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

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 20, 2013 

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


From the Book “Til Death Do Us Part”

By Christoper Nyerges

[Christopher Nyerges is the author of “Til Death Do Us Part?”, available 
on Kindle, or as a pdf download at Store at www.ChristopherNyerges.
com. He is the author of 10 other books, and he leads self-reliance 
classes. For more information, contact him at School of Self-reliance, 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]

COUNCIL MEETING: Updates on Hope House, Live 
Oak Village and Summer Fun for Everyone

 At the July Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte Town Council Meeting, updates on 
community concerns were given. First, George Lopez from Hope House on 
Fairgreen Avenue said the alarm system has been installed. It is not a loud siren, 
but a “talking” alarm system! It alerts you if someone is trying to open a window 
or door. George said the neighborhood has “embraced us with open arms and 
welcomed us… People have come over to introduce themselves and it has had 
a positive effect on the residents”. He also said they loved the Mayflower Village 
Parade and will be in it next year!

 Council Member Linda Sells gave a 
great update on the Live Oak Village in 
South Arcadia. Linda has been working 
diligently with Rose Olson, Project 
Director. At the last meeting many 
residents voiced concerns which were 
heeded by Rose. The next day, many 
residents met with Rose, saw the project 
plans and they were appeased. However 
some residents still had concerns. One 
concern was parking. Originally, the 
project was not going to cut down a 
great Oak Tree. However the residents 
didn’t care about the tree, they wanted 
more parking! So the tree will come 
down, but several others will be planted 
in the proposed park-like area on 
the site. It’s also “Back to the drawing 
board”, and there is consideration for a 
smaller structure. 

 Council Members Terrence Williams 
and Gloria Huss mentioned riding the 
Gold Line and how that project is on 
schedule. Gloria reminded everyone to 
go to Gold Line’s website for updates on 
road work/street closing.

 Since Youth Activities Deputy Art 
Valenzuela has been out of town, 
Probation Officer Kevin Peris kindly 
gave us an update on YAL activities.

 In June, Deputy Valenzuela took 
eight male youth to Camp Courage in 
the City of Industry where they worked 
on team building and leadership skills. The kids challenged themselves on a rock wall, zip line and 
high/low rope course. The goal is to build upon confidence and teamwork. (Girls Camp Courage will 
be July 30-August 1) 

 In July, Deputy Valenzuela took youth to FamCamp-Calaveras Big Tree State Park. Thirty members 
of the Youth Athletic League from Temple Station, East L.A. and West Hollywood attended. They 
worked on training, had the opportunity to swim and kayak, and enjoyed hikes and trust walks. 

 On July 15-16, Deputy Valenzuela took 5 youth to the first ever Community Emergency Response 
Team (CERT) training. The two-day class included basic first aid, emergency rescue/response and 
other disaster preparedness skills. Each teen received a certificate of completion and an emergency 
response bag. 

 On July 17, Deputy Valenzuela took 23 youth deep-sea fishing at Marina Del Rey on the Betty-O.

 One final reminder: Enjoy the great Library, Music and Pamela Park summer programs! Ronald 
McDonald will be at the Duarte Library Tuesday, July 23 at 3pm! Teen activities (Grades 6 and up) 
are Monday evenings at 6:30 at Live Oak Library - last week they made great jewelry! Those music 
concerts are great! Arcadia is Thursday evenings at 6:30, Monrovia is Sunday evenings at 7, and Pamela 
Park is Thursdays at 6. (Please refer to the July 13 issue of this paper for the complete schedule). Lastly, 
FREE MOVIE NIGHT - Fridays 8pm at Pamela Park - bring a blanket - free popcorn and a great 
time for all!

Terumasa, Nami’s friend from 
Japan, had arranged to visit 
us in December of 2008. But 
unbeknownst to Terumasa, 
Dolores [my wife] had died a 
few days earlier

 In the evenings of late 
December and early January, I 
would often sit with Terumasa 
and Nami and have dinner 
together, often watching 
television, and always trying 
to converse with Terumasa. 
Terumasa was a noble man 
who exuded greatness. I loved 
to be around him, and wished 
that our language barrier was 

 One late afternoon, after we 
had the backyard memorial for 
Dolores, a few people lingered 
in the backyard and living room 
to talk. Terumasa sat there next 
to me, with Mel sitting there 
listening. Terumasa looked 
at me while we talked about 
Dolores. He said, “Christopher,” 
to gain my attention. 

 “Christopher,” he repeated 
with great concern in his voice.

 “Why are we born? Why are 
here? Why do we live this life? 
Why must we experience all 
this pain?” He paused. He was 
about to cry. He added, “Why 
do we die?”

 We were all silent for a few 
moments. Joe Hall looked at 
me, wondering what I would 
say. Joe had previously made it 
clear to me that he didn’t believe 
in reincarnation, “and all that 
spiritual stuff,” but I suppose 
he wanted to see how I would 
respond. Mel commented, 
“Those are the questions, 

 I nodded to Terumasa. What 
could I say? Should I offer my 
opinion as to the meaning of life 
and death in a few simple words 
with the attempt to cross the 
chasm of our English-Japanese 

 “Yes, what is this all about?” I 
asked rhetorically. I felt that I was 
certainly able to intellectually 
approach those questions, but I 
did not feel emotionally up to it 
in that moment. 

