Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 19, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 19, 2011 


STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE



Publisher/ Editor

Susan Henderson

City Editor

Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello




Richard Garcia


Lina Johnson

Chris Bertrand


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

Dorothy White


John Aveny 

Now I really miss Charlie Sheen. 
Do you remember when your TV 
screen was filled with non-stop 
images of Charlie self- destructing 
in front of a camera or a microphone 
or whatever happened to be handy? 
Didn’t you feel superior to the whole 
thing? Why would anyone care about 
the misadventures of some spoiled, 
drug-abusing, grown up adolescent 
who didn’t know how lucky he was and could not 
stop making a fool of himself? Of course I watched 
everything I could about Charlie and I felt so smug.

Now I can’t stop watching the ongoing, never 
ending story of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, 
and potential nuclear meltdown disaster. This must 
be the most photographed disaster in history and still 
we don’t know anything. First question: Whatever 
happened to our super-civilization’s ability to make 
reliable predictions about the future? During the past 
couple of decades there have been millions of words 
written about the predicted ecological disasters that 
are “anthropogenetically” caused. I learned this fancy 
word at a conference I attended at Cal Tech wherein 
ecological disasters were discussed in terms of carbon 
footprints, and carbon monoxide expelled into the 
atmosphere because of the industrial methods used 
to raise cows. Also emphasized, of course, was global 
warming resulting in glacier melting and resultant 
flooding. All sorts of potential horrors were mentioned 
with the focus being on the short-sighted behavior of 
industrial societies that see only short term profits rather 
then staying cognizant of long-term consequences. The 
focus was on the irresponsible behavior of Man, while 
the destructive potential of unaided natural forces 
acting without the assistance of Man was completely 
ignored. Well not completely - Present at the seminar 
was the highly successful and famous author Michael 

This guy, all 6 feet nine of him, armed with his good 
looks, his millions, and his Harvard Medical Degree, 
argued that the whole focus was too anthropocenrtic 
(right too Man- focused)and that the present ecological 
measurements indicated only the cycles of Nature. 
He argued that more attention should be given to the 
observation and collection of data rather than the 
formulation of half-baked quasi-scientific theories not 
supported by hard evidence.

Even though Crichton was the only person I had 
heard of before the conference (you know Jurassic Park, 
ER creator, Andromeda Strain, Disclosure, et. al.) I felt 
he was out of his element. Shortly after the Conference 
he had the temerity to die from cancer, which meant he 
was hiding some very important information from us 
in the first place. I guess that’s the real problem. None 
of us know who to believe. Notwithstanding all the 
media coverage, it really is impossible to know what’s 
going on and part of that problem is that the “People 
in the know”, or who should be in the know, either are 
lying or are withholding information. As of right now, 
according to Anderson Cooper on CNN, the Japanese 
Prime Minister is furious that the Power Company that 
runs the Nuclear Facility is not being truthful about 
the dangers, causes and probable consequences of this 

What is this nonsense? Some private company, 
mainly interested in making a buck or a yen, is solely 
responsible to cope with the disaster? Yes, the World 
has gone mad, but in its madness I’m afraid that we are 
all imperiled. In the midst of our own self-protective 
behavior we have lost the sense of our own vulnerability 
to natural forces. We have lost contact with the rise 
and fall of cultures throughout history, and we have lost 
contact with the universal spirituality that may be man’s 
only salvation. No, surprise-surprise, individual Man 
is not alone in the center of the Universe. Even if not 
placed there by God, there still exists within each of us 
a common, but obscured, genetic memory that we can 
access in order to survive. We need all our resources 
to pay attention to what is actually going on inside and 
outside of us and to not be diverted by competitive 
economic and political bickering. 

Otherwise we become a world of observers; of Hollow 
Men, mere witnesses to our own destruction. Well, 
enjoy your week and try and be aware of whether it is 
a bang or a whimper we are hearing. You might want 
to check out the famous poem, The Wasteland by T.S. 
Eliot wherein the images of water reflect the lack of 
spirituality within post-modern America.

Death by Water

By T.S. Eliot

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,

Forgot the City of Gulls, and the deep sea swell

And the profit and loss.

A current under sea

Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell

He passed the stages of his age and youth 

Entering the Whirlpool.

Gentile or Jew

O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as


HAIL Hamilton My Turn

RICH Johnson



 If you visit Mary’s Market and Canyon Café in the canyon part of Sierra 
Madre, don’t look for Mary. She’s not there. The all new Mary goes by the 
name Carolyn and she is terrific. I must warn you though that Carolyn is 
a professional belly builder. She can bake 10 pounds on you. In fact, I’m 
sure you can gain weight just by smelling the wafting fragrance of the 
bakery treats. (I think that’s why so many people hike up to Mary’s)

 I’ll probably get in trouble for missing some names, but she is ably assisted by Connie, aka 
Conchita, and John, aka Giovani. Mary’s has seven tables (I think) inside and a few tables 
outside. They also have a counter with four or so stools. In another throw back to the sixties 
(or considerably earlier) Mary’s only takes cash, which is fine because the menu is extremely 

 A trip to Mary’s is like time traveling back to the sixties. The area is very rustic and 
there is a screen door at the entrance. I also say that because a large part of the canyon 
population looks like they moved south from the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. 
You remember Haight Ashbury; where the flower children hung out in the sixties? They may 
all be up in the canyon.

