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July 17
1834 - Sinforosa, daughter of Narciso and Crisanta, born at Mission San Fernando; mom from Tejon, dad from Piru; believed to be last speaker of Tataviam language (died 1915) [record]


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
Monday, Jul 16, 2018
Saxtravaganza, Santa Clarita's all-saxophone chamber ensemble, will play a free concert at Hart Hall (inside Hart Park) on Thursday, July 19, starting at 7 p.m.
Monday, Jul 16, 2018
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley the week of July 16-22, 2018.
Friday, Jul 13, 2018
The CTG Stars teenage summer workshop production of "Shrek: The Musical, Jr." takes the stage at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Old Town Newhall for two final performances on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Friday, Jul 13, 2018
The William S. Hart Museum will host an open house and summer fun event for kids on Thursday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, Jul 13, 2018
The city of Santa Clarita invites residents to explore the newest exhibit at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Art Space -- “Urban Objects” by artist Aaron Kramer, on display now through October 2.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1834 - Sinforosa, daughter of Narciso and Crisanta, born at Mission San Fernando; mom from Tejon, dad from Piru; believed to be last speaker of Tataviam language (died 1915) [record]
Berry Petroleum Corp., owner of the Placerita oil field west of Sierra Highway between Placerita Canyon Road and Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita - and many other oil properties in the San Joaquin Valley - announced Monday that it has launched an initial public offering of its common stock.
Placerita Oil Field Owner Going Public Again
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals and patients of a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient Valsartan, used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
Blood Pressure Medicine Valsartan Recalled for Cancer-Causing Impurity
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, July 18 at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
July 18: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee, a division of the Santa Clarita City Council, will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, July 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 18: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
Since April, TMU grad Zach Klindworth has worked and trained with a soccer team in Iceland, 4,000 miles from Santa Clarita, the only city he'd ever known.
TMU Soccer Alum Zach Klindworth Takes Talents to Iceland
The Lancaster JetHawks scored a run in the seventh inning to take the lead and hung on to beat Lake Elsinore, 3-2, Sunday evening at The Hangar.
JetHawks Hang on for Sunday Win Over Storm
Lake Elsinore proved too much for the JetHawks Saturday night, handing Lancaster an 11-4 loss at The Hangar.
Lancaster JetHawks Overcome by Storm Saturday
The Lancaster JetHawks opened up a four-game series with a 6-2 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm in front of 4,348 at The Hangar Friday night to kick off Star Wars Weekend.
The Force With JetHawks in Friday Win Over Storm
Saxtravaganza, Santa Clarita's all-saxophone chamber ensemble, will play a free concert at Hart Hall (inside Hart Park) on Thursday, July 19, starting at 7 p.m.
July 19: Saxtravaganza Chamber Ensemble Returns to Hart Hall
Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will participate in the semi-annual Pinewood Derby at the Newhall Clubhouse on Wednesday, July 18 starting at 4:30 p.m.
July 18: SCV Boys & Girls Club Pinewood Derby
The city of Santa Clarita's Community Preservation Division sent a notice of violation Monday to the owners of the Canyon View Mobile Home Estates property in Canyon Country, ordering the removal of multiple solar panels installed on the hillside just north of the park.
Canyon Country Mobile Home Park Cited for Hillside Solar Panels
Ingrid Moon, a sixth-grade science facilitator at tuition-free public charter school iLEAD Encino, and Kimberli Lengning, a facilitator at iLEAD Lancaster, have been named Distinguished STEM Educators by Columbia University.
iLEAD Science Facilitators Named Distinguished STEM Educators
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley the week of July 16-22, 2018.
‘Mayans,’ ‘Santa Clarita Diet,’ Spots, Student Films Now Shooting in SCV
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District confirmed West Nile virus in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Panorama City (zip code 91402), the first confirmation of WNV activity in the district’s service area this year.
First West Nile Positive Mosquitoes Found – Panorama City
Air quality is very unhealthy for all residents of the Santa Clarita Valley Monday, according to an alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
AQMD: Air Quality Very Unhealthy Monday for SCV Residents
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man with an outstanding warrant who was allegedly also in possession of drugs in Stevenson Ranch early Saturday morning.
Golden Valley High School grad U.S. Air Force Airman Victoria A. Arguello has graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Santa Clarita USAF Airman Victoria Arguello Completes Basic Training
1925 - Actor Harry Carey files patent on the original 160-acre Saugus homestead he'd purchased in 1916 (now Tesoro Del Valle) [story]
1891 - R.E. Nickel publishes area's first newspaper, The Acton Rooster [story]
Stay out of the water at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County until further notice and avoid eating fish from the lake due to the presence of blue-green algae.
Algae in Pyramid Lake at ‘Danger’ Level – Keep Out
1769 - Portolá party sets out from San Diego; first Europeans to "discover" Santa Clarita Valley 3½ weeks later [story]
The CTG Stars teenage summer workshop production of "Shrek: The Musical, Jr." takes the stage at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Old Town Newhall for two final performances on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
July 14-15: CTG Stars Teen Workshop Stages ‘Shrek: The Musical Jr.’
The William S. Hart Museum will host an open house and summer fun event for kids on Thursday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
July 19: Open House, Summer Fun Event for Kids at Hart Museum
College of the Canyons will accept an additional 500 students to its First-Year Promise program for the fall 2018 semester, an expansion made possible by funding from a new state program called California College Promise.
COC to Accept 500 More First-Year Promise Students
The city of Santa Clarita invites residents to explore the newest exhibit at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Art Space -- “Urban Objects” by artist Aaron Kramer, on display now through October 2.
‘Urban Objects’ by Aaron Kramer on Display at Town Center Art Space
Bank of Santa Clarita announced Friday that for the second quarter of 2018, earnings again reached record levels, as net earnings totaled $867,000, a 91 percent growth over its earnings for the second quarter of 2017.
Bank of Santa Clarita’s Earnings Continue to Grow Significantly
Los Angeles County voters may soon be asked to vote on a new "parcel" tax to be levied on private property owners' "impenetrable areas" -- everything from rooftops to driveways -- to help pay for the capture of recyclable stormwater runoff.
Supes Float New Tax on Roofs, Driveways, Patios
In an effort to keep property crime in the Santa Clarita Valley low and help residents protect their valuables, the city of Santa Clarita and the SCV Sheriff’s Station have partnered to bring a new public safety campaign to the city called 'The Stolen Collection.'
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The California Air Resources Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency have approved emissions modifications for the last remaining Volkswagen vehicles containing undisclosed software which deliberately shut down emission control equipment.
CARB, EPA OK Final VW Diesel Modification to Kill Illegal ‘Defeat Devices’
Vince Fernandez cranked a three-run homer to give the Lancaster JetHawks a lead, but the bullpen and defense couldn’t hold on in an 8-4 loss to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Thursday night at LoanMart Field.
Series Finale Slips Away from JetHawks
A coalition of 13 Attorneys General including California's, along with the California Air Resources Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, submitted a letter to the U.S. EPA Friday demanding the immediate reinstatement of the Glider Rule for high-polluting trucks.
AG’s Demand EPA Reinstate ‘Glider Rule’ for High-Polluting Trucks
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 17, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 17: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Santa Clarita Valley International, a free public charter school serving learners in grades TK through 12, has welcomed veteran educator Farnaz Kaufman as its new School Director, and she will welcome visitors on SCVi’s Prospective Family Night on Thursday, July 19.
July 19: SCVi Open House, Meetup with New Director
1884 - Hardison & Stewart start drilling Star No. 1 oil well in Pico Canyon; later form Union Oil Co. [story]
The Valencia Jazz & Blues Summer Concert Series continues Friday, July 13, with Jim Gibson.
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