Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 13, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 13, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc




Beyond the captivating beauty of Caterine is a calm 
lady who craves the peaceful continuity of life in her 
own home. She likes people to approach her slowly 
and will then relax into the hand massaging her 
head and ears and stroking down her soft white and 
gray coat. The attention is rewarded by her purring 
of contentment while she “makes biscuits” on the 
bed or lap she is on. Caterine is more than just a 
pretty face, which has the cutest smudge mustache. 
She enjoys playing with her visitors. A simple shoe 
string can be the beginning of a tug of war game 
that ends when she wins. Sometimes the laser 
dot game of chase will set off Caterine’s huntress 
instincts. Other times she seems to not want to 
bother with something she wisely knows can’t 
really catch. Caterine’s beauty and sweetness will 
add décor and bring calmness to your home, while 
also adding some fun. Please come meet Caterine in 
Meow Manor. Feel free to call us at (626) 286-1159 
for more information. She currently resides at the 
San Gabriel Valley Humane Society located at 851 
E. Grand Avenue in San Gabriel. We are 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. Website:

If one wishes to make a difference…to truly make a 
difference for the better, one can. There are countless 
opportunities to give back, it only takes a willingness to 
be a part of something bigger than one‘s self. 

 Thankfully, there are many people today who are 
willing to take part in making a positive impact on the 
environment by dedicating their skills and time to doing 
things that will benefit the greater good, and I always 
enjoy sharing their stories.

 In the late 1990’s, Ken Nedimyer, a longtime resident 
of the Florida Keys, had seen first-hand the decline of the 
local coral reefs during the years he’d lived there. Running 
from north Miami down to Key West, the Florida Reef 
Tract is the third largest barrier reef in the world and the 
only barrier coral reef in the continental US. 

 Sadly, due to a variety of destructive factors (not the 
least of which were human-inflicted), the staghorn and 
elkhorn coral that made up the Florida Reef Tract were 
reduced to a mere 3% of their original coverage during 
the short years between the 1970’s and 1990’s, resulting in 
both species being listed as critically-endangered.

 At the time, Nedimyer was a commercial aquarium 
fish collector and live rock farmer when, by a fortuitous 
turn of events, a colony of critically-endangered staghorn 
coral settled onto one of his farms off the coast of 
Tevernier, Florida. As Nedimyer observed the ‘volunteer’ 
coral colony swiftly grow in his live rock farm, he began 
to envision the potential for a new type of marine 
conservation that could not only protect threatened reef 
habitats but could actively restore them.

 Driven by a burning desire to help make a change for 
the better and a hope that this may be a way to reverse the 
tragic reef loss process, Nedimyer immediately went to 
work demonstrating that staghorn coral could be farm-
grown rapidly and out-planted to the reef. In 2007, with 
the assistance of his family and a small dedicated staff, he 
founded the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF™) and 
began working to build up stock of staghorn and elkhorn 

 Drawing on Nedimyer’s experience in the aquarium 
industry and applying knowledge they gained through 
coral research findings from around the world, the CRF™ 
team started to experiment with different methods for 
growing coral in offshore, in-situ nurseries.

They tried several growth techniques to cultivate their 
coral - including disk nurseries, line nurseries and various 
forms of tree nurseries - before the tree structure they 
are currently using was finally invented. With the help 
of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, CRF™ 
was granted permission to collect clippings and broken 
fragments of coral from remaining wild populations of 
staghorn and elkhorn in southern Florida, to propagate.

 Their early endeavor to build a genetically diverse 
portfolio of coral has proven to be critical for the 
Foundation’s current restoration work, which aims to 
restore the genetic diversity of wild coral populations 
rather than rely only on corals with perceived - yet 
scientifically unproven - strengths.

 Today, the Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF) 
is the world’s largest non-profit marine conservation 
organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs to a 
healthy state, both in Florida and globally. In recognition 
for his remarkable work, Nedimyer was presented with 
the Wyland ICON Award and was named a CNN Hero 
and a Disney Worldwide Conservation Hero.

 It just goes to show that anyone can make a 
difference…truly make a difference, to benefit the greater 
good. Regardless of occupation or skill set, everyone 
has something to bring to the table. The knowledge and 
abilities one may possess, related to their particular trade 
or craft, can always act as building blocks for learning 
and for honing more specified skills that can be applied 
in practical ways to help restore our planet.

 Today, I see people everywhere getting on board with a 
plethora projects to help reverse the destructive process. 
Overdevelopment and a blatant disregard & disrespect 
for natural spaces and the wildlife that dwell within them 
have reeked havoc on our planet. It is refreshing to know 
that there are activists who are undoing the destructive 
deeds of the arrogant and ignorant.

 So why not get on board? Perhaps you can help turn 
today’s resolution-minded minority into a resolution-
minded majority. There are countless ways to help bring 
healing to your home, Mother Earth. It just takes a desire 
to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and a 
willingness to give back to what sustains you. For a more 
promising future, don’t forget to love and let live. 



Yes, imagine waiting 8 long years for a true home! 
We’ve had him since he was a baby. Scout is a gentle 
and sweet boy, beautifully all shiny black. Scout’s 
a bit shy at first until he gets to know you, but 
after that he will love to be next to you and be 
petted or get a tummy rub, and tell you about 
his day. He gets along well with other cats, but 
especially relates to kittens. Please find a way to 
welcome this sweet, soulful spirit into your loving 
home. He will come healthy, current on vaccines, 
neutered, and microchipped. See more pictures, 
adoption info at

 Good news: Charlotte & Parker, Willow & 
Gus,& Cricket have been adopted.



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



[Nyerges is the author of 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” 
“Foraging California,” 
“Extreme Simplicity,” and 
other books. He also leads 
outdoor field trips. He can be 
reached at www.SchoolofSelf-] 

 James Ruther is a diverse man. Day job, working for the 
Edison company, he’s also quite an authority on knives and 
knife-sharpening, as well as several other bushcraft skills. 
One day, after we both finished a class about outdoor 
survival skills in the foothills of Pasadena, Ruther showed 
me a wooden spoon. 

 “That’s nice,” I said. I liked it, and it looked a bit different 
from the many wooden spoons I’ve seen over the years at 
thrift stores and novelty stores. 

 “Yeah, and I made this one,” he continued. 

 “You made it,”? I replied, looking again more closely at 
the spoon, turning it over in my hands. 

 “Yes,” said Ruther, “and I made it mostly from this 
knife.” He pulled out a Mora knife and handed it to me, 
which I also examined. 

 Since I’d initially thought the spoon was something 
cranked out in a factory woodshop operation like so many 
others, I paid it little attention. Now that I knew this was 
individually carved, I examined it more closely, and saw 
the character that an assembly line product would not 

 “What kind of wood did you use?” I asked. 

 “Ash,” he replied. “I use ash for most of my spoons, 
because it’s so common, and relatively easy to carve. Also, 
because the ash trees grow like weeds, no one minds if I 
trim a few branches and use them for making spoons.” 

 Ruther gave me that beautiful spoon, and eventually I 
attended a spoon-carving class that he conducted. 


 Here’s how the class went. 

 Once everyone is present, Ruther shared the basics 
of knife safety, and the importance of always handing 
a knife to another person with utmost care. He also 
emphasized that you always carve AWAY from your 
body and fingers. This sounds easy, but sometimes, to 
get a certain cut, you have to be very creative to not cut 
towards your body, and Ruther showed many of these 
methods. He also described the “blood circle” for safety. 
If you a standing too close to a person using a knife, 
and that person accidentally moves his knife in your 
direction, you might get cut. You’re within his blood 
circle. To know if you’re too close to someone, Ruther 
held his knife out horizontally from his body, and 
defined a large circle, front and back. If you’re within 
that blood circle, you’ll get cut. 

 Next, his class took a short walk to find and collect 
suitable woods. Ruther pointed out that just any wood 
could be used to make a spoon, even dead wood on the 
ground, though it’s more desirable to use fresh sound 
wood. Oak is excellent, but harder to carve. Willow 
is abundant, and easy to carve, but might be a bit too 
soft for some applications. Ruther likes alder, ash, and 
other woods; that day, his students all collected pieces 
of ash wood, about a foot long and a few inches thick. 

 On our way back to our tables, we observed many of 
the other trees and Ruther described some of their uses. 


 Ruther guided each student to take their section of ash, 
and to first split it, by batonning it with a sheath knife. 
Then, they decided which half would be used, and then 
the cut part of that piece of ash was flattened with the 

 Next, the shape of the spoon was penciled onto the flat 
side of the wood, and careful carving began. 

There were various techniques of wood reduction which 
were shows to take the piece of wood to a spoon. 

 For example, a saw was used to reduce some sections, 
such as to make the spoon part round. 

 To cut away the excess wood which would become 
the handle, the section would be sawed perpendicular to 
the handle, at various points, so that the unwanted wood 
could just be chiseled away. 

 Then, it was all slow but careful carving. The hollow of 
the spoon was carved with curved carving knives which 
made it much easier. However, the hollow could still be 
done with an ordinary knife, with much more care. 

 Finally, the spoons were sanded with sandpaper. Or, 
as woodscraft master Paul Campbell used to teach, the 
spoons could be “sanded” with a small rock, abrading little 
by little until the desired smoothness is achieved. 

 “What happens if the spoon breaks?” a student asked 
Ruther. He smiles and responds, “Oh darn, you’d have 
to carve another!” Taking a more serious tone, Ruther 
says that to discard a biodegradable wooden spoon is 
not a problem, and is infinitely better than discarding a 
plastic spoon into a land fill that would take 100 years 
to decompose. “It’s smart for the environment,” he says, 
adding that if you cut from overgrown invasive trees, it’s 
really a form of weed control. “It’s always a good thing to 
learn to make something rather than buying something, 
and this produce no waste.” 

 Ruther points out that your second spoon will always 
be a better spoon than your first, because you’re still 
figuring things out on spoon number one. 

 To learn more about Ruther and his classes, he can be 
reached at


I am not known as “Mr. Fix-It Man”. When it comes 
to mechanical things, I am really handy-challenged. I 
can do many things, but I cannot fix anything.

 When talking about the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage, it is a different story. If there is something 
she cannot fix then it isn’t broken. No matter what is 
broken or how long it has been broken, she somehow 
can fix it. I do not know how she does it, and believe 
me, I am not going to ask.

 There is nothing I cannot break and there is 
nothing she cannot fix. We make a wonderful team 
as long as I keep that scenario in my mind.

 If I, for whatever reason, think I can fix something, 
I am in deep trouble. The more I try to fix something, 
the more broken it becomes. I have learned long ago 
to own up to this in my life.

 I think it is wonderful to know what you cannot do. 
That eliminates trying to do something and failing 
every time. It is more wonderful to know who can fix 
what you break.

 “Honey,” I say in a very sympathetic tone, “I broke 
this. Would you be able to fix it for me?”

 “Of course,” she will reply with a silly little grin on 
her face, “let me have it.”

 And I do.

 The only thing I could ever fix is something 
needing a hammer. I can hammer something, but I 
can’t screw or unscrew a bolt. Of course, I can screw 
anything up with a hammer.

 A long time ago, I learned how to handle this. 
Whenever anything breaks in the parsonage I 
immediately say, “Should I get my hammer and try 
to fix it?” To which I get a resounding “Nooooooo”.

I then say, “Well, if you need me just call for me.” And 
I know I will never be called.

 If I had the time, I would calculate how much 
money we have saved during our marriage by having 
her fix things that were broken. I think it would be an 
amazing amount of money.

 A few weeks back the front plastic bumper on my 
truck broke and was hanging. I casually mentioned it 
to my wife not expecting anything. About 30 minutes 
later she came in and said, “I got your truck fixed.”

 I am not sure how much that saved me on auto 
repair but I sure thanked her and then took her out 
for lunch. After all, what’s a husband supposed to do?

 This all came to a head just a couple weeks ago. It 
is the beginning of a political cycle. We know it is a 
political cycle because all of the politicians are rather 
dizzy. My apologies to all the blondes out there.

 We kept hearing the same phrase from every 
politician that was running. “Washington is broken 
and I’m going there to fix it.”

 I was ignoring it because I know that every 
politician has their tongue detached from their brain. 
Can you imagine what would really happen if we had 
intelligent people running for office?

 As we were listening to some of these 
advertisements, my wife turned to me and said, 
“There, you could help them fix Washington.”

 I just looked at her and said, “Huh.” I did not get 
anything that she was saying with that.

 “You’re always wanting to help fix things around 
here, why don’t you offer to help fix Washington?”

 I did not know if I should laugh or if I should be 

 I was afraid to say anything but eventually I said, 
“What in the world do you mean?”

 She looked at me with those giggly dancing eyes 
and said, “You are always offering to fix something 
with your hammer. Why don’t you offer to give them 
your hammer so that they can fix Washington?”

 Was she serious? Or, was she setting me up for 

 Staring at me she finally broke down into hilarious 

 “How better could they fix Washington than using 
your hammer?”

 It does not happen often, but I wholeheartedly 
agreed with what she was saying.

 If Washington is broken, and I am not sure what 
that means, perhaps they could fix it with my hammer 
by smashing everything in Washington. My hammer 
is a good tool for that kind of work. I cannot tell you 
how many things I have smashed unintentionally 
with my hammer.

 We enjoyed a hearty laugh on that one. I never 
knew my wife to be politically minded like this. 
However, she had it. Then I said, “Why don’t you 
run for some political office? I’ll let you borrow my 

 We laughed some more and I got to thinking. How 
would Washington change if my wife was elected to 
some office and borrowed my hammer? She surely 
would get things done, I am sure.

 Her “fix-it” ability along with my hammer would 
go a long way in fixing Washington.

 As I thought of that I was reminded of what 
King Solomon said, “The way of man is froward 
and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right” 
(Proverbs 21:8).

 Some things are too broken to fix for any person 
except God. There is no person so broken that he 
cannot fix and fix for eternity.

 So, Mr. Politician Fix-It, you can use my hammer at 
any time if you want to.

 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 The church web site 

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