Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 11, 2024

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MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 11, 2024 


[Nyerges is an educator and author. He authored “Extreme Simplicity” which tells his story 
about attempting to live self-reliantly in the city. More information about his books and 
classes at]


Are you ready to welcome 
a whirlwind of energy and 
affection into your home? 
Look no further than Clawdia, 
the one-year-old snowshoe 
Siamese beauty with a heart 
as big as her personality and 
named after the real life 
supermodel, beautiful Claudia Schiffer!

Clawdia's journey hasn't been without its challenges, but 
her spirit remains unbroken. Rescued from a shelter where 
she clawed half her face off and bravely battled through 
adversity, Clawdia's scars are a testament to her re-silience. 
Despite some hair loss and scarring on her head and neck from a food allergy, she's healed and 
ready to embrace life with gusto.

This spunky feline is no wallflower; she's a dynamo of activity! Clawdia lives for playtime, 
whether it's chasing toys, racing around the house, or keeping watch over the backyard wildlife 
on her personal Cat TV. Her zest for life is infectious, and she's always ready to engage with her 
human companions.

If you're looking for a cat who craves attention and companionship, Clawdia fits the bill 
perfectly. Far from shy or demure, she's the first to greet visitors with a friendly climb onto 
their laps, showering them with affectionate rubs and purrs. She's a social butterfly who thrives 
on interaction and will always keep you entertained with her antics.

Because Clawdia is a bundle of energy, she'd do best in a home with at least one other feline 
friend to keep her company during playtime. With her vivacious personality, she'll make sure 
there's never a dull moment in your household!

At just seven pounds, Clawdia may be petite in stature, but she makes up for it with her larger-
than-life presence. With her first birthday behind her, she's all grown up and ready to embark 
on a lifetime of adventures with her forever family.

Are you ready to open your heart and home to Clawdia Schiffer? Come meet this charming little 
dynamo and discover the joy of having a devoted companion who'll be by your side through 
thick and thin. Adopt Clawdia today, and let the fun begin! 



Mason Fong, age 17, of Arcadia 
has just achieved the rank of 
Eagle Scout, the pinnacle of the 
Boy Scout experience, a rank 
that only 4% of all Boy Scouts 
ever achieve. He officially 
became Eagle on February 15, 2024; the Eagle 
Scout Court of Honor with his Troop will be on 
May 13, 2024.

 Fong, age 17, first become a Cub Scout at age 6, 
and earned the Arrow of Light award. 

“I was in Cub Scouts in the first place because I 
was joining with other boys in my school and it 
became an extra-curricular activity for me and 
to hang out with my fellow class-mates. When I 
became a Boy Scout, the regular campouts were 
probably the most exciting part. Those outings 
proved to be a way to bond with others in my 
troop and also some-times with those in other 
troops,” explains Fong.

 Scouting took a lot of Fong’s time, time that he 
felt was well worth it. As a Boy Scout, he earned 
57 merit badges, each of which requires learning a new skill and testing. To be-come an Eagle, a 
Scout has to earn at least 21 merit badges (of which 13 are required) out of the 138 possible badges 
offered by the organization.

 One merit badge that was very memorable was photography that was held at the New York Film 
Academy in Los Angeles. "I not only learned how to use and set up a digital SLR camera, but also cool 
tips and tricks that other photographers might use to frame a shot."


His earning of the Climbing merit badge was memorable for him as well. “One of my Scoutmasters 
was into rock climbing and he went around recruiting people to take his class. Since it was one of my 
friend’s Dad, I signed up. I learned all about the different equipment, safety protocols, and special 
terminology that’s used. When it came time to do some actual climbing on vertical rock walls, it was 
pretty scary and challenging, but a fun experience as well. If it weren’t for scouting, I don’t think I 
would have ever done this in real life.”

From the beginning of his Scouting career, Fong never really planned to achieve Eagle sta-tus. “I was 
just going with the flow and doing what my friends did,” Fong explains. “As I became more active 
and involved, I started to move up in rank and my interest in scouting grew as a result."

Fong also gives credit to his dedicated parents. "My parents were always there for me and motivated 
me throughout the whole journey. They came to all my meetings and took me to my Bout Scout 
events,” he explained. “They researched about all the merit badge clas-ses offered through the Los 
Angeles area that I could sign up for. Before I knew it, I was passing up all my friends since I was 
having the most (merit) badges on my sash,” says Fong with a smile of accomplishment.

 To become an Eagle, a Scout must have taken on leadership positions, and must do a fi-nal project, 
all before turning 18. When Fong realized he was going to attempt to achieve Eagle Scout, he had to 
come up with a final project.

“For my Eagle Project, I knew I wanted to do something outdoors so I contacted a lot of nature 
centers and gardens in the area. I connected with the wonderful Superintendent of Eaton Canyon 
Natural Area, Helen Wong, and we met to discuss potential opportunities for my projects. Helen 
was extremely helpful! For my project, I eventually decided to do a native plant habitat restoration 
of a 1,600 square foot area at the entrance to Eaton Canyon park.” The park, a designated nature 
preserve, has become a highly popular hik-ing destination and affected by heavy foot traffic,” said 

Fong described how his first step was to put together a proposal for the project that fully describes 
the work to be done, the benefit to the community, a cost estimate, and a prelim-inary plan on how 
to execute the project. “It took about 3 months to get past this stage,” says Fong, “and my project 
proposal was approved by the BSA. Once it was approved, I was able to begin the next step which 
was planning and implementation. I put together a schedule to complete the project within two 
months. This involved lots of coordination with the Supervisor Superintendent Helen Wong and 
Staff Naturalist Kenia Estrella at Eaton Canyon."

 Fong had to compile a list of the tools and supplies materials to be purchased. He had to source and 
acquire the variety of 42 native plants from multiple nurseries. He also need-ed to fundraise for the 
expenses, recruit volunteers to pre-construct chicken wire fences for the plants, contact Dig Alert to 
check that the area was safe from any potential under-ground utilities, and coordinate everyone on 
the final weekend for completing the project at the site. 

 There were hours of invasive plants and debris removal that had to be cleared before planting 
could begin. "Lots of details, research, and community involvement,” says Fong with an air of 
accomplishment. “It felt good to get it all done since I now had something I could be proud of – not 
just for me, but for the community to enjoy, and for the preserva-tion of the environment.” The 
project took approximately 243 hours, including the volun-teers.

The whole project took around five months. From the decision on a project in August 2022, getting 
it approved by the BSA, putting the plan together, and then finishing up with the final planting stage 
which ended January 22, 2023

 Fong adds that even though he completed the Eagle Project, he did not just say thank you and 
goodbye to the Eaton Canyon and the staff. “I actually stuck around and continued to volunteer 
there as much as I could. Part of my time was spent maintaining the grounds where I did my Eagle 
Project to help the plants thrive and survive by pulling weeds, re-pairing the chicken wire cages, and 
watering the plants by hand. And for all my hard work and dedication, I was surprised when the 
Eaton Canyon staff and the L.A. County Parks and Recreation awarded me with a Youth Volunteer 
of the Year Award in 2023.”

 Fong describes the most challenging aspects that he had to overcome were the planning and 
setting schedules. “Planning a project requires more than simply being aware of your schedule time. 
You also have to consider your volunteers’ availability to look for the best date and time of day to 
have meetings and work on the project.” The Pandemic, and other issues, caused Fong to lose about 
a year of progress, but he was eventually able to get back on track.

He had many memorable moments on his path to Eagle Scout. “One memorable moment of my 
project was the time I spent making the chicken wire cages for the plants with my family and extended 
family. The task was to roll out the chicken wire, cut it into 6 foot lengths, and tie the ends together 
into a cylindrical shape, each requiring their own amount of due diligence. The work was tedious 
and took a long time to complete (3 days), leading to it being a whirlwind of emotions including pain, 
frustration, as well as some-thing funny we could just joke about afterwards. Another memorable 
moment includes the actual planting of the plants with my crew. After every plant that was planted, 
I could definitely see how each person was getting better and faster each time, giving me a sense of 
satisfaction and as we got closer to finishing.”

 When Fong encounters younger boys who are considering getting into Scouting, he tells them 
that it can be as fun and exciting as they make it. “The more you put into it, the more you will get 
out,” he says. “Don’t feel pressured that you have to make it all the way to the end and become an 
Eagle Scout. If all you want to do is go camping and be outdoors, then that’s really OK. You should 
join Scouting. If all you want to do is earn merit badge 
and learn those lessons, that’s also OK. You should 
go for it.”

Fong adds, with a philosophical tone in his voice, “If I 
had to identify one thing that scout-ing has taught me 
at an early age that probably wouldn’t have happened 
until later in life, then it would be independence and 
self-sufficiency. Through my time in Scouting, I have 
learned life skills that you need to survive on your 
own. This includes many outdoor skills and social 
skills, including some very basic useful skills such as 
tying knots, cooking a meal, and basic first aid.”

Pet of the Week

Rayne is a delightful two-year-old Pit Bull 
mix with a heart as big as her affectionate 
nature. Rayne is a bundle of energy and 
love, ready to shower her forever family with 
endless kisses and tail wags. Rayne is more 
than just a pretty face; she's a smart cookie 
too! Her eagerness to learn and please makes 
her a joy to train, whether it's mastering 
basic commands or picking up new tricks.

 With a bit of patience and positive 
reinforcement, Rayne will quickly become 
your four-legged star pupil, eager to show 
off her skills at every opportunity.

 Rayne is a soft-hearted sweetheart who 
thrives on love and attention. She adores 
snuggling up on the couch for movie nights 
or joining you on outdoor adventures, 
soaking up every moment spent with her 
beloved humans. Rayne may want to be 
the only dog in the household, but her big 
personality will make it seem like she’s ten 

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

 Walk-in adoptions are available every day 
from 2:00 – 5:00. For those who prefer, adoption appointments are available daily from 10:30 
– 1:30, and can be scheduled online. View photos of adoptable pets at

 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. 

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

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