Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 16, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 16, 2020 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

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

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

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


A member of 


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. 



I wish it could be denied that the future looks very bleak 
for all of us. There are predictions that we are entering what 
amounts to a world-wide depression. Expert prognosticators 
tell us that things will never be normal again. Frankly I never 
thought that what we call normal was ever so great in the first 
place. Prior to our awareness of the presence of the coronavirus 
(by that I mean that prior to any substantial human awareness 
of the virus the virus was well aware of us) there were substantial 
inequities within the world. Just in the United States there were 
terrible inequalities of opportunity affecting African American, Hispanic, and 
Indigenous populations. Gender discrimination and the glass ceiling still restricted 
advancement opportunities for women and LGBT individuals faced discrimination 
in many aspects of their lives. The problems with our Education System were 
vast and many individuals were not educated sufficiently to allow for retraining 
into an increasingly technological workplace. Increased longevity left many 
retired individuals (like me) with a feeling of redundancy and a huge percentage 
of seemingly comfortable Americans classified themselves as miserable. Beneath 
all of this was the feeling that humanities days on the planet were numbered as the 
global-warming, climate change emergency dominated the news while the ongoing 
threat of nuclear war remained an almost forgotten but still frightening possibility.

 That was the way it was and indisputably it’s much worse now. I don’t worry 
much about myself and my wife, I guess because we are old-folks with not that 
many years left to worry about. That’s not really an accurate description of my 
feelings. Although I am 76 years old, which I mention in every article probably 
because I don’t believe it myself, I don’t worry much about myself. If I didn’t think 
it would make my wife angry I think I would be among those ignoring all rules 
and regulations driving along uncrowded roadways on my way to the beach or golf 
course or whatever National Parks were open and having a splendid retirement. I 
don’t do any of those things because not making my wife angry and allowing us to 
live lovingly and happily together is just about my highest value. So until we are 
assured that it’s safe to go out into the world my friends will have to enjoy their 
recreation and our pleasant weekly lunches without me.

 Other than living harmoniously with my wife my other major concern is 
to be of service to my children and granddaughter. It is hard to explain but I really 
feel a restriction, a deprivation, because I cannot be of much service to my son. 
This desire or perhaps need has been present within me for over 45 years. As I have 
written before, when the Doctors at Children’s Hospital explained that my son was 
afflicted with cerebral palsy my world changed and hasn’t changed back. I became 
a single parent of my son and later my daughter within a few years and life has 
continued. I wish I could have made his life easier and I have done what I could 
but still his life his hard. I remember once asking him what he wanted from life 
when he was about 4 or 5 and he said he did not want ever to be a “birdy”, by that he 
meant he didn’t want to be a “burden”. He has managed not to be a burden but to 
be one of the great joys of my life. He is still disabled and receives great assistance 
from social workers and still can’t read and is now restricted physically but never 
complains and focuses on being of help to his friends and long-time girlfriend. As 
far as I can tell he’s as happy as anyone else.

 That is the point of this whole article. People who have adjusted to a certain 
kind of reality often, almost invariably, have great difficulty in adjusting to new 
conditions. I thought of this reality as I walked through our garage this morning 
and noticed that the floor was covered with chalk drawings. For a moment I 
was confused (or even more confused than usual) until I remembered an amazing 
incident from a few days ago. One of my neighbors from up the street came 
pounding on our front door. My wife beat me to the door and saw our frightened 
neighbor with her dog and four year old twins. I was too late to hear what she 
said but I could see that she was terrified. My wife ran from our living room to 
the door connected to the garage and opened the electric garage door whereupon 
the neighbor, children and dog raced into the garage. I finally learned from my 
wife that a large bear and a cub were out on the street in front of the house and 
that the little dog had barked at the bearcub and the mother bear had seemingly 
charged at the neighbor and kids. As you can understand the mother asked for 
shelter and my wife, ever mindful of the coronavirus dangers told them that the 
garage would immediately be opened and they should stay there until everything 
was safe. Probably if I was the first to the door I would have directed them all into 
the house which might have been problematic for everyone.

 Eventually, my wife texted the neighbor’s husband to come and pick up 
his family and he did and everyone got into the car and went home. (There’s more 
to the story about the bears who climbed the tree next door and then had great 
difficulty getting down but that will have to be for some other time.) I talked to the 
mother this morning and really she was still terrified by the experience (who could 
blame her) and I told her about the chalk pictures I had noticed on the garage floor. 
She said she was amazed at how easily her boys adapted to being in the garage. They 
found some colored chalk and drew pictures and seemingly were unaffected by the 
whole experience while she and the dog were still pretty hesitant about walking 
the street. It wasn’t that the boys didn’t know about the danger connected with the 
bears it was just that when they were safe in the garage they just adapted to the new 
situation and did fine.

 Well, that’s my point. We adult types, who want a return to normal at some 
point are going to have a pretty hard time. Things are not going to be the same 
and many of the activities that we all took for granted will no longer be possible or 
drastically modified. Economically changes will occur and businesses may fail and 
it seems inevitable that we will at least face a recession. Nevertheless, I believe that 
people coming of age during this period, however extended it will be, will adapt 
to these new conditions as the not unexpected reality in which they live. I predict 
this new reality will give rise to all sorts of solutions, intended and unintended 
such as the lessening of pollution resulting from limited use of motor vehicles 
and the elimination of wasted commuter time as people increasingly work from 
home. Additionally, I believe that new creative solutions will evolve to deal with the 
ongoing problems that I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Yes, the only 
ones with major problems will be we older-folk who complain that things are not 
what they were and that life is so difficult. So what else is new? 



My mother 
texted me a photograph 
on Sunday. 
That doesn’t 
sound like a 
newsworthy occasion, 
but mom 
had never texted anything to me or anyone 
else, ever. It was a photo of the flowers I sent 
her for Mother’s Day. The picture was a little 
grainy and out of focus, but that’s what a 
15-year-old flip phone will get you.

“Does this mean you’re going to start texting 
now?” I asked when I called her.

“No. I don’t text.”

“Why not?”

“If you want to talk to me, you call me so I 
can hear your voice.”

My sister bought mom a smart phone for 
Christmas a couple of years ago. She returned 
it. I don’t think it was ever out of the 

“I don’t need one of those.”

My mother is 80 – stubborn, sassy and 
sharp as ever. And much like New York 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mother, she’s not 

In March, in response to President Trump’s 
desire to get the economy moving again, 
Cuomo tweeted that elderly people are “not 

I’m glad the governor reminded me. I was 
seriously considering calling mom and 
workshopping a few scenarios.

“You know what, ma, you’ve had a pretty 
good run. I mean, did you ever really think 
you’d make it this long? Anyhow, we really 
need to get this economy going so what do 
you say you take one for the team?”

I’m trying to figure out why not wanting to 
see people lose their livelihoods, homes and 
businesses is the equivalent of giving my 
mother – or anyone else’s mother for that 
matter – the Fredo treatment.

Like every other issue that profoundly impacts 
American life, when and how to restart 
the economy is being debated along 
partisan lines. Early in the pandemic I was 
naively hopeful that our elected representatives 
would see this crisis as too important 
to deal with from the comfort of ideological 
bunkers. Sadly, that ship left the harbor 
pretty early.

Instead, the question of reopening is now 
being demagogued into submission. The 
argument goes something like this: If you 
want to get back to work now, the illnesses 
and deaths of all future COVID-19 victims 
are on your hands. It’s a matter of “public 
health versus the economy,” as Cuomo continues 
to repeat like a mantra.

It’s simplistic to say, as many politicians and 
pundits have, that reopening sooner rather 
than later means that more people will get 
sick and more people will die. That’s almost 
certainly true. Without a vaccine or any real 
treatment options in the short term, we can’t 
keep everyone 100 percent safe. But that’s 
not only a reality in a COVID-19 world, it’s 
a reality of life in general. That doesn’t mean 
I want people to needlessly perish.

The economic damage to the country is 
already overwhelming – 15% unemployment, 
the highest level since the Great Depression, 
with some 33.5 million Americans 
filing for unemployment benefits in the 
last seven weeks. Treasury Secretary Steve 
Mnuchin has already said unemployment 
will get worse before it gets better. Are you 
willing to concede to 30% unemployment? 
How about another depression? The physical 
and mental health ramifications of such 
a catastrophe are incalculable.

I’m not an epidemiologist or an “ologist” of 
any sort. But it seems to me that we can take 
reasonable measures to keep people safe 
while reopening for business. Grocery and 
home improvement stores have been allowed 
to remain open during the pandemic 
and I’m not aware in any spike in coronavirus 
cases that can be traced to a Piggly Wiggly 
or Home Depot. If we can keep people 
safe in those places by social distancing and 
wearing masks, why is an office or a bakery 
any different? The immunocompromised 
and the elderly – Mrs. Cuomo and my 
mother included – should stay home.

If the last two months are any indication, 
Americans are willing to cooperate provided 
the restrictions make sense. You want 
me to wear a mask, a bandana or a kerchief, 
no problem. I’ll dress up like Yosemite Sam 
if it’ll do any good. Social distancing? Done. 
There are plenty of people I don’t want 
within six feet of me, or six miles, and vice 

 Unless there’s an underlying, sinister reason 
why some politicians want America’s 
economic shutdown to drag on indefinitely 
– I can’t imagine – we shouldn’t have to 
choose between public health and economic 

 Our elected officials and medical experts 
need to find the acceptable middle ground, 
for the sake of our mothers and everyone 

Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist 
and author. He is currently a professor 
of journalism at Asbury University in 


McConnell says he was ‘wrong’ to claim 
Obama didn’t leave a pandemic playbook

Just when I thought that miracles had become a thing of the past, I heard something 
that extended my faith.

I can no longer stand to listen the Trump and his band of idiots who just tell bare 
faced lies, all the time, as if we are all damned fools. For instance, today Trump was 
allegedly holding a press conference to introduce his latest Task Force on the development 
and distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19, but he couldn't resist changing 
the subject to him and announcing that the truck horns that were heard in the 
background, were surrounding the White House because "they love me". Not true. 
A. They were not circling the White House and B. They weren't professing their love 
for him, they wanted to go back to work. Clearly Trump's words to live by were taken 
from the nefarious statement, "Why tell the truth when a lie will do just fine?".

Which leads me to the real subject of this column. This is truly one for Ripley's Believe 
It or Not. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he was 
wrong to claim former President Barack Obama didn’t leave a “game plan” to deal 
with a pandemic when he left the White House to President Donald Trump..

“I was wrong,” McConnell told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “They did leave behind a plan, 
so I clearly made a mistake in that regard. As to whether or not the plan was followed, 
or who’s the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I 
don’t know enough about the details.”

Yes he said it, 'he was wrong', which is an understatement. His original statement, 
which was a big fat, bigoted, hate filled lied was spewed by him earlier this week

during an online interview with Lara Trump, when he went after the Obama administration’s 
handover to Trump’s team. He also lambasted our last genuine Pesident 
for criticizing in a private meeting Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 
which has infected more than 1.4 million people in the U.S., saying Obama had been 
“a little bit classless” and “should’ve kept his mouth shut. “They claim pandemics 
only happen once every hundred years, but what if that’s no longer true?” McConnell 
said during the interview. “We want to be early, ready for the next one, because 
clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of 
game plan for something like this.” And that was a big lie and he knew it at the time. 
This is gaslighting at its very best. He just wanted to put that lie into the atmosphere 
for the uninformed to hear to give them something else to attack the Obama legacy. 
BUT, this time, Mitch had to turn around and publicly admit that what he said was 
untrue. “I was wrong,” McConnell told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “They did leave behind 
a plan, so I clearly made a mistake in that regard.. 

 Now I don't know if it was the Good Lord that hit Mitch upside the head, or a 
discovered photo of Mitch actually reading President Obama's pandemic playbook, 
but it really is a wonderful thing to have him publicly tell the truth about his misstatement. 
Now, if he would only teach that trick to Trump who has told more than 
16,000 similar lies. Yes, I still like to believe in miracles.

 Susan Henderson, Publisher/Editor MVNews


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