Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

Music News

Around Sierra Madre:

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Happy Birthday America:

Public Safety:
Police Blotters

Education & Youth:

The World Around Us:
On Line
Looking Up
Ask jai …

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Legal Notices:

As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn
Volunteer Opportunities

Hail Hamilton
Susan Henderson
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin On …

Home & Property:
One of a Kind

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Happy Birthday America:

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

Recent Issues:
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18
Issue 17
Issue 16
Issue 15

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

Sierra Madre 4th of July Parade - Monday, July 5th



Water Woes 

Sierra Madre’s pristine Water 
System is the source of great pride 
and great concern

Photos and Story By Susan Henderson

 There are few small towns that have just about everything. A clean, 
safe environment, their own fire and police departments, good 
schools, talented, dedicated city staff, a war chest of community 
volunteers and……water.

 Yes, Sierra Madre even has its’ own supply of water and doesn’t 
have to rely on surrounding purveyors of water to sustain the city. 
In1882, The Sierra Madre Water Company was formed, 25 years 
before the town was incorporated. 

 Sierra Madre’s water supply is primarily derived from four wells 
drawing from the East Raymond Basin aquifer (85%) and two 
natural spring tunnels located on either side 
of the county flood control dam in Little Santa 
Anita Canyon. These wells are the source of 
great pride, and once again, great controversy.

 The local supply is managed by the Water 
Division of the Department of Public works 
and has the responsibility for maintaining 
water quality, and pumping, treating, and 
distributing water to residents and businesses 
in town. The water is collected in a reservoir 
at the City’s maintenance facility and then 
pumped to other reservoirs around town. The 
water is then distributed through a network of 
pipelines in our streets. 

 Current revenues from water users are not 
sufficient to continue operating the city’s aging 
water system properly. This is primarily due 
to the fact that there has been no rate increase 
since July 2006 to keep up with the escalating 
costs of, for example, electricity which runs the 

There is also not sufficient revenue to replace aging 
parts or to match available federal funds of $10 
million dollars to do major capital improvements. 
For instance, the Mira Monte Reservoir was 
recently rebuilt utilizing the matching grant 
program with the federal government. Funds 
for matching grants come from the Water 
Revenue Reserves. Those reserves are now below 
acceptable levels and leave the city vulnerable in 
the event of a disaster or emergency. 

 Recently, the city council was advised of the 
need for a rate increase for water users and 
began the process of increasing the water rates. 
Those plans have inspired a campaign against 
the fee hike. As the result of a state proposition, 
(“Prop 218”), certain utility fee increases can be 
blocked through a process that allows citizens to 
protest the action. Opponents of Sierra Madre’s 
proposed rate increase have surfaced and are 
asking residents to sign documents in “protest” of 
the rate hike. If they are successful and ascertain 
support of more than half of the rate payers in 
Sierra Madre, the city will not be allowed to raise 
water rates. As of this writing, however, no other viable alternative 
to increasing water revenues has been found and without increased 
revenue, the maintaining and integrity of the city’s water resources 
properly will be in jeopardy.

 Over the years, there have been many legal battles over water rights 
but this developing modern day ‘feud’ is not over who has access to 
the water but over the costs associated with maintaining the water 
system and who should pay for them. In a city that has total control 
of its water resources, there are those who appear to be opposed to 
paying it. 

 The city’s current water delivery system, which dates back to the 
early 1900’s requires constant maintenance and improvements. As 
recently as this week, as if a warning to the city that the system’s 
need for maintenance is immediate, an aging water main broke in 
the canyons. It appeared that the main (shown below) had not been 
replaced since the 1930’s.

 On July 13th, the city council will hold a public hearing in 
accordance with the conditions of Prop 218. Protests must be 
submitted to the council by that date. 

For more information go to:

Related articles on the city’s water rate increase go to: and 

Sierra Madre’s pumping station

4th of July 

Saturday, July 3rd

A Pre-Parade Party in Memorial 
Park 5:00-10:00 p.m., 

 The Food Booths and Beer 
Garden, operated by volunteers 
from local nonprofit groups, will 
open at 5:00 p.m.   The popular 
Bubble-Wrap “Fireworks-O-
Rama,” a playful event for the 
youngsters 6:00 p.m. 

Aluminum Marshmallow, known

 for its exhilarating “Age of Aquarius 
Horns,” classic 60s and 70s rock 
‘n’ roll.   Seating for this, and all 
other concerts, is on the green, so 
concert-goers will want to bring 
along a lawn chair or blanket.

Sunday, July 4th

 Be ready to rock and roll by 5:30, 
when Rocktail will be performing 
in concert. The band specializes in 
classic rock and typically invites 
the audience to sing along with 
their favorite tunes.   Not to leave 
out the kids, at 8:00 p.m. there will 
be a showing of the movie “Shrek.”

Monday, July 5th

8:00 am Women’s Club

 Breakfast Essick House

 Sunnyside Ave &

 Sierra Madre Blvd.

10:00 Parade Begins

11:30 Memorial Park

 Community Picnic

 Food Booths


 Family Activities

12:00 Concert

 Night Blooming


Water Play Zone Guidelines

Sierra Vista Park is now the only 
designated water play zone (west 
side of the park on the grass lawn). 
The Sierra Madre Fire Department 
will be spraying water into Sierra 
Vista Park for children and families 
to play in. Only water/squirt guns 
will be permitted at the water play 
zone.   Absolutely no water balloons 
or use of water hoses will be 
tolerated at the water play zone or 
anywhere along the parade route.
Absolutely NO water will 
be allowed along the parade 
route.   Parking signage will 
exhibit a “No Water Zone” 
notice along Sierra Madre Blvd.

Electricity power the city’s water resources

Rate hike opponents solicit support in Kersting Court

Photo by C. Bertrand

Water main breaks such as the one pictured above are the result of aging 
pipes that need replacing. 

West Nile Virus Found 
In San Gabriel Valley

Officials at the San Gabriel Valley 
Musquito and Vector Control 
District that a dead crow found in 
Covina was infected with the West 
Nile Virus. Officials at the district 
sounded the alarm for residents to 
take the appropriate precautions, 
especially during this holiday 

 Precautions include wearing long 
pants and long sleeved tops and 
using musquito repellant.

 Residents are also cautioned against 
leaving standing water outdooes, a 
breeding ground for musquitos.

 West Nile virus (WNV) is a 
mosquito-borne disease that was 
found in the US in 1999, Every 
year there has been cases of WNV 
reported in California. To date, in 
Los Angeles County, there have been 
4 cases reported to date.

 For more information on WNV go 

New Water Tanker Makes Parade Debut

By Dean Lee

 After fighting fires for over 35 
years, the fire department has finally 
decided, this year, to retire their water 
tanker, replacing it with a brand 
one that will make its first public 
appearance in the Fourth of July day 
parade. Fire Marshal Richard Snyder 
said maintaining the old truck just got 
to be too much. 

 “Usually we go out on mutual aid 
assignments, to bushfires, and last year 
it got called out five or six times but 
we didn’t take it,” he said. “We didn’t 
take it because we didn’t think it was 
mechanically sound.” 

 Snyder said they drove the new 
tender down from Sacramento three 
weeks ago. 

 Along with the new water truck, 
the department also bought a new 
ambulance and one new fire engine. 
Snyder said they plan to take two older 
engines out of service, replacing them 
with just one. The new ambulance, he 
added, will also be in the parade on 
July 5.

 The cost of the truck was part of 
a large citywide capital spending 
program, he said ,which also included 
new public works vehicles. Snyder 
did not specify the price of individual 
vehicles, but said the city gets 
reimbursed on many assignments, “It 
will eventually pay for itself.” Finance 
Director Karen Schnaider, he said, 
oversaw the vehicle’s leasing.

 He added that the new truck is 
similar to the old one in technical 
specifications. Both hold 2,800 gallons 
of water and both can be used for 
applying Phos-Chek. The new truck 
has a stainless steel tank he said. Phos-
Chek is a non toxic fire retardant used 
to fight wildfires. 

 “Our water tanker was the only 
water tanker that is a mobile Phos-
Chek mixer,” he said, explaining that 
they made sure the new one was as 
well. “That is one of a kind.”

 Although, not yet in city service, the 
tuck has been at work the last week 
applying Phos-Chek along the San 
Gabriel Mountain foothills cities.

 Snyder, along with Pasadena Fire, 
spent all day Wednesday spraying 
Phos-Chek around the Rose Bowl in 
anticipation of this year’s Americafest, 
the largest fireworks show in Southern 

 “We have 8,000 pounds [of 
Phos-Chek] that we are spying as a 
preventive measure for the Four of 
July activities,” said Pasadena Fire 
Information Officer Lisa Derderian. 
“Not only are there thousands of 
people that attend the show at the 
bowl, but thousands that surround the 
Rose Bowl area as spectators.” 

 Snyder said they used the truck for 
the first time last weekend applying 
Phos-Chek at Chantry Flats. He also 
said the fire retardant is good until it 

Sierra Madre Fire Marshal Rich Snyder and new tanker.

Photo by Dean Lee




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MVNews this week:  Page 1

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