Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:5


Mountain View News Saturday, December 15, 2018 

of Fraud

Schiff Urges Funding Earth-
quake Early Warning System

Representatives Adam Schiff, 
Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and 
Peter DeFazio (D-OR), along 
with 31 Members of Congress, 
last week, wrote a letter to 
the Office of Management 
and Budget Director, Mick 
Mulvaney, strongly urging 
the Trump Administration to 
include funding in the Fiscal 
Year 2020 Budget for the 
continued development and 
operation of the West Coast 
Earthquake Early Warning 
System (EEW).

 “To follow through on the 
funding made by the federal 
government, as well as growing 
commitment from states and 
the private sector, it is critical 
that this program be properly 
funded so the West Coast 
will be prepared for the next 
catastrophic earthquake,” the 
Members wrote in their letter. 
“This technology will save 
lives and reduce the economic 
impact of an earthquake; it 
simply needs to be properly 

 EEW technology, also known 
as ShakeAlert, is already fully 
operational in countries like 
Japan and Mexico, and is 
credited for saving lives during 
Mexico City’s earthquake 
in September. Such an early 
warning system could provide 
residents and first responders 
with advanced notice that could 
help save lives, avoid injuries, 
and avert major infrastructural 
damage by slowing trains to 
prevent derailment, stopping 
elevators, pausing surgeries 
and taking other actions in the 
event of a major earthquake.

 Schiff, who helped secure 
consistent and increased federal 
funding since Fiscal Year 2015 
for a West Coast Earthquake 
Early Warning System said, 
“Congress has made plain 
its sustained and bipartisan 
support for ShakeAlert, and its 
implementation is crucial to 
saving lives, infrastructure and 
property. We will continue to 
urge the Trump Administration 
to recognize the immense value 
of this system and fully support 
its funding so that it can be 
deployed widely before the ‘big 
one’ hits.”

 “In the Pacific Northwest, it is 
not a matter of if, but when, the 
next big earthquake will strike. 
By investing in the Earthquake 
Early Warning system, 
Congress can buy valuable 
seconds for Americans to seek 
cover or get to higher ground. 
Anything short of fully funding 
this valuable technology puts 
people and our communities at 
risk,” Rep. Derek Kilmer said.

 “Life-saving earthquake early 
warning technology exists, but 
is not yet fully implemented 
in the United States because 
of a lack of will—that has 
to change. We’re living on 
borrowed time,” said Rep. 
DeFazio, Ranking Member of 
the House Transportation and 
Infrastructure Committee. “In 
an earthquake, every second 
counts. We could save lives and 
protect critical infrastructure 
if we installed a robust 
early warning system, like 
ShakeAlert. It’s only a matter 
of time before we see a major 
quake off the Oregon Coast and 
we must be prepared for that 

 The White House eliminated 
funding for the West Coast 
Earthquake Early Warning 
system in both its Fiscal Year 
2018 and 2019 budget requests. 
Congress has recognized the 
critical need for implementation 
of an Earthquake Early Warning 
System and has provided 
funding for its development and 
implementation in recent Fiscal 
Years. Because of sustained 
support on the federal level, 
as well as significant financial 
contributions from the State 
of California, ShakeAlert is 
now available to the public 
on a limited basis. Businesses, 
schools and local governments 
can partner with ShakeAlert to 
distribute the alerts for members 
of their organizations. With 
continued support from all levels 
of government – at both the state 
and federal level – individuals all 
along the West Coast will soon 
be able to receive alerts through 
their phones.

 ShakeAlert is being developed 
by the United States Geological 
Survey (USGS) in conjunction 
with California Institute of 
Technology; the University 
of California, Berkeley; the 
University of Washington; 
the University of Oregon; the 
University of Nevada, Reno; and 
Central Washington University.

 A federal jury in Los Angeles 
found a Pasadena pharmacy 
owner guilty Friday for her 
role in a Medicare fraud 
scheme involving more than 
$1.3 million in fraudulent 
claims for prescription drugs.

