Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 12, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 12, 2013 


By Christopher Nyerges

Nyerges appeared on Howser’s show in 2000, in an episode called “Survival 
Foods.” Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods,” who teaches classes 
on plant uses through the School of Self-Reliance


Charles H. Ettensperger

August 2, 1925- January 1, 2013

 Charles Ettensperger 
was born on August 2, 1925 
in Sierra Madre to Carl and 
Mary Ettensperger. The family 
relocated to Arcadia and 
began the Mountain View 
Dairy Farm. When Charles 
was only seven, his father 
passed away and his mother 
eventually remarried. Yet by 
age twelve, Charlie was running the dairy farm. His 
continued to be a hard strong worker throughout 
his life and passed this on to his children. In the last 
days of his life he was confided to bed, but still had 
his great spirit.

 Charlie met his soul mate Dorothy Rodgers 
and they married in 1953. At the time of his death, 
they were only a few months short of celebrating their 60th Anniversary. They had six children and 
each of the children worked on the dairy farm. Charlie did two years of service in the Army, and 
returned to the dairy farm. However, he did have other interests-he owned a few race horses and liked 
to watch baseball.

 With the influx of residents in the area, and many being of Catholic faith, there was need for a 
new Parish to evolve. The Ettensperger family donated quite a large parcel of land for this purpose. (The 
buildings include a good-sized Church, Rectory, Offices-the old Convent, two classroom buildings, 
Christian Service Center which serves many needy families in the local community, two parking 
areas and a huge field! ) In the beginning, Mass was celebrated in a barn with the accompaniment of 
not only a small choir, but mooing cows!

 What did Charlie do with the rest of the Mountain View Dairy land? The years took a toll 
on him and the operation of a farm became more difficult as the children grew up, went to college 
and sought careers. Charlie decided a change was needed and decided to open a Mobile Home Park. 
That’s how the beautiful Mar Del Vista on Jeffries evolved! It’s been a godsend for area residents who 
no longer wish to take care of a large home and extensive yard. 

 During his Eulogy, Charlie’s son spoke of his father and how Charlie instilled a good work 
ethic in all his children. Dorothy was always there for Charlie and probably understood him best.

 On behalf of all Annunciation Parish families and all residents of Mar Del Vista, I want to 
thank Charlie and his family for their great generosity. I taught two of his grandchildren and I know 
how much they loved their Grandpa. He will be greatly missed by all his family-Dorothy, six children, 
several grandchildren and many friends, as evidenced by the large group who attended his services!

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt

I was saddened today 
(1/7/13) by the news 
that came over the 
radio that long-time 
TV host Huell Howser 
had died. Many 
California residents 
have enjoyed his series of shows seen locally on 
KCET -- California Gold, Visiting, and others – 
for over 20 years. 

Though sometimes criticized for his low-key 
Southern style and his “soft” subject matter, 
Huell created a very popular program because he 
avoided unnecessary controversy and showed us 
the people of our State. 

With Huell, we went to all the natural sites that 
we never had the chance to go to – places where 
you see freshwater shrimp, or turtle, or Indian 
grinding stones. He took us into businesses and 
we got to see how guitars were made, how tofu is 
packed, and how patrons enjoy their donuts.

He introduced us to all the colorful people that 
make California what it is. I was one of those 
people. Huell’s 
producer called me 
over 10 years ago, 
and we decided 
to take Huell on a 
walk in an urban 
setting and show 
him that food is 
everywhere. We 
went into an empty 
lot one spring, with 
the bustling early-
morning traffic of 
the freeway just behind 
us. While my 
wife Dolores beat 
her Taos drum and 
told Huell about 
the traditional way 
to pick plants, I 
showed Huell and 
photographer Luis 
Fuerte some of the 
common edibles in 
that very uncommon 

We looked at mallow 
and lambs 
quarter and willow 
and nasturtium. And even though we were in 
downtown Los Angeles, we were a stone’s throw 
from where the original inhabitants of that Yangna 
village once lived. We weren’t far from the 
Los Angeles River – now a cement ditch – where 
those original Tongva inhabitants would have 
fished, hunted, washed, and collected the same 
wild foods that we showed to Huell that morning.

When we met before the shooting, Huell wouldn’t 
let me explain any of what I had planned for the 
day. “No, don’t tell me any of that,” he responded. 
“I want it all to be fresh for the first time,” and he 
was really sincere. “My only rule is that when I 
began to walk, I want you to move with me.” OK, 
so simple.

So as Dolores and I moved from plant to plant, 
picking leaves for what would be a wild Los Angeles 
salad, Huell would respond with amazement 
that he was actually eating wild plants from 
a vacant lot simply because I said they were edible. 
His photographer Fuerte moved around us 
rapidly and gracefully, as if dancing.

“You know, that’s really good,” Huell would say 
with all his Southern sincerity, as he chewed on 
a leaf.

 That show, which was part of his Visiting series, 
and which he called “Survival foods,” aired 
at least 20 times on television. We had a great 
day with Huell, and very much enjoyed our wild-
salad “toast” that we made at the end of the show 
“to the Old Ways.”

Though he had called me to do another segment 
in the mountain wilderness, it appears we won’t 
be able to do that.

I am sure many, many people have similar stories 
of this brilliant man with a simple formula. He 
knew that everyone had a story, and he took the 
time to bring those stories to each of us. I will 
miss him a lot! He became a legend, and is now a 
part of the California Gold of which he so often 

 [Note: “Survival Foods” DVD is available from 
California Gold, or from the Store at www.ChristopherNyerges.

The author, left, and Huell Howser


At least 100 billion planets populate our galaxy, Caltech astronomers estimate

 Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But you’re also seeing planets - billions and billions of them.

 That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at Caltech that provides yet more evidence that planetary systems 
are the cosmic norm. The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32 - planets that 
are representative, they say, of the vast majority in the galaxy and thus serve as a perfect case study for understanding how 
most planets form.

 “There’s at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy - just our galaxy,” says John Johnson, assistant professor of planetary 
astronomy at Caltech and coauthor of the study, which was recently accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. 
“That’s mind-boggling.”

 “It’s a staggering number, if you think about it,” adds Jonathan Swift, a postdoc at Caltech and lead author of the paper. 
“Basically there’s one of these planets per star.”

 The planetary system in question, which was detected by the Kepler space telescope, contains five planets. The existence 
of two of those planets had already been confirmed by other astronomers. The Caltech team confirmed the remaining 
three, then analyzed the five-planet system and compared it to other systems found by the Kepler mission.

 The planets orbit a star called an “M dwarf” - a type that is smaller and cooler than the Sun and accounts for about 
three-quarters of all stars in the Milky Way. The five planets, which are similar in size to Earth and orbit close to their star, 
are also typical of the class of planets that the telescope has discovered orbiting other M dwarfs, Swift says. Therefore, the 
majority of planets in the galaxy probably have characteristics comparable to those of the five planets.

 While this particular system may not be unique, what does set it apart is its coincidental orientation: the orbits of the 
planets lie in a plane that’s positioned such that Kepler views the system edge-on. Due to this rare orientation, each planet 
blocks Kepler-32’s starlight as it passes between the star and the Kepler telescope.

 By analyzing changes in the star’s brightness, the astronomers were able to determine the planets’ characteristics, such 
as their sizes and orbital periods. This orientation therefore provides an opportunity to study the system in great detail—
and because these planets represent the vast majority of planets that are thought to populate the galaxy, the team says, the 
system also can help astronomers better understand planet formation in general.

 “I usually try not to call things ‘Rosetta stones,’ but this is as close to a Rosetta stone as anything I’ve seen,” Johnson says. 
“It’s like unlocking a language that we’re trying to understand—the language of planet formation.”

 The implications of a galaxy chock full of planets are far-reaching, the researchers say. “It’s really fundamental from an 
origins standpoint,” says Swift, who notes that because M dwarfs shine mainly in infrared light, the stars are invisible to 
the naked eye. “Kepler has enabled us to look up at the sky and know that there are more planets out there than stars we 
can see.” You can contact Bob Eklund at: 

Below: Artist’s conception of an exo-solar system with planets and comets 

Caltech astronomers have estimated that the Milky Way Galaxy contains at 
least 100 billion planets.