Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 4, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 4, 2014 


 By Christoper Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient 
Home,” and other books. He works with the non-profit WTI to find solutions 
to our problems. He can be reached at www.ChristopherNyerges.

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt

 In June 1987, I moved 
to my current home in the 
MONROVIA County area. 
My daughters graduated 
from Monrovia High 
School and I attended several Wildcat (Monrovia 
HS) football games. I am a proud MONROVIAN!

 However, I need to say upfront that 
Duarte is also MY Kind of Town and I have many 
wonderful Duarte friends-both in the 
city and county areas. For ten years I 
wrote about the City of Duarte for the 
San Gabriel Valley Examiner. I served 
on the Duarte Education Foundation, 
Selection Committee for the Habitat 
for Humanity Duarte site and am 
currently on the Board of the Friends 
of the Duarte Library. What I am going 
to write about is NOT a putdown of 
the WONDERFUL city of Duarte, but 
it a matter of principle and ending the 
misidentification of a county area.

 From March-June 1993, I 
was on the Town Council Formation 
Committee, which purpose was to 
form a Town Council serving the 
unincorporated areas bordering 
the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia and 
Duarte. My first task was to identify the 
county areas. The Thomas Guide used 
pale yellow for the unincorporated 
areas for easy identification. The maps 
were reproduced and used to explain 
our county area and the upcoming 

 Not long after the election, 
I remember shootings on Euclid 
Avenue, Duarte. The paper and Sgt. 
Sammy Jones said, “Monrovia County 
Area”. I was flabbergasted. THAT 
a few more incidents, I brought up 
the matter to Temple Station Sheriff’s 
Department. They have a contract 
with five cities, one of which is 
Duarte and specific vehicles are assigned there. 
There was one “COUNTY” car that works the 
Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte County Area. So the 
Sheriff’s Department dubbed our entire area, 
“Monrovia County” so their personnel wouldn’t 
be confused! It is MIND-BOGGLING to me that 
LASD cannot distinguish between a “County” 
and “City” area. 

 This problem of MISIDENIFICATION 
has gone on for TWENTY YEARS and MUST 
STOP! Shortly after the Town Council formed, we 
met with Supervisor Antonovich and Los Angeles 
County Community Development Commission. 
There was MUCH excitement over a parcel of 
“county land” on Euclid Avenue, Duarte. Habitat 
for Humanity homes were to be built. At the 
ground breaking and all ceremonies after, Duarte 
Mayor and city officials were present, as this was 
the DUARTE county area. ALL press releases 
that were issued spoke of these homes in Duarte, 
which they should because this is the DUARTE 
County area. However, ANYTIME a crime 
happens in this EXACT AREA, it is dubbed, 

 Eleven years ago, Martha and Samuel 
Flores suffered a terrible tragedy that NO parent 
should endure. Their beloved eldest son Francisco 
was killed in Iraq. His family lives in the Duarte 
county area, on a street off Euclid. Of course it 
was announced that a “Duarte” man died in Iraq. 
He was a graduate of Duarte High Not long ago, 
I stopped at Maxwell School on Euclid, and his 
awesome mom, Martha was a volunteer!

 Several months ago, the County put 
new street signs in our county areas on the main 
streets, so there would be NO CONFUSION! 
They are AWESOME! The west side of California 
Avenue in the County area is “Monrovia” and the 
signs say so. The east side of California Avenue up 
to the west side of Mountain Avenue is “Duarte” 
and the signs also say that.

 Two days ago, “PATCH” misidentified 
Van Meter as MONROVIA. I was furious. Then 
I received a “Correction” Press Release from 
The Duarte Public Safety Office saying Malcom 
Mency was killed in MONROVIA COUNTY. I 
was LIVID! I couldn’t believe what I read! When 
you drive south on Mountain Avenue, the “Euclid 
Avenue” street sign has DUARTE on it! Euclid is 

 I love Duarte and it IS “My Kind of Town, 
but I am SO TIRED of people saying “Monrovia 
County” when it’s “Duarte County”. NO AREA is 
immune to tragedy. A fruit vendor was shot less 
than two blocks from my home, and Samantha 
Salas died at the Apartments on Peck Road. What 
I am saying, is this MISIDENTIFYING AREAS 
MUST be stopped. After twenty years, it’s time 
to send Supervisor Antonovich and Sheriff Baca 
letters to correct this error!


