Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 22, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 12

12 Mountain View News Saturday, May 22, 2021 OPINION 12 Mountain View News Saturday, May 22, 2021 OPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 
Dinah Chong WatkinsAudrey SwansonMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 

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All right; the Covid restrictions in Los Angeles have 
been liberalized or almost eliminated and there is a freedom 
now to think about other things rather than survival. 
I have begun to think of the significance of my 
own life. During this last almost year and a half my wife 
and I rarely left our home. Two or three days a week we 
would drive to my daughter’s house and pick up our infant 
granddaughter and then go and spend a little time with my son outside his 
apartment. Often the three of us would go to a park and assist one another in 
swing pushing, or slide catching and watching our granddaughter interacting 
with other toddlers. 

When not helping to care for our granddaughter I write one column a 
week which is published in our local newspaper and email the columns to about 
twenty five people. Accompanying the emailed columns I write a short note to 
each person, inquiring about their lives and requesting any thoughts about the 
columns to be relayed to me. I will then respond to their replies or reply to their 
responses or whatever. They all now live in my head. Now these people, including 
those I have known for sixty years and those I have met along the way on golf 
courses and library steps are located in various parts of the world like Australia, 
Malaysia, Southern United States, New Mexico, Canada, Washington, Altadena, 
and Pasadena, and right next door. Hooray for these people. Their support has 
encouraged me to do what I wanted to do but probably could not have done 
without them.

 It is my experience that life often works this way. We don’t control it 
but just go along for the ride with some idea of where it is we want to get to. 
Sure, I had always, in the back of my mind, wanted to be a writer and to be remembered, 
but there are a lot of things I had imagined doing that have not as 
yet happened. A present desire is to compile all, or at least some of my articles 
into a book which will continue to exist to be read perhaps in twenty years by 
my granddaughter or even later by great-grandchildren; but who knows? Right 
now my granddaughter is much more interested in fire engines and umbrellas. 

Now I have reached a new stage in my life, wondering if it had any significance. 
Yesterday my son and I visited the cemetery where my parents and 
grandmother are buried. We then went to one of the few Jewish delicatessens 
around, way over in Chatsworth, and I ordered beef cabbage soup like my 
grandmother used to make and which I loved! I ordered a big bowl and it tasted 
just like hers but for some reason I couldn’t eat it. Perhaps too much sugar in the 
soup for a diabetic. I think there is a lesson here. What we do in our lives extends 
beyond our temporary short time on this Earth. As my son and I walked 
past the thousands of graves I realized that each of these departed ones have created 
memories for their families and friends which live on. As the eras change 
what was appropriate then may not be appropriate now (like sugary soup.) Still 
positive memories can remain in the same way I can communicate with people 
I have not seen for fifty or sixty years. Perhaps I would not get along with these 
people now but that good memory remains. Like that soup I remember when it 
tasted so good and it reminds me how much I loved my grandmother. Perhaps 
the best loved part of ourselves will live on and that is a pretty wonderful thing 
to consider especially in these confusing times. 



“Dun dun.” The 2 most recognizable musical notes in TV, where theperps swap their street duds for DOJ orange jumpsuits during thefinal minutes of the show. With the serial success of Law & Order,
Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the latest,
Law & Order: Organized Crime, why not these spin-offs? 

Law & Order: Traffic Division In Los Angeles county’s war on traffic 
congestion, the worst vehicle offenders are pursued by the men and women of theParking Enforcement Agency (PEA). These are their stories. 

Seated by the village patio, Todd flicked the pencil between his fingers. He stuck theeraser tip in his ear and sipped on his lukewarm Starbucks Americano Venti. No, hedecided, 23 ACROSS couldn’t be UNPRINCIPLED, the wrought iron table wobbled as 
he rubbed out the letters, tearing a slight hole in the LA Times crossword. 

On the other side of the street, PEA Officer Rebecca King dismounted from her bicycle 
and stood by the white, late model Yaris. With a practiced eye, she confirmed the thirdchalk mark on the tire and took out her pad. She began to write. 

The couple across from Todd, suddenly bolted of out their chairs and sprinted to theirHonda Civic. Todd looked up and spotted Officer King by his car. He grabbed his coffeeand ran over. 

They had words, Todd insisted he was only there for a few minutes to buy a drink. Hepleaded, he cajoled, he sweated through his Jethro Tull Apollo ‘89 t-shirt. Officer Kingtore off the parking citation and handed it to him. Todd was incensed. He let loose a volley 
of home-grown expletives and reasons why he wouldn’t pay. Officer King reachedfor her walkie-talkie, 

“Sir, you want me to boot you?” 

It’d cost a week’s salary to unlock the tire boot, thought Todd. Defeated, he slunk backto the patio and his crossword. He stared at the puzzle and then crushed it in his hand.
Someone had filled in all the boxes. 

Law & Order: Truancy In the education system, absent students are considered especially 
ineffective. In the Foothill Communities, the dedicated officers who track downthe absentees are members of an elite squad known as the Truancy Unit. These are theirstories. 

This was the third time this month Jimmy was truant from school. Earlier that morning, 
Youth Service Officer (YSO) Scott Thomas went to Jimmy’s home, his grandmotheranswered the door. 

“It’s ten o’clock Grandma Elias, do you know where your children are?” 

“That’s your job Officer, not mine. I gotta go now, Judge Judy is on.” 

She shut the door but not before Thomas spotted the day-old REC pass on the floor. Inhis unmarked cruiser he put out a BOLO on Jimmy, and proceeded to drive by the hotspots - Carl’s Jr., the 7-11 on Colorado, the rear loading docks at Vons - nada. Then acall came over the two-way radio. A quartet of juveniles was spotted by 6th Street, near 
the Community Recreational Center. A second call came in minutes later, confirmingthe target’s location. Thomas pushed the cruiser to 48 mph. 

The harsh scent of chlorine hit Thomas in his sinuses. He entered the Rec Center’s pooldeck, stepping around the disinfectant foot bath. At the shallow end, seniors did theirwater aerobics to Classic Rock. Thomas’ head turned toward the high pitched laughterechoing off the diving platform. A small group of pubescent middle schoolers awkwardly 
wrestled with each other, one of them spotted Officer Thomas. 

“Narc!” he squealed, the pimple prone posse split up and ran. Thomas reached out tograb Jimmy but slipped on the wet floor. 

“Ha!” Jimmy snorted, he was ten feet short of the exit when he was pulled back by ahairy, muscular arm. 

“Here’s your truant, Officer.” the lifeguard handed Jimmy over. 

“Bruh! Why you siding with him?” asked Jimmy. 

The lifeguard reached into the back pocket of his swim shorts and pulled out his shield. 

“YSO Mendoza. Undercover.” 

Email me at 

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Most of the country has seen video of the tragic death 
of Ma’Khia Bryant. 

She’s the 16-year-old girl from Columbus, Ohio, who 
was shot four times on April 20 by a police officer as 
she was about to stab another young woman with a 
kitchen knife. 

Many people blame the cop for Ma’Khia’s death. 

Many people blame Ma’Khia’s parents or Ma’Khia herself. 

But you know what really killed her? 

Foster care. That’s the failed system that turned her into a raging young woman 
with a knife in her hand. 

Foster care in our country has been a scandalous failure for decades. 

Though it’s supposed to save children from the neglect or abuse of their birth 
parents by placing them with state-certified foster parents or relatives, it often 
becomes a cruel form of child abuse itself. 

The raw statistics are appalling. 

Right now there are about 435,000 American children in foster care. Their 
median age is 6½ – which means there are as many kids under that age as 
there are above it. 

About 20,000 foster kids will turn 17 or 18 and “age out” of foster care this 
year. Within two years many of them will be jobless. 

Within four years, a quarter of the system’s annual “graduates” – 5,000 kids – 
will become involved in the criminal justice system. 

Thousands of other angry, unloved and unskilled young adults each year end 
up homeless or are funneled into the sex trafficking business. And it’s estimated 
that half of the coun-try’s homeless population has spent part of their 
lives in foster care. 

Statistics say that foster children who are placed in five or more homes have 
a 90 percent chance of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. 
Mc’Khia, who entered the sys-tem as a teenager, was in five homes in two 

Most people have no idea how the foster care system works or understand 
the damage it can do to young children when they are separated from the 

At age three or four, children have no way of knowing they are being abused. 
They can even confuse abuse with being loved. 

When the county youth services people come and pull them out of their beds 
in the mid-dle of the night, put them in the back of a car and take them to a 
strange home, they don’t know what’s going on. 

They don’t know that they’re being helped or protected. They just know 
they’ve been taken away from everyone they love and everything they know. 

Many children who get trapped in foster care when they are very young can 
end up being shuttled around to as many as 15 foster homes before they enter 
the adult world. 

People look at Ma’Khia and say it was her own fault she died. But who really 
put that knife in her hand? 

She wasn’t born angry. It was her parents and the foster care system that 
teamed up to create a girl so mad she wanted to kill someone. 

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president 
of the Reagan Legacy Foundation 

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