Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 7, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 7, 2015 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown




By Sean Kayden

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A 
Nation Unprepared, Surviving 
the Aftermath by Ted Koppel

In this tour de force of investigative 
reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that 
a major cyberattack on America’s 
power grid is not only possible but 
likely, that it would be devastating, 
and that the United States is 
shockingly unprepared.Imagine a 
blackout lasting not days, but weeks 
or months. Tens of millions of people 
over several states are affected. For 
those without access to a generator, 
there is no running water, no sewage, 
no refrigeration or light. Food and 
medical supplies are dwindling. 
Devices we rely on have gone dark. 
Banks no longer function, looting 
is widespread, and law and order are being tested as 
never before. It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed 
attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power 
grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and 
in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the 
only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to 
the United States could launch such an assault at any 
time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA 
reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the 
grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama 
believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” 
to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a 
question of if,” says Centcom Commander General 
Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.” And yet, as 
Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while 
well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the 
aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current 
Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a 
battery-powered radio.In the absence of a government 
plan, some individuals and communities have taken 
matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s 
estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one 
whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated 
three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming 
homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the 
thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We 
also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the 
Mormon church, with its enormous 
storehouses, high-tech dairies, 
orchards, and proprietary trucking 
company – the fruits of a long 
tradition of anticipating the worst. 
But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary 
civilians survive?With urgency and 
authority, one of our most renowned 
journalists examines a threat 
unique to our time and evaluates 
potential ways to prepare for a 
catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

Elgin Baylor: The Man Who 
Changed Basketball by Bijan 
C. Bayne

NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin 
Baylor was an innovator in his sport, 
a civil rights trailblazer, and a true 
superstar. He influenced future NBA All Stars such as 
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and is considered 
by many to be one of the most important players in 
NBA history. Baylor led Seattle University to the 1958 
NCAA championship game, averaged 38.3 points 
a game during the 1961-62 season.Baylor dropped 
61 points in a NBA Finals game against the greatest 
dynasty in basketball history ,the Boston Celtics, 
facing the best defensive player of all time ,Bill Russell. 
He once was even the league’s Executive of the Year 
with the Los Angeles Clippers, in 2006, during one 
of the few bright spots in franchise history. A prolific 
scorer who baffled opponents with his twists and 
turns and inventive moves, Baylor was a force both 
on and off the court for the Minneapolis and Los 
Angeles Lakers. The book tells the story of how a 
kid from the streets of segregated Washington, DC, 
who didn’t attend college until he was over twenty, 
revolutionized basketball and stood up for his rights. 
In a time when few nationally prominent black 
athletes spoke out about racial inequality , Baylor 
refused to tolerate discrimination. The book includes 
personal reflections from Baylor’s old schoolyard 
companions, former teammates, players he coached 
in the NBA, and noted sports journalists, bringing to 
life his childhood, college career, and professional life 
with intimate detail.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Why 
am I quoting the boldly unequivocal statement 
from Socrates? Well, Chicago natives Santah have 
this new record called Chico and it’s a record of 
that explores the dichotomy finding yourself and 
escaping from your former self. In order to do 
so, you’ll have to examine your past in order not 
to be condemned in making the same mistakes 
for your future self. As I digress, the second 
full-length record Chico from the quintet is a 
superlatively divine record that explores a wide 
range of dreamy-infused and snyth-pop laden 
tracks. Led by brother/sister duo, Stanton and 
Vivian McConnell, the act also includes Steve 
Plock on drums, Mike Winegardner on bass and 
Tommy Trafton on keys/synths. This is proper 
(and excruciatingly overdue) follow-up to the 
2011 debut, White Noise Bed. Terrific in its own 
approach, Santah find themselves on new roads 
with Chico as they have developed a tonally 
rich sound brimming with emotional potency. 
The amalgamation of Trafton’s wizardry on the 
snyths, Winegardner’s tightly structured bass, and 
Stanton McConnell’s tantalizing vocals become 
key components in this light yet strappingly 
compacted album. The band has undoubtedly 
taken a substantial leap forward in their creative 
prowess as Chico is wonderfully executed on all 

