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UUCVH Gnu UUs present "The Blue Dot Tour" with Roy Zimmerman
Tuesday, August 5, 7-9PM
Tickets $20 at door
4451 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta

Enjoy a sample here...  (double click for full screen)

This will be the third year that we have been entertained by singer, songwriter, satirist Roy Zimmerman.

Bring friends & family for this evening of irreverent musical commentary about almost everyone.
Refreshments served at intermission and after the concert.  Roy will also have some of his CDs for sale.
See you Tues., Aug 5th at 7pm!

Eat out ethically! ROC National Diners’ Guide 2014 The Restaurant Opportunities Centers mission improves wages & working conditions for restaurant workforce.  Free Mobile APP

We serve Authentic Fair Trade and Organic Coffee & Tea!

"What do you believe? is the wrong question" clarifies Rev. Peter Morales, UUA President

 

UUA Top Stories

President's Perspective

UUCVH Board President Ann Kleinsasser 

Tuesday
Jul012014

How did you become a Unitarian Universalist?  Are there others who may find us in the same way you did?

I was lucky enough to be brought up as a Unitarian, so I did not need to “discover” this faith as many of our members have done.  But no matter how we each found our way here, I think it feels like “home” to all of us.  As I begin my first term as President of our congregation I would like for us to think about ways to help potential UUs in our community find us.  How can we be more visible to neighbors, to people searching for a spiritual home, to families looking for a unique religious foundation for their children?  Think about your own path to our door—how can we make that path available to others in our community?  Let me know your thoughts!

Looking ahead on our calendar, I’d like to encourage all of you to plan on attending Roy Zimmerman’s concert on the evening of Tuesday, August 12!  And be thinking of friends who would enjoy a wonderfully entertaining evening of his clever and humorous satire and fabulous music.  If we each brought just two or three friends we’d have the full house he deserves!

I hope summer finds you doing enjoyable and fulfilling things, whether it is traveling to exotic places, pursuing a favorite hobby, volunteering or simply enjoying our beautiful Southern California weather in your own backyard or garden.  Whatever your plans, I hope to see you on Sunday mornings (when you are in town) as we gather in community and fellowship for spiritual inspiration and growth.

Ann Kleinsasser

Sunday
Jun012014

UUCVH President Howard Richman befriends a fellow creature with a witty smile!I am completing my second and last year as board President.  It has been my honor to serve in this position.  We have had many successes along with some failures.  I hope the membership sees this as a positive year.  I can say that no matter the outcome it was not a failure of effort by many people.  This is my second two-year run as President of UUCVH, and the reason I agreed to be President is because of the people that comprise this Church.

I want to personally thank Deane Phinney, Gary Clark and Alan Kleinsasser for their support, great ideas and hard work.  We all knew that every officer had the best outcome for the Church as their prime aim in all decisions made.  I hope the membership always had confidence that we were doing what we thought best.

I want to thank Rev Betty and her Wife for their support for this Church.  I wanted to thank them together because they are a team.  I think it is a inspiration to many when two good people get together and make a even better couple.  I want to thank Rev Betty for becoming our full time minister, I think this will have many benefits to the Church going forward.  I am also happy that we didn't pay her hourly.  We would be broke!

I will not go through the membership list and thank everyone individually.  I would just like to thank everyone for stepping up when asked and not asked and helping this Church.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you as President.

Howard Richman

Thursday
May012014

I would like to devote this column to information about our Church calling a new minister.  Since Rev. Betty's contract is up the summer of 2015 and commuting from Thousand Oaks has been difficult, we will sadly be losing her and will need a new minister.  The board has decided to have a nationwide search for a minister.  There are many reasons for this choice among them is that we will be the only Church in southern California searching for a ministers during this period, so we will have a much larger group of minister to choose from.  Another plus is that after the very cold winter in the rest of the country, our weather will be a great recruiting tool.

We will have Kenneth Collier to speak to the congregation at the Sunday service on May 4, 2014.  He is a retired minister from the UU Church in Santa Barbara.  He works for the UUA to help churches in southern California that are calling ministers.  I believe he will give much better information then I will be able to give.

