Westside Reader August 2015

A newsmagazine covering the communities of Stevenson Ranch, Westridge, Castaic and Val Verde on the Westside of the Santa Clarita Valley.

A newsmagazine covering the communities of Stevenson Ranch, Westridge, Castaic and Val Verde on the Westside of the Santa Clarita Valley.


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e’ve all heard the phrase “buyer beware.” But it is just as<br />

important to embrace the notion of “giver beware,” as<br />

well.<br />

If you haven’t been approached in front of a store, or<br />

in a parking lot, or on the phone to “donate” to what<br />

sounds like a legitimate nonprofit, then you must not<br />

be living in the Santa Clarita Valley.<br />

Residents of the SCV are known to be generous,<br />

good-hearted souls who will almost give the “shirt-offtheir-backs”<br />

to assist those in need.<br />

However, such kindness can allow out-of-town solicitors<br />

to take advantage of well-meaning residents and<br />

deprive SCV nonprofits of much needed funds to help<br />

individuals living in the SCV. See The Ugly, page 8<br />

Getting Ready<br />

for the New<br />

School Year<br />

14<br />

Fall TV<br />

Preview<br />

28 26<br />

10 Labor Day<br />


<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 5<br />

CastaiC town CounCil<br />

Voice of the community<br />

by Jim Walker<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Whether the issues are managed<br />

growth, possible incorporation/<br />

annexation, landfill expansion,<br />

traffic, dust or anything else of concern, the<br />

members of the Castaic Area Town Council<br />

(aka Castaic Town Council) will consider<br />

them, with your best interests at heart. The<br />

council is an advisory board, presenting community<br />

points of view with the Los Angeles<br />

County Board of Supervisors and various<br />

county departments, such as Public Safety,<br />

Regional Planning, and Parks and Recreation.<br />

The Castaic Area Town Council is comprised<br />

of ten elected representatives from five regions<br />

within unincorporated Castaic. Here we<br />

help you get to know your representatives.<br />

Region 1: Live Oak, North<br />

Bluffs, Hillcrest Park, Hasley<br />

Hills and the Valencia Commerce<br />

Center<br />

John Kunak (council president)<br />

Elected November 2012, term expires<br />

December 2016<br />

“I moved to Castaic in 1997,” John Kunak<br />

said. “It was in<br />

1998 that I became<br />

aware that there<br />

was a Castaic Area<br />

Town Council. It<br />

was after the election<br />

and I wanted<br />

to be very involved<br />

in my community<br />

and decided that in<br />

the next election<br />

year, which was 2000, I would run for a seat.”<br />

Kunak is a practicing attorney, living with<br />

his wife of 30 years, Mary Kunak, and his<br />

daughter, Kelley Kunak, 20 years old and a<br />

junior at the University of Southern California<br />

(his alma mater). “My wife and I are extremely<br />

proud of our daughter, who is in her<br />

second year as a USC Song Girl (‘cheerleader’—the<br />

girls who dance to the songs of<br />

the band).”<br />

Kunak has served as a community volunteer<br />

for the past 15 years. “In addition to<br />

being elected to my first term on the Castaic<br />

Area Town Council in 2000, I also served on<br />

the Castaic Union School District Board of<br />

Trustees from 2001 through 2009. I was<br />

termed-out as a member of the Castaic Area<br />

Town Council in 2008, as we were only allowed<br />

to serve two consecutive terms at that<br />

time. In 2012, I did run again and have been<br />

a member of the council since then. I am currently<br />

president of the CATC and also served<br />

as president on numerous occasions during<br />

my prior service on the council.”<br />

Kunak said he has also served multiple<br />

terms as president of the Castaic Union<br />

School District Board, along with being president<br />

of the Castaic Education Foundation<br />

and Castaic Lions Club. “I also serve as a volunteer<br />

judge on the Santa Clarita Valley Community<br />

Court, which is a program to educate<br />

and help our youth, who are first-time offenders<br />

and need some direction,” he said.<br />

“I have learned, through my time in many<br />

of the elected and service positions, that there<br />

should be no particular personal agenda that<br />

one brings forward (at the council), Kunak<br />

noted. “I have always felt, and continue to feel,<br />

that being a voice of my community and representing<br />

the majority view of the community<br />

is my mandate. Obviously, one’s personal<br />

views cannot help but come into play, but I<br />

have made a conscious choice to not come to<br />

any decisions until I have heard all points of<br />

view and refuse to make any decision, or vote<br />

on any particular matter, until a motion is actually<br />

made before the Castaic Area Town<br />

Council and I have heard our entire community’s<br />

views on the matter.”<br />

Jessica Roussel Chambers (secretary<br />

and website editor)<br />

Elected November 2014, term expires<br />

December 2018<br />

With a family of three, Jessica Roussel<br />

Chambers said she<br />

has lived in the<br />

Castaic area for 28<br />

years and works in<br />

“aerospace-quality.”<br />

She first came<br />

to the council in<br />

January of <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

When asked what<br />

she hopes to accomplish<br />

via the<br />

council, she said, “I hope to represent the new<br />

families that have and are moving to our area,<br />

keeping in mind it is these growing families<br />

that are developing in this area — as well as<br />

listening to those who have made Castaic<br />

their permanent home in the past. I wish to<br />

bring Castaic back to its glory years, when I<br />

was younger and there were things to do and<br />

people were proud to call Castaic their home.”<br />

Region 2: Val Verde area<br />

Greg Kimura<br />

Elected November 2012, term expires<br />

December 2016<br />

Greg Kimura is an auto-broker and property<br />

manager, who has lived in the Castaic<br />

area for more than<br />

four years. “There<br />

are two of us in our<br />

house, and my sister<br />

lives here in Castaic,<br />

as do our two<br />

daughters and three<br />

grandkids,” he said.<br />

“I came to the council<br />

when we had a<br />

cell tower issue with<br />

a company called Core. About a year later, I<br />

ran in the 2012 CATC election,” he added.<br />

“Currently, our community has a few major<br />

issues, which we would like to have our voice<br />

heard on,” Kimura said. “These issues are the<br />

expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill,<br />

resolution of the flooding problem at the intersection<br />

of Del Valle and Hasley Canyon,<br />

and the substantial growth that is planned in<br />

the Castaic area. We may not be able to get<br />

everything that we want, but it would be<br />

great if we could be included in the meetings<br />

and our concerns will be considered when<br />

the decisions are made.”<br />

Bonnie Blackwell-Nikolai (co-chair,<br />

Land Use Committee)<br />

Elected November 2014, term expires<br />

December 2018<br />

Bonnie Blackwell-Nikolai said she has lived<br />

in the Castaic area for seven and a half years.<br />

See Town Council, page 16<br />

CastaiC town CounCil Meeting<br />

Letter to Chiquita Canyon Landfill nixed<br />

by Jim Walker<br />

Staff Writer<br />

This month’s meeting of the Castaic<br />

Town Council was a mostly placid affair,<br />

featuring various good-news reports<br />

from the field that held little drama and<br />

stirred up no controversy. It was just the type<br />

of event one might imagine for a “town council”<br />

gathering. However, those in the audience<br />

who exited the meeting early missed a few<br />

sparks.<br />

Stepping to the podium<br />

Before the scheduled presenters took to<br />

the podium, the council and audience were<br />

addressed by Linda Storli, who is running for<br />

the William S. Hart Union High School District<br />

Board. Storli filled everyone in on her<br />

background, including her 30 years teaching<br />

at Canyon High School, and on her goals, if<br />

elected, which include operating from “a<br />

teacher’s perspective.”<br />

Next at the lectern was Los Angeles<br />

County Sheriff’s Lt. Byron Wainie, presenting<br />

a crime report. With an uptick in commercial<br />

burglaries, “window smashes,” as he described<br />

them, he also reminded those present<br />

not leave valuables on car seats.<br />

Officer Robert Byrod from the California<br />

Highway Patrol was next, reporting on traffic<br />

collisions, citations and arrests in the area —<br />

including, surprisingly, only one injury collision<br />

for the entire month of July in the Castaic<br />

area. He added that the Highway Patrol<br />

would have a “maximum enforcement period”<br />

from Sept. 4 through Sept. 7, during the<br />

Labor Day weekend.<br />

Among other reports given, Jesse Hendrick,<br />

a director of youth sports at the Castaic Regional<br />

Sports Complex, discussed various activities<br />

there, including little league baseball<br />

and mountain biking. At the end of this, councilman<br />

Flo Lawrence reminded all that Sept.<br />

12 will be Grandparents Day at the complex.<br />

“We feed the heck out of the seniors on that<br />

day,” he said, and added there will be a soccer<br />

celebration and 9/11 event on that day as<br />

well.<br />

Hazardous materials<br />

After other presentations and business,<br />

and just when it seemed the meeting would<br />

slip quietly into the night, the issue of the<br />

council possibly sending a letter to the county<br />

supervisors was raised. If sent, the letter<br />

would include a list of hazardous materials<br />

that, in the letter, the Castaic Town Council<br />

would recommend not be allowed into the<br />

Chiquita Canyon Sanitary Landfill. And that’s<br />

when the sparks flew — though all within<br />

proper meeting decorum, of course.<br />

The divisive issue of possibly sending the<br />

letter was brought to the council by member<br />

Bonnie Nikolai, of the council’s Region II,<br />

which includes the Val Verde area. “A constituent<br />

asked me to do it,” she later said. “He<br />

said it would be good to ask the supervisors<br />

if we could be involved with the conditional<br />

See Castaic Town Council, page 12

6 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

C a l l i n g a l l s w e e t to ot h s<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

31<br />

If this photo caught your attention, then we know you have a sweet tooth. These<br />

yummies can be found at Milkshake Mania, one of the shops we feature on page 31.<br />

Publisher<br />

Richard Budman<br />

Features & Entertainment Editor<br />

Michele E. Buttelman<br />

Staff Writers<br />

Brandon Lowrey, Robb Fulcher, Patti Rasmussen, Lauren Budman<br />

Beau Harper, Jim Walker, Jane Gates, Mike Mabund, Josh Premako, John Boston<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Steve Knight, Cameron Smyth, Dave Bossert<br />

Michelle Sathe, Ray Kutylo, Beth Heiserman, Dave Guenther, Scott Wilk<br />

Advertising Account Executives<br />

Michelle Earnhart, Chuck Christensen<br />

Production & Prepress Manager<br />

Chris Budman<br />

Digital & Social Media<br />

Lauren Budman<br />

Production<br />

David Perez, Carol Roper<br />

The entire contents of the <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> is copyrighted <strong>2015</strong> by BGL Multimedia, Inc.<br />

All submitted letters and columns are strictly the opinions of the authors, and not necessarily<br />

those of the publishers. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced<br />

without the written permission of the publishers.<br />

For information, call 661-505-7180 e-mail: info @<strong>Westside</strong><strong>Reader</strong>.com<br />

Mail correspondence to: 25876 The Old Rd., Suite # 66, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381<br />

Table of Contents<br />

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Giver Beware Cover<br />

Castaic Town Council profile: Voice of the community 5<br />

Castaic Town Council: Chiquita Canyon Landfill letter nixed 5<br />

West Ranch Town Council: Proposed landscape tax 7<br />

Deputies save two dogs left in van 7<br />

Man’s body found near I-5 onramp 7<br />

SCV Charities: The Good: A review of tax filings 8<br />

Newhall Ranch moves closer to reality 11<br />

US Rep. Steve Knight: A Day in the Life 12<br />

Warriors on the Water 13<br />

The Wounded Warrior Project: Where does your donation go? 13<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Schools: Fourth-grade teacher preps for new year 14<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> slates set for November elections 14<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Hart Distict enrollment 14<br />

Newhall District Common Core training to include “coaches” in<br />

Math, Science push 15<br />

West Ranch High School to get shade 15<br />

Crime Blotter 16<br />

Santa Clarita Sheriff’s deputy saves toddler from drowning 16<br />

Help from firefighting airplanes coming soon 17<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Real Estate: Ray the Realtor 20<br />

Recent <strong>Westside</strong> home sales 20<br />

Gaze before you give: Tips for donors 21<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Opinion: Cameron Smyth 22<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Opinion: Dave Bossert 22<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Opinion: Assemblyman Scott Wilk 23<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Calendar 24<br />

Restaurant Review: The Oaks Grille at TPC Valencia 25<br />

10 quick getaways to celebrate the end of Summer 26<br />

The Fall television season preview 28<br />

Santa Clarita’s best ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato 31<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> People Profile: Sara and Todd Tisdell 33<br />

Out & About in the SCV 34<br />

Garden Gates 35<br />

What a Pair! 26

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 7<br />

Deputies save two dogs<br />

left in van during 100<br />

degree temperatures<br />

Two women were shopping at the Starbucks<br />

near the 25800 block of The Old Road<br />

in Stevenson Ranch when they heard dogs<br />

barking from a vehicle. Two Chihuahuas were<br />

locked in a van. The women immediately<br />

called 911 and Deputy Mark Barretto from<br />

the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s station responded<br />

to the scene.<br />

Barretto rescued the dogs by slipping his<br />

arm through a small opening of a window,<br />

and was able to get the door open.<br />

The dogs’ owner was located and given a<br />

written warning from the Los Angeles County<br />

Department of Animal Care and Control. WR<br />

Man’s body found near<br />

I-5 at Valencia Blvd.,<br />

suicide suspected<br />

The body of a man, possibly in his 60s, was<br />

discovered earlier in the month near I-5<br />

North and is being investigated as a possible<br />

suicide.<br />

A passer-by spotted the body just off the<br />

Valencia Boulevard onramp to the northbound<br />

freeway, said Sgt. Brian Allen of the<br />

Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station.<br />

“It (the death) is consistent with a suicide,<br />

but homicide detectives and the coroner’s office<br />

will have to determine that,” Allen said.<br />

The sheriff’s sergeant would not comment on<br />

why he believed the death was a suicide. WR<br />

west RanCh town CounCil Meeting<br />

Proposed landscape tax assessments<br />

prove contentious issue at meeting<br />

Homestead South<br />

approved, possible<br />

annexation talks<br />

also discussed<br />

By Jim Walker<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Using large maps, Corey Harpole, vice president of forward planning for Newhall Land, explains what the<br />

Newhall Ranch Homestead South development is, where it will be located, and the proposed timetable for its<br />

construction. Photo by Jim Walker<br />

The Aug. 5 meeting of the West Ranch<br />

Town Council revealed that <strong>Westside</strong><br />

residents definitely have a few “developments”<br />

headed their way — and some of<br />

these may not go down easy. Among other<br />

concerns raised at the meeting were the possibilities<br />

of increasing traffic, increasing tax<br />

assessments and increasing hourly wages.<br />

Homestead South<br />

One of the meeting’s featured guest speakers<br />

was Corey Harpole, vice president of forward<br />

planning for Newhall Land. With large<br />

maps to illustrate, he explained to those present<br />

what the Newhall Ranch Homestead<br />

South development was, where it would be<br />

located, and the proposed timetable for its<br />

construction. Planned for 3,617 units, including<br />

699 detached, fee-simple lots and<br />

about 2,900 multi-family units, he described<br />

it as “more of a residential-oriented community,<br />

with a focus on educational and openspace<br />

amenities.” Situated west of Interstate Harpole’s presentation, the primary concern<br />

During the questions session following<br />

5 and south of Highway 126, it will include was traffic — added to Highway 126 and Interstate<br />

5 by the project, and possibly added<br />

sites for neighborhood retail, plus open<br />

space, parks, and elementary school, junior to nearby communities by those looking for<br />

high school and high school sites. With much shortcuts from the project. It was noted there<br />

still ahead of the project, Harpole said that,<br />

“If all goes right, there will be groundbreaking<br />

in 2017 or 2018.” See West Ranch Town Council, page 17

8 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

sCV ChaRities: the good<br />

A review of tax filings finds local non-profits<br />

making efficient use of their donors’ money<br />

by Robb Fulcher<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Donors can rest assured that local charities<br />

serving the Santa Clarita Valley<br />

are operating with an efficiency well<br />

above the informal benchmarks set by charity<br />

watchdogs.<br />

Large proportions of the organizations’ expenses<br />

are used to operate their programs,<br />

rather than going into their overhead, a <strong>Westside</strong><br />

<strong>Reader</strong> review of tax filings found.<br />

The review showed varied financial profiles<br />

for the charities and other similar nonprofits,<br />

depending on the nature of their<br />

missions:<br />

The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry,<br />

which uses a volunteer-heavy staff to secure<br />

food donations and distribute the food, is<br />

easy to spot as a model organization, with 96<br />

percent of its total expenses going to its programs,<br />

and only .05 percent going to salaries.<br />

However, other organizations with larger<br />

salary costs also performed well above<br />

watchdogs’ benchmarks:<br />

Salaries accounted for about 43 percent of<br />

the total expenses of the Michael Hoefflin<br />

Foundation for pediatric cancer, but more<br />

than 60 percent of that payroll went to employees<br />

who work directly with patients and<br />

their families. That meant the foundation<br />

used 74 percent of its total expenses on its<br />

programs.<br />

And the tax filings of Gentle Barn, an<br />

abused animal sanctuary where kids can<br />

work with the animals, showed 57 percent of<br />

its total expenses going to its programs, a figure<br />

lower than most other area non-profits.<br />

But, the Barn counted maintenance of facilities<br />

and equipment as overhead costs, even<br />

though the maintenance is necessary to run<br />

the programs. So that 57 percent figure can<br />

be misleadingly low.<br />

The watchdogs at Charity Navigator said<br />

that smaller organizations should probably<br />

be able to use at least 50 percent of their total<br />

expenses on their programs.<br />

Charity Navigator examines about 8,000 of<br />

the nation’s largest charities.<br />

“For the larger ones, the vast majority<br />

spend 75 percent on their programs, and the<br />

rest on administration and fundraising…The<br />

smaller, newer ones probably don’t meet that<br />

level of efficiency, but that doesn’t mean<br />

that’s a bad place to invest in,” said spokeswoman<br />

Sandra Miniutti.<br />

“The benefit of giving to a smaller local<br />

charity is that you can get involved in the organization,”<br />

she said. “You can volunteer,<br />

maybe sit on the board, you can assess the<br />

real-world impact the nonprofit is having.<br />

You can assess the leadership of the organization,<br />

see whether the CEO is a talented,<br />

qualified leader.”<br />

The organizations we reviewed range<br />

from large national entities such as Make-A-<br />

Wish Foundation and Special Olympics,<br />

which serve the Santa Clarita Valley, to homegrown<br />

valley mainstays. The reviews are<br />

based on the most recent available tax filings,<br />

and non-profits frequently apply for filing extensions.<br />

Senior Center of Santa Clarita Valley<br />

spent 90 percent of its total expenses on its<br />

programs in 2012, according to its tax filings.<br />

The Senior Center served more than<br />

10,000 people with group and home-delivered<br />

meals, intergenerational recreation and<br />

lifelong learning, adult day care, housing rehabilitation<br />

and home modifications, transportation,<br />

care management, mental health<br />

and counseling services, care-giving services,<br />

visually impaired assisted services, consumer<br />

education, advocacy and benefits counseling,<br />

and affordable housing.<br />

The center also maintains community collaborations<br />

to make available programs such<br />

as legal assistance, senior training employment,<br />

and health and wellness programs.<br />

The Senior Center listed:<br />

Revenue – $2,827,530<br />

Salaries – $1,386,500<br />

Total expenses – $2,607,374<br />

Program expenses – $2,335,549<br />

Management expenses – $1,167,241<br />

Fundraising expenses – $1,104,184<br />

Net assets – $1,276,785<br />

Highest compensated employee Director<br />

Rachelle Dardeau was paid $100,000.<br />

v v v<br />

Carousel Ranch used 88 percent of its<br />

total expenses on its programs, according to<br />

2014 tax filings.<br />

Carousel Ranch uses horseback riding in<br />

offering developmental, therapeutic and<br />

See SCV Charities, page 12<br />

The Ugly<br />

continued from page 1<br />

Many who donate to nonprofits believe<br />

that if an organization has achieved nonprofit<br />

status, as deemed by the Internal Revenue<br />

Service, that the organization must be a legitimate<br />

charity.<br />

Unfortunately, it is not that clear-cut. Unless<br />

an organization is transparent, which includes<br />

filing 990s with the state of California<br />

and reporting to the public where its money<br />

is spent, it is impossible to know how much of<br />

the money donated is actually going to a<br />

cause or actually goes to the nonprofit and<br />

not to fundraising or the solicitor.<br />

Is the nonprofit truly providing housing to<br />

the homeless, or drug and alcohol counseling<br />

to addicts? Or is it flying its leaders and staff<br />

around on private jets to conferences in the<br />

Bahamas?<br />

Unless a nonprofit provides verifiable information<br />

to the public, it is wise to save your<br />

donations for organizations you know and<br />

recognize as legitimate.<br />

The Internal Revenue Service requires:<br />

Every organization exempt from federal income<br />

tax under Internal Revenue Code section<br />

501(a) must file an annual information<br />

return. The list of those exempt is long. Number<br />

one is: A church<br />

There are currently several organizations<br />

from outside the SCV collecting funds from<br />

unwary SCV residents.<br />

Missionary Church of the Disciples<br />

of Jesus Christ<br />

The Missionary Church of the Disciples of<br />

Jesus Christ is headquartered in Covina. Yet,<br />

their white-suited emissaries are seen<br />

throughout the SCV soliciting donations in<br />

front of the Saugus Swap Meet on Sundays<br />

and in front of area grocery stores.<br />

They are easy to recognize as they wear<br />

white suits bearing patches that read “Missionary<br />

Church of the Disciples of Jesus<br />

Christ” and they have small badges affixed to<br />

their lapels that identify them as affiliated<br />

with a registered religious organization that<br />

qualifies as a nonprofit organization. They<br />

also carry large “coffee-can” type containers<br />

wrapped in white with the church’s logo on<br />

the front.<br />

Some reports indicate that most of the<br />

money collected by these white-suited solicitors<br />

is kept by the individuals with only 15 to<br />

25 percent of donations being turned over to<br />

the “church.”<br />

Wal-Mart sued the Missionary Church in<br />

See The Ugly, page 10<br />

The Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ<br />

is headquartered in Covina. Numerous investigations<br />

of the organization have reported that this<br />

church fails to meet the “transparency test” for nonprofits.

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 9

10 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

The Ugly<br />

continued from page 8<br />

the superior courts of several California counties<br />

in 2001. The corporation alleged the<br />

group was seeking donations in front of its<br />

stores without getting permission.<br />

In a ruling dated April 25, 2012 by the California<br />

Court of Appeal, Second District, Divi-<br />

This donation can claims to raise money for the<br />

“Food for Life Ministry Program.”<br />

sion 4, the court found in favor of Ralphs Grocery<br />

Company in a suit alleging trespass by<br />

the Missionary Church of the Disciples of<br />

Jesus Christ at a grocery store in El Segundo,<br />

Calif.<br />

What is most troubling about the Missionary<br />

Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ is<br />

that they are not a transparent organization,<br />

like the Salvation Army and other legitimate<br />

religious-based nonprofits, and have had<br />

problems in other states.<br />

In Colorado the organization’s incorporation<br />

has been revoked several times since<br />

1990 by the secretary of state’s office and nationally<br />

the church is on the “watch list” of<br />

Christian oversight groups.<br />

The church has also been sued several<br />

times, by Wal-Mart and others, for aggressive<br />

panhandling.<br />

In Washington state an investigation conducted<br />

by the Pasco, Wash. Tri-City Herald<br />

newspaper showed that many of the claims<br />

made by local church officials on the kind of<br />

“services” they were providing to the community<br />

proved to be false. “Pasco church says<br />

it aids community services, but nonprofits<br />

say no money received” read the headline<br />

from the 2010 story.<br />

A review of the Missionary Church headquarters<br />

website has no details about how<br />

much money the church brings in, or how it is<br />

used. In addition, there are no precise details<br />

See The Ugly, page 19<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

A representative of the The Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ waits outside the Saugus Swap<br />

Meet to collect donations.<br />

21515 Soledad Canyon Rd. • Suite. 123<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91350<br />

661.284.1200<br />


<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 11<br />

Newhall Ranch moves closer to reality<br />

Valencia-sized community<br />

will add roughly 50,000<br />

residents at buildout<br />

by Josh Premako<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Home to more than a quarter-million<br />

people, it might seem the Santa<br />

Clarita Valley is swelling but the truth<br />

is that there’s still room for more, and they<br />

may start moving in by 2018.<br />

Steadily moving from plan to reality west<br />

of the junction of Highway 126 and Interstate<br />

5, the Newhall Ranch community will be the<br />

last major development project of Newhall<br />

Land and add approximately 20,885 homes<br />

and roughly 50,000 people on 12,000 acres<br />

to the valley.<br />

Set to be developed on former pasture<br />

land a stone’s throw from Six Flags Magic<br />

Mountain, Newhall Ranch is planned as a collection<br />

of so-called pedestrian-oriented “villages”:<br />

Mission Village, Landmark Village,<br />

Homestead Village and Potrero Village, the<br />

latter two of which are still in the planning<br />

stages.<br />

Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer<br />

said development will begin with Mission<br />

Village — envisioned as Newhall Ranch’s<br />

“urban center” — which will be the easiest to<br />

which infrastructure can be extended, with<br />

the village developed primarily southwest of<br />

the intersection of Commerce Center Drive<br />

and Highway 126.<br />

“We hope to have move-ins by late<br />

2018/early 2019,” Lauffer wrote in a recent<br />

email.<br />

Mission Village is planned to include approximately<br />

350 houses, about 3,700 multifamily<br />

units and about 1.5 million square-feet<br />

of mixed-use and commercial space. Additionally,<br />

the community will include an elementary<br />

school, library, community center,<br />

fire station and several-hundred acres of<br />

open space and park land. Lauffer said the<br />

developer expects the complete buildout of<br />

Newhall Ranch to take about 20 years.<br />

The development of the community is certainly<br />

music to the ears of those in the SCV<br />

business community.<br />

“Newhall Ranch will bring significant new<br />

employment to the region — an estimated<br />

80,000 permanent jobs after buildout and<br />

about 130,000 construction/temporary related<br />

jobs along the way,” said Holly<br />

Schroeder, president and CEO of the SCV Economic<br />

Development Corp. The organization<br />

works with industry and government officials<br />

to attract and retain businesses in the valley.<br />

“The business parks range from mixed-use<br />

centers to corporate campuses, to traditional<br />

office/industrial development.”<br />

Schroeder said the community being designed<br />

with a variety of different home styles<br />

is important to creating a balanced community<br />

through the project’s development.<br />

“It’s a sign that the SCV is vibrant and<br />

growing, and promotion of Newhall Ranch<br />

will help us promote the SCV as a business location,”<br />

she said.<br />

History of the Ranch<br />

Before the developing boom of the past 25<br />

years that changed the face of the SCV community,<br />

before a shopping mall and a multiplex<br />

replaced sprawling fields longtime local<br />

residents speak of wistfully, the land that will<br />

cradle Newhall Ranch was known as Rancho<br />

Looking west at the end of Pico Canyon, the Newhall Ranch high country spreads out to the west of Santa<br />

