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Radio personality Bill Handel to speak in Santa Clarita

Congregation Beth Shalom to host Handel for fund-raiser March 21

Posted: March 5, 2009 1:36 a.m.
Updated: March 5, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
Radio personality Bill Handel remembers the days when the Santa Clarita Valley wasn't so crowded.

"Those were the days you could take the (Highway) 14 to the 5 and then the 170 and there was no traffic," Handel reminisced Wednesday about the early 1980s, when he lived in Valencia and was just beginning his law practice.

"I remember how excited everyone was when the first car wash came into Valencia," Handel said in an interview. "(Now) it's a lot different from when I used to live there so I sort of marvel at how rapidly it's grown and how overcrowded it is and it's like, ‘Welcome to Southern California, what's new here?'"

Handel is the popular host of KFI AM 640's "Handel on the Law" and "Handel Yourself in the Morning" programs. He is known for offering "marginal legal advice" and his take on current events, laced with plenty of humor.

Congregation Beth Shalom is hosting Handel for a fundraiser at 8 p.m. March 21. Seating is limited and advance-purchase tickets are $40.

Handel said he will speak on the history of talk radio and its paradoxical impact.

"People don't realize how powerful (radio) is or how little influence it actually has," Handel said Wednesday. "It's given credit for being more powerful than it is, and in some ways people don't realize the power it has."

The congregation, located on Centre Pointe Parkway, will host Handel as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series, which has brought in other renowned guests such as Grammy-winning singer Doug Cotler and actor and director Leonard Nimoy.

"This is great for us, we're all very excited to have (Handel) come out to Santa Clarita," said Gary Jacobs, the congregation's vice president of communications. "I think everyone knows Bill Handel and who he is and we're anticipating a very lively, fun, outrageous evening."

Handel, a three-time winner of the Radio and Records News/Talk Personality of the Year award, frequently delivers speeches to many different audiences.

"I try to use some of my celebrity (status) to give back to community," he said. "But that has more to do with Jewish guilt than a desire to help humanity."

Proceeds from the March 21 event benefit Congregation Beth Shalom, a conservative congregation serving the community since 1976. Limited seating is available and tickets are selling fast, Jacobs said.

Limited $90 Santa Clarita Patron Packages are available, which include reserved seating and an exclusive wine and cheese reception with Handel prior to the event. To purchase tickets, call Mary Smith at (661) 254-2411.

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