berge has helped significantly improve local safety, the other members of Council had a chance to thank him individually. When it was Bob Kellar’s turn, he shouted “Sweet Lord!” at the prospect that he--retired LAPD-- should speak kindly of Captain Anthony La Berge, of the Sheriff’s Department. Of course, he ended up saying something nice and sincere. La Berge then posed for a picture (he’s shorter than I thought) and thanked the City for the recognition on behalf of his entire crew. He took the opportunity to introduce some sergeants and other people who have been instrumental in keeping SCV secure, and warned Claritans: “don’t make it easy for people to victimize us.”

Next, it was time to bask in the glow of our status as most business-friendly city in LA County. Here, I was surprised at the restraint shown, perhaps because the celebrations begin to wear thin after a few months.

Meeting Going, Going, Gone
Individual reports from councilmembers were generally unremarkable. Comments ran the gamut from the stimulus plan to Valentine’s Day to the celebrity waiter dinner.

The Consent Calendar was approved in under one minute. Sweet Lord! (that was me, not Kellar). If you care to look at what passed or, more correctly, what recommended actions were taken, read the agenda[1].

There were two comment cards turned in for Public Participation, but about six speakers. The last five or so were high school students from Valencia and Canyon, members of the “Human Rights Watch Student Task Force.” They came to speak out against child soldiers around the world and to describe their mission to collect red hand prints in protest of children being forced to lay land mines, serve as decoys, or engage in bloody conflicts. The Council took decisive action, liberating all child soldiers serving unjustly in SCV’s various military engagements. Actually, the decisive action was posing with the students for a photo beneath our stunning, picturesque city seal. The photo will surely serve as a vision of hope to oppressed child soldiers worldwide.

The meeting ended just fifty-one meetings after it began. All were pleased.

[1]The Agenda
[2]I know that apostrophe doesn’t seem to belong, but it’s how they decided to name their band. Can we fault them for being products of an ungrammatical school system?