Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 8, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 8, 2013 


SACRAMENTO – The California 
Assembly has approved several 
bills by Assemblymember 
Chris Holden. These bills now 
move to the Senate for consideration. 
In his first legislative 
session, Assemblymember 
Holden authored measures to 
help homeowners avoid foreclosure, 
streamline programs 
for small businesses, and encourage 
state agencies to buy 
California first.

AB 139 – Domestic Violence 

This measure strengthens penalties 
that abusers are required 
to pay to ensure that more funding 
is available to Domestic Violence 
Shelters. It was the first 
piece of legislation heard on the 
Assembly floor this session and 
was unanimously approved. 

AB 143 – Military Use Tax Exemption

Gives active duty military a tax break from state Use Tax on personal property purchased prior to 
being transferred into the state. AB 143 is supported by the State Board of Equalization and Veterans 
groups throughout California.

AB 199 – Choose California Act

Encourages state run institutions to buy California agricultural products. Under AB 199, state agencies, 
public schools districts and public colleges would be encouraged to give California agriculture 
producers priority when purchasing food products. 

AB 201 – Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

This bill streamlines the program by making it accessible and user friendly by maintaining an Internet 
Website that would include information on programs on small business financial guarantees, direct 
lending and disaster loans. 

AB 250 – iHUB Program

Will expand the development of iHubs across California and develop more economic opportunities 
for start-up companies, promoting greater collaboration between innovators and venture capital investment 
within the state.

AB 358 – Lead Testing Kits

Provides specific standards for lead hazard evaluation in public and residential buildings. 

AB 358 allows California Department of Public Health to include EPA recognized tests in its lead 
testing programs.

AB 359 – Airport Rental Agreement

Streamlines the Airport Rental Car Facility charge audit process by permitting California’s airports, 
many of which are operated by local governments, to submit to the Legislature the same facility information 
contained in mandatory disclosures currently required by other regulatory agencies. This 
bill will remove the financial burden of duplicative audits while maintaining all existing consumer 
protections enacted by the Legislature.

AB 630 – Architects

Prohibits a person from using an architect's work

without a written contract or written assignment authorizing that use.

In addition, Assemblymember Holden’s AB 72 – Municipal Water Districts – has been approved by 
both legislative houses and is now on Governor Brown’s desk pending his signature.

Holden’s AB 132 – Foreclosure Prevention Bill – will be heard June 10 in the Assembly Revenue & 
Taxation Committee.

Why I Wrote My Books:


Homesteading In The City

[Nyerges is the author of 10 books, and teaches regular classes through the 
School of Self-reliance. He does a weekly podcast at Preparedness Radio 
Network, and blogs regularly at]

“Extreme Simplicity: 
Homesteading in the 
City” is perhaps my 
favorite of the books I have written because it is 
like a personal diary of how my wife Dolores and 
I worked towards our goal of “living lightly on 
the earth,” even though we had a small budget 
and lived in a small suburban Highland Park 

 We were doing what our Appalachian friend 
used to describe as “living country in the city.” 
We pursued all aspects of self-reliance, and 
wrote about it. Starting as soon as we moved in 
to our new home in 1986, we began task by task 
with limited income. We used our front lawn to 
grow food, we recycled our wash water, collected 
rain water, had chickens, a duck, bees, and a pig, 
had solar water heating and solar electricity, a 
wood stove, and we planted fruit trees and food 

 We describe our efforts to do “integral 
gardening” on every bit of usable land, to produce 
food (for people and wildlife), medicines, 
fragrance, shade, and useful tools. We describe 
the details of what it meant to raise earthworms, 
chickens, rabbits, bees, a goose, a pig, and our 
dogs in their typical suburban back yard.

 We took the reader along their journey to 
installing a wood fireplace, solar water heating, 
and a solar electric system.

 Though there is much “how to” in this book, it 
is full of personal stories and rich reading of the 
learning they experienced along the way. There 
is a section on recycling, and a unique section 
about the economics of self-reliance. 

 It’s worth noting that this is not a book we 
planned on writing. In 2000, we were called by 
the Mother Earth News magazine to write an 
article about our meaning of “alternate health” 
methods, and we wrote about the methods that 
were as ancient as Hippocrates. We were on the 
cover, and a book publisher contacted us to see if 
we could turn that health article into a book. We 
said yes. But when we submitted the manuscript 
to the publisher, they said, hmm, not exactly 
what we were looking for. [That book, Integral 
Health, will be published eventually]. So they 
asked us if we could just write about how we live, 
which we did, and it became Extreme Simplicity.

 Extreme Simplicity, first published in October of 
2002, will be re-released from another publisher 
in August of 2013. It will be available wherever 
books are sold, from Amazon, and from the 
School of Self-Reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, 
CA 90041; or



 Our freestanding fireplace has completely 
transformed our home. We would strongly 
encourage anyone without one already to 
seriously consider installing one. On very cold 
nights, we had been using those small electric 
heaters that really drive up your electric bill. The 
fireplace made the house really feel like a home, 
and we now are uncertain how we got along 
without it.

 In our case, the transition to wood heating was 
fairly easy, because we had plenty of firewood 
readily available. We were actually doing a 
neighbor a favor by cleaning up and carting off 
large amounts of dead and fallen wood from 
his property. Our first season of firewood came 
entirely from our weekly cleaning of his yard, 
just for the cost of our labor. How’s that for a 
win-win situation?


 Many people today believe that they’re 
spending all their time working, yet with very 
little in return. Unfortunately, such realizations 
may come too late to be remedied.

 We think that the Amish people have the right 
idea when they keep their schools and work close 
to home. They don’t have to go a long way to a 
job, thereby avoiding wasted time and energy, 
unnecessary expenses, and disconnection from 
their community. They can protect their families 
from undesirable influence, and there is the 
added bonus of having youngsters nearby where 
they can learn a trade from an early age. The 
Amish are firmly committed to valuing “quality 
of life” over all the stuff that our modern society 
deems important or indispensable - car, home 
entertainment system, fancy clothes, foods 
bought for “convenience” and prestige rather 
than fresh garden flavor and nutritional value.


 Once, during a period of homelessness before 
we were married, Christopher was engulfed in 
thoughts of “poor me” and “I’m destitute,” and 
he could scarcely see a way out of the darkness. 
Dolores provided him with a simple set of 
practical tools that anyone can use if only they 
choose to do so. Here are four “magic” ways to 
improve your financial situation:

 1. Never waste anything.

 2. Continually improve your personal honesty.

 3. Leave every situation or circumstance better 
than you found it.

 4. Tithe to the church (or organization) of your 

 We know that these are genuine practical 
solutions. We have heard people say that they 
cannot make these efforts - such as tithing, or 
improving an environment - because “we are 
poor.” Our perspective is that they have their 
reasoning backwards. They are poor because 
they do not engage themselves in the world in 
these ways. Logical thinking leads to erroneous 
conclusions when the premise is false.


1. You can do without some electrical devices. 

 This will probably involve changing your 
behavior, for instance, thinking twice before 
switching on an electrical tool or appliance when 
a non-electric alternative will work just as well 
or better.

 2. You can learn to use your existing devices 
more efficiently. 

 This step, too, requires changes in habit, 
but once you’ve understood the extra expenses 
caused by inefficiency and waste, you’ll feel good 
about it - plus you’ll save money by practicing 

3. You can purchase new appliances that render 
your household inherently more energy efficient.

 This step requires initial outlays of money, 
and in some cases higher short-term expenses, 
but with certain especially wasteful appliances, 
the best way to save energy and money is to 
immediately replace the old, wasteful model.


Tips Promote Customer Safety & Awareness on Identifying Utility Workers

LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2013 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas ) is alerting customers to be 
aware of people posing as gas company employees to gain entry to a customer’s home for the purpose 
of committing a crime. SoCalGas wants to assure customers that employees who perform in-home 
appliance services, work on gas meters, or service natural gas pipelines wear uniforms and carry 
official photo identification while on the job. 

“SoCalGas encourages customers to verify the uniform and proper identification of utility workers 
before letting anyone into their home or property,” said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas vice president of field 
services. “Customer safety is a top priority for SoCalGas and our employees will gladly wait while 
customers confirm their identity.” 

The following tips can help customers avoid being a victim of utility impostors:

• Customers are encouraged to be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a 
representative of SoCalGas, especially if the visit is unscheduled.
• Customers should ask for identification before allowing someone into the home. SoCalGas 
workers who perform in-home appliance services, work on gas meters or work on gas pipeline wear 
uniforms. However, some other employees do not. 
• The majority of authorized SoCalGas field service employees will be in uniform with a 
SoCalGas company logo, carry an official employee badge with a photo, and most of the time drive a 
company car bearing the SoCalGas logo.
• Most SoCalGas employee visits are in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an 
appointment, call SoCalGas before allowing anyone into the home.
• To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SoCalGas, customers 
are encouraged to ask for proper identification or call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-
4545 in Spanish) during normal business hours. SoCalGas customer service representatives are 
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit for more information on 
staying safe.

News media can get the latest news by following @SoCalGasNews on Twitter.


About Southern California Gas Co. 

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its 
customers for 145 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 
20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. 
The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central 
and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of 
Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).