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Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014

darrylmanzer021014Sometimes I just can’t think of a subject for this space and I cruise Facebook, newspapers and magazines and sit in restaurants listening to conversations. This past week was an example of that phenomenon.

I caught only small pieces of conversations, but I think I got the idea of what was being said.

“Is the City Council only talking about billboards?”

“Traffic is bad today.”

“You mean there is an election coming up?”

”That traffic circle or roundabout seems to work just fine.”

“And then he put his hand on…” (Didn’t hear the whole statement, but I wish I had).

Now for my comments:

The city of Santa Clarita was started in part because there were billboards and signs cluttering the landscape all over the SCV. One of the first actions the new city took was to regulate signs. The billboard talk is a continuation of that, a couple of decades later. Hang on. I’m sure there is more to come.

If you live in the SCV and commute to points south, traffic is always bad. Always has been. Why, I remember when we had to drive on Sepulveda all the way to the Los Angeles Airport. Think of that the next time you’re stuck on the 405 – once known as the “San Diego Freeway.”

What did happen to the freeway names? Leave for a few years in the Navy, and nobody knows the names any more. Besides the aforementioned, there are the Golden State, Harbor, San Bernardino, Santa Ana and Foothill freeways, just to name a few. Maybe it’s the folks on radio and television using route numbers –o the same people who can’t pronounce Castaic correctly. Can you?

If you don’t know there is an election soon, maybe you shouldn’t vote. You’d really have to be uninformed to not see the signs. Maybe you don’t watch the news and only look at the ads in papers and mailers. Do you like the colors of the signs this time?

Heard folks come from miles around to try out the new Newhall traffic circle or roundabout. I’ve found it a great way to get on a carousel without having to go to Disneyland. Plus, I can have my own music on the radio.

I heard the folks in Valencia want one, too. Something about not being “Awesometown” when “old Newhall” has a circle and Valencia doesn’t.

Acton has places like traffic circles. They are used to train horses. “Training rings.” Don’t confuse them with a three-ring circus like City Council chambers.

By the way, don’t you just love the term, “Awesometown?” Not.

I don’t personally know everyone who is going to be on the ballot for City Council. I do know many of them. I like them all … mostly. I think anyone elected should work to get homeowner associations abolished

As I look around our valley, I see neighborhoods with lots of charm such as the Happy Valley area in Newhall. Houses that look like individuals spent a lot of time and money making them a home, and not something that looks the same as the other 2,700 homes in the area. No HOA there, and some of the most desired properties.

To me, if you’re looking for suburban “blight,” look at the areas where there is an active HOA. Boring colors of various shades of dirt. No yellow, blue, white or green homes. Heaven forbid if you have a front yard that has a minimum of lawn and instead is landscaped for our local environment. A place that uses little water. Maybe if Duane Harte is elected, he can bring that up. Let us hope so.

And whilst I think of it, you might have noticed I missed writing on Sunday. One person commented that she missed me Sunday. It was my one remaining friend in Cadiz, Ky. She might be looking for a home here soon.

Have a great rest of your week. I will see you Sunday.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

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1 Comment

  1. ilene says:

    Hey! I like and appreciate the dedication to our neighborhood by our active HOA. We were aware of the expectations when we purchased our home 30 years ago and still enjoy a lovely walk through our neighborhood every day. Our clubhouse remains a central community gathering area for our kids to play and for neighbors to build friendships. You are welcome to your opinion of what you perceive us to look like, but please don’t instill your opinions on a neighborhood community you have not had the pleasure of experiencing. #lovingmayberryinthescv

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