Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 1, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 1, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc




Atom is majestic big German Shepherd boy. He 
is 5-years-old and weighs 100 pounds. He loves 
an active life, whether it’s enjoying a nice walk, 
running in the park, or exploring in our play yards. 
But don’t be fooled - he is never too busy to show 
his affectionate side by taking a break to share a kiss 
or two. On a hot summer day, he loves to relax in a 
kiddie pool. Atom is a smart boy and would benefit 
being part of a family who will continue to train 
his beautiful strong athletic body and smart mind. 
If you are a fan of German Shepherds, you must 
meet this handsome boy.Come fall in love with 
Atom. His adoption fee is $145 and includes neuter 
surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free wellness 
exam at a participating veterinarian. Feel free to 
call us at (626) 286-1159 for more information. 
He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue in 
San Gabriel which is located off San Gabriel Blvd, 
north of Mission and south of Las Tunas Drive. To 
arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’, please stop by any time 
from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday through Sunday.

Before the mid-1700’s, when Russian poachers were on 
a mission to kill sea otters and sell their pelts at market, 
countless numbers of the furry floating mammals 
thrived on the continental shores from Japan to Alaska. 
Sadly, that greed-driven killing spree left behind only a 
handful along the northern Pacific coast of California.

 In 1911, a school of about 50 sea otters was discovered 
in the waters of Bixby Creek near Big Sur. It was then 
that this amazing mammal gained it’s recognition and 
status as an endangered species, and federal funds 
were made available for qualified projects to assist in 
encouraging the species to proliferate and re-gain it’s 
position in nature’s marine-life food chain.

 Thanks to the hard work of dedicated researchers 
who’ve participated in the recovery of the sea otter 
since it’s endangered status was granted, there are 
approximately 106,000 worldwide, with 3,000 living 
along the central California coast today. Still a sparse 
number compared to the population before the big kill 
occurred but definitely encouraging.

 One might ask, “How important could the sea otter’s 
role in nature be?” The otter’s existence is actually 
paramount for maintaining a healthy balance for all life 
forms in the ocean. The story of their role begins with 
the fact that just about every creature in the sea depends 
on kelp to survive and the sea urchin, which eats more 
than it‘s share of kelp, has grown disproportionately in 
population without interruption for over two centuries. 
And so it is that the urchin has become known as the 
kelp-hog of the sea, leaving very little kelp to sustain the 
other creatures that depend on it to survive.

 Not many ocean-going animals eat urchins, which 
adds more fuel to the kelp-hog’s population explosion. 
But, guess what? Sea otters love to eat sea urchins, 
so if there are plenty of otters in the sea, the urchin 
population will be kept in check. In the absence of the 
otter, the urchin has thrived uncontrollably, causing 
the potential demise of numerous other kelp-eating 

 So now you know why the sea otter is so important 
in the big scheme of things for oceanic life forms, which 
is another example of why humans should never take it 
upon themselves to kill off any given species. The fact is, 
no amount of money can ever buy back nature’s balance 
and, indeed we will all pay the price for what is taken 
away, at the end of the day.

 Because there are people who are willing to 
share their intellect and 
understanding about 
nature to help mitigate 
the imbalance caused by 
poaching, the sea otter has 
been given a second chance. 
Karl Maher, Coordinator of 
the Sea Otter Research & 
Conservation Program at 
Monterrey Bay Aquarium 
is one of those people. He 
and his team of researchers 
are dedicated to rescuing, 
rehabilitating and releasing 
hundreds of otters found 
orphaned, in distress or 
injured along California‘s 

 During the early days of the otter rehabilitation 
program, care-takers didn’t wear the uniform gear 
now being used to prevent intensive bonds between 
themselves and the animals, which inadvertently 
minimized the pups’ chances for survival. Through 
trial and experience, the researchers now realize that 
wearing a thick rubber coat and a shielded helmet 
helps create a barrier for bonding. Now, when a pup 
is rescued, care-takers are required to don a suit and 
helmet, giving pups a much better chance to survive 
upon release.

 More important than the use of rubber suits, has 
been the use of a surrogate mother to teach the otter 
pups the skills they need to survive in the wild. A baby 
otter is born with no innate survival skills, so much like 
a human baby, an otter pup can’t do much of anything 
other than breath or cry. Left to it’s own devices the pup 
will simply float on the surface of the water and clearly, 
this is no way for a young otter to survive in the sea with 
countless predators swimming about. 

 Interestingly enough, however, otters are able to 
learn remarkable skills that they are not born with. 

This is where Tula’s tale comes in. Tula was rescued 
with her newborn pup, but her baby did not make it, 
so the rescue team decided to try matching her up with 
another pup who needed a mother to teach him the 
survival skills he would need upon release. Well, I’ll tell 
you what, Tula took to the task like a trooper! It was as if 
she was born to be a surrogate mother to the orphaned 
babes at the aquarium. Not only did she perform her 
duty as a surrogate herself, but she also taught other 
otter mothers how to do the job properly.

 The idea of using a surrogate otter mom to teach 
orphaned pups revolutionized the MO of the program. 
Without Tula and the student moms she taught, the 
otter rescue and rehabilitation program would likely 
not have succeeded, and the otter population on 
California’s northern central coast would not have 
grown to be what it is today.

 Tula set a great example for all of us to be willing 
participants in our own survival. We should all be using 
our skills to beneift the greater good. I wonder what 
this world would be like with more Tulas teaching and 
mentoring those who need assistance in learning the 
skills of life! Thank you, Tula, for helping re-establish 
nature’s balance in the sea and on dry land, since we all 
depend on the ocean to live a healthy life on earth.


Meet adorable 
orange male tabby, 
LARKIN, age 1 
yr. Larkin is a very 
laid back, very 
sweet friendly male, 
with a beautiful 
marmalade color 
and fur pattern, 
making him look 
like a little lion cub. 
This boy is pretty 
much your purrfect kitty. Please watch his video to 
learn more:
continue=1&v=2WUomJqJrqQ Then visit www. for adoption procedures. Larkin 
would love to be adopted with one of our other nice 
kitties, or maybe you have a resident cat who would 
like a mellow playmate. Larkin will liven up your 
home and bring you endless joy and cuddles! Of 
course, he will come healthy, current on vaccines, 
neutered, and microchipped. See more pictures, 
adoption info at



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges has taught self-
reliance and survival skills 
classes and field trips since 
1974. A schedule of classes, 
and information about 
his various books, is available at www.SchoolofSelf- A schedule is available by calling (626) 
791-3217]. Once a month on a Thursday evening, 
you can attend a CERT training meeting in Sierra 
Madre. All of us become acutely aware that 
emergencies and disaster can and do happen all the 
time. (What if last Tuesday’s “little quake” had been 
a big one?)The purpose of CERT training is to make 
you better prepared to handle yourself and your 
loved ones in the aftermath of a major earthquake, 
or storm, or other calamity.

 CERT participants learn the basics of emergency 
communication, first aid, what tools to always carry, 
and how to work together to restore a semblance 
of sanity. You can learn more about Sierra Madre 
CERT group by checking them out on Facebook, 
or their web page at www.sierramadreemergency.
org. CERT means Civilian Emergency Response 
Training, so you can learn what to do in emergencies. 
The training is FEMA-sponsored.


During the August CERT meeting, members 
shared “hacks” for dealing with emergency 
situations. “Hacks” means using things creatively 
to solve a problem, generally not the intended use 
of the particular product.Here are some of the 
ideas shared, divided by categories, presented by 
the CERT Board: Dennis Burton, Taylor Markel, 
Robert Gjerde, and Daniel Brownell.


If you can’t remove a splinter, put a glass with 
warm water over the splinter, and, with the use of 
suction, try to pull it out.Stop minor bleeding with 
Chapstick.Put toothpaste on burns.Cotton balls 
filled with liquid soap will cause ticks to come out 
of your skin.Use SuperGlue to close wounds.Create 
your own first aid kit with items from the 99 cent 
store.Use a balloon to cover a bleeding finger.


You can open a can of food by rubbing it endlessly 
on cement, and we tried this at the meeting and 
managed to get a can about half-open. Persistence!


Use dental floss or a paperclip to repair a broken 
pair of eyeglasses.A cutting tool can be made from a 
piece of a can lid, with duct tape wrapped around the 
section where you will hold it.When the power goes 
out, gas stations cannot pump gas for you. Have a 
siphon handy. A simple “jiggle pump” siphon was 
shown.FIRECan’t start your fire? Use Doritos (or 
any potato chip or fried product).Use steel wool and 
batteries to start a fire. Stretch the steel wool from 
pole to pole and the steel wool will ignite (Some of 
you have attended my Fire Workshops, right?)Use a 
balloon to store matches to keep them dry.Vaseline 
on cotton balls is a great fire starter.


Letting a personal headlamp shine through an 
opaque bottle will be a good light source. Try 
it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, depending 
on the bottle.Use a crayon as a candle substitute. 
(Don’t go out and buy crayons, by the way! Go out 
and buy candles.)


You can charge your cell phone with your car 
charger (when you are away from your car) by 
pressing the car jack into one prong of a 9 volt 
battery, while pressing a key into the other terminal 
of the 9 volt battery while pressing the key onto 
the metal contact of the car jack’s plug. (You really 
had to see this one- -but it worked!).You need an 
AA battery but you only have an AAA. You wrap 
the battery in tin foil to make it thicker, and the 
tin foil covers the negative terminal. (Yes, try it!)
Have a little inverter for your car’s cigarette lighter 
so you can still power some small appliances from 
your car. Most appliances are designed to run on 
110V AC, whereas the car generates 12V DC. The 
invertor changes the 12V DC to 110VAC. 


