Surprise! Yes, I have decided to stop publishing The SCV Beacon after a great fifteen years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley. What started out as simply a blog to post commentaries on and about aspects of our valley communities and the politics turned into so much more. It became a source of information and opinions that were not clouded by the incestuous nature of our little town. It was also a laboratory of sorts for me to hone my writing skills which has taken me down a marvelous path of writing and publishing.
The SCV Beacon was a community resource that I underwrote since its inception. I have volunteered in the community since the 1994 earthquake, nearly twenty-five years and The SCV Beacon was just one aspect of my support of the community. Looking back, I am very proud to have establish the annual Stevenson Ranch Fireworks Spectacular, which I ran for the first decade; helped organized the annual Holiday Tree Lighting, the Family Festival and the Softball League all with the help of some great community volunteers. It is gratifying to see the fireworks spectacular is still one of the best Independence Day shows in our valley after eighteen years. The same for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting. These are all events that were conceived to bring our neighborhoods together and to create a sense of community. When starting those events, one can only hope that some would take on a life of their own, and they have.
In recent years, I have continued to grow professionally and evolve to where it has become necessary to do some personal housekeeping. To clean out some items that have lost relevancy due to normal life changes. I have been doing the backstroke in a bubbling sea of change while being warmed by the radiant sun of personally and professionally growth during these last several years. That has necessitated the need to assess, evaluate and streamline or, in some cases, eliminate those things that are taking up aspects of my life that I can no longer have precious time for. It is an understatement to say that I am busy.
As much as I have enjoyed being able to write about our community, it has become harder to do so with an unrelenting schedule that includes plenty of travel. This has forced me to make choices and focus my energies on writing about other topics and of course publishing more books, which now stretches out several years into the future. This is a natural evolution of the writing craft for me. But it has also diminished the time to write a weekly column for The SCV Beacon, which has been evident in my sporadic postings.
We all have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. The time is now for me to foldup The SCV Beacon. It was a terrific run. It was fun. Most gratifying was being able to have writing colleagues and contributors in John Boston, Chris Sharp and Eve Bushman. All of whom wrote wonderful columns over the years. I valued their contributions, friendship and enjoyed their company on the site. It was also clear from the site traffic that many others have enjoyed their insightful and spirited writing.
In the end it made a difference, that is all any of us could have hoped for with The Beacon as a community service. The site saw traffic spikes during times of crisis—wildfires around our communities, earthquakes and a deadly siege—as well as local elections and community events like the annual July 4th holiday with residents all looking for up-to-date information. Our success over the years was rooted in timely local information and opinion. We chose the path less travelled.
As I move on to new and exciting adventures, I reflect fondly on The SCV Beacon because it was a great training ground. A springboard into a new chapter of my life that has been amazingly kind to me so far. Like grade school memories, I will warmly recall the years of writing a weekly column when asked how I happened into writing books.
I extend to all our readers a heartfelt thank you for your readership and feedback over the years. I wish you all the best that life has to offer and hope that you will continue keeping up with the local news at the KHTS and The Signal. I’m also including a few links below for those looking for additional information on our valley communities.
A Beacon of Change
Henry Mayo Newhall
Hospital Rant & Rave
Santa Clarita and
Valencia Official Guide
The West Ranch
Eve's Wine 101
AM 1220 • FM 98.1
Santa Clarita Valley