Archive for December 25, 2013

This week’s homily

By The Rev. Thomas M. Boles Phd., DMin, D.D.

An unusual band of 13 business and professional men in Toronto,

Canada, respond in a unique way to multiple-alarm fires in their city.

They have formed a volunteer firefighting unit, although they don’t directly

fight fires.

Dressed in their own rubber firefighting uniforms, they are armed with police passes.

The truck they man is a red mobile canteen.

The firefighters appreciate their service, in fact, the firefighters union

bought the canteen truck for them, and also purchases all supplies for the truck.

When a fire alarm is received, a “must” call goes to them.

These firefighters describe themselves as “middle-aged business men who never

outgrew their childhood dream.”

What is it that you dreamed of doing as a child?

In the most reflective moments of your life, do you still nurture that dream?

Do you wonder “what might have been if …?”

Dreams are not only a great source of hope and courage, they are often

windows to one’s destiny. Revisit your childhood dreams.

Perhaps it’s time for you to give them expression. The poorest of

all men is not the man without a cent but the man without a dream.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 29:18

Healthy aging for the holidays

By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, mediator

As with grandma Alice and her granddaughter, holiday get-togethers are a must for many of us. It’s tradition, or it’s expected, or it seems like the right thing.

We can be stressed and we can also look forward to them a lot. They can be fun, even if it’s work to put it on or get there, traveling during a busy season.

We have a reason to see people we don’t get to see so often.

It’s a good time to reflect and appreciate every person who can join us at these parties and family get-togethers. We can find something in every one of them that is positive.

And the best reason to treasure them is you never know when it will be the last one with the people who join you this time around.

I was reminded of this at a birthday celebration I had this year. We gathered some friends and family, had a great little party and so much fun. We laughed and talked and enjoyed excellent food and wine. It was beautiful.

Our dear friend, Bruce, shared that evening with us. He was a founding partner at and so talented and helpful. Shortly after this event, he died suddenly of a heart attack.

Gone in a moment. I was so grateful that we had the party and so glad he came and enjoyed his time with everyone. I didn’t think or know that it would be the last time I would ever see him. It never occurred to me that a person my age would be gone so suddenly.

Yes, we’re aging, and we’re boomers, but I didn’t think of him as “old.” He was my age.

I was glad that I had made Bruce feel welcome and that I told him I was happy to share the evening with him. Likewise, he said he was go glad he could be there. Looking back, I had a sense of peace in knowing that he truly enjoyed the celebration.

We never know who will be with us the next time around. As our aging parents get up there in years, we are more aware than ever that we need to treasure these events.

Alice, Mikol’s 91 year-old mom, often jokes that she doesn’t even buy green bananas anymore. She is saying she never knows, at her age, when her time will be up. She accepts that every day is a gift.

And we learn to follow her lead. Besides looking at what Alice calls “being on borrowed time” for our aging parents, we also need to consider risks like dementia, strokes, memory loss and other things that can dramatically change them as they age. Whether it is family or friends, we need to be grateful for our chance to be with them. And just be in the moment, not looking back at any past hurts or problems, only looking at right now.

So, it may be a way to acknowledge that every family gathering, especially with aging parents, is a gift if we imagine that there is only the one, only this moment.

We will never need to look back with regret if we are extra patient with an aging parent, extra tolerant of the difficult ones, extra kind to anyone struggling, and putting out our best efforts to thank everyone for being there with us.

We wish you a thoughtful season and peace. May your next time with those you love be bright.

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a Whittier native and an attorney and mediator now living in San Rafael, Calif. Contact her at 415-459-0413, visit or e-mail her at

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, she is a founder of, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.

Until next time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt and Mikol Davis,, 930 Irwin Street, Suite 215, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA


Plymouth youths raising money for winter camps

Plymouth Church junior high and high school youth groups are raising money for their winter camps through three upcoming fundraisers.

On Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, the about 40 youths will be selling churros after church services. On Sunday, Dec. 22, hot cocoa and cider will follow the Christmas music program. And on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, the kids will offer up a spaghetti dinner at the church, 12058 Beverly Blvd.

For more information or to donate toward this worthy cause, call 562-692-1228 or e-mail


This week’s homily

By The Rev. Thomas M. Boles, PhD., DMin. D.D.

The story is told of a missionary who was lost at sea and

by chance, washed up on an island near a remote native village.

Finding him half-dead from starvation and exposure, the people

of the village nursed him back to health. He subsequently lived

among the people for some 20 years. During that time he

confessed no faith, sang no gospel songs, preached no sermons.

