Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 3, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 5


Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 3, 2019 


TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Judy Chu issued the following statement Thursday 
calling for the opening of an impeachment inquiry into 
President Donald Trump:

 “When Special Counsel Mueller testified before 
Congress, he reiterated clear evidence that President 
Trump obstructed justice and that if Trump were not the 
President, he would be on trial. The next day, the Senate 
Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report on 
foreign interference in the 2016 election, confirming 
that Russia targeted election systems in every single 
state in our country. These threats undermine our 
democracy, and Donald Trump repeatedly attempted to 
obstruct the federal investigation into them. I believe it 
is time for Congress to open an impeachment inquiry 
into President Donald Trump. The proceedings must be 
deliberate and transparent. We have a sacred duty as members of Congress to ensure 
that nobody is above the law. To do nothing given what we know is unacceptable.”

My annual trek to Del Mar for the horse racing 
season so here an oldie but goodie!!!

Any great food reporter who turns his attention to 
writing a travel piece should have a fork in one hand 
and a travel map in the other. Little did I know I 
would also need to up the credit line on my card 
and bring a wallet of kronor. I planned a trip to 
Oslo, Norway to compete in their Rock N’ Roll 
Half Marathon, intending to run and fill the idle 
moments with foreign beer. My scouts told me that 
Norway and Sweden swam in cold suds, and the 
most popular was lager, or liquid gold as I call it.

The most popular routes of escape consist of a 
layover on the east coast and a possible stop in 
Frankfurt (another excuse to have another half liter 
of beer). Air Lufthansa, part of the Star Alliance, has 
plenty of flights which are easily booked through 
a travel agent, or you can keep an eye on Orbitz 
and Priceline. Plan to budget $1300 to $1600 for a 
roundtrip ticket. Most major hotel chains including 
Sheraton and Days Inn have locations in Oslo, 
but my friend Brad Turner, beat writer for the LA 
Clippers, suggested renting an apartment or flat in 
the city. I followed that advice in Bergen, Norway 
and cut our lodging expense in half compared to the 
major hotels, plus it came with a refrigerator so we 
could stock up on supplies and save additional cash. 
Norway, while rich in oil reserves, gets richer on a 
25% alcohol tax whether you drink in a restaurant 
or buy from a state run liquor store.

National Geographic called the Fjords one of the top 
ten beautiful places in the world and I agree! Make 
sure you take a boat cruise -- two-hour, half-day and 
full-day trips are available. We spent the night in 
Flam and took the boat through the Fjords with the 
bookend cliffs and ribbons of water that wrap the 
imagination. If you’re a museum junkie or history 
buff the Viking museum contains the explorer’s 
age of small boats. In Sweden, I suggest the ABBA 
Museum - yes, the pop group has their own shrine 

- there is a small fee, but you get two hours of music 
and memories that will enchant your life. To get 
around Stockholm I took the Hop On/Hop Off 
bus. I like this way of seeing an entire city in one 
day at your own pace. If you are lucky enough to 
be in Sweden in late June there are plenty of city 
and country mid-summer celebrations where you’ll 
discover it’s their spirit that gets them through those 
icy winters.

For food, as you can imagine, salmon is plentiful, 
but an adventure of this magnitude calls for whale, 
elk, and reindeer, which are on many restaurant 
menus. I am happy to report they don’t taste like 
chicken. The whale is a little salty, and cured as a beef 
jerky. Reindeer can be bought at many restaurants 
or outside markets, often sold like a pastrami roll. 
I had a fantastic elk burger at the Ardbeg Embassy 
in Stockholm. If you get frustrated in paying the 
high prices, look for a bakery and have some of the 
best sweet rolls in the world. The restaurants are 
expensive so look for Thai, Indian or Vietnamese if 
you hope to save a krona.

The best time to go is late June through September. 
In some parts of Norway there are year round 
blankets of snow to excite the desert creatures. 
Stockholm has more favorable weather conditions 
with temps reaching 75 degrees on a good day, but 
come November prepare for winter-like conditions. 
During the summer the sun is out most of the day, 
and while that makes it difficult to sleep, the 10 PM 
sunsets are spectacular.

