Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:


Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Public Safety & Health:
Police Blotters

Education & Youth:

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

The World Around Us:
On Line
Looking Up

As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

Hail Hamilton
Sen. Bob Huff
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin On …

Legal Notices:

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Home & Property:
One of a Kind

F. Y. I. :

Chris Bertrand
P. J. Carpenter
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Hail Hamilton
Howard Hays
Susan Henderson
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin
Gregory J. Wellborn

Recent Issues:
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18
Issue 17
Issue 16
Issue 15
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

Memorial Day 2010 - In Memory of Those Who Died For Us



We Remember & Give Thanks 

By Craig Hakola

They are the faceless figures that secure freedom. They are 
sons, daughters and parents, but to most Americas they 
remain nameless strangers. The history books have managed to 
chronicle a few of these heroes. Conversely, we know volumes on 
Washington, on Grant and that of Eisenhower. And if those men 
are rightly thought upon as the brains of war, than it must be true 
that farther down in the ranks resides the heart of America. 

As a nation, we demand much from our soldiers, for in their toil 
we find safety and in their sacrifice we obtain victory. 

On a rainy day in November of nineteen hundred and sixty-three, 
a group of people gathered upon a strip of land in Gettysburg 
to mark a battle. The Civil War had not concluded when these 
people gathered, but the magnitude of what occurred on this 
now quiet land demanded a voice. The renowned speechmaker, 
Edward Everett, had been deemed as the best equipped for a 
dedication of this importance, and when Everett was initially 
informed of the decision, he told the committee that he would 
need more time to prepare a proper speech, so the ceremony was 
postponed. The committee then decided to send an invitation to 
Abraham Lincoln a little over two weeks before the event. He was 
told that he was to have a “small part in the ceremonies.”

Everett went on to give a marvelous speech that day, but would 
famously say in a note to Lincoln, “I should be glad, if I could 
flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the 
occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

For Lincoln, the emotion of that day at Gettysburg rose upon 
the mighty and inescapable witness of the Civil War. It was the 
soldiers that inspired and compelled the speech that Lincoln 
would deliver that afternoon. Lincoln’s life was seeded with the 
words of the Bible and that of Shakespeare. And it is fitting that in 
a single poetic manifestation of precise cadence and embodiment 
of language, Lincoln would usher forth both the head and the 
heart of a people. The Gettysburg Address requires no backdrop 
for us to understand it; it needs no buildup of a great battle to 
be haunting in its theme. It is self-evident. A reverent prayer 
and venerated acknowledgement of all the actions that inspired 
America’s greatest testament to the laws of freedom. The dead are 
eulogized, but we, the living, are implicated too. For as we look 
over the graves of those that have perished, we must know that 
their dreams were not wholly realized because of their sacrafice. 
And just as certain they have given to us a measure stronger than 
steel, they have delivered their “Sacred Promise.” 

If we are to endure as a nation of people we must determine that 
our eyes and our actions inhabit the example that is their sponsor.

The light of Freedom burns brightly upon the holy alter, and it 
remains incumbent on us to justly recall the judgments of those 
thoughtful people that boldly risked and forfeited their lives for 
that common cause. 

May the knowledge of their sacrifice always reside upon our 
prayers and our hearts.


 Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this 
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the 
proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged 
in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so 
conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a 
great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion 
of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their 
lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper 
that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, 
we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave 
men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far 
above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note 
nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what 
they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to 
the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so 
nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great 
task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take 
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full 
measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead 
shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have 
a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the 
people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Dedicated to Peter Sinclair, Neil Hakola and all brave soldiers.

Proposed Water Rate Hike Hard To Swallow

By Susan Henderson

 Some residents in Sierra Madre are up 
in arms. Again. This time, however, 
it isn’t about an election. It’s about the 
city’s stated need to raise water rates.

 At the May 11, 2010 city council meeting, 
Director of Public Works Bruce Inman 
and Director of Development Services, 
Karin Schnaider presented a staff 
report to the council suggesting the 
initiation of a Proposition 218 Process 
for a Water Rate Increase.

 Prop 218 allows for a notification of 
all water customers of the proposed 
rate increase and allows them the 
opportunity to protest the increase. 
A notice was mailed out to all water 
customers informing them of the 
suggested increase and advising them 
of how to protest the action. In the 
event that a simple majority of the 
water customers, 50% plus 1, submit 
protests, the rates will not increase.

 The city of Sierra Madre has not had 
a rate increase since 2005 and went 
into effect in 2006. At that time, the 
city council did not undergo the Prop 
218 ‘Right To Vote’ process and the 
public was upset. No further attempts 
were made to increase rates out of fear 
that water customers would reject such 
proposals out of anger.