 “Did We Sing?” builds into a pensive musical 
landscape topped with the plush vocal harmonies 
of the brother/sister combo. The track brings 
in wistful touchstones without drifting too far 
from more conventional pop-rock concepts and 
hooks that are equally charming and pleasing. 
“Sunkeeper” is a highlight here as guitars and 
honeyed harmonies blend into something 
undeniably magical. The propulsive drums, dark 
snyth tones and airy guitars provide substantial 
drive for McConnell’s tunefully luminous vocals. 
Chico passionately moves the listener as it lifts 
spirits and triggers deep contemplation. One 
the band’s singles is “Here Are My Shells,” and 
to put it simply, it is beautiful. The sprawling 
arrangements, immersive synths, fast drums, and 
pop melodies all form together to sound absolutely 
amazing. I think the resemblance falls somewhere 
between acts such as Delta Spirit and Snowmine, 
but Santah have enough creative originality to 
spare. “Once More Gone” is a dynamic piece of 
work with lyrics fervently sung by the acutely 
poised McConnell. The lush landscape allows 
one to become easily immersed within. Vivian 
McConnell adds her gorgeously lenient vocals in 
the background, which becomes another strong 
point for the track. “Disguises” is the around the 
half way mark of the record and it showcases a 
steady and pleasant stream of gentle descants. As 
the listener make their way into the latter half of 
Chico the realization that something unbelievably 
special is on the horizon has already infiltrated 
one’s mind and heart. 

Artist: Santah

Album: Chico

Label: Yes Club Records

Release Date: November 6th, 2015

Review By: Sean Kayden

 “Sun On Ice” is heartwarmingly striking. The 
tenderness of guitars, impassioned vocals, and 
hooky snyths once again prove Santah show an 
extensive variety of talents as we move from one 
track to the next. Toward the later part of the 
song, we have some great guitar work going on. 
“Taking Jn The Mist” is a short closing track that 
comes off a bit more barebones to the other ten 
tracks yet equally if not more absorbing. Santah 
don’t come up short with any of their eleven 
tracks as they have something else each time 
to show off. You’ll be significantly rewarded by 
the experience Chico delivers. It’s without any 
doubt that Santah have grown musically, but 
simultaneously have developed individually. 
Their words are wiser, their music more complex, 
and their efforts more grand than ever before. 
The roads they are wayfaring may be cemented 
with much ambiguity yet their determination is 
nothing shy of impressive. It’s a beautiful sight 
to see (and hear), as listeners are able to share 
within the experience while forging their own 
individual path along the way.

Grade: 8.5 out of 10

Jeff’s History Corner By Jeff Brown

1. In the early 1930s, Los Angeles was home to a 
secret Nazi compound, Murphy Ranch, which 
plotted world domination from the peaceful
brushlands of what is now Rustic Canyon. One 
story goes that a wealthy Pasadena thumbtack 
heiress and her equally gullible husband were
manipulated into believing that the United States 
soon would fall into anarchy and destruction 
at the hands of the Germans. Rather than be a
part of the losing team, the couple took the advice 
of a suspicious man known as Herr Schmidt 
and invested large amounts of money building a
hidden enclave to assist the dastardly Nazis. The 
structure, now in ruins and covered in graffiti, 
hunkers deep down in the canyon at the bottom 
of 512, leg-challenging steps. Get your cardio in 
while doing the 3.85 mile hike to this bizarre piece 
of history. And be thankful that the FBI raided this 
mysterious lair in 1941. Rustic Canyon, Sullivan 
Ridge Fire Road, Pacific Palisades.

2. By the time the U.S annexed Alta California 
from Mexico in 1848, economic interest in the 
mountains above the new American town of Los
Angeles was growing. The San Gabriel Mountain 
Range had never been officially mapped and 
surveyed until 1853, when Congress appropriated
$150,000 for surveys to find a practical and 
economical route for a transcontinental railroad. 
The newly formed Army Corps of Topographical
Engineers directed the Pacific Railroad Survey to 
scout six possible cross-country railroad routes.