 “Let’s talk about that some 
more soon,” was all I offered.

 Eventually, only Joe Hall and 
Mel remained talking, and when 
I finally walked Mel to his car, 
he turned and said, “We should 
get together and talk about 
Terumasa’s questions. I’d 
really like that.” 

 “OK,” I told him. “We 
will, but you have to 
promise to come.” Mel said 


 About a month later 
near the end of January, 
we planned a Bon Voyage 
party for Terumasa, who 
would be actually departing 
the following morning. We 
invited many people, and 
planned to have Japanese 
tea and Japanese food.

 We set up an outside table 
up on the hill at the wildlife 
sanctuary, with lights and a 
table full of dinner. Nami 
came up with Terumasa 
and we invited them to sit 
down. It took a little while for 
Terumasa to realize that this 
was a party for him. He laughed 
loudly when he realized this was 
a surprise for him!

 We filled our tea cups and 
touched them together for 
our toast, and then all held 
hands and recited the words of 
the classic work, “Friendship 

 Then, after asking Terumasa 
about the details of his departure, 
and what he’d be doing back 
in Japan, we made the effort to 
answer his questions. Prudence 
and I prepared with different 
parts of the book “Thinking and 
Destiny” by Harold Percival, 
along with our own insights.

We didn’t want our bon voyage 
to Terumasa to become a strict 
metaphysical study, but rather 
we wanted to provide some 
preliminary answers to his 
serious query. It was as much 
for us as it was for Terumasa.

We decided that we were 
born upon this world in order 
to continue our spiritual 
evolution. Each of us added 
some comments to this, but 
everyone seemed to concur 
that this is why we are here, and 
which is why we are here to live 
this life.

The subject of pain was much 
more complex. Yet, we quickly 
denounced the notion that our 
pain is something given to us, or 
done to us, by “god,” as is so often 
averred by religious zealots. In 
fact, in all the cases of individual 
and large scale pain that we 
could list, we felt that we are 
our own worst enemy. We men 
and women are the sources of 
pain on the earth, which usually 
come about by some violation 
of natural law, some breaking 
of the Ten Commandments, 
not abiding by the Golden Rule, 
and by partaking of the Seven 
Capital Sins. Our pain is the 
result of our own choices, and 
when we learn from our pain 
and our choices, we – if we are 
intelligent – learn to make other 

This was a big topic, but again 
everyone was in agreement 
that we bring our own pain 
upon ourselves, and that pain 
is largely unavoidable unless we 
make other choices.

 Then we talked about death. 
Prudence read from “Thinking 
and Destiny” and pointed out 
that death can be a friend to our 
Spiritual Self, that our bodies 
are simply not destined to live 
forever, and that – like it or not 
– we will all die as part of our 
long progress towards spiritual 

 This was not wholly agreeable 
to all, but the topic of death is so 
full of emotion and opinion and 
religious dogma that we did not 
attempt to have agreement all 
around, and that was OK.

 By now we were feasting on 
some delicious Japanese fish and 
soup, and we gave Terumasa 
some gifts to take back to Japan. 

 We all exchanged phone 
numbers and emails and we all 
hugged. It was clear to all that 
change was coming soon, and 
that this wonderful warrior 
would soon be gone. By 9:30, 
we all departed, and on the 
following Saturday morning, 
Terumasa flew away to Japan.


Monterey Park Police Investigators 
identified and arrested a 
woman suspected of multiple 
incidents of credit card fraud, 
burglary, and grand theft. Si H. 
Liu, also known as “Katie,” was 
arrested Friday, July 12, at her 
home in La Puente. Liu represents 
herself as a real estate 
agent and may own a massage 
business in the city of Fullerton. 
Liu speaks Mandarin Chinese 
and has been a U.S. resident for 
about 10 years. Investigators 
have linked her to at least sixteen 
victims in the San Gabriel 
Valley and the investigation 
continues to grow.

Victims contacted Liu after 
reading her advertisements for 
easy loans in the Chinese Daily 
News. Liu asked victims for 
their identification, social security 
numbers, and all of their 
credit cards so that she could 
“check their credit” in order 
to obtain loans. Victims provided 
the information believing 
that Liu would obtain loans 
for them. Instead, Liu allegedly 
used the credit cards to obtain 
cash for herself using a credit 
card machine that she owned. 
Other victims reported that 
she accompanied them to open 
credit accounts at retail stores 
such as Best 
Buy; she would 
ask victims 
to purchase 
items for her 
on their credit 
accounts with 
a promise to 
pay them back 
in cash, but 
she never did. 
Liu also made 
of identification 
and credit 
cards prior to 
returning them 
to the victims, 
possibly for 
the purpose 
of committing 
fraud and identity 
theft in the future.

The Monterey Park Police Department 
urges citizens to be 
aware of correct financial loan 
practices and to investigate the 
legitimacy of any business person 
promising “easy loans” or 
requesting personal information 
such as credit card or bank 
account information. Fraud 
suspects frequently use classified 
ads to target potential 
victims, and citizens who have 
limited English skills are at risk; 
they are also reluctant to report 
fraud after it happens.

The Los Angeles County District 
Attorney’s Office filed 
a 25-count felony complaint 
against Liu on Tuesday; charges 
range from Residential and 
Commercial Burglary to Theft 
Using an Access card, Possession 
of Access Card Information, 
and Grand Theft.

Additional victims are encouraged 
to contact Detective Han 
at the Monterey Park Detective 
Bureau; 626-307-1246.


Summer is a time for vacations and outdoor activities, but the heat and health risks of the 
summer heat should not be taken lightly, especially for the elderly. As a person becomes 
older, they become less sensitive to higher temperatures, putting the elderly more at risk to 
heat related illness. The elderly are more likely to not notice the warning signs of heat-related 
diseases and injury. Health conditions caused by the heat can range from heat stroke, the 
most serious, to cramps caused by lack of water intake, nausea and weakness, and headaches 
caused by exhaustion due to the summer heat. Following are some tips for seniors to stay 
safe and cool during the summer heat:

• Maintain plenty of water intake to keep hydrated, about 4-8 glasses a day; eating fresh 
fruits and vegetables can also help hydrate the body. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks; 
drink water or a sports drink instead. 

• Reduce strenuous activities during hot weather. Exercise in the cool morning and 
evening hours to avoid the heat. 

• Avoid too much sun and always use sunblock when going outdoors for prolonged 
periods of time. 

• When planning for a family outing in the summer, ensure there are cool places with 
shade and ventilation for seniors to retreat to. 

• Snack on cool treats, such as popsicles, ice cream, and other frozen treats to keep 

• If you have an elderly family member or friend, check on them or have a neighbor 
check on them to ensure their safety during hot summer months. 

• When the heat rises to extreme temperatures, seniors should stay in cool places out 
of the sun, such as an air-conditioned room. 

• If you see signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration, such as weakness, nausea, heavy 
sweating or no sweating, rapid pulse, or fainting, move the senior immediately to the nearest 
cool shaded area and provide with ventilation and hydrants like cool juice or water. You can 
also help cool them down by applying a cold compress. Call for medical assistance immediately 
if it is necessary. 


By: Cynthia Kurtz, San Gabriel Valley Economic Development Partnership

 We have a great legal system. We probably use 
it too often to settle disagreements that could be 
resolved by getting everyone in the same room at 
the same time. But sometimes it is necessary to 
hand a matter to the lawyers. It is nice to know 
that our legal system is there in case you ever do 
need to use it.

 By and large, I think the courts find reasonable 
ways to handle the business and employment 
grievances put before them. However, once in a 
while you hear of a case and wonder how can that 
be fair?

 The case in point is a recent judgment against a 
company in the San Gabriel Valley.What started 
as a dispute over a single termination might end 
up impacting 300 employees and their families. 
The company is Valley Vista Services, a family 
owned solid waste and recycling company that 
has served the San Gabriel Valley since 1957. 

 This case began when one of Valley Vista's female 
employee became ill and wasn't able to 
work. After using sick leave and vacation time, 
she still wasn't back at work. Valley Vista tried 
to contact her but she didn't respond and so the 
company terminated her for job abandonment.

 Her lawyer says Valley Vista's action was a 
wrongful termination and that the company 
didn't try hard enough to accommodate her special 
needs - panic attacks. 

 I didn't hear the trial and I don't know all the details 
so I make no judgment on whether the employee 
was treated fairly or unfairly. The court's 
determination was that she deserved monetary 
compensation. So let's accept that and say that 
Valley Vista Services should pay the employee 

 First, she was awarded $5.2 million in compensatory 
damages. These are intended to make 
her whole for the loss of her job. She was also 
awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are 
intended to punish the "wrongdoer." California 
doesn't have any caps on punitive damage awards 
in these types of cases. Twenty-two of the forty-
five states that allow punitive damages set limits. 

California does allow the court to look at the 
company's value before setting the damages. In 
this case the plaintiff's attorney argued that the 
company's value should not be based on revenues 
but on the value of the company if everything was 

 Yes, I said liquidated. Everything sold, piece by 
piece, no more company. The court accepted this 
argument and Valley Vista Services was hit with 
an additional $16.5 million judgment. The $21.7 
million penalty is the largest employment related 
award of its kind in Los Angeles County history. 
Unless it is overturned on appeal, it will put Valley 
Vista Services out of business and put 300 employees 
out of work. 

 We'll see if an appeal of the case changes the 
outcome. But if it doesn't, taking away the jobs 
of 300 people who were not the "wrong doers" as 
a way of righting the wrong to one employee just 
doesn't make sense to me.