At this time the search committee is comprised of Deane Phinney, Jerry Buchanan and myself, but we need two more members.  The Church needs your help in filling these two positions.  The committee will be taking surveys of the membership to give prospective ministers a view of the congregation.  We will also be putting together a PDF showing every aspect of our Church.  The better job the committee does in putting together a true picture of our Church, the better chance we have of a good match.  If you have questions, please e-mail me or save them for Kenneth Collier.

Howard Richman

Tuesday
Apr012014

By Rev. John Wolf

"There is only one reason for joining a UU Church!  That is to support it.  You want to support it because it stands against superstition and fear.  Because it points to what's noblest and best in human life.  Because it is open to men and women of whatever race, creed, color, or national origin.

"You want to support a UU Church because it has a free pulpit.  Because you can hear ideas expressed there which would cost any other minister his or her job.  You want to support it because it is a place where children can come without being saddled with guilt or terrified of some 'celestial peeping Tom,' where they can learn that religion is for joy, comfort, for gratitude and love.

"You want to support a UU Church because it is more concerned with human beings than with dogmas.  Because it searches for the holy, rather than dwells upon the depraved.  Because it calls no one a sinner, yet knows how deep is the struggle and how great is the hunger for what is good.

You want to support a UU Church because it can laugh...because it insults neither your intelligence nor your conscience, and because it calls you to worship what is truly worthy of your sacrifice..."

Howard Richman

Saturday
Mar012014

A letter from Bill Schulz, UUSC

Dear Howard,

When I first saw the news I couldn't believe it:

Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, Americans' average income has increased by a healthy 6 percent.

How could this possibly be?  With millions looking for work, and most folks lucky enough to still have jobs struggling to take care of their families?

Because 95 percent of those income gains have gone to the top 1 percent.

It's been a great four years -- a fantastic four years -- for the wealthiest Americans.  For the rest of us, not so much.

Anyone working a minimum wage job for the last four years has seen his or her real earnings drop by 8 percent -- and if she's a single mother of two, for example, she's now living below the poverty line.

A job should keep you out of poverty, not trap you in poverty.  That's why UUSC is pushing so hard to replace the minimum wage with a living wage.

And that's why I'm asking for your support with a special contribution to support these efforts and all of our work to advance human rights.

For those earning the least -- the people who bring us our food in restaurants, who care for our sick and elderly relatives, who clean our office buildings -- it's been a day-to-day struggle to survive on a federal minimum wage that, adjusted for inflation, is one-third lower than it was in 1968.

Narrowing the enormous wealth gap in this country is an economic and political challenge -- but it is, above all, a moral imperative.

Please join our campaign.   Donate at  http://www.uusc.org/donate. Thank you for putting your values into action today.

Sincerely,

Bill Schulz

President and CEO

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Saturday
Feb012014

Howard Richman submits a recent news article for your consideration.

Richest of the rich ponder how to level the field” by CNBC's Jeff Cox

With the global economy slowly getting back on its feet, 2,500 delegates gathered in Davos face a vexing question this week: How to spread the wealth.

As much as any other issue income inequality will tax world leaders in the years ahead.

Aggressive policies from central banks have helped stem the liquidity drain that sent the U.S., Europe, and other countries reeling in the latter part of the last decade. Wall Street banks have come back to life, equity markets have soared and even debt-laden countries like Ireland and Greece are finding their way back into the capital markets.

But the main problem now will be those left behind.

"The kind of people over there (in Davos), other than the professors, are making a great deal of money more than their predecessors were a generation ago," University of Maryland economist Peter Morici said in an interview. "This is a growing embarrassment. The differences in income between Wall Street and the rest of America are astronomical."

Dangers surrounding income inequality are not lost on those attending the World Economic Forum.

In a survey of members, the issue ranked near the top among global economic concerns.

"It raises concerns about the Great Recession and the squeezing effect it had on the middle classes in developed economies, while globalization has brought about a polarization of incomes in emerging and developing economies," the forum said in a statement. "This is true despite the obvious progress in countries such as Brazil and lower levels of poverty in several developing countries in Asia and Africa."

The negative effects of globalization will be especially problematic this week for its advocates, particularly President Barack Obama, for whom one of the key platform tenets in the 2008 election was a pledge to redistribute income.

