During our recent family vacation to Oahu, two things of note occurred with local ramifications. First, the Dodgers completed a swoon, losing 11 of 12 games to now struggle with the San Francisco Giants on a daily basis to stay on top of the National League West.
Back to constitutional law class: When understanding the power to regulate rights enumerated under the U.S. Constitution, consider the difference between "fundamental" and "nonfundamental" rights. For a government entity to regulate a nonfundamental right, it must merely show a rational relationship between the regulation and the governmental interest.
For the group of people like me in our society who graduated from law school and even gained admission to the bar for a short time, but later eschewed the practice of law to make their living doing something else (in my case embracing the CPA side of my undergraduate educations), a few matters of legal knowledge continue to stick with us.
"I am shocked. Shocked! Do you realize there is gambling going on here?"
I have a good friend who spent several decades of his career in community college classroom education and decided purposely not to make the jump to administration, though eminently qualified.
Many complain these days about the antiseptic nature of political races. The candidates seem handled, coached and focus-grouped to death so no one ever shows any real passion or makes any mistakes, basically seeming in a race to put the electorate to sleep.
By any objective measure, during her 15 years at Valencia High School Coach Annie Kellogg built a Foothill League boys tennis powerhouse.
"Dad, I think today I was an unwitting co-conspirator in a violation of the Hart district zero-tolerance drug policy," said my eldest son in the fall of 2003, when he matriculated into high school at Valencia. "I loaned someone my pencil at lunchtime and watched them use it to hollow out an apple, which they then probably filled with weed." (The apple smell supposedly masks the sweet, sweet smell of the herb, and corrupts the old phrase: "An apple a day keeps the narc away!)
In 1998 a gentleman named Kent Carlson ran for Santa Clarita City Council and received just under 1,500 votes, the typical "thanks for playing" total of someone relatively unknown who does mount somewhat of a campaign through the usage of signs, attendance at forums, etc.
A brief history lesson of the Santa Clarita Valley: There is a real estate agent-invented conceit known by the name "North Valencia" - effectively, the housing tracts on the west side of the Seco Canyon corridor.
In spring 2007, I proposed - and even offered - to write a special feature for The Signal's sports section. I found it an interesting "man bites dog" story, that all the seniors on the two-time league champion Valencia High School tennis team - save one - would matriculate that fall into top-20 national universities, turning on its head the "dumb jock" characterization generally associated with high school athletes.
It was the ninth inning in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship, and the New York Yankees were three outs away from eliminating the hapless and cursed Boston Red Sox, with New York's ace reliever on the mound and a one-run lead.
Old-time farmers in the Midwest would often talk about the "sound of thunder" in the distance on a hot July day. Did the sound portend a sun shower that would last for 15 minutes, cool the air and make the colors of the plants pop? Or would it prophesy a barn-destroying, crop-killing tornado and hailstorm that would wreak havoc on the plain?
The 2006 Santa Clarita City Council election saw an earnest man named Jack Murphy from the Circle J Ranch area running for City Council. I met Murphy through the magic of the Internet and advised him to abandon all hope for his nascent campaign, but he went forward and obtained several-hundred yard signs trumpeting his candidacy.
With the Santa Clarita City Council election just over the horizon and actually largely taking place even now through the return of mail-in ballots, I must once again discuss the trope that my historical references on past elections, acting in proxy for prediction of current elections, somehow masks a conspiratorial bias in favor of the incumbents and a wish to maintain some nefarious status quo.