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S.C.V. History
February 24
1956 - Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray born in Los Angeles; later SCV resident & car dealer [story]


For local author Dean Clark childhood memories with his parents take an unusual twist.

“We did spend a lot of time looking at road kill and dissecting them,” said Clark.

Maybe not a perfect conversation starter on a first date, but exactly what you’d want from the author of the new zombie series LIFE to the DEAD (I am Seth Vol. 1).

Just to make it clear Clark’s family was not distant kin to the late Jeffrey Dahmer, the author explains that his mother was a marine biologist and his father a geologist.

“We spent a lot of time camping, searching, uh … for dead animals to dissect and learn how the body works,” Clark said.

Dean says his passion for biology and anatomy, along with anthropology and human history lead naturally to his creation of the “lost soul” character Seth.

“He meets some really interesting people when he goes to Europe. They’re very into the occult and into the darker history of Europe. And they kind of stumble on an ancient infection,” said Clark.

And of course, being into science, Clark has chosen a real parasitic fungus called Cordycep that exists in nature and has infected people during the Black Plague and earlier.

However, beyond just occurring in real life, Clark says there is real scientific debate about the ability of Cordycep to control behavior and consciousness.

“It’s actually even on the front page of scientific forums that these types of infections can potentially animate what would be considered dead animals, very much like the Hollywood zombie phenomenon but in a very real way,” said Clark.

“It’s a bit controversial but there is evidence to show that these powerful Cordycep parasites can actually perpetuate and preserve dead flesh and as a lot of people know, fungal organisms like yeast can survive almost indefinitely. Which can lead to very similar phenomenon like the Hollywood style zombies,” Clark said.

So yeast rises bread, Cordycep could rise the dead?

“That’s very well put,” said Clark.

In the novel, Cordycep infects Seth and his friends creating the “human hosts” they come in contact with, but Clark says his story is based upon evolutionary biology and real natural phenomenon.

“One particular animal will become infected and its behavior will change. It will find its nest, or its culture, its home and it will climb to the top of a plant or something high up in the air and it will explode with spores. And spread it airborne,” said Clark.

Clark says he loves zombie stories.

“It may be because of my background in biology, and maybe the macabre, I don’t know. But the idea of a dead animal of any kind, especially human, being reanimated somehow is kind of terrifying and kind of exciting at the same time. Yeah, big zombie fan,” Clark said.

Which begs an answer to the ultimate zombie debate, which is scarier the fast-moving infected (28 Days Later) or the slow-moving zombies (the original Night of the Living Dead)?

Of course, Clark takes a scientific approach to the question in his novel.

“Nature is a little more complex than a lot of times Hollywood will make it out to be. Different people react to infections in different ways. For instance some people died from the bird flu and others just got a really bad cold,” said Clark.

In the story, Clark explains, there are people that are carriers who don’t actually have the symptoms of the disease, but they carry it and spread it. There are characters whose soul purpose is to spread it a large way.

“So, it doesn’t quite fit in that normal zombie genre fast versus slow zombie box, but there are definitely some fast, very strong zombies in this story,” Clark said.

Although Clark doesn’t seem to fear dissecting road kill or creating zombies what does worry him is consumer reluctance to e-books technology. Except for an extremely small printing, LIFE to the DEAD (I am Seth Vol. 1) will only be available electronically.

“I don’t want people to be afraid that it’s an Amazon book and they’re not going to enjoy reading it on digital media. Because it can be very enjoyable, actually, to read it on a phone, on an iphone or a droid, or a PC or a Mac or whatever device you have,” said Clark.

