Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 22, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10




Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 22, 2017 



Dear Savvy Senior,

When my father passed away a few months ago we had 
him cremated, but are now wondering what to do with 
his ashes. My sister and I would like to do something 
celebratory for his life, but aren’t sure what to do. Any 

No Instructions Left

Dear No,

If your dad didn’t leave any final instructions on 
what to do with his cremated remains (ashes), you 
have a wide array of choices. They can be kept, 
buried or scattered in a variety of ways and in many 
locations. Here are some different options to help 
you decide. 

Keep Close By 

For many people, keeping the ashes of their deceased 
love one close by provides a feeling of comfort. If you 
fit into this category, you could keep his ashes in an 
urn on the mantel or in a cabinet, or you could also 
scatter some of them into your lawn or garden, shake 
them into a backyard pond or dig a hole and bury 
them. Another possible option is eco-friendly urns 
(like or that contain 
a seed that grows into a tree or plant after being buried.

Cemetery Options

If you want your dad’s final resting place to be at a 
cemetery, you have several choices depending on how 
much you’re willing to spend. With most cemeteries, 
you can either bury his ashes in a plot, or place them 
in cremation monument, a mausoleum, or a cemetery 
building called a columbarium.

Scatter Them

If you want to scatter his ashes, to help you chose an 
appropriate location, think about what your dad would 
have liked. For example, did he have a favorite fishing 
spot, camping area, golf course, beach or park that 
held a special meaning? These are all possibilities, but 
be aware to that if you choose to scatter his ashes in 
a public location or on private land, you’ll need get 
permission from the management, local government 
or the land owner. 

 National parks, for example, require you to have a 
permit before you scatter ashes. If you wish to dispose 
of them at sea, the Environmental Protection Agency 
asks you be at least three miles from shore. Beach 
scatterings are also illegal in some states, including 
California, but are rarely enforced. And many public 
areas, like Central Park and Disneyland prohibit 
scattering ashes too, as do most professional and 
college sports stadiums. 

Untraditional Methods

If you want to do something truly unique with his 
ashes, you have many choices here too, but they can get 
pricy ranging from a few hundred to several thousand 
dollars. Here are several to consider.

 Scattering by air: This free-spirited option lets 
you spread your dad’s ashes into the sky so the 
particles can be taken by the wind. To do this, you 
could hire a private plane, helicopter or hot air 
balloon service, or use a balloon scattering service 
like or Or, you 
could even send his ashes into outer space with

 Scattering by sea: If your dad loved the water, there 
are many businesses that offer ash scattering services at 
sea, especially close to coastal areas, or you could rent a 
boat and do it yourself. There are also companies like that offer reef memorials so your 
dad’s ashes can rest on the ocean floor. 

 Ashes to keepsakes: If you want a keepsake of 
your dad, you can also turn some of his ashes into a 
wide variety of memorabilia, such as: diamonds (see or; jewelry 
or other handcrafted glass items (ArtFromAshes.
com and; vinyl records (Andvinyly.
com); gun ammunition (; or an 
hourglass urn (

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 
5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit 
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and 
author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …April Birthdays*

Howard Rubin, Hattie Harris, Mary Harley, Bette White, Dorothy White, Doris 
Behrens, Freda Bernard, Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, Marilyn Diaz, Virginia 
Elliott, Elma Flores, Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, Betty Mackie, Elizabeth 
Rassmusen, Maria Reyes, Marian DeMars, Anne Schryver, Chrisine Bachwansky, 
Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, Hank Landsberg, Ken Anhalt, Shannon Vandevelde 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. to 
11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join. 
May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Thursdays, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesdays from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is 
available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. 
Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 1st through April 12th from 1:00p.m. 
to 2:00p.m. - Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. Appointments are required by 
calling 626-355-7394.

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. 3rd Monday of each 
month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed! 

*A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required.

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in 
a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Hart Park House 
Office at 626-355-7394.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. Come join this group of Seniors in a poker game. 
Other games are offered to all. Please note time change. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This 
energetic class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All class materials are provided.

Stress, Resilience, Positivity: Finding Balance - by The Kensington Sierra Madre Four Tuesdays, 
March 7 - 28th from 2:00 - 4:00p.m. Register by calling 213-821-6919 or 213-821-6908. 




 Tanaka Farms Strawberry Tour (Irvine)

 Date: Thursday, April 27th

 Time: 9:30a.m. to 2:30p.m.

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House

 Cost: $20.00 (Not including Lunch)


Come experience a real working farm in the heart of Orange County. Tour includes a guided wagon 
ride around the 30-acre Farm. Learn about and sample different fruits and vegetables in season. Pick 
and eat fresh, juicy strawberries. You will be given a one-pound container to fill with berries. Things to 

- Wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

- The farm is not handicapped accessible; and wagon rides on dirt

roads will be bumpy.... and lots of bending to pick berries.

- Bring your sack lunch to eat at the picnic tables.

- Spending money is optional for market shopping.

Level of walking: Medium – High.

Please call the Hart Park House for reservations at 626-355-7394. 


This is an article that I wrote 
several years ago, before we were 
thrust into the brave new world of 
Common Core and computerized 
“smart” tests. I hope you enjoy this quaint look at what 
standardized state testing used to be like.

 Spring is here ! Blossoms perfume the air as I walk 
through our beautiful town. While this season is a 
time for celebrating nature’s rebirth, it comes with the 
ominous raincloud of Standardized Testing! I feel sorry 
for high school students facing this academic adversary; 
it seems like the competition grows fiercer every year. 
When I was in 
high school I had 
a healthy concern 
about the test, but 
I didn’t give myself 
an ulcer signing 
up for tutoring or 
pouring over SAT 
study guides (okay, 
I bought one, but 
I didn’t pour over 
it). What did strike 
fear in my heart was 
the dreaded GRE 
(Graduate Record 
Examination) which 
I had to pass in order to enter grad school. If you haven’t 
had the pleasure, the GRE is sort of like the SAT on 

 I’ve tried to repress memories of this daunting 
experience, but I still recall the practice CD Rom 
with its algebraic equations and writing prompts such 
as “defend or refute the use of trade embargoes.” I 
frantically typed while watching a red time clock tick 
down (because a test is always scarier if it’s timed!). I 
wondered what any of this had to do with my future 
in Health and Human Services. All’s well that ends 
well, I think that CD eventually found its way into a 
celebratory bonfire.

 If you have elementary school kids you’ve probably 
received newsletters alerting you to the upcoming 
crucial week(s) of standardized state testing. Make sure 
they’re well rested, fed, and at school on time! When I 
was a student my teachers always stressed having a good 
breakfast on testing days, but I never felt any smarter 
for it. The truth is, however, that it’s the teachers who 
are really stressed out over these fateful booklets (Ha! 
Booklets! How 20th century!). One careless kid can 
swing the school’s whole API (Academic Performance 
Index), which in turn can taint the district’s AYP 
(Adequate Yearly Progress) report. Next thing you 
know, home values drop because the neighboring city’s 
kids did better on this one test, taken one week, targeting 
what is sometimes a very narrow range of skills. Since 
this test is of supreme importance, it used to require 
teachers to sign a statement testifying that they’d been 
trained in the handling of test booklets. Every day after 
school, the booklets were collected and locked in bins 
in a secure location 
(I kid you not!). Of 
course these days 
it’s all online, so 
schools don’t need to 
reinvent Fort Knox 
on their campuses. 
Children’s work 
was stowed away 
with the same level 
of protection given 
to documents of 
national security.

 Considering the 
magnitude of 
this exam, it is 
understandable that teachers were tempted to become 
irate when students casually flipped over reading 
sections, filled in random bubbles, and turned in a 
seven-page exam after three minutes. While we all 
hope our kiddos will put their best effort into this 
ordeal, you can’t help but understand why some kids 
burn out after hours of math, science, writing, and 
reading about gripping topics such as mural artists 
and memoirs of a childhood in England during the 
Industrial Revolution.

 One of my Mom’s teacher friends is fond of telling 
about one of her students (nearing middle age by now) 
who spent a considerable amount of time on his test 
before turning in an answer sheet with all the “B’s” 
bubbled in except the last item, which was blank. When 
she asked why he didn’t fill in that one he said, “I didn’t 
know the answer.” Seriously, you can’t make this stuff 
up! Moral of the story: sleep well, eat a good breakfast, 
and color in a variety of letters (or, these days, click on a 
variety of answers). 

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