Clarita. As part of the development of Newhall Ranch, more than 5,000 acres of the high country will be set<br />

aside as open space. Photo by Josh Premako<br />

San Francisco.<br />

The nearly 50,000-acre land grant was<br />

given to Mexican army officer Antonio del<br />

Valle in 1839 in recognition of service to Alta<br />

California.<br />

By the 1860s, the del Valle family was<br />

forced to sell off most of the land to oil speculators.<br />

Rancho San Francisco would eventually<br />

fall into the hands of a man whose name<br />

is familiar to scores of SCV residents: Henry<br />

Mayo Newhall.<br />

After Newhall’s death in 1882, his heirs<br />

formed the Newhall Land and Farming Company,<br />

today known simply as Newhall Land,<br />

which in 2004 became a subsidiary of homebuilder<br />

Lennar Corp.<br />

Facing challenges<br />

The Newhall Ranch Specific Plan was approved<br />

by the Los Angeles County Regional<br />

Planning Commission in 2003, and in the ensuing<br />

years has faced repeated legal challenges<br />

by environmental groups, particularly<br />

over the project’s water supply and the endangered<br />

vegetation found on the project<br />

site. As part of the development, Newhall<br />

Land is incorporating a spineflower preserve<br />

for the rare flower.<br />

Newhall Ranch will reportedly also include<br />

more than 5,000 acres set aside as open<br />

space, in addition to more than 900 acres of<br />

the Santa Clara River being protected.<br />

Environmental groups have also raised<br />

concerns about the water supply for the project,<br />

of note as California remains in the grip of<br />

drought conditions. Lauffer said Newhall<br />

Land is confident there will be sufficient<br />

water supplies over the life of the project.<br />

“As part of Newhall Ranch, we are building<br />

a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that<br />

will provide over 50 percent of the water<br />

usage for common areas, medians, etc.,” she<br />

said. “There will be drought-tolerant landscaping<br />

and smart irrigation, and there are<br />

great advances in water-saving measures in<br />

the homes.”<br />

In April, a three-judge panel of the state<br />

Second Appellate District unanimously<br />

backed a 2013 Los Angeles Superior Court<br />

ruling in favor of the Landmark Village’s environmental<br />

impact report and land use permits<br />

that were approved in 2011. The court<br />

was acting on a suit that had been brought<br />

against Los Angeles County by the Sierra<br />

Club, the Center for Biological Diversity,<br />

Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and<br />

the Environment and other environmental<br />

groups.<br />

While appeals have been filed with the<br />

state Supreme Court, the court has yet to<br />

state if it will hear the appeals. Meanwhile, in<br />

late June, a Los Angeles federal court judge<br />

upheld the validity of dredging permits that<br />

were issued under the Clean Water Act nearly<br />

a decade ago. The state supreme court is currently<br />

hearing appeals of the project’s state<br />

environmental permits.<br />

Longtime SCV Realtor Neal Weichel of<br />

RE/MAX sees the eventual development of<br />

Newhall Ranch as a positive.<br />

“I think it’s going to be a terrific development.<br />

Buyers love new construction. There is<br />

no new construction hardly to speak of anywhere<br />

in north L.A. County that isn’t Antelope<br />

Valley,” he said. “They’ve been through a lot<br />

of struggles trying to overcome all the different<br />

issues you deal with in the state of California<br />

to develop property. They keep<br />

jumping over every hurdle.” WR

12 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

a day i n t h e l i f e<br />

it’s refreshing to talk<br />

to real people<br />

by U.S. Rep. Steve Knight<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

When my alarm starts beeping at 6<br />

a.m., I spring out of bed. I have a lot<br />

to do today and my schedule is not<br />

very forgiving.<br />

I shower, get dressed and eat pretty<br />

quickly. My goal is to be on the road by 6:45.<br />

I’m in my car with five minutes to spare. By<br />

the time I get onto Highway 14 the sun is<br />

shining and the sky is bright blue. I’m driving<br />

south toward Northridge and making great<br />

time.<br />

I arrive a few minutes early at my destination:<br />

the Porter Ranch Country Club. I park<br />

my car and check some emails on my phone.<br />

After a few peaceful moments to myself, I get<br />

out.<br />

My first event of the day is speaking at a<br />

breakfast meeting for Realtors from the Santa<br />

Clarita and Simi Valley areas. I enter the<br />

venue and spot LA City Councilman Mitch<br />

Englander sitting at a table across the room.<br />

I pull up a chair next to him and we catch up.<br />

We both have pretty busy schedules and<br />

haven’t had a chance to talk in months.<br />

Our table fills up and soon there about ten<br />

of us talking about a huge spread of topics.<br />

Some folks want to talk about politics, but<br />

others are more interested in sports and the<br />

weather. I don’t mind at all — after months of<br />

talking with members of the DC community,<br />

it is just refreshing to talk to real people.<br />

Soon, Councilman Englander takes the<br />

stage. He speaks briefly, and then introduces<br />

me. The audience is made up of many familiar<br />

faces and I can’t help but smile as I take<br />

the podium.<br />

I have a lot to say. Quite a bit has happened<br />

since I was sworn into office in January, and I<br />

want to make sure I touch on everything. I<br />

talk about the various bills I have been working<br />

on, ranging from the National Defense Authorization<br />

Act to regulatory reforms for<br />

small businesses. I then move onto local topics,<br />

like the progress we are making with the<br />

CEMEX issue and creating a national memorial<br />

for victims of the Saint Francis Dam Disaster.<br />

Finally, I open it up to questions. This is<br />

a particularly engaged crowd, and there is no<br />

shortage of intelligent inquiries.<br />

Castaic Town Council Meeting<br />

continued from page 5<br />

use permit.”<br />

As the council members present took turns<br />

addressing the issue of the letter, several concerns<br />

were raised. Among these concerns<br />

were the large number of materials on the<br />

list, the fact some on the council did not know<br />

what many of the materials were, whether<br />

the council should be regulating private business,<br />

and the possibility that by sending the<br />

letter, the council might be running afoul of<br />

the previous council’s vote to approve the<br />

When there are no more hands in the air,<br />

it is nearly 10:30 a.m. I thank everyone for<br />

having me and head for the door. I stayed<br />

longer than expected, which just means I’ll<br />

have to have a sense of urgency in getting to<br />

my next activity.<br />

This is where my day gets hectic. My plan is<br />

to visit four health centers in the Santa Clarita<br />

Valley to learn about the challenges they face<br />

and how the federal government could help<br />

improve their practices.<br />

For the next six hours, that is exactly what<br />

I do. First, I receive a guided tour of the Henry<br />

Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Newhall.<br />

Next, I check out the sophisticated equipment<br />

used to fight cancer at Vantage Oncology.<br />

After that, I race over to North East Valley<br />

Health Corporation Health Center on Soledad<br />

Canyon Road for a look around. To finish up<br />

the outing, I stop by the Women, Infant, and<br />

Children (WIC) Center next door.<br />

All along the way, I speak with nurses,<br />

doctors, staff and patients. What I see and<br />

hear ranges from interesting and inspiring<br />

to humbling and heartbreaking. My wife is a<br />

NICU nurse and I’ve heard my share of stories<br />

about the medical community, but I am<br />

still moved whenever I hear about men and<br />

women dedicating their lives to improving<br />

the health of others. I learn a great deal from<br />

the tours and I’m excited to apply the new<br />

information when I return to Washington,<br />

DC.<br />

But my day is not quite done yet.<br />

I hop in my car and drive north toward<br />

Palmdale. Tonight is the birthday barbecue<br />

for my longtime friend and mentor, Supervisor<br />

Michael Antonovich. When I arrive at Hacienda<br />

Lane Ranch, the party is in full swing.<br />

I speak with old friends and make new ones<br />

over some delicious barbecue food.<br />

The festivities wrap up around 7 p.m., and<br />

I head home to unwind. It was a good day,<br />

and tomorrow is sure to be just as busy. WR<br />

Steve Knight is the U.S. Representative of<br />

California's 25th District which covers the<br />

Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys as well as<br />

portions of Simi Valley.<br />

landfill’s conditional use permit — which included<br />

the expansion of the landfill and the<br />

resulting $360,000 donated to Val Verde (approximately<br />

two-thirds) and Castaic (approximately<br />

one-third).<br />

In the end, the council voted down the proposal<br />

to send the letter 8 to 1, with Lloyd<br />

Carder absent and Nikolai the only “yes” vote.<br />

After the meeting, Nikolai said she would<br />

still send the letter, but “as a private citizen.”<br />

WR<br />

SCV Charities<br />

continued from page 8<br />

recreational experiences for disabled and disadvantaged<br />

children and adults, benefiting<br />

people with cerebral palsy, mental retardation,<br />

autism, brain stroke, learning disorders<br />

and emotional problems.<br />

Carousel Ranch listed:<br />

Revenue – $592,472<br />

Salaries – $269,623<br />

Total expenses – $471,632<br />

Program expenses – $414,423<br />

Management expenses – $057,209<br />

Fundraising expenses – $060,549<br />

Net assets – $924,168<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

Executive Director Denise Redmond and<br />

Program Director Becky Graham were each<br />

paid $51,600. Land, buildings and equipment<br />

were valued at $1.3 million.<br />

v v v<br />

Gentle Barn spent 57 percent of its total<br />

expenses on its programs to rescue, rehabilitate<br />

and give sanctuary to abused animals,<br />

and expose children to the rewards of working<br />

closely with animals, according to 2013<br />

tax filings.<br />

However, large amounts of Gentle Barn’s<br />

overhead went to maintain its facilities and<br />

animals in Santa Clarita and Knoxville, Tennessee,<br />

and was not listed as program expenses,<br />

according to the organization.<br />

Gentle Barn listed:<br />

Revenue – $1,742,382<br />

Salaries – $0,615,375<br />

Total expenses $1,780,065<br />

Program expenses – $1,017,207<br />

Management expenses –$0,555,243<br />

Fundraising expenses – $1,207,615<br />

Net assets – $1,463,785<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

Director and Board Chair Yael Laks was<br />

paid $74,400, Director Jay Weiner was paid<br />

$37,200 and Director Joe Seoane was paid<br />

$12,500.<br />

v v v<br />

Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry spent<br />

96 percent of its total expenses on its programs,<br />

according to 2013 tax filings.<br />

The Pantry utilizes numerous volunteers<br />

to seek out food donations and distribute the<br />

food to more than 6,500 people, about half of<br />

them children, on a short-term basis. The organization<br />

also received a grant to increase<br />

services to seniors, according to the filings.<br />

The Food Pantry listed:<br />

Total revenue – $1,929,532<br />

Salaries – $1,097,118<br />

Total expenses – $1,718,912<br />

Program expenses – $1,650,033<br />

Management expenses – $1,056,502<br />

Fundraising expenses – $1,012,674<br />

Net assets – $1,971,788<br />

Highest compensated employee Executive<br />

Director Belinda Crawford was paid $64,200.<br />

v v v<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

The Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls<br />

Club used 75 percent of its total expenses on<br />

its programs, according to 2014 tax filings.<br />

The organization promotes the health, social,<br />

educational, vocational and character<br />

development of boys and girls through programs<br />

including social recreation, co-ed<br />

sports, arts and crafts.<br />

The organization listed:<br />

Total revenue – $1,929,953<br />

Salaries – $1,712,000<br />

Total expenses – $1,083,542<br />

Program expenses – $1,815,072<br />

Management expenses – $1,268,470<br />

Fundraising expenses – 0<br />

Net assets – $1,459,359<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

Interim CEO Bryan Lake was paid $66,400.<br />

Jim Ventriss, now-retired chief professional<br />

officer, was paid $59,500.<br />

A separate Boys and Girls Club of Santa<br />

Clarita Valley Foundation raised $591,500<br />

for the Club, according to 2013 tax filings.<br />

The foundation listed $308,405 in costs for<br />

special fundraising events, and $220,328 in<br />

net proceeds from the events. The foundation<br />

also receives money in grants and donations.<br />

(This year the Foundation’s largest event,<br />

an annual auction, netted $240,000 by itself,<br />

after Foundation leaders cut expenses by<br />

moving it from a warehouse to the Hyatt Regency<br />

Valencia hotel.)<br />

The foundation listed $84,499 in salaries.<br />

v v v<br />

LARC Ranch used 86 percent of its total<br />

expenses on its programs, according to 2012<br />

tax filings.<br />

LARC Ranch provided residential care with<br />

24-hour food, housing and recreational services<br />

for a maximum of 159 disabled adults. It<br />

served about 60 people with a 57-day Training<br />

Activity Center with computer training,<br />

teaching appropriate workplace behavior,<br />

and teaching skills for commuting to work. It<br />

served about 35 people with an Adult Development<br />

Center to maintain and improve fine<br />

motor and communication skills.<br />

The program listed:<br />

Revenue – $04,803,175<br />

Salaries – $02,848,820<br />

Total expenses – $04,521,396<br />

Program expenses – $03,870,111<br />

Management expenses – $01,600,900<br />

Fundraising expenses –$01,050,385<br />

Net assets – $16,965,896<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

Executive Director Kathleen Sturkey was<br />

paid $87,300, Executive Officer Christine<br />

Bratzel was paid $64,600 and CFO Larry<br />

Swallows was paid $71,200.<br />

v v v<br />

The Samuel Dixon Foundation, which<br />

provides free or reduced-cost community<br />

clinic services to uninsured and underinsured<br />

individuals and families, used 74 percent<br />

of its total expenses on its programs,<br />

according to 2012 tax filings.<br />

The foundation listed:<br />

Total revenue – $2,282,265<br />

Salaries – $1,165,609<br />

Total expenses – $2,232,596<br />

See SCV Charities, page 18

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 13<br />

the good<br />

Warriors on the Water<br />

by Rodney Scott USAF (Ret)<br />

Special to <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

Seems all of us could use an outlet from<br />

time to time; a way to take a little break<br />

from the day-to-day events. For me, it’s<br />

the outdoors and for many of our military<br />

men and women returning from active duty,<br />

outdoor activities can be great therapy.<br />

I found this to be especially true when<br />

serving in Iraq. During downtime, I shared<br />

my passion for fishing with other soldiers.<br />

We started off as a small group walking<br />

around some of the ponds on the compound,<br />

catching fish, but mostly talking about home<br />

and family. After a few weeks I decided to<br />

contact a few companies in the fishing industry,<br />

to get a few items to hold a fishing<br />

tournament. The response was overwhelming.<br />

First a tube of fishing rods came. This<br />

was fantastic; as there was nowhere to buy<br />

fishing gear at that time (it changed in 2008).<br />

With that much needed support, we held two<br />

fishing tournaments, where everyone was<br />

able to get a break from what was going on<br />

around them. Thoughts turned back to home.<br />

Fast forward to July <strong>2015</strong>. I was talking to<br />

some friends, and heard about a fishing event<br />

at Castaic Lake called “Warriors on the<br />

Water.” It was put on by the Fregoso Outdoor<br />

Foundation and Top Stick Tours, and treated<br />

our veterans to a day of tournament-style<br />

bass fishing. This combined two of my passions<br />

— military and fishing — all in one<br />

place. The event offered a great time for all.<br />

Many of the local anglers volunteered their<br />

time and equipment to the veterans who enjoyed<br />

a day on the water fishing, with a little<br />

team competition thrown in. Some of the<br />

other events for veterans focus on those with<br />

visible injuries, which is great, but what about<br />

the injuries you don’t see, or the veterans<br />

lucky enough to not get injured. Should we<br />

forget them? This event didn’t forget about<br />

any veteran.<br />

The day on the water started with everyone<br />

meeting at Castaic Lake, and paired expert<br />

fisherman with veterans for the day’s<br />

competition. The Fregoso Foundation and<br />

volunteers provided everything — including<br />

a fishing license for each veteran. Then everyone<br />

headed out to the lake for a six-hour tournament,<br />

ending up with a weigh-in of their<br />

five biggest fish, just like on T.V. After weighin,<br />

the veterans and anglers were escorted to<br />

the picnic area for a barbecue lunch, put on<br />

by the Friends of Castaic Lake. During the<br />

barbecue there was a raffle loaded with<br />

prizes for every veteran. The day ended with<br />

Two participants show off the bounty they will bring to the Warriors on the Water tournament weigh-in.<br />

awarding plaques and prizes to the top three<br />

teams for their catches.<br />

The part I found most rewarding was not<br />

the fishing, food or prizes, but the time with<br />

fellow veterans from all branches and service<br />

periods. It did not matter whether from<br />

Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom,<br />

Afghanistan, or any service. The time outdoors,<br />

talking about our experiences both in<br />

the military and after returning home,<br />

seemed to me, to be a form of therapy that<br />

money could not buy. I hope the other veterans<br />

also found some peace, even if just for a<br />

short time that day.<br />

All those who made this event happen deserve<br />

a great thank you, for caring for those<br />

so many have forgotten or just don’t care<br />

about. I have asked the people at Fregoso<br />

Outdoor to let me help in the future, to show<br />

even as a veteran of over 25 years, I appreciate<br />

what they did for all of us.<br />

To learn more about the Fregoso Foundation<br />

or to donate, go to their website Fregoso<br />

Foundation.org, or you can e-mail Ed@<br />

Fregoso Foundation.org WR<br />

The Fregoso Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization<br />

that focuses on thanking our<br />

Armed Forces and their families, especially the<br />

combat wounded, for their service and sacrifice.<br />

Among the services is providing first-class<br />

outdoor sporting and recreation activities.<br />

the Bad<br />

The Wounded Warrior Project:<br />

Where does your donation go?<br />

by Tony Oliva<br />

Special to the <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

Iwrote an article at the end of 2014 “Stop<br />

Donating To The Wounded Warrior Project<br />

— They’re a Fraud” discussing how little<br />

of the donations that the Wounded<br />

Warrior Project gets actually goes to helping<br />

veterans in need.<br />

From the hundreds of comments that article<br />

received, a vase majority of people echoed<br />

their own personal frustration in dealing<br />

with the Wounded Warrior Project and how<br />

they were made to feel more like stage props<br />

for fundraising campaigns than actual human<br />

beings in need.<br />

Of course, there were a few vehement,<br />

“head in the sand” supporters of the WWP<br />

Even when I engaged these blind followers<br />

and told them about how the breakdown of<br />

money is spent they turned a deaf ear or even<br />

worse, claimed that only spending 47-52% of<br />

donations to ACTUALLY use for the purported<br />

cause was GOOD, because other charities<br />

were worse.<br />

Unsurprising they became obstinate when<br />

I rattle off a number of veteran charities that<br />

spend over 90% of donations directly helping<br />

vets. Places like the Phoenix Patriot Foundation<br />

or Fisher House.<br />

Organizations, by the way, that I have no<br />

connection with whatsoever, save for my admiration<br />

on how much they are TRULY dedicated<br />

to helping vets.<br />

But I digress. As they say, seeing is believing<br />

so I went to the Wounded Warrior Project<br />

website and took their tax return from 2013.<br />

First, how much money comes in to the<br />

Wounded Warrior Project:<br />

Total revenue, the money that the<br />

Wounded Warrior Project brings in is<br />

$234,682,943. Over 200 MILLION dollars in<br />

a year.<br />

Now, how was that money spent? Let’s first<br />

look at what goes toward helping vets:<br />

Taking a look at their 990 form you will see<br />

what the Wounded Warrior Project does for<br />

vets.<br />

Alumni: $31,466,113<br />

Combat Stress Recovery: $16,127,622<br />

Soldier Ride: $ 8,824,978<br />

Other Program Services: $60,780,024<br />

Remember, the Wounded Warrior Project<br />

pulled in $234,682,943 in donations.<br />

That means only 49.93% of money that the<br />

WWP raised actually went to helping<br />

wounded vets.<br />

And the Alumni group is more for fundraising<br />

then helping.. but<br />

Where, pray tell, did the rest of the money<br />

go?<br />

Let’s look at the form 990 expense report:<br />

See Wounded Warrior Project, page 20

14 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Schools<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

oak hills eleMentaRy<br />

Fourth-grade teacher preps for the new year<br />

by Patti Rasmussen<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Fourth-grade teacher Lori Adair has been teaching at Oak Hills since it opened ten years ago. Photo by Patti<br />

Rasmussen<br />

Lori Adair surveyed the classroom and<br />

meticulously prepared for the upcoming<br />

school year. Adair, a fourth-gradeteacher<br />

at Oak Hills Elementary School in<br />

Valencia, has been doing this every summer<br />

for the past 16 years.<br />

While her students names wouldn’t be<br />

available until the day before school started,<br />

Adair prepared for her 32 students well before<br />

the first day.<br />

Adair is one of 350 Newhall School District<br />

teachers who spent the first week of <strong>August</strong><br />

organizing their classrooms for their new<br />

crop of students.<br />

Maps of California, classroom rules and<br />

brand new notebooks are just a few of the<br />

items that needed to be organized and placed<br />

in Adair’s classroom. Most of the items were<br />

put away and stored at the end of the last<br />

school year, but the notebooks, pencils,<br />

crayons and glue were new and were purchased<br />

by Adair out of pocket.<br />

She said she gets help with school supplies<br />

from the Parent Teacher Association and she<br />

adds an additional $200 to cover the cost.<br />

But it’s the technology that is Adair’s passion.<br />

Like all classrooms in the Newhall District,<br />

Adair’s room is equipped with tablets<br />

for the students on a 4 to 1 basis. That number<br />

will increase to 2 to 1 as the Newhall District<br />

supplies each of it’s school sites with<br />

additional tablets. Adair sits on the district<br />

technology committee.<br />

See Adair, page 15<br />

eleCtions CanCelled<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> slates set<br />

for Nov. 3 elections<br />

Alack of challengers for the Nov. 3 school<br />

board elections for the Castaic Union<br />

High School District and the Newhall<br />

School District caused the elections to be cancelled,<br />

according to the Los Angeles County<br />

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.<br />

In the Financially troubled Castaic Union<br />

High School District Board elections both incumbents<br />

Steve Teeman and David Huffaker<br />

whose terms are up, failed to file for reelection.<br />

Stacy Dobbs and Michael Owen Lambarth<br />

are the only two candidates that filed election<br />

papers for the two open seats, causing the<br />

election to be cancelled, and both will be appointed<br />

to the school board.<br />

In The Newhall School District Board Elections<br />

no one signed up to run against incumbants<br />

Mike Shapiro and Sue Solomon, which<br />

means the upcoming elections will also be canceled<br />

and those candidates will be appointed,<br />

according to the Registrar-Recorder/County<br />

Clerk’s office.<br />

There are two contested elections.<br />

In the William S. Hart Union High School<br />

District Board Election, incumbent Gloria Mercado-Fortine<br />

and challenger Linda Storli, a Realtor<br />

and retired Canyon High School teacher,<br />

are running in the district’s Trustee Area 1,<br />

election, which covers Castaic and Val Verde.<br />

Steve Sturgeon, the other incumbent is challenged<br />

by Andrew Taban, a 19 year old, in<br />

Trustee Area 4, which covers Canyon Country.<br />

This is the first year that the William S. Hart<br />

Union High School District will be holding separate<br />

elections in geographical voting areas.<br />

In the Newhall County Water District board,<br />

incumbents Lynne Plambeck and Daniel R.<br />

Mortensen are challenged by Jeff Ford, who<br />

works for the Castaic Lake Water Agency, and<br />

Don Cruikshank, who owns AV Equipment<br />

Rentals. WR<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Hart enrollment<br />

More than 22,000 junior high and high<br />

school students headed back to school on<br />

Aug. 13. Over 1,000 teachers, counselors and<br />

librarians joined them.<br />

While the dog days of summer are still<br />

around, it’s back to the books for many in our<br />

community.<br />

Here are some of the numbers for the<br />

William S. Hart Union High School District for<br />

students attending just on the west side of the<br />

valley.<br />

Rancho Pico Junior High – 936 students<br />

West Ranch High School – 2,502 students<br />

Academy of the Cyns – 395 (some <strong>Westside</strong><br />

students)<br />

Hart@Home (home schooling) – 93 (some<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> students)<br />