3. If you’re ever going to spend a weekend in 
the slammer, here’s hoping it’s in Sierra Madre’s 
adorable Jailhouse Inn.The “JailHouse Inn” is
located in the Historic City Hall, and its “suite” 
is actually located at the genuine old jail. There is 
only one cell, so it can only “incarcerate” just one 
or two people per night. It is about 200 square
feet (19 m2) and is regarded as the smallest, and 
perhaps most unique, bed & breakfast in the United 

4. In the mid-1860s, Benjamin Eaton first 
developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco 
and Eaton Canyon to his vineyard near the 
edge of Eaton Canyon. This made possible the 
development of Altadena, Pasadena, and South 
Pasadena. He did the construction for B.D. 
Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned 
the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual,
about 14,000 acres (57 km2) that was the future 
sites of these three communities. They hoped to 
develop and sell this land in a real estate plan 
called the San Pasqual Plantation. Their efforts 
failed by 1870, despite Eaton’s irrigation ditch 
that drew water from the site of present day Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory in Arroyo Seco. They had 
failed because the land was relatively inaccessible 
and few believed crops could thrive that close 
to the mountains.Eaton tried to sell the landfor 
the partners, and in late 1873 he helped broker a 
deal with Daniel Berry, who represented a group 
of investors from Indiana, to buy 4,000 acres (16 
km2) of the rancho. This included the land of 
present day Altadena, but they developed a 2,500 
acres (10 km2) section further south as Pasadena. 
In 1881, the land that would later become Altadena 
was sold to the John and Fred Woodbury, brothers 
who launched the subdivision of Altadena in 1887. 
The land remained mostly agricultural; however, 
several eastern millionaires built mansions 
along Mariposa Street, and a small community 
developed through the 1890s and into the next 

On the Marquee: Notes from the Sierra Madre Playhouse


Opens Nov. 27th

A Christmas Memory (clockwise) Diane Kelber (Sook), Charlo Crossley (Anna), Jean 
Kauffman (Jennie), Ian Branch (Budd) and Sheldon (Queenie). Photo by Gina Long

“If you’re in a ‘bah, humbug’ mood this holiday season, A Christmas Memory may

be just the remedy…it is an entertaining and heartwarming theatrical work that is just


Sure to delight the entire family, Truman Capote’s enchanting Depression-era story springs to 
life in this big-hearted musical treat. A wistful memoir of cherished youth, it chronicles the 1930s 
friendship of a shy boy, Buddy, and his eccentric cousin Sook —misfits who launch kites, haunt 
speakeasies, and mail fruitcakes to everyone from Jean Harlow to President Roosevelt! A Christmas 
Memory celebrates friendship, the simple pleasures of life and the joy of giving.

Don’t Miss This Performance! Tickets are selling briskly! Buy your tickets early! 

This show would make a wonderful group outing! Get a 20% discount for group sales of 10 or 
more. Please call Mary at 626.355.4318 to arrange your purchase. 



Cristina Baltayian, Instructor

If you love plants and like to draw, this 
workshop on botanical drawing is custom-
made for you! Drawing is a fundamental skill in 
botanical art and its importance should never be 
underestimated. In these three days, you will:

¨ Hone your observation skills

¨ Be guided through sketching and line drawing 

¨ Discover how to arrange shapes on a page and 
make a pleasing composition

¨ Translate a 3-dimensional subject onto a 
2-dimensional surface

This exploration in colored pencil on wood will 
show you how to start and finish a botanical 
portrait of a leaf. If your curiosity is piqued and 
you wish to investigate further, please join the 
on-going Tuesday Botanical Art classes from 

Three Day Workshop:

Thursday November 12

Friday November 13

Saturday November 14

10am-3pm (includes lunch break)

$255 Arboretum members for workshop

$275 non-members for workshop (Includes 
Arboretum Admission)

You may bring your lunch or purchase it at the 
Peacock Café

although students might bring their own colored 
pencils if desired.


 Pre-registration required: please call 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: