Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 16, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 16, 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown


The World as It Is: A Memoir of 
the Obama White House by Ben 

 From one of Barack Obama’s closest 
aides comes a revelatory behind-the-
scenes account of his presidency—and 
how idealism can confront harsh reality 
and still survive-in the tradition of 
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand 
Days: John F. Kennedy in the White 
House.For nearly ten years, Ben 
Rhodes saw almost everything that 
happened at the center of the Obama 
administration—first as a speechwriter, 
then as deputy national security 
advisor, and finally as a multipurpose 
aide and close collaborator. He started 
every morning in the Oval Office 
with the President’s Daily Briefing, 
traveled the world with Obama, and 
was at the center of some of the most 
consequential and controversial 
moments of the presidency. Now he tells 
the full story of his partnership—and, 
ultimately, friendship—with a man who 
also happened to be a historic president 
of the United States.Rhodes was not 
your typical presidential confidant, and 
this is not your typical White House 
memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic 
detail by someone who was a writer 
before he was a staffer, this is a rare 
look inside the most poignant, tense, 
and consequential moments of the 
Obama presidency—waiting out the 
bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, 
responding to the Arab Spring, reaching 
a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading 
secret negotiations with the Cuban 
government to normalize relations, 
and confronting the resurgence 
of nationalism and nativism that 
culminated in the election of Donald 
Trump.In The the book, Rhodes shows 
what it was like to be there—from the 
early days of the Obama campaign to the final 
hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by 
such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, 
Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and—above all—Barack 
Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments 
of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the 
most vivid portrayal yet of Obama’s worldview and 
presidency, a chronicle of a political education by a 
writer of enormous talent, and an essential record of 
the forces that shaped the last decade.

Calypso by David Sedaris 

 David Sedaris returns with his most deeply 
personal and darkly hilarious book.If you’ve 
ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s 
cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think 
you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d 
be wrong. When he buys a beach 
house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris 
envisions long, relaxing vacations spent 
playing board games and lounging in 
the sun with those he loves most. And 
life at the Sea Section, as he names the 
vacation home, is exactly as idyllic 
as he imagined, except for one tiny, 
vexing realization: it’s impossible to 
take a vacation from yourself.With 
Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable 
powers of observation toward middle 
age and mortality. Make no mistake: 
these stories are very, very funny--it’s a 
book that can make you laugh ‘til you 
snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s 
powers of observation have never been 
sharper, and his ability to shock readers 
into laughter unparalleled. But much 
of the comedy here is born out of that 
vertiginous moment when your own 
body betrays you and you realize that 
the story of your life is made up of more 
past than future.This is beach reading 
for people who detest beaches, required 
reading for those who loathe small talk 
and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is 
simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and 
warmest book yet--and it just might be 
his very best.

Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik 

 The bestselling author of A Man 
Called Ove returns with a dazzling, 
profound novel about a small town with 
a big dream—and the price required to 
make it come true.People say Beartown 
is finished. A tiny community nestled 
deep in the forest, it is slowly losing 
ground to the ever-encroaching trees. 
But down by the lake stands an old 
ice rink, built generations ago by the 
working men who founded this town. 
And in that ice rink is the reason 
people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better 
than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about 
to compete in the national semi-finals, and they 
actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and 
dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of 
a handful of teenage boys.Being responsible for the 
hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the 
semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that 
will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in 
turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on 
a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving 
no resident unaffected.Beartown explores the hopes 
that bring a small community together, the secrets 
that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an 
individual to go against the grain. In this story of a 
small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the 
entire world.The 3 reviews are from


Whether through illness, injury, or other means, 
anyone can require a guardian if they become 
mentally incapacitated. In such cases, if there 
is no estate planning in place (or insufficient 
planning) to keep family or other loved one’s 
out of court, a guardianship or conservatorship 
must be established via court process. 
Obtaining guardianship can be an 
extraordinarily challenging and expensive 
process. It begins with filing a petition in court 
for guardianship and requesting the court declare 
the incapacitated person incompetent. In some 
cases, these types of filings are made “ex parte”, or 
in secret, and a guardianship can be established 
before family or close friends even know what’s 
happening. In other cases, such a filing can result 
in a heated dispute between family members and/
or friends, who may claim they’d be better suited 
for the role. Given this, things can get quite costly 
very quickly. 