 For a more in-depth article check out peterdills.
com Listen to Dining With Dills on Sundays at 8 
AM on 105 FM



 On Sunday, July 21, seventeen-
year-old Jordan Patton, representing 
the Pasadena/Duarte 
ACT-SO team, a program of the 
Pasadena NAACP Branch #1054, 
brought home the silver medal 
in Original Essay at the annual 
ACT-SO competition portion of 
the 110th NAACP Annual Convention 
in Detroit, Michigan. 
Since establishing the Pasadena/
Duarte competition in 2010, 
students competing in the Afro-
Academic, Cultural, Technological 
Olympics (ACT-SO), have 
won nine national medals for the 

Patton's essay, "America's Unjust 
Criminal Justice System," focused 
on the inequities in the court and 
justice systems as evidenced by 
disproportionate sentencing of 
African American men compared 
to Caucasian men committing 
the same crimes. In addition 
to judging of the essay's writing 
- mechanics, ideas, organization - 
students also prepared to answer 
questions from judges on their 
pieces, testing the competitors' 
ability to present themselves and 
stand behind their work. When 
Patton won the gold medal at the 
local ACT-SO competition held 
on April 27 in Duarte, CA, feedback 
from the judges emphasized 
that he would need to work on 
his presentation to better reflect 
the strength and power they felt 
from reading his essay.

Patton's diligent preparation 
paid off as this rising senior from 
Marshall Fundamental School in 
Pasadena will have a silver medal, 
a $1,500 prize, and a new iPad to 
brag about as he enters his last 
year of high school before starting 
college in fall 2020.

 "As a young African American 
man, this experience has changed 
my life. Just being in the regular 
presence of my peers and following 
through with coaches and 
mentors, my life has changed; 
I now have a direction for the 
future," Patton expressed about 
his personal growth from the 


He will also be featured at a series 
of San Gabriel Valley events 
including the upcoming NAACP 
production of the Fannie Lou 
Hammer story and the NAACP 
100th Anniversary Celebration 
in October where he will be 
the Outstanding Youth Award 

Ten youth total, including two 
from Duarte High School and 
six from the California School 
of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley, 
competed in categories spanning 
photography, writing (original 
essay, poetry, short story), dance 
and both instrumental and vocal 

 "Our branch prides itself on always 
bringing a diverse delegation 
to Nationals," stated Pasadena/
Duarte ACT-SO co-chair 
Lois Gaston. "Our students tend 
to compete across all categories, 
representing different races, nationalities, 
income levels, family 
structures and lived experiences. 
We believe in developing powerful 
youth voices."

Gaston organizes the youth 
and local ACT-SO competition 
alongside Aida Torres, Karen 
Herrera, Terri Jenkins and Duarte 
Mayor Tzeitel Paras-Caracci. 
Marilyn Mays serves as the main 
Chairperson and is also the Recreation 
Supervisor at the Duarte 
Teen Center, offering robust 
programming for youth development, 
ACT-SO being one among 

"We are extremely grateful for the 
support of the Pasadena NAACP 
Branch #1054, students, parents, 
mentors, judges and sponsors 
each year who make it possible 
for youth to compete locally and 
nationally," said Herrera. "It's 
truly a community investment 
in our students that continues to 
yield big wins and highlights the 
bright minds we have in Duarte, 
Pasadena and the greater San Gabriel 

Pasadena/Duarte ACT-SO National 

Hugh Alexander, Photography, 
Duarte High School

Kayla Collins, Music Vocal Classical, 

Olgavier Garcia, Poetry Written, 
Duarte High School

Dorian "Alexsis" Guerrero, Poetry 
Performance, CSArts-SGV

Jordanne Guidry, Filmmaking, 

Miranda Kleier, Music Vocal 
Contemporary, L.A. County 
School of the Arts

Kaitlyn Ng, Music Instrumental 
Contemporary, CSArts-SGV

Jordan Patton, Original Essay, 
Marshall Fundamental School

Isabella Ponce, Short Story, 

Amber Serrano, Dance Contemporary, 

 Sponsors this year included 
the Pasadena Branch NAACP 
#1054, MVP Development, California 
American Water, City of 
Hope, CSArts-SGV Foundation, 
Burrtec Waste Industries, Duarte 
Education Foundation, the 
Duarte Emblem Club, Duarte Kiwanis, 
and the Duarte Elks Club.

 For additional information 
about the ACT-SO program, 
contact the Pasadena NAACP 
#1054 Branch at (626) 793-1293 
or the Duarte Teen Center at 
(626) 303-0863.



Using Natural and Low-Cost Methods

According to Julie Balaa, 
Neighborhood Watch meetings 
are one of the best ways 
to be prepared for earthquakes. 
Watch meetings give you 
the chance to get to know 
your neighbors and to explore 
ways to work together, especially in the aftermath 
of an earthquake,” she explains.

Balaa is a board member of the non-profit WTI, 
which has been conducting earthquake preparedness 
classes in Northeast L.A. and Pasadena for 
over 50 years.

“Getting to know your neighbors, and working 
with your neighbors, is perhaps one of the most 
important ways to be ready for an earthquake,” 
says Balaa. She quickly adds that there are many 
economical ways to be ready for a quake, methods 
that have been taught in the seminars since 
the mid-1970s.

Balaa explains that “You never know what might 
happen in an earthquake,” she explains, “but you 
could expect electricity to go out, and for water 
supplies to be sporadic.”

Balaa suggests that every household store as much water as possible, since about 75% of L.A.’s water comes from about 
300+ miles away. “With only about a quarter of our water coming from local water, it makes sense to store water,” she 
explains. In the WTI seminars, they instruct how low income people can store water without having to buy expensive 
water containers. Plastic and glass beverage containers can be cleaned out and filled with tap water or filtered rain 
water and stored for future use. Since the government response time in past emergencies can be as much as two weeks, 
they advise people to store as much as two weeks worth of water, in whatever containers you have. 

Food storage is also a part of their earthquake seminars, such as storing canned goods, and dry goods (beans and 
pasta, for example), that do not require electricity for storage. WTI has published a Food Storage booklet which is 
simple, but advocates that everyone “store what you eat, and eat what you store.” The details of food storage are shared 
in the non-profit’s seminars. However, they also recommend that everyone grows at least some of their food, so fresh 
food is always available. This includes vegetables and greens, but also simply replacing ornamental hedges and trees 
with those that produce food, such as citrus trees, avocadoes, loquats, edible cacti, figs, grapes, apples, and even roses. 

“Did you know that the rose petals, and rose fruits, are edible?” asks Balaa. Plus, in the aftermath of an earthquake, 
you could also trade and barter some of your excess food for other supplies. Balaa took a moment to show how some 
of the wild and cultivated plants on the non-profit’s property were also medicinal and edible. These were all extremely 
easy-to-grow, and useful as articles of trade, such as aloe plants, Peruvian mint, and green onions.

Balaa points out that the WTI Earthquake Seminars are very comprehensive, and go into the details of food and water 
storage, how to cope with no electricity, no toilet facilities, and the possibility of no fast food sources (including 
supermarkets) and no hospital services.

“We encourage everyone to have as many manual appliances as possible,” suggests Balaa, “as well as having at least 
a small solar battery setup so you can produce some electricity. It’s not too expensive to buy a small solar panel and 
inverter on-line,” she says.

The toilet is often the area that is most sensitive to the attendees of their seminars, and should not be ignored. According 
to Balaa, if your sewer line is not broken, you could still use your toilet by pouring waste water into the toilet 
to cause it to flush. Otherwise, there are a variety of toilet alternatives, such as hospital porta-potties, and compost 

“Medical emergencies could be common,” warns Balaa, so she suggests that everyone maintain a simple first aid kit to 
deal with cuts, burns, and abrasions. Most of the contents could actually be purchased at the 99 Cent store, and Balaa 
highly recommends that everyone take an Emergency First Aid course by the Red Cross.

“We should never be complacent here in L.A.,” says Balaa, “because an earthquake could strike at any moment. But if 
we get to know our neighbors, and all work together, we might all be able to survive such an emergency with strength.”

WTI Earthquake preparedness seminars, and other seminars, are scheduled throughout the year. Balaa suggests that 
interested parties check their website at, or check their Facebook page, or just call her at 323 255-4028, 
or Prudence at 323 620-4720. Also, be sure to check out the meetings of the Sierra Madre CERT group.

Julie Balaa, right, discusses how to store water, and 
collect rain water, with Timothy Hall, former owner of the 
Daily Bread Café on Figueroa.

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown


One of Real Simple's Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!” 
For fans of “The Crown,” looking for history served up as intimate 
drama, and those seeking another angle on royal lives, “The Gown” 
seems likely to dazzle and delight." – The Washington Post.“The 
Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-
reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”--Kate Quinn. 

From the author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling 
historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses 
of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—
and the fascinating women who made it.“Millions will welcome 
this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to 
travel.”Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s 
forthcoming wedding London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest 
winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, 
the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet 
desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are 
Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair 
fashion house of Norman Hartnell. 

Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are 
tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of 
Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather 
Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her 
late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in 
Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the 
stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And 
what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam 

With The Gown, Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding 
gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait 
of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to 
three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its 
pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and 
the redemptive power of love

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