Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 12, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 6



Mountain View News Saturday, August 12, 2023 

San Marino Upcoming 
Events & Programming

Hexagonal Cracks in Martian 
Mud Surprise Curiosity Team

Schiff Bill introduced to Tackle 
Affordable Housing Shortage

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), 
joined by Rep. Scott Peters 
(D-Calif.), introduced Friday 
the Affordable and Homeless 
Housing Incentives Act to help 
tackle the affordable housing 
shortage in California and across 
the nation. The bill would offer 
a tax incentive to those who sell 
their property to nonprofits or 
public agencies for the purpose 
of creating affordable housing. 
According to a 2021 National 
Association of Realtors (NAR) 
report, there’s been a shortage 
of over 5.5 million homes in the 
past 20 years.

 “Too many families are forced 
to make impossible financial 
sacrifices just to keep a roof 
over their heads. It’s critical 
that we address California’s 
– and our nation’s – need for 
affordable housing,” said Rep. 
Schiff. “This legislation provides 
a meaningful tax incentive to 
property owners who sell to 
non-profits and public housing 
agencies, directly boosting the 
creation of affordable homes. 
Every American deserves access 
to a home they can afford.”

 “Our bill takes a commonsense 
approach to increasing the 
supply of affordable housing 
and supporting the countless 
nonprofits and government 
entities that operate these 
properties,” said Rep. 
Peters.“This is a win for sellers 
who will receive favorable tax 
treatment and for affordable 
housing operators who will 
become more competitive in 
acquiring new property.”

 “The Affordable and Homeless 
Housing Incentives Act is an 
innovative and important 
new tool that we desperately 
need in California to address 
homelessness at a time when 
we are struggling with lack of 
access to suitable properties. 
Offering these tax incentives is 
also a great way to encourage 
a new form of private-public 
partnership that would bring 
new resources and political 
support to addressing our 
state’s most pressing need – to 
provide more affordable homes 
for the homeless and very 
low income,” said California 
Housing Partnership CEO Matt 

 The Affordable and Homeless 
Housing Incentives Act would 
allow property owners to 
waive capital gains tax liability 
when they sell to qualified 
agencies and use the money to 
buy another property within 
three years. This bill applies 
the existing IRS 1033 exchange 
framework to property sold to 
affordable housing operators— 
the same tax treatment 
for seized or condemned 
property. In exchange, the 
buyer must use the property 
for affordable housing or a 
qualified shelter for at least 30 
years. Eligible agencies include 
local governments, housing 
authorities, and nonprofits 
that have previously received 
Department of Housing and 
Urban Development (HUD) 
funding or have a history of 
being a beneficiary. Sales under 
this act will be overseen by 
HUD’s Enforcement Center. 

 The bill is endorsed by the 
California Housing Partnership, 
City of Burbank, City of 
Glendale and Glendale Housing 
Authority, Council of Large 
Public Housing Authorities 
(CLPHA), and LA Family 
Housing. For more information 
amd the full bill text visit: schiff.

Family Storytime

Tuesday, August 15 at 10:30 AM, Children’s Area

 Storytime is back! Storytime features activities for children ages 
5 and under that will promote early literacy and lifelong learning 
through songs, movement, fingerplays, and books. Storytime 
is also an opportunity for caregivers to learn ways they can 
incorporate learning activities into everyday routines. Storytime 
occurs weekly on Tuesday through October 3. Registration is not 
required. Please watch our social media for cancellations.

Toastmasters Talk of the Town

Thursday, August 17 at 6:30 PM, Thornton Conference Room

 Do you feel shy speaking in front of groups? Practice giving 
short speeches at this meeting. The leaders offer coaching to foster 
greater self-confidence and personal growth for the participants. 
Although Toastmasters charges a nominal fee to join their 
organization, visitors are welcome to the Library meetings at no 
charge. Registration is not required. Meetings are held every 1st 
and 3rd Thursday of the month.

