Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 22, 2010



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Turn

HAIL Hamilton

Mountain Views


Publisher/ Editor

Susan Henderson

City Editor

Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello



Art Director

Allison Kirkham

Production Assistant

Richard Garcia


Jacqueline Truong

Lina Johnson


Teresa Baxter

Pat Birdsall

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Mary Carney

La Quetta Shamblee

Glenn Lambdin

Greg Wellborn

Ralph McKnight

Trish Collins

Pat Ostrye

Editorial Cartoonist

Ann Cleaves


John Avery 


 Your kids study hard in classes and earn passing grades. They 
stay on task during the school day, dutifully complete their 
homework, stay out of trouble, and attend school as often as their 
health permits. The one remaining hurdle they have to graduate 
is a test that assesses their ability to show mastery of several 9th 
and10th grade state standards in English and mathematics. This 
last hurtle is the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). 

 Lawsuits against the CAHSEE have been popping up since 
its inception. They usually center on its fairness, especially for 
students with special needs. I’ve seen quite a few reports about the 
latest lawsuit and a thought has been running through my head.

 If real problems with the test exist, why did people wait until 
the last minute to bring these issues up and to bring them into 
court? Is it because their kids are finally up against the fence and 
have to face the fact that they’ve squandered their 12 years of free 
public education? We’ve known about this test as a graduation 
requirement for the class of 2006 since 2004, and the legislation 
for the test passed in 1999. But wait; now there’s an exemption to 
the CAHSEE. 

 Beginning in the 200910 
school year, Education Code Section 
60852.3 provides an exemption from meeting the CAHSEE 
requirement as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation 
for students with disabilities (any type of disability, for any 
duration) who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 
a Section 504 (educational access) Plan. The IEP or Section 504 
plans must state that the student is scheduled to receive a high 
school diploma, and has satisfied, or will satisfy, all state and local 
requirements for high school graduation, on or after July 1, 2009. 

 EC Section 60852.3 also provides that students with an IEP 
or a Section 504 Plan, who have completed all graduation 
requirements except passing the CAHSEE, and may have received 
a Certificate of Completion in 2008 or 2009, are eligible for an 
exemption in order to receive a diploma. The exemption also 
applies to students in the class of 2010 who will have completed 
all graduation requirements, except passing the CAHSEE.

 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975, 
the Educational for All Handicapped Children Act (1975), and 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) are essentially civil 
rights laws intended to guarantee access to public schools and 
remove obstacles for children with disabilities. Their objective is 
to level the playing field with instruction tailored to each student’s 
special needs. 

The CAHSEE exemption is not necessary because Special 
Education and Section 504 students are already allowed certain 
accommodations and modifications when taking the CAHSEE, 
not available to other students, like using calculators and 
dictionaries. As a result, a large proportion of special needs 
students pass the CAHSEE, despite their disabilities. (Note: 
students granted a high school diploma under EC 60852.3 are 
not eligible for further special education and related services at a 
K-12 public school.) 

 The CAHSEE is the best thing to happen to the public education 
system in a long time, but is not flawless. It is a gigantic step in 
the right direction, though. Now, if we could use the CAHSEE to 
replace silly, meaningless exams, like the battery of tests that fall 
under the STAR/CST designation that rate schools not students, 
and encourage colleges to consider CAHSEE scores when 
weeding through applicants, we’d have a test that students would 
really care about doing well on.

 Shame on parents who sue the state for requiring a test that 
demands proficiency with standards that should have been 
mastered two (2) years prior to graduation. Shame on lawyers 
who accept these suits and build cases against a test that will, at 
least, begin to set a bar for those who want a high school diploma 
to mean something.

 If high school diplomas are to be worth anything at all, students 
must be held accountable by demonstrating a basic mastery of 
English and mathematics. The CAHSEE is a step in the right 


The Disease of MORE

 During these times of 
continual stress when the 
economic and ecological 
health of the planet is in 
trouble, I often find relief 
by ignoring the whole mess 
and reading, or at least flipping the pages 
of some long Sports Book. This past week 
I have been occupied by the 708 page tome, 
“The Book of Basketball”. This history of the 
game written by some-sports-know it all has 
provided me with some various interesting 

 The centerpiece of the book is the 
discussion of “The Secret”. This hermetic 
knowledge conveyed to the author by one of 
basketball’s all-time greats lets the reader in 
on the fact that “The secret of basketball is 
that it’s not about basketball.” The secret to 
success in basketball and in life is revealed 
to be the ability to cope with “the disease of 
more”. It is explained that players, like most 
everyone else, are generally motivated by 
their pursuit of money. Money is the way 
score is kept in this particular society. I have 
heard lawyers say the same thing. The most 
successful lawyers are the ones who make the 
most money. Right—what’s to argue about?

