Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 8, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views News Saturday, September 8, 2012

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


By Christoper Nyerges

[Nyerges has led survival skills and wild food classes since 1974, was the editor of Wilderness 
Way magazine, and has written 10 books. He can be heard weekly on Preparedness Radio 
Network. For more information, go to]


The beautiful Los Angeles 
County Arboretum in 
Arcadia was the site of 
the Sheriff’s Department’s 
Contract Cities Annual 
Barbecue. The theme was 
Hawaiian, and the food 
and entertainment were 
great. I had the pleasure of 
sitting with part of Duarte’s 
officials, Public Safety’s Brian 
Villalobos, Lois Gaston, City Manager Daryl 
George, Council Member Liz Reilly and Captain 
Nee, our Commander of Temple Station.

 Sheriff Lee Baca was the key speaker. He began, 
“What makes Los Angeles County so great? Ten 
million residents make it the most populated 
county in the country. 88% of its residents live 
in incorporated cities; that is 8.8 million people 
…Currently there is an all-time low crime rate. 
The governing process of these cities with its 
keen interest in public safety attributes to this…
For example-the Contract City model -we’re 
embedded in your city hall…Public safety is 
one of the greatest reasons for government.” (At 
Duarte City Council Meetings, you’ll find the 
Sheriff’s Department, while at Monrovia and 
Arcadia City Meetings, you’ll find their Chiefs of 
Police, Jim Hunt and Bob Guthrie.)

 The Sheriff spoke highly of all his fine captains. 
At each station, a Captain is in charge and really 
serves as “Chief of Police” for his area. Captain 
Bobby Denham has been up at Palmdale 
Sheriff’s Station for over twenty years. (Current 
Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile couldn’t say 
enough about how competent he is.) Captain 
Dave Silversparre oversees the Crescenta Valley 
Station. (No stranger to area residents, he served 
several years as Lieutenant at Temple Station.) 
Our current Temple Commander, Chris Nee 
actually oversees FIVE cities: Bradbury, Duarte, 
Rosemead, South El Monte and Temple City. 
(These are only a few of the many fine men AND 
women overseeing various stations.)

 Sheriff Baca then spoke about the custody 
situation and an education program. From the 
time I met then-Chief Lee Baca, back in 1993, I 
became aware of his insight and the great scope 
of his vision. This man went to East LA College 
- had a “C” average, but went on and eventually 
received his Doctorate - he is always encouraging 
youths to value education and shares his 
background with them. He encourages young 
people by his story with the words, “You can 
achieve anything if you try.”

 In his address, Sheriff Baca said he made a 
“game-changing decision, and now there is 
a comprehensive form of education. We are 
changing the way we incarcerate. Education-
Based Incarceration is a component of the 
criminal justice system that is focused on 
deterring crime by investing in its offenders 
through education and rehabilitation. By 
providing substantial and intellectual education 
in jails, and being supportive rather than punitive 
in efforts to reduce crime related behavior, the 
likelihood to recidivate is lowered while success 
and stability in the community occurs.”

 Holding lawbreakers accountable for their 
actions is the main priority of Education-Based 
Incarceration. Incarceration is the chief means 
of imposing accountability for acts that threaten 
public safety. The influx of 30,000 inmates from 
state prisons to county jails across the state has 
caused a massive amount of change. County 
inmates are released earlier and the public needs 
to be protected. 

 Sheriff Baca’s vision, “The uneducated mind 
will probably live in a threatened and limited 
way,” provides opportunity for six principles to

 be the foundation for which the Education-Based 
Incarnation operates from. (In a later column, I 
will explain the six principles of Education-Based 
Incarceration, as space permits.)

 I have always 
dreamed. Sometimes 
there were periods of 
many dreams of great 
significance, or at least, 
of some significance. 
There were also periods 
of no dreams – at 
least no memorable 

When I was about 6 or 7, I would have memorable 
dreams if I had eaten watermelon after dinner. 