 Of course, this assumes these matters haven’t 
already been decided through proper and 
up-to-date estate planning, including a valid 
durable power of attorney and advance health 
care directives, which are the best methods for 
ensuring this massive responsibility is handled 
as effectively as possible. Sadly, most people 
don’t think of the costly possibility of incapacity 
and therefore leave their families at risk. 
If you do have a loved one who needs a guardian, 
here are some of the things you’ll need to know: 
Who can be appointed as guardian?
Unless specified in a valid legal document, 
any family member or other interested person 
can petition for guardianship—even a close 
friend can do it if they prove they’re best suited 
for the position. That said, most courts give 
preference to the ward’s spouse or other close 
family members. In some cases, the guardian is 
required to post a bond, which typically requires 
good credit and some level of deposit to be 
held in the event of the guardian’s wrongdoing. 
This bond requirement often disqualifies many 
friends and family, who either don’t have 
good credit or the resources to post a bond. 
If a relative or friend is not willing—or capable—
of serving, the court will appoint a professional 
guardian or public guardian. This is one of the 
ways an estate can be drained extremely quickly. If 
you want to hear more about how this can happen 
check our online blog found at our website. 

What are a guardian’s responsibilities?
Depending on the extent of the ward’s mental 
capacity, a court-appointed guardian can be 
given near complete control over a person’s life 
and finances. Some of the most common duties 

. Paying the ward’s bills
. Determining where they live
. Monitoring their residence and living conditions
. Providing consent for medical treatments
. Deciding how their finances are handled, 
including how their assets are invested and if any 
assets should be liquidated
. Managing real estate and other tangible 
personal property
. Keeping detailed records of all their expenditures 
and other financial transactions
. Making end-of-life and other palliative-care 
. Reporting to the court about the ward’s status at 
least annually

 What’s more, the court often requires detailed 
status reports, such as financial accounting, 
at regular intervals or whenever important 
decisions are made, such as the sale of assets. 

Are guardians compensated?

 Yes, guardians are entitled to reasonable 
compensation for their services based on the 
ward’s financial ability to pay. The appointed 
guardian is paid directly from the ward’s estate. In 
most cases, the compensation must be approved 
by the court ahead of time, and the guardian 
must carefully account for all of their services, 
the time spent on tasks on behalf of the ward, 
and any associated out-of-pocket expenses. 
Given the huge level of responsibility and 
loss of control that comes with guardianship, 
the best course of action would be to get 
proper and updated estate planning in place 
ahead of time to ensure that if you or anyone 
you love becomes incapacitated, you can stay 
out of the court process altogether if possible. 
Dedicated to empowering your family, building 
your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a 
mission to help parents protect what they love most. 
His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to 
sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love 
and financial security for your family by calling 
626.587.3058 or visit for 
more information.

All Things By Jeff Brown



Did you know there is no safe amount of time to leave 
any child in a car alone? Every 10 days in the U.S. a 
child dies when left alone in the car. The temperature 
in a car rises rapidly in the first 30 minutes, even on a 
cool day. Additionally, leaving the car windows open 
or cracking them open does not allow enough air 
into the vehicle. Other reasons why leaving children 
in a hot car is dangerous include: The child is tightly 
strapped into the seat not allowing free movement.It 
takes only a body temp of 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 
heat stroke to occur. 107 degrees us usually fatal. A 
child’s body warms up 3-5 times faster than an adult’s 
body. Is it okay to leave the car engine running with 
the air conditioning on? No. That’s not safe because 
leaving the engine running allows a child to open 
the power windows with the opportunity of falling 
out of the car. Additionally, California law states 
that children under the age of 12 may not be left in 
cars without an adult present, no exceptions.Young 
children do copy their parents, so they can hop into 
the driver’s seat and release the handbrake put the car 
into neutral allowing it to roll.




Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual


yoga is not just 
the physical 
practice. It’s 
about honoring 
yourself for all 
of your gifts and 
yourself a 
sacred being. 
Yoga can be a 
practice and a 
state of being. 
In Yoga, we honor nature and, hopefully, adjust as 
needed with the seasons and both environmental 
and current health conditions. Part of this requires 
developing enough awareness to make these 
adjustments. This is a common thread of yoga 
- building awareness - adjusting - transforming - 
getting closer to a comfortable state of being on all 
levels. As we proceed into summer, a few practical 
guidelines are helpful. The heat can definitely bring 
a series of “whoas,” as in, “Whoa, let’s evaluate as we 
proceed.” Heat is fire which depletes moisture, or 
water. Too much heat leaves us dry and depleted. 
Give yourself enough time to recover from extended 
days of sun exposure. Beach days can be incredibly 
healing as we soak in the energy of the sun and 
beauty of the ocean, but they can also be depleting 
from sun and wind exposure. Water intake is crucial 
and best done consistently. Never underestimate 
the power of clean, pure water. Surprisingly, room 
temp or slightly cool water is best versus cold ice 
water. The body has to generate heat to absorb ice 
water. Healthy digestion is affected as ice quells the 
transformative heat needed to digest and assimilate 
food well. We love food that contains water in the 
summer, so go for it! Watermelon and cucumber 
are two such sources. Enjoy those fresh salads and 
seasonal fruits and veggies. Having meals in ease and 
love with friends is a great way to honor the season 
and the longer days. Make sure to get out there early 
- or later - for your exercise. Consider reducing the 
intensity of workouts or space them out on cooler 
days, especially if you’re prone to overheating. 
What about a walk under the moonlight? Keep 
practicing Yoga! A good class is going to keep 
energy circulating in your body and bring balance to 
your mind and emotions. Excess heat can provoke 
irritation in general as well as anger. Yoga poses that 
work well in summer include belly backbends. They 
help to release heat from the internal organs. Poses 
such as Salambhasana (locust) or Dhanurasana 
(bow) or even resting in Crocodile (resting on your 
belly) pose is lovely. Enjoy the beauty and expansion 
of the Sun energy, but plan to employ practical 
practices that cool your overall internal heat as the 
temperatures rise. 

