Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 13, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 9

Mountain Views News Saturday, November 13, 2021 



[Nyerges is an educator and author 
who teaches ethnobotany and 
natural history. Information about 
his books and classes is available at or 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.
He works with the local non-profit,

Everyone here in Los Angeles County is residing 
in a coastal desert plain. Since we onlyhave enough local water for about one in five 
residents, it behooves us to find and practice a 
lifestyle of water conservation. 

Yes, city officials talk the talk of “saving water,” 
yet they continue to allow development to continue 
unabated… but that’s another story. 

I have addressed the issue of increasing population 
density in previous columns, and where 
we get our water, and why we must retain as 
much as possible. Here are some more ways to 
be a part of the solution. 

When water is limited, you must find ways to 
do more with less. Here are some examples. 
When you wash your dishes, simply carry the 
dishpan outside and water plants with it. 

In nearly every place I have lived in the past 40 
years, I found ways to disconnect the bathtub 
drain and the kitchen drain and the drain from 
the washing machine, and I directed that water 
out into the yard. If your yard is hilly, this is 
easier, especially if the house is on the upper 
part of the lot. 

On large properties, you can direct a hose from 
the drain of a washing machine, for example, 
and move the hose around to irrigate various 
trees or garden areas. Obviously, this necessitates 
carefully choosing detergents that are not 
harmful to the soil. 

Trees are the miracles of this world, bringing 
underground water up to the surface, and released 
by the leaves into the local atmosphere, 
providing both shade and a cooling effect. 

On small properties, trees should be planted 
around the perimeter, and these help as a barrier 
to winds, and they help to capture some 
moisture. But choose your trees carefully, 
starting with trees that are already drought-

tolerant, and native to your area. If they can 
provide you with some food or medicine, all 
the better. 

It is a big mistake to think that you are trying to 
save water and therefore you should cut down 
trees! Many have made that mistake. Remember, 
trees pull up moisture from deep below the 
surface, and they actually affect the local environment 
and even the weather. If you plant 
deciduous trees, all the better because they laydown a layer of leaves which helps even more 
to keep the moisture in the soil. 

What do you do in your drought-resistant 
garden so that water is retained longer? The 
key is all in improving the soil, and in layers of 
mulch, so that moisture is trapped and therefore 
available longer in the season to the plants 
you’re trying to cultivate. 

Mulching is perhaps one of the single best ways 
to trap the moisture in the soil. There are many 
possible mulches, and they are simply laid on 
the surface of the garden, or landscape. 

Most consist of biodegradable substances like 
grass clippings, wood chips, sawdust, straw, alfalfa, 
and other materials. These are generally 
placed on the ground around the plants, and 
they not only absorb moisture themselves, but 
help to retain moisture in the soil. 

When I first began to garden, I had a source 
of grass clippings from a local cemetery. I discovered 
that layers and layers of grass clippings 
made a tremendous difference in plants that 
continued to thrive, even in dry spells. 

I have also used layers of straw, from discarded 
bales of straw (and in some cases alfalfa). This 
alone made a great difference in the quality of 
the crops I grew, and in their ability to thrive 
later in the season when they would have normally 
just died off. 

Non-biodegradable substances can also be 
used, such as gravel, and even rocks. At some 
garden supply centers, they now sell recycled 
rubber that looks like wood chips. Yes, it works 
as a mulch, but I would not feel comfortable 
using rubber mulch in my food garden. 

More on this in the future. 


 By Marc Garlett 


he pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in many dif

ferent ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate 

planning.’s 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study found that 
young adults are now more likely to have an estate plan than ever before. The study showed that in 2020 
only 16% of Americans aged 18 to 34 reported having a will or another estate planning document, but in 
2021, that percentage rose by 10 points to 26%—a 63% increase in just one year. 

Since young adults are traditionally the least likely to engage in estate planning, the study’s results are 
particularly encouraging for this demographic. And the shift in behavior is largely due to the pandemic, 
with 45% of the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed reporting that they were motivated by COVID-19 to get 
their estate plan started. Yet, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic to motivate young people to take estate 
planning seriously. 

In fact, all adults over age 18 should have some basic estate planning documents in place. And this is true 
regardless of how much money you have, whether you are married or single, and whether or not you have 
kids. On that note, if you are an adult of any age and the pandemic didn’t inspire you to create your estate 
plan, here are two big reasons why you shouldn’t wait another day to get your plan started. 

1. Incapacity Leaves You VulnerableMost people assume estate planning only comes into play when they die, but that’s dead wrong—pun fullyintended. Although planning for your eventual death is a big part of the process, it’s just as important—if 
not more so—to plan for your potential incapacity due to a serious accident or illness. 
If you become incapacitated without an estate plan, your family would have to petition the court to appoint 
a guardian or conservator to manage your legal, financial, and medical affairs. This process can be 
extremely costly, time-consuming, and traumatic for everyone involved. Plus, the court could appoint a 
family member you’d never want in control of such crucial decisions (just look at what happened to Britney 
Spears), or the court could appoint a professional guardian, which would give a total stranger nearly 
complete control of your life and your assets. 

2. Control Who Inherits Your Assets 
If you die without an estate plan, the court will decide who inherits your assets, and this can lead to all 
sorts of problems. Who is entitled to your property is determined by statutory intestate succession laws, 
which hinge largely upon whether you are married and if you have children.
Spouses and children are given top priority, followed by your other closest living family members. If 
you’re single with no children, your assets typically go to your parents and siblings, and then more distant 
relatives, if you have no living parents or siblings. If no living relatives can be located, your assets go to 
the state. 

Yet you can prevent all of this with proper estate planning and ensure your assets are distributed according 
to your wishes. Moreover, it’s important to note that intestacy laws only apply to blood relatives, so 
your unmarried partners and/or close friends would get nothing if you fail to create a plan. If you want 
someone outside of your family to inherit your property, having an estate plan is an absolute must. 

Stop Making Excuses

While many people said that the pandemic inspired them to see a greater need for creating an estate plan, 
the 2021 study also found that more than one in three Americans still don’t think that estate 
planning is important—or they haven’t even thought about it at all. But not having an estate plan can be 
incredibly traumatic and costly for your loved ones, who will be forced to deal with the mess created by 
not having any planning at all. 

And remember, the biggest benefit you stand to gain from putting a plan in place is the peace of mind 
that comes from knowing your loved ones will be provided and cared for no matter what happens to you. 
Don’t wait another day. Get the process started! 

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission to help parents protect what they love most. His officeis located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk aboutensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit www.GarlettLaw. 
com for more information. 


sadly, are being 
returned by 
their adopter, after 
having them 
for about a year. 
They’re just under 
a year and a 
half. These boys

did nothing wrong, and are so very sweet! 
The adopter says they are "great, energetic, 
fun, affection-ate, and healthy cats." Bobby is 
the adorable tuxedo, and Billy is all black and 
very handsome. We need an adopter or foster 
for them. They'll come healthy, current on vaccines, neutered, and chipped! All for a low 
adoption fee of $150 for both. See more pictures of them on our website’s Teens/Adult 
Cats page, as well as an online adoption application. (link must be copied & pasted into 
your browser). 

Pet of the Week

 The first thing you might notice about one-yearold 
Maggie is her beautiful eyes. Spend more timewith her, and you’ll notice what an affectionate andplayful personality she has. Along with playing,
Maggie also enjoys a good nap, and will sleep or 
quietly chew on toys while you work. Maggie canbe shy with new people, and will need time to getto know you, but it’s so rewarding to see her bright 
personality emerge!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-
appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary healthand-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, aswell as a goody bag filled with information abouthow to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule 
an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and newadoption appointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters byphone calls or email. 

80 W Sierra Madre Blvd.i 
. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca.r 
. 91024 Office:: 626.355.2737. 
Fax: 626.609.3285. 
Email:il editor@mtnviewsnews.comews ews.c Website:: www.mtnviewsnews.comews ews.c

Mountain Views News ir 
.: ed