He neither read nor recited Scripture and made no claim of personal faith.

However, when the people were sick, he attended them. When

they were hungry, he gave them food. When they were

lonely, he kept them company. He taught the ignorant, and came

to the aid of those who were wronged.

One day missionaries came to the village and began

talking to the people about a man called Jesus. After hearing

what they had to say of Jesus’ ministry and teachings, they

insisted that He had been living among them for 20 years.

“Come, we will introduce you to the man about whom you have

been speaking.”

They led the missionaries to a hut where they

found a long-lost friend, the missionary, whom all had thought dead.

Your true witness for Christ is the sum of all you do, not

just what you say.

As I grow older, I pay less attention

to what men say. I just watch what

they do.

Show me your faith without deed, and

I will show you my faith by what I do.

James 2:18

Give the gift of love, hope

Helping to spread love, hope and joy to families fighting cancer, “From Maddi’s Closet” is joining with Coldwell Banker Alliance Realty in a toy drive to buoy the spirits of children battling this terrible disease over the holidays.

“From Maddi’s Closet” is a nonprofit organization based in La Mirada that was founded when Donna Holmes’ 3-year-old daughter, Madison Holmes, was taken by the disease on Thanksgiving Day 2003.

Donated toys should be for children ages 0-18 who are battling pediatric cancer at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and beyond. Ideal toys consist of books, dolls, Play-Doh, CDs and videos (PG-13 and under), board games, card games, Barbies, Hot Wheels, coloring books, crayons, puzzles, etc. However no stuffed toys because of the possibility of bacteria contamination around the sick children.

All new and unwrapped toys can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker Alliance Realty, 15025 E. Whittier Blvd. in Whittier. For more information visit or

Third time a charm for CIF champions La Serna

La Serna High players and coaches celebrate after their victory over Norwalk.

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Lancers capture CIF title with double overtime win over Norwalk

By Eric Terrazas

Staff Writer

FULLERTON – The old saying, “the third time is a charm,” rang true for La Serna High School’s football team on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.

La Serna senior quarterback Frankie Palmer threw a 19-yard game-winning touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Matthew Rosales, lifting the Lancers to a thrilling 41-38 double overtime victory over top-seeded Norwalk in the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championship game in front of a packed house at Cal State Fullerton.

Saturday’s triumph marked the second CIF-SS divisional title for La Serna, which won its first crown in 1967. It was the third consecutive divisional championship game appearance for the Lancers, who fell short in 2011 and 2012 before breaking through on Saturday.

La Serna’s winning score came on a fourth-down-and-4 play, which started with Palmer rolling out to his left. Palmer then went back to his right before launching the decisive throw to Rosales.

“I saw one of my best friends open, threw it and he made the play,” Palmer said of Rosales.

Palmer added, “It feels great to end my career on a high note. Our team deserved it. We worked really hard for it. We finally got it done.”

Said Rosales, “Frankie rolled out left and came back out. I saw him launch the ball. I made a play for it and I caught it. (The hard work) finally paid off.”

Palmer also ran for three touchdowns for La Serna, which ended its historic 2013 season with an overall record of 12-2.

“I’m proud of my boys,” La Serna coach Margarito Beltran said. “The third time is the charm. I’m so proud of them.”

Things looked bleak for the Lancers in the later stages of the fourth quarter.

Norwalk, whose nickname is also the Lancers, was leading 29-21 and was looking to put the game away.

After forcing a La Serna incompletion, Norwalk took possession at La Serna’s 22-yard line. Norwalk moved the ball to La Serna’s 4 before senior kicker Jorge Perez attempted a 21-yard field goal with just more than three minutes remaining.

La Serna senior defensive back Tony Ceron, however, blocked Perez’s attempt. Junior running back/linebacker Kevin Ramos then recovered the ball and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Palmer’s successful run on the two-point conversion tied the game at 29-29, setting the stage for overtime.

Norwalk, which won the toss and elected to go on offense first, cast the initial blow during the extra session. Junior quarterback Jacob Carr gave Norwalk a 35-29 advantage when he scored on a 1-yard run.

La Serna then successfuly countered with Palmer’s 2-yard run before Perez’s 21-yard field goal put Norwalk back ahead 38-35. Norwalk’s lead would not last long, however.

It was the first defeat of the season for Norwalk, which finished 13-1.

After Palmer’s 4-yard run gave La Serna a 21-14 lead at halftime, Norwalk responded by scoring 15 unanswered points.

