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

MVNews this week:  Page 5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 8, 2012 

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


By Christoper Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “Self-Sufficient Home,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and 
other books. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.


 The morning may have been dreary and the traffic terrible, but nothing 
could dampen spirits of 700+ who attended the Swearing in of Supervisor Mike 
Antonovich for his NINTH term! The Oath of Office was administered by the 
Honorable John A. Arguelles, Retired Justice of the California Supreme Court. 
Standing beside the Supervisor were his son, Michael Junior and daughter Mary 
Christine. Emcee for the event was actor, George Cheung and among the notable 
guests were Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Michael Reagan, son of 
our former President Ronald Reagan. There were Consulate Generals from 10 
foreign nations, City and Town Council Members and many community members. Representing the 
Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte Town Council were Linda Sells, John Nicoloro, and Terrence Brown who 
sat with Monrovia Council Member Becky Shevlin.

 The luncheon following the ceremony was sumptuous and I was awestruck by so many 
attendees. I thought about this great man and how I met him in 1993. After our Town Council 
formed, he held a breakfast meeting which included the City Councils and City Managers of Arcadia, 
Monrovia and Duarte. Many friendships began from that meeting that still exist today. I also recall 
the Community Development Commission coming to a Town Council meeting and speaking of low 
cost housing. They brought Habitat for Humanity to Duarte and I saw firsthand sixteen families 
given homes and hope for the future. On a shelf, I have a huge binder overflowing with letters from 
various county agencies who contacted me after I wrote Supervisor Antonovich for assistance. There 
isn’t enough space to mention all, but here are some noteworthy ones. Supervisor Antonovich is 
responsible for transit service in the unincorporated area. In the old days, we had to walk several 
blocks to an incorporated city to get a ride to the doctor’s! Now the Monrovia Transit provides that 
service for all three county areas. There’s also the great gym at Pamela Park, where so many great 
events can be held, and this helped bring the community together. For 20+ years, the residents in lower 
Arcadia were unsuccessful to get a stop sign at Daines and Tyler. The Sheriff’s Department did a sting 
on cars ignoring the crosswalk law. Many tickets were issued. I gave the info to Jay Gomez, Supervisor 
Antonovich’s Field Deputy at the time, who relayed the info to his boss. A stop sign appeared and 
ALL residents were thrilled! Other issues involved Parks and Recreation (bathroom doors for stalls at 
Pamela Park), traffic and lighting issues, animal control, metro bus service, handicapped ramps and 
much more!

 When I think of our Supervisor, I visualize a man who is the champion of youth, seniors and 
animals. He helped keep our Live Oak and Duarte Library opened and is always trying to educate the 
public on current issues. I am proud to call Supervisor Antonovich my friend.

“Merry Christmas!” said my Jewish friend when he greeted me with a 
smile. “Merry Christmas,” I replied. I asked him if it ever bothered him 
that nearly everyone greets with “Merry Christmas” during December.

“Not at all,” he told me. “I mean, Hannukah is over, and I recognize that 
90% of Americans are Christians.”

“What do you think about people saying ‘Happy Holidays,’” I asked.

My friend laughed. “When people ask me that, I ask them, ‘What holiday are you referring to?’ Most 
say nothing, but some say, well, it’s New Years too.”

It was refreshing that my Jewish friend was OK with the “Merry Christmas” greeting. In fact, he liked 
it. “I don’t expect the vast majority to conform to me,” he explained.

Fair enough. Then why are we so afraid in our political correctness to say “Merry Christmas”? Are 
we really worried that it might offend someone? Yes, there are other holidays: the secular Kwanzaa 
invented by a Long Beach State College teacher for African Americans, New Years (though most 
Chinese celebrate not January 1 but the Chinese New Years which usually falls in early Februrary), 
pagans who simply celebrate the solstice, and the month of Ramadan which sometimes falls near 
December, but not often as it moves forward through the calendar. 

On the radio, a Christian man told the radio host that the didn’t celebrate Christmas, that it was a 
lie. The host was shocked. What is the lie, the host asked. The man said that he didn’t like the tale 
of Santa Claus, and that Jesus wasn’t born on the winter solstice. The host, in so many words, called 
the man an idiot.

But the conversation brought back memories of my researching the roots of Christmas back in my 
teens, when I discovered that Christmas is eseentially a pre-Christian holiday. Initially, I found myself 
disenchanted with that social norm of Christmas celebrations. If this isn’t really about the birth 
of Jesus, I wondered, why should I participate in this pagan practice. But over the years, I have had a 
different point of view about how to regard this odd Christmas holiday which is really a mish-mash 
customs from all over the world from various times.

First, a bit of history. Yes, it is true that the so-called “pagans” observed the solstices and equinoxes 
as their high holy days. In fact, nearly all religions in the past did so. “Pagan” originally referred to 
the country people who lived outside of Rome-proper, but gradually became a derogatory term for 

We do not know when Jesus was born. The scriptures provide clues but no exact dates and no indication 
that this followers ever made a big deal about the birthday. And who was Jesus? He was a Jewish 
rabbi, probably an Essene, who observed the Jewish holy days. His followers changed their holy day 
to Sunday, in part to attract the “sun worshippers,” and also to separate themselves from the Jewish 
Saturday Sabbath. Remember, early Christians were killed and tossed to the lions. But by the 4th 
Century, Constantine had a vision and declared Christianity the official religion of the kingdom. He 
Christianized all the “pagan” holy days, which is how The birth of the Sun was turned into the Birth 
of the Son. In fact, the observation of the winter solstice has been regarded with great reverence 
for as long as we can tell. During 
this winter’s deep, the sun was 
in its lowest part of the sky as it 
rose each day. Four days after the 
solstice, the rising sun appears to 
rise further north on the horizon 
– the sun has risen! This astronomical 
event has long had great 
metaphysical and personal value 
to the millenia of people who 
have observed and celebrated it. 

Though you may have many opinions 
about whether or not it was 
fair and square for the church to 
have stolen and renamed the pagan 
holy days, that does not make 
it inherently wrong. In fact, there 
is no inherent wrongness to it at 
al. As with most things in life, its 
value is wholly up to us, to use 
the timing for spiritual upliftment 
and evolution.




— “Now that the Registrar 
has verified that Measure 
J has failed, it is vital that 
we move forward this time 
with an equitable regional 
transportation system that 
includes rail connections 
to LAX, Bob Hope, Ontario, 
Palmdale, Long Beach 
municipal airports and 
other transit needs,” said 
MTA Chairman Michael D. 

Supervisor Antonovich emphasized 
the need to work 
with the input and cooperation 
of all our cities and unincorporated 
“We must stop undermining 
communities including 
the San Fernando Valley, 
by sending their tax dollars 
over the hill to the Subway 
and Expo Line projects. It 
is wrong to tax some communities 
to fund the private 
interest of one.” 

“Our County’s 88 cities 
and 134 unincorporated 
communities voters spoke 
– Measure J was not the answer 
to developing a cost-
effective regional transit 
system that meets our entire 
county’s current and future 
needs,” he added. “Unlike 
Measure J, a new plan will 
not lock funding to communities 
at their 2004 population 
percentages, paralyzing 
the Santa Clarita, San 
Gabriel, Antelope Valleys 
and the South Bay’s ability 
to meet their transit needs.”

The voters’ rejection of 
Measure J allows our county, 
cities and unincorporated 
communities to present 
a regional transit plan that 
will include connective rail 
to our airports and extend 
the Gold Line to Claremont, 
Bob Hope Airport, and 
South El Monte. 


The Los Angeles County Flood Control District is proposing to 
adopt a Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure, which would establish 
an annual fee to pay for clean water programs. The proposed 
clean water fee would be imposed upon property owners within 
the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which includes 
most of Los Angeles County (with the exception of portions of the 
Antelope Valley), for the purpose of improving water quality and 
reducing pollution from stormwater and urban runoff.

 A mailer was recently sent out to all residents affected by the 
proposed increase in accordance with state law which also notifies 
property owners of the right to protest the proposed fee.