 Seriously, isn’t the amount of money we 
make the most accurate indicator of our 
worth? If we don’t use money to measure 
our value, then what can we use to measure 
our own self-worth? The Basketball Book 
explains that Basketball is a Team Game 
that is won by a joint effort rather than by 
a combination of individual effort. There is 
a difference, subtle but important. Players 
are judged by their individual statistics and 
compensated accordingly. Paradoxically, 
however, individual statistics don’t win 
games. In fact, the Book presents the “Ewing 
Theory”, which centers on the inexplicable 
phenomenon that teams quite often play 
better when their best, or at least most 
highly-paid, player is on the bench. Various 
plausible explanations are presented, but the 
one that appeals most to me is something 
called the “altruistic dynamic”, which is 
identified as the ultimate goal or The Overall 
Good. In Professional Basketball the goal 
is to win the game. The Basketball wizard 
explains that in order to win, each player 
must be totally committed to winning. Every 
player must sublimate his own selfishness 
and play toward the overall good of the 
team. Teams win when three factors are 
in place. 1) Players must know their own 
capabilities, 2) ignore statistics, and 3) value 
winning over any other personal goal. If 
we look at these rules and try to apply them 
to our own lives, something very obvious 
becomes apparent. It’s easy to be seduced 
by the “disease of more” and to live one’s life 
trying to acquire possessions or status that 
we really don’t require. We lose sight of our 
real goal, which may be tough to describe 
but certainly isn’t just the acquisition of 
money. This unimaginative quest of the 
need for more and more is, I think, pretty 
unsatisfying and is probably destructive. The 
need for more frequently results in betrayals, 
dissolution of families, and chronic stress, in 
addition to not contributing to the overall 
good. Personal unhappiness may follow no 
matter how much money is being made. 
In basketball terms, this need for personal 
aggrandizement turns winners into losers.

 The other side of the coin is just as bad. 
As the Ewing Theory describes, many of us 
are kind of intimidated by life. We are afraid 
of challenges and are unable or unwilling to 
work or study or do anything that’s really 
hard. Maybe underneath we doubt our 
own abilities, or are unwilling to face our 
own weaknesses, and so we let others play 
the game and take the risks. This brings me 
back to my favorite fairy tale, “The Emperor’s 
New Clothes”. If we know the truth we must 
speak up and share the benefit of our abilities 
with the rest of the world. The world needs 
each of us, I think, and it’s our individual 
responsibility to be aware of our own skills as 
well as our own limitations. Neither narrow 
selfishness nor crippling fear should deprive 
the world of our best contribution. This all 
may sound kind of preachy, but it is play-
off time and I really want our team and our 
Country and our whole planet to win.

 Hopefully, this article will serve as a personal 
pep-talk. At the urging of my daughter, I’ve 
agreed to take on some new challenges. Stuff 
I’ve been hesitant to do for many years but 
believe now that I can make a contribution. 
I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the 
County of Los Angeles 
in Court Case number 
GS004724: for the City 
of Sierra Madre; in Court 
Case GS005940 and for 
the City of Monrovia in 
Court Case No. GS006989 
and is published every 
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Madre Blvd., No. 302, 
Sierra Madre, California, 
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Opinions and views 
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Views News. 

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Mountain Views News

 80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. #327

Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285


RICH Johnson

Helpful Hints For Us 

(The Over 50 Crowd!)

 If you 
want to feel better about yourself, extend 
a helping hand to those around you. 
Your intrepid columnist stumbled upon 
valuable information that should prove 
helpful to  the senior members of our 
population. I am just lucky to have the 
forum of this column to pass it along. 
Whether you, the reader, are also as lucky, 
has yet to be determined. I continue:

Love-Making Tips for The Over The Hill Gang

1. Wear your glasses to make sure your partner is actually in 
the room. 

2. Set a timer for 3 minutes in case you doze off in the middle 

3. Set the mood with the appropriate lighting: Turn them all 

4. Make sure you put 911 on your speed dial before you begin. 

5. Write your partner’s name on your hand in case you can’t 

6. Use extra polygrip so your teeth don’t fly off in the heat of 

7. Have Tylenol or Advil ready just in case. 

8. Make all the noise you want. The neighbors are deaf too. 

9. Don’t even thing about trying it twice. 

Benefits to Being a Member of the Senior Class.

1. You don’t care where your spouse is going, as long as you 
don’t have to go along. 

2. You are cautioned to slow down by your doctor, and not 
the police. 

3. ‘Getting a little action’ means you don’t need to take any 
fiber today. 

4. ‘Getting lucky’ means you can find your car in the parking 

5. An ‘all nighter’ means you didn’t have to get up in the 
middle of the night to use the bathroom. 


Finally, success throughout life can be defined as follows:


At age 4 success is Not having accidents in your pants

At age 12 success is Having friends

At age 17 success is Having a driver’s license.

At age 35 success is Having money.

At age 50 success is Having money.

At age 70 success is Having a driver’s license

At age 75 success is Having friends

At age 80 .....success is same as age 4!

 By the way, if pirates, treasure caves and eerie ghosts are you 
and your kid’s cup of tea, there are still 2 performances left of 
“Treasure Island” at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. This 45 minute 
interactive production will be held on two Saturday, May 29th and 
June 5th, at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $12.00 for 
children under 12.

 Credit Card sales: Phone: 
(626) 355-4318

 The Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 West Sierra Madre 
Blvd. Sierra Madre, CA, 91024

Mountain Views 

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
the community 
newspaper and 
the concerns of 
our readers are 
this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in high 
regard the values 
of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence 
of our natural 
resources. Integrity 
will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:

MVNews this week:  Page 10