Of the 902 teachers district-wide, 71 one<br />

of them are new hires. Over 820 classified<br />

employees also returned.<br />

"Every teacher, administrator and staff<br />

member is excited to be back in school with<br />

the students,” said Dave Caldwell, public relations<br />

officer for the Hart district. “The first<br />

day of classes went smoothly and, for the<br />

most part, the kids seem to be excited for another<br />

school year to begin." WR

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 15<br />

CoMMon CoRe tRaining<br />

Newhall District also to provide<br />

‘coaches’ in math, science push<br />

by Patti Rasmussen<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Adistrict training session was held for<br />

all teachers in <strong>August</strong> that centered<br />

around the new Common Core Math<br />

Standards. This new standard has changed<br />

the most for students in terms of depth of understanding<br />

required instead of memorizing<br />

formulas.<br />

Ronna Wolcott, assistant superintendent of<br />

business, said the district is making a big<br />

push in both math and science this year by<br />

providing coaches to help teachers create<br />

more effective and engaging lessons. The goal<br />

is to incorporate all the new classroom technology<br />

into the teaching practices. In addition,<br />

teachers will be learning a new online<br />

student resource for math called DreamBox.<br />

“It is structured something like an online<br />

gaming experience,” Wolcott said. “When it<br />

was piloted at some of the schools this past<br />

spring, students, parents and teachers loved<br />

it.”<br />

Adair<br />

continued from page 14<br />

“I like technology,” she said. “It’s not a matter<br />

of just the ability to teach in an exciting<br />

way but making sure the students understand<br />

it.”<br />

Smart Boards are employed for just about<br />

every subject and Adair uses a wireless microphone<br />

during lessons. “The students listen<br />

better when you’re amplified,” she said<br />

with a smile.<br />

The students still use paper and pencil but<br />

most of the tests are online. And while technology<br />

is a big part of the school day, Adair<br />

still uses good, old-fashioned cursive in<br />

monthly poetry lessons and weekly spelling<br />

tests.<br />

On the first day of school, Adair would<br />

meet her students on the grounds. Parents<br />

would be more than welcome to come into<br />

the classroom and have a look at where their<br />

children will spend the next nine months.<br />

Adair said all the teachers are just as excited<br />

about the first day of school as the students<br />

are.<br />

Once inside the classroom, students would<br />

learn about the school and classroom rules<br />

and dig right into an assignment. Fourth<br />

graders study the history of California including<br />

the mission system. Adair’s students<br />

will be visiting a mission, which she believes<br />

is like going to a museum. And while the students<br />

are not required to make individual<br />

missions anymore, Adair’s cabinets are<br />

stocked with all sorts of crafting material and<br />

group missions will be made in the classroom.<br />

Adair, who grew up in Southern California,<br />

started her teaching career at Newhall Elementary<br />

School, and when Oak Hills opened<br />

in 10 years ago, Adair transferred to the new<br />

site. She and her husband Eric, an attorney,<br />

raised their three children in Santa Clarita:<br />

Alyssa, a teacher in Utah, Elliot who is completing<br />

his bachelor’s degree in statistics, and<br />

Keith, a computer programmer in Sacramento.<br />

And while she is excited about returning<br />

DreamBox adjusts to the level of the student<br />

based upon their ability to accurately<br />

solve math problems aligned to the Common<br />

Core standards. DreamBox provides challenges<br />

and rewards within the software for<br />

mastering math concepts. Students and parents<br />

will be able to access the program at<br />

home and during the summer for free.<br />

The district has hired four math Teachers<br />

on Special Assignment (TOSA) to support<br />

math instruction and technology integration.<br />

The TOSAs will meet with grade level teachers<br />

at each site approximately every six<br />

weeks. Teachers have already commented on<br />

how much they appreciate the support they<br />

are receiving from the TOSAs in gathering resources<br />

and materials to get the year off to a<br />

successful start.<br />

“It is innovation and training like this that<br />

keeps Newhall as the top performing district<br />

for elementary schools in this valley,” Wolcott<br />

said. “This is something that I have been very<br />

proud to be a part of.” WR<br />

the classroom, her summer was filled with<br />

trips to the beach, camping and visits to her<br />

parents’ home in Michigan.<br />

"I love teaching. It’s a rewarding, challenging<br />

and a daily adventure,” Adair said. WR<br />

The Classroom Sign Language Signals posted on this<br />

board help keep the noise level down in Adair’s classroom.<br />

Photo by Patti Rasmussen<br />

West Ranch High School to get shade<br />

West Ranch High School will be getting some much-needed shade. The William S. Hart Union High School<br />

Board has approved the construction of more than a dozen shade structures. Photo by Lauren Budman<br />

The William S. Hart Union High School<br />

District Board has approved the construction<br />

of shade structures at West<br />

Ranch High School for an estimated cost of<br />

$273,777.<br />

The Division of the State Architect approved<br />

the plans for the structures in <strong>August</strong><br />

of 2014.<br />

District staff have completed planning for<br />

West Ranch High School shade structures<br />

and are now prepared to go to formal design,<br />

Division of the Architect (DSA) submittal, fabrication,<br />

and construction.<br />

The work will include:<br />

• One 60’ by 60’ structure for the quad with<br />

four 14’ x 14’ single-post structures located<br />

outside the cafeteria building at the lower<br />

quad.<br />

•Ten 14’ x 14’ single-post structures in various<br />

locations at the upper quad.<br />

•One 14’×14’ single-post structure at main<br />

entrance of the school. WR

16 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

Santa Clarita Sheriff's deputy saves toddler from drowning<br />

Santa Clarita Valley Station Deputy Christine<br />

Shaffer is being credited for helping<br />

save a two-year–old girl’s life after responding<br />

to an emergency near-drowning<br />

call. On Saturday, Aug. 1, <strong>2015</strong> at approximately<br />

8 p.m., the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station<br />

received a chilling 9-1-1 call. A woman<br />

caller was on the other line screaming that “a<br />

little girl drowned in a pool.”<br />

Saturday had started out as a celebratory<br />

day for the Cruz family of Palmdale, but almost<br />

ended with tragedy if it were not for the<br />

quick thinking actions of Deputy Christine<br />

Shaffer. The young couple and their two children,<br />

ages two and four, were attending a<br />

joint birthday party for two of their relatives.<br />

The festivity was being held at Stonegate<br />

Community Pool located at 31830 Diamond<br />

Lane, Castaic.<br />

As day turned to dusk, the party goers exited<br />

the gated, locked community swimming<br />

pool and turned to other activities. Evidently<br />

while music played, children jumped in a<br />

bounce house, and adults talked with each<br />

other, a little two-year-old girl quietly slipped<br />

away without anyone’s notice.<br />

Castaic Town Council<br />

continued from page 5<br />

Her family includes her husband James Nikolai,<br />

daughters Annaliese Nikolai (7), Alexandra<br />

Nikolai (4) and<br />

Aubrielle Nikolai<br />

(2). She said her<br />

occupation is<br />

Origami Owl independent<br />

designer<br />

and event planner.<br />

“I was elected<br />

(to the council) in<br />

November 2014,”<br />

she said. “My main goal was to tell others<br />

about how great my town is and relay my<br />

constituents’ preferences in all matters. I<br />

want to be a different kind of elected official<br />

— one that puts her own interests aside in<br />

favor of her constituents. I think many of our<br />

elected officials have forgotten the true reason<br />

for being elected.”<br />

Region 3: Hasley, Sloan and<br />

Romero Canyons<br />

Sandia Ennis (vice president)<br />

Elected November 2012, term expires<br />

December 2016<br />

Sandia Ennis said she has lived in the Castaic<br />

area for more than 15 years. Her family<br />

includes her husband,<br />

Glen, and<br />

daughter Ashlyn. A<br />

website designer,<br />

Ennis said she<br />

joined the council<br />

in 2013 “because I<br />

wanted to be more<br />

involved with Castaic<br />

and support<br />

our community.”<br />

And she added, “I hope to make a difference<br />

by helping Castaic residents have a voice and<br />

by highlighting organizations (and events)<br />

that make a difference, such as the annual<br />

Splash Run that benefits our local schools.”<br />

Her father had<br />

stepped inside the<br />

building for just a<br />

few minutes to<br />

get her older<br />

brother some food<br />

to eat. Not long<br />

after, he said he<br />

heard people frantically<br />

yelling that<br />

“there was a kid in<br />

the pool.” He ran<br />

outside and to his<br />

horror he recognized the lifeless form, it<br />

was his daughter.<br />

The father, Freddy Cruz, raced to get in the<br />

gated pool but the door was locked and he<br />

had no key. With not a moment to spare, he<br />

rapidly scaled the 10-foot black iron fence<br />

that secured the pool and retrieved his<br />

daughter from the water.<br />

When Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station<br />

Deputies Jason Goedecke and Christine Shaffer<br />

arrived at the scene, the distraught parents<br />

had their small daughter lying on the<br />

cement sidewalk. Deputy Shaffer immedi-<br />

Lloyd Carder II (treasurer)<br />

Elected November 2014, term expires<br />

December 2018<br />

Lloyd Carder II said he has lived in the<br />

Santa Clarita Valley since 1984 and “moved<br />

to Hasley in 1991.” His family includes his<br />

wife, Nancy, and<br />

d a u g h t e r s<br />

Amanda, now living<br />

in “Live Oak<br />

Reg 1,” and Amelia,<br />

now in law school<br />

at Tulane. He owns<br />

a welding engineering<br />

company.<br />

“I was president<br />

of the CATC in<br />

2005-2006, but did not run for reelection to<br />

be with my daughter as a West Ranch (High<br />

School) Band parent,” Carder said. “I was reelected<br />

in 2014 for Region 3 (by a 3:1 margin<br />

over an incumbent) to fight the landfill expansion<br />

and the environmental attack on our<br />

region by the Hart School District and developers,”<br />

he said. “I am also a strong supporter<br />

of the Castaic Equestrian Trail System and am<br />

concerned, along with the residents of<br />

Hasley/Sloan Canyon, that the high school<br />

will cut our access to the northern forest area,<br />

as it already has done.”<br />

Carder said he wants to stop or limit the<br />

Chiquita Landfill expansion, and he wants to<br />

protect the “only District 36 water well and<br />

its aquifer.” He said he also wants “a true<br />

equestrian trail reestablished by the Hart<br />

School District.” He added that, “Having been<br />

one who worked hard on the Castaic CSDs<br />

(Community Standards Districts), I want to<br />

make sure they are followed and enforced.”<br />

Region 4: Meadowood, Bravo,<br />

Encore, Castaic east of I5 and<br />

south of Lake Hughes Road<br />

Flo Lawrence<br />

Reelected November 2012, term<br />

expires December 2016<br />

Jim Idleman (co-chair, Land Use<br />

Committee)<br />

Elected November 2014, term expires<br />

December 2018 (no photo)<br />

ately sprang into action and began actively<br />

rendering emergency aid to the child while<br />

Deputy Goedecke flagged down the fire department<br />

and controlled radio traffic. Shortly<br />

after, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Park<br />

Bureau Deputies Charles Weathers and<br />

Matthew Burnett arrived along with the Los<br />

Angeles County Fire Department. The Park<br />

Bureau deputies assisted in giving the little<br />

girl rescue breaths until she was conscious<br />

and breathing. She was then airlifted to a<br />

local hospital.<br />

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Long<br />

said if Deputy Shaffer “had not gotten to the<br />

scene as quick as she did and began treatment,<br />

we would probably be looking at a different<br />

outcome.”<br />

The two-year-old girl has since been released<br />

from the hospital and has made an<br />

amazingly full recovery. She suffered no brain<br />

damage as a result of the near drowning.<br />

Training Officer Deputy Jeffrey Brito at the<br />

Santa Clarita Valley Station commended the<br />

deputy that saved the little girl’s life and said<br />

“That child couldn’t have been in better<br />

hands.” WR<br />

Region 5: Double C Ranch,<br />

Hidden Lake, Stonegate,<br />

Northlake, Castaic east of I5<br />

and north of Lake Hughes<br />

Road<br />

Dawn Faulconer (newsletter editor)<br />

Elected November 2014, term expires<br />

December 2018<br />

Dawn Faulconer is a Realtor, and has lived<br />

in the Castaic area<br />

for 13 years. Her<br />

family numbers<br />

six. She said she<br />

came to the council<br />

in 2013 “when<br />

there was a vacant<br />

seat for my region.”<br />

And she added, “I<br />

want to see Castaic<br />

become a thriving<br />

community where<br />

people want to live, work and shop.”<br />

Kelly Quick<br />

Elected November 2012, term expires<br />

December 2016<br />

A regulatory control manager, Kelly Quick<br />

said he has lived in<br />

the Castaic area for<br />

12 years and his<br />

family includes his<br />

wife and three children.<br />

He said his<br />

term began in January<br />

of 2013 and<br />

he wants to “ensure<br />

that the needs<br />

and concerns of<br />

our community are<br />

heard and addressed by our county representatives.”<br />

The Castaic Area Town Council meets the<br />

third Wednesday of every month. They hold<br />

meetings in the boardroom of the Castaic<br />

Union School District (CUSD), located at 28131<br />

Livingston Avenue, in the Valencia Commerce<br />

Center. Meetings start promptly at 6:30 p.m.<br />

and usually run until 10 p.m. Community attendance<br />

is encouraged. For more information<br />

visit www.castaicareatowncouncil.org. WR<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

Crime Blotter<br />

(last 30 days)<br />

Castaic/Val Verde<br />

• An arson was reported from the<br />

31000 block of Castaic Road. A late<br />

model Ford caught fire while parked at<br />

the location. The Fire Department extinguished<br />

the fire and noticed evidence of<br />

possible arson. Responding deputies notified<br />

the Arson/Explosive unit for further<br />

investigation.<br />

• A petty theft was reported from the<br />

31000 block of Castaic Road. The victim<br />

reported his red “Spitfire” medical<br />

scooter was stolen from the parking lot<br />

of his workplace.<br />

• An aggravated assault occurred near<br />

the 31500 block of Castaic Road. An employee<br />

was assaulted with a brick by the<br />

suspect while he was working as a parking<br />

lot security guard. The suspect fled<br />

prior to deputies’ arrival.<br />

• A commercial burglary occurred<br />

near the 28000 block of Hasley Canyon<br />

Road. Person(s) unknown shattered the<br />

front window to the location and made<br />

entry. While inside, the suspect did not<br />

take any property.<br />

• A petty theft occurred near the<br />

36200 block of Paradise Ranch Road.<br />

Person(s) unknown stole the victim’s<br />

purse that she left unattended outside of<br />

her residence.<br />

• An attempt petty theft occurred near<br />

the 28900 block of Avenue Paine. Two<br />

suspects were seen by an employee near<br />

the above location attempting to siphon<br />

gasoline from a vehicle. When the employee<br />

walked toward the suspects to<br />

confront them, the suspects got into a<br />

nearby vehicle and drove off. No gasoline<br />

was actually taken. WR<br />

Stevenson Ranch<br />

• A grand theft occurred on the 25300<br />

block of Silver Aspen Wy. Person(s) unknown<br />

went into the victim’s vehicle and<br />

stole her portable GPS, cell phone, three<br />

social security cards belonging to the victim’s<br />

family, and numerous other<br />

items.The victim was not sure if she<br />

locked her vehicle.<br />

• A grand theft occurred on the 23300<br />

block of Clifton Pl. Person(s) unknown<br />

stole the catalytic converter from the victim’s<br />

Toyota Sequoia.<br />

• A grand theft auto occurred on the<br />

24900 block of Pico Cyn Rd. Person(s)<br />

unknown stole the informant’s U-Haul<br />

rental, a Ford E450 box truck.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 25400<br />

block of The Old Rd. A white male adult<br />

exited the store with numerous items he<br />

did not pay for. The suspect admitted to<br />

entering the store with the intent to steal<br />

items. He was arrested for burglary<br />

(shoplifting).<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 26200<br />

block of Valencia Blvd. Person(s) unknown<br />

pried open the door of the location<br />

and stole a lap-top computer.<br />

• A shoplifting occurred on the 25400<br />

block of The Old Rd. A white male adult<br />

and a white female adult took items from<br />

the store and left the location without<br />

paying for the items.They were contacted<br />

by the store’s loss prevention officer<br />

and were told to return the items, to<br />

which they complied. The suspects were<br />

then allowed to leave.<br />

• A shoplifting occurred on the 25400

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 17<br />

block of The Old Rd. A Hispanic male<br />

adult exited the location with several<br />

items that he did not pay for. He was arrested<br />

for petty theft.<br />

• A grand theft auto occurred on the<br />

25400 block of The Old Rd. Person(s)<br />

unknown stole the victim’s vehicle<br />

which was parked and secured at the<br />

above location.<br />

• A grand theft auto occurred on the<br />

24900 block of The Old Rd. Person(s)<br />

unknown stole the victim’s U-Haul<br />

rental and a U-Haul rental auto trailer<br />

which was towing the victim’s vehicle.<br />

• A petty theft (shoplifting) occurred<br />

on the 25400 block of The Old Rd. A female<br />

adult attempted to leave the location<br />

with items she did not pay for. She<br />

was arrested for petty theft.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 24900<br />

block of The Old Rd. Person(s) unknown<br />

pried the rear door open of his R/V<br />

trailer and stole a “Bose” speaker, a<br />

“Jensen” 40 in. television, and various<br />

other items.<br />

• A theft by credit card / vandalism /<br />

mail theft occurred on the 25900 block<br />

of Verandah Ct. Person(s) unknown<br />

pried open the rear door of the victim’s<br />

mailbox and stole his mail. The victim<br />

stated he later learned that $1,220 was<br />

charged on his credit card which was<br />

also stolen from his mailbox.<br />

• A mail theft occurred on the corner<br />

of Kavenaugh Ln / Singer Pl. Person(s)<br />

unknown stole incoming and outgoing<br />

mail from 4 mailboxes in the area.<br />

• A petty theft occurred on the 25300<br />

block of The Old Rd. Person(s) unknown<br />

went into the victim’s unlocked vehicle<br />

and stole her iPod, insurance card, and<br />

vehicle registration card.<br />

• A petty theft occurred on the 25500<br />

block of The Old Rd. Person(s) unknown<br />

stole approximately 20 gallons of fuel<br />

from the victim’s gas tank.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 25500<br />

block of The Old Rd. A male adult took<br />

an item and exited the store without<br />

paying for it. The suspect admitted to<br />

entering the store with the intent to steal<br />

the item. He was arrested for commercial<br />

burglary.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 27700<br />

block of The Old Rd. Person(s) unknown<br />

pried open the rear tailgate window of<br />

his vehicle and stole tools from his vehicle.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 25200<br />

block of The Old Rd. Person(s) unknown<br />

pried open the rear tailgate window of<br />

his vehicle and stole the rear seats and a<br />

television from his vehicle.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 25200<br />

block of The Old Rd. A male adult<br />

smashed the window of the location and<br />

stole $400.00 in U.S. currency from the<br />

cash register.<br />

• A burglary occurred on the 26700<br />

block of Wyatt Ln. Person(s) unknown<br />

broke into the victim’s garage and stole<br />

two high quality mountain bikes valued<br />

at $20,000.00.<br />

• A grand theft auto occurred on the<br />

23500 block of The Old Rd. Person(s)<br />

unknown stole the victim’s Kawasaki<br />

‘Mule Trans’ off-road utility vehicle<br />

which was parked and unattended at the<br />

location.<br />

• A petty theft occurred on the 25700<br />

block of Wordsworth Ln. Person(s) unknown<br />

stole the victim’s lock and chain<br />

used to secure the gate of the property.<br />

Help from firefighting<br />

airplanes coming soon<br />

North county Supervisor Michael D.<br />

Antonovich has announced that two CL-415<br />

“SuperScooper” firefighting airplanes will arrive<br />

Sept. 1, on lease from the Quebec government.<br />

The planes carry up to 1,620 gallons of<br />

water and take only 12 seconds to scoop<br />

water from a lake and inject it with fire-resistant<br />

foam, making a concoction three<br />

times more effective than water alone. The<br />

planes can fly for three hours before refueling.<br />

Two CL-415 “SuperScooper” firefighting airplanes<br />

will arrive from Quebec on Sept. 1.<br />

West Ranch Town Council Meeting<br />

continued from page 7<br />

An Erickson Air Crane Type I Helitanker has been leased for the <strong>2015</strong> fire season.<br />

In addition, an Erickson Air Crane Type I<br />

Helitanker, leased for the <strong>2015</strong> fire season,<br />

has been in service since Aug. 1. The craft is<br />

capable of delivering 2,200 gallons per<br />

drop.<br />

“To combat wildfire and protect life and<br />

property, these vital aircraft will supplement<br />

our county fire department’s water-dropping<br />

would be no expansion of lanes on the 126<br />

west of Chiquito Canyon Road, and there are<br />

currently no plans for adding lanes to Interstate<br />

5. While WRTC President Dave Bossert<br />

noted there were changes coming that would<br />

create “pinch points” to prevent shortcuts in<br />

other <strong>Westside</strong> communities, he noted that<br />

more would be revealed at the September<br />

council meeting.<br />

When all was said and done, the West<br />

Ranch Town Council, which has been reviewing<br />

the Newhall Ranch project for, as<br />

Bossert said, “better than a decade,” and<br />

working closely with Newhall Land on it,<br />

unanimously approved Homestead South.<br />

Assessing the situation<br />

The most contentious issue brought up at<br />

the council meeting was the possible increase<br />

in property tax assessments on the<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> to maintain a proposed landscaping<br />

