I believe I attended my last State of the City meeting in 2004. These luncheons constituted an opportunity for local elected officials to "speechify" concerning the many predictable accomplishments of the year, from new roads to shiny new recreation facilities.
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
As politics go, I have almost always been my father's son. Aside from a brief dip into liberal waters as an undergrad, I have uniformly adopted the conservative positions of the Protestant-raised, small-business-owning West Point graduate who reared me.
We met over coffee to discuss the problems in our community - the Valle Del Oro community in Newhall.
During these challenging economic times and the downturn in the housing market, residents, business and community leaders are seeing an increase in the number of vacant houses and other structures throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
Two weeks ago, my wife and I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to get ready for a 45-minute train ride to Federal Triangle Station, Washington, D.C., - about five blocks from the Washington Monument and three blocks from where we would stand to watch Barack Obama be sworn into the presidency.
In the summer of 1863, the Union Army was chasing Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces that had slipped into Pennsylvania. Lee intended to draw the Union into a final battle that would end the Civil War and divide the nation.
I serve various Boy Scout troops in the Santa Clarita Valley instructing Scouts on the Eagle required merit badges of Citizenship in the Community, Nation and the World.
Last week, the state's Employment Development Department released data showing that California's unemployment rate stood at 9.3 percent for the month of December - our highest in almost 15 years.
As the design, appeal and overall atmosphere of Old Town Newhall develop into a beautiful pedestrian-friendly development, new businesses continue to emerge and existing businesses continue to thrive despite current economic challenges.
In recent days, I have heard the two most popular conservative radio hosts, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, take criticism from Democrats for what they have said - or not said - on their radio shows. Yet, in both cases, these hosts are only echoing Democratic sentiments during President Bush's eight years in office and giving Democrats a bit of what they gave to the former president.
Like many organizations, here at the Castaic Lake Water Agency we view the end of one year - and the beginning of the next - as a time of transition and an opportunity to take stock of where we've been and where we're headed.
When three of the top policymakers in Washington voice explicit support for a particular viewpoint, it merits notice.
While Washington and Sacramento Republicans continue to vote against stimulus packages and budgets, we have been putting on our thinking caps about where such money should go, when and if we get it.
If ever there was a time for all of us to participate in philanthropy, this is it.
The United States government recently launched the Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus chaired by veteran Republican Congressman Frank Wolf.
The world as we see it in our own eyes can be stressful, enigmatic, or blessed. Mine is a wonderful place to be.
Let me let you in on a joke I recently experienced.
When veterans return home, their fighting days should be over. They put their lives on the line for their country and fought the good fight.
We live in a global world with a global economy. Never did that concept become so clear to me than on the Trade and Investment Mission to China led by Supervisor Antonovich earlier this month.
You would think that a big push to develop a massive gravel mine would at least be backed up by one significant factor:
I just got back from a series of business trips in the east. I was able to visit the garden spots of Pittsburgh, Topeka, Kansas City, and Philadelphia. I was never so glad to get back home.
I've always heard that the airwaves belong to the people.
I often attend conferences where the attendees are given name tags that boldly announce who they are. This creates a phenomenon rarely seen elsewhere. As we walk the halls of the conference center or hotel, our eyes are fixed on the name tags of those we pass. We're anxious to see if they are "somebody." Is he a well-known speaker?
Now that our city has survived another local election, I thought it would be appropriate to make some comments regarding elections and city hall. After all, things can get pretty exciting, or should I say concerning around election time in Santa Clarita.
In many American households, and certainly in my home, pets are members of the family. According to a survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association, our dogs are the nation's favorite pet, with approximately 43 million households owning one or more of our four-legged friends.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." ~ U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1.
It's one thing to know you and your wallet have been the victims of a legal money-grabbing scam, but to get repeatedly sucker-punched while you are still reeling is the second atrocity.
Religious folks are familiar with the biblical story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a "mess of potage."
In January of this year, I was invited to be a part of a trade delegation visiting Shenzhen, a city in China. The trip was being organized by a gentleman who had worked at the county's economic trade council and had now moved on to greener pastures.