 As a result, the city’s water fund 
reserves have been “eroded to a 
level that does not provide adequate 
coverage for the City’s existing Water 
Bonds or funds to meet the local match 
requirements for the Federal Grants the 
city has received and is due to receive”.

 Inman recently 
addressed the local 
Kiwanis Club and 
explained how the 
process will work, 
why the increase was 
needed, and, should 
the increase pass, 
how much more it 
will cost customers. 

 The proposed 
increase is a long 
term program 
that will allow for 
continued system 
improvements and 

How The New Rates Were Determined

 A water rate study was conducted 
by Bucknam and Associates, a firm 
that the city has used in the past. 
It recommended that the basic 
meter charge be increased as well as 
implementing a ‘tiered rate structure’ 
based upon usage. It also recommends 
increases every fiscal year for the next 
five years, with the largest increase 
coming in 2010-2011 (15.75%) and the 
increase dropping dramatically to 3.5% 
for FY 2011-2012; 3.51% for FY 2012-
2013; 3.49% for year 2013-2014 and 
3.51% for FY 2014-2015.

 Should the increase take effect, 
residents will, depending on the size of 
their meter see an increase of the base 
rate of approximately $6 bi-monthly for 
the next fiscal year. The commodity 
charge, which is currently averaging 
$68 would increase to approximately 
$78. Under the current structure, with 
both the base and commodity charged 
combined, current users pay on average 
$108.02. Based upon the model given, 
that same customer would now pay 
approximately $125 per billing cycle.

 There will be a public hearing on the 
proposed increase on July 13, 2010 at 
6:30 pm in the Council Chambers. 
At that time residents are encouraged 
to voice their concerns regarding the 
impact of the rate increase. Oral and 
written testimony will be accepted.


 While several members of the 
community spoke out against the 
increase because of personal financial 
hardship, others recognized that the 
maintenance of our water system is 
critical. At his Kiwanis presentation, 
Inman pointed out that the work that 
was done on the Miramonte and Grove 
Street facilities was done because 
the city received federal grants and 
was able to meet the matching fund 

Alverno and Neighbors Reach Agreement

School To Be Granted Temporary 
Use Permit Allowing Private Rental 
Events To Continue

 Alverno High School, the All Girls High School on Michillinda 
in Sierra Madre, has come to an agreement with neighbors and 
was granted a much needed Temporary Use Permit that will 
help generate funds to sustain the school.

 Since 2007, there has been an organized effort to have the 
school modify the way it operates so that neighbors would not 
have to have their tranquility disrupted. A group formerly 
known as the “Village Neighbors” initially wanted to prevent 
the school for its’ supplemental income activities. However, 
after two years of negotiations, both sides finally came to an 
agreement and a TUP will be issued.

 Alverno, which is on the grounds of the 
historic Villa Del Sol d’Oro, according to 
the Head Of School, Ann Gillick, depends 
on the income derived from private rentals 
to “provide scholarships and maintain the 
grounds”. If a comprimise had not been 
reached and the city had refused to issue 
the use permit, the result would have been a 
major financial setback.

 Not all residents took issue with the way 
Alverno operated. During the three council 
meetings that were held, there were as many 
neighbors in support of the school as there 
were those against the school. For the most 
part, supporters stated that not only was the 
school a responsible neighbor, but that the 
school had existed long before most of the 
members of the Village Neighbors moved 
to Sierra Madre. Said one ressident, “The 
school was here when they bought their homes.” 

 However, other neighbors complained of noise and 
disturbances. Police records of calls regarding problems at 
Alverno did not support those allegations.

 Nevertheless, both sides agreed to change the way things are 
done. Alverno has agreed to new limits on events and the 
quantity of events they will hold during a month. They also 
agreed to install air conditioning in the Villa so that more 
events could be held inside and would not disturb anyone in 
any way.

 As soon as the parties agreed, Village Neighbors began 
removing the protest signs that had appeared on lawns for 
month, and for now, the neighbors and school are in harmony.

The grounds at Alverno are a very popular setting for 
weddings and private events. 



 The Annual Sierra Madre Memorial 
Day service will be held at Sierra Madre Pioneer 
Cemetery on May 31, 2010 at 11:00 AM. 

 This service is open to the public and conducted by 
VFW Harry L. Embree Post 3208. 

 Food and refreshments will be served following the 

MountainViews-News 55 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 302, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email:

MVNews this week:  Page 1

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548