 I am going to ask the city to build a three-story parking structure for Mary’s Market. She 
needs more accessible parking. But don’t let that stop you from going. The trip is worth it. 
You get there by going up Mountain Trail north of Grandview to Sturtevant Drive. Turn 
right, drive down to where it veers left and turn left on Woodland Drive. Drive up to the 
parking area and park. She is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7am to 5pm. Saturday 
and Sunday from 8am to 3pm. Closed Mondays. 

My friend showed me a few classified ads out of an English newspaper. They were as follows:

Free Puppies: ••• cocker spaniel and ••• sneaky neighbor dog.

Free Puppies: Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd. And the father 
is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Cows for sale: Never bred. Also, 1 gay bull for sale.

Joining nudist colony! Must sell washer and dryer.

Wedding Dress For Sale. Worn once by mistake.

For sale: Complete 45 volume set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. No longer needed, 
got married and wife knows everything.

 Don’t forget that those pesky pirates are running around Sierra Madre. “Treasure Island” 
is playing for the next few weeks on Saturdays at 11:00 am at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. 
You must know that these fairy tale theatre plays are interactive with the children and that 
means these will be lifelong memories for our young kids and grand kids. Treat them to this 
experience. For reservations of information call (626) 355-4318. (I saw Cinderella THREE 
times. It was worth it to watch Prince Charming dance with every little girl in the audience!

Economic recessions are caused 
by a decline in GDP growth, 
which is itself caused by a 
slowdown in manufacturing 
orders, falling housing prices 
and sales, and a drop-off in 
business investment. The 
result of this slowdown is 
falling employment, and rising 
unemployment, which causes a 
slowdown in retail sales. This 
creates a downward spiral in 
manufacturing and

increased layoffs. A stock 
market decline can be a result 
of a recession, but is often a 
cause itself. This is called the 
business cycle.

One of the causes of the current 
recession was that the Fed was 
slow to raise interest rates when 
the economy started to boom 
in 2004. Low interest rates in 
2004 and 2005 helped created 
the housing bubble. Irrational 
exuberance set in again as 
many investors took advantage 
of low rates to buy homes just 
to resell. Others bought homes 
they couldn’t afford thanks to 
interest only loans. 

In 2006, when higher rates 
finally kicked in, declining 
housing prices caught many 
homeowners who had taken 
loans with little money down. 
As they realized they would 
lose money by selling the house 
for less than their mortgage, 
they foreclosed. An escalating 
foreclosure rate panicked many 
banks and hedge funds, which 

bought mortgage-backed 
securities on the secondary 
market, and now realized they 
were facing huge losses.

By August 2007, banks became 
afraid to lend to each other 
because they didn’t want 
these toxic loans as collateral. 
This led to the $700 billion 
bailout, and bankruptcies or 
government nationalization of 
Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae, 
Freddie Mac, IndyMac Bank, 
and Washington Mutual. By 
December 2008, employment 
was declining faster than in the 
2001 recession.

In 2009, the government 
launched the economic 
stimulus plan. It was designed 
to spend $185 billion in 2009. 
And in fact, it halted a four-
quarter decline in GDP by 
Q3 of that year, thus ending 
the recession -- at least 
according economic definition 
of “recession.” However, 
unemployment continued 
to rise to 10%, and many 
business leaders still expected 
a W-shaped recession in 2010-
2011. That is to say, if the Fed 
raises interest rates, or the 
government raises taxes after 
a recovery starts, the economy 
could be pushed back into 

What keeps fueling the 
recession are the following:

1. Stagnating oil prices 
(easily surpassing the $ 
100 a barrel), driven by 
geopolitical uncertainties, 
the collapse of stock markets 
and subsequent diversion 
of speculative investment 
market and the expected 
oil production cuts by the 

2. Continued escalation of 
prices of staple foods due 
to the effect of “second 
round” increased costs of 
crude oil and raw materials, 
along with wage increases, 
the prices of manufactured 
products, abusive margins 
of companies and brokers 
and a totally inefficient 
administration and lack of 
mechanisms to control the 
ceaseless speculation, with 
consequent rises in inflation 
and subsequent contraction 
of consumption.

3. Increasing inflation rate 
and unbridled growth of 
foreign debt and current 
account deficit as a result 
of the above two points, 
with a consequent drop in 
state revenues and loss of 
purchasing power of workers 
in a near future due to salary 
increases below the inflation 
rate or the freezing or 
reducing them.

4. Slow to non-existent 
increase of net employment 
due to the continuation of 
the housing slump and the 
resulting domino effect in 
the construction sector, 
linked with the proverbial 
drop in state revenues and 
the consequent contraction 
of investment in basic 
infrastructure and social 

Until these things are rectified 
we can only expect more of the 

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 Saturday 
at 55 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 302, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
Inc. and reserves the right 
to refuse publication of 
advertisements and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285


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. 

What D0 YOU Think? 

We’d like to hear from you! Contact us at: