Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 20, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 20, 2018 


Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Kevin Barry


Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright



Say it ain’t so: Alcohol in moderation is bad for us again!

 According to a recent study published in the journal 
Alcoholism, low-level alcohol use - one or two snorts of 
hooch on occasion - may benefit cardiovascular disease, but 
it increases the risk of cancer.

 To which I respond: Oh, c’mon!

 I don’t know if our scientists have noticed, but our country is politically and 
culturally divided. Our people are agitated and angry. Life’s simple pleasures are 
among the few things about which we have any consensus these days.

 Yet for years, our simple pleasures have been under scientific assault.

 Back in the ‘90s, a series of alarming reports told us that movie-theater popcorn 
would congest our arteries worse than eating Crisco right out of the can.

 Then we learned that Chinese food would fatten us, and that a hearty fast-food 
breakfast could be so risky we might not make it to lunch.

 For years, we were told that red meat is bad for our hearts. But now, we’re being 
told that it is also causing climate change - so we need to start eating bugs instead!

 Look, too few Americans are aware of where our food comes from and what is 
in it - which partly helps explain our obesity epidemic. But it’s awfully frustrating 
that our scientists can’t seem to make up their minds.

 For years, they told us coffee was bad for us - before deciding that, in 
moderation, it stimulates our arteries, and protects against Parkinson’s disease, 
type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Coffee certainly makes my noggin sharper as the 
workday begins!

 For years, scientists told us to avoid fat and carbs. Now, they tell us to limit 
carbs and that proper fats are essential to good health - that some people don’t 
have enough fat in their diets! 

 For years, scientists told us alcohol was bad. Then they told us that, in 
moderation, it prevents heart disease, reduces the chance of ischemic stroke and 
possibly reduces the risk of diabetes! 

 But now, alcohol in moderation is bad for us again? Regrettably, the issue 
remains unsettled. 

 According to The Washington Post, the alcohol-in-moderation issue was 
supposed to be clarified by a 10-year, $100 million Moderate Alcohol and 
Cardiovascular Health trial sponsored by The National Institute on Alcohol 
Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 But the study’s credibility collapsed, The Post reports, when an “internal NIH 
investigation found that researchers had engaged in extensive communication 
with industry representatives before the government’s approval of the trial.” 

 Thus, it was canceled. Which puts us right back at square one! 

 Some scientists, including an epidemiologist cited by The Post, say “drinkers 
should drink a little bit every day, without any days off, because alcohol makes 
blood platelets less sticky and keeps other clotting factors low.”

 But another scientist told The Post: “The burden of evidence is toward alcohol 
having a detrimental effect on heart disease, even in small quantities.”

 As a result, millions of average Americans are in a constant state of confusion 
and debate about many things scientific - while they’re also in a constant state of 
confusion and debate about many things political and cultural. 

 One solution? Embrace the witty wisdom of Irish poet and playwright Oscar 
Wilde: Enjoy “everything in moderation, including moderation.”


Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous memoir 
available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is 
nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column 
in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send 
comments to Tom at

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285




It was an inspiring lecture. One of my finest. And then, I 
brought up D-Day.

 Spend enough time in the classroom and you learn to read students’ faces. They say 
so much.

 “I’m bored.” “I’m thinking about something else.” “I just broke up with my girlfriend.” 
I’m homesick.” “I’m hungry.” And, of course, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

 The latter - along with the unmistakable sound of crickets - was the reaction to my 
mention of the day Allied forces invaded Europe in 1944.

 This particular encounter with students took place several years ago at another 
university but I haven’t forgotten it. It went something like this.

 “So, on D-Day….”


 “Does everyone know what D-Day is?”

 Still nothing. Not one hand in the air.

 “The invasion of Europe by the Allies?”

 Blank stares. “Anyone? Anyone?”

 “How about World War II?”

 “Oh, yeah!” one student exclaimed, as if we’d made some great breakthrough.

 Those few moments in that classroom were indicative of a much broader and very 
disturbing issue - the appalling knowledge gap among young people about American 
history and America in general.

 A study released earlier this month by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship 
Foundation showed that in a sample of 1,000 American adults, only 36 percent would 
pass a U.S. citizenship test. Those 65 and older who were surveyed scored the highest. 
But only 19 percent of those 45 and younger passed the test. Oh yeah, and 60 percent 
of those surveyed did not know which countries the U.S. fought against in World War 

 If you’re not terrified yet, consider that the questions on the test aren’t exactly what 
you would find on the Mensa admissions exam.

 Here are a few actual questions on the citizenship test: What does the Constitution 
do? What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment? Name one branch or 
part of the government? Who makes federal laws?

 You get the idea. Not a lot of heavy lifting.

 And yet, at least if this study is any barometer, most Americans would fail a 
rudimentary civics test.

 This would seem to be a searing indictment of our public schools. How a student 
can graduate high school, not to mention college, knowing virtually nothing about 
a world war that claimed the lives of 418,500 Americans and 50 million others is 

 But here we are.

 Kentucky is the most recent state to require all high school seniors to pass a U.S. citizenship 
test to graduate. Students have to score a 60 on a 100-question test to pass. Kentucky is one 
of nine states that require students to pass a civics test to graduate high school.


 It’s hard to imagine that anyone would object to such a basic requirement but 
alas, the naysayers are out there. Chief among the pooh poohers, of all things, is 
the National Council for the Social Studies whose tagline, ironically enough, reads 
“Preparing Students for College, Career, and Civic Life.”

 ‘While the Naturalization Test as presently constructed does assess a surface level 
of civic knowledge that may be quickly forgotten, it ignores the skills and dispositions 
component so necessary for true civic literacy and learning,” according to an NCSS 
position statement posted in March, 2018. “Indeed, rote knowledge of civics content 
does not equal understanding of what it means to be a citizen.”

 I’m not naive enough to believe that passing a simple civics test to graduate high 
school is the remedy for the multi-leveled failure to teach our young people the basics 
of what it means to be an American. But it’s something.

 I would argue that our elementary and secondary school students would be much 
better served learning about why America had to fight World War II instead of being 
taught hogwash such as “School Climate Reform” or “Action Civics.”

 Every state should pass a law requiring high school students to pass a civics test to 
graduate. The question, “Who knows about D-Day?” should never be met by unraised 
hands in any high school or college classroom. But it is. And that’s more than a failure. 
It’s a tragedy.


 Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist and author. He is currently a professor of 
journalism at Asbury University in Kentucky. His book, “We Burn on Friday: A Memoir of 
My Father and Me” is available at You can reach him at manieri2@gmail.



These are the best of times, 
and the worst of times, for being well informed. 

 We have a vast landscape of news sources, yet we 
tend to view them through a peephole rather than 
a porthole. 

 If you believe, as I do, that it is a civic responsibility 
to stay abreast of current events, consider taking a 
few steps to be a better news consumer. 

 - Don’t be screen-centric. TV, computers and 
phones bring us most of our news, in forms that 
are fast and convenient. But if you’re among those 
who never, ever, come in contact with a physical 
newspaper or magazine, fix that. 

 More research is needed, but it appears that 
people absorb content better when read on a 
printed page, especially with longer articles. 
Regardless, holding a paper or magazine and 
scanning each page is distinctly different, and often 
more enlightening, than scrolling through the 
same material on a screen. 

 - Listen to NPR. I got my start in radio at a time 
when national hourly newscasts were detailed, 
reliable and easily available across the dial. They 
are still produced by several networks, but on 
many affiliated stations they have been truncated 
or eliminated. The shining exception is National 
Public Radio. 

 Driving through Mississippi and Alabama 
this summer, a regional network of NPR stations 
proved to be my best connection to news from 
Washington and the world. NPR’s hourly newscasts 
are carried by more than 1,000 stations, where they 
tend to be part of the conversation, not part of the 

 - Read e-letters. The newsletter business is 
booming. Almost every news organization in 
America, large and small, will send you a daily 
email summarizing its coverage. E-letters are 
usually free and, while not a substitute for the full 
story, provide a useful starting point for catching 
up on the day’s news. 

 I recommend one of the original e-letters and 
still among the best: Politico’s Playbook. Although 
it has an inside-the-Beltway focus, it is a very 
readable and nonpartisan digest, delivered for free 
before 7 a.m. ET. 

 - Sample Hannity and Maddow. Depending 
on your political orientation, you probably watch 
either Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel or 
Rachel Maddow on MSNBC- but never both! Try 
crossing over, at least occasionally. 

 Hannity and Maddow have emerged as the 
ratings leaders in cable-TV’s nightly effort to 
dissect the Trump White House. My friends are 
aghast when I mention watching both. Still, these 
two thought leaders help set (in Hannity’s case) or 
reflect (more so in Maddow’s case) the national 

 - Go up front. Even if 
you’re not a news junkie 
you are likely to enjoy 
perusing the front pages 
of hundreds of daily 
newspapers, online, for 

 The Newseum in Washington ( 
assembles readable PDFs of front pages- from the 
Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks, Alaska, to the St. 
Augustine Record in Florida. If it’s true that “all 
politics is local,” it can be said that all news is too. 
You’ll be surprised at how dramatically the mood 
of the nation is reflected on these daily fronts. 

 - Go long. Too often we rely on summaries of 
summaries (indeed, the e-letters cited above are 
part of that). Stretch your mind and your insight 
by balancing news digests with long-form articles. 

 Some of the best reporting these days is being 
done by The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The 
New York Times Magazine, among others that 
invest heavily in hiring top writers and giving them 
the time and space to really drill down. 

 - Matriculate. Every so often try reading a college 
newspaper. Hundreds of student publications are 
produced on campuses around the country, and 
while some are read by local residents, most are 
completely invisible to the general public. 

 A useful list of the top 50 college newspapers, 
with links, can be found at 
Number 50 is The Bucknellian at Bucknell 
University in Pennsylvania; number one is the Yale 
Daily News in Connecticut. You probably have 
little interest in, say, food complaints at the dining 
hall, but when, for example, young Yale journalists 
assess a Supreme Court nominee, it’s intriguing 

 - Talk about it. Nowadays we are so set in our 
opinions that we’re afraid to discuss current events 
with colleagues, friends and family. If they’re in 
another camp, or have a differing view, the risk 
of broaching a subject seems greater than any 
possible reward. 

 Yet, this very type of discourse is central to the 
evolution of our own thinking. I’ve found that 
creating a small email circle is a useful way to 
bounce thoughts off people I know, without the 
peril of raised tempers or overly hurt feelings. If 
you’re brave enough to talk about news at the office 
or dinner table, my advice is to listen more and 
pontificate less. 

This is, after all, the age of wisdom, and the age of 
foolishness. We can each do more to promote the 

 Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, 
“Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at 

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

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