Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 19, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 14




 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 19, 2015 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder

City of Sierra Madre


From: The City of Sierra Madre

Subject: Summary of Ordinance No. 1371:


Applicant: City of Sierra Madre

Project Location: Properties in the City of Sierra Madre, County of 

 Los Angeles, State of California

On January 12, 2016, the City Council will conduct a public hearing to consider 
the adoption of Ordinance No. 1371, a Municipal Code Text Amendment (15-
04), amending Title 17, Chapter 17.10 (Marijuana Cultivation and Marijuana 
Dispensary), establish local control measures prohibiting the growing of live 
plants, cultivation, testing, transporting, and distribution of cannabis and 
marijuana in all zones. The purpose of the Municipal Code Text Amendments is 
to further an objective of the City of Sierra Madre’s 2007 Ordinance No. 1266, 
prohibiting in all zones medical marijuana dispensaries which involves the 
distribution of drugs or other substances which is illegal to distribute or possess 
under federal law. The proposed Ordinance complies with the requirements of 
Assembly Bills 266 and 243, and Senate Bill 243, each containing key provisions 
of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

At the meeting of December 3, 2015, the Planning Commission conducted 
a public hearing and recommended to the City Council the adoption of the 
proposed MCTA 15-04 and Ordinance 1371.


City of Sierra Madre City of Sierra Madre

City Council Meeting City Council Chambers

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.

(Hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.) Sierra Madre, CA 

All interested persons may attend this meeting and the City Council will hear 
them with respect thereto.

ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINATION The Municipal Code Text Amendment 
is exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review pursuant to Title 14, 
Section 1506 (b)(3) of the California Code of Regulations.

APPEAL: If in the future anyone wishes to challenge the decision of the City 
Council in court, one may be limited to raising the issues that were raised or 
presented in written correspondence delivered to the City Council at, or before the 
scheduled public hearing. For further information on this subject, please contact 
the Planning and Community Preservation Department at (626) 355-7138.




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Dr. Tina Paul

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Marc Garlett

Pat Birdsall (retired)


Our home, like every other home this time of year, 
bears the decorations of the Christmas season. This is 
all thanks to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 
My assigned role in the whole Christmas affair was to 
keep out of her way. And, out of her way, I kept.

 Consequently, our house is full of the glitter and 
tinsel of the season with Christmas music playing in 
the background. In the very center of all of this holiday 
collage, sits our Christmas tree begging for Christmas 
gifts. Every once in a while I catch it casting a wishful 
look in my direction. I pretend not to notice. After all, 
I’m not Santa Claus.

 One afternoon I was in the house by myself and had 
a strange feeling something was missing. Walking 
around and looking at all the unique decorations I 
just could not put my finger on it, but something was 
absent. I know what a thorough job my wife does with 
this sort of thing, and so I was not about to approach 
her with my query.

 The more I pondered this, the more perplexing it 
became. Then it hit me. There definitely was something 
missing in our Christmas ornamentation. The answer 
came to me when I was rehearsing in my mind the old 
poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

 Somewhere in the beginning of that poem are these 
words, “The stockings were hung by the chimney with 
care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;” 
I quickly looked around and discovered no stockings 
were hung by the chimney with care.

 The first problem I faced was, we had no chimney. 
I assure you, this was not a major setback with me in 
my quest. Once I set my mind to something, I will not 
stop until it is finished.

 Not far from the Christmas tree was a shelf upon 
which were arranged various Christmas knickknacks 
and decorations. This, in my opinion, would be a 
wonderful place to hang our Christmas stockings.

 One other problem I had; I could not find any 
Christmas stockings. This would not in any way 
hinder my progress. I love a challenge and do my best 
when the odds are stacked against me.

 Looking for something to improvise, which is 
something my wife is quite famous for, I happened to 
notice I was wearing socks. Voilà. Without a moments 
hesitation I took off my shoes, pulled off my socks and 
hung them on the bookshelf with care in hopes that 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would notice 
them there.

 We may not have a glowing fireplace in our living 
room, but a warm, glowing feeling of satisfaction was 
stirring up inside me. I love Christmas. 

 I almost forgot the situation when a few hours later 
my wife came home from her Christmas shopping. 
I was in my easy chair reading Charles Dickens’ “A 
Christmas Carol.” I always read this book this time 
of the year. Sure, I enjoy the movie adaptations, 
but nothing is like getting back to the real thing. A 
Christmas without reading “A Christmas Carol,” is 
no Christmas in my thinking.

 I was engaged with Ebenezer Scrooges’ “Humbug,” 
when I heard a cry of alarm coming from our living 
room. “What in the world stinks in here?”

 This shows very plainly the difference between men 
and women. Women are always finding things that 
stink. My wife’s nose is so delicate she can differentiate 
between a thousand different smells and identify the 
source to each and every one.

 I think she has some kind of smell-phobia, which 
has, as far as I know, no cure. And believe me, I have 
looked. Living with someone allergic to stink is a real 

 “Did something in this house die while I was 

 I did fall asleep and was dead to the world for about 
25 minutes. I rather doubt this was the cause of the 
snoot full of stink she was currently experiencing. 
Being the dutiful husband I am, I immediately ran to 
her rescue.

