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Opening Date Set For The Cube Ice And Entertainment Center

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The Cube Santa Clarita Ice Rink
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

As renovations for The Cube Ice and Entertainment Center are nearing completion, the City of Santa Clarita has announced an opening date for the facility. 

On April 12, the City is set to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Cube, previously known as the Valencia Ice Station, after Los Angeles County entered the “red” tier, allowing the center to open after a year-long shutdown. 

On Tuesday, Frank Oviedo, assistant city manager, Cruz Caldera, community preservation administrator and Larry Bruyere, the new manager for The Cube hosted a tour for members of the media. 

Bruyere is returning to the facility after working at the former Ice Station and bringing a “hometown feel” to the upgraded complex. 

“There was a lot that needed to be done, but they seem to be tackling everything head-on,”  Bruyere said. “I am excited to see the transformation.”

The Cube Santa Clarita
From Left to Right: Larry Bruyere, Frank Oviedo and Cruz Caldera. Devon Miller / The Valley Post

The City is renovating the property from top to bottom, from the sand beneath the ice to painting all of the walls, and more.

Technology system upgrades and interior and exterior branding changes have been implemented in addition to repairs to the facility’s roof and cooling system, upgraded plumbing fixtures, updated fire safety systems and more to ensure The Cube meets high safety standards, according to the City. 

All three ice rinks, an Olympic size, NHL size and the smallest rink known as “The Pond,” have also been remodeled.

The Cube was purchased by the Santa Clarita City Council in August of 2020 after the former owners put the facility on the market.

After the closure, many local residents formed a “Save the Ice Rink” group, urging the City to purchase the property to preserve the only ice rink in town. 

Oviedo feels The Cube is an investment, not only from a financial standpoint — but a personal one as well.

“Even beyond the dollars and cents, it is an investment in the community,” Oviedo said. “It is another opportunity for our families, because we are such a family-oriented city, to take their kids somewhere to do some healthy recreation.”

Similar to other City sports programs, The Cube is expected to offer entry-level hockey and figure skating to introduce young residents to the ice. For more experienced athletes, advanced levels, including travel teams, are set to return as well.

However, differing from every other recreation program, The Cube is going to be run like a business enterprise, Oviedo said. 

Based on the City’s projections, The Cube is expected to break even by the third year of operation, recouping the costs of operation. 

In February, the city council unanimously voted to award a five-year contract to the Los Angeles Kings, along with American Sports Entertainment Centers (ASEC) which operate 23 sports facilities across the country, according to the City.

As operator ASEC and the Kings act as manager of the Ice and Entertainment Center, providing all staffing, supplies, furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory for sale, amenities, routine maintenance, repairs, services and other items as may be required to support the operation and management of a quality municipal ice facility.

City staff received multiple proposals for companies to operate the facility, but there was only one that knew the Southern California community, Oviedo said.

The community, by large, has come out in support of the operators, bringing a new wave of enthusiasm for ice sports in Santa Clarita.

Many college and professional athletes have come through the facility, including Kevin Miller who is currently playing for the Boston Bruins, according to Bruyere. 

The new manager of The Cube plans on continuing that tradition for the next generation.

Devon Miller / The Valley Post

In addition to sports, the facility is also an event and entertainment space as well.

Banquets, mixers, conventions, concerts, charity galas, sporting competitions and more can take place on covered ice, said City officials.

The City is working with ASEC and the Kings find a third-party operator for the new restaurant on the second floor of the facility, with many local restaurants already expressing interest, according to Oviedo. 

Overlooking both large ice rinks, the restaurant is also expected to serve as a possible working area for parents bringing their children to skate, as many still work remotely due to the pandemic.

As the final details of the facility are finalized, the community is eagerly awaiting the opening of The Cube. 

City staff members are working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are in place and to determine the maximum capacity. 

As cases decline, L.A. County is expected to advance to lower tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy increasing the number of guests allowed in the facility. 

The Cube is set to open for the public on April 12, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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Santa Clarita Gears Up For ‘Bike to Work Challenge’

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Santa-Clarita-Bike To Work Day
Photo Courtesy of the California Bicycle Coalition

The City of Santa Clarita invites local businesses and their employees to participate in the annual Bike to Work Challenge.

The week-long challenge begins Monday, May 10, through Friday, May 14. Residents are encouraged to take the online pledge to be entered into a raffle for free prizes.

The Bike to Work Challenge is a competition among Santa Clarita businesses to rally their employees to bike to work and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Businesses that are registered to participate and have the most participation in their size category will win a free lunch to a local restaurant of their choice, according to the City.

Interested businesses are required to designate a “lead rider” who will act as a point of contact for the organization in addition to registering their businesses for Santa Clarita’s Bike to Work Challenge. 

Lead riders should register online here and must submit a list of those at their company who participated by May 17 to Laura Jardine, City event coordinator for the Bike to Work Challenge, at (661) 255-4376 or ljardine@santa-clarita.com.

In place of pit stops, the City has extended the challenge to a week-long format, giving residents more opportunities to participate and win prizes, including cycling gear, gift certificates and more.

To encourage participants with longer commutes to participate, Santa Clarita Transit will be offering free local rides to anyone with a bike and/or helmet, according to the City.

Visit here to learn more about the Bike to Work Challenge. For additional information about upcoming cycling events, including the Hit the Trail Bike Ride, visit here.

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Third Free Catalytic Converter Etching Event To Be Hosted By SCV Sheriff’s Station

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catalytic-converter-theft.jpg
Photo by Seth Sawyers

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is set to host a third free catalytic converter etching event this month after increased thefts in the area.

For the third installment of the event, organizers are offering more dates and an additional location are being offered so that more vehicles can be serviced, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokesperson for the station.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station, in partnership with Reeves Complete Auto Center and Canyon Muffler in Canyon Country and RG Brake & Alignment in Valencia, is scheduled to host the event on May 11, 18, 25, 26 and 27. 

“Help #GuardThatAuto by getting your vehicle’s license plate etched onto its’ catalytic converter,” station officials said in a statement. “Doing so helps deputies locate its original owner in the event it is stolen and recovered.”

In March, over a dozen people were arrested and 250 catalytic converters — valued at about $750,000 — were recovered in an operation on Wednesday, stemming from an investigation in Santa Clarita. 

In a proactive approach to lower catalytic converter theft, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Crime Impact Team (CIT) led a search warrant operation on March 10, centered in the City of Los Angeles, according to Arriaga.

“Theft of catalytic converters has been a growing trend in 2020, with a 400% increase throughout Los Angeles County, and a significant increase in the Santa Clarita Valley as well,” Arriaga said at the time.

Catalytic converters are attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle. They contain precious metals and can be “scrapped” for a quick profit, according to the spokesperson.

This event is offered to Santa Clarita Valley residents by appointment, with limited availability, based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those interested in booking an appointment are encouraged to contact Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputy Borbon of Community Relations at ka1borbo@lasd.org. 

Appointments will only be scheduled by Deputy Borbon and not by the auto centers, according to station officials.

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L.A. County Public Library To Reopen 30 Additional Locations On May 10

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Los Angeles County Public Library

Los Angeles County Library announced this week it will reopen an additional 30 of its 85 libraries for select in-person service beginning May 10, as the county nears the “yellow” tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. 

The scheduled reopening will raise the total number of reopened libraries to 60 across L.A. County at 75% capacity, while also maintaining six feet of physical distance for customers.

“In preparation for reopening additional doors to the public, LA County Library is working diligently to ensure safety protocols are met and appropriate preventative measures are in place,” officials said in a statement. 

The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen are part of a phased reopening plan that prioritizes library openings based on geographic location, building availability, and the ability to accommodate physical distance guidelines and Public Health protocols. The library has placed an emphasis on equity with special consideration for reopening libraries in underserved areas where residents prioritize in-person services.

The additional libraries that are scheduled to reopen starting May 10 include Acton Agua Dulce Library, Castaic Library and Topanga Library, among others.

Additional libraries across the county will be added to the library’s reopening plan.

On April 19, L.A. County Library reopened its first 30 locations including  Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as Lancaster, and Quartz Hill in the Antelope Valley.

Outdoor programming for a limited number of participants will begin in early summer 2021 and will be available at select libraries. 

Sidewalk service and book drops will remain available at participating libraries. L.A. County Library continues to offer enhanced digital offerings, including a temporary digital library card to access eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, online classes and more.

To view the current list of reopened libraries, visit the library reopening page here.

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