Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 5, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 5, 2013 

HAIL Hamilton My Turn

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




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Pat Birdsall


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Ron Carter

Rev. James Snyder

Bobby Eldridge

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Wellborn

Dr. John Talevich

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Jasmine Kelsey Williams

The Ocean as a Dump: 

Marine “Garbage Patches”


A friend of mine sent me an article and some disturbing, if 
not downright disgusting, pictures of the North Pacific marine 
“garbage patches.” The “garbage patches” are areas of marine 
debris concentration in the North Pacific (both eastern 
and western). Because there has been little scientific research 
conducted in these areas, the exact size and content of these areas are difficult to 
accurately predict.

The name “garbage parch,” I learned, is a misnomer. According to the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is no island of trash 
forming in the middle of the ocean nor a blanket of trash that can be seen with 
high altitude aerial or satellite photographs. This is likely because much of the 
debris found here is small bits of floating plastic not easily seen from a boat. There 
are two “patches” that have been identified in the North Pacific:

Eastern garbage patch -- Concentrations of marine debris have been observed in 
an area midway between Hawaii and California know as the North Pacific Subtropical 
High gyre (ocean feature made up of currents that spiral around a central 
point) or the “eastern garbage patch.” The High is not a stationary area, but one 
that rotates, moves, and changes over time.

Western garbage patch -- Another area of marine debris concentration is located 
off the coast of Japan, and researchers believe it to be a small recirculation gyre 
likely created by winds and ocean eddies.

The “patches are not the only open ocean areas where marine debris is concentrated. 
Another important area in the North Pacific is the Subtropical Convergence 
Zone (STCZ). This area, located about 500 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands, 
has a abundance of marine life, is a known area of marine debris concentration, 
and is one of the mechanisms for accumulation of debris in the Hawaiian Islands.

Oceanographic features similar the North Pacific Subtropical High and the STCZ 
exist in other oceans of the world, such as reports of “garbage patches” in the western 
North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Still, compared to the North Pacific Ocean, 
these marine debris concentration are relatively small. 

There are a variety of theories as to why and where “garbage patches” form. Most 
scientists agree, however, that the primary factors include floatable marine debris 
from land- and ocean-based sources(e.g., tiny pieces of plastic): and ocean and atmospheric 
conditions suitable for the concentration of marine debris (e.g., waters 
rotating -- large or small are -- in a cyclone-like fashion).

Can these areas be cleaned up? According to NOAA, the answer to this is not as 
simple as you may think. It is certainly not cost-effective to skim the surface of the 
entire ocean. Even a cleanup focusing on “garbage patches” would be a tremendous 
challenge. Keep in mind these factors:

• Concentration areas move and change throughout the year

• These areas are typically very large

• The marine debris is not distributed evenly within these areas

• Modes of transport and cleanup will like require large amounts of fuel of 
some sort

• Most of the marine debris found in these areas is small bits of plastic

This all adds up to a bigger challenge than even sifting beach sand to remove bits 
of marine debris. In some ares where marine debris concentrates, so does marine 
life (as in the STCZ). This make simple skimming the debris risky since more 
harm than good may be caused. Remember that much of our ocean life is in the 
microscopic size range.

Regardless of the exact size, mass, and location of the “garbage patches,” manmade 
debris does not belong in our oceans and waterways. I think we can all agree that 
since it is prohibitively costly (and risky) to remove the plastic, we need to focus 
our efforts on preventing more trash from fouling our oceans in the first place.

 “Is the bomber 
here yet?”, my wife 
asks as we struggle 
awake at a little before 
7. “Bomber? What 
bomber?”, I say and pretend to roll over 
and go back to sleep. Soon I’m up and 
leaping into a scalding shower getting 
ready for what I already know is New 
Year’s Morning 2013. This year is going 
to be different. I am going to continually 
be aware of my goals and do what I have 
set out to do.

 Unfortunately one of my goals is to 
be free of routines and to be alive to the 
possibilities of life. Already I sense a 
conflict, the year has just started and I’m 
barely out of bed. How can I reach my 
goals, which undoubtedly will require 
focus and organization, while at the same 
time spurning the routines that are the 
only things that give my disorganized life 
any order? Well, I will let myself be free 
to worry about these conflicts later but, 
while I settle on that decision, I realize 
that I have fallen into my usual trap of 
procrastination—a chronic problem 
which I have vowed to avoid this year.

 But not today! I am easily out of bed 
and ready to celebrate - so I fall back into 
bed to celebrate my victory with a quick 

 No, I don’t fall back into bed. This 
is all fantasy involving the thoughts and 
difficulties I experience just trying to live 
my life. It is always two steps forward 
and one step back or sometimes even 
two steps back. Today is a different kind 
of day. I don’t have to go to work and am 
free to do something else. Something 
else has already been suggested by my 
wife—let’s go out on the deck and see 
the bomber which will surely fly over the 
house on its way over to the Rose Parade. 
My recollection is that the parade starts 
at 8:00 a.m. and the bomber should be 
overhead right about then. Oh, oh—
quick thoughts almost without words 
race through my head. Do I really care 
very much about the bomber? What 
does it mean to me? Well one time I 
was at a game at the Rose Bowl and 
just as the players emerged with fans 
yelling and screaming and cheerleaders 
cartwheeling, the Stealth Bomber 
soundlessly emerged from nowhere and 
flew over me like a giant bat. Suddenly 
there was tremendous sound and 
my entire consciousness rattled back 
and forth shaken by other-wordly 

 This sounds so exciting and I’m not 
sure it ever happened but I can still 
remember other game days when the 
bomber magically appeared above the 
house and there was all kinds of exciting 
shaking, but was it really that exciting?. 
Anyway, aren’t I really opposed to Stealth 
Bombers? Aren’t they a symptom of 
bloated defense spending and a mentality 
which glorifies war, which is a part of the 
whole mentality that will lead this world 
to total destruction? 

 I’m not totally sure I had these 
thoughts, but I know I’m conflicted 
about the Stealth Bomber. In fact I’m 
conflicted about watching College 
Football and televised Sports for endless 
hours on television. I am a rabid UCLA 
football fan and I actually get depressed 
when they lose and elated when they 
win. What a waste of time. How can I 
spend my life being distracted by such 
inanities when I should be using my 
rapidly diminishing energies to give 
meaning to my life and benefit to the 
world? So, what gives meaning to my 
life and benefits to the world? There is 
nothing more meaningful than family 
and I love watching TV sports with my 
son. Even when he was recuperating 
from his detached retina and really 
couldn’t see the screen I am pretty sure 
we both enjoyed sitting together in front 
of the TV and having me play the role of 
one more play-by-play announcer.

 That thought reminds me of when 
my Dad was in a coma and I stayed with 
him for endless hours. I spent the time 
reading to him from the sports page and 
going over the box scores and, as I did 
this, his vital signs seemed to stabilize. I 
was pretty happy that there was still one 
interest that I knew we had in common. I 
still look at the Sports page before I read 
any other part of the paper and some 
mornings I think of my Dad, now long 
deceased, as I ponder the significance of 
the numbers on the page.

 Oh, oh I just realized I forgot to look 
for the bomber. I was too busy thinking 
about it. Anyway, it’s a new day of a new 
year and I don’t want to waste it. I think 
I’m going to have to stop now because 
the Rose Bowl Game is about to start and 
the Stealth Bomber may just be ready to 
fly overhead. Of course I really don’t 
care about Stanford and Wisconsin and 
maybe shouldn’t waste time watching the 


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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



The fact we actually 
survived another 
year is a tribute 
to somebody’s 
tenacity; I am not 
sure whose. I know the only thing that 
got me through the year was the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage and, boy, is 
she graciously tenacious. I was sure 
everything would collapse and of course, 
several times I collapsed in my easy chair.

 It is a New Year, or so they tell us, 
but I have my suspicions. After this latest 
episode with the Mayan’s calendar, I 
am not too sure what date it is or what 
year it is, for that matter. They certainly 
got everything wrong and I have my 
suspicions about the rest of it.

 How do we really know that January 1 
is actually January 1? Moreover, how do 
we know what year it is exactly?

 I think somewhere along the line 
somebody has pulled a scam on 
civilization and has messed up our 
calendars. If the Mayans got it wrong, 
maybe we have it wrong also.

 Whatever day and whatever year it is 
I am going to celebrate the New Year. If I 
am wrong, I have a lot of company.

 When we celebrate the New Year, there 
is nothing new about it. Everything we 
did last year, we are going to be doing 
again this year, only we will be one year 
older. Perhaps as we get older we forget 
about what we have done and think we 
are doing something new. Hooray for 

 I really do not care about that; my 
philosophy is, let’s do it all over again. If 
it is worth doing the first time, it is worth 
doing again.

 This brings me to a great point, which 
is, some things are worth repeating while 
other things are not. It is trying to find 
out the difference between these two that 
makes life challenging. I do not mind 
repeating things if I am in charge of what 
I am repeating.

 I think we all should choose what we 
are going to repeat. For example, I wish I 
could choose a year to repeat.

 If I could repeat any year, it would 
be 1971. That year represents the 
greatest con in the history of mankind. 
I am not sure anything like it has ever 
happened before or since. That was the 
year I married a young lady who turned 
out to be the Gracious Mistress of the 

 What bothers me about this is why 
did she really marry me? Was it my 
charm and good looks or did she think 
I was rich? There have been times I have 
wanted to query her on this very subject 
but then, I am always afraid she will tell 
me the truth. I do not mind the truth of 
it does not involve anything personally. I 
just will settle with the fact that that was 
the year I conned her into marrying me.

 We have been a great team ever since. 
She has kept me straight and I have given 

her opportunities to exercise that career, 
at which she has become quite proficient.

 One of the great things resulting from 
this marriage is the fact that she has been 
faithful in pointing out my mistakes. 
Through her help, I discovered I have 
made quite a few mistakes.

 I begin every year with a clean slate. 
I am able to celebrate January 1 with no 
mistakes whatsoever, but then the next 
day my wife begins the ominous task of 
pointing out my mistakes. This is a joint 
effort, which leaves me out of joint often.

 I have a little theory along this 
line. I think that, if it is a mistake you 
have made before, it should not count 
anymore. I think the only thing that 
should be legitimate to point out are new 
mistakes. I find myself so busy practicing 
my old mistakes that I rarely get around 
to making new mistakes.

 All these years I have reveled in my old 
mistakes. Trying to find something new 
is a great strain on my little grey cells. At 
this point in my life, they are exhausted 
and are encouraging me to rely upon 
those old mistakes and give them a well-
deserved rest.

 At my stage in life I think new is 
overrated and, if experience is anything, 
something new is always taxing - and 
in more ways than one. Do not let the 
government find out that you have 
something new or Uncle Sam will come 
knocking at your door with a gentle 
request for tax money.

 There is an old saying that says, 
“insanity is doing the same things over 
and over expecting different results”. 
Well, that does not describe me. I do not 
want different results. I like the results 
I have. I like doing the same thing over 
again because I know what to expect. 
And if ignorance in this area is bliss, I am 
the most blissful person on the planet.

 My challenge this year is to surprise 
my wife with some unexpected new 
mistakes. Just one!

 To get on the right track for the New 
Year, I start with the Bible. “Therefore if 
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; 
old things are passed away: behold, all 
things are become new” (2 Corinthians 
5:17 KJV).

 Instead of just celebrating the New 
Year, I plan also to celebrate that “new 
creature” in Christ. No mistake about 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, 
FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, 
in Silver Springs Shores. 

E-mail ( ) . His web 
site is ( ) 


RICH Johnson

For those of you who missed the media blitz, I am now the 
parent of a third child. His name is Moe. I am not certain as 
to his exact age, but I think he is a teenager. I came to that 
conclusion as he lays around the house all day and does 
nothing. Not that adults don’t do that, too. However, the 
percentages suggest Moe is a teen.

I adopted Moe a little more than a month ago. As you may 
have figured out Moe is a cat. A rescue. After a month of 
hiding out in the back bedroom, he has joined the family and we are bonding.

I have had more experience with dogs than cats. But my limited experience with 
cats has made me aware of striking similarities between men and dogs. And of 
similarities between cats and women. Let me explain.

Why dogs are like men:

 Dogs lie around all day, sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture 
in the house.

 Dogs can hear a package of food being opened from a half a block away, but 
don’t hear you when you’re in the same room.

 Dogs can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.

 When you want to play, dogs want to play.

 When you want to be alone, dogs want to play.

 Dogs will love you forever if you rub their tummies.

 Dogs leave their toys everywhere.

 Dogs always try to give you kisses.

 Dogs are great at begging.

See what I mean?

Now read the following comparison of cats to women:

 Cats do what they want to do.

 Cats rarely listen to you.

 Cats are totally unpredictable.

 Cats whine when they’re not happy.

 When you want to play, cats want to be alone

 When you want to be alone, cats want to play.

 Cats expect you to cater to their every whim.

 Cats are moody.

 Cats leave hair everywhere.

 Cats will drive you nuts and cost you an arm and a leg.

On a serious note, I am enjoying Moe. He craves affection and offers a calming 
influence day in and day out. If you are considering a cat or a dog please consider 
rescuing one. The Pasadena Humane Society is a good start. Call them at (626) 

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