project on Interstate 5 at the Lyons Avenue<br />

interchange. The issue was brought to<br />

the meeting via a presentation by Julian Garcia,<br />

a civil engineer with the County of Los<br />

Angeles Department of Public Works, Traffic<br />

and Lighting Division. In short, the beautification<br />

was projected to cost approximately<br />

$250,000 per year to maintain. And while the<br />

project will be funded by the county, the cost<br />

of continuing maintenance of it was estimated<br />

to raise (among other properties) single-family<br />

home tax burdens by about $48<br />

per year in a proposed Landscape Maintenance<br />

District in the Stevenson Ranch area.<br />

Through Proposition 218, the procedure for<br />

creating this increased tax burden will include<br />

public meetings and a vote. But there<br />

was stern opposition to it among WRTC<br />

members and in the audience, for reasons<br />

ranging from the high cost of upkeep to the<br />

increased tax burden for <strong>Westside</strong> property<br />

helicopters, its arsenal of ground equipment,<br />

and the nation’s finest firefighting force,”<br />

Antonovich said.<br />

The Los Angeles County Fire Department<br />

will monitor fire activity, wildland fuel conditions<br />

and weather forecasts to determine<br />

whether the aircraft will be needed past their<br />

initial lease periods. WR<br />

owners — and just who should bear it. Also<br />

of concern was the planned use of living<br />

plants for the landscaping — this in times of<br />

extreme drought.<br />

The outcome of the discussion was that<br />

the WRTC would need more “conversations”<br />

on the issue before taking any action.<br />

Wages and annexation<br />

With the recent adoption of an increase in<br />

the minimum wage in Los Angeles County,<br />

set to go up incrementally to $15 per hour by<br />

2020, concerns were brought up for increased<br />

costs to businesses in the unincorporated<br />

<strong>Westside</strong>, as opposed to businesses<br />

nearby in the city of Santa Clarita, which are<br />

under no obligation to raise their wages.<br />

This, naturally, led to a resurfacing discussion<br />

of possible annexation of the <strong>Westside</strong> by the<br />

city of Santa Clarita. The council proposed to<br />

discuss the issue further at its September<br />

meeting. WR

18 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

SCV Charities<br />

continued from page 12<br />

Program expenses – $1,643,900<br />

Management expenses – $1,357,746<br />

Fundraising expenses – $1,230,950<br />

Net assets – $1,821,477<br />

Highest compensated employee Nurse<br />

Practitioner Fariba Mason was paid<br />

$109,000.<br />

v v v<br />

Domestic Violence Center of the Santa<br />

Clarita Valley used 77 percent of its total expenses<br />

on its programs, according to 2013<br />

tax filings.<br />

The program provides a hotline, food and<br />

shelter for battered women and their children,<br />

and works to intervene in the cycle of<br />

abuse with education, safety planning, and<br />

building self-esteem.<br />

The center listed:<br />

Total revenue – $840,860<br />

Salaries – $339,210<br />

Total expenses – $534,481<br />

Program expenses – $410,380<br />

Management expenses – $124,101<br />

Fundraising expenses – 0<br />

Net assets – $540,930<br />

Highest compensated employee Executive<br />

Director Linda Davies was paid $71,300.<br />

v v v<br />

Circle of Hope, Newhall used 63 percent<br />

of its total expenses on its programs for uninsured<br />

and underinsured people with breast<br />

cancer and their families, according to 2013<br />

tax filings.<br />

Circle of Hope provides financial aid, liaisons<br />

at doctor appointments and a medical<br />

second opinion assistance program through<br />

UCLA Cancer Center of Santa Clara Valley,<br />

plus assistance for food, health insurance and<br />

medical needs.<br />

Circle of Hope listed:<br />

Total revenue – $62,442<br />

Salaries & other comp. –$11,726<br />

Total expenses – $72,567<br />

Program expenses – $45,822<br />

Management expenses – $15,834<br />

Fundraising expenses – $10,911<br />

Net assets – $22,397<br />

v v v<br />

The Child and Family Center used 87<br />

percent of its total expenses on its programs,<br />

according to 2012 tax filings.<br />

The organization offers educational, behavioral<br />

and psychotherapeutic services to<br />

children and their parents, most of them<br />

within the Santa Clarita Valley.<br />

The Center listed:<br />

Revenue – $12,785,304<br />

Salaries – $10,568,812<br />

Total expenses – $13,554,373<br />

Program expenses – $11,847,456<br />

Management exp. –$11,706,917<br />

Fundraising expenses – 0<br />

Net assets – $14,284,317<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

President and CEO Darrell Paulk was paid<br />

$161,000, and Senior Vice President for Programs<br />

Dr. An Levy was paid $128,000<br />

A separate Child and Family Center<br />

Foundation raised $538,726 for the Center,<br />

according to 2013 tax filings.<br />

The foundation listed $943,000 in expenses<br />

and $184,784 in salaries.<br />

v v v<br />

MOMS Club used 100 percent of its total<br />

expenses on its programs offering educational<br />

and charitable support for at-home<br />

mothers, including grants to mothers with<br />

transportation or family illness emergencies,<br />

according to 2013 tax filings.<br />

MOMS Club listed:<br />

Revenue – $313,310<br />

Salaries – 0<br />

Total expenses – $211,547<br />

Program expenses – $211,547<br />

Management expenses – 0<br />

Fundraising expenses – 0<br />

Net assets were listed at nearly $1.6 million.<br />

MOMS Secretary Robert James said<br />

those are the assets held by MOMS nationwide,<br />

which helps mothers in large natural<br />

disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. James’<br />

wife, Mary James, has headed the local chapter<br />

for 30 years at no salary.<br />

v v v<br />

The Michael Hoefflin Foundation for pediatric<br />

cancer used 74 percent of its total expenses<br />

on its programs, according to 2014<br />

tax filings.<br />

The foundation provided child, patient and<br />

family support groups, home and hospital<br />

visits, counseling, food and financial assistance<br />

for about 500 families; grants for pediatric<br />

cancer research; and publications and<br />

activities promoting awareness of pediatric<br />

cancers, treatments and support in the Santa<br />

Clarita Valley and San Fernando valleys.<br />

The foundation listed:<br />

Revenue – $522,302<br />

Salaries – $184,190<br />

Total expenses – $430,118<br />

Program expenses – $317,890<br />

Management expenses – $055,611<br />

Fundraising expenses – $056,617<br />

Net assets – $427,448<br />

Highest compensated employee Executive<br />

Director Gillian Stone was paid $60,000.<br />

v v v<br />

The Assistance League of Santa Clarita<br />

used 77 percent of its total expenses on its<br />

programs, providing new school clothing<br />

and shoes for thousands of area schoolchildren,<br />

and managing a teen auxiliary that<br />

helped with the shopping, according to<br />

2013 tax filings.<br />

The Assistance League also ran a program<br />

using board games to strengthen grade<br />

school literacy skills.<br />

The organization listed:<br />

Revenue – $447,443<br />

Salaries – 0<br />

Total expenses – $399,511<br />

Program expenses – $307,842<br />

Management expenses – $023,000<br />

Fundraising expenses – $068,732<br />

Net assets – $527,953<br />

See SCV Charities, page 21

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 19<br />

The Ugly<br />

continued from page 10<br />

The donation box of the First Step Transitional Living<br />

Foundation clearly uses the Tax ID number of the<br />

First Step Sober Living Foundation, a nonprofit who<br />

had its 501(c) 3 status revoked by the IRS on June 9,<br />

2011.<br />

A solicitor waits for customers in front of Wal-Mart<br />

in Santa Clarita. He claimed donations benefit “the<br />

local homeless shelter.” However, officials from<br />

Bridge to Home, the only agency working with the<br />

homeless in the Santa Clarita Valley said they have<br />

never heard of this group and have never received<br />

any money from the First Step Transitional Living<br />

Foundation.<br />

on the success, or locations, of its claimed<br />

drug rehabilitation programs or any other<br />

services.<br />

While on paper this group looks like a religion<br />

and has the paperwork of a religion, numerous<br />

investigative reports over the years<br />

indicate that it does not operate at all like a<br />

religion once it has collected donations.<br />

In 2011 Mendocino County District Attorney<br />

David Eyster issued a consumer alert regarding<br />

the ongoing panhandling by the<br />

Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus<br />

Christ in front of local supermarkets and<br />

other retail stores in Ukiah (Northern California).<br />

Also suspicious is that a corporate filings<br />

analysis reveals that one person, Caesar<br />

Rivera, is the church’s chairman, director,<br />

president, secretary and treasurer.<br />

is no longer active.”<br />

However, collection boxes with the name<br />

and tax ID number of First Step Transitional<br />

Living Foundation have been seen for<br />

months in front of the Wal-Mart on Golden<br />

Valley Road in Santa Clarita.<br />

On Oct. 1, 2007 the Internal Revenue Bulletin:<br />

2007-40 issued by the IRS listed the<br />

First Step Transitional Living Foundation as<br />

having “failed to establish or has been unable<br />

to maintain its status as a public charity or as<br />

an operating foundation.”<br />

First Step Transitional Living Foundation<br />

was converted to a “private foundation.”<br />

While the California State Attorney General’s<br />

office says private foundations can receive<br />

donations, the IRS states “A private<br />

foundation does not solicit funds from the<br />

public.”<br />

In addition, First Step Transitional Living<br />

Foundation fails to meet the transparency<br />

See The Ugly, page 20<br />

First Step Sober Living Foundation<br />

The First Step Sober Living Foundation,<br />

which also goes by the name First Step Transitional<br />

Living Foundation, can usually be<br />

found on many weekends inhabiting the area<br />

outside of Wal-Mart off Golden Valley Road.<br />

This group of ever-changing solicitors asks<br />

customers to help support “the local homeless<br />

shelter.”<br />

However, this group is not affiliated with<br />

the Santa Clarita-based nonprofit, Bridge to<br />

Home, which works with the homeless in the<br />

SCV.<br />

When pressed, the solicitors will change<br />

their story and claim to represent a shelter in<br />

Palmdale, the SFV or elsewhere. Each solicitor<br />

has a different story.<br />

According to information obtained from<br />

the Charity Research Tool on the website of<br />

the California Attorney General the nonprofit<br />

was founded in 2002 by Cecil Stell, of Beverly<br />

Hills.<br />

Further research lists the charity currently<br />

as “not registered” and “First Step Transitional<br />

Living Foundation filed as an Articles<br />

of Incorporation in the State of California and

20 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

R ay t h e R e a lto R®<br />

Back-to-school and<br />

Real estate<br />

by Ray the Realtor® Kutylo<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

Welcome Stevenson Ranch/Westridge<br />

and Castaic/ Val Verde <strong>Reader</strong>s!<br />

It’s Back-to-School season in<br />

the Santa Clarita Valley, marking the End of<br />

Summer for many families and their kids. Yes,<br />

I know… the thermometer says summer is<br />

still here, but that’s another story for another<br />

time. In the local real estate business we can<br />

see the backside of the wave of buyers who<br />

wanted to close escrow before the school semester<br />

started, and who hope for a smooth<br />

transition for their children into their new<br />

schools. If this is you, I hope you made your<br />

timelines, survived the move, and your kids<br />

are making new friends! Welcome to the SCV!<br />

One of the primary reasons that buyers<br />

move here is our schools are terrific! Realtors<br />

who work with buyers with children let them<br />

know we have highly-rated schools, and we<br />

accept education refugees from our southern<br />

neighbors (lookin’ at you LAUSD!). From the<br />

Wm. S. Hart District’s junior and senior high<br />

schools down to the local elementary school<br />

districts and the individual schools, we really<br />

are a cut above the rest in public education.<br />

Take a look for yourself and see how we stack<br />

up in comparison with these school rating<br />

sites at http://www.greatschools.org/california/<br />

and http://school-ratings.com/<br />

Local Charter schools and the private<br />

schools are also flourishing, as is the homeschool<br />

community. One size does not fit all,<br />

and the diversity of our American society is<br />

certainly reflected in the education environment<br />

in our local area. We are proud of our<br />

local schools and their generally high standards<br />

and achievements.<br />

The other part of Back-to-School season is<br />

saying goodbye to our college-bound students.<br />

If they are getting a start at College of<br />

the Canyons or some of the other great local<br />

colleges and universities, maybe you are saying<br />

goodbye in the morning and find them<br />

back at home at night. But when they go further<br />

out into the world, parents often get that<br />

‘Empty Nest’ feeling. For some, a conversion<br />

of that spare bedroom happens right away<br />

while others leave it for the kids to return to<br />

if needed, and for holidays. Still others take<br />

the opportunity to downsize and sell the big<br />

empty home and get one sized-right for them<br />

and the occasional guests. Just as the children<br />

grow up and move on, the family’s transition<br />

can be an opportunity to move forward for<br />

the parents as well.<br />

If you love your home, neighborhood, and<br />

community, by all means stay put! Pay down<br />

the mortgage and build equity! If it’s working<br />

for you, there’s no reason to change. But then<br />

for others… maybe it is a good time to move.<br />

Home prices have gone up and homeowner<br />

equity is higher. Maybe the time is right to ask<br />

the question: Is the grass greener somewhere<br />

else? WR<br />

Ray the Realtor® Kutylo grew up in Santa<br />

Clarita, and is associated with the SCV Home<br />

Team at Keller Williams VIP Properties in Valencia.<br />

First licensed for real estate practice in<br />

1986, Ray has seen a lot of different housing<br />

markets and has worked with hundreds of<br />

clients and has seen and evaluated thousands<br />

of homes. Ray can be reached at 661-312-9461<br />

or at Ray@SCVhometeam.com, or with the Mobile<br />

app at www.mobile.SCVhometeam.com<br />

CalBRE license number 00918855<br />

Recent <strong>Westside</strong> Home Sales<br />

91384 CASTAIC & VAL VERDE<br />

Address Bed/Bath SqFt/Source Sold Price<br />

29648 Silver ST 3/2,0,1 1224/A $354,360<br />

27728 Morning Glory PL 3/3,0,0 1386/A $399,999<br />

30262 Cedar Oak LN 4/3,0,0 1994/A $410,000<br />

27964 Beacon ST 3/2,0,0 1480/S $417,000<br />

27877 Wakefield RD 3/2,0,1 1638/A $435,000<br />

27713 Wakefield RD 3/2,0,0 1274/AP $435,000<br />

28015 Sturbridge DR 4/1,1,0 1480/A $440,000<br />

28710 Meadowgrass DR 3/2,0,0 1682/A $445,000<br />

28482 Avion CR 3/3,0,0 1467/A $450,000<br />

28510 Applewood LN 3/2,0,1 1562/A $465,000<br />

28671 Meadowgrass DR 3/2,0,1 1836/A $490,000<br />

27728 Wilderness PL 4/3,0,0 2358/A $500,000<br />

30543 Yucca PL 3/3,0,0 1864/A $510,000<br />

27716 Wilderness PL 4/3,0,0 2461/A $519,850<br />

30461 Servilla PL 4/3,0,0 2256/A $525,000<br />

30426 Sequoia CT 5/3,0,0 2046/A $525,000<br />

32121 Big Oak LN 4/3,0,0 2590/A $535,000<br />

30402 Clover CT 4/3,0,0 2611/A $565,000<br />

32848 Ridge Top LN 6/3,1,0 3482/A $580,000<br />

28655 Oak Hill CT 5/3,0,0 3552/P $583,000<br />

29724 Castlebury PL 5/3,0,0 3020/A $605,000<br />

29942 Bancroft PL 5/4,0,0 3882/A $675,000<br />

30488 Capallero DR 4/4,0,0 4111/A $965,000<br />

30515 Terraza CT 5/5,0,0 4075/A $1,045,500<br />


Address Bed/Bath SqFt/Source Sold Price<br />

26049 Salinger LN 4/3,0,0 2477/A $649,000<br />

25750 Lewis WY 4/3,0,0 2168/A $651,500<br />

25607 Wolfe CR 4/3,0,0 2363/A $665,000<br />

25109 W Huston ST 4/3,0,0 2776/A $676,000<br />

26061 OHara LN 5/3,0,0 2611/A $680,000<br />

25330 Chase AV 5/3,0,0 3006/A $727,000<br />

25935 Royal Oaks RD 5/4,0,0 3193/A $859,000<br />

25720 Wallace PL 5/4,0,0 3660/A $870,000<br />

25093 River Walk LN 3/3,0,0 3193/A $875,000<br />

26867 Wyatt LN 5/4,0,0 3607/A $875,000<br />

25521 Durant PL 5/4,0,0 3408/A $885,000<br />

25981 Clifton PL 4/3,0,0 2932/A $896,000<br />

25048 Shady Glen CT 5/2,1,0 3958/P $920,000<br />

24980 Greensbrier DR 5/4,0,0 3738/A $940,000<br />

26756 Kendall LN 4/4,0,0 3901/A $980,000<br />

25517 Magnolia LN 4/3,0,1 4453/A $1,150,000<br />

25138 Glasgow DR 3/3,0,0 1560/A $413,000<br />

26988 Pebble Beach DR 2/2,0,0 1645/A $423,000<br />

27032 Fairway LN #97 2/2,0,0 1574/A $428,500<br />

27029 Fairway LN #70 3/2,0,0 1682/A $450,000<br />

26628 Via Bellazza 3/3,0,0 1717/A $554,000<br />

26760 Via La Paz 3/3,0,0 1717/A $555,000<br />

27018 Maple Tree CT 4/4,0,0 2725/A $775,000<br />

26810 Greenleaf CT 5/3,0,0 2514/A $850,000<br />

25709 Hidden Oak CT 5/5,0,0 4823/A $2,105,000<br />

Based on information from the CRIS-Net® Regional MLS as of <strong>August</strong> 17, <strong>2015</strong>. Display of MLS<br />

data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. The Broker/Agent providing<br />

the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.<br />

The Ugly<br />

continued from page 12<br />

test.<br />

There are no 990s on file for the First Step<br />

Sober Living Foundation and it is listed as a<br />

“private non-operating foundation.”<br />

The First Step Sober Living Foundation is<br />

listed by the IRS as having its 501 (c) (3) revoked<br />

on June 9, 2011.<br />

However, the collection boxes in front of<br />

Wal-Mart list the tax ID number, 91-2168009,<br />

as representing the First Step Transitional<br />

Living Foundation, which has no 990s on file<br />

and is listed by the Attorney General’s Charity<br />

Research Tool as “not registered.”<br />

Extensive research has not been able to locate<br />

the physical location of any homeless<br />

shelters associated with this organization,<br />

with the exception of one address on Western<br />

Avenue in Los Angeles, which appears to<br />

be a small, gated office building.<br />

National Paradigm Foundation<br />

A few weeks ago a table with American<br />

flags and a banner representing the National<br />

Paradigm Foundation was spotted outside<br />

Sam’s Club in Santa Clarita. Two young men,<br />

dressed in military fashion, asked customers<br />

to donate to the organization that purportedly<br />

helps veterans.<br />

However, this nonprofit, from Vallejo, Calif.<br />

is another nonprofit that has filed no 990s<br />

and is listed as by the state as “suspended.”<br />

After three years of warning letters that<br />

appropriate tax forms had not been filed, National<br />

Paradigm Foundation’s registration<br />

status is delinquent.<br />

A report that aired in February on the CBS<br />

affiliate KPIX Channel 5 in San Francisco exposed<br />

the questionable practices of the foundation<br />

(to read a transcript of the report visit<br />

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/<strong>2015</strong>/02/<br />

04/is-money-raised-by-bay-area-charity-<br />

really-going-to-help-homeless-veterans-<br />

Wounded Warrior Project<br />

continued from page 12<br />

Compensation and benefits for WWP employees<br />

and directors: $26,182,966.<br />

Employees and directors get MORE money<br />

than all of the services provided except for<br />

the alumni association. The program that<br />

people complain about is all about making<br />

money…ironic.<br />

$15, 218,191 for office space?<br />

Nearly $2 MILLION for I.T?<br />

Just under $5 MILLION for occupancy<br />

costs?<br />

$6,377,443 in way of travel expenses? And<br />

those travel expenses are NOT for sending<br />

wounded vets around the country because<br />

that expense would be listed in the program<br />

expenses. No, these travel expenses are<br />

WWP employees jet setting around the country.<br />

But now we get to the most egregious of<br />

the costs.<br />

Consulting costs: $33,081,349<br />

They spend more on consulting than they<br />

do on any one program service for vets.<br />

Not to mention their meeting and events in<br />

which they blow through nearly $17 MIL-<br />

LION of your donated money to throw themselves<br />

parties.<br />

You can read the rest for yourself, but all in<br />

all the total expenses for “running” the<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

Two solicitors outside Sam’s Club in Santa Clarita<br />

represent the National Paradigm Foundation, an organization<br />

whose nonprofit status is listed as “suspended”<br />

with the California Attorney General’s<br />

Charity research website.<br />

swords-plowshares/).<br />

In addition, the National Paradigm Foundation,<br />

was recently successfully sued by Target<br />

for trespassing in Sacramento.<br />

To make smart decisions about charitable<br />

giving visit the online Charity Research Tool<br />

from the office of the California State Attorney<br />

General and this IRS webpage http://<br />

apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.<br />

Know who you are giving your money to<br />

and for what purpose. Don’t assume because<br />

an individual has set up shop in front of an established<br />

business that they represent legitimate<br />

nonprofits, not even if they give you the<br />

tax ID number, and check if the charity is<br />

trustworthy by contacting the Better Business<br />

Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance,<br />

Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or<br />

GuideStar. WR<br />

Wounded Warrior Project total<br />

$158,073,943.<br />

As you may recall, the WWP, by their own<br />

admission, spend less than $118,000,000 on<br />

the actual programs and services for vets that<br />

people donate money towards.<br />

The following document gives a nice sum<br />

Here are the numbers that I broke down after<br />

going through the 79 pages of tax forms in a<br />

nice concise snippet.<br />

The thing that gets me most about this<br />

page is the mission statement.<br />

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project<br />

is to Honor and Empower Wounded Warriors.<br />

Is it now? Because according to the numbers,<br />

the mission of the Wounded Warrior<br />

Project would seem to be to use vets as props<br />

in order to continue taking money from patriotic<br />

Americans and spending the MAJOR-<br />

ITY to keep your organization in the money<br />

making business.<br />

The WWP seems less interested in helping<br />

vets than it is in helping their own bottom<br />

line.<br />

Vets, especially wounded ones who gave so<br />

much for this country deserve better than to<br />

be a pawn in an organization that seeks to financially<br />

capitalize on their sacrifice. WR

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 21<br />

SCV Charities<br />

continued from page 18<br />

v v v<br />

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/<br />

Santa Clarita Valleys used 98 percent of its<br />

expenses on its programs to provide ownership<br />

for very low- and low-income families<br />

living in substandard housing, according<br />

to 2013 tax filings.<br />

Habitat for Humanity listed:<br />

Revenues – $2,157,000<br />

Salaries – $0,561,654<br />

Total expenses – $2,061,000<br />

Program expenses – $2,026,000<br />

Management expenses –<br />

$0,018,712<br />

Fundraising expenses – $0,093,731<br />

Net assets – $3,117,000<br />

Highest compensated employee CEO<br />

Donna Deutchman was paid $153,200.<br />

v v v<br />

SCV Pregnancy Center used 62 percent<br />

of its total expenses on its programs, according<br />

to 2013 tax filings.<br />

The Pregnancy Center provides free medical<br />

clinical services to women in crisis pregnancies,<br />

with pregnancy testing and<br />

education programs.<br />

The center listed:<br />

Revenue – $430,000<br />

Salaries – $259,000<br />

Total expenses – $466,535<br />

Program expenses – $289,245<br />

Management expenses – $053,711<br />

Fundraising expenses – $123,579<br />

Net assets – $262,800<br />

Highest compensated employee CEO Angela<br />

Bennett was paid $77,800.<br />

v v v<br />

Janyce Hirakami was paid $109,600 and Vice<br />

President of Development Kelly Pond was<br />

paid $103,000.<br />

v v v<br />

Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project used<br />

59 percent of its total expenses on its programs,<br />

according to 2013 EZ-form tax filings.<br />

The Youth Project provides individual<br />

counseling, facilitates support groups, offers<br />

crisis intervention, outreach and community<br />

education to valley teens on six high school<br />

and four junior high school campuses. The<br />

organization helps thousands of students<br />

each year deal with depression, anger, drugs<br />

and alcohol, pregnancy, relationships and<br />

family issues.<br />

The Youth Project listed:<br />

Revenue – $128,143<br />

Salaries – $124,171<br />

Total expenses – $148,610<br />

Program expenses – $087,799<br />

Net assets – $020,449<br />

Highest compensated employee Executive<br />

Director Kimberly Goldman was paid<br />

$76,154.<br />

v v v<br />

Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley<br />

used 91 percent of its total expenses on its<br />

programs, according to 2013 EZ-form tax filings.<br />

Family promise provides grants for<br />

overnight stays, job search, credit and life<br />

skills counseling for homeless families,<br />

working with community faith groups.<br />

Family Promise listed:<br />

Revenue – $175,124<br />

Salaries – $089,549<br />

Total expenses – $141,350<br />

Program expenses – $128,923<br />

Net assets – $121,478<br />

v v v<br />

by Robb Fulcher<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Gaze before you give:<br />

tips for donors<br />

Donors have several ways to check<br />

out the financial profiles and<br />

transparency of non-profit charities<br />

they might choose to help.<br />

A lot can be determined from a charity<br />

organization’s tax form 990, according<br />

to Charity Navigator, which analyzes<br />

the finances of the largest 8,000 charities<br />

in the country.<br />

Donors can find detailed analyses of<br />

those large organizations on the website<br />

CharityNavigator.org. In the case of small<br />

and mid-size organizations, donors can<br />

use some of Charity Navigator’s techniques<br />

to perform their own analyses of<br />

the 990 forms.<br />

Nonprofit charities are required to file<br />

the 990 forms yearly with the IRS, and<br />

they are also required to give copies of<br />

the three most recent 990 filings to any<br />

member of the public who asks. The<br />

completed 990 forms are also available<br />

online through IRS.gov, CharityNavigator.org<br />

and a web page of the California<br />

attorney general, oag.ca.gov/charities.<br />

An organization’s 990 form contains a<br />

“List of Functional Expenses” on about<br />

page 10. The proportion of expenses that<br />

go to the charity’s programs can be determined<br />

by dividing the total at the bottom<br />

of column B (program services) by<br />

the total at the bottom of column A (total<br />

expenses), and then multiplying by 100.<br />

On about page 2, the charity lists its<br />

“Statement of Program Accomplishments,”<br />

providing more details about<br />

how the money was spent.<br />

The tax forms also ask the charities to<br />

list their highest paid employees, on<br />

about page 7. Charity Navigator officials<br />

say CEO salaries of midsize to large charities<br />

average about $130,000 a year. They<br />

caution that donors should consider factors<br />

such as the organization’s size and<br />

the type of work performed, when<br />

salaries are being evaluated.<br />

Sandra Miniutti, vice president and<br />

CFO of Charity Navigator, suggested<br />

gauging an organization’s growth and<br />

stability by comparing a charity’s most<br />

recent expense figures with those of previous<br />

years.<br />

“You can look for patterns. Are they<br />

growing, are they shrinking? Are they<br />

sort of all over the place?” she said.<br />

For transparency and accountability,<br />

Charity Navigator suggests that donors<br />

look over an organization’s website to<br />

see if its staff and directors are listed, and<br />

whether the most recent 990 or other financial<br />

documents are published.<br />

For more on how to analyze non-profit<br />

organizations, see CharityNavigator.org<br />

and click on “Tips for Donors.” WR<br />

Special Olympics of Southern California<br />

spent 80 percent of its total expenses on<br />

its programs, according to 2013 tax filings.<br />

The vast bulk of the program expenses<br />

went to year-round training and competition<br />

for children and adults with intellectual<br />

disabilities, including more than 100 competitions<br />

in 12 Olympic-style sports. The<br />

rest went to Special Olympics’ school partnership<br />

programs.<br />

Special Olympics listed:<br />

Revenue – $9,524,000<br />

Salaries – $4,481,000<br />

Total expenses – $8,711,964<br />

Program expenses – $6,991,959<br />

Management expenses –<br />

$0,415,934<br />

Fundraising expenses – $1,304,071<br />

Net assets – $5,815,021<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

CEO William Shumard was paid<br />

$195,400, CFO and Chief Information Officer<br />

Margaret Cate was paid $134,800, Raffle<br />

Administrator Neal Martin Zeavy was paid<br />

$547,200, Vice President of Field Operations<br />

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater<br />

Los Angeles used 69 percent of its total expenses<br />

on its programs, according to 2013<br />

tax filings.<br />

The program granted 337 wishes to children<br />

as young as 2 and-a-half who have been<br />

diagnosed with life-threatening medical<br />

conditions.<br />

Make-A-Wish listed:<br />

Total revenue – $5,030,525<br />

Salaries – $1,792,231<br />

Total expenses – $4,772,449<br />

Program expenses – $3,397,172<br />

Management expenses –<br />

$0,442,154<br />

Fundraising expenses – $0,933,123<br />

Net assets – $1,124,715<br />

Highest compensated employees:<br />

President and CEO Breena Gold was paid<br />

$200,000, CEO Ramin Baschshi, a physician,<br />

was paid $170,000 and Senior Director of<br />

Major Gifts Michelle Becker was paid<br />

$108,000.<br />

v v v

22 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>Westside</strong> Opinion<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

C a M e R o n s M y t h<br />

the summer hillary<br />

would like to forget<br />

daV e B o s s e R t<br />

is it time to start talking<br />

annexation again?<br />

by Cameron Smyth<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

by Dave Bossert<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

While much of the political world<br />

is focused on the Trump phenomenon<br />

and the outcome of the<br />

most recent Republican debate, Hillary<br />

Clinton is having a summer even the most<br />

ardent Clinton opponents could have<br />

never imagined.<br />

A campaign, which as recently as May<br />

was expected to be a smooth coronation to<br />

the nomination while Republicans battled<br />

it out to the convention, has quickly become<br />

a question as to whether Hillary will<br />

even last through <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

I tend to fall on the side of those who feel<br />

the election is still a long way out and there<br />

is plenty of time for another Clinton recovery,<br />

but as each day passes and a seemingly<br />

new scandal emerges each week, the potential<br />

for another mainstream Democrat<br />

to join the race grows.<br />

But don’t take my word for it . . . let’s look<br />

at the numbers: Poll after poll, conducted<br />

both nationally as well as within key states<br />

shows a disturbing trend, and sadly for<br />

Mrs. Clinton, I believe she has yet to bottom<br />

out. You see, many of the most recent<br />

polls occurred in late July/early <strong>August</strong> —<br />

well before her campaign conceded that<br />

classified documents were stored on her<br />

personal, non-protected computer, leading<br />

to multiple investigations and forcing her<br />

“shadow” Huma Abedin to retain her own<br />

legal counsel.<br />

Quinnipiac University polls (which can<br />

hardly be seen as “partisan Republican”) in<br />

three swing states, show Clinton trailing<br />

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.<br />

In Colorado, Clinton trails Rubio 38%-<br />

46%, Bush 36%-41% and Walker 38%-<br />

47%. In Iowa, she trails Rubio 36%-44%,<br />

Bush 36%-42% and Walker 37%-45%.<br />

And in Virginia, she closes the gap but still<br />

trails Rubio 41%-43%, Bush 39%-42%<br />

and Walker 40%-43%.<br />

Nationally the slide follows what is being<br />

seen in individual states: In May she led<br />

both Bush and Walker by 10 and 8 points<br />

respectively. Now, she trails Bush 42-41<br />

and only leads Walker 44-43. Ironically,<br />

she does her best against Republican front<br />

runner Donald Trump, leading by double<br />

digits.<br />

Clinton also recorded her worst national<br />

favorability score ever in the Quinnipiac<br />

survey. Nationwide just 40% of<br />

voters view her favorably, compared with<br />

51% who do not. By a 20 point margin<br />

(57-37) responders said Clinton is not<br />

honest and trustworthy and 52% said she<br />

didn't care about their needs or problems.<br />

These have to be the most disturbing . . . a<br />

majority of Americans just don’t trust her<br />

and view her lacking when it comes to her<br />

character.<br />

Mainstream Democrats worst fear is<br />

now coming true with the momentum<br />

generated by Bernie Sanders, which<br />

shows no sign of slowing down. Sanders<br />

recent stop in Los Angeles, where over<br />

27,000 supporters packed the Sports<br />

Arena, dwarfed the largest crowd to see<br />

Clinton this season — a paltry 5,000 for<br />

her kickoff event. And if that wasn’t bad<br />

enough, the most recent released poll<br />

(mid-<strong>August</strong>) now has Clinton trailing<br />

Sanders 44-37 in New Hampshire. And although<br />

an Iowa poll released Aug. 16<br />

shows Clinton leading Sanders by double<br />

digits in the Hawkeye state, 54% remained<br />

undecided and she actually trails Sanders<br />

by 7% when it comes to the “honest and<br />

trustworthy” question. Her campaign continues<br />

to tout national polls where she<br />

maintains a large lead over Sanders, although<br />

none have been taken since her<br />

most recent scandal made the front pages.<br />

All of these factors certainly demonstrate<br />

a vulnerability to the Clinton campaign,<br />

however she still retains a huge financial<br />

and organizational advantage over any potential<br />

democrat. That being said, it is clear<br />

that Vice President Biden is now slowly<br />

testing the waters and will wait until at least<br />

September when more national polling is<br />

released to make a decision. Biden’s supporters<br />

are encouraged by his performance<br />

in the same Quinnipiac poll that shows Clinton<br />

struggling — Biden received his highest<br />

favorability rating (49%) in seven years,<br />

with 58 percent saying he was honest and<br />

trustworthy and 57 percent saying he cared<br />

about them.<br />

With less than six months to Iowa, Biden<br />

(and all potential candidates) need to decide<br />

if they want to jump in. However all is<br />

not dependent on what happens in the<br />

first caucus. Biden recently met with advisors<br />

in South Carolina and he may<br />

choose to forgo Iowa and New Hampshire<br />

completely and focus on primaries occurring<br />

a bit later in the cycle.<br />

Whatever transpires, we can expect<br />

2016 to be a long, brutal, and entertaining<br />

election year for both parties and we could<br />

not have said that when the summer<br />

started. . . . WR<br />

Cameron Smyth is a lifelong resident of the<br />

Santa Clarita Valley who served six years on the<br />

Santa Clarita City Council before being elected<br />

to represent the Valley in the State Legislature.<br />

After leaving the Assembly in 2012, Cameron returned<br />

to the private sector and continues to reside<br />

in Newhall with his wife and three children.<br />

At the <strong>August</strong> West Ranch Town<br />

Council meeting there was a brief<br />

discussion as to whether or not it<br />

was time to start talking about the topic of<br />

annexation again. This subject has percolated<br />

up over the last fifteen-plus years and<br />

it seems to be bubbling once more. By all<br />

rights the <strong>Westside</strong> communities should,<br />

and probably could have, been annexed<br />

into the city of Santa Clarita a decade and<br />

half ago.<br />

The breakdown in discussion over the<br />

years has generally centered on a few<br />

members of the city leadership and their<br />

calcified views. Their script was that all<br />

the previous annexations to the city were<br />

a net loss. Meaning that it cost more in city<br />

services than the tax revenue those areas<br />

generated, which meant that the city grew<br />

in area but not in income. That scenario<br />

dictated that the city would not engage in<br />

any negotiation and hence any past dialogue<br />

with the West Ranch leadership<br />

ground to a halt.<br />

The main reason why the West Ranch<br />

communities should negotiate annexation<br />

is because there is a large tax revenue generating<br />

base along The Old Road. The Valencia<br />

Marketplace, Hamburger Hill, and<br />

Magic Mountain among others place The<br />

Old Road corridor into the top tier of tax<br />

generating areas in Los Angeles County. It<br />

makes the West Ranch area ultimately a<br />

net positive for the City of Santa Clarita in<br />

that there would be a lot more revenue for<br />

the City than the cost of additional city<br />

services to that area.<br />

Also, let’s not forget that there is a relatively<br />

new infrastructure in place on the<br />

west side. Streets, sewer systems, underground<br />

utilities, and traffic lights are less<br />

than twenty-five years old and have been<br />

well maintained. That means that there is<br />

less investment needed aside from some<br />

minimal signage being changed out. In fact,<br />

it would be a seamless blending of the<br />

communities into the city should an annexation<br />

take place.<br />

The difference this time around regarding<br />

annexation is that the city leadership<br />

dynamic has changed. Some have retired<br />

and others have decided to exit city politics<br />

altogether. Add to that, Supervisor Michael<br />

D. Antonovich is termed out of the L.A.<br />

County Board of Supervisors as of November,<br />

2016, and who will fill that seat is anyone’s<br />

guess right now. The supervisor has<br />

done an immeasurable amount of good for<br />

our <strong>Westside</strong> community which is greatly<br />

appreciated, but there is no guarantee that<br />

would continue once he is out of office.<br />

Another change in recent months is that<br />

the County has approved a measure to<br />

raise the minimum wage which does not<br />

have an effect on the City. This has caused<br />

concern for many business owners in the<br />

unincorporated SCV areas, several of<br />

whom are starting to raise the annexation<br />

question as a possible panacea to avoid<br />

that wage increase. Although, the City will<br />

not be immune from a possible minimum<br />

wage hike in the future, especially with the<br />

political makeup of our valley evolving.<br />

And finally, the City of Santa Clarita will<br />

likely move to district representation at<br />

some point. Doing so would provide a<br />

more equitable arrangement for the diverse<br />

areas that make up the city presently<br />

and in the future. There is a confluence of<br />

changes coming in the next few years.<br />

That is why this may be an opportune<br />

time to look at jump starting annexation<br />

negotiations for the <strong>Westside</strong> with all these<br />

changes unfolding. When I say negotiate, I<br />

am talking about guarantees that some of<br />

the tax revenue from The Old Road stays in<br />

the West Ranch communities by way of increased<br />

services.<br />

Examples of additional services might<br />

include more sheriff deputies dedicated to<br />

the West Ranch area and possibly a sheriff<br />

sub-station. Increased parks and recreation<br />

programming as well as grandfathering<br />

in the Rioux Park 4th of July fireworks<br />

show so that it will continue into the<br />

future. The landscape maintenance districts<br />

(LMDs) need to be looked at for efficiencies<br />

and also interchange/common<br />

area beautification projects.<br />

There are many other aspects of the<br />

community that need to be examined with<br />

a reasonable and pragmatic eye during an<br />

annexation discussion. But the important<br />

thing is that there is a productive dialogue<br />

and everything be placed on the table for<br />

discussion. Some items may not be practical<br />

while others are completely doable. It<br />

is also important for all to know that if<br />

there isn’t a willingness to have positive,<br />

productive dialogue, then any annexation<br />

effort will be futile.<br />

The planets seem to be aligning in the<br />

coming months for a meaningful and fruitful<br />

discussion of annexation for the West<br />

Ranch communities. That’s of course if the<br />

city of Santa Clarita leadership realizes that<br />

the <strong>Westside</strong> is within their reach, provided<br />

that they are willing to negotiate for it. WR<br />

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer<br />

who serves on a number of boards and<br />

councils. He is an award winning artist, filmmaker<br />

and author. His commentaries represent<br />

his own opinions and not necessarily<br />

the views of any organization he may be affiliated<br />

with or those of The <strong>Westside</strong><br />

<strong>Reader</strong>. Dave writes a regular weekly column<br />

online at www.thescvebeacon.com

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 23<br />

s C ot t w i l k<br />

unclaimed property<br />

treasure hunt<br />

by Assmemblyman Scott Wilk<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

There is nothing better than stumbling<br />

upon cash in the pocket of<br />

your jeans or lying around the<br />

house that you forgot about. Have you<br />

ever wondered if you have more money<br />

floating around from a closed bank account<br />

or a previous job that you are unaware<br />

of? Well, you just might be in luck.<br />

The state of California is currently<br />

holding onto $7.1 billion of Unclaimed<br />

Property, which belongs to approximately<br />

27.9 million individuals and organizations<br />

in California. Unclaimed<br />

Property can be anything: inactive bank<br />

accounts, safety deposit box contents,<br />

stocks, mutual funds, bonds, certificates<br />

of deposit, dividends, matured insurance<br />

policies, just to name a few.<br />

After learning about this program, I<br />

thought I’d give it a go; sadly, I was not<br />

one of the lucky 27.9 million folks with<br />

hidden money. The overall process was<br />

extremely easy — and fun! So I thought<br />

hey, why not make an event of this and<br />

try to reunite others with their unclaimed<br />

property.<br />

I hosted an event called “Refund Friday”<br />

at the Santa Clarita Senior Center<br />

and kicked off with donuts, coffee and a<br />

brief overview of the program and how<br />

to use it. Once word got out, we had over<br />

30 people drop by. The lowest amount<br />

found by a person was 20 cents and the<br />

highest amount was $3,600! All together<br />

about $6,000 in Unclaimed Property was<br />

reclaimed. The look on attendees’ faces<br />

when they discovered money was priceless,<br />

but nothing compared to the moment<br />

when a man who was down and out<br />

found $126 dollars and wept with joy.<br />

That was easily the highlight of the morning<br />

for me.<br />

The process took each participant<br />

about five minutes, tops, and for the<br />

lucky individuals who found money,<br />

checks were received seven to ten days<br />

after completing the claims process.<br />

After the positive response from the<br />

first “Refund Friday” event, I partnered<br />

with the Santa Clarita Valley Latino<br />

Chamber Business Alliance to host an<br />

event at their recent Networking Breakfast.<br />

The room was packed and roughly<br />

$3,200 was found.<br />

Each year, the State Controller’s Office<br />

sends out notifications to people, in<br />

hopes of linking the rightful owners to<br />

their property before it’s sent to the State<br />

for safekeeping. If you have missed, or<br />

failed to respond to, a notice regarding<br />

unclaimed property, you can find it on<br />

the State Controller’s website. There is no<br />

official time limit to when you can claim<br />

your property from the State, but the<br />

sooner you search, the quicker you will<br />

receive your money.<br />

If you are interested in learning more<br />

about unclaimed property or are curious<br />

to see if you have anything to claim, you<br />

can visit the State Controller’s website at<br />

http://www.sco.ca.gov/upd_msg.html to<br />

use the simple search tool.<br />

In an effort to help constituents, I will<br />

be hosting more events like these to<br />

hopefully find more homes for more unclaimed<br />

property.<br />

This is one instance where I can rightfully<br />

say, “I’m from the government and<br />

I’m here to help.” WR<br />

Assemblyman Wilk represents the 38th<br />

Assembly District, which encompasses<br />

Simi Valley, the northwestern section of<br />

the San Fernando Valley and most of the<br />

Santa Clarita Valley.<br />

win $100 Cash<br />

identify the artwork below from one of the<br />

advertisements in this publication<br />

You Think it<br />

You Write it<br />

We Print it<br />

l e t t e R s<br />

<strong>Reader</strong>s are encouraged to submit their views, reviews and questions as<br />

letters to the editor for publication in the <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong>. Submissions may<br />

be sent by mail or email. Letters are subject to being edited due to space<br />

constraints. Letters to the editor must include the author’s name, town<br />

and phone number for verification.<br />

Email:<br />

Info @westsidereader.com<br />

Mail To:<br />

25876 The Old Road<br />

Suite 66<br />

Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381<br />

and be entered into a drawing to win $100<br />

Cash. email the name of the advertiser, the<br />

page number the ad is on, and your city.<br />

to: info@westsidereader.com

24 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

thursday, sept. 3<br />

FC Valencia Youth Soccer League<br />

(Recreational), 6 p.m. College of the<br />

Canyons Upper Soccer Field, 26455 Rockwell<br />

Canyon Road, Valencia, CA 91355.<br />

Recreational Soccer League conducted by<br />

professional FC Valencia club coaches and<br />

elite college players. Ages 4-8 years old.<br />

Cost: $200 for the season Sept. 3-Nov. 11.<br />

Thursday training 6 p.m., Saturday games:<br />

9 a.m.- noon. Contact:<br />

Info@fcvalenciaysl.com. Registration:<br />

www.fcvalenciaysl.com.<br />

ArtSLAM and JAM Session, a monthly<br />

art and music happening, 6-10 p.m. in Old<br />

Town Newhall on Main Street between 6th<br />

Street and Market Street. ArtSLAM features<br />

an open air gallery of various mediums of<br />

art, which is both on display and interactive.<br />

JAM Sessions is a participatory gathering<br />

centered on cultural movement and music .<br />

The event also includes food trucks and<br />

hands on activity booths. Info: www.oldtownnewhall.com.<br />

thursday, sept. 10<br />

Revved Up, a monthly gathering for car<br />

enthusiasts held 7-10 p.m. in Old Town<br />

Newhall on Main Street between 8th Street<br />

and Market Street. Revved Up is a gathering<br />

of automotive enthusiasts showing classics,<br />

hot rods, and exotic cars as well as niche<br />

genres such as Model A’s, VW’s, and<br />

Corvettes. Each month will feature a particular<br />

automotive genre or style of car. The<br />

event also includes a live DJ, food truck, and<br />

beer and wine garden. Revved Up is held<br />

March to October on the second Thursday<br />

of the month. Info:<br />

www.oldtownnewhall.com.<br />

saturday, sept. 12<br />

Route 66 Classic Car Show, 5-9 p.m.<br />

Route 66 Classic Grill, 18730 Soledad<br />

Canyon Road, Canyon Country, CA 91351.<br />

Ongoing<br />

The Castaic Town Council meets on<br />

the third Wednesday of each month in the<br />

Board room of the Castaic Union School<br />

District, 28131 Livingston Avenue in the<br />

Valencia Commerce Center. The next meeting<br />

is Sept. 16. Info: www.castaicareatowncouncil.org.<br />

West Ranch Town Council meets the<br />

first Wednesday of every Month at 6:30<br />

p.m. at either the new Stevenson Ranch Library<br />

- LA County Library, 25940 The Old<br />

Road, Stevenson Ranch or at the Tournament<br />

Players Club, 26550 Heritage View<br />

Lane, Valencia. The West Ranch Town<br />

Council’s next meeting will be held Sept. 2<br />

at the Stevenson Ranch Library Meeting<br />

Room. For more information visit<br />

www.westranchtowncouncil.com.<br />

REMO Kid's Rhythm Club, Saturdays,<br />

9:30-10 a.m. The REMO Kid's Rhythm Club<br />

at SCVi is a fun exploration of music and<br />

rhythm for people of all ages. No experience<br />

necessary, no reservations required,<br />

just come join the fun. Free for children, $5<br />

for adults. SCVi Charter School, 28060<br />

Hasley Canyon Road, Castaic, 91384,<br />

Strolling through more than 135 of Southern<br />

California's coolest classic cars and<br />

trucks. Car of the Year announced. Car<br />

Shows are free to spectators. To enter a<br />

classic (1975 or older) registration is $10<br />

paid directly to SCV SAFE RIDES. Trophies<br />

awarded in 18 categories, raffle prizes, as<br />

well as a 50/50 drawing. Entertainment by<br />

classic rock bands. Info: George Thomas<br />

661-298-1494, or visit www.route66classicgrill.com<br />

tuesday, sept. 15<br />

A Pet Preparedness Workshop, 6- 7:30<br />

p.m. at Old Town Newhall Library, 24500<br />

Main St., Santa Clarita, 91321. This free<br />

workshop stresses why it is important to<br />

have plans in place to protect your pets<br />

when disasters occur. Topics include: Developing<br />

an evacuation plan; assembling pet<br />

emergency kits; preparing to take your pet<br />

to a pet shelter; and animal behaviors in disasters.<br />

Presenters: Animal Response & Rescue<br />

Coalition, PET-PAC, Kazzi Dog Training<br />

and City of Santa Clarita. Info: 661-250-<br />

3708, or emergencymanagement@ santaclarita.com<br />

thursday, sept. 17<br />

SENSES, a themed monthly block party,<br />

7-10 p.m., free, Old Town Newhall, Main<br />

Street between 6th Street and Market<br />

Street, Newhall. The <strong>August</strong> theme is<br />

“Woodstock.” Entertainment, activities,<br />

food trucks and adult drinks. Sept. 17 – Hot<br />

Havana Nights and Oct. 15 – Sports of All<br />

Sorts. Info: Visit www.oldtownnewhall.com.<br />

friday, sept. 18<br />

Cocktails on the Roof, 7-10 p.m. Cost:<br />

$75 General Admission, $55 Designated<br />

Driver, $95 at the door. Top level of the<br />

Town Center Parking Garage near the<br />

Macy's Bridge, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia,<br />

91355. SCV restaurants serve signature<br />

www.facebook.com/pages/REMO-Kids-<br />

Rhythm-Club-at-<br />

SCVi/1582967038623158?sk=timeline<br />

Old Town Newhall Farmers Market,<br />

Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the<br />

Newhall Community Center, 22421 Market<br />

St., Newhall, 91321. California farmers and<br />

specialty food purveyors come together<br />

each Saturday, rain or shine, to bring you<br />

the finest in fresh and seasonal fruits and<br />

vegetables, including organic, baked<br />

goods, flowers, herbs, cheeses and prepared<br />

foods. Info:<br />

www.SantaClaritaArts.com<br />

Ventura County Certified Farmer's<br />

Market, Sundays 8:30 a.m. – noon. College<br />

of the Canyons Parking Lot 5, 26455 Rockwell<br />

Canyon Road, Valencia, 91355. The<br />

Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market<br />

in Santa Clarita takes place year-round<br />

every Sunday, rain or shine. Fresh from<br />

the fields to the table, the Certified California<br />

Farmers bring the freshest fruits, vegetables,<br />

free range ranch eggs, nuts, honey,<br />

potted plants and freshly-cut flowers, all at<br />

the peak of the season. Info: 805-529-<br />

6266. Visit the website at http://vccfarmersmarkets.com/santa-clarita/<br />

cocktails and food pairings in an outdoor,<br />

rooftop party atmosphere to benefit the<br />

WiSH Education Foundation, www.wishscv.org,<br />

661-799-9474. Sponsorships available,<br />

benefitting Wm. S. Hart School District.<br />

Over 21 only.<br />

saturday, sept. 19<br />

Friends of Castaic Lake Night Float<br />

Tube Fishing, 6 p.m.–midnight, Castaic<br />

Lake Lagoon, 32132 Castaic Lake Drive,<br />

Castaic, CA 91384, check-in starts at 6 p.m.<br />

on the BISQ patio at Paradise Cove. Fee: $20<br />

includes glow stick. Float tube rental $20.<br />

Open to float tubes, kayaks and inflatable<br />

boats without motors. Info: 257-4050 or<br />

www.castaiclake.com or<br />

www.castaiclake.com/focl.html<br />

Santa Clarita Century Ride, 7 a.m.,<br />

Mann Biomedical Park, 25104 Rye Canyon<br />

Loop, Santa Clarita. Santa Clarita Child &<br />

Family Center presents the Seventh Annual<br />

Santa Clarita Century Ride. This year features<br />

new routes, BBQ lunch at completion<br />

of ride, live bands, raffles and more. The cycling<br />

event features routes for all levels of<br />

riders: 100, 50 and 25 miles. Departures are<br />

staggered, beginning at 7 a.m. Start and finish<br />

will be at the Mann Biomedical Park. All<br />

proceeds benefit Child & Family Center.<br />

Info: www.santaclaritacentury.com or call<br />

661-255-6847 ext.3018.<br />

Bunco Tournament, 1:30-6 p.m. Come<br />

play a fun game with dice and be a part of<br />

history as Special Olympics Santa Clarita<br />

and Tri-Valley try to establish a record for<br />

the World's Largest Bunco Tournament in<br />

<strong>2015</strong>. The goal is to have 288 Bunco players<br />

competing to raise awareness and funds for<br />

individuals with intellectual disabilities. The<br />

tournament will include dinner, a no-host<br />

bar, an auction, and prizes. Cost: $40 donation<br />

per person. Location: Residence Inn<br />

Marriott, 25320 The Old Road Santa Clarita,<br />

91381. Info: Laura Mayo, email<br />

lmayo@sosc.org, 661-253-2121.<br />

Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children's<br />

Cancer 22nd Annual Evening<br />

Under the Stars, 6-11 p.m. Tickets start at<br />

$150. An evening of dining, auction and entertainment<br />

at Robinson Ranch Golf Club,<br />

27734 Sand Canyon Road, Canyon Country,<br />

91387. Info: 661-250-4100 or www.mhf.org<br />

thursday, sept. 24<br />

An Evening with Tracy Newman and<br />

The Reinforcements, 8 p.m. Repertory<br />

East Playhouse, 24266 Main St., Newhall.<br />

SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series.<br />

Cost: $20. In the early 70s, Tracy Newman<br />

is a founding member of the<br />

Groundlings. Her sister, Laraine Newman<br />

was the first Groundling to be discovered by<br />

Lorne Michaels for Saturday Night Live.<br />

Newman and her TV writing partner,<br />

Jonathan Stark worked on Cheers, as wells<br />

as Bob (Bob Newhart), The Nanny, Ellen,<br />

The Drew Carey Show and Hiller and Diller<br />

(Richard Lewis and Kevin Nealon.) In 1997,<br />

they won the Emmy and the prestigious<br />

Peabody Award for writing the groundbreaking<br />

“coming out” episode of Ellen. She<br />

has been writing songs and is performing<br />

full-time and has three CDs. Her music is essentially<br />

acoustic folk. It is a funny, moving<br />

and memorable show. Advance ticket sales:<br />

OutWest Hotline: 661-255-7087, or visit<br />

their http://www.outwestmktg.com/<br />

events/live-music.cfm<br />

The ARTree <strong>2015</strong> Speaker Series, 6:30-<br />

9 p.m., free, Old Town Newhall Library –<br />

Community Room, 24500 Main St., Newhall,<br />

CA 91321. The ARTree <strong>2015</strong> Speaker Series<br />

presents lectures plus free-form discussions<br />

with influential artists and leaders<br />

who bring art, arts education, and exceptional<br />

projects to the diverse Santa Clarita<br />

Valley community. It is held January to October<br />

on the fourth Thursday of the month.<br />

For more information and a list of speakers<br />

visit www.TheARTree.org.<br />

friday, sept. 25<br />

VIA Bash, 6-11 p.m., Hyatt Regency Valencia.<br />

24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia,<br />

91355. The Valley Industry Association's<br />

Annual VIA BASH Event to support the VIA<br />

Education Foundation and Connecting to<br />

Success. The event also recognizes VIA<br />

members of distinction through the "VIA<br />

Awards." Tickets $100 - $125. Sponsorships<br />

$1,500 - $4,500. Contact: Kathy Norris, Valley<br />

Industry Association. 661-294-8088 or<br />

by email: kathy@via.org.<br />

saturday, sept. 26<br />

The Eighth Annual TPC/West Ranch<br />

Art & Wine Gala — Supporting the Arts in<br />

the Santa Clarita Valley, 6-10 p.m. Cost: $300<br />

per person. Tournament Players Club,<br />

26550 Heritage View Lane, Westridge.<br />

Champagne reception, dinner, silent and live<br />

auctions, Dave Bossert, Co-Chair, 818-599-<br />

6065.<br />

Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc<br />

13th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival, 11<br />

a.m. - 2 p.m. Bridgeport Park, 23520 Bridgeport<br />

Lane, Valencia, 91355. Exhibitors, local<br />

performances, food trucks and a race track<br />

waterway provides for several regatta heats<br />

throughout the day during this fun-filled,<br />

family event. A Kid Zone area provides a<br />

bounce house, rock wall, face painting, and<br />

more. Raffles also occur throughout the day.<br />

Every duck adopted helps support health<br />

care within our community. Individual rubber<br />

ducks are available for adoption at $5<br />

per duck. Other adoption opportunities include:<br />

Quack Family (5 ducks plus 1 free<br />

duck for $25); Quacker’s Dozen (10 ducks<br />

plus 2 free ducks for $50) and Duck Flock<br />

(20 ducks plus 4 free ducks for $100). All<br />

proceeds go toward patient care at Samuel<br />

Dixon Family Health Center, Inc. (SDFHC),<br />

which offers affordable, quality primary<br />

health care for residents of the Santa Clarita<br />

Valley. Info: Katie Simers, 661-257-2339, ext<br />

302. Email: Katie@sdfhc.org.<br />

Box City <strong>2015</strong>, 3 p.m.- 7:30 a.m. Cost:<br />

$25 for registration, guests and visitors are<br />

free. Valencia Heritage Park, 24155 Newhall<br />

Ranch Road, Santa Clarita, California 91355.<br />

Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley's 5th<br />

annual Box City will raise money and awareness<br />

for local homeless children and their<br />

families. Register, get sponsors, bring a cardboard<br />

box and spend the night in the park.<br />

Info: www.FamilyPromiseSCV.org or contact<br />

Chris at contact@familypromisescv.org. WR

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 25<br />

RestauRant ReView<br />

The Oaks Grille at TPC Valencia<br />

New Executive Chef<br />

Payton Poulsen offers<br />

a new take on farm-totable<br />

at TPC Valencia<br />

By Michele E. Buttelman<br />

Features and Entertainment Editor<br />

The Oaks Grille is a comfortable, but elegant<br />

restaurant inside the clubhouse<br />

at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.<br />

When Daniel Otto, the long-time executive<br />

chef at The Oaks Grille, left in April to pursue<br />

a career in culinary education at the Institute<br />

Ahi Tuna Crudo with sushi grade tuna, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado<br />

mousse, green onion, peanuts, sweet soy vinaigrette, Sriacha<br />

paint with Togarashi wonton strips. ($17).<br />

of Culinary Education (iCUE) at College of the<br />

Canyons, Sous Chef Payton Poulsen took<br />

charge of the kitchen.<br />

Now that Poulsen is The Oaks Grille’s new<br />

Executive Chef, he is eager to bring his farmto-table<br />

culinary viewpoint to the TPC dining<br />

room.<br />

Poulsen’s journey to Executive Chef started<br />

at The Oaks Grille almost eight years ago<br />

when he started as a buser. He realized he<br />

was interested in working in the kitchen and<br />

Otto offered Poulsen the opportunity to work<br />

in the kitchen at The Oaks Grille, but only if<br />

he also attended culinary school.<br />

Poulsen attended Le Cordon Bleu in Hollywood<br />

and started his career at The Oaks in<br />

January 2008.<br />

He worked his way up from prep cook to<br />

pantry cook before leaving The<br />

Oaks Grille for three years to follow<br />

his future wife, who was attending<br />

school at Cal Poly San<br />

Luis Obispo.<br />

He held a variety of kitchen<br />

jobs, including one at an Italian<br />

restaurant, before returning to<br />

The Oaks Grille in 2011.<br />

His journey through the<br />

kitchen hierarchy continued as<br />

he progressed from pantry cook<br />

to line cook to lead cook to sous<br />

chef.<br />

“I want to transform this to a<br />

farm-to-table restaurant,” he said.<br />

“I am currently working with Underwood<br />

Farms in Moorpark, but<br />

hope that the club will eventually<br />

own its own plot of land and farm it.<br />

That’s the end goal.”<br />

His stated philosophy is “farm-totable<br />

fresh ingredients, giving people<br />

the options they are looking for<br />

and changing the menu throughout<br />

the year.”<br />

“I want food to be fresh, to keep<br />

the dining experience new and to<br />

conform the menu to the seasons,” he said.<br />

Poulsen was born in Anaheim, but his family<br />

moved to the Santa Clarita Valley when he<br />

was 12. He is a graduate of Saugus High<br />

School and has been married four years to<br />

wife Caylee who works as a veterinarian.<br />

The Oaks Grille is open to the public and<br />

also offers a bar and meeting room facilities.<br />

Not only does the restaurant offer gourmet<br />

cuisine, but it also offers breathtaking views<br />

of the entire Santa Clarita Valley. After the<br />

sun goes down I enjoy hanging by the outside<br />

fire pit and watching the lights of the SCV<br />

twinkle in the distance.<br />

Left: The Oaks Grille Executive<br />

Chef Payton Poulsen with his<br />

signature pan seared Arctic<br />

Chair over gold beets, new<br />

potatoes, pancetta and beet<br />

tops with a port balsamic and<br />

lemon oil ($30.)<br />

Below: The perfect pairing with<br />

an after golf beer: Lamb Sliders<br />

with chorizo, farmhouse cheese,<br />

water cress, date ketchup and<br />

caramelized onions ($15) and a<br />

side of “skin on” fries ($7).<br />

The current menu contains about half the<br />

options from the previous menu and should<br />

be good for another month.<br />

Poulsen said he will begin his fall/winter<br />

menu at the end of September.<br />

Among the summer entrees is a “to die for”<br />

Arctic Char which is pan seared over gold<br />

beets, new potatoes, pancetta, beet tops and<br />

finished with port balsamic and lemon oil<br />

($30). This divine dish is a spectacular example<br />

of the chef’s art. The skin of the fish is<br />

cooked to a glorious crunch and the flesh is<br />

See The Oaks Grille, page 34<br />

15% OFF<br />

Dinner Sunday through<br />

Thursday<br />

Excludes tax & gratuity. Not valid with other<br />

offers or on holidays.

Big Sur Bixby<br />

Creek Bridge<br />

Downtown Ventura<br />

Solvang<br />

10 Quick Getaways to Celebrate the End of Summer<br />

by Michele E. Buttelman • features and entertainment editor<br />

Las Vegas, San Francisco, Palm Springs…<br />

everyone thinks of those obvious destinations<br />

when planning a three-day weekend getaway.<br />

This Labor Day why not mix it up and choose a<br />

destination less predictable? Surprise yourself,<br />

your family and your friends by heading out of<br />

town on a whim (and a prayer that accommodations<br />

are still available)… and find fun and<br />

adventure in a new setting.<br />

Downtown Ventura<br />

1. Ventura<br />

Ventura is the perfect spot for a romantic couple’s getaway.<br />

Walk on the beach, or take in movie in the quaint<br />

downtown area. Historic downtown Ventura is a great<br />

place to grab a bite, from the Cajun Kitchen Café to Dargan’s<br />

Irish Pub and Restaurant, there’s something for<br />

everyone.<br />

The Cinemark Century 10 Downtown is a modern theater<br />

complex featuring new releases, 3D films, print-at-home<br />

tickets and arcade games. I was thrilled to find old-school<br />

pinball and Ms. Pacman among the games.<br />

To enjoy the beach head over to San Buenaventura State<br />

Beach, 901 San Pedro St, Ventura, CA 93001. This is a great<br />

family-friendly state beach with picnic sites, a parking lot,<br />

snack bar, bike paths and rental shop.<br />

Another option is Emma Wood State Beach, Pacific Coast<br />

Hwy, Ventura, CA 93001. This is a picturesque oceanside<br />

26<br />

spot for surfing and fishing with fire pits and RV camping<br />

available with advance reservation. If you want to catch a<br />

wave, or watch surfers catch a wave check out Surfers<br />

Point Park<br />

Park, Shoreline Drive, Ventura, CA 93001. This is a small<br />

destination beach for surfers and windsurfers, with picnic<br />

tables, showers and restrooms. Nature lovers will enjoy<br />

Mandalay County Park, 301-383 S. Harbor Blvd, just a few<br />

miles south in Oxnard. This oceanfront preserve with a<br />

beach features a variety of plant and animal life.<br />

From the Santa Clarita Valley Ventura is less than an hour<br />

away via CA-126.<br />

2. Ojai<br />

Another “couples” destination Ojai is a beautiful retreat with<br />

lovely parks, oak-shaded paths, golf courses and spas. It’s where<br />

musicians, artists and health enthusiasts come out to play.<br />

Ojai is surrounded by mountains that create an evening<br />

glow the locals call the “the pink moment.”<br />

If you golf, line up a tee time at Soule Park, an affordable<br />

public course with exceptional views. Visit<br />

www.soulepark.com.<br />

Ojai is a special place to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. Try<br />

taking a walk, a jog, or a bike ride along the Ojai Valley<br />

Trail. A favorite among rail-trail enthusiasts, the Ojai Valley<br />

Trail extends about 9.5 miles north of Ventura from Foster<br />

Park in Oak View to the southwestern outskirts of Ojai.<br />

Visit www.traillink.com/trail/ojai-valley-trail.aspx.<br />

If you are adventurous, mount up for a one or two hour<br />

horse ride through the Ventura River Valley, or up into the<br />

Enchanted Forest. Only a few miles from downtown Ojai,<br />

Oso Ranch has riding opportunities available from beginner<br />

to expert. Visit<br />

www.ojaivalleytrailridingcompany.com/day-rides.html.<br />

From the SCV Ojai is about an hour and half<br />

away via CA-126.<br />

3. Solvang<br />

The Danish Village of Solvang is a great place to enjoy boutique<br />

shopping, craft beer tasting, and unique museums.<br />

It’s also the perfect jumping off point for wine tasting in<br />

the vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley.<br />

If wine is your “thing” then you can appreciate central<br />

coast wines while visiting any of the 18+ wine tasting<br />

Big Bear Alpine Zoo<br />

Ayla and Harley<br />

rooms in Solvang and 100-plus wineries in the Santa Ynez<br />

Valley.<br />

A craft beer enthusiast? Download the Santa Ynez Valley<br />

Beer Trail map here: www.visitsyv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014-Craft-Beer-Trail-Map.pdf.<br />

Just want to take it all in? Take a Solvang walking tour and<br />

meander through the tidy, flower-lined streets of this<br />

pedestrian-friendly village to view the Danish architecture<br />

and large European style windmills, a clock tower plus statues<br />

of Hans Christian Andersen and the Little Mermaid<br />

fountain. You can spend a peaceful day just strolling along<br />

the streets of Solvang, or you can rent a “surrey cycle” to<br />

“roll” through the village. Sample the Danish bakeries and<br />

foods and shop for art and antiques. Learn about history at<br />

the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art or visit the 1804 Old<br />

Mission Santa Inés. It’s a great place to just “get away from<br />

it all.” Visit www.solvangusa.com.<br />

From the SCV Solvang is about two hours away via CA-126<br />

and US-101N.<br />

4. Big Bear<br />

Big Bear isn’t just a winter getaway. It can be an affordable<br />

family destination, too. Even better many of Big Bear's activities<br />

during the summer are reasonably price, or free.<br />

Here’s a short list to get you started on your Big Bear family<br />

adventure:<br />

1. Go stargazing: This is perhaps the best free option in Big

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 27<br />

Ojai Soule Park<br />

Santa Barbara Mission & State<br />

Idyllwild Tahquitz Rock<br />

Ojai Downtown Trolley<br />

Bear. Living in the light-polluted Santa Clarita Valley we<br />

rarely get to experience the night sky in all of its majesty.<br />

You’ll need to bring a few items: A jacket, a blanket to sit<br />

on or lie down, binoculars and a star chart (there are lots<br />

of great apps available on your Smartphone) and a flashlight<br />

to help you get to your end destination, but bring<br />

along some red paper to cover the end of the flashlight because<br />

red light will affect your night vision much less than<br />

white light. There are lots of great places in and around Big<br />

Bear for stargazing, just look for an area away from lights<br />

and with a wide view of the sky.<br />

2. Go fishing: You will need a fishing license and some<br />

equipment, but Big Bear Lake offers one of the top rated<br />

fishing spots in Southern California. Along with trout and<br />

bass, you will also find catfish, crappie, blue gill and sunfish.<br />

You don’t even need a boat; you can fish from the shoreline<br />

on the Stanfield Cutoff bridge or Grout Bay.<br />

3. Visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo: The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is<br />

a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted<br />

wild animals a safe haven; temporarily while they<br />

heal or permanently as they are unable to survive on their<br />

own. Visitors are able to see a broad variety of alpine<br />

wildlife, such as bald eagles, wolves, black and grizzly<br />

bears, bobcats and an arctic fox. Tickets are $12 for adults<br />

and $9 for seniors and children between the ages of 3 and<br />

10. Children 2 and under are free.<br />

4. Take a walk: The Big Bear Discovery Center's free 30-<br />

minute Nature Walks are on Saturdays at 1p.m. and 2 p.m.<br />

and Sundays at 11 a.m. and noon. The walks provide visitors<br />

an opportunity to learn about the local plant life, wildlife<br />

and interesting historical facts about Big Bear. This activity<br />

is ideal for families and the nature walks are not strenuous<br />

and designed for all hiking skill levels.<br />

5. Kayaking or Canoeing on Big Bear Lake: Kayaking in<br />

many of the bays on Big Bear Lake is a fun way to experience<br />

the lake. Kayak rentals at many of Big Bear's Marinas<br />

start at around $20.<br />

From the SCV Big Bear is about two and a half hours away<br />

via CA-18.<br />

5. Santa Barbara<br />

You might not think of Santa Barbara as a family fun destination,<br />

but you would be wrong. Try a few of these different<br />

and fun activities:<br />

1. Take a bike ride along the beachfront path beginning at<br />

Andree Clark Bird Refuge (1400 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa<br />

Barbara, CA 93108), a 32-acre expansive sanctuary that<br />

provides a safe haven for a diverse bird population including<br />

ducks and geese. Bike rentals are nearby.<br />

2. Enjoy a spin on the classical carousel at Chase Palm<br />

Park, (323 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93101), a 10-<br />

acre waterfront park dedicated to children. Also, make sure<br />

to check out the Shipwreck Playground, Great Meadow and<br />

beautiful Pacific view.<br />

3. Head south to Stearns Wharf, where State Street meets<br />

the sea. Make a stop in the Santa Barbara's Museum of Natural<br />

History's Ty Warner Sea Center, (211 Stearns Wharf,<br />

Santa Barbara, CA 93101), where kids can crawl through a<br />

tunnel inside a 1,500-gallon tide-pool tank. Just taking a<br />

stroll down State Street in downtown Santa Barbara is also<br />

great fun.<br />

4. Soak up the sun, build a sandcastle and watch the kids<br />

splashing in the surf at Leadbetter Beach, just west of the<br />

Harbor, (402 E. Ortega St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101).<br />

5. Ride the zoo train and feed the giraffes at the Santa Barbara<br />

Zoo, known for rarities like its pair of Amur leopard or<br />

stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (1212 Mission<br />

Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105), and enjoy exhibits<br />

of California native plants set in beautifully designed<br />

landscapes.<br />

From the SCV Santa Barbara is about an hour and a half<br />

away via CA-126 and US-101 N.<br />

6. Idyllwild<br />

To really get away and wind down, why not head up to Idyllwild?<br />

Idyllwild is a place we’ve all heard of, but never visited.<br />

It is a small town (less than 4,000 residents) nestled in<br />

the San Jacinto Mountains. Visit the tall pines, majestic<br />

cedars and the rocks.<br />

The town has kept its "small town" atmosphere. Locally<br />

owned shops and restaurants are all you will find here. This<br />

is the definition of “peace and quiet.”<br />

You might have noticed the reference to “rocks” in the first<br />

paragraph. That’s because rock climbing is a favorite past<br />

time in Idyllwild. With many boulders and the legendary<br />

Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks, Idyllwild attracts beginners as<br />

well as seasoned rock climbing professionals.<br />

Mountain biking is another popular activity in Idyllwild.<br />

If you aren’t an experienced rock climber you will find<br />

"bouldering" a good alternative. The best part of bouldering<br />

is that many rocks are only several feet of the ground<br />

and falling can cause fewer injuries.<br />

Be aware that Idyllwild is called "Mile-high Idyllwild" because<br />

the mountain resort is about one mile in altitude.<br />

One of Idyllwild's attractions is that it is only an hour's<br />

drive down to the desert on the Pines to Palms Scenic<br />

Byway, (SR 74).<br />

Idyllwild is all about nature so a visit to the Idyllwild Nature<br />

Center (25225 Highway 243, Idyllwild, CA 92549), should be<br />

considered.<br />

From the SCV Idyllwild is about three hours away via I-210<br />

and CA-210.<br />

7. Newport Beach<br />

Newport Beach offers a variety of activities that should appeal<br />

to nearly everyone in the family. There’s nature, shopping<br />

and family fun.<br />

The estuary on Back Bay is a birder's paradise, while the<br />

protected beach at Crystal Cove is favored by hikers.<br />

Surfers catch the best breaks on The Wedge and families<br />

enjoy the Fun Zone on Balboa Peninsula.<br />

1. Take the Balboa Island Ferry. You can drive, or walk on,<br />

for the short, inexpensive trip. Since 1919, Balboa Island<br />

Ferry has provided continuous service for drivers and passengers<br />

in vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians between Balboa<br />

Island and Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. The<br />

crossing is only about 800 feet but it saves you about six<br />

miles of driving via bridges and the alternate route.<br />

On Balboa Island be sure to taste the island’s two famous<br />

desserts, the Balboa Bar and Frozen Banana. The local<br />

sweet tooth treasures have been mainstays for nearly 75<br />

years,<br />

2. Locals know the three-mile-long stretch with the harbor<br />

on one side and broad, sandy California beaches on the<br />

other as “the Peninsula.” The Balboa Peninsula features a<br />

view of the shoreline, surfers and sunbathers spanning for<br />

miles.<br />

3. A trip to the Peninsula wouldn’t be complete without a<br />

visit to the Balboa Fun Zone, where the Ferris wheel has<br />

stood for more than 80 years.<br />

4. As you come over the Newport Channel Bridge from<br />

Newport Boulevard or Pacific Coast Highway, you can see<br />

Cannery Village. Waterfront restaurants offer stunning harbor<br />

views while dining on fresh seafood.<br />

Art of all varieties abounds in the Cannery Village. The village<br />

has been nicknamed the “Montmartre by the Sea.”<br />

5. Balboa Pier. The Balboa Pier was constructed in 1906. It<br />

See Labor Day Getaway, page 30

28 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

“Blind Spot”<br />

“Grandfathered”<br />

“The Grinder”<br />

“Code Black”<br />

“Quantico”<br />

“Limitless” • Tuesday, Sept. 22 10 p.m.<br />

Inspired by the movie, LIMITLESS is a visually creative action<br />

thriller about a man who discovers a mysterious drug<br />

that allows him to access 100% of his brain and ends up<br />

using his new abilities for the greater good.<br />

“Code Black” • Wednesday, Sept. 30 10 p.m.<br />

This intense medical drama is set in the busiest ER in the<br />

nation, where Code Black situations, when there are more<br />

patients than personnel or resources to treat them all,<br />

occur an unimaginable 300 days a year.<br />

by Michele E. Buttelman<br />

features and entertainment editor<br />

We usually associate Spring as the season<br />

of new beginnings, but Fall brings a new<br />

school year and a fresh crop of television<br />

programs. True, there are several new<br />

“TV Seasons” during the year in the<br />

“New World Television Order,” and most<br />

debuts now occur in October instead of<br />

September, but the sense of anticipation still builds as Fall<br />

approaches and viewers await new episodes of old favorites<br />

and the excitement that a new “favorite series”<br />

might just be a “click” of the remote away.<br />

Frankly, most new shows are doomed almost before they<br />

hit the airwaves, but, in truth, we have to have something<br />

to watch while we await the new seasons of House of<br />

Cards and Game of Thrones!<br />

This year, more than ever before, it appears that the rollout<br />

of new series is being done very slowly and spread out<br />

through September, October and November.<br />

One of the most interesting experiments will be “Heroes<br />

“The Muppets’’<br />

Reborn” set as a 13-week “event” series. A traditional television<br />

series usually runs 22-26 weeks.<br />

I’ve long advocated for more “event” limited run series. I<br />

think it makes for more compelling television and allows<br />

the writers to craft a beginning, middle and end.<br />

Get ready for your newest guilty pleasure, “Scream<br />

Queens.” It sounds like a fun ride.<br />

First new show to be cancelled? My money is on “Blood &<br />

Oil” or “Quantico.” For these losers ABC cancelled “Forever?”<br />

Here are the premiere dates (where available) and a rundown<br />

of new series that are scheduled on the major networks<br />

this fall:<br />

ABC<br />

“The Muppets’’ • Tuesday, Sept. 22 8 p.m.<br />

The Muppets return to primetime with a contemporary,<br />

documentary-style show. For the first time ever, a series<br />

will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships,<br />

both at home and at work, as well as romances, breakups,<br />

achievements, disappointments, wants and desires.<br />

“Blood & Oil” • Sunday, Sept. 27 9 p.m.<br />

Billy and Cody Lefever dream of a new life and move to<br />

"The Bakken" in North Dakota, booming after the biggest<br />

oil discovery in American history. They’re soon pitted<br />

against a ruthless tycoon who forces them to put everything<br />

on the line, including their marriage. Starring: Don<br />

Johnson.<br />

“Quantico” • Sunday, Sept. 27 10 p.m.<br />

A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico<br />

Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the<br />

most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is<br />

suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New<br />

York City since 9/11.<br />

“Dr. Ken” • Friday, Oct. 2 8:30 p.m.<br />

Doctor turned actor/comedian Ken Jeong plays Dr. Ken, a<br />

brilliant physician with no bedside manner. He is always<br />

trying to be a good doctor, as well as a good husband and<br />

dad to his two kids. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is<br />

just the right partner to keep things sane.<br />

“Wicked City” • Tuesday, Oct. 27<br />

“Wicked City” follows a unique case set in a noteworthy<br />

era of L.A. history, starting with a murder case from 1982<br />

centered on the rock ’n’ roll, cocaine-infused revelry of the<br />

Sunset Strip. Alliances are formed to solve a serial murder<br />

case.<br />

CBS<br />

“Life In Pieces” • Monday, Sept. 21 8:30 p.m.<br />

A smart, relatable and laugh-out-loud comedy about one<br />

family—uniquely told through four separate stories each<br />

week. This warm and loveable clan, spanning three generations,<br />

finds humor in life’s everyday absurdities.<br />

“Supergirl” • Monday, Nov. 2 8 p.m.<br />

From DC Comics comes SUPERGIRL, a contemporary, action-packed<br />

adaptation of the timeless story of one of the<br />

greatest female superheroes.<br />

“Angel From Hell” • Thursday, Nov. 5 9:30 p.m.<br />

Allison, a doctor, is organized and perfect, but her life is<br />

derailed when she meets brash, outspoken Amy, who<br />

claims to be her guardian angel in this irresistible comedy<br />

about an unlikely friendship.<br />

“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”<br />

NBC<br />

“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”<br />

Tuesday, Sept. 15 10 p.m.<br />

Five Emmy Awards and a Tony Award make multi-talented<br />

Neil Patrick Harris the perfect star for this live one-hour<br />

show that is unlike any other on American television. Anything<br />

can happen on "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,"<br />

which will feature appearances by A-list stars, stunts,<br />

comedy skits, incredible performances, mini game shows,<br />

audience giveaways and hidden camera pranks.<br />

“Blindspot” • Monday, Sept. 21 10 p.m.<br />

Why her? Why him? A beautiful woman is found naked in<br />

Times Square, covered in fresh tattoos and with no idea who<br />

she is. So why is FBI Agent Kurt Weller's name on her back?<br />

“Heroes Reborn” • Thursday, Sept. 24 8 p.m.<br />

From Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, who imagined<br />

NBC's original critically acclaimed 2006 "Heroes" series,<br />

comes "Heroes Reborn," an epic 13-episode event series<br />

that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover<br />

they possess extraordinary abilities.<br />

“The Player” • Thursday, Sept. 24 10 p.m.<br />

Wesley Snipes stars in this action-packed Las Vegas thriller<br />

about a high-stakes crime-fighting game.<br />

“Chicago Med” • Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10 p.m.<br />

Executive producer Dick Wolf delivers the newest installment<br />

of the compelling Chicago franchise, an emotional<br />

ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city's most<br />

explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors<br />

that holds it together. They will tackle unique new cases inspired<br />

by topical events, forging fiery relationships in the<br />

pulse-pounding pandemonium of the emergency room,

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 29<br />

and through it all, familiar faces from the “Chicago PD” and<br />

“Chicago Fire” departments will intertwine as this third team of<br />

Chicago heroes hits the ground running.<br />

“Rosewood”<br />

“Truth Be Told” • Friday, Oct. 16 8:30 p.m.<br />

If you can think it, they will most likely say it in this unabashed new<br />

comedy about two diverse couples - Mitch (Mark-Paul Gosselaar,<br />

"Saved by the Bell") and Tracy (Vanessa Lachey, "Dads"), and Russell<br />

(Tone Bell, "Bad Judge") and Angie (Bresha Webb, "Hung").<br />

This is a fearless foursome who are both neighbors and best<br />

friends. As they navigate through life side by side, they can't help<br />

but analyze and obsess about everything. From sex and race to<br />

anything else your parents told you never to talk about, absolutely<br />

no topic is out of bounds for this wildly outspoken group.<br />

FOX<br />

“Minority Report” •<br />

Monday, Sept. 21 9 p.m.<br />

“Minority Report”<br />

The future is coming. Based on<br />

the international blockbuster<br />

film by executive producer<br />

Steven Spielberg and the first<br />

of his films to be adapted for<br />

television, the series follows<br />

the unlikely partnership between<br />

a man haunted by the<br />

future and a cop haunted by<br />

her past, as they race to stop<br />

the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen.<br />

“Scream Queens” • Tuesday, Sept. 22 8 p.m.<br />

(two-hour premiere), Tuesday, Sept. 29 9 p.m.<br />

(time period premiere)<br />

The girls of Kappa House are<br />

dying for new pledges. “Scream<br />

Queens” is a new killer comedyhorror<br />

series from award-winning<br />

executive producers Ryan Murphy<br />

(“Glee,” “American Horror Story”),<br />

Brad Falchuk (“Glee,” “American<br />

Horror Story”) and Ian Brennan<br />

(“Glee”). Kappa House, the most<br />

sought-after sorority for pledges,<br />

is ruled with an iron fist (in a pink<br />

glove) by Chanel Oberlin (Emma<br />

Roberts, “American Horror Story:<br />

Freak Show,” “Scream 4”). But<br />

when anti-Kappa Dean Cathy Munsch<br />

(Jamie Lee Curtis, “Halloween,”<br />

“A Fish Called Wanda,”<br />

“True Lies”) decrees that sorority<br />

pledging must be open to all students,<br />

and not just the school’s silver-spooned<br />

elite, all hell is about<br />

to break loose, as a devil-clad<br />

killer begins wreaking havoc<br />

across the campus. An over-thetop,<br />

biting satire, this is part black<br />

comedy, part slasher flick and a<br />

modern take on the classic whodunit,<br />

in which every character<br />

has a motive for murder…or could easily be the next victim. The<br />

series has an all-star cast, including Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee<br />

Curtis, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Lea Michele<br />

(“Glee”), Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine,”<br />

“Zombieland,” “<strong>August</strong>: Osage County”), Nasim Pedrad<br />

(“Mulaney,” “Saturday Night Live”), Oliver Hudson (“Nashville,”<br />

“Rules of Engagement”), Skyler Samuels (“American Horror Story:<br />

Coven”), Keke Palmer (“Akeela and the Bee,” “Masters of Sex”),<br />

newcomer Billie Lourd, Diego Boneta (“Rock of Ages”), Glen Powell<br />

(“The Expendables 3”), Lucien Laviscount (“Episodes”), Niecy Nash<br />

(“Getting On,” “The Soul Man”), pop superstar and actor Nick<br />

Jonas (“Kingdom”) and Grammy Award nominee and actress Ariana<br />

Grande.<br />

“Scream Queens”<br />

“Rosewood” • Wednesday, Sept. 23 8 p.m.<br />

Meet the Beethoven of private pathologists… Set against the vibrant<br />

backdrop of one of the world’s hottest cities – Miami – new medical<br />

procedural from executive producer Todd Harthan (“Psych,” “Dominion”),<br />

this is the story of Dr. Meaumont Rosewood, Jr. (Morris<br />

Chestnut, “Nurse Jackie,” “The Best Man” franchise), the city’s top<br />

private pathologist. Brilliant, cool with tons of charisma, Rosewood<br />

teams up with a tough-as-nails detective (Jaina Lee Ortiz, “The<br />

After”), to uncover clues no one else sees and help the Miami PD<br />

solve the city’s most challenging cases.<br />

Plagued with his own set of medical ailments,<br />

Rosewood believes that every moment<br />

of life, no matter how small, should be<br />

embraced and lived to the fullest.<br />

“Grandfathered”<br />

Tuesday, Sept. 29 8 p.m.<br />

What’s the fastest way to put the brakes<br />

on a cruise-controlled bachelor lifestyle?<br />

Fatherhood? Guess again. Television icon<br />

John Stamos (“Full House,” “ER”) stars in<br />

a new comedy about the ultimate bachelor who discovers he’s not<br />

only a father, but a grandfather.<br />

“The Grinder” • Tuesday, Sept. 29 8:30 p.m.<br />

Starring Emmy Award nominee Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation,”<br />

“The West Wing”) and Emmy Award and<br />

Golden Globe Award nominee Fred Savage<br />

(“The Wonder Years”), this is a new<br />

comedy about two brothers: one a spotlight-grabbing<br />

actor who plays TV’s<br />

most popular lawyer and the other, a<br />

real-life, small-town attorney who has<br />

yet to find his spotlight. Dean Sanderson,<br />

Jr. (Lowe) spent eight seasons playing<br />

the title role on the hit legal drama<br />

“The Grinder.” When his series ends, he<br />

decides to move back to his hometown<br />

of Boise, Idaho, where his brother, Stewart<br />

(Savage), is poised to take over the<br />

family law firm. Despite having no law<br />

degree, no license to practice and no experience<br />

in an actual courtroom, Dean’s<br />

charisma and flair for the dramatic<br />

make him absolutely certain he has<br />

something to contribute to the firm.<br />

THE CW<br />

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”<br />

Monday, Oct. 19 8 p.m.<br />

The series will follow Rebecca Bunch, a<br />

single woman and her elusive pursuit of<br />

her longtime soul mate Josh, who<br />

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”<br />

dumped her while they were dating in high school in 2005. It's now<br />

<strong>2015</strong> and after being inspired by a TV commercial for a butter<br />

spread, she restarts her pursuit of Josh after she spots him in New<br />

York City. When he tells her that he is moving to West Covina, Calif.<br />

(“Just two hours from the beach, four hours in traffic”), Rebecca<br />

decides to move there as well, hoping that it will give her a fresh<br />

start and hopefully bring her closer to the still-elusive Josh.

30 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

Gold Country Helwig Winery<br />

is located in a part of Newport Beach called the Balboa<br />

Peninsula. It is a popular fishing spot and a great place to<br />

take in the view.<br />

From the SCV Newport Beach is (my preferred route) about<br />

two hours away via I-201 and I-605 S.<br />

8. Morro Bay<br />

The town's most striking feature is Morro Rock, a 576 foot<br />

high volcanic plug which stands at the entrance to the harbor.<br />

Originally it was surrounded by water, but the northern<br />

channel was filled in to make the harbor. The Rock, as locals<br />

call it, was quarried from 1889 to 1969. Public access is<br />

Finding accommodations for the long holiday weekend<br />

might be a challenge, but they can be found.<br />

Once you get to Big Sur here’s a few ideas on what to do.<br />

1. Want a short hike with a huge reward? The ½-mile/1-km<br />

round-trip Waterfall Overlook Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns<br />

State Park could be the biggest-bang-for-not-much-work.<br />

McWay Falls is an 80-foot waterfall located in Julia Pfeiffer<br />

Burns State Park that flows year-round.<br />

Originally the waterfall cascaded directly into the ocean but<br />

after a 1983 fire and 1985 landslides, the topography of<br />

McWay Cove was altered, forming an inaccessible beach.<br />

5. Just chill. Seriously. Turn off the Smartphone, iPad and<br />

Kindle and just … “be.”<br />

10. California Gold Country<br />

A visit to Columbia State Historic Park (11255 Jackson St.,<br />

Columbia, CA 95310) is like traveling back in time to the<br />

1850s and the California Gold Rush.<br />

This park presents the Gold Rush in living, breathing color.<br />

Costumed docents lead tours of this carefully preserved<br />

Mother Lode town, the state’s second largest city at the<br />

peak of the Gold Rush. In addition, these folks live and work<br />

here in a variety of period-appropriate shops and trades.<br />

Big Sur McWay Falls<br />

Big Bear Kayaking<br />

Morro Rock<br />

restricted, as the rock is peregrine falcon reserve. However,<br />

the area around the base of Morro Rock can be visited.<br />

The rock is also sometimes called “The Gibraltar of the Pacific.”<br />

There’s lots of wildlife from otters to birds to be spotted<br />

around Morro Bay.<br />

In addition, Morro Bay offers miles of unspoiled beaches,<br />

nature trails and Morro Bay National Estuary.<br />

Plan to visit Morro Bay State Park (60 State Park Road,<br />

Morro Bay, CA 93442) and The Museum of Natural History.<br />

From the SCV Morro Bay is about three, to three and half<br />

hours, away via US-101.<br />

9. Big Sur<br />

Getting to Big Sur takes a while, but it is worth the long<br />

drive. From the SCV it should take you about five and<br />

a half hours without fuel or rest stops if you go<br />

straight up the I-5 then bounce over to the 101. (Follow I-5<br />

N to Kern County. Take exit 278 from I-5 N, Get on<br />

US-101 N in Paso Robles from CA-46 W, Follow US-101 N to<br />

Abbott St in Monterey County. Take the Abbott St<br />

exit from US-101 N, Take CA-68 W and CA-1 S to your destination.<br />

The waterfall now meets the ocean when the tide is in. For<br />

directions visit<br />

www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_mcwayfalls.html.<br />

2. Drive over the Bixby Creek Bridge, a bridge you’ve seen<br />

in dozens of movies TV shows and commercials. The bridge,<br />

opened in 1932, is located along State Route 1. It is one of<br />

the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world and<br />

one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific<br />

Coast.<br />

3. Love lighthouses? Visit Point Sur State Historic Park and<br />

Lighthouse. Pt. Sur Lighthouse and its supporting lightstation<br />

buildings, stand atop a dramatic volcanic rock just offshore<br />

in Big Sur. This historic aid-to-navigation has a<br />

modern aero-beacon which still guides ships along the<br />

treacherous Central California Coast. It is on the National<br />

Register of Historic Places and a California landmark. Pt.<br />

Sur can be visited by guided walking tours year round.<br />

4. Drive down the Old Coast Road. However, make sure you<br />

have the car for this adventure. This is mostly a dirt road<br />

with ruts, high rocks and other obstacles. The views are<br />

amazing, but it can be a white knuckle experience for the<br />

timid. It is best to have AWD at least, if not a 4x4. The recommended<br />

route is just near the Bixby Bridge toward Andrew<br />

Molera State Park in Big Sur.<br />

Catch a ride on an authentic stagecoach, order a cold, locally<br />

made sarsaparilla soda in a Western-style saloon, or<br />

feel the heat in a working blacksmith's forge. There’s also a<br />

Wells Fargo express office and other relics of California's<br />

early mining days. No cars are allowed inside the “town.”<br />

Free historical tours of the park depart from the museum<br />

weekends at 11 a.m. (weekdays too, mid-June until<br />

Labor Day).<br />

Other adventures in California Gold Country include wine<br />

tasting along the way. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada<br />

Foothills is the unique wine district of Gold Country. Wineries<br />

litter historical Highway 49 and it is a great way to sample<br />

the distinct flavors of the region. Gold Country is home<br />

to more than 40 wineries, many of them family-owned and<br />

producing celebrated vintages. Generally smaller than their<br />

Napa-Sonoma counterparts, Gold Country wineries attract<br />

fewer visitors and consequently provide more access to information<br />

about the winemaking process, insights that are<br />

sometimes shared by the vintners themselves. The atmosphere<br />

is low-key and laid-back, and tasting fees are typically<br />

non-existent. For a wine tasting map visit<br />

www.californiatouristguide.com/gold-country-wineries/.<br />

From the SCV Columbia is about five hours via CA-99 N.

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 31<br />

Owner Peyman Karbalia<br />

serves up a vanilla soft<br />

serve sundae with Reese’s<br />

Pieces at Rita’s Ice<br />

Custard Happiness in<br />

Stevenson Ranch.<br />

A variety of Gelati options<br />

await you at Rita’s in<br />

Stevenson Ranch.<br />

The Yogurteria storefront in<br />

Stevenson Ranch.<br />

light and their rich, creamy custard is spectacular. The only problem is that right now, because of the widespread<br />

egg shortage in the United States, Rita’s is not serving authentic custard. I’ve been assured that<br />

this is a temporary situation. There’s just nothing that can compare to the mouth feel and the divine decadence<br />

of authentic Rita’s custard. The “soft serve” option they currently offer is not bad, it’s just not quite<br />

the “real deal.”<br />

Rita’s is still the best option for the tastiest frozen treats in the SCV.<br />

While “custard” or “soft serve” is available in classic vanilla and chocolate and usually one other flavor,<br />

from coffee to strawberry, the dozen or so Italian ices available on a daily basis vary from the always on<br />

hand Mango to include Strawberry-watermelon, Juicy Pear, Root Beer, Cantaloupe, Cotton Candy, Chocolate<br />

Chip, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Pina Colada, Swedish Fish, Key Lime and dozens of others.<br />

Owner Peyman Karbalia is a huge supporter of nonprofits in the SCV and Rita’s can be found donating to<br />

many food-related events including Taste of the Town and the Vine2Wine Classic. They also offer school<br />

fundraising opportunities.<br />

“This is such a great community and everyone has taken us in,” Karbalia said. “I just don’t understand how<br />

you can’t give back. Everyone is very family oriented and works together, and we love providing ice custard<br />

happiness to the community.”<br />

There are two locations<br />

of Rita’s in the SCV.<br />

25802 W. Hemingway Avenue<br />

Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381<br />

661-714-6841<br />

Santa Clarita’s Best Ice<br />

Cream, Frozen Yogurt<br />

and Gelato<br />

Sweet and sticky, it’s time to<br />

enjoy a hot weather treat<br />

by Michele E. Buttelman • features and entertainment editor<br />

There’s nothing that can make you feel like a kid again more than a<br />

frosty, cold, sweet and sticky summer treat. Ice cream, frozen yogurt,<br />

gelato or shaved ice, this is the season to indulge your inner<br />

child and throw calorie caution out the window.<br />

Here’s a rundown on the best frozen treats in the Santa Clarita Valley.<br />

Remember that any particular flavor might, or might not, be available on<br />

any given day as many of these stores change flavor selections on a daily<br />

basis.<br />

Best of the Best<br />

Rita’s Italian Ice<br />

Rita’s Italian Ice is the clear winner of “Best Frozen Treat” in the SCV. I first<br />

learned of Rita’s “Ice Custard Happiness” on a trip to Florida. I was devastated<br />

to return to the SCV to find that frozen “custard” was nowhere to be<br />

found. When I heard that a Rita’s would be opening in the SCV I was beside<br />

myself. Rita’s has never disappointed. Their best-selling Mango ice is a de-<br />

26773 Bouquet Canyon Road<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91350<br />

661-414-3734<br />

Best Ice Cream<br />

Baskin-Robbins<br />

Maybe I’m just fond of those little pink tasting spoons, but I think Baskin-Robbins rocks the ice cream<br />

world. I like options, and Baskin-Robbins is the king of options. They also make spectacular ice cream<br />

cakes.<br />

My current favorite ice cream is salted caramel and the Baskin-Robbins version offers a salty caramel ribbon<br />

that cuts through creamy vanilla and caramel flavored ice cream.<br />

Another great flavor is Lemon Custard. Rich and cream, with a soft lemon flavor, this is decadence in a cup<br />

(or cone).<br />

And who doesn’t like Mint Chocolate Chip? The top 5 selling Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavors are Vanilla,<br />

Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pralines 'n Cream and Chocolate Chip.<br />

I’m a huge fan of both Mint Chocolate Chip and Pralines ‘n Cream, so clearly I am their target audience.<br />

Baskin-Robbins "31" was created to represent a different ice cream flavor for each day of the month. The<br />

"31 Flavors" concept was introduced into marketing efforts in 1953.<br />

There are five Baskin-Robbins<br />

locations in the SCV.<br />

31826 Castaic Road<br />

Castaic, CA 91384<br />

661-775-0999<br />

25884 The Old Road<br />

Stevenson Ranch, CA 9138<br />

661-284-1331<br />

26582 Bouquet Canyon Road<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 9135<br />

661-297-2131<br />

23432 Lyons Ave.<br />

Newhall, CA 91321 • 661-255-5131<br />

18827 Soledad Canyon Rd<br />

Canyon Country, CA 91351<br />

661- 298-3131<br />

The newest Tutti Frutti<br />

Frozen Yogurt store<br />

recently opened<br />

in Canyon Country.<br />

A scoop of mint chip<br />

ice cream at the<br />

Baskin-Robbins store<br />

in Castaic.<br />

The “Sweet 8” promise<br />

at Yogurteria.<br />

See Best Ice Cream, page 32<br />

The Castaic Baskin-<br />

Robbins location<br />

along Castaic Road.

32 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

A bowl of watermelon<br />

frozen yogurt at Tutti<br />

Fruitti Frozen Yogurt.<br />

Cold Stone Creamery<br />

Cold Stone offers not only great ice cream but also shakes,<br />

smoothies and frappes. They make great ice cream cakes<br />

and practically invented the entire “mix-in” concept where<br />

customers “customize” their ice cream experience by<br />

adding in a variety of nuts, fruits, candy pieces and other<br />

flavors.<br />

I am a huge fan of the cake batter ice cream with marshmallows,<br />

coconut and chocolate chips.<br />

I was thrilled to find black licorice ice cream one summer,<br />

many moons ago at Cold Stone. Of course, I was the only<br />

person in the country that bought that flavor and I’ve<br />

never seen it again. However, I remember it with great<br />

fondness.<br />

There are two Cold Stone Creamery<br />

locations in the SCV.<br />

27071 McBean Parkway<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91355<br />

661-253-4123<br />

18740-A Soledad Canyon Road<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91351<br />

661- 252-1300<br />

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor Restaurants<br />

21516 Golden Triangle Road<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91350<br />

661-253-4386<br />

Ben & Jerry’s<br />

23630 Valencia Blvd<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91355<br />

661-253-1666<br />

Dairy Queen<br />

26541 Bouquet Canyon Road<br />

Saugus, CA 91350<br />

661-263-0786<br />

Best Frozen Yogurt<br />

Planet Yogurt<br />

Adjacent to the Regal Edwards Theater on Town Center<br />

Drive, next to Salt Creek Grille Planet Yogurt wins my loyalty<br />

because of the Dole Pineapple and Orange soft serve<br />

(yes, this is the same Dole Pineapple served at Disneyland)<br />

. Also, the owners, Robert and Peggy Catrini, are usually<br />

on the premises. I like to support small business that cares<br />

enough to work the business, not just turn the keys over to<br />

a 16-year-old working his or her first job. In addition to the<br />

great selection of frozen yogurt and topping options they<br />

also offer protein shakes for the folks working out at the<br />

nearby Gold’s Gym. The quality offered at Planet Yogurt is<br />

obviously from the first taste. I also like the toys set up on<br />

the patio to entertain young children. These folks “get it.”<br />

Clean, comfortable and friendly, this is the place to go for<br />

frozen yogurt. Check out which movie will earn you a discount<br />

on your purchase, too, it is always posted prominently<br />

in front of the store.<br />

24415 Town Center Drive<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661- 254-2471<br />

Yogurtland<br />

I was very impressed with Yogurtland, not only do they<br />

have 16 flavors “on tap” they also had a mind-blowing 48<br />

toppings. The salted caramel yogurt was thick and dreamy.<br />

24266 Valencia Blvd<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661- 291-6530<br />

Yogurteria<br />

This is another impressive frozen yogurt shop. I liked the<br />

“Sweet 8,” frozen yogurt that is fat and cholesterol free,<br />

contains active yogurt cultures, safe for most diabetics and<br />

those with lactose intolerance, no artificial sweeteners,<br />

gluten free, contains calcium and fiber and is only eight<br />

calories per ounce. Sweet 8 flavors include vanilla and<br />

Fudge Brownie. Traditional frozen yogurt offerings included<br />

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Salted Carmel Corn, Mango<br />

Sorbet, Vanilla Custard, Blueberry, Marshmallow Crème,<br />

Cake Batter, Strawberry Banana, Coffee, Nutella and Pomegranate<br />

Raspberry Sorbet. There is a stellar selection of<br />

toppings, including those strawberry, mango and yogurt<br />

poppers that I adore.<br />

25914 The Old Road<br />

Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381<br />

661-255-5085<br />

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt<br />

24244 Lyons Ave<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91321<br />

661-260-3928<br />

19401 Soledad Canyon Road<br />

Canyon Country, CA 91351<br />

661- 367-4733<br />

Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt<br />

24921 Pico Canyon Road<br />

Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381<br />

661-753-9788<br />

24317 Magic Mountain Parkway<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661- 253-2021<br />

A bowl of Dole<br />

Orange soft serve<br />

at Plant Yogurt<br />

next to the Regal<br />

Edwards Theater<br />

on Town Center<br />

Drive in Valencia.<br />

Lulu’s Froyo<br />

26555 Golden Valley Road<br />

Santa Clarita, CA 91350<br />

661- 254-2130<br />

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt<br />

24201 Valencia Blvd<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661-260-3900<br />

28273 Newhall Ranch Road<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661- 678-0753<br />

Best Alternative Treat<br />

Gelado<br />

This store, located on Newhall Avenue in Newhall is in the<br />

same shopping center as Savia, Dollar Tree and Starbucks.<br />

It offers gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt and other<br />

desserts.<br />

This is gelato taken to the next level. It is gourmet, adventurous<br />

and exciting.<br />

The store is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Owners Karina<br />

and Francisco Aguilar, and their son Christian, can be found<br />

at the shop scooping up rich and delightful gelato, sorbet<br />

and other tasty treats in very unique flavors.<br />

I recently experienced the rich, dense and delightful pistachio<br />

gelato. It makes you close your eyes and just savor the<br />

experience.<br />

I also tasted several other flavors including “Hemp” (Yes!<br />

Hemp!) and Gansito (think of it as a Mexican Twinkie covered<br />

in chocolate).<br />

There wasn’t a bad taste in the bunch.<br />

Other flavors include Green Apple, Fresh Cheese, Tiramisu,<br />

Rocky Road, Milk Chocolate, Stracciatella, Chocolate Mint,<br />

Cap’n Crunch, Popcorn, Gingerbread, Coconut, Oreo and<br />

more. They also had mango and strawberry sorbet. A<br />

freezer case full of fruity paletas was hard to resist. Flavors<br />

included watermelon, chocolate banana, Mexican pecan,<br />

mango and mint, strawberries and cream, kiwi limeade and<br />

papaya and chia.<br />

Gelado bills itself as offering “frozen and spicy treats.”<br />

I did not try the habanero chocolate, but I’ve heard from<br />

others that it is very good and not too spicy.<br />

Francisco is the creative force behind these unique and<br />

wonderful flavors. I urge you to check out this great addition<br />

to the frozen treat landscape.<br />

23762 Newhall Ave<br />

Newhall, CA 91321<br />

661- 291-1483<br />

Open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.<br />

Milkshake Mania<br />

Yes, it is all about the milkshake here. The concept is simple,<br />

to make your shake choose from ice cream, non-dairy<br />

ice cream or frozen yogurt, choose your size, choose your<br />

flavor (prices include syrup and one flavor) and add a top<br />

or bottom to your milkshake (like blue raspberry pop rocks<br />

or mini marshmallows). A few of the flavors offered include<br />

Nutella, Oreo, peanut butter, Pop Tarts, red velvet cake,<br />

cookie dough, glazed donut , cherry, coconut, mango, Milky<br />

Way, Almond Joy, Kit Kat and dozens more. You can add<br />

malt, mocha, protein or chocolate protein powders, too.<br />

Syrups include coffee, caramel, chocolate, raspberry and<br />

strawberry.<br />

If you prefer you can order<br />

one of the suggested milkshakes,<br />

I tried the Pink<br />

Monkey, which is a strawberry-banana<br />

milkshake. It<br />

was thick, rich and delicious.<br />

Among the other options:<br />

Tropical Paradise (pineapple,<br />

coconut and banana),<br />

Wake Up Call (glazed donut<br />

and mocha), Everything<br />

(peanut butter, Oreo, Rice<br />

Krispies), Chucky Monkey<br />

(banana, chocolate chips, mocha), Cereal Killer (Apple<br />

Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, PB Cap’n Crunch) and Black<br />

‘n White (cookie dough and Oreos).<br />

They also offer floats that combine ice cream with your<br />

choice of Classic Coke, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, Cherry Coke,<br />

Orange Fanta or Vanilla Coke.<br />

Gelado owners Karina and<br />

Francisco Aguilar with their<br />

son, Christian, center.<br />

27530 Newhall Ranch Road<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661- 607-0690<br />

Shave It<br />

24201 Valencia Blvd<br />

Valencia, CA 91355<br />

661-254-0423<br />

Located next to the Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle store in the<br />

Westfield Valencia Town Center.<br />

This store has great Hawaiian-style shave ice, but is consistently<br />

understaffed. It’s almost if they feel that “island<br />

time” is part of the entire shave ice experience. If you need<br />

to work on learning patience, this is your place. However, if<br />

you “hang in there” the reward is great.

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 33<br />

<strong>Westside</strong> People<br />

PRofile: saRa and todd tisdell<br />

Castaic family opens craft brewery<br />

By Michele E. Buttelman<br />

Features and Entertainment Editor<br />

It was a gift of coincidence that found Castaic resident Todd<br />

Tisdell, and his brother-in-law Geoff Pocock, developing a<br />

taste for making craft brew.<br />

Tisdell gifted Pocock with a craft beer making kit for Christmas<br />

and Tisdell’s mother-in-law gave him the same gift.<br />

“She thought it was something that Geoff and I could do together,”<br />

he said.<br />

The serendipity of that Christmas gift has led Castaic residents<br />

Sara and Todd Tisdell and Geoff Pocock and Lauren<br />

Cook to join forces to open the Santa Clarita Valley’s second<br />

craft beer tasting room.<br />

Located on Avenue Tibbetts in the Valencia Industrial Center,<br />

Pocock Brewing Company is still a month away from opening.<br />

Holiday Light Tour winners<br />

The Tisdells are receiving a lot of attention in the SCV for<br />

their brewing efforts, but the couple is not unfamiliar with the<br />

limelight.<br />

Their previous obsession, an “over-the-top” holiday light<br />

display in the front yard of their Hasley Canyon home, earned<br />

them the grand prize in 2008 and 2011 local holiday light tour<br />

contests, as well as “must see” recommendations from hundreds<br />

of SCV residents.<br />

The brewery project, however, found the Tisdells unable to<br />

command the time and effort to mount their annual light display<br />

last holiday season, to the disappointment of many families<br />

who made the trek out to their Castaic home.<br />

“Last year we had a lot of disappointed people drive up the<br />

street,” said Todd Tisdell. “They would drive up, turn off their<br />

lights, wait 45 seconds, turn their lights back on and drive<br />

away. I am so sorry. I had such guilt about it.”<br />

Sara Tisdell echoed her husband’s feelings.<br />

“It was so sad, so heartbreaking for us, but it is a huge time<br />

comittment, and so is this,” she said. “We couldn’t do both.”<br />

Todd Tisdell said it is unlikely that the mammoth and intricate<br />

lighting display will return this year, either.<br />

“Here it is almost September and we still need to get the<br />

brewery up and running and the Christmas lights need to be<br />

started in October,” he said. “So I don’t think it will happen this<br />

year, maybe next year.”<br />

Sara and Todd Tisdell<br />

The Tisdells were married at the Queen Mary in 1999 and<br />

moved to Castaic in 2005.<br />

Todd Tisdell was raised in Anaheim and Yorba Linda and<br />

Sara Tisdell grew up in Riverside.<br />

The couple met in 1996 in a film production class at Chap-<br />

It’s a family affair for Pocock Brewing Company. From top, left to right,<br />

Spencer Tisdell, Emma Tisdell, Lauren Cook, Geoff Pocock and Sara and<br />

Todd Tisdell.<br />

man College. They have two children, Emma, 11, and Spencer,<br />

8. The children attend Live Oak Elementary School.<br />

After Tisdell received his Masters degree in producing from<br />

Chapman, he went to work in the entertainment business.<br />

At one time he worked simultaneously on four shows in the<br />

“docutainment” genre. In the summer of 2001 all four shows<br />

ended their runs and he waited for a new batch of shows to<br />

spin up in the fall.<br />

However, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “docutainment”<br />

production shifted to news and he turned to a real estate<br />

career.<br />

“I had been doing some real estate investing so I got my real<br />

estate license and opened up Citrus Grove Real Estate and<br />

Lending,” he said. “There’s two ‘mes,’ there is one that likes to<br />

build and make things, that’s the guy who loves to do the<br />

Christmas lights and why I was in the TV business, then there’s<br />

the me that is this serial entrepreneur.”<br />

Tisdell said he has always been self-employed.<br />

“Real estate is satisfying, but in a different way than having<br />

a project,” he said. “Christmas lights gave me a project and so<br />

has craft beer.”<br />

Loving Castaic<br />

“We moved out here in 2005 from West Hills,” said Sara Tisdell.<br />

“We moved out here for the kids. We wanted to be in a<br />

place where they could have space, have the good schools and<br />

the community.”<br />

The Tisdells looked at property in Sand Canyon, but decided<br />

they preferred the less dense community of Halsey Canyon.<br />

“We moved out here right before Emma turned 1,” said Sara<br />

Tisdell, a stay-at-home mom. “We fell in love with the community.”<br />

Sara Tisdell said Castaic residents have been very supportive<br />

of the brewery project.<br />

“Castaic is a very close knit community,” she said. “Once we<br />

started talking about doing the brewery we’ve received a huge<br />

amount of support from the community of Castaic. Everybody<br />

wants to know how it is going, they ask, ‘What can we do to<br />

help?’ Can we come over and help paint?’ ‘Can we do anything?’<br />

It’s just a genuine desire to help each other out, which<br />

is appealing.”<br />

Pocock Brewery<br />

“We’re a big team,” said Sara Tisdell. “Pocock is my maiden<br />

name.”<br />

She comes by her interest in craft beer honestly. Her grandparents<br />

ran the British Volunteer pub, in Ashford, Kent, England<br />

for decades.<br />

Todd Tisdell said one of Pocock’s beers (an English bitter) is<br />

named British Volunteer, in honor of the pub.<br />

“My brother (Geoff Pocock) and I were raised on English<br />

beers, that is what we were exposed to first and we developed<br />

an appreciation for English beer,” said Sara Tisdell.<br />

Todd Tisdell and Pocock are the primary beer “chefs” at<br />

Pocock Brewing Company, but Sara Tisdell said she also<br />

throws in her ideas from time to time.<br />

“Geoff and I have been home brewing for a long time,” Todd<br />

Tisdell said. “At first we used the recipes in the kits, then we<br />

started inventing our own recipes and sometimes they were<br />

good, and sometimes not so good.”<br />

The beer brewing soon moved from hobby to passion.<br />

“Two to three years ago our friends told us we should sell<br />

this beer. They told us ‘this beer is good enough to sell.’ But<br />

they are friends and you don’t really believe friends when they<br />

tell you that kind of thing.”<br />

But Pocock and Tisdell soon took their beer “on the road” to<br />

corporate parties, weddings and other events.<br />

After pouring their beer for strangers they discovered that<br />

the beer received the same response it had from friends.<br />

“It was mid-2013 when we decided to go down this road<br />

and then we were brewing every weekend,” he said. “Now it’s<br />

grown to this (the Pocock Brewing Company tasting room).”<br />

What appeals to Todd Tisdell is that brewing is “an interesting<br />

blend of cooking and science.”<br />

“I have one of those brains that like to do both left and right<br />

brain (activities),” he said. “Brewing beer satisfies both sides of<br />

my brain.”<br />

Craft beer<br />

“Geoff and I are the brewers, we create the recipes,” said<br />

Todd Tisdell. “And we don’t just make one kind of beer. We are<br />

the driving force behind the flavors and we have a variety of<br />

beers.”<br />

Tisdell describes being a craft brewer as more “chef” than<br />

“mass producer.”<br />

“We are constantly playing with recipes and tweaking things<br />

here and there,” he said.<br />

Currently Pocock Brewing Company has developed a few<br />

“staples” including the British Volunteer (an English bitter),<br />

an American pale ale, called First 13 and a beer called Nuptials,<br />

which is a mango pale ale.<br />

“That’s a very popular beer that we made for a wedding,” he<br />

said. “Lots of people like that one.”<br />

Also offered will be two IPAs, a single and double IPA, a West<br />

Coast Red, a chocolate stout and an imperial stout.<br />

“Our vibe here is going to be really casual and mellow, a<br />

‘come in, hang out, taste some beer,’ kind of place,” said Tisdell.<br />

“This is beer for people who like beer, not beer to get<br />

drunk. This is beer for people who want one or two interesting<br />

tastes for the evening.”<br />

After the tasting room opens Tisdell is planning on inviting<br />

food trucks to hang out on the weekends.<br />

“The tasting room is not a huge space,” he said. “But we want<br />

Todd Tisdell, and his brother-in-law Geoff Pocock, test a batch of beer in<br />

the middle of the brewing process to determine if the beer is developing<br />

properly. See Profile:Tisdells, page 36

34 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

o u t & a B o u t i n t h e sCV<br />

The kids are now back in school and<br />

the Santa Clarita Valley is alive with<br />

the sound of fundraisers. <strong>August</strong><br />

has been a busier than expected month<br />

with fundraisers to benefit the Friends of<br />

Hart Park, Circle of Hope, Inc., Henry<br />

Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and<br />

Carousel Ranch.<br />

Silents under the Stars<br />

The Friends of Hart Park celebrated<br />

their 20th annual Silents Under the<br />

Stars on Aug. 8. Seen at the event were<br />

Patty and RJ Kelly, Bob and Diane<br />

Benjamin, Diana Vose and Ernest<br />

Guaderrama, Charles Epting and<br />

Hadley McGregor of Huntington<br />

Beach in vintage dress, Richard<br />

Green (of Green Landscape Nursery),<br />

Patti and Charlie Rasmussen, Evie<br />

Leslie, Marsha and Dale McLean, Laurene<br />

Weste and James McCarthy and<br />

Linda Lambourne.<br />

Vine2Wine Classic<br />

The Vine2Wine Classic relocated this<br />

year to the Santa Clarita Activities Center<br />

while their home in the Main Gallery<br />

of Cal Arts undergoes renovation. I<br />

rather enjoyed the ample seating and<br />

smaller crowd. It was a classy and sassy<br />

event, enjoyed by all. Seen at the event:<br />

Jimmy Carnelli, Dante Acosta, Judy<br />

Penman, Beth Heiserman, Sharon<br />

Lindquist, Ellen Como, Oriana John,<br />

Cheryl Gray, Carolyn Lodes, Lois<br />

Bauccio, Danise Davis, Adele<br />

Macpherson, Chris Miller, Laina Mcferren,<br />

Mike and Ann Marie Bjorkman,<br />

Gloria Mercado-Fortine and<br />

Bruce Fortine, Scott and Vanessa<br />

Wilk, Ray Tippet, Tami Edwards, Janice<br />

Murray, Laura Kirchoff, Chris and<br />

Tom Hough, Amanda Etcheverry,<br />

Pam Ingram, Marc Winger and Eileen<br />

Mann and Pam Ripling.<br />

Shelley Hann Visits SCV<br />

Former Westridge resident Shelley<br />

Hann (currently living in San Francisco)<br />

recently returned<br />

for a<br />

brief visit to<br />

her old<br />

stomping<br />

grounds.<br />

She was<br />

sighted at<br />

Larsen’s<br />

Steakhouse<br />

in Valencia,<br />

sharing a<br />

copy of the<br />

<strong>Westside</strong><br />

<strong>Reader</strong><br />

with her<br />

Chris Aldieri, Mike Lebecki<br />

and Shelley Hann<br />

friends<br />

Mike Lebecki and Chris Aldieri. Hann<br />

all hot august nights this<br />

month in the sCV<br />

by Michele E. Buttelman<br />

Features & Entertainment Editor<br />

said she plans more frequent trips to<br />

the SCV to visit in the future. Hann was<br />

well-known in the SCV for her support<br />

of SCV nonprofits and her elegant party<br />

and event planning skills.<br />

Jimmy Carnelli offers up Sinatra<br />

standards<br />

On the first and third Thursday of the<br />

month you can find SCV singing sensation<br />

Jimmy Carnelli channeling his<br />

inner Sinatra at Casa de Pizza, (16161<br />

San Fernando Mission Blvd, Granada<br />

Hills, CA 91344, 818-366-6311). The<br />

family-run restaurant has been a staple<br />

for 50 years and once entertained a<br />

visit from Frank Sinatra himself. In<br />

other news, Carnelli recently traveled to<br />

Australia for a month with the band,<br />

Player (biggest hit “Baby Come Back”).<br />

Carnelli is the band’s new drummer.<br />

Look for Player and Ambrosia to join<br />

forces for a possible West Coast Tour.<br />

Who’s ready for Cocktails on the<br />

Roof?<br />

The WiSH Education Foundation will<br />

be hosting Cocktails on the Roof to benefit<br />

the William S. Hart School District<br />

on Friday, Sept 18. Tickets are $75 general<br />

admission with $55 designated<br />

drive tickets also available. Buy your<br />

tickets early because the price goes up<br />

to $95 at the door. The event features<br />

SCV restaurants serving signature cocktails<br />

and food pairings in an outdoor,<br />

rooftop party atmosphere. Cocktails on<br />

the Roof will be held 7-10 p.m. on the<br />

top level of the Town Center Parking<br />

Garage near the Macy's Bridge. For information<br />

or tickets visit www.wishscv.org,<br />

661-799-9474.<br />

Michael Hoefflin Foundation for<br />

Children's Cancer<br />

The 22nd Annual Evening Under the<br />

Stars to benefit the Michael Hoefflin<br />

Foundation for Children's Cancer will<br />

be held Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Robinson<br />

Ranch Golf Club. The event, one of<br />

the stellar nonprofit events in the Santa<br />

Clarita Valley, is held in memory of<br />

young Michael Hoefflin, the son of<br />

Chris and Sue Hoefflin, who died at<br />

age 11 from brain cancer.<br />

This year’s Gala Dinner and Charity<br />

Auction is chaired by Tim and Jenny<br />

Ketchepaw, and Brenda Neilson. This<br />

year’s entertainment will be a country<br />

music performance by the Kelly Rae<br />

Band. Tickets start at $150 each. For<br />

more information call 661-250-4100 or<br />

www.mhf.org.<br />

Michele E. Buttelman is the features<br />

and entertainment editor of The <strong>Westside</strong><br />

<strong>Reader</strong>. She can be reached by email<br />

at Michele@<strong>Westside</strong><strong>Reader</strong>.com.<br />

Oaks Grille<br />

continued from page 25<br />

moist, mild and reminiscent of salmon. The<br />

beets and potatoes add a touch of sweetness<br />

to the dish with the pancetta offering a<br />

slightly salty note. I highly recommend this<br />

entrée, especially if you enjoy salmon.<br />

Also on the summer menu is a Summer<br />

Risotto with beets, summer squash, wild organic<br />

mushrooms, cipollini onions, roasted<br />

corn and finished with shaved Parmigianino<br />

Reggiano ($23); Cioppino with Manila clams,<br />

prawns, fish, spicy tomato broth, fresh herbs<br />

and served with charred bread ($27); 10 oz.<br />

Cold Water Lobster Tail (market price) and<br />

Chilean Sea Bass with white asparagus<br />

risotto, orange segment and a wild arugula<br />

and blood orange vinaigrette (market price).<br />

For those seeking heartier fare the entrée<br />

menu also includes Durham Ranch Bison NY<br />

with smashed fried potatoes, a wilted<br />

arugula salad of roasted corn and heirloom<br />

tomatoes and finished with a chimichurri<br />

sauce ($47); Flame Grilled Wild Boar Rack<br />

with potato puree, balsamic cipollini onions,<br />

roasted apples, blackberry jam with a wine<br />

reduction ($38).<br />

An Angus Filet ($42) and Free Range “Airline”<br />

Chicken ($28) complete the entrée<br />

menu.<br />

The three pastas on the summer menu include<br />

Beef Cheek Ragu with Casarecce pasta,<br />

Fire Cracker Duck Drumettes are flash fried and<br />

tossed in a spicy hoisin sauce with fresh cilantro and<br />

lime ($15).<br />

($24); a gluten free Penne Pomodoro ($17)<br />

and Clam Pasta with squid ink pasta ($28).<br />

Burgers and sandwiches range in price<br />

from $13 to $19 and include the Oaks Burger,<br />

Smoked chicken Avocado Melt, Pacific Rim<br />

Turkey Burger, Open Faced Rib Eye Sandwich,<br />

Traditional Club Sandwich, Chicken<br />

Bon Mi, Grilled Salmon Sandwich and Fish<br />

Tacos.<br />

Salads include a Spinach Salad with strawberries,<br />

Marcona almonds, goat cheese, cranberries<br />

and an apple poppy seed vinaigrette<br />

($10). This is one of my favorites because the<br />

almonds add a nice crunch and the goat<br />

cheese lends a nice balance to the sweet of<br />

the strawberries. The salad is perfectly<br />

dressed and well composed.<br />

Other salads include a traditional Caesar<br />

($11); Iceberg Wedge ($10); Farro Salad<br />

($16) and the Oak’s Salad with organic<br />

greens, Asian pear, candied pecans, red<br />

grapes, dried cranberries, fried shallots with<br />

a Champagne vinaigrette ($12).<br />

Poulsen has crafted the Oakmont Cobb<br />

salad for TPC’s nearby neighbors in the Oakmont<br />

neighborhood. The salad features baby<br />

greens and iceberg lettuce, heirloom tomatoes,<br />

cucumbers, egg, duck fat potatoes,<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

Spinach Salad with strawberries, Marcona almonds,<br />

goat cheese, cranberries and an apple poppy seed<br />

vinaigrette. ($10).<br />

bacon, avocado, grilled wild salmon and buttermilk<br />

herb dressing ($18).<br />

I often order from the appetizer or starter<br />

menus at restaurants because it allows me to<br />

chose a variety of tastes rather than commit<br />

to just one protein or style of food.<br />

The starters at The Oaks Grille include<br />

something for everyone. Among the standouts<br />

are the Fire Cracker Duck Drumettes<br />

($15) with are flash fried and tossed in a<br />

spicy hoisin sauce and garnished with fresh<br />

cilantro and lime. Duck is among my favorite<br />

foods and Poulsen has treated this duck with<br />

serious respect. The spicy hoisin sauce is hot,<br />

but it is the “right” kind of heat, the kind that<br />

builds to a perfect plateau and enhances the<br />

flavor the duck.<br />

I also enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Crudo ($17)<br />

which features sushi grade tuna with cucumbers,<br />

tomatoes, avocado mouse, green onion,<br />

peanuts, a sweet soy vinaigrette and topped<br />

with Togarashi wonton strips. If you want to<br />

add a little heat, run the tuna through the<br />

Sriracha paint on the side of the plate. This is<br />

fresh, light and very satisfying. The presentation<br />

is a true work of art, as well.<br />

You can never go wrong with the Street<br />

Pork Tacos ($13). Braised pork, soft corn tortillas,<br />

salsa verde, red onion, cilantro and<br />

lime. What’s not to love?<br />

The Lamb Sliders plate ($15) gives guests<br />

three sliders with chorizo, farmhouse cheese,<br />

water cress, date ketchup and caramelized<br />

onions.<br />

Starters also include Ceviche ($18), Southwestern<br />

Egg Rolls ($12), Coconut Shrimp<br />

($17), Chicken Tenders ($10) and a Charcuterie<br />

plate with the chef’s choice of daily selections<br />

($17).<br />

I do miss the cheese plate that used to be a<br />

staple of the starters menu. Poulsen said the<br />

cheese plate is still available, but only for<br />

members of TPC. He believes in giving the<br />

members a “special” menu to enhance the<br />

value of their membership status.<br />

Not a bad idea, but I still miss the cheese<br />

plate.<br />

The heavily-laden “old school” dessert tray<br />

that used to be presented to guests is gone,<br />

replaced with a small dessert menu (subject<br />

to change) that currently features: Big Fat<br />

Chocolate Cake ($10); New York Cheesecake<br />

($9); Chocolate Lave Cake ($10); Chef’s Selection<br />

Crème Brulee ($9); Chocolate Chip<br />

Bread Pudding ($10) and a seasonal selection<br />

that rotates frequently.<br />

The Oaks Grille also serves breakfast Friday<br />

through Sunday. The menu includes a variety<br />

of egg dishes, Belgian waffles/French<br />

toast and other breakfast favorites.<br />

The Oaks Grille at Tournament Players Club,<br />

26550 Heritage View Dr., Valencia, CA 91381,<br />

661-288-1995. Hours: Tuesday 11 a.m. – 4:30<br />

p.m. (bar open until 6 p.m. with Happy Hour<br />

menu); Wednesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9<br />

p.m.; Friday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday<br />

7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (bar open until 6 p.m. with<br />

Happy Hour menu.) WR

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong> <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong> • 35<br />

g a R d e n g at e s<br />

designing the ‘new<br />

Climate’ landscape<br />

is the new chic<br />

by Jane Gates<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Sometimes fashion styles seem frivolous.<br />

Other times they are driven by<br />

practical demands. In the case of<br />

landscaping, the current lack of rain —<br />

following a series of hard drought years<br />

over the past few decades — is defining a<br />

whole new style of gardening. Even if we<br />

do enjoy a generous ‘El Nino’ year in the<br />

near future, it will take a long-lasting radical<br />

turnabout to return the ground<br />

water and our storage areas to predrought<br />

levels. Yet a garden built for the<br />

current new climate will thrive and look<br />

gorgeous whatever the weather sends us<br />

— a trend setter for long-lasting style.<br />

Fear has people worrying that they can<br />

only have Arizona-type cactus and rock<br />

gardens. Or worse, flat seas of dull gravel<br />

(which, ironically, is a non-living version<br />

of the blank seas of lawn we are addicted<br />

to). But the truth is that water-wise landscapes<br />

can be designed in any style you<br />

want. All it takes is some creativity, imagination<br />

and a willingness to break away<br />

from limited thinking. The new fashion is<br />

making front yards of boring green lawn<br />

look dated and unattractive. Instead, liberation<br />

from the thirsty “emerald sward”<br />

that has held us imprisoned for nearly a<br />

century is allowing us to play with textures,<br />

colors and materials that open a<br />

limitless opportunity to design works-ofart<br />

landscapes that are interesting, glamorous,<br />

unique and in harmony with our<br />

environment (which means less maintenance<br />

and pollution — good-bye gasoline-stink<br />

mower-blowers).<br />

So…where to begin? There is enough<br />

information on this subject for another<br />

book — or two, but for the moment, let<br />

me tease your thoughts with some ideas.<br />

Let’s start off with non-living materials<br />

that require neither fussing nor irrigation<br />

and can last for decades.<br />

One direction to go is to add some enjoyable,<br />

useful space to your yard. Extend<br />

your living space outdoors by adding a<br />

sport court, a putting green (of easy-care<br />

synthetic lawn), a patio for entertaining,<br />

a meditation nook, a child or pet play<br />

area, an outdoor room or some other<br />

space that pays you back for the taxes<br />

you spend on your property. Make your<br />

yard as valuable and decorative as your<br />

house, then enjoy more time outdoors<br />

getting vitamin D and releasing your<br />

everyday stress. (Create your own easy<br />

and comfortable home therapy garden!)<br />

You can even design your space to echo<br />

your favorite vacation spot. Use bamboo,<br />

wicker (or durable vinyl look-alike materials)<br />

to create a tropical theme. Use<br />

areas of gravel and sand, a boulder or<br />

two and some cast cement décor to build<br />

a Japanese garden. Or add a white picket<br />

fence, an archway, a romantic swing or<br />

bench and a drought-tolerant garden to<br />

invent an English cottage garden in your<br />

This Asian shed not only offers storage, but a focal<br />

point to set the mood in a Japanese style garden.<br />

yard. Color can also be a theme as in an<br />

all red, yellow, purple or white garden, a<br />

garden of soft pastels, cool colors (blues<br />

and purples) or hot hues (reds, oranges<br />

and yellows).<br />

Then there are the plants. Some<br />

drought-tolerant plants bloom with<br />

showy, colorful flowers — like the Desert<br />

Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinea gilesseii)<br />

or the native Wooly Blue Curls (Tricostemma<br />

lanatum) or the Matilija<br />

Poppy (Romneya coulterii) while others<br />

offer green color year round. Some have<br />

short-lived brilliant flower shows<br />

whereas others flower more demurely<br />

for longer periods of time. Some have foliage<br />

as colorful as flowers, others have<br />

interesting leaves or textures. The trick<br />

is to plant the right plants in the right<br />

place and to coordinate them with their<br />

colors or textures so you have a concert<br />

of beauty — areas that blaze up like the<br />

trumpet section or the woodwinds in a<br />

symphony — then slip into the background<br />

while another section (like the<br />

strings) take over. This creates shifting<br />

focal points and a garden that maintains<br />

interest all year round.<br />

Blend your non-living materials with<br />

the living members of your landscape<br />

and you can design a work of art that is<br />

totally unique, fits into your own taste<br />

and lifestyle, yet consumes little water<br />

and demands minimal upkeep. You might<br />

be surprised at how many interesting —<br />

and sometimes free — materials you can<br />

use to build your water-wise garden. The<br />

drought doesn’t have to be bad news for<br />

home landscapes at all; it’s an opportunity<br />

to upgrade your garden to the new<br />

chic! WR<br />

Jane Gates, owner of Gates & Croft Horticultural<br />

Design, author of “All the Garden’s<br />

a Stage” (Schiffer Books) and<br />

“Design a Theme Garden” (Amazon.com),<br />

is a professional garden speaker, landscape<br />

designer/consultant and a practicing<br />

artist and illustrator. An avid gardener<br />

here in Santa Clarita, you can find her at<br />

www.gatesandcroft.com and www.gardengates.info.

36 • <strong>Westside</strong> <strong>Reader</strong><br />

w h at a Pa i R!<br />

Muscat grapes among<br />

the most versatile<br />

There are more than 200 varieties of Muscat<br />

grapes that produce wines from dry to sweet.<br />

<strong>August</strong> <strong>2015</strong><br />

by Beth P. Heiserman<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

There are wine<br />

snobs, aficionados<br />

of fine wine, individuals<br />

who love wine,<br />

and those who just enjoy<br />

wine. There is no right or<br />

wrong in wine, it’s what<br />

appeals to your palate that<br />

matters.<br />

When sampling a flight<br />

of wine in a tasting room<br />

make sure you sample the<br />

wines from light to dark,<br />

then to sweet or sparkling<br />

for the best experience.<br />

Always remember<br />

when tasting wine at a<br />

winery, or a wine bar, you<br />

don’t have to drink all of it;<br />

there are usually<br />

spit/dump buckets on the<br />

counter. Drinking bad<br />

wine may hinder your experience. Wine is<br />

subjective. Everyone has different tastes.<br />

What I like, you might not.<br />

I recently went with a friend for her first<br />

wine tasting experience to Solvang.<br />

I had gone to a winery where they knew<br />

my father and they would pour us more than<br />

the normal amount. She had no idea you didn’t<br />

have to drink everything in her glass after<br />

the first winery she commented she already<br />

felt a bit drunk.<br />

She also said she didn’t really like the taste<br />

of some of the wine and she preferred the<br />

whites. I told her “feel free to dump the ones<br />

you don’t care for.” She had no idea that it was<br />

“okay” not to finish her glass.<br />

We ended up going to a little Danish market…and<br />

$100 later; well… you know how it<br />

is at little Danish markets... I have learned<br />

through the years not to shop when you are<br />

hungry, because everything looks good.<br />

My mom always said I have “big eyes and a<br />

little stomach.” But on this jaunt we bought<br />

cheese, mustard, jam, fruit, chocolate. You<br />

name it, we bought it!<br />

When tasting wine make sure to eat crackers,<br />

which help for two reasons, first it helps<br />

to clear your palate in between wines and<br />

second it helps to keep something in your<br />

stomach.<br />

Drinking on a full stomach is a good choice.<br />

Occasionally, crackers or other food that pairs<br />

well with a vineyard’s wines, are available.<br />

Pairing food with the wine you taste will<br />

enhance the flavor and give you a better experience.<br />

In the tasting room at Reyes Winery, I always<br />

have goodies that vary each week. One<br />

of our local markets, which has a bulk section<br />

and one of my favorite pairings are lemon<br />

crème almonds to pair with Reyes’ 2011<br />

Muscat. This is a lighter tasting Muscat with<br />

aromas of Meyer lemon and orange blossom.<br />

The Muscat grape has more than 200 varieties.<br />

These grapes are grown all over the<br />

world and come in a variety of colors.<br />

Muscat grapes ready for harvest at Reyes<br />

Winery in Agua Dulce.<br />

The most familiar of<br />

the varieties of Muscat<br />

is Muscato Asti from<br />

the Piedmont region of<br />

Italy used for sparkling<br />

wine.<br />

In Spain, they fortify<br />

the grapes and call<br />

them Moscatel.<br />

Muscat can be dry to<br />

very sweet. History<br />

tells us these grapes<br />

have been around at<br />

least from 2000BCE.<br />

The Muscat name<br />

might have originated<br />

from the Italian word<br />

mosca meaning fly.<br />

These grapes have high<br />

levels of brix, or what<br />

we call sugar levels.<br />

They attract fruit flies<br />

and bees because of the sugars. Every year,<br />

about two weeks before harvest, we start to<br />

see them in the fields at Reyes Winery. When<br />

we harvest the grapes, I love to sample a few.<br />

They taste just like the wine. Our Muscat<br />

grapes have a lemony floral taste, as does our<br />

Muscat wine.<br />

Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini<br />

Ingredients<br />

1 (8 ounce) package linguine pasta<br />

1 tbsp. olive oil<br />

6 cloves garlic, minced<br />

1/3 cup chicken broth<br />

1/3 cup Reyes 2011 Muscat<br />

1 lemon, juiced<br />

1/2 tsp. lemon zest salt to taste<br />

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper<br />

1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined<br />

1/4 cup butter<br />

3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley<br />

1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil<br />

Directions<br />

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water<br />

to a boil. Add linguine, and cook for 9 to 13<br />

minutes or until al dente; drain.<br />

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over<br />

medium heat, and saute garlic about 1<br />

minute. Mix in chicken broth, wine, lemon<br />

juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Reduce<br />

heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced by<br />

about 1/2.<br />

3. Mix shrimp, butter, parsley, and basil in<br />

the saucepan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until<br />

shrimp is opaque. Stir in the cooked linguine,<br />

and continue cooking 2 minutes, until well<br />

coated. Serve. WR<br />

Beth P. Heiserman is the sales and marketing<br />

director for Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce. She is<br />

also the event director for the Sierra Pelona Valley<br />

Wine Festival. Heiserman has spent her life<br />

in a “food and wine” family and working in<br />

restaurants and in the sale of “spirits.”<br />

Todd Tisdell, and his brother-in-law Geoff Pocock, test a batch of beer in the middle of the brewing process to<br />

determine if the beer is developing properly.<br />

Profile: Tisdells<br />

continued from page 33<br />

people to know that they can talk to the<br />

brewers, we will be here on weekends, brewing.<br />

We will offer tours, too.”<br />

“People are so excited by the idea of craft<br />

beer,” said Sara Tisdell. “We get people who<br />

just stop by and want to see what we’re<br />

doing.”<br />

Todd Tisdell said he is surprised by “people<br />

who follow our blog, people who we’ve<br />

never met, they stop by here and offer to<br />

help.”<br />

The long and winding road<br />

The Tisdells decided in 2013 to open<br />

Pocock Brewing Company.<br />

“It’s a long arduous process to get a brewery<br />

up and running, especially in California<br />

and Los Angeles County,” said Todd Tisdell.<br />

“There’s federal and state licensing, but I have<br />

to say state licensing was very easy and I didn’t<br />

expect that. The ABC is terrific, however<br />

the federal licensing was a nightmare, it took<br />

eight months for us to get our license.”<br />

After finding the location in late 2014 and<br />

obtaining permits for the brewery, the brewing<br />

equipment finally arrived on site just a<br />

few weeks ago.<br />

However, some of the equipment was manufactured<br />

incorrectly and a local welder has<br />

been hired to make the required fixes.<br />

Tisdell and Pocock know that transiting to<br />

a larger brewing system will be learning<br />

curve.<br />

It takes between three to six weeks to brew<br />

a batch of beer.<br />

“Every system has its own quirks,” said Tisdell.<br />

“We won’t know until we start brewing<br />

on the system how our recipes will translate.<br />

But we expect we won’t be too far off, we<br />

hope we don’t have to do too much tweaking.”<br />

Tisdell said the four fermentation vessels<br />

will allow the brewery to always have a good<br />

variety of beers on tap in the tasting room.<br />

The brewery will also work to put beer<br />

into area bars and restaurants.<br />

“We will probably just concentrate on Los<br />

Angeles County at first,” he said.<br />

Plans include a move to bottling the beer<br />

after the first of the year.<br />

Tisdell said the craft beer community has<br />

been very helpful in getting Pocock Brewing<br />

Company off the ground.<br />

“We are competitors, but everybody really<br />

Geoff Pocock and Lauren Cook and Sara and Todd<br />

Tisdell in front of their Pocock Brewing Company on<br />

Avenue Tibbetts in Valencia.<br />

thinks it is us versus the big (multinational)<br />

beer producers,” he said. “All of us little guys<br />

work together and collaborate.”<br />

The Tisdells said as a couple they have<br />

worked together on many projects since their<br />

first collaboration in film class at Chapman<br />

College.<br />

“This isn’t a far stretch for us,” said Sara<br />

Tisdell.<br />

“Sara and I can actually be a dangerous<br />

combination,” said Todd Tisdell with a grin.<br />

Sara Tisdell said she has a lot of experience<br />

with “projects.”<br />

“Geoff and I grew up in a do-it-yourself environment,”<br />

she said. “We were encouraged<br />

to jump in and get our hands dirty.”<br />

For Sara Tisdell this new chapter in their<br />

lives has many benefits.<br />

“Being able to do this with Todd and my<br />

brother and Lauren and showing the kids<br />

how to start a business from scratch has been<br />

important to me,” she said. “To learn the<br />

value of community, the value of family, it’s<br />

been a big deal for us.” WR<br />

Follow Pocock Brewing Company at<br />



AND RECEIVE $ 200 OFF<br />


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