From the Desk of the Publisher

Differences Discovered Down Under


Hello from Down Under where Steve and I are enjoying a trip of a lifetime. We decided that after 10 years it was time for us to do what so many other Americans do on a regular basis: go on vacation. I know that it’s hard to believe but, aside from a couple of short trips, we haven’t been on vacation since July 2009. That was when I was laid off after the newspaper I worked for  the Crescenta Valley Sun – was closed and my job eliminated. But every cloud has a silver lining – the closing of the CV Sun paved the way for me to open the Crescenta Valley Weekly.

But I digress.

I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve discovered since our plane landed following a 15-hour flight from LAX launching our two-week vacation.

Coffee is as popular in Australia as it is in the United States, though there aren’t Starbucks on every corner like back home. It seems that most of the coffeehouses are privately-owned, which I think is really cool. Each coffeehouse has its own personality and is not “cookie cutter.”

I can’t eat kangaroo even though it’s on many menus. I am familiar with the term “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” but Steve and I visited Calmsley Hill City Farm and met up close and personal some adorable kangaroos and wallaroos. Though I was told by some native Australians that kangaroo is “delicious,” I could no more stick a fork in a kangaroo steak than I could in a slice of dog. I’m going to have to take a pass on that “delicacy.”

Homicide is practically unheard of in Australia. We typically watch the news every day and one crime that is markedly missing is murder. Looking up the statistics on, there were 487 homicide incidents in Australia between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 (population 23.5 million). According to, in the United States in 2017 (population 325.7 million) there were 17,284. (I’m sure we could get into a lengthy discussion on the whys of this disparity but right now I’m just sharing the differences between the two countries that stand out to me.)

We’re staying in a fabulous hotel in The Rocks section of Sydney near the world-famous Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge (we’re touring the Opera House later this week and climbing the Harbour Bridge tomorrow). Many thanks to Maria at Montrose Travel (Allure). When we decided to travel abroad, I hightailed it to Montrose Travel because I knew they could pull together a trip that was so important to us. We haven’t been disappointed.

Thanks, too, to the wonderful people at the Crescenta Valley Weekly. They are holding down the fort in fine form and I am so grateful for their hard work.

I also thank our sons Patrick and Andy for taking care of the home front.

If all goes well with the bridge climb, you’ll hear more from me next week.