 The San Gabriel Partnership for Economic Development quickly 
responded by contacting its members. Their statement is listed 

 In addition, Supervisor Michael Antonovich issued a statement 
calling a flyer that was mailed out misleading.

 Residents are encouraged to study this proposal carefully and, 
should they object, file a protest by the January 15, 2012 deadline. 


A little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Altadena-Pasadena branch of Soroptimist International, 
as the club held its 17th annual Silent Auction on Sunday, Dec. 2nd. This event took place at the 
Altadena Senior Center from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., where attendees bid on treasures that included Rose 
Parade seats, paintings by local artists, restaurant gift cards, chic fashion jewelry, and a variety of 
themed gift baskets. 

The members of Soroptimists lent their time and talents to making this event a success. They solicited 
donations from local businesses, created imaginative gift baskets, baked delicious appetizers and 
transformed the Altadena Senior Center into a festive shopping environment. At the end of the 
event, the items went to the highest bidders. Shirley Manning, 1st Vice President and Phyllis Howard, 
newsletter editor, presented raffle prizes to lucky ticket holders.

This auction is Altadena-Pasadena Soroptimists’ largest fundraiser of the year. With a slogan of 
“Women Helping Women,” the mission of Soroptimist International is to assist women and girls in 
the local community and around the world. Several of the agencies benefiting from the Altadena-
Pasadena club’s auction include Door of Hope, Ecumenical Council, Cancer Support Community/
Silver Saturday, Rosemary Children’s Services, and the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity, Ruby, and 
Violet Richardson awards.

Jane Harris, Silent Auction Committee Chair remarked, “I am so appreciative and grateful to be part 
of such a resourceful and energetic group!”

To learn more about this organization, visit



Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich 
urged county residents 
to check their mailboxes for 
the “Official Notice to Property 
Owners of Public Hearing” 
which could result in a property 
tax increase. 

 “While the mailing looks like 
junk mail, it is an important 
document that allows one to 
protest the proposed parcel 
tax,” he said. 

 “It is vital that property owners 
return the protest form to stop 
this additional tax,” he added. 
“Property owners, schools and 
businesses already pay flood 
control taxes and now they are 
being asked to fork over more 
money at a time when families 
are struggling, schools are 
hurting and businesses are fleeing 
the state.”;

 Residents have until January 
15 to file their objection by returning 
their protest form or 
protesting at the public hearing 
on January 15, 2013 at 9:30 
a.m. in the Hearing Room of 
the Board of Supervisors at the 
Hall of Administration. If a 
majority of the property owners 
do not object, the Board 
of Supervisors can approve 
a mail-in-ballot to be sent to 
all property owners in March. 
Passage requires only a simple 

 Those who misplaced this 
mailer, please call (800) 218-
0018 or email 

 To view sample flyer click 
the following link: http://antonovich.

From The San Gabriel Valley 
Partnership For Economic 

The County recently sent out 
notices to residents regarding 
an important upcoming measure 
that affects every property 
owner. The measure is 
called the Clean Water, Clean 
Beaches Stormwater Quality 
Measure and is attempting to 
pass a parcel fee on all property 
ranging from about $10 
for a condominium to a maximum 
of $50,000 based on 
size, land use, and expected 

 You should have recently 
received the notice, which 
contains your proposed fee, 
as well as more information 
about the measure and its 
specific effects on your region. 
A sample copy can be 
found at http://www.lacountycleanwater.

 Also a part of the notice is 
a tear-off protest portion, 
which can be signed and 
mailed in by January 15th to 
protest the measure. More 
than 50% of property owners 
must protest in order to stop 
the process now. If that is not 
the case, then mail-in ballots 
will be sent out in April and 
must be returned by late May. 
If passed, the fee would appear 
on December 2013 tax 

 We realize that this fee influences 
our members in conflicting 
manners, however we 
wanted to remind you about 
this important measure and 
ensure that you are able to 
make the most informed decision 


From left: Soroptimist members Jane Harris, Mary Ann Bennett, Pat O’Fallon, JoAnn 
Maisterra, Phyllis Howard and Marge Laris at the club’s silent auction.

We’d like to hear from you! 

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