Summer Sunset Concerts

Friday, August 18 at 4 PM, Lacy Park

 Grab your chairs and blankets to carve out your spot in the 
middle of Lacy Park and enjoy the last FREE concert this 
summer! Attendees are welcome to bring their own food and 
drink, or purchase concessions from a variety of food trucks. This 
multicultural concert will feature two performances, Dancing 
Storytellers: Indian Mythology at 4:30 PM and Sakai Flamenco at 
5:30 PM, and Latin music by Suave the Band at 7 PM. Registration 
is not required.

Joyful Living Happy Life

Sunday, August 20 at 2 PM, Barth Community Room

 This workshop will discuss seven habits of self-care! Self-care 
is a necessary priority as individuals work to balance various 
responsibilities and develop healthy boundaries. Join the Unified 
Charity Foundation for this informational talk presented in 
Mandarin. Registration is not required. 

Watering Schedule - California American Water

 Per the recommendations of California American Water, all 
customers are encouraged to follow the below watering schedule:


Odd Addresses (Addresses ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9): Tuesday, Friday, 
and Sunday 

Even Addresses (Addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8, 0): Monday, 
Thursday, and Saturday 

No watering on Wednesday 

To avoid evaporation, it is recommended that customers water 
outdoors before 9:00 a.m. or after sunset. 

Watering should be limited to a total of 10-minutes per station per 
allowed days. 

Hand watering with a garden hose/nozzle and low-flow irrigation 
systems (Including drip irrigation and micro spray) that emit less 
than two gallons per hour are exempt from days of week and time 

Please note that these measures are recommended for residents, 
not required. California American Water has indicated that all 
customers will receive billing inserts and other communications 
notifying them of the current recommendations. Residents can 
visit California American Water’s website or call 888-237-1333 for 
more information. 


The City offers transportation services for residents 60 years or 
older and those with disabilities.

 Dial-A-Ride is a FREE curb-to-curb transportation service 
provided for San Marino residents who are 60 years and older, or 
for those with a physician-certified disability that prevents the use 
of regular public transit. For more information or to request an 
application for membership, please call Pasadena Dial-A-Ride at 
(626) 744-4094.


Design Review Committee

Wednesday, August 16 at 6:00 PM; Barth Room and Zoom (Public 

Back to School First Aid & Safety Preparedness Workshop

 Get ready to ace this school year with essential life-saving 
skills! Join our Back to School First Aid and Safety Preparedness 
Workshop and become a hero in school and beyond. Open to all 
members of the community, this workshop will equip you with 
the knowledge and confidence to handle any emergency. To enroll 
contact us at or call (626) 300-0735.

Workshop Highlights:

 CPR and AED Training*: Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
techniques and how to use an automated external defibrillator 
(AED) to save lives.

First Aid Basics*: Understand how to assess and respond to 
injuries, burns, fractures, and other common emergencies 
through interactive, hands-on activities.

Fire Prevention: Learn fire safety measures, including fire 
extinguisher usage, to prevent and respond to fire incidents 

Utility Management: Safely handle gas leaks, power outages, and 
water disruptions by knowing where and how to operate utility 
shutoffs and electrical panels

*The Fire Department is not able to provide First Aid/CPR/AED 
certification. Visit to find local certification 

 Scientists aren’t entirely sure 
how life began on Earth, but 
one prevailing theory posits 
that persistent cycles of wet 
and dry conditions on land 
helped assemble the complex 
chemical building blocks 
necessary for microbial life. 
This is why a patchwork of 
well-preserved ancient mud 
cracks found by NASA’s 
Curiosity Mars rover is so 
exciting to the mission’s team.

 A new paper in Nature 
details how the distinctive 
hexagonal pattern of these 
mud cracks offers the first 
evidence of wet-dry cycles 
occurring on early Mars.

 “These particular mud 
cracks form when wet-dry 
conditions occur repeatedly 
– perhaps seasonally,” said the 
paper’s lead author, William 
Rapin of France’s Institut de 
Recherche en Astrophysique 
et Planétologie.