 “Something in this house stinks awfully bad.”

 I just looked at her not knowing what to do or say 
at the time. Then her attention was drawn to the 
stockings hung with care. “What in the world are 
these?” she demanded.

 With a St. Francis of Assisi smile on my face, I 
explained to her what I had done while she was away.

 “Take those filthy socks outside and burn them.” 
Then, much to my consternation, and despite the 
coolness of the outside weather, all the windows and 
doors were opened for three days to get what she 
called “the stink,” out of our house. Her fumigation 
was not in complete harmony with what I considered 
the holiday spirit.

 Even my malodorous socks cannot diminish 
what Christmas is all about. After burning my 
socks I turned to the promise in the Old Testament, 
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; 
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and 
shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV). All 
the way to the New Testament and the fulfillment of 
that promise. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, 
and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his 
name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God 
with us.” (Matthew 1:23 KJV).

 Jesus is the Christmasfication of every home. Apart 
from him, Christmas is just an empty holiday.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He 
lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. 
Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is

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HOWARD Hays As I See It

MICHAEL Reagan Making Sense


 Maybe it was because it was held in Las Vegas, 
where so many great prizefights have been held.

 But Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate 
was easily the best yet.

 CNN and Wolf Blitzer did a good, fair-and-
balanced job of staging and refereeing the nine-person fight card.

 Most of the time was spent discussing substantive issues like foreign policy and 
national security, not throwing personal low blows.

 No candidate was the clear winner. No one was the unanimous loser. No one 
dramatically moved up or down in the rankings.

A day later it’s still No. 1 Donald Trump against everyone else (except his new pal, 
Ted Cruz).

 The final debate of 2015 wasn’t as informative as it should have been, but it was 
like watching three boxing matches in the same ring.

One minute it was Trump and Jeb Bush going toe-to-toe, with Jeb trash-talking 
Trump for his harsh words about Muslims and charging him with playing on the 
terrorism fears of Americans.

 Trump in turn dismissed Jeb as a fading candidate who was resorting to calling 
him “unhinged” because “he has failed in this campaign. It’s been a total disaster. 
Nobody cares.”

 It didn’t make me happy to tweet it, but Trump did well. He played Trump – he 
always does – and held his own. 

 It might be too little too late for Jeb Bush, but he clearly had his best debate so 

 When he said, “Donald, you’re not going to be able to insult your way to the 
presidency,” he landed one of the most memorable punches of the night.

 When Donald and Jeb weren’t jabbing at one another, Ted Cruz and Marco 
Rubio fought in the main event to show who deserves to be ranked No. 2 behind 

 Cruz had Kid Rubio on the ropes a couple of times but couldn’t knock him out. 
He questioned his conservative credentials and hit him hard for his pro-amnesty 
position on illegal immigrants and his poor judgment on national security 

Rubio counterpunched, accusing his fellow Cuban-American of being soft on 
national security. 

 Then Rand Paul, the former highly ranked contender in the faded libertarian 
trunks, jumped in to help Cruz.

 Mocking Rubio for acting like he was Mr. Tough Guy on national defense, Paul 
said he was “the weakest of all the candidates on immigration.”

 The third fight of the night was the one Chris Christie had with someone who 
wasn’t on stage – Hillary.

 Christie took a shot at Cruz and Rubio for being rookie senators who have 
no executive experience and only know how to write laws and argue over their 

 But he spent most of his energy going after Hillary Clinton and President 
Obama for understating the threat from Islamic State terrorists and pursing a 
reckless foreign policy in the Middle East. 

 Gentle Ben Carson didn’t hurt or help himself in the debate. Neither did tough 
John Kasich. Neither did Carly Fiorina, who’s never afraid to box with the boys. 

The GOP now goes into 2016 with about nine or 10 too many presidential 

 Until Republicans get that down to three or four, which won’t happen until 
sometime after the Iowa caucus in February, we’re not going to get an old-
fashioned primary debate.

 When we get a real debate, voters will quickly find out the strengths and 
weaknesses of the Republican candidates. Voters will also learn who’s the most 
likable and most relatable – and therefore the most electable in November.

Tuesday’s debate wasn’t perfect. But the fights made it a lot more exciting than 
anything we’re going to see next year.

 In fact, it was so entertaining, my family and I actually turned it on and watched 
it again.


Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, 
and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Visit his 
websites at and Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. 

“So you are okay with 
the deaths of thousands 
of innocent children and 

- Questioner Hugh Hewitt, 
at the Las Vegas Republican 

“You got it. You got it.”

- Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, in 
response to Hewitt

 Right-wing radio talker Hugh Hewitt had a like-
minded audience, but they booed his question. 
For them, it came as buzz-kill while candidates 
tried outdoing each other with ramped-up 
warmongering about carpet bombing (Sen. Ted 
Cruz), risking WWIII by shooting down Russian 
planes (Gov. Chris Christie) and lethal targeting 
of the families of terrorists (Donald Trump).