People not buying the book? For Clark, that is scary.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
Santa Clarita Studios debuted their new production offices to industry peers, business leaders and public officials on Friday.
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
Spring 2018 is an exciting time for composer, sound artist and CalArts alumna Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11) as two of her works make their debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
LA-based artist and CalArts grad Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) performed his award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical work "Until, Until, Until…" in three sold-out shows this week in San Francisco.
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
CalArtians were out in full force at last month's 33rd annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which ran January 18-28.
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1956 - Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray born in Los Angeles; later SCV resident & car dealer [story]
Santa Clarita Studios debuted their new production offices to industry peers, business leaders and public officials on Friday.
Santa Clarita Studios Scores ABC Show, Debuts New Production Offices
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, February 284 at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Feb. 28: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
California State University, Northridge’s Criminology and Justice Studies Department will host a discussion titled “Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 27 CSUN Discussion: ‘Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?’
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man and a woman on multiple weapons and drug charges in Castaic early Thursday, according to station officials.
Tip Leads to Arrest of 2 on Multiple Gun, Drug Charges
The California Department of Education has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, to help educators ensure students have the skills for success in school, careers and in the community.
State Education Department Sets New Social Emotional Learning Guidelines
Spring 2018 is an exciting time for composer, sound artist and CalArts alumna Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11) as two of her works make their debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
LACO, LA Master Chorale to Debut New Works by Ellen Reid
LA-based artist and CalArts grad Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) performed his award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical work "Until, Until, Until…" in three sold-out shows this week in San Francisco.
Edgar Arceneaux’s ‘Until, Until, Until…’ Sells Out 3 SF Performances
CalArtians were out in full force at last month's 33rd annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which ran January 18-28.
CalArts Well Represented at Sundance Film Festival 2018
Four furry, four-legged detection devices assigned to the LA County Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Streets Bureau have been selected to receive tactical body armor.
LASD ‘Safe Streets’ K9s to Get Protective Vests
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
Academy Unveils 90th Oscars Song Performers Lineup
Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.
California Gubernatorial Candidates Take on Poverty, Gun Control
"SCVTV Presents: An Evening With New West" Friday, February 23 at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall as the award-winning trio brings their signature brand of Western ballads, story songs and cowboy swing to entertain fans in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Feb. 23: SCVTV to Present ‘Evening With New West’ at MAIN
Santa Clarita Valley Water Company officials will hold a meeting of the company's Outreach and Legislation Committee on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
March 21: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The 40th annual St. Clare Lenten Fish Fry charity fundraiser continues at the Canyon Country church on Friday, February 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and for the next four Friday evenings.
Feb. 23: St. Clare 40th Annual Lenten Fish Fry for Charity
A 17-year-old West Ranch High School student was arrested Thursday and charged with making criminal threats on social media.
West Ranch Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
California's and New Mexico's Attorneys General, together with the California Air Resources Board, have secured a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's suspension of the methane gas Waste Prevention Rule.
Judge Blocks Feds’ Suspension of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station pulled over a vehicle on Castaic Lake Road for a traffic violation on Tuesday afternoon and discovered the male adult passenger had a $30,000 warrant out for his arrest.
Man Arrested for Warrant, Alleged ID Theft in Castaic
DMV investigators issued 29 misdemeanor citations during an enforcement operation in Sun Valley and Pacoima on February 22 aimed at combating unlicensed vehicle dismantlers.
DMV Cites Unlicensed Vehicle Dismantlers in Sunland, Pacoima
The 10 year anniversary of the Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration will take place Saturday Feb. 24th, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Val Verde Park.
Feb. 24: Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
A Spring Concert with the Golden Valley High School Jazz Band will be held at the school's theater Sunday, Mar. 25.
Mar. 25: Golden Valley High School Jazz Band Spring Concert
Hidden cultural gems from Mexico and El Salvador will be uncovered during a lecture series at California State University, Northridge, hosted by the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center.
CSUN Lecture Series to Highlight Hidden Cultural Gems
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's Engineering Committee will be meeting on Thursday, Mar. 1, at 5:30 p.m.
March 1: SCV Water Agency Engineering Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its Regular Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 27: City Council Regular Meeting
The Sulphur Springs Union School District was recognized Wednesday evening with the Operation School Bell Award given by the National Assistance League.
Sulphur Springs Schools Lauded by Assistance League
Earlier today, the Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School was on lockdown as deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station investigated an unconfirmed threat. The lockdown has since been lifted and a 15-year-old suspect was charged with making Criminal Threats. The following is a breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
SCVi Charter Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
Carousel Ranch Raising Funds for “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” Annual Giving Campaign Carousel Ranch, a place where children with special needs discover and experience some of their greatest achievements through equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, is reaching out to the donor community during its “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” annual giving campaign.
Carousel Ranch Seeks to Fund Scholarships for Wait-List Students
College of the Canyons has added more than 100 late-start classes to its spring 2018 semester class schedule to accommodate the needs of working students.
Spring Brings More Late-Start Class Options to COC
Deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are currently investigating an unconfirmed threat at the Santa Clarita Valley International School.
Lockdown Lifted at SCVi Charter School
The kids are back for Season Six of Masterchef Junior, featuring award-winning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, as well as the return of fan-favorite judge Joe Bastianich.
Newhall Student Vies for Apron on Masterchef Junior
The William S. Hart Baseball Complex was vandalized early Sunday morning. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station was able to apprehend the suspect with the help of surveillance video. Here is the breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station.
Suspect Detained in Connection with Vandalism at Hart Baseball Field
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
1983 - Armed robber taken out at Alpha Beta supermarket on Lyons [story]
The Master's University Mustangs baseball team added to their recent string of come-from-behind wins with a 9-5 comeback win over the University of Antelope Valley at Master's.
Mustangs Rally Again, This Time Against Antelope Valley
A driver lost control of her vehicle in the parking lot and crashed into the outdoor dining area at Stone Fire Grill on Cinema Drive in Valencia Wednesday afternoon.
No Injuries in Accidental Drive-Through at Stone Fire Grill Restaurant