Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 15, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 15, 2013 

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


[Nyerges is the author of “Til Death Do Us Part?”, a series of stories describing 
how he and his wife attempted to deal with death in an uplifting manner. 
The book is available on Kindle, or from School of Self-reliance, Box 41834, 
Eagle Rock, CA 90041 or] 


Remembering fallen 
peace officers occurs at 
local, state and national 
ceremonies. This past 
May 29th, I attended 
the 44th Los Angeles 
County Peace Officers’ 
Memorial. Among the 
eloquent speakers were 
Supervisors Don Knabe, 
4th District, Mike 
Antonovich, 5th District, 
and Los Angeles County 
District Attorney, Jackie 
Lacey. They reminded 
us of the great sacrifices 
made by our peace 
officers and their families. Each day, we go to 
work and expect to return home. But when a 
peace officer puts on his/her uniform and heads 
out to work, they have no guarantee they will 
return that evening. 

 Mrs. Lacey incorporated a little background 
history in her address. In the United States, 
Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th and 
Police Week, the calendar week in which Peace 
Officers Memorial Day occurs pays tribute to 
peace officers who have died in the line of duty 
throughout our country.

 How did this tribute begin? It began October 
1, 1961 when Congress asked President John F. 
Kennedy to designate May 15 to honor peace 
officers, and he promptly signed the bill into law. 
In 1994, President Bill Clinton directed that the 
Flag of the United States be flown at half-staff, and 
in 2002, President Bush’s Proclamation reminded 
us of paying tribute to local, state and federal law 
enforcement officers who protect us with courage 
and dedication. 

 Besides recognition to peace officers as a nation, 
special tribute occurs on the state level. California 
Peace Officers Memorial Ceremonies have 
been conducted in the State Capitol since 1977, 
recognizing officers fallen in the line of duty. That 
year, Senator Robert Presley introduced SCR94 
to honor peace officers killed in the line of duty 
the previous year, and the bill was signed by then-
Governor Brown. In 1985 Governor Deukmejian 
called upon Senator Presley again-to establish a 
monument memorializing peace officers who 
died in the line of duty. In Sacramento, there is 
a beautiful Memorial Statue with three standing 
figures, almost 9 feet tall, looking down at a life-
sized figure of a woman comforting a child sitting 
on a bench. The woman and child represent the 
grief-torn families left behind. The three figures 
depict a County Sheriff of the 1880’s, a state 
trooper of the 1930’s and a city patrolman of 
the 1980’s. On May 13, 1988 at 2:30pm, then-
Governor Deukmejian dedicated this beautiful 
bronze statue in the presence of hundreds of 
cities’, counties’ and states’ peace officers and 
officials. (Please go to the California Peace 
Officers’ Memorial Foundation to learn more)

 On a local level, the Sheriff’s Department 
began its 2013 tribute with the 36th Annual 
Memorial Torch Run Friday, May 17 - Sunday, 
May 20. Nearly 2000 participants covered 339 
miles stopping at each mainland station honoring 
peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice the 
previous year in Los Angeles County.

 At the May 29th 44th Annual Memorial 
Ceremony, four honorees were added to the wall, 
Deputy Constable Charles A. De Moranville, Los 
Angeles Sheriff’s Department, died on January 
4, 1909 when he was shot during a gun battle. 
Deputies Harry S. Guard and Emma Benson 
were killed in a traffic collision with a street car 
March 20, 1919, after the transport of a prisoner 
to the mental ward of a hospital and Pomona 
Police Chief Henry B. Tracey who died as a result 
of a traffic collision May 3, 1915 while on Duty. 

 Highlights of the May 29th Ceremony included 
the Memorial Torch being brought, Sgt. Bryon 
Ward’s rendition of “My Creed” inspired by 
our Deputy Dave March, a history of this year’s 
honorees, Wreath Presentations and the release 
of the Doves.

 On May 15 President Obama placed a flower 
in the wreath at the National Peace Officers 
Memorial Service, honoring 143 fallen officers. 
He closed the ceremony reminding us that “We 
can never repay our debt to these officers and 
their families but we must do what we can, with 
all we have, to live our lives in a way that pays 
tribute to their memory…to carve their names in 
stone so that all will know them and their legacy 
will endure.”

 When the name plaques of four fallen peace 
officers from the early 1900’s were added to 
the Memorial Wall this May 29th, the Sheriff’s 
Department heeded the words of our great 
President. May Charles De Moranville, Harry 
Guard, Emma Benson and Henry Tracey never 
be forgotten.

When my father’s 80th birthday 
coincided with Father’s Day 
some years ago, I wrote a 
pictorial booklet for my father, 
which outlined key aspects of 
our life together. It was my way 
of thanking my father. My wife 
Dolores and I went to his home 
after the wild cacophonous 
family gathering had ended. 
We didn’t want an audience 
in an atmosphere of laugher, 
sarcasm, and possibly ridicule. I 
only wanted to share the thank 
you story with my father in a 
somewhat serious atmosphere. 

 Dolores and I brought some 
special foods, put on some 
music, and I began my short 
presentation beginning with my 
earliest significant memories. I 
shared with him my memories 
of how he told me I would be an 
artist when I grew up. He always 
told me to put my bike and 
toys away, so “the boogeyman” 
wouldn’t steal them. As I grew 
older, I learned that the world 
was indeed full of very real 
“boogeymen” and my father 
attempted to provide me with 
ways to protect myself against 
these unsavory elements of life.

 I recalled to my father, 
while my mother and Dolores 
listened on, the birthday party 
adventures, getting hair cuts 
in the garage, and how my 
father tolerated my interest in 
mycology and wild edibles. 

 Everyone found the recounting 
amusing, even funny, but there 
were also tears mixed with 
the laughter. As with most 
memories, some things my 
father recalled quite differently 
from me, and some he didn’t 
recall at all. Some things that I 
saw as life-and-death serious, 
he saw as humorous, and vice 

 But above it all, I felt I’d finally 
“connected” with him at age 80 
in a way that I’d never managed 
to do before. My “father’s day 
card” wasn’t pre-made by a 
card company, but consisted 
of my own private and secret 
memories that I shared with 
him. I managed to thank him 
for doing all the things that I 
took for granted – a roof over 
my head, meals, an education, a 
relatively stable home. 

 Of course, all our family 
members – “insiders” – knew 
that my father was no saint. But 
I was at least acknowledging the 
good, and sincerely thanking 
him for it. 

 My mother died two years 
later, and we all knew my father 
would be lost without her. 
They’d been married over 50 
years. His health and activities 
declined and he finally passed 
away on the Ides of March a few 
years later. 

 Though his death did not 
come as a surprise – I was 
nevertheless left feeling his 
absence. That early Saturday 
morning when I learned of his 
death, I even felt parent-less. My 
view of the world changed and 
I was forced to acknowledge 
the limits of life and the futility 
of pursuing solely a material 

 After I learned of his death 
via a phone call, I walked out 
into the morning rain, in shock, 
crying, thinking, remembering. 
I was not feeling cold or wet, 
and somehow I was protected 
by that unique state of mind 
that enshrouded me. 

 During the next three days, 
I did as I had done with my 
mother when she died. I spent 
the next three days reviewing 
my life with my father. 

 At first I allowed the random 
memories and pain to wash 
over me. I talked to Frank 
constantly during those three 
days, inviting and allowing him 
to be with me as we did the life 
review together. I felt his pain, 
his frustration, his emptiness 
and loneliness in his last few 
years of life. I did nothing to 
stop the pain of this – I allowed 
myself to feel it all. 

 I spoke to Frank as I’d speak to 
anyone living. I felt his presence 
and even his responses. I did 
this for myself as much as for 
Frank and his on-going journey. 

 I began to see him as a 
young man, who met, fell in 
love, and married my mother. 
Somehow, this was a major 
revelation to me. I had never 
seen my own father in that light 
before. He had simply been 
“my father.” Suddenly, he was a 
unique individual, with his own 
dreams, aspirations, and goals. 
Amazingly, I’d never viewed 
him in this way during our life 

 And then, after perhaps 
12 hours of this, and miles 
of walking, I began a more 
chronological review of my life 
with my father, point by point 
by significant point. I saw his 
weaknesses and strengths, as 
well as my own. As I did this 
review, I looked for all the 
things that I’d done right with 
my father, all the things I’d done 
wrong, and all the things that I 
could have done better. I wrote 
these down, and the “wrong” 
list was shockingly long. The 
“right” list only contained a few 

 I asked my father to forgive 
me, and I resolved to do certain 
things differently in order 
to change and improve my 
character. I know I would not 
have imposed such a rigor upon 
myself had it not been for the 
death of my father. 

 A week later, when there 
was the funeral at the church, 
I felt that I’d come to know my 
father more than I ever was able 
to do in life. I briefly shared to 
the congregation my three days 
of “being with” my father, and 
learning what it was like to be 
Frank, in his shoes, and how we 
forgave one another. 

 More importantly, I shared 
to family and friends gathered 
that day the importance of 
constantly finding the time 
to tell your living loved ones 
that you indeed love them, not 
waiting until they die to say the 
things that you should be saying 
all along. 

 I remember Frank now on 
Father’s Day, and continue to 
express my heart-felt thanks for 
all that he – and my mother – 
gave to me.

On Friday, June 14, 2013, reductions 
were made in state financial 
support for the California 
judicial branch force the Court 
to eliminate 511 budgeted positions. 
As a result, 539 Los Angeles 
Superior Court employees 
will be affected, including 177 
employees who will be laid off.

A budget committee of the 
California legislature agreed 
Monday evening to provide $60 
million in new funding to the 
state trial courts; close to $20 
million of that funding may be 
provided to the Los Angeles Superior 

Nevertheless, even if the additional 
funds are provided, the 
amount is insufficient to avoid 
the contraction of court size 
and services necessitated by repeated, 
cumulative budget cuts 
since 2008. 

As Presiding Judge David S. 
Wesley stated, the legislative 
action is “too little, too late, to 
stop the layoffs, or the reduction 
in access to justice that 
state funding cuts have produced, 
although they give us 
hope that we will not have to 
make further cuts to staff or services 
in the foreseeable future.”

Decreases in state support 
for the California trial courts 
now total $725 million annually. 
Net of mitigations (such 
as increased fees for court users 
imposed by the legislature), 
and including unfunded cost 
increases, the Los Angeles Superior 
Court must manage 
a structural budget deficit of 
$195 million. Previous actions, 
including layoffs in 2010 and 
2012, hiring freezes, cuts in 
supplies and other cost-saving 
measures, have reduced the 
Court’s annual spending by 
$110 million.

Friday’s actions will reduce 
spending by another $56 million. 
“Assuming that Governor 
Brown signs into law the budget 
increase proposed for the trial 
courts, our Court’s share will 
barely cover the remainder of 
our structural deficit. For the 
first time since the budget crisis 
began, we will have finally 
resolved our structural deficit,” 
said Wesley.

As of July 1, 2013, the Court 
will have eliminated 30% of its 
budgeted staff positions since 
2002 – a 24% reduction since 
the state budget crisis began in 

To manage the Court after Friday’s 
staffing reductions, the 
Court has implemented a consolidation 
plan that has resulted 

Closure of eight courthouses: 
Pomona North, Whittier, Huntington 
Park, Beacon Street, San 
Pedro, Kenyon Juvenile, West 
Los Angeles and Malibu;

Significant reductions in court 
services at the Beverly Hills and 
Catalina courthouses;

Consolidation of personal injury, 
collections, small claims, 
probate, unlawful detainer and 
traffic cases in fewer courthouse 

Elimination of the remaining 
part-time court reporters in 
civil courts;

Elimination of all full-time referee 
positions in the juvenile 
courts and reduction of juvenile 
dependency mediation services; 

Elimination of the Court-managed 
Alternative Dispute Resolution 

“We have reached the new normal,” 
said Wesley. “And there is 
nothing to like about it.”

“When the Municipal and Superior 
Courts unified, our vision 
was to be the largest neighborhood 
court and to maintain 
a presence in many communities 
throughout LA County,” 
said Wesley. “This is not the 
neighborhood court we worked 
so hard to build. It is not our 
vision for access to justice. But 
this is the Court that the state 
is willing and able to support. 
We will be using our collective 
energy as a court to provide access 
to justice in every case type 
within the limits of the resources 
we have been provided.”

To save $56 million annually, 
the Court is eliminating 511 
budgeted positions. The elimination 
will have the following 
effects on court employees:

177 people will lose their jobs;

139 people will be demoted to 
previously held positions; those 
demotions will, in turn, bring 
about reductions in pay for 
those employees;

223 employees will keep their 
jobs with the Court, but will be 
reassigned to new locations on 
Monday, June 17.

In all, 539 people are being impacted: 
one in seven employees. 
Notices to affected employees 
were hand-delivered Friday.

“It is a particular irony that 
many of the people being impacted 
have been working 
long and hard to restructure 
the Court over these past few 
months,” noted Assistant

Presiding Judge Carolyn B. 
Kuhl. “They and all our employees 
have done the impossible: 
moving hundreds of thousands 
of case files, and dismantling 
and rebuilding large parts of 
our Court. I admire their commitment 
to serving the public. 
It has not wavered.”




Foothill Extension to Claremont 
continues to be Inaccurately 

MONROVIA, CA – At their 
regularly scheduled meeting last 
night, the Metro Gold Line Foothill 
Extension Construction Authority 
(Construction Authority) 
board of directors voted unanimously 
to oppose the Measure R 
Expenditure Plan and Measure R 
Ordinance Amendments as proposed 
by Metro. 

The Amendments are being proposed 
to allow Metro to accelerate 
funding to five Measure R 
transit projects ahead of the year 
approved by voters in 2008. The 
changes would only take affect 
if Metro is able to secure close 
to $6 billion in federal funding 
and grants for one or more 
of the Measure R transit capital 
projects. Metro is circulating the 
amendments for comment and 
plans to hold a public hearing on 
the matter on June 27. 

“We are very disappointed and 
frustrated that Metro continues 
to blatantly ignore the voter 
mandate, which clearly defined 
the Gold Line Foothill Extension 
project from Pasadena to Claremont,” 
explains board chairman 
and Glendora councilman Doug 
Tessitor. “Metro has yet again disregarded 
the request by the Construction 
Authority to update 
information in their Measure R 
Expenditure Plan to include an 
accurate cost estimate to complete 
the project to Claremont. As 
shown in their plan amendment, 
the project will end in Azusa.”

Earlier this year, as required by 
statute, the Construction Authority 
board approved an updated 
expenditure plan for the Foothill 
Extension project. The updated 
project-level expenditure plan 
took into account the latest information 
known about the project, 
following significant study and 
planning completed since Measure 
R was approved in 2008. 

“We have a much better idea 
what the total project will truly 
cost,” added chairman Tessitor. 
“We have now awarded all contracts 
for the Pasadena to Azusa 
segment and have recently completed 
extensive environmental 
studies of the Azusa to Montclair 
segment. Together, this information 
allowed us to provide Metro 
a more accurate estimate for use 
as they update their overall expenditure 
plan. Unfortunately, 
they have chosen not to include 
the information in their proposed 

The proposed Measure R Expenditure 
Plan Amendment 
includes a total estimated cost 
for the Foothill Extension project 
of $758 million, significantly 
less than the actual cost estimate 
($1.714 billion) to complete the 
project to Claremont. The plan 
also includes an expected project 
completion of 2015-17, only 
reflecting completion of the first 
half of the project to Azusa. The 
Construction Authority’s plan estimates 
completion to Claremont 
in 2022. 

The Construction Authority 
board’s action will now be sent 
as official comments on the proposed 
Amendments. The Metro 
board is scheduled to hold a 
public hearing at their upcoming 
board meeting on June 27.