 After a two-day trial, 
Tamar Tatarian, 39, of 
Pasadena, was convicted 
of one count of health care 
fraud and two counts of wire 
fraud. Sentencing has been 
scheduled for Feb. 25, before 
U.S. District Judge John F. 
Walter of the Central District 
of California, who presided 
over the trial. Tatarian was 
the owner of Akhtamar 
Pharmacy in Pasadena.

 According to evidence 
presented at trial, from 
approximately October 
2015 through approximately 
October 2017, Tatarian 
engaged in a scheme 
involving the submission of 
fraudulent claims to Medicare 
Part D plan sponsors for 
prescription drugs that 
Akhtamar Pharmacy never 
ordered from wholesalers, 
and thus never dispensed 
to Medicare beneficiaries. 
Tatarian attempted to conceal 
the fraud through the creation 
of fake invoices, reflecting 
wholesale drug purchases by 
Akhtamar Pharmacy which 
had, in fact, never taken place. 
As a result of this scheme, 
Tatarian through Akhtamar 
Pharmacy submitted claims to 
Medicare for more than $1.3 
million in prescription drugs 
that she never purchased or 
dispensed to patients, the 
evidence showed.

This case was investigated by 
the FBI and HHS-OIG. Trial 
Attorney Alexis Gregorian 
and Assistant Chief A. 
Brendan Stewart of the 
Criminal Division’s Fraud 
Section are prosecuting the 

Holden Holiday Open House and Shoe Drive

By Dean Lee

 Staying in the spirit of 
the holidays, a number of 
protesters showed up to 
Assemblymember Chris 
Holden’s Holiday Open 
and Shoe Drive Thursday 
night singing Christmas 
Carols spoofs such as “Santa 

Holden smiled as they sung, 
to the tune of Santa Baby:

'Santa Holden' 

'Don’t be a shill for PG&E, 
you see'

'Use your office for good'

'Santa Holden' 

'So listen to the people right 

 In response, Holden said he 
was open to hearing ideas.

 “Here’s what we plan to do, 
we’re going to have a town 
hall [meeting] and have 
an opportunity to bring in 
everyone because this is 
such a complicated set of 
circumstances.” Holden said. 
“Look at different options, 
ideas. But I think one of the 
things that we are going to 
have to explore is, the whole 
range of ideas.”

 Before they sang, local 
activist Lauren Steiner read, 
in part, what they alleged was 
at issue. 

 “He [holden] wants to 
put forward an absolutely 
unconscionable bill that 
would bail out PG&E, 
SCE, SoCal Gas and their 
stockholders from their 
liabilities for wildfires and 
pass all the costs on to the 
customers instead. Not 
only would this completely 
eliminate any incentive for 
those corporations to ensure 
fire safety, it would also give 
them strong incentives to 
overbuild still more of those 
fire-dangerous power lines 
when we should instead be 
building much cleaner and 
safer local renewable energy 

 Other protesters and 
activists, including, Ian 
Burke Jameson said they 
want “public ownership of 
public utilities now.”

 Jameson said Holden did 
agree to sit down and talk 
with the groups, “so that’s 
something, we will believe 
that when we see it.”

 Steiner said they wanted to 
be respectful of the event, 
we’re at an event where 
they collecting shoes for 
low income children. The 
invitation said we could talk 
about legislative issues, so we 
decided to sing about it.”

 Holden said about the 
event, “It’s our way of just 
saying thank you to the 
community, to bring every 
one together. Its not always 
about the legislation, its 
about how you can connect 
people with services, making 
sure that they’re aware, solve 
problems, so being able to 
partner with ‘Shoes that Fit’ 
and having so many people 
participate at such a high 

 Shoes That Fit is a nonprofit 
that tackles one of the most 
visible signs of poverty in 
America by giving kids in 
need new athletic shoes to 
attend school with dignity 
and joy, prepared to learn, 
play and thrive. 

 Holden said that all the 
shoes they collected will be 
given to children in time for 

Give A Club 
Kid A Gift 

this Holiday

 During this season of 
giving, Boys & Girls Club of 
Pasadena needs your help 
to insure that no Club Kid 
is without a present.

 The goal is to provide 
each kid and teen of the 
Boys & Girls Club of 
Pasadena with a toy, sports 
ball, art supplies, gift card, 
non-electronic game, or 
other gift item during our 
annual Holiday parties on 
December 20th at each 
branch. We have collected 
about a third of the needed 
items for the 600 Club kids 
we support. 