 Curiosity is gradually 
ascending the sedimentary 
layers of Mount Sharp, which 
stands 3 miles (5 kilometers) 
high in Gale Crater. The 
rover spotted the mud cracks 
in 2021 after drilling a sample 
from a rock target nicknamed 
“Pontours,” found within a 
transitional zone between a 
clay-rich layer and one higher 
up that is enriched with salty 
minerals called sulfates. 
While clay minerals usually 
form in water, sulfates tend 
to form as water dries up.

 The minerals prevalent in 
each area reflect different 
eras in Gale Crater’s history. 
The transitional zone 
between them offers a record 
of a period when long dry 
spells became prevalent and 
the lakes and rivers that once 
filled the crater began to 

 As mud dries out, it shrinks 
and fractures into T-shaped 
junctions – which are 
what Curiosity discovered 
previously at “Old Soaker,” 
a collection of mud cracks 
lower down on Mount Sharp. 
Those junctions are evidence 
that Old Soaker’s mud formed 
and dried out once, while the 
recurring exposures to water 
that created the Pontours 
mud caused the T-shaped 
junctions to soften and 
become Y-shaped, eventually 
forming a hexagonal pattern.

 The hexagonal cracks in 
the transitional zone kept 
forming even as new sediment 
was deposited, indicating 
that the wet-dry conditions 
continued over long 
periods of time. ChemCam, 
Curiosity’s precision laser 
instrument, confirmed 
a hardy crust of sulfates 
along the cracks’ edges, 
which isn’t too surprising 
given the proximity of the 
sulfate region. The salty 
crust is what made the mud 
cracks resistant to erosion, 
preserving them for billions 
of years.

The Right Conditions

 “This is the first tangible 
evidence we’ve seen that the 
ancient climate of Mars had 
such regular, Earth-like wet-
dry cycles,” Rapin said. “But 
even more important is that 
wet-dry cycles are helpful – 
maybe even required – for 
the molecular evolution that 
could lead to life.”

 Although water is essential 
to life, a careful balance 
is needed – not too much 
water, not too little. The 
kinds of conditions that 
sustain microbial life – those 
that allow a long-lasting lake, 
for example – aren’t the same 
as the conditions scientists 
think are required to promote 
chemical reactions that might 
lead to life. A key product of 
those chemical reactions are 
long chains of carbon-based 
molecules called polymers 
– including nucleic acids, 
molecules considered to be 
chemical buildings blocks of 
life as we know it.

 Wet-dry cycles control the 
concentration of chemicals 
that feed the fundamental 
reactions leading to the 
formation of polymers.

 “This paper expands the 
kind of discoveries Curiosity 
has made,” said the mission’s 
project scientist, Ashwin 
Vasavada of NASA’s Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory in 
Southern California. “Over 
11 years, we’ve found ample 
evidence that ancient Mars 
could have supported 
microbial life. Now, the 
mission has found evidence 
of conditions that may have 
promoted the origin of life, 

 The discovery of the 
Pontours mud cracks may in 
fact have provided scientists 
their first opportunity to 
study the remains of life’s 
cauldron. Earth’s tectonic 
plates constantly recycle its 
surface, burying examples 
of its prebiotic history. Mars 
doesn’t have tectonic plates, 
so much older periods of the 
planet’s history have been 

 “It’s pretty lucky of us to have 
a planet like Mars nearby that 
still holds a memory of the 
natural processes which may 
have led to life,” Rapin said.

 Curiosity was built by NASA’s 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 
which is managed by Caltech. 

 For more about Curiosity, 

 A new paper suggests 
the same conditions that 
created the cracks could 
have been favorable to the 
emergence of microscopic 

Caltech Breaks Ground on 
Center for Quantum Science 

Philanthropists Allen and 
Charlotte Ginsburg joined 
Caltech president Thomas 
F. Rosenbaum, Pasadena 
mayor Victor Gordo, 
Assemblymember Chris 
Holden, and other distinguished 
guests and members of the 
Caltech community Thursday 
to break ground for the Dr. 
Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg 
Center for Quantum Precision 
Measurement. The Ginsburg 
Center will accelerate the 
exploration of quantum 
phenomena across all scales 
as well as the invention of 
instruments to measure 
these phenomena with 
unprecedented sensitivity. These 
concepts and tools, in turn, will 
enable researchers to advance 
fundamental research across 
many scientific disciplines.

 The placement of these 
facilities adjacent to one 
another will quicken 
discovery by strengthening 
formal partnerships as well 
as spontaneous interactions 
among Caltech’s diverse 
community of quantum 
researchers, including computer 
scientists, engineers, biologists, 
chemists, and physicists.

 Slated to open in fall 2025, the 
Ginsburg Center will be located 
on the north side of California 
Boulevard, adjacent to 
Caltech’s physics, mathematics, 
astronomy, and engineering 
buildings. Transparent façades 
inflected inward on the center’s 
south and west sides will 
suggest a prism or the bending 
of spacetime—an allusion to 
the research and education that 
will take place inside. Above 
ground, four stories comprising 
nearly 37,500 square feet will 
encompass research offices as 
well as a nucleus of collaborative 
spaces and seminar/meeting 
rooms infused with natural 

 Below ground, two 
basement levels will provide 
approximately 31,500 square 
feet of experimental facilities. 
The design will promote 
collaboration by putting 
scientists in close proximity to 
one another while also ensuring 
the silence and stability required 
to accommodate leading-
edge quantum measurement 
techniques. These facilities will 
include shared experimental 
and collaboration spaces as 
well as the state-of-the art Kip 
Thorne Laboratories, funded 
and named by the Sherman 
Fairchild Foundation in 
honor of Kip Thorne (BS ‘62), 
Caltech’s Richard P. Feynman 
Professor of Theoretical Physics, 
Emeritus. Thorne was one of 
three scientists who shared the 
2017 Nobel Prize in Physics 
for developing the Laser 
Interferometer Gravitational-
wave Observatory (LIGO), 
which made the first-ever direct 
observation of gravitational 

 Maximizing the Ginsburg 
Center’s function as a nexus 
for innovative research, a 
passageway below ground 
will connect the building to 
Downs-Lauritsen, which houses 
teaching and research programs 
in physics and high-energy 

 The new building was made 
possible thanks to a naming 
gift from Allen and Charlotte 
Ginsburg of Rancho Palos 
Verdes, California, and a 
major grant from the Sherman 
Fairchild Foundation to create 
the Kip Thorne Laboratories, 
which will be housed in the 
Ginsburg Center. Additional 
funding from a generous 
anonymous donor enabled 
Caltech to establish the Institute 
for Fundamental Quantum 
Sciences, a research hub that 
will span the Ginsburg Center 
as well as spaces in the nearby 
George W. Downs Laboratory 
of Physics and Charles C. 
Lauritsen Laboratory of High 
Energy Physics (which houses 
the Walter Burke Institute for 
Theoretical Physics), the W. K. 
Kellogg Laboratory, and the 
Ronald and Maxine Linde Hall 
of Mathematics and Physics.

Written by Annette Moore 
(edited by MVNews staff)

Book to Art: 
Wicked This 
Way Comes

 In celebration of Ray 
Bradbury’s birthday on August 
22, the South Pasadena Public 
Library will host a Book to Art 
Program featuring Something 
Wicked This Way Comes by Ray 
Bradbury. Patrons are invited to 
read the book and participate 
in a mini paper carousel art 
project and book discussion 
on Saturday, August 26 at 2:00 
PM in the Library Community 
Room located at 1115 El Centro 
Street, South Pasadena, CA.

 Attendees are encouraged, but 
not required to read Something 
Wicked This Way Comes.

 This program is intended for 
adult audiences. All supplies 
will be provided. Registration 
is required. Sign up for this 
event at:
register or call us at (626) 403-

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