Years later, when I desired to have dreams and 
coded answers to my inner questions, I would eat 
watermelon. But there was no longer the magic of 
watermelons, and later in life, watermelons no longer 
gave me dreams with discernable or reliable results. 
Maybe my body chemistry was different then, 
and the watermelon gave my brain and body something 
it needed to give me dream messages. Maybe 
modern seedless hybridized watermelon lacks some 
chemical that the old open-pollinated seeded watermelons 
used to have. I don’t know.

Back to age 6 or 7. During the winter and into the 
summer, I would go to a specific place over and over 
in my dreams. I drew a map of the area that I would 
go to, and was always frustrated that my artistic ability 
was not good enough to accurately depict where 
I’d been. I would revise the maps with new dreams. 
This dreamland corresponded to Los Robles Avenue 
and Woodbury Road, and included all the 
stores that were in that old business district before 
the widening of Woodbury Road. And things in the 
dreamtime were a bit different than that actual area, 
in some cases a lot different, and in a few spots, you 
could go through one door or opening and end up 
somewhere completely else. 

I went to watermelon land and did things there. 
I had some friends there too, and they seemed to 
correspond to my normal waking friends. But there 
were others too, others who I did not know in my 
waking life. I looked forward to going back to this 
land, though I did not know when I might go there.

Sometimes, I would walk east from the watermelon 
patch, corresponding to travelling east on 
Woodbury Road, about to where the old laudromat 
used to be. The dreamtime path was dirt, not 
paved. Somewhere in the street there would be this 
large shower-room, like the showers at the Boys 
Club over on Fair Oaks. I am not sure why, but I 
would take a shower there. The shower room would 
transform into an ancient Greek temple, complete 
with the decorative columns that seemed as tall as 
a three-story building. I would stand there, letting 
the comfortable water flow over my body. It 
was heavenly. And it was heavenly, literally, for the 
locker room always became this top-of-the-world 
scene, as if I was literally in heaven, at some edge 
where I could look down to earth and I would see 
the water from my shower raining down through 
the clouds back onto earth. The tall white columns 
surrounded me in this open air temple and I knew I 
was safe and immortal there in that shower-temple. 
And I was the only one in the world that knew that 
temple existed in the sewer!

There was a drain hole in the shower, and sometimes 
I would slide down into the drain hole with 
the water, and I would end up in an area that seemed 
very much like Washington Park, a large grassy expanse 
with bridges and walkways. However, in the 
dream, it was very much like Washington Park, but 
not there at El Molino and Washington, but rather 
somewhere way down south on Rosemead Avenue, 
set somewhere amidst warehouses and rough 

I would have adventures there, and it was where my 
more dangerous and risky adventures would take 
place. Once I had to go with guns and several helpers 
to one of the warehouses down there and rescue 
a few friends that were held captive. I learned that 
I could escape back home by finding the drainage 
ditch, which flowed right through that area. I could 
jump in there, and run back up to Highland Avenue, 
jump out, and go home. It was harder to find the 
drain hole that got me to that area, but that was another 
method of escape. In one adventure, I was up 
on the street trying to find my escape, and I had to 
slide into the little hole in the gutter to somehow, 
miraculously, get back up to Woodbury Road and 

In fact, for many years, I was convinced that there 
was a unique other-dimensional quality to that particular 
intersection of Altadena, as if a wormhole or 
wrinkle in time corresponded to that physical location. 
It was, at least for me, a true Sacred Spot.

 As the years proceeded and my mind seemed a bit 
sharper, I would often go to the places that I knew, 
such as Woodbury and Los Robles, Santa Rosa and 
Highland, Saint Elizabeth church and school, and 
more. These were the places I went to in my dreams 
which appeared as they actually are in waking life, 
more or less. The dreams of my childhood were 
pleasant, mysterious, and were the stuff of childhood 

It was not until around age 30 that I began to record 
my dreams, and by then my dreams were very 
different: darker, frightening, significant, prophetic. 
Some were warnings for me or someone I knew, and 
some highly symbolic. Though I sometimes long 
for my childhood dreams, I have finally learned to 
use the tool of dreaming as practical messages from 
another part of myself

Tip of the Week - Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract 
him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. The National Safety 
Council reports that drivers who use a cell phone are four times more likely to be in a crash and are 
responsible for 636,000 crashes and 2,600 deaths each year. To protect yourself and those around you:

Put your cell phone on silent or vibrate before starting the car. 

Modify your voicemail greeting to indicate you are unavailable to answer calls or return messages 
while driving. 

Inform clients, associates and business partners why calls may not be returned immediately. 

If you need to talk or text, pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle. 

Hands-free cell phones are not safer; cell phone driving is a visual, mechanical and cognitive 

Educate your employees, drivers and parents on the dangers of driving while on a cell phone. 

Support cell phone legislation and enforcement. 



 NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is on track to become the first 
probe to orbit and study two distant solar system destinations, 
to help scientists answer questions about the formation of our 
solar system. The spacecraft left the giant asteroid Vesta on 
Sept. 4 to start its two-and-a-half-year journey to the dwarf 
planet Ceres. 

 Dawn began its 3-billion-mile odyssey to explore the two 
most massive objects in the main asteroid belt in 2007. It 
arrived at Vesta in July 2011 and will reach Ceres in early 
2015. Dawn’s targets represent two icons of the asteroid belt 
that have been witness to much of our solar system’s history. 

 To make its escape from Vesta, the spacecraft will spiral away 
as gently as it arrived, using a special, hyper-efficient system 
called ion propulsion. Dawn’s ion propulsion system uses 
electricity to ionize xenon to generate thrust. The 12-inch-
wide ion thrusters provide less power than conventional 
engines, but can maintain thrust for months at a time. 

 “Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from 
Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions,” said Marc 
Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, at 
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “We are 
feeling somewhat wistful about concluding a fantastically 
productive and exciting exploration of Vesta, but now have 
our sights set on dwarf planet Ceres.”

 Dawn’s orbit provided close-up views of Vesta, revealing 
unprecedented detail about the giant asteroid. The mission 
revealed that Vesta completely melted in the past, forming a 
layered body with an iron core. The spacecraft also revealed the 
scarring from titanic collisions Vesta suffered in its southern 
hemisphere, surviving not one but two colossal impacts in 
the last two billion years. Without Dawn, scientists would 
not have known about the dramatic troughs sculpted around 
Vesta, which are ripples from the two south polar impacts. 

 “We went to Vesta to fill in the blanks of our knowledge about the early history of our solar system,” 
said Christopher Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator, based at the University of California Los 
Angeles (UCLA). “Dawn has filled in those pages, and more, revealing to us how special Vesta is as a 
survivor from the earliest days of the solar system. We can now say with certainty that Vesta resembles 
a small planet more closely than a typical asteroid.” 

 Vesta, with a mean diameter of 326 miles, does not have enough gravity to make it entirely spherical—
hence its somewhat irregular appearance. Ceres is three times as large, with a diameter of 950 miles. 
Designated a “dwarf planet” (as is Pluto), Ceres is composed of both rock and ice and has enough 
gravity to make it very nearly a perfect sphere.

 The mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., 
for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s 
Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

 UCLA is responsible for the overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., 
designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, the Max Planck Institute for Solar 
System Research, the Italian Space Agency and the Italian National Astrophysical Institute are part of 
the mission’s team. 

You can contact Bob Eklund at:

This image of NASA's Dawn spacecraft and the giant asteroid Vesta is an artist's concept. Dawn arrived at Vesta on July 15, 
2011 PDT (July 16, 2011 EDT) and is set to depart on Sept. 4, 2012 PDT (Sept. 5, 2012 EDT). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech