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Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

Music News
Volunteer Opportunities

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Public Safety:
Looking Up
Police Blotters
Hot Weather Tips

Education & Youth:
The Funnies

Good Food & Drink:
On Line
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
Ask jai …

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Legal Notices:

Hail Hamilton
Stuart Tolchin On …
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn
The Funnies

Home & Property:
One of a Kind

F. Y. I. :

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

Recent Issues:
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18
Issue 17

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

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Beating The HEAT

“It’s Complicated”

Opponents of water rate increase turn in over 
1,829 ‘Statements of “Protest’ By Susan Henderson

After a lengthy public comment 
period regarding the proposed water 
rate increase, Mayor Pro Tem John 
Buchanan summed up the situation 
with two words, “It’s Complicated”. 
He went on to say, “This isn’t going to 
get better with age”.

 His reference was in response to all of 
the comments that the council heard 
on both sides of the issue regarding 
the fee hike and the process that state 
Proposition 218 prescribed for formal 

 State Law says that if citizens submit 
letters of protest representing 50% 
plus 1 of the city’s water rate payers, 
the council cannot go forward with 
the proposed rate hike. According 
to information recieved from the 
City Manager at Tuesday’s council 
meeting, number of signatures needed 
would be 1,848.

 Sierra Madre City Clerk Nancy 
Schollenberger confirmed that 1,829 
signatures had been turned in and that 
another 112 protest letters had been 
brought to the council meeting. If all 
of those signatures are valid, the city 
will have to start the process all over 
again, or come up with an alternative 
to a fee hike.

 Although Schollenberger confirmed 
the number of documents she had 
received, she acknowledged it would 
be at least five days before all of the 
signatures could be verified. The law 
states that only ‘rate payers’ have the 
right to protest.

 During the hearing, which was 
conducted very orderly by Mayor Joe 
Mosca, opponents and supporters of 
the increase addressed the council 
with their concerns. 

 The primary issue for those who 
opposed the fee hike was the size of 
the increase. Since recommendations 
had been made as far back as 2003 
regarding raising rates sufficiently 
so that the Water Division would 
remain ‘in the black’, many residents 
felt that the fee hike should have been 
expected. Others felt that the current 
request was too large an increase for 
the five year period. The proposed 
increase averages out to be less than 
$9.00 per month. 

 While some felt as though the process 
by which the city notified residents of 
the increase was not adequate. There 
were also residents who are in favor 
of the increase that felt that signature 
gatherers for the protest violated the 
process by distributing confusing 

 Resident Tom Love, who is also the 
city’s representative on the San Gabriel 
Valley Municipal Water District, 
supports the increase and reminded 
those in attendance that the state’s 
number one utility expense is because 
of the power that is required to move 
water throughout the state. He also 
noted that since Sierra Madre is in the 
foothills that process is expensive.

 Bill Coburn, Executive Director 
of the Sierra Madre Chamber of 
Commerce, noted that he was not 
speaking on behalf of the Chamber 
which had not taken a position on the 
matter, but was speaking on behalf of 
the business owners he had discussed 
the fee hike with. He indicated that 
all but one opposed the hike, citing 
examples of beauty salons, coffee 
shops and E. Waldo Ward that use a 
lot of water in order to operate.

 Allegations were levied against the 
council and city staff by opponents 
of the fee hike that suggested the 
city had been using water funds for 
the expenses of other departments. 
However, Mayor Mosca noted that 
“It is illegal to co-mingle funds” and 
that the audits are proof that no such 
practices exist in the city.

 The hearing concluded with staff 
being directed to work with the 
City Clerk in validating the protests 
and report back at the next council 
meeting. If there are sufficient 
signatures, then the City will research 
other alternatives to the fee hike as 
proposed. If there are not enough 
signatures, the city shall proceed 
with the reading of the Ordinance for 

With temperatures soaring and humidity rising, the ‘coolest’ place in town was, without question, the city’s 
municipal swimming pool. Members of the Sierra Madre Swim Team, Ages 9-12, (above) enjoy the cool waters 
as they practice their ‘moves’. Photo by S. Henderson/MVNews

Sierra Madre Honors Lew Watanabe

Photo and Story by Chris 

The Sierra Madre City Council 
recognized the volunteer 
efforts of Lew Watanabe at its 
Council meeting on Tuesday, 
July 13. Mayor Joe Mosca read 
the proclamation to those 
assembled in the city council 
chambers and those watching 
on channel 3.

Watanabe, who just moved 
out of the community to his 
ranch in Wildomar, after 
living here for over 45 years, 
volunteered with the Civic 
Club, Cub and Boy Scouts, 
created and donated sculptures 
for meditation and reflection in 
the city.

Watanabe was something of a 
celebrity for his custom garden 
and stone work across Los 
Angeles, known especially for 
his water wall sculptures. He 
is one of the featured artists 
in Malibu’s sculpture art 
show during July and August. 
The event’s website offers 
more information at www. 

A dedicated worker for landscape improvements and planting projects of all kinds in Sierra Madre, Watanabe’s 
designs include the setting of local plants, boulders, and 
a stream bed at the Richardson House, the Kiosk at the 
Pioneer Cemetery, the Memorial Garden at the Gooden 
School, and the landscaping around the City entrance at the 
west end of Sierra Madre Boulevard. 

He brought years of professional experience to his service 
as chairman of the City’s Tree Preservation Committee. 
A tireless supporter of many local nonprofit activities, 
Watanabe was honored in 1996 as Sierra Madre’s Citizen 
of the Year for his efforts in enhancing and supporting the 

The City had another opportunity to thank Watanabe after 
he suffered serious injury in a fall in 2003; Sierra Madreans 
enthusiastically rallied around their generous friend to help 
with his recovery.

Sierra Madre, CA On Thursday, 
July 22, Taste of Sierra Madre 
volunteers will hold a workshop at 
the Youth Activity Center (YAC) 
to help children brainstorm and 
“flesh out” their creative ideas for 
the event’s art and essay contests, 
which close July 30.

Art and writing professionals will 
explore ideas within this year’s 
theme, “Children’s smiles around 
the world.” The one hour workshops 
will help students brainstorm for 
ideas on preparing an entry to the 
Taste of Sierra Madre’s art and essay 
contests due on or before July 30. 
The workshop is intended to help 
get the creative juices going for 
student’s entries. Children should 
bring a pencil and a pad of paper.

The workshop is free but you 
must RSVP to Workshop@dgrp.
com. Rules and entry forms 
can be downloaded at www. For 
more information, contact Moira 
Love, art chair for “A Taste of Sierra 
Madre” at 626-836-9266.

Student entries are welcome 
from k-12 students residing in or 
attending school in Sierra Madre 
or at Pasadena and La Salle High 
Schools. K-4th grade workshop will 
be from 12:30-1:30; 5th-8th graders 
should plan to attend from 1:30-
2:30 on the second floor of the 
YAC. The Youth Activity Center 
is located at 611 E. Sierra Madre 
Boulevard, Sierra Madre.

Links to Art and Essay Application and 
Rules Forms:

FREE Art and Essay Contest Workshop 
July 22 for k-8 Students For 

A Taste of Sierra Madre

Art Chairperson Moira Love hangs some of artwork submitted.

Mayor Mosca presents Lew Watanabe with a Resolution from the city.

Grand Marshall Watanabe at the July 4th Parade

Read The Paper Online At:

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