 You, or a group you 
belong to, can make a BIG 
difference this holiday 
season by bringing new gift 
items to either the Del Mar 
or Fair Oaks branch OR 
making a donation to allow 
us to do the shopping for 

 Your support will bring 
joy not only to a Club Kid 
but to their family, too. For 
more information or to 
donate visit: bgcpasadena.

Pet of the 

See Passing Comet 46P/
Wirtanen this Sunday

The comet known as 46P/
Wirtanen will make one of the 
10 closest comet flybys of Earth 
in 70 years, Sunday, and may be 
able to see without a telescope 
scientists say.

 Although the approach will 
be a distant 7.1 million miles 
(11.4 million kilometers, or 30 
lunar distances) from Earth, it’s 
still a fairly rare opportunity. 
“This will be the closest comet 
Wirtanen has come to Earth for 
centuries and the closest it will 
come to Earth for centuries,” 
said Paul Chodas, manager 
of the Center for Near-Earth 
Object Studies at NASA’s Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory in 
Pasadena, California. What’s 
more, Chodas said, “This could 
be one of the brightest comets 
in years, offering astronomers 
an important opportunity to 
study a comet up close with 
ground-based telescopes, both 
optical and radar.”

 Comet Wirtanen has 
already been visible in larger 
amateur telescopes, and while 
the brightness of comets is 
notoriously difficult to predict, 
there is the possibility that 
during its close approach comet 
Wirtanen could be visible with 
binoculars or to the naked eye.

 Astronomer Carl Wirtanen 
discovered the comet in 
1948 at Lick Observatory 
on Mt. Hamilton in Santa 
Clara County, California. 
With a width of 0.7 miles (1.1 
kilometers), 46P/Wirtanen 
orbits the Sun fairly quickly for 
a comet -- once every 5.4 years 
-- making it a short-period 
comet. (Long-period comets, 
on the other hand, have orbital 
periods greater than 200 years.) 
At the time of closest approach, 
the comet will appear to be 
located in the constellation 
Taurus close to the Pleiades.

 An observation campaign is 
underway to take advantage of 
the close approach for detailed 
scientific study of the properties 
of this “hyperactive” comet, 
which emits more water than 
expected, given its relatively 
small nucleus.

 In Pasadena, 46P/Wirtanen 
will be visible in the eastern 
horizon starting shortly before 
6 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. when it 
sinks into the western horizon. 

 For more information visit: jpl. 

Free Monthly Events at 
Pasadena Senior Center


 There is something for 
everyone in December at the 
Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. 
Holly St.

 You do not have to be a 
member to attend. Some 
events require advance 
reservations as 


 Stay Connected with 
Social Media – Tuesdays 
and Thursdays to Dec. 27, 
from 9 to 11 a.m. Learn how 
to keep in touch with family 
and friends via email, Skype, 
Facebook and other forms 
of social media during a 
30-minute, one-on-one 
session with instructor Edison 
Samuel. You’ll choose which 
applications you want to 
learn. Bring a laptop or use 
one of the onsite computers. 
If you have an email address, 
bring it and your password. 
Sign up at the Welcome Desk 
or by calling 626-795-4331.

 Screening Mimis Film 
Discussion Club – Tuesday, 
Dec. 18, at 1:30 p.m. Diehard 
film fans are invited to watch 
a movie the first and third 
Tuesday of every month, 
preceded by a presentation 
about the film’s hidden 
history and followed by 
lively discussion. Dec. 18: The 
Red Violin (1998, R) starring 
Carlo Cecchi and Samuel 
L. Jackson. A perfect red-
colored violin inspires passion, 
making its way through three 
centuries, several owners 
and many countries, and 
eventually ending up at an 
auction where it may find a 
new owner.

 Friday Movie Matinees 
– Fridays, Dec. 21 and 28, 
at 1 p.m. Everyone enjoys 
watching movies and the 
pleasures they bring. Dec. 
21: The Night They Saved 
Christmas (1984, NR) starring 
Jaclyn Smith and Art Carney. 
A woman and her three 
children help Santa save his 
toy factory at the North Pole 
from being destroyed due 
to nearby oil drilling. Dec. 
28: Crazy Rich Asians (2018, 
PG-13) starring Constance 
Wu and Henry Golding. 
An Asian American New 
Yorker is apprehensive 
about meeting her longtime 
boyfriend’s family when 
she accompanies him to 
his best friend’s wedding in 

 Holiday Concert – Tuesday, 
Dec. 18, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. 
When “cello” is combined 
with “celestial,” the result 
is Cellestial, an ensemble 
comprised of cello students 
and music teachers that will 
perform classical, popular 
and Christmas music 
guaranteed to get you into 
the holiday spirit.

 Spirituality and Aging – 
Thursday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. 
Spirituality is the measure 
of how willing we are to 
allow grace, some power 
greater than ourselves, to 
enter our lives and guide 
us along the way. Each 
person has a different 
interpretation of spirituality. 
Local spiritual leader Doug 
Edwards, who brings faith 
into aging and is director of 
outreach for, will 
lead a discussion about this 
important topic. 

 Founded in 1960, the 
Pasadena Senior Center 
is an independent, donor-
supported nonprofit 
organization that offers 
recreational, educational, 
wellness and social services 
to people ages 50 and older 
in a welcoming environment. 
Services are also provided 
for frail, low-income and 
homebound seniors.

 Goober (A462838) is a 
4-year-old Chinese Shar-
Pei looking for a home for 
the holidays. Goober has 
been at the Pasadena 
Humane Society & SPCA 
since July! We think he’s 
been getting overlooked 
in the kennels. This past 
weekend he went home 
with a foster family to 
get some comfy couch 
time. He was a very well-
behaved boy who liked to 
follow his Foster around the 
house and sit right by her 
side. He gave tons of kisses 
and slept peacefully at the 
foot of the bed at night. 
Goober is now back at PHS 
looking for a new friend 
who would like to give him 
a furrever home. 

 The adoption fee for 
dogs is $130. All dogs 
are spayed or neutered, 
microchipped, and 
vaccinated before going 
to their new home. 

 New adopters will receive 
a complimentary health-
and-wellness exam from 
VCA Animal Hospitals, as 
well as a goody bag filled 
with information about 
how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable 
pets at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoption hours are 
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday 
through Friday; and 9 a.m. 
to 4 p.m. Saturday.

 Pets may not be available 
for adoption and cannot 
be held for potential 
adopters by phone calls or 

Police on the 
Lookout for 
DUI Drivers

 Pasadena police officials 
announced that they will be 
on the lookout for impaired 
drivers during the upcoming 
holiday season. Whether you 
are out celebrating with friends 
at your favorite restaurant or 
enjoying a holiday party at a 
residence, please find a safe 
way home. Remember that 
averting a holiday tragedy 
starts with all of us. DO NOT 
drink and drive. Authorities 
said “make the smart choice 
- go safely and arrive at your 
destination safe and sound.”


New Writing Club at the 
Pasadena Senior Center


 A free writing club open to 
members of the Pasadena Senior 
Center, 85 E. Holly St., will 
meet at 10 a.m. every Tuesday. 
Prior writing experience is not 

 The instructor, Dr. Sam 
Eisenstein, will lead participants 
through the process of writing 
in each of their preferred 
genres, from memoirs to 
fiction. Eisenstein taught 
creative writing from 1961 
to 2017 at Los Angeles City 
College, where he also served 
as the advisor on the English 
Department’s annual literary 
journal The Citadel. He is a 
Fulbright scholar who taught 
for one year in Japan. He has 
published novels, collections of 
stories, essays and poetry.

 For more information visit: or 
call 626-795-4311.

 Join The Pasadena Library 
for Kwanzaa: A Celebration 
of Family, Community 
& Culture. Enjoy music, 
stories and tasty dishes 
prepared by members of 
the Pasadena Alumnae 
Chapter of Delta Sigma 
Theta Sorority. Thursday, 
Dec. 27 • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 
• La Pintoresca Branch 
located 1355 N Raymond 
Ave, Pasadena.

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