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 March 1, 2007  

Give no decision till you have heard both sides.

Phocylides, Ionian poet born 560 B.C.



In This Issue

1.     Say “Hello” to Montebello

2.     Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 3

3.     Announcements

4.     Fun Fact

5.     About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello”



Online Community Lesson


Student-authored and teacher-edited 

Montebello could be described as a small city in Los Angeles County.  How did Montebello grow to be what it is today? Where did it all start? 

Montebello’s history dates back to Franciscan missionaries, Fathers Angel Somera and Pedro Cambon, who founded the original Mission San Gabriel Arcangel on September 9, 1771, near where San Gabriel Boulevard now crosses the Rio Hondo, which also is near the present-day Sanchez Adobe, a historical site.  This marked the beginning of the Los Angeles region's settlement by Spaniards.  

It was not until the end of the American Civil War that Montebello came under the ownership of an Italian immigrant, Alessandro Repetto.  His ranch was purchased by five businessmen and later divided among the partners.  The acres and the tracks of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, now Union Pacific Railroad, were developed into a town site called Newmark.  (There is a high school named after this same Newmark.    Harris Newmark Harris Continuation School is located in Los Angeles.  Also, we  have Newmark Mall in Montebello.)  The land was subdivided into large lots for agriculture.  Flowers were grown in the hills of Montebello, which explains why we see the picture of a rose on our street-name signs.  The development was named “Montebello”.  It became an oil production site after Thomas Temple, the eldest child of Walter and Laura Temple, made a discovery of oil in a pool of water found after a rain in April, 1914. 

Montebello was incorporated, that is, became a city, on October 19, 1920, with a population of about 4,000, which is little compared to the 61,519 who live here now. Montebello had five city councilors then and has five city councilors now. 

Now you know a little more about our small city which neighbors Los Angeles.  More information is available from the main Montebello library, next to city hall.  Interesting stories are available from members of the Montebello Historical Society. 

If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization. 

1. When did the Spanish arrive?

(a) 1300s.

(b) Mid 1500s.

(d) 1700s. 

2. The land of Montebello was first used for

(a) oil.

(b) agriculture.

(c) gardening.

(d) none of the above. 

3. Which of these is true?

(a) Montebello became a city in 1920, with about 4,000 residents and five city councilors.

(b) Montebello now has over 60,000 residents and five city councilors.

(c) Montebello used to have its own airport near Washington Boulevard and Vail Avenue.

(d) Before being moved to a new building next to city hall, the main Montebello library was located in Montebello Park, where the senior center now operates.

(e) There was a Benedictine monastery where city hall now stands.

(f) The oldest structure in Montebello is the Sanchez Adobe, dating to when California was part of Mexico. 


Is Everyone “LOCO”?,

Part 3

 "Now that we have exceeded so many of our limits -- personal, emotional, relational, physical, financial -- we have no margin at all.  Yet because we don't even know what margin is, we don't realize it is gone. We know that something is not right, but we can't solve the puzzle beyond that.  Our pain is palpable, but our assailant remains unnamed."
-- Richard A. Swenson, M.D., American physician, author, educator 

In part 1 about “LOCO”, “Limits on Constructive Output”, it was said that our lives were too complex for us to make the right decisions all the time.   In part 2 we learned that LOCO affected police officers and teachers.  The statement was made that LOCO permeated and pervaded civilization.  We left off with the questions “Who or what is the culprit?” and  “When we learn that, what might the solution be?” 

Would it sound odd if we named population growth as a culprit?  As population grows, so does population density, as people move to areas where they hope to find jobs.  As density grows, the need to regulate human behavior increases, so that the meek and weak be less exploited, and the caged and enraged seek satisfaction in ways other than bloodletting.  The regulation of human behavior is not arithmetically proportional to the increase in population density, but, rather, is geometrically proportional.  In other words, regulations increase more than population increases.  And in trying to keep the peace, regulations create their own problems.  One problem is the ability of us humans to keep up with the regulations, either to remember them or to enforce them.  The job of police officers becomes ever harder;  our society’s response is to spend more money.  It is cause for concern that there is no acknowledgement yet by our society that this increasing difficulty for police officers could be alleviated by taking LOCO into consideration. 

Another culprit underlying LOCO is our idealism, which translates into elevated expectations.   For example, the concept of federalism has worked in our country for over two hundred years;  yet, there are unwanted consequences.  Federalism does not let a municipality customize a solution to address a local problem.  This means that, in Montebello, our hands are tied with regard to finding an effective solution to graffiti abatement.  Also, we have a grand initiative like “No Child Left Behind”.  Given the diversity of conditions under which children grow, live, behave, and study, the challenge for teachers becomes ever harder;  our society’s response is to spend more money.  It is cause for concern that there is no acknowledgement yet by our society that this increasing difficulty for teachers could be alleviated by taking LOCO into consideration. 

There is a quotation by the late President Ronald Reagan which contradicts the quotation by Dr. Swenson above. 

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”

President Reagan spoke idealistically, not scientifically.  LOCO is based on science, not idealism.

If we did take LOCO into consideration, what would we be doing differently?  Not only will we explore this in the next part, but, also, this writer will explain how a statement which he made based on LOCO resulted in his being excused from jury duty in November. 




FOR EVERYONE.  Montebello High School choir presents “What the World Needs Now” on Friday, March 2, in the school auditorium at 7 p.m., 2100 West Cleveland Avenue.  Admission is $7 in advance, $8 at the door.  Several groups in the choir will be performing.  For more information, 323.728.0121. 

FOR MOTORISTS AND FAMILIES.  Southern California Gas Company is working on Vail Avenue between Madison Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, starting February 27 and running for about sixty days.  Expect a street closure during work hours, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., even though the announcement did not say that.  Please discourage children from playing in and around the job site.  Questions may be directed to 310.605.4111 or, after hours, 800.427.2200.   

FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES.  Nominations are now being accepted for the Youth Service America National Youth Council.  The Youth Service America National Youth Council is a prestigious group of outstanding young people ages 14-22 from across the United States who serve as advisors to Youth Service America in its programming, direction, and evaluation. The National Youth Council serves as a catalyst for the youth- service movement through national and international projects that promote youth voice, youth leadership, and youth decision-making. Youth members for the Youth Service America Board of Directors are chosen directly from the National Youth Council. For a nomination form and to learn more, contact Daniel Hatcher, Manager of Outreach and the Youth Voice Initiative at  Please include “NYC Nomination Request” in the subject-line.  Nomination forms should be requested by Friday March 2, 2:00 PM Pacific time.  U.S. applicants only.  For more information about YSA's National Youth Council and their projects, please go to: 

FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES.  Crime prevention grants to support national and global Youth Service Day projects.  The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) will award grants of up to $500 each to support youth-led service-learning projects that address or prevent crime, violence, and drug abuse in schools and communities for National and Global Youth Service Day 2007, April 20-22. These grants are intended to encourage and promote crime prevention, community service, and civic responsibility. Applications must be submitted to NCPC by April 1, 2007.  Visit to download an application.




Fun Fact

Because steel expands when it gets hot, the Eiffel Tower is six inches taller in the summer than in the winter.



About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello”

To learn about this newsletter, Montebello E-News, and the accompanying, growing Web site, “My Montebello”, visit  Also, you will find instructions and contact information for submitting announcements for publication in this newsletter.


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