"In the United Stated, people in the middle and bottom are shrinking and people on the top are rising. That's not what globalization was supposed to do for them," Morici said. "For President Obama, it's very troubling because he's been a big advocate for globalization."

Recent studies have shown American wealth disparity at its highest level since the Great Depression.

Unemployment in the U.S. has been vexing as well. While the headline rate has dropped to 6.7 percent, that's come as the labor force participation rate has hit a 36-year low.

In Europe, youth unemployment in some areas is around 50 percent and about 12 percent overall in the euro zone.

Concerns over inequality "should act as a wake-up call" to Davos attendees, Philip Jennings, general secretary of the labor group UNI Global Union, told media members last week.

Morici, however, said he doesn't expect much to come it, at least at the four-day World Economic Forum.

"This is the biggest problem of our time," said. "We need to have more balanced growth across the globe."

Wednesday
Jan012014

Howard Richman submits a recent news article for your consideration.

Reuters News, Sep 27, 2013

Ex-EPA adviser admits to fraud, CIA stint claim, 13 years of lies
By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adviser pleaded guilty on Friday to cheating the government out of $886,186 over 13 years of telling lies, including claims he had malaria and that he was working on a CIA project, officials said.

John Beale, 64, of New York, had skipped work for a total of 2-1/2 years while claiming to be working on a project for the Central Intelligence Agency's operations directorate and other jobs, the District of Columbia's U.S. Attorney's Office and the EPA's inspector general said in a statement.

Beale, a former top deputy to current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, falsely claimed to have malaria to get a parking space worth $200 a month. He was reimbursed $57,235 for five trips to California for a research project that was never completed.

Beale, who had worked at the EPA since 1989, also was given a three-year, 25 percent bonus to stay with the EPA that instead lasted 13 years.

"An absence of even basic internal controls at the EPA allowed an individual to commit multiple frauds over a long period of time," EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr said in the statement.

Elkins said he hoped exposing Beale's scheme would lead to agency reforms that would prevent abuses.

The plea comes as the U.S. government is bracing for a possible partial shutdown on Oct 1. Lawmakers are at loggerheads over whether to pass next year's federal budget, in part due to Tea Party activists aiming to block implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform in their efforts to reduce the size of government.

Washington also faces an October 17 deadline by which the United States would have difficulty paying its creditors if the nation's debt limit is not raised.

RETIREMENT PARTY

From January 2000 to April 2013, Beale worked for the Office of Air and Radiation as a senior policy adviser, putting him among the highest-paid non-elected federal employees.

As part of his absences, Beale dodged work at EPA offices for about six months starting in June 2008. He claimed to be working on the research project or for "Langley," the CIA headquarters, but never submitted a leave request and still received his EPA salary, the statement said.

Around May 2011, Beale announced he was retiring from the EPA and held a party with two other long-time EPA employees.

An EPA manager believed Beale had retired as he did not see him at the EPA offices again. The manager discovered in November 2012 that Beale was still getting a paycheck, the statement said.

Beale had worked for McCarthy while she headed the Air and Radiation office from 2009 until taking over the agency in July.

The top lawmakers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Democratic Chairman Barbara Boxer of California and ranking Republican John Vitter of Louisiana, expressed anger over Beale's fraud.

"It is outrageous that this admitted con man lied to his supervisors in order to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal government going back to the George W. Bush Administration," Boxer said in a statement.

Beale pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to theft of government property. Under the plea agreement, the penalty is a prison sentence of 30 to 37 months and a fine of up to $60,000.

Beale also has agreed to pay back $886,186 in pay and expenses to the EPA and a settlement of another $507,207, the statement said.

Sunday
Dec012013

Holiday Best Wishes Disclaimer

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.

It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting.

It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Happy Holidays!

Friday
Nov012013

Here is an article for your consideration from your President, Howard Richman.

Keystone XL Pipeline Could Yield $100 Billion For Koch Brothers (The Huffington Post, Jared Gilmour, 10/21/2013)

Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate $100 billion in profits for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, according to a report released Sunday, which revealed the extent to which the Kochs would benefit from the tar sands development the proposed pipeline would help spur.