Carr’s 18-yard touchdown toss to senior running back Rashaad Penny, followed by Carr’s successful two-point conversion run, gave Norwalk a 22-21 lead in the third quarter.

Norwalk then extended its lead when Penny ran for a 61-yard touchdown, which came with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.



60th annual Christmas Parade invades Uptown

By Sergio Lopez Jr.

Staff Writer

WHITTIER – Rain beat on windshields and tires slushed through the wet pavement, but the day’s less-than-ideal conditions didn’t stop thousands of people from coming out to enjoy the 60th Annual Uptown Whittier Christmas Parade.

“It’s tradition,” said city employee and Whittier High School alum Belin Hernandez. And, in Uptown, there seems to be nothing more important that tradition.

The event, which began at 10 a.m., extended on Greenleaf from Hadley to Mar Vista, where the route then took a left and finally came to an end on Washington Avenue.

Even as the rain persisted, the parade route was tightly lined with spectators who cheered on marching bands, dance and cheer teams, and floats and many more from underneath umbrellas, canopies, trees and sunshades.

“We’ve been coming for years,” said Whittier resident Jennifer Wright, who, huddled with her family under Wells Fargo’s ATM awnings, cheered on her grandson’s Cub Scout troop.

By noon, the parade came to a close and many onlookers soon gathered near Uptown’s parking structure to find out which marching bands the judges liked most. Among middle school bands, Dana Middle School took first and among high schools, Santa Fe High took top prize.

Although the weather was gloomy, the parade still attracted a huge crowd, many of whom expressed their joy with smiles and laughter. The marchers also made their enjoyment very clear. It was definitely nice to see that so many people didn’t let a little rain break one of Whittier’s longest-lasting traditions.

Santa Claus again brought up the rear, symbolizing the spirit of Christmas in Whittier.

Sergio Lopez Jr. can be reached at 562-291-9076


Let’s not look like Signal Hills

By Erwin Ulbrich

WHITTIER – On June 6, 2013, there was a lawsuit in Department 85 of the Superior Court of California between the various parties suing the city of Whittier and Matrix Oil Company to stop oil drilling in the Puente Hills Wilderness Preserve.



In part, on Oct. 1, 2013, Judge Chalifant ordered “a final injunction restraining and enjoining Whittier and Matrix and each of them and their agents, servants, employees and representatives and all persons acting in concert or participating with them from engaging in, committing or performing, directly or indirectly, any activity or disturbance whatsoever on the Property in pursuit of, or related to, the (Oil) Project.”

This seems quite clear, but after the judgment, the various parties were approached to see if some sort of settlement (money) could effectively go around the judgment and let drilling proceed. On Oct. 29, 2013 the five assembled Los Angeles County Supervisors voted unanimously to stop the drilling and accept the judge’s ruling.

At this time, the city has encouraged Matrix Oil Company to spend millions of dollars on this project including four EIRs, multiple hearings, and project plans, a 14-foot-deep excavation with the foundation for three oil wells, numerous publications, etc., all of which are worthless because of this judgment.

Matrix Oil was also encouraged by receiving a lease from the city. Future appeals are now being discussed which will greatly add to this expense. Ultimately the oil company can be expected to come against the city for compensation and it will not be pretty.

Now is a good time to STOP this project to CUT the Whittier citizens’ losses. Let’s concentrate on redeveloping Nelles, our vacant Whittier Boulevard properties, and our emerging Regional Health Center as well as making Whittier a safe and beautiful place for our newly arriving citizens to safely live and to recreate.

Whittier has many hidden jewels and we should spend our blood and treasure on polishing and adding to these jewels, and not building a crappy oil field that would make us look like Signal Hills in the 1950’s.

It has taken us 20 years to get rid of most of the Powerine Refinery which dominates the view out of my diningroom window. I see people still complaining about the bad smell of old tank residue.

Periodically I must drive through the tertiary recovery oil fields north of Bakersfield; I sure would hate to have something like this between Whittier and Hacienda Heights as the badge identifying Whittier.

Erwin Ulbrich is a retired Boeing Aerospace engineer, 50-year Whittier resident and longtime supporter of parks in Whittier. He’s a member of the Audubon Society, California State Park Association, National Park Conservation Association, Whittier Conservancy (inactive) and Whittier Hills Oil Watch/Open Spaces Legal Defense Fund.


Healthy aging

What happened when Bobbie, age 61, decided to ‘Un-Retire’

By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, mediator

Hello again, Carolyn and Mikol here from Imagine this if you are thinking about retirement.