 Please contact me to learn more about what might 
be right for you individually: keely@keelytotten.
com. Namaste,Keely Totten, E-RYT 500, Yoga & 
Meditation Teacher

Lori A. Harris


My father had a sister named Dorothy, who died 
before I was born, she burned the family farm, and 
all of our lives changed forever. I come from people 
that worked the land, that’s what they knew. First, 
as slaves then as sharecroppers, the difference was 
nearly imperceptibly slight. There were periods of time 
working in the aluminum industry, but I don’t think 
it was much better. You worked for the company, 
bought from the company store and lived in company 

Mostly, they worked the land until it burned. There 
were rumors of a better life in Ohio and Dorothy was 
intrigued. My grandfather would not hear of it. He 
queried, “Where are we going to go? Why would we 
leave? Who would take care of the land?” One day 
the farm suddenly burned down. Luckily all of their 
clothes were on the clothesline, and other essential 
things were conveniently outside. Boom, they moved 
to Cincinnati! There everybody went to school every 
day. Things in Ohio weren’t perfect, but it seems that 
they were better. They had the support of family in 
the city to teach them the ropes. That’s one significant 
decision that’s part of the foundation of my life. 

The next was my father’s decision to climb out of 
depression and join the military. At age fifteen, he 
had quit school when his mother died. He tinkered 
with cars and walked around the city for two years. 
You have heard the ads with the message: “Join the 
military: you’ll learn a skill, get an education and 
you might even get a house!” For my family, it was 
all true. My father, the high school drop-out, retired 
from the military with two masters degrees, 20 years 
of employment experience and ready for a new career. 
Oh yeah, he saw the world too, but he didn’t care about 
that part, he wanted the information and he got it.

My Uncle Sam made the final decision that rippled 
over to my life. At some point in Cincinnati, my 
grandfather lost his sight in a major bus accident. Since 
now my grandmother and Dorothy were both dead. It 
was natural to expect the remaining daughter to assist 
with his care. Little sister Betty would take care of her 
father while attending the local college. Until Mrs. 
Bailey, a social worker, helped the family to see the 
limitedness of that thinking. Uncle Sam stepped up 
with his wife Mary to care for my grandfather in his 
senior years and freed Betty to accept a scholarship 
and leave home. Let’s unpack 
that. Betty had decided to be a 
lawyer after her father was hit by 
the bus and never compensated. 
I decided to become a lawyer 
after seeing Betty in court. If 
Uncle Sam hadn’t taken over the 
care of my grandfather, where 
would we be? That one decision 
freed six other siblings to build 
their lives unencumbered. 

When an opportunity comes, 
you have to take it. You have to decide to move. You 
have to move scared. You have to go even if you 
don’t know what’s on the other side. Do life afraid. 
The living is in the decision. When something 
comes your way that intrigues you, go toward that 
feeling of inspiration. The joy is not in the getting 
or accomplishing. It’s in the living. It doesn’t always 
turn out the way you hoped, and sometimes it’s much 
better. You will never know unless you try. Sometimes 
it’s failing and trying again.

We could spend our lives talking about generational 
trauma. I prefer to think about generational gratitude. 
I am so happy and grateful for my family. Every day I 
decide to live to full out because I know the decisions 
that they made gave me the foundation for this life 
I’m living and my heart is filled with joy, pride, and 

Now it’s your turn, think about some prior decision 
made by a family elder. How did that change your 
life? Untangle the web of choices, which led to other 
choices that led to you. What can you appreciate? To 
whom do you owe a debt of gratitude?

This is an example of generating gratitude. I want us 
to live lives that we appreciate and not be controlled by 
conditions. Look for the good in every circumstance, 
create some genuine appreciation and watch what 

Lori is a lawyer and gratitude coach. You can learn 
more at where you can also 
get her free app or sign up for a free clarity session.

Lori A. Harris

Creator of the Gratitude Train App, available in the 
App Store and Google Play

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