Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 20, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 6



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 20, 2013


San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership to host Economic 
Outlook event

THE BOOK OF ELI By Christopher Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” and “Enter the 
Forest.” Information about his books and classes is available from Box 
41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or from]

“The Book of Eli” was one of my favorite “end of the world as we 
know it” movies. It didn’t hurt to have Denzel Washington as the star, a 
role which he played excellently. 

 The movie is set in the future, and we see a treeless, pock-marked 
landscape without the millions of people who are present today. The 
world is sparsely populated, most people apparently killed off by some 
event, probably nuclear. 

 Denzel possesses a Bible, and his self-appointed task is to get his book 
to a safe place somewhere on the west coast.

 In this version of the future, people have learned to survive by trading – money as we know it 
today has no value. There is no longer any formal “law enforcement,” just various random thugs, and 
thugs who work for a big thug. There is no infrastructure, no fire department, no grocery stores, no 
electricity. We see no farms where either plants or animals are raised. In fact, we hardly see any plants 
or trees at all – maybe the soil is spoiled from the results of some future warfare.

 And we get hints that some have reverted to cannibalism. Violence and depravity are the norm. 

 A strong thug is the leader of what may one day become a town. This thug wants to find a Bible so 
that he may use it to exert power over other people. When he learns that Denzel might have a Bible, 
the basic plot and drama of the movie become clear.

 In some ways, this movie shows a harsh view of the future, presented in such a way that you believe 
it could be possible. 

 The setting is not so far-fetched and the story of Denzel and what he does makes this somewhat of 
a secular Savior story, including the notion that he may return again, in some form. 

 The harshness of the world made me realize that I’d never want to live in such a bleak world. Thus, 
watching this movie made me want to fight even harder to protect all that I believe is good and right 
in our world. 

 And besides the entertainment value, and besides the “big picture” message, there were some 
excellent teaching moments where each of us could learn a few things.

 For example, everyone traded. In this harsh world, piece of paper had no meaning, and certainly 
no value. If you wanted or needed something, you had to barter with material goods or services that 
the other person needed or wanted. Very basic, to the point. And how many of us realize that general 
commerce in today’s society cannot continue without the electricity that powers our machines? And 
what about the electronic transfers of “money” from place to place, and our reliance on the credit 
card? Most of our modern societies are constantly in a state of near-emergency, but we barely realize 
it. Learning to barter is a step in the right direction.

 There was another scene in the movie where a young woman was asking Denzel what it was like 
before “the event.” Denzel thoughtfully responded that the people back then – us, today – had far 
more than they needed. Indeed! So many of us lust after more and more physical stuff to fill our 
lives, and it never seems to bring happiness. We then toss the objects into the landfills as we seek other 
material objects to give us happiness and give our lives meaning. How many Americans are aware of 
the fact that even the very poorest amongst us live lives that are far better than millions of people in 
third world conditions?

 Yes, “Book of Eli” is an excellent movie on many levels. You can rent or buy the DVD and enjoy it 
with your family, followed by a lively discussion of what it all means.

IRWINDALE, CA - What business sectors are 
growing? How will the changing demographics 
and generational forecasts shape the future of 
the San Gabriel Valley? Find out how to position 
your business in today's economy. Adding to this 
year's report is the economic impact on nonprofit 
sector in the region.

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership 
will host its annual Economic Outlook event on 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 from 8:00 - 10:30 a.m. at 
the Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center in 
the City of Industry. 

The Economic Outlook will include the following 
in depth presentations: 

• The Surprising New Demographic Future 
for Los Angeles County - Dowell Myers, Ph.D., 
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy 

• Economic Forecast Update - LA County 
and San Gabriel Valley - Robert Kleinhenz, 
Ph.D., Los Angeles County Economic Development 

"Each year the San Gabriel Valley economic forecast 
report offers business and community leaders 
a perspective on both the past and the future 
of our local economy," said Cynthia Kurtz, president 
and CEO of the San Gabriel Valley Economic 
Partnership. "This information is essential in 
making good business and investment decisions."

Dowell Myers, Ph.D. is a professor of policy, planning, 
and demography in the Sol Price School of 
Public Policy at the University of Southern California, 
where he also directs the PopDynamics 
Research Group. Grounded in demography and 
future-oriented urban planning, he specializes 
in temporal models for better understanding 
urban change. Through the PopDynamics Research 
Group, Myers publishes three to four major 
reports each year on newly emerging issues 
in California. Myers also sits on several editorial 
boards and has published recent scholarly articles 
in Boom: A Journal of California, the Journal of 
the American Planning Association, Demography, 
Social Science and Medicine, International 
Migration Review, and Urban Studies. His public 
essays in recent years have appeared in the New 
York Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles 
Times, and Zocalo Public Square.

Robert A. Kleinhenz, Ph.D. is Chief Economist 
of the Kyser Center for Economic Research at 
the Los Angeles County Economic Development 
Corporation, which conducts research on the 
regional, state, and national economies. Prior to 
joining the LAEDC, he served as Deputy Chief 
Economist at the California Association of REALTORS
® and taught economics for over 15 
years, most recently at California State University, 
Fullerton. Dr. Kleinhenz has spoken to local, 
state, and national audiences and is a frequent 
contributor to media coverage on the economy, 
including coverage in news outlets throughout 
California along with the Wall Street Journal, 
CNBC, Bloomberg News, and NPR.

Registration is $85 for SGVEP members, $95 for 
the General Public and day of event registrants 
and $30 for Students.

About the Economic Outlook Breakfast

The Economic Outlook Breakfast provides business 
and community leaders a competitive edge 
by offering a detailed economic forecast report 
and presentation to gauge current and future 
economic trends on the local, regional, and state 

About the San Gabriel Valley Economic 

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is 
a regional, not-for-profit corporation supported 
and directed by its members and committed to 
the continued successful economic development 
of the San Gabriel Valley. A collaboration of businesses, 
local government, higher education institutions, 
and non-profits, the Partnership pursues 
this commitment by fostering the success of business, 
engaging in public policy, marketing the 
San Gabriel Valley and connecting people, companies, 
and organizations in the San Gabriel Valley. 
For more information, contact the San Gabriel 
Valley Economic Partnership at (626) 856-3400 
or visit


May 2, 2013

The League of Women Voters Pasadena Area is presenting a free public forum May 2 on the controversial 
topic of charter schools. It will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Women’s City Club, 
160 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena. 

Titled “What We Can Learn from Charter Schools,” the forum will address issues surrounding the 
charter school movement, which began 20 years ago and is a growing sector of public education. 
California alone has about 1,000 charter schools serving 360,000 children. Pasadena has six with 
approximately 1,400 K-12 students. 

Critics claim charters siphon funds from regular public schools because they are publicly funded 
but operate independently of local school districts. On the other hand, advocates contend that, freed 
from local restrictions, charter schools can experiment and innovate to develop successful education 
models for all public schools.

The forum will address these issues from different perspectives and answer commonly asked questions. 
One is whether charter schools have met the goal of improving student performance and led 
to better educational practices for all children in public school. Another is whether gains for charters 
are losses for traditional public schools. Do charters provide better educational opportunities 
with comparable amounts of money? What about the question of equity? 

Erick Premack, founder and director of the Charter Schools Development Center in Sacramento, 
will lead off the program with a short history of the charter school movement. A panel discussion 

Panelists include Lauren O’Neill, the head of Odyssey Charter School in Pasadena; David Tokofsky, 
a former school board member of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which houses more 
charter schools than any other in California; and Judy Higelin, a Los Angeles County Office of Education 
supervisor of charter schools. Premack will also be a part of the panel. A lively question and 
answer period will follow. 

Lunch is available for $20, including tax, tip and free parking. The program is free. For information 
and lunch reservations, call 626-798-0965.


This intriguing new picture from 
ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows the 
glowing green planetary nebula IC 1295 
surrounding a dim and dying star located 
about 3,300 light-years away in the 
constellation of Scutum (the Shield). This 
is the most detailed picture of this object 
ever taken.

 Stars the size of the Sun end their lives 
as tiny, faint, and extremely dense white 
dwarf stars. But as these stars make the 
final transition into retirement their 
atmospheres are blown away into space. 
For a few tens of thousands of years they 
are surrounded by the spectacular and 
colorful glowing clouds of ionized gas 
known as planetary nebulae.

 This new image from the VLT shows the 
planetary nebula IC 1295, which lies in the 
constellation of Scutum (The Shield). It has 
the unusual feature of being surrounded 
by multiple shells that make it resemble a 
micro-organism seen under a microscope, 
with many layers corresponding to the 
membranes of a cell.

 These bubbles are made of gas that used 
to be the star’s atmosphere. This gas has 
been expelled by unstable fusion reactions in 
the star’s core that generated sudden releases 
of energy, like huge thermonuclear belches. The gas is bathed in 
strong ultraviolet radiation from the aging star, which makes the gas 
glow. Different chemical elements glow with different colors and 
the ghostly green shade that is prominent in IC 1295 comes from 
ionized oxygen.

 At the center of the image, you can see the burnt-out remnant of 
the star’s core as a bright blue-white spot at the heart of the nebula. 
The central star will become a very faint “white dwarf” and slowly 
cool down over many billions of years.

 Stars with masses like the Sun, and up to eight times that of the 
Sun, will form planetary nebulae as they enter the final phase of 
their existence. The Sun is 4.6 billion years old and it will likely live 
another four billion years.

 Despite the name, planetary nebulae have nothing to do with 
planets. This descriptive term was applied to some early discoveries 
because of the visual similarity of these unusual objects to the outer 
planets Uranus and Neptune, when viewed through early telescopes, 
and it has been catchy enough to survive. But even early observers 
such as William Herschel, who discovered not only Uranus but also 
many planetary nebulae, knew that these nebulae weren’t actually 
planets orbiting the Sun, as they did not move relative to the 
surrounding stars.

 These objects were shown to be glowing gas by early spectroscopic 
observations in the nineteenth century.

 This image was captured by ESO’s Very Large Telescope, located 
on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, using 
the FORS instrument (FOcal Reducer Spectrograph). Exposures 
taken through three different filters that passed blue light (colored 
blue), visible light (colored green), and red light (colored red) have 
been combined to make this picture.

 ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization 
in Europe. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, 
the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the 
Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United 

 ESO operates three observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal 
and Chajnantor. At Paranal, it operates the Very Large Telescope, 
the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, 
as well as two survey telescopes. ESO is currently planning 
the 39-meter European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared 
Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye 
on the sky.”

You can contact Bob Eklund at:

This intriguing new picture from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows the glowing green planetary nebula IC 1295 surrounding a dim and dying 
star located about 3300 light-years away in the constellation of Scutum (The Shield). This is the most detailed picture of this object ever taken.