A progressive think tank called the International Forum on Globalization completed the study, which found that the Kochs and their privately-owned company, Koch Industries, hold up to 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada, the proposed starting point of the Keystone XL. Several Koch Industries subsidiaries stand to benefit from the pipeline's construction, including Koch Exploration Canada, which would profit from oil development on its land, and Koch Supply and Trading, which would benefit from oil derivatives trading.

The report also estimates that the Koch brothers have given about $50 million to think tanks and members of Congress who have pushed for the pipeline to be built.

The Keystone XL pipeline is awaiting a final decision from the State Department, which is unlikely to come before 2014. If built, the pipeline would carry about 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmentalists worry about about the climate and environmental impacts the pipeline could have, including dramatically higher greenhouse gas emissions and a heightened risk of oil spills.

The Kochs are known for their heavy investment in the tea party and their support for congressional inaction on climate change.

In the past, Koch Industries officials have said the Keystone XL pipeline has "nothing to do with any of our businesses."

 

Tuesday
Oct012013

An article for your consideration from Howard Richman.

“Distracted Walking” Is No Walk in the Park
Dr. Rock Positano, Health Columnist for the New York Daily News, 09/22/2013

“Health care providers are seeing an increase in "walking while texting" accidents, with terrible injuries undermining the "viral" explosion of tragi-comic trips, pratfalls, and collisions. "Distracted walking" is a matter of concern to public health professionals, slowly joining "distracted driving" as a matter of urgent national attention.

The evidence is indeed slowly gathering, but a good indication of the severity of the growing problem is the almost constant "doubling" of the incidents from one year to the next: this is a geometric progression that amounts to a pandemic which makes the fictional, movie "outbreaks" of designer epidemics and Zombie flicks literally pale in comparison.

Seattle's intersections were monitored by the University of Washington and they got an eyeful: pedestrians who texted were four times less likely to look before crossing streets, stay in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.

Ohio State University studied local emergency rooms and discerned that more than 1500 people were treated for cell phone related injuries, a triple increase from previous years. Cell phone abuse is a close cousin of texting while walking abuse. Cell phone usage while driving has already been addressed by state legislatures in almost every state. Texting while walking has not received the same attention. But that is changing.

ABC News reported back in May 2012 that the reported number of distracted walking accidents doubled each and every year, with 100 percent compounded increases logged in from 2006 to 2007 to 2008. If the ABC stats hold true, a geometric progression of pandemic proportions has reached the point where those scattered "incidents" now cover the technologically advanced world from continent to continent.

The humor of the incidents, sometimes reported on social media, itself distracts from the seriousness of the problem. Anecdotal "viral" stories such as the "texter" Los Angeles man almost bumping into a prowling black bear, the "Fountain Lady" in Pennsylvania who walked, and texted, her way into a mall decorative fountain, "distracted walkers" who took a long walk off a short pier into Lake Michigan, a New York woman who texted herself into an open sewage manhole, and other "LOL" favorites gather some laughs, but how funny they really are depends on your point of view. Safety officials are not amused. They are alarmed.

Last year, the Associated Press reported that reports of injured distracted walkers treated in selected American emergency rooms "more than quadrupled" in the seven years surveyed, and were "almost certainly underreported." A spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association told the AP: "We are where we were with cell phone use in cars 10 years or so ago. We knew that it was a problem, but we didn't have the data."

Blame the universal myth of Multi-Tasking for the problem: human brain evolution does not allow for texting at the same time as walking, and that's a fact. You cannot think as a split screen: you are always limited to one task at a time, one requiring full attention and one which becomes a hazardous distraction. What appears to you to be multi-tasked activity are really two tasks half-heartedly attended to, with sometimes-fatal results. You can walk but not text, or text but not walk, much as you can drive but not text or text but not drive, and never both at the same time. If you get away with doing both at the same time, it is mere luck, not your superior multi tasking skills. Luck is fickle.

Solutions will be hard to come by. State legislatures refuse to seriously consider "distracted walking" statutes outlawing the practice, showing a preliminary reluctance to any control on the practice, much as "distracted driving" laws, now common, drew great controversy when first codified in law. But that changed when the body count leaped from year to year, much as the body count of "distracted walking" barrels upward. It remains to be seen whether the distracted walking remains a viral joke or is treated with the somber urgency it truly deserves.”