 I managed to catch the re-play of the Republican 
debate on CNN. It was held at Las Vegas’ Venetian 
Hotel and Casino, owned by mega-donor Sheldon 
Adelson. Not only does Adelson buy politicians, 
with some $100 million sunk in the GOP race 
so far (though his $20 million investment in 
Newt Gingrich four years ago didn’t really pan 
out), now he’s put $140 million into buying the 
Las Vegas Review-Journal – to help promote the 
politicians he owns.

 Adelson had a front-row seat for the event, with 
one-on-one face-time having been arranged for 
participants seeking his largesse. Currently, Sen. 
Marco Rubio (R-FL) appears the front-runner 
for his affections – though the debate might have 
changed that.

 Hoping to eventually pick up supporters of 
Trump, whose campaign pundits predict to 
implode any day now (as they’ve been predicting 
since last June), Cruz went after Rubio, rather than 
front-runner Trump. He made Rubio answer 
for his having taken a position on immigration 
reform a couple of years ago that was dangerously 
close to being reasonable. Rubio, of course, had 
to deny any such accusation of reasonableness, 
and charged Cruz with having voted “no” on a 
bill cutting defense spending. It turned out to 
be a bill Rubio himself had skipped voting on, in 
order to campaign in New Hampshire.

 The primary theme of the debate was being 
tough. It wasn’t enough to call for banning all 
Syrian refugees, but to emphasize there would be 
no exception made for widows and orphans, as 
Christie did. Amid all the tough-guy talk, Carly 
Fiorina tried to be heard above the fray, calling 
for a chance to explain her own strategy for 
defeating ISIS. Then, when she did have the floor 
and the opportunity to detail her proposal, she 
explained that one could defeat ISIS, as well as 
deal with troublesome players like China, Russia 
and North Korea – if one were “tough”.

 There was Jeb Bush’s charge that Trump’s 
proposals weren’t “serious”. Sen. Rand Paul (R-
KY) mentioned that this targeting of innocent 
civilians might run counter to something called 
the Geneva Conventions. Paul also brought up 
the U.S. Constitution, in response to Trump’s 
call for government censorship of the internet – 
something Trump says he wants to “penetrate”.

 Carson seemed to have problems with 
analogies; comparing the infliction of mass 
civilian casualties to a surgical procedure 
which, despite the pain involved, is something 
everyone eventually agrees was worthwhile, 
anyway. He also continued to have problems 
with pronunciation. A couple weeks ago, 
speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, it 
was pronouncing Hamas as “hummus” – as in 
smashed chickpeas. At the debate he spoke of a 
“fox narrative”, which, it took me a moment to 
realize, was intended to be a “faux narrative”. 
He’s been studying hard attempting to remain 
relevant, but apparently not really understanding 
what he’s been studying.

 The debate took place in the context of what 
Rubio described as a “mood of the country” in 
which “People are really scared and worried.” Yes, 
but not necessarily about terrorism. According 
to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, when asked 
about “you or someone in your family” becoming 
a victim of terrorism, a majority of Americans 
worry either “not so much” or “not at all” about it. 
Becoming a victim of terrorism or gun violence is 
a top worry for 26% of Americans. A top worry for 
41% is “Losing a job or having financial problems”.

(The poll noted some differences. Republicans 
are more worried about terrorism than gun 
violence; with Democrats, it’s the opposite. 2% of 
white Americans list police brutality as a top fear, 
while 20% of black Americans do.)

 All the talk of carpet bombing and a Muslim 
threat recalled another poll, this one from 
Gallup five years ago. The question was whether 
the targeting and killing of civilians by the 
military was justified “sometimes”, “depends” 
or “never”. 38% of American Protestants said it 
was “never” justified (58% “sometimes”). 39% of 
Catholics and 43% of American Jews said it was 
never justified for the military to target and kill 
civilians. Among American Muslims, the figure 
was 78%.

 A related question was “is targeting and 
killing of civilians by individuals or small groups 
justified”. 71% of Protestants and Catholics 
said never; with 75% of Jews agreeing. 89% of 
American Muslims said it was never justified.

 As for risks, even figuring in the recent San 
Bernardino attacks, since 9/11 more Americans 
have died from right-wing extremist attacks than 
from violent jihadis. But however hard Republicans 
try to make us afraid, doubts of competency pretty 
much negate whatever credibility might be given 
their argument. The real fear seems to be coming 
from the Republican establishment; that the more 
dangerously clueless seem the more likely to 
prevail in this nominating process.

 In endorsing Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffet 
said watching the debate brought to mind Abbott 
and Costello, and that “vaudeville was never 
this good”. Clinton herself saw “7 Republican 
candidates who are totally unprepared to be 
commander-in–chief”. Addressing Ted Cruz in 
particular, she remarked, “Promising to carpet 
bomb until the desert glows doesn’t make you 
sound strong – it makes you sound like you’re in 
over your head.” 

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