Lots of people around our age are retiring. We hear about it all the time. When our aging parents retired from work, it was usually by or before age 65 and they were absolutely done with working. But our generation of 50 and 60 somethings is different.

Boomers of many occupations and professions may decide to work after the usual retirement age. It may be out of necessity. It may be because we want something more than sitting around with too much time on our hands.

What is becoming clear in current research on our Boomer work lives is that we are not like our elderly parents. We don’t consider ourselves “senior” or “elder” or old. And we may not be satisfied with just leisure in our lives. A lot of Boomers are not going to just retire and that’s it. We want more, as usual.

As long as we remain energetic and well enough to do it, Boomers are starting businesses, staying in the workplace or deciding on what gerontologists call their “encore careers.”

As a generation, perhaps some of us feel more vital when we have the structure of work in our lives. Many Boomer-aged women, particularly, are also the primary caregivers for aging parents and they need flexibility to be able to meet those responsibilities.

A colleague, Bobbie, is a good example. She had a successful career in the nonprofit world. Then, she got downsized out at age 61. She thought, “OK, I’m ready to retire anyway.” She did. And after a few weeks of twiddling her thumbs, being bored and restless, she was done with retirement.

She started to look for a new job. That was a challenge because she knew she would face ageism. It reared its ugly head immediately. Bobbie is a fit, healthy and highly experienced person in her field. She’s also had a couple of other careers in her younger days. So there were choices of where to apply for work.

She sent resumes to websites and it felt weird. Looking for a job? She put the word out. She was ready to go back to what she had done in her 20’s. But then a lucky break happened and she got an interview in her favorite field of nonprofit management.

Bobbie, at age 61, negotiating for her employment package was a very different person from the way she was when she was younger. She landed the job and got a load of perks to make it well worth taking. The organization wanted the wealth of her experience and she successfully asserted herself with confidence into a meaningful position where she is appreciated.

Successful retirement takes planning and so does the choice not to retire as we age. If you want to keep working, even if it means a different job after leaving what you used to do, it can take considerable effort to find it. Bobbie got a job that will not be overly stressful and she has congenial people around her.

She will do some traveling for work, which she likes. She has fashioned a life for herself that allows for healthy aging. She has time to exercise, time to relax and time to pursue her social interests. Most importantly, she wants the structure in her life of a job, the sense of community and the purpose of the new position.

I’m a big fan of all things about healthy aging as Mikol and I are pursuing it ourselves. Our work at focuses on advising Boomers with aging loved ones and also on how to age in a healthy way ourselves. Like most encore careers, this one is less stressful for me than the life of a litigator. And for Mikol, it’s less stressful than a full therapy schedule five days a week.

Having purpose in our lives is a feature of being emotionally healthy whether we are retired or not.

Likewise, we need structure, whether it comes from a job or from self-imposed structure we find in retirement through volunteerism or other pursuits we enjoy. The sense of community Bobbie craved after sitting around isolated at home too much is one she’ll find at work.

It can also be created by participating in any group or charitable organization that needs you. You can choose to seek paid work if you want or need it, or simply work on making your community a better place in a way that suits you.

Here’s to successful retirement if that feels right or to unretirement if you prefer that. My colleague Bobbie created a win-win: they’re lucky to have her vast experience and she was smart enough to search for a right fit job and negotiate a great position with confidence.

My fellow Boomers, whatever you choose, I wish you the same smarts.

Until next time …

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a Whittier native and an attorney and mediator now living in San Rafael, Calif. Contact her at 415-459-0413, visit or e-mail her at

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, she is a founder of, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.

This week’s homily

By The Rev. Thomas M. Boles, PhD., DMin. D.D.

An early American evangelist once generalized that all infidels were fools. Furthermore, he said, he could prove his statement to be true for any given case within 10 minutes. A man in the audience stood up and proclaimed himself an infidel, but no fool.

The preacher looked him over and said, “So you are an infidel?” “Certainly, sir, I deny that there is anything at all in religion.”

“Nothing at all in religion? Are you willing to go on record as saying that?”

“Go on record?” the infidel replied. “Why, I have been writing and lecturing against religion for 20 years.”

The evangelist glanced at his watch and said, “Well, I said I could prove an infidel a fool in 10 minutes, and still have seven minutes left. I’ll leave it to the audience to decide if a man isn’t a fool to write and lecture for 20 years against a thing that supposedly has nothing whatever in it!”

Before you speak your mind, make certain that there’s something in your mind worth speaking.

Smart people speak from experience, smarter people from experience don’t speak!

He who restrains his lips is wise.

Proverbs 10:19