 A simple seat-of-the-pants water filter is made by 
filling a container of suspect water and placing it at 
a higher location than another empty container, set 
below it. But a length of clean cotton so that it is 
in the suspect water container, and let it drape into 
the lower container. Water will wick through the 
cotton and drip into the lower container, removing 


 Many other ideas were shared, such as creating 
a simple survival kit from items purchased at the 
99 cent store.Participants were shown how to create 
a simple backyard stove (a “rocket” stove) using 
cinder blocks, and how to make a little solar oven 
from a cereal box. You can check Youtube for more 
details on these.It’s good to have a few 55 gallon 
drums on hand for storage, water storage, cooking, 
planters, and many more uses. Depending on 
usage, metal or plastic drums are desirable. A local 
source given was Wards at 273 E. Highland in Sierra 
Madre, where metal drums are sold for $5 and 
plastic for $10. Call them first at 626-355-1218 to 
be certain about availability.

In our house, not many 
conflicts expose themselves. 
For the most part, it is a very quiet and serene home 
occupied by two lovebirds.

 I am not saying we are perfect. For we are not. 
The imperfect side of this marvelous relationship 
is Yours Truly. I was born imperfect and I have 
honored my birthright ever since.

 I do not care what some may say about crazy 
people, I have enjoyed my craziness all my life. 
When you are perfect, you have to be careful that 
you do not make any mistake or act crazy.

 When, however, you are imperfect and tilt 
towards the crazy side of life, your life is a joy. If 
you make a mistake, well, that is part of life. But on 
the positive side, when you do something right, you 
become the amazement of people around you.

 So, our relationship in the Parsonage has been a 
very wonderful relationship. At least, from my side 
of the room. What the other resident says may be 
quite different.

 We do make a great team, though. I can break 
anything and she can fix anything. How much 
better do you need to be?

 When I make a mistake, she can correct me even 
in front of people. Now that is what I like. I would 
hate people to think I am stupid, crazy is one thing 
but stupid is something altogether different. And 
it is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that 
consistently rescues me from being stupid.

 Being a non-perfectionist, I can enjoy every day 
of my life, no matter what happens or what doesn’t 

 I cannot imagine what life is like for that person 
who is a perfectionist, like my wife.

 She sees something that needs fixing, and she is 
busy trying to fix it.

 If something is out of place, she is the first one 
to put it in its place. She has put me in my place for 
many years.

 Few things we disagree on but there is one thing 
on top of that list. They can be boiled down into one 
word, Vegetables.

 My wife loves vegetables almost as much as I love 
apple fritters. I do not think since the day she was 
born a day has passed without her consuming some 
kind of vegetable. She knows vegetables like I know 
apple fritters. There is not a vegetable known to 
mankind that she has not consumed.

 Even for breakfast, she likes to sneak in some 
kind of vegetable. With my oatmeal, for example, 
she likes to sneak in a carrot. What in the world do 
carrots have to do with breakfast?

 Her response to this is simply, “Vegetables are 
good for you and it’s good to start the day off with a 

 For her sake, I will grudgingly put up with some 
vegetables. Some vegetables, however, I will not put 
up with, I have made my stand strong through the 
years and I have not moved. Leading the list would 
be Broccoli.

 Yes, I know all of the benefits of eating broccoli. 
My wife has told me this over and over throughout 
the years and I can repeat it verbatim.

 My problem is, I do not believe what anybody 
says about broccoli. First, broccoli looks like a 
miniature tree that has not grown up yet. Who likes 
to eat trees?

 There is no way to prepare broccoli that my wife 
does not already know. For years, she tried to entice 
me and con me into eating broccoli. I will fall for 
just about anything, except broccoli.

 Every once in a while my wife will say, “What 
would you like for supper tonight?”

 I do not pause, but immediately say, “Anything 
but broccoli.”

 I have the same apprehension for broccoli as she 
does for apple fritters.

 I believe that an Apple fritter is basically “a fruit.”

 Once when I was trying to explain to her that 
an Apple fritter was a fruit she replied in disgust, 
“Anybody that believes that is just fruity.”

 What she does not realize is, I do not mind being 
fruity. I would rather be fruity than eat any broccoli.

 The question here is how do you live with 
someone who is such a veggie-Holic?

 There could not be any bigger span of separation 
than between a veggie-holic and an Apple fritter 

 Recently we have come to an amicable agreement, 
which simply is, she does not talk about broccoli 
and I do not talk about apple fritters. She does not 
believe what I say about apple fritters anyway. And, 
I do not believe what she says about broccoli.

 So, we have learned to respect each other’s 
differences. That is what makes a relationship good. 
The only question I have is, and I don’t bring it up 
very often, does an Apple fritter smell as bad as 
broccoli cooking on the stove?

 Looking back over our relationship very few 
things we disagree on and the things we disagree 
on are not that important that it should affect our 

 I love what that wise old prophet in the Old 
Testament said, “Can two walk together, except they 
be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

 It is not what we disagree on; rather, it is what we 
agree on that is important. If you are going in one 
direction, you must have the same opinion that it is 
the direction you are going.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. 
He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, 
in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-4240 or 
e-mail The church web site is

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