Some Serious Stuff Going On
Long ago I gave up watching TV news aside from local stuff and most of that I watched with caution. If I watched the news at night I’d have trouble going to sleep and in the morning – well, who wants to start their brand new day being told how awful things were in the world.
But there are times when you have to be aware, to even take a stand. Such is the case with the atrocities taking place in Iraq by the militant group Islamic State. “Barbaric” rapes leave women and teens begging to be killed, Christians are fleeing in an attempt to avoid being killed for their beliefs and an American journalist was beheaded – and the beheading captured on video and uploaded to YouTube (where it has over a million views).
There may not seem to be anything we, so many thousands of miles away, can do, but local faith leaders are rallying. Next Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church at La Crescenta, a prayer vigil is taking place. The entire community is invited to attend, to gather together and offer prayers for resolution. (To learn more, turn to our Religion section on page 25.)
Another sad situation touches on the legacy column I wrote last week. If you recall, I pondered on the legacy that our local kids would leave and if it was something that they ever thought about. Earlier this week, I learned that a judge next week is deciding the fate of a young man who grew up in the area, but moved away. Apparently, this man – who was an accomplished athlete, both on the baseball and football fields – was convicted of multiple robberies. Someone who showed such promise may end up spending up to 45 years in prison.
How does this happen? Is it a brain disorder? Environmental influences? It’s hard to figure out why someone who was so gifted threw it all away. I have little to no confidence that even if I sat down with him and asked him plainly what the heck happened that I would get a straight answer. He probably doesn’t know himself.
On a lighter note, on Saturday I was part of the CV Ready tabletop exercise that was held at Rosemont Middle School. There were about 30 people in attendance and our job was to figure out how we – as individuals and as part of our organizations – would address a prolonged heat wave (to read more, see page 7). What was interesting was that I, for one, never considered a heat wave a disaster. Floods? Yes. Earthquakes? Without a doubt. But a heat wave? Not necessarily.
But when Rand Corporation representative Anita Chandra, who was facilitating the exercise, drew the scenario out over weeks and described how services could be interrupted and how compromised populations – seniors and those who don’t have a reliable information source here in the foothills due to language barriers – would be vulnerable, it became obvious how an inconvenience could evolve into a disaster.
The exercise was eye opening on several levels and generated discussion on how attendees could identify and fill those service gaps. I commend CV Ready for hosting the event and congratulate CV Ready members on its success.
This weekend is the annual Montrose Film Festival at the former location of the Montrose Theater in the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue. If you get a chance, stop by either on Friday or Saturday evenings (or both) and plan to enjoy the shows. Live music will be provided on both nights. On Saturday, the announcement of the winner of a local student film competition will be made followed by a screening of his/her film. There will be classic cars and members of the Prom Plus Club will be at the ready to fetch you dinner from our local restaurants (don’t forget to tip your server).
I’ll see you there!