Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 18, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 18, 2013 

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


[Nyerges teaches survival skills through School of Self-Reliance, Box 
41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or He is 
the author of “Enter the Forest,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other 


Judge Ann Jones 
Addresses Budget Cuts 
and Their Impact On 
Our Judicial System

 The guest speaker for 
the last Arcadia Chamber 
of Commerce Meeting 
was Superior Court Judge, 
the Honorable Ann Jones, 
who has served since 2001. 
Currently Judge Jones is the Supervising Judge 
for Budget Planning and Implementation. Her 
message was somber-“This is bad” and “There 
are huge consequences”. As of June 14, eight 
courthouses will be closed and 511 staff positions 
lost in this process of “de-reconstruction” and 
“re-construction” of the Court System in Los 
Angeles County.

 After her informative and eye opening 
presentation, Judge Jones shared her detailed 
outline with me. It’s quite lengthy, but this issue 
is so important to all of us, that I will share some 
of it.

 The principles and priorities of the Budget 
Planning and Implementation Committee 
included meeting constitutional requirements 
and statutory obligations; maintain access to 
justice in all litigation types, most effective use of 
bench officers, and fair and even distributions of 
resources within all case types.

 There will be fewer neighborhood courts 
as ten courthouses will be closed with narrow 
exceptions: Huntington Park, Whittier, Pomona 
North, Malibu, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills 
(1 traffic court will remain), San Pedro, Beacon 
Street, Catalina (2 days/month only) and Kenyon 

 We will have fewer criminal and traffic 
courts at fewer locations: 12 courthouses will 
close, and cases will be distributed among the 
remaining criminal courtrooms by mid-June; 
court scheduling reconfigured to accommodate 
new demands from parole violation hearings.

 Family Law/Civil Harassment Cases-
Redirection of more than 10,000 hearings 
annually will result in a 15+% workload increase 
for bench officers.

 Two delinquency courtrooms at Kenyon 
will be closed and work re-distributed; a layoff 
of referees replaced with other bench officers; 
closure of dedicated adoption courts excepting 
Edelman’s Children’s Court.

 As 10,000 civil harassment hearings will 
be redirected annually, existing bench officer 

workloads will increase by 15+%. 

 Probate to be centralized at Mosk 
Courthouse-filings will be accepted only at Mosk, 
and bench officers may conduct some hearings 
in district courts for certain conservatorship and 
guardianship matters.

 Civil Consolidations include bench 
officers be dedicated to one case type; utilize 
differential case management for collection, PI 
and limited civil cases and reduce the number of 
courtrooms and staff.

 Probate matters will be centralized in 
Mosk Courthouse-filings will only be accepted 

 Small claims will be filed and heard only 
at five courthouses-Mosk, Alhambra, Downey, 
Van Nuys, and Inglewood.

 Unlawful detentions will be filed and 
heard at Mosk, Pasadena, Long Beach and Santa 
Monica. (Lancaster will not change) The travel 
distance can be up to 32 miles.

 Small claims will be filed and heard 
at Mosk, Alhambra, Downey, Van Nuys and 
Inglewood. (Lancaster will not change) Travel 
distance up to 25 miles.

 There will be limited civil courts. Two 
Collection Courts will be at Chatsworth and 
Norwalk-up to travel distance of 46 miles. And 
the remaining civil cases will be at Mosk with a 
travel distance of up to 66 miles.

 Judge Jones explained their predicament of $530 
MILLION reduced funding. She revealed that 
court expenditures had to be reduced by $85 
million in one year. This closure of courts and 
reduction of staff will result in a longer wait for 
a case to go to court. She assured us all cases will 
be heard, but it will take longer for them to go to 

 Where do you 
go to get out and 
enjoy nature with the 
family? What are 
some of the options?

 First, look at the 
map! We’ve got the 
mountains to our 
north, the desert to our east, and the Pacific 
Ocean not far away. Whether you want to go for 
a family drive, or a hike, or an excursion, there are 
lots of options to consider.



 You don’t always need to be in the woods to 
enjoy a good walk. I have taken many urban 
hikes in the Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre, 
San Marino, and surrounding areas. Generally, 
I have driven to an area, and hiked in a four or 
five square block area. Just try it and discover the 
hidden urban wilderness right under your nose. 
You’ll see homes you never noticed before, and 
the unique flora (and maybe even fauna) that’s so 
common here.



 Drive all the way up Santa Anita through 
Arcadia, through Sierra Madre, and up to 
Chantry Flats. On the weekends, this is one of 
the most popular places in the local mountains, 
so see if you can get there during the week. 


 Drive north on Baldwin in Sierra Madre to 
Carter, go left, and proceed about a half-mile to 
Bailey Canyon Park. You could actually just stroll 
around this smallish park and have a good time. 


 Drive to the top of Lake Avenue and park where 
you can. Hike behind the wrought iron gates 
and you can stroll around in this large flatlands, 
an old estate now full of native plants and some 
surviving ornamentals. 


 From Loma Alta in Altadena, drive up Chaney 
Trail to the high point, and then drive down 
into the river bottom. You can park and hike 
upstream (to the waterfall) or downstream where 
you view the old cabins and a great selection of 
native plants. This is a pleasant spot to spend a 
summer day, though parking is limited.


 There are countless spots along the Arroyo 
Seco where you can go on short or longer walks. 

 You can park around the Rose Bowl, and hike 
as long as you wish up the east side, or the west 
side of the Arroyo Seco. There are horse trails 
on both sides and, though you’ll see plenty of 
people along the way, don’t underestimate such 
“backyard” walks. You’ll be surprised at how rich 
in details and plant life such walks can be. You’ll 
see areas that you never knew existed when you 
slowed down and opened your eyes.



 From the 210 Freeway, exit on Angeles Crest 
Highway and head north. In about 10 miles or so, 
you’ll get to the Angeles Forest Highway. If you 
travel up the Angeles Forest Highway, the terrain 
will start to look more like a desert and there are 
a few turnoff where you can hike or camp. Get a 
map from the U.S. Forest Service on Santa Anita 
just south of the 210 freeway in Arcadia so you 
see all the options here.


 Within a short driving distance, we have 
numerous top-quality parks for picnics and 
excursions for the family.

 Santa Fe Dam and Recreation Area. This is one 
of our secret locations located just south of the 
210 freeway and east of the 605. It’s a huge area 
where you can bicycle the perimeter, or picnic, 
or hike around and enjoy the scenery. You could 
even picnic by the water.

 Griffith Park. This is one of the largest urban 
parks in the country, home to the L.A. Zoo (a 
great spot to take the family), and the Griffith 
Observatory. I suggest go to the shop at the 
Observatory, buy the map for the park, and take 
some exploratory hikes on some of the short 
loops throughout the park. In some areas, the 
views are spectacular.

 Joshua Tree. OK, this is a drive of at least 
an hour and a half to the east, but you’re going 
into some wonderfully desert country, with lots 
of spots to stop along the way, including the palm 
canyons outside of Palm Springs.


 One of best kept secrets, and a great day trip 
for the family, is any one of the original missions, 
many of which are a short drive from Pasadena.

 You can see how buildings were built, and how 
life was lived a few hundred years ago when the 
Spanish came into California, before there were 
freeways and Jack in the Box. 

 The closest is the San Gabriel Mission, just 
in our backyard. A little further afield are the 
missions at Santa Barbara and Ventura, and to the 
south, San Juan Capistrano. 


 Perhaps you’re looking for a place to walk 
casually, and learn about native and ornamental 
floral. Once again, we have some world-class 
outing locations in our own backyard.

 Try Huntington Gardens just south of Cal Tech 
and Pasadena City College, or Descanso Gardens 
in La Cañada, or the L.A. County Arboretum 
down Baldwin on Arcadia or, further east, Rancho 
Santa Anita Botanical Gardens in Claremont.


 Our Southern California beaches are but 30 to 
45 minutes from Pasadena, and you have many 
options, depending on where your interests lie. 
There are good spots to walk on piers, eat lobster, 
bicycle for miles at Redondo, and kayak at Balboa 
Island. Beaches are always popular. 


 Many of the destinations require a parking fee 
or an entry fee. You can look up the names on-
line and inquire. Prices can vary from weekday 
to weekend.


 Get a book or map before you go and study the 
trails and your options. I strongly recommend 
John Robinson’s “Trails of the Angeles” for the 
local trails mentioned here.


 If you plan to go to the Missions, or the beaches, 
the S. California Auto Club is one of your best 
investments. Not only will you get roadside 
service, but they provide custom maps for any 
sort of excursion that you desire. 


 Always go prepared when you take a hike or 
go out for a family excursion. Dress comfortably 
for the season, with a hat if necessary. Carry 
water, since many of the trail sites don’t have 
any. And I strongly recommend you carry some 
simple emergency survival gear, such as a knife, 
fire starter, cell phone, and first aid kit. Always 
prepare for the specific needs of all your family 
members, including elderly and children, and 
pets if you must take them with you.

The Honorable Ann Jones


The team operating NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars has selected 
a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set 
course to the drilling location in coming days.

This second drilling target, called “Cumberland,” lies about nine feet 
west of the rock where Curiosity’s drill first touched Martian stone 
in February. Curiosity took the first rock sample ever collected on 
Mars from that rock, called “John Klein.” The rover found evidence 
of an ancient environment favorable for microbial life. Both rocks 
are flat, with pale veins and a bumpy surface. They are embedded 
in a layer of rock on the floor of a shallow depression called “Yellowknife 

The second drilling is intended to confirm results from the first 
drilling, which indicated the chemistry of the first powdered sample 
from John Klein was much less oxidizing than that of a soil sample 
the rover scooped up before it began drilling.

Although Cumberland and John Klein are very similar, Cumberland 
appears to have more of the erosion-resistant granules that 
cause the surface bumps. The bumps are concretions, or clumps of 
minerals, which formed when water soaked the rock long ago. 

Mission engineers at JPL recently finished upgrading Curiosity’s operating 
software following a four-week break. The rover continued 
monitoring the Martian atmosphere during the break but the team 
did not send any new commands because Mars and the Sun were 
positioned in such a way the Sun could have blocked or corrupted 
commands sent from Earth.

Curiosity is about nine months into a two-year prime mission. After 
the second rock drilling in Yellowknife Bay and a few other investigations 
nearby, the rover will drive toward the base of Mount Sharp, 
a 3-mile-high layered mountain inside Gale crater.

THE RED PLANET has fascinated me ever since I took part in a 
play called “A Funny Family on Mars,” written, acted, and produced 
(for parents) by my 4th-grade class. I was chosen to play the part of 
an Earth-boy who, with his sister, builds a space ship and flies it to 
Mars. There we meet a Mars-boy named Cumbo Abba, played by a 
kid with the brightest red hair you ever saw!

Those were days when so little was known of Mars that anything 
seemed possible. The depiction of Mars in fiction had been stimulated 
by the planet’s dramatic 
red color and by nineteenth-
century scientific speculations 
that it might support intelligent 
life. Thus originated 
a large number of science-
fiction scenarios, among 
which was H. G. Wells’ The 
War of the Worlds, published 
in 1898, in which Martians 
seek to escape their dying 
planet by invading Earth. A 
subsequent radio adaptation 
of The War of the Worlds on 
October 30, 1938, by Orson 
Welles was presented as a live 
news broadcast, and became 
notorious for causing a public 
panic when many listeners 
mistook it for the truth.

Have Martians ever existed? 
Not likely, at least according 
to the evidence so far unearthed 
(an odd word, when 
referring to Mars). Perhaps 
the “Martians” will ultimately 
be what Ray Bradbury so poignantly 
suggests at the end of 
the last episode of his Martian 
Chronicles—where a family 
of colonists from Earth look at 
their reflections in a canal and 
realize, “We are the Martians!”

Despite all our exploration, all 
the mysteries involving Mars 
will probably never be resolved. 
Here’s one, for instance: Author 
Jonathan Swift made reference 
to the moons of Mars, detailing 
reasonably accurate descriptions 
of their orbits, in the 19th chapter of his novel Gulliver's Travels—
about 150 years before their actual discovery.

You can contact Bob Eklund at:

This map shows the location of "Cumberland," the second rock-drilling target for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, in 
relation to the rover's first drilling target, "John Klein," within the southwestern lobe of a shallow depression called 
"Yellowknife Bay." Cumberland, like John Klein, is a patch of flat-lying bedrock with pale veins and bumpy surface 
texture. The bumpiness is due to erosion-resistant nodules within the rock, which have been identified as concretions 
resulting from the action of mineral-laden water.

 North is to the top of the map. The scale bar is 50 meters (164 feet). Cumberland lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) 
west of John Klein. The base map is part of an image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment 
(HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The mapped area is within Gale Crater and north of the 
mountain called Mount Sharp in the middle of the crater. After completion of investigations near the edge of Yellowknife 
Bay, the rover's main science destination will be on the lower reaches of Mount Sharp. Courtesy NASA