When Will the 20+ Year Error End?

 Though homelessness isn’t a large problem in Sierra Madre, it is a 
problem if you look at the County of Los Angeles as a whole. Several of us 
recently had a conversation at Bean Town, and we discussed the problem 
of homelessness.

 Perhaps I feel real empathy for the homeless because I know what 
it’s like to be adrift in the urban sea with no house or home. I know that 
with determination, and with the help of loving friends, it is possible to overcome this very real threat 
to survival.

 I was once asked during a radio interview what advice I’d give to someone who was homeless 
in order to assist. My response: I would first take the time with the homeless person in order to determine 
precisely how they become homeless. We would look at each point by uncomfortable point in 
order to see how their thinking, their actions, their inactions, led to homelessness so we could chart 
a path to changing those habits. Determining the cause is of paramount importance, since each and 
every homeless case is unique. 

 It has been well-demonstrated there is no actual physical shortage of places for people to live, 
even in the big cities. In fact, especially in the big cities. 

 The problem is complex, but we can state that homelessness is the result of one or more of 
the following: rapidly rising cost of living, unemployment, psychological problems, drug and alcohol 
use. If you are an alcoholic or a drug user, you need to do whatever is possible to stop those habits. 
Period. The alcohol and the drug use is a threat to your basic physical survival. 

 The solution to homelessness involves the cooperation of local community organizations, 
and the homeless individuals themselves. 

Though there is no shortage of people willing to assist, never forget that “assistance” is a two-way 

Mark Holsinger, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Mission, wrote a "Letter to the Editor" in 
the March 14, 1992 Los Angeles Times. He said, "As frustrating as it is that not all homeless people 
accept help, we should not forget that many gratefully accept the opportunity to change their lives. 
The problem for most of the homeless isn't a lack of services or affordable housing or jobs. Their 
problem is their lack of desire to change [emphasis mine] -- to get off drugs, to function in a way 
that is acceptable to society, to respect others and themselves.” He adds that it’s not easy to get off 
the streets, but certainly possible to become a productive citizen because he works daily with those 
who’ve made that change."


 Let’s assume you have lost your home, you have no job, and you aspire to get back to work 
and find a home. What do you do? Where do you start? 

 Number one: If you are taking drugs, or drinking alcohol, stop! If you know you cannot stop 
without help, do whatever it takes to get that help.

 Number two: Do whatever it takes to change your attitude. Quit viewing yourself as a victim 
of circumstances. Quit blaming anyone else. Quit feeling negative towards anyone. 

 Next, wherever you are, improve it. Make it better. If you are with others, teach by your example. 
If they ask what you are doing, explain to them that you are practicing the uplifting Principle 
of “making every place better for my being there.” This is known as true Appreciation.

 Also, do not steal or take that which is not yours, regardless of your “very good justification.”

 Begin to give to the charity, non-profit, or church of your choice.”Giving” can also be of your 
time. Give without the expectation of “getting” anything back. Don’t give foolishly, but give intelligently 
to help further the work of a charity. The principle at work is “AS ye give, so shall ye receive.” 

 As you practice these simply principles – which some people will ridicule as “simplistic” – 
you can expect Miracles to occur.


These days, particularly with so many foreclosures on the market, ordering an inspection when you've 
made an offer is not only recommended, it's critical. Otherwise, you're relying on the seller (in some 
cases, the bank) to provide you with a list of defects.

An inspection provides an objective report about the home's exterior, interior, and "internal organs" - 
the wiring, the plumbing, the heating and cooling system, etc. While your agent may supply a list of 
recommended inspectors, you are free to select any professional you wish.

The seller and their representative will not see the report without your permission. The inspection of 
a 2,000 square foot home should take two to three hours to complete, and once the report has been 
delivered to you, you can discuss the findings with the inspector.

Expect your home inspector to walk the roof and explore the attic and crawlspace (if present). Electrical 
panels, outlets and switches will be 
tested. Drains, water pressure, toilets and 
pipes will all be checked in the plumbing 
system. Walls, ceilings and floors will be 
inspected and all the doors and windows 
will be checked for functionality.

All the items in the report will depend on 
the particular home's features, but the findings 
give you an opportunity to estimate repair 
costs and renegotiate your offer. Never 
bypass this critical aspect of a purchase.


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