Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

Music News

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Public Safety:
Looking Up
Police Blotters

Education & Youth:

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

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

Legal Notices:

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

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
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin
Gregory J. Wellborn

Recent Issues:
Issue 29
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20
Issue 19

MVNews Archive:  Page 1



Water Rate Protest 
Campaign Fails

 City Issues Official Statement:

At the July 27th regular City Council 
meeting, the Sierra Madre City 
Council decided to defer any increase 
in city water rates, even though the 
majority protest that would have been 
required to prevent a rate increase was 
not achieved. During the meeting, 
Sierra Madre City Clerk Nancy 
Shollenberger stated that a total of 
1719 valid protests were received, 
compared to the required majority 
protest amount of 1847.

 Although the Council has the legal 
authority to increase water rates, the 
Council decided to defer any increase 
pending education, outreach and 
dialogue with the community. Mayor 
Joe Mosca stated, “It was clear that a 
significant number of community 
members had concerns with the 
current proposal.” 

 The City Council approved a 
community outreach plan designed 
to fully explain the current physical 
condition of the water system, 
its operating costs and financial 
obligations and future capital 
improvements needed to insure its the 
long-term viability. Just as important, 
the outreach plan will solicit input 
from the community regarding their 
thoughts, concerns and questions 
about the water system and rate 
increases. Mayor Mosca stated, “The 
City Council and I want to spend some 
time communicating the necessity of a 
rate increase, responding to questions, 
and explaining the importance of 
maintaining local control of our water 
system. Additionally, we want feedback 
from the entire community on what 
type of rate increase residents think is 
appropriate.” Later this fall, the City 
Council intends to discuss the pros 
and cons of increasing the water rates, 
taking into account the comments and 
feedback received during this outreach 

 The Council is reaching out to 
residents and business owners, asking 
them to read the literature that will 
soon be in their mailboxes, and to 
engage in the water rate dialog at 
either the upcoming “Walk and Talk” 
sessions at the Public Works Yard, or at 
one of three community presentations. 

Walk and Talk

• Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 
10:00 am at the Public Works Yard – 
621 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.

• Wednesday, September 29, 
2010 at 6:00 pm at the Public Works 
Yard – 621 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.

Community Presentations

• Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 
6:30 pm in the City Council Chambers 
– 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. (This 
presentation will be aired live and 
rebroadcasted on SMTV3 and the City 

• Wednesday, September 1, 
2010 at 12:30 pm at the Hart Park 
House Senior Center – 222 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd.

• Monday, September 13, 2010 
at 7:00 pm at the Youth Activity Center 
– 611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.

Tune into the City’s cable channel, 
SMTV3, or visit the City’s website for 
special water department broadcasts. 
A schedule of programming will be 
available soon on the City’s website. 


Community Groups, Homeowner 
Associations, or individuals interested 
in hosting a group presentation should 
contact Elisa Weaver, Director of 
Community & Personnel Services 
at 626-355-5278. Or, for additional 
information, please contact Sierra 
Madre City Hall at 626-355-7135. 

Longtime Sierra Madre Resident

Mary Tumilty Passes

On Wednesday July 28, 2010 Mary Tumilty 
passed away, two months shy of her 96th 
birthday. She lived in Sierra Madre for more 
than 59 years. 

 Mary served as the city’s Librarian from 1975 
- 1984.

 In a tribute by her sucessor, Toni Buckner, 
says, “She used these talents during and after 
her time as City Librarian to improve the Sierra 
Madre Public Library with three significant 
projects - the Jameson Sierra Madre Room 
which now houses the Sierra Madre Historical 
Archives (1982), the Dickenson Walkway 
(1983) and the Walt Wesley Computer Literacy 
Center (1986). She was honored as Citizen 
of the Year in 1982, chaired the Library’s 
Centennial in 1987 and appointed Friends 
of the Library Board Member Emeritus. The 
Mary Tumilty Endowment Fund, established 
by the Friends when she retired, has grown 
to more than $70,000 because of the many 
donations made in her honor.”

 At one point in her very busy life in Sierra 
Madre, she met the late Howard Whalen, a 
famous sculptor and all-around artist in town 
and a group of would-be thespians started The 
Studio Players, connecting both local and professional actors. She liked the theater enough to produce a play. The 
group went on to open a coffee house, called The Impromptu Owl, in the old adobe on Montecito.

 After Whalen’s death, Mary became manager of his sculpture garden in Sierra Madre, has served in that 
capacity for 25 years, helping to protect it from the elements and general destruction.

 Originally from Indiana, Mary to come to California with her family when she was 9 years old. She graduated 
from USC with majors in business and merchandising in the Deep Depression of 1936.

 In February, 2010, Mary was featured as one of Sierra Madre’s Outstanding Volunteers in the “Focus” series in 
this publication. (

 Mary’s daughter, Cynthia, lives in New York and Tuscany with her husband. They have a daughter, Adrienne, 
a very special granddaughter for Mary, who lives in Mumbai, India. Mary spoke to her grandmother just days 
before her passing. Cynthia was with Adrienne in Mumbai at the time of Mary’s passing.

 Mary was a very active member of the Church of the Ascension.

 In an email sent to friends by Cynthia from Mumbai, the family announced that there “will be a grand celebration 
for mom on her birthday, September 29, 2010, at 11am, in Sierra Madre -- a high mass with Father Michael 
Bamberger at Ascension Parish Church and a reception in the Parish Hall.” 

 Seems like Sierra Madre is becoming more 
like Monrovia – “their” bears seem to be moving 
our way and showing up in town more frequently, 
making them “our” bears. And the first response 
might be, “Awwww, isn’t that cute!?!?? 

 I just Love Bears.” 

 Until one starts ambling towards you, and you 
suddenly realize that – um, it’s a whole lot bigger 
than you, you can’t cuddle it the way you do your 
plush bear - and all your cooing and empathetic 
“Shooing” and “Hey, go away” doesn’t have any 
effect … and you dimly realize that you might 
have a bit of a problem, here … and then it’s 
vividly clear that this could be really dangerous to 
you, and any children in the area, not to mention 
other random passersby. What to do? Call 911, 
and remember the rules!

 There are rules for handling bears? Yep, and 
we all should know them from hearing / reading 
about Monrovia’s ongoing trials and tribulations. 

 #1. DO NOT FEED THE BEARS. In any way. 
At any time. Even accidentally. Keep fallen fruit off 
your yard. WAIT Until the Morning Your Trash 
is Picked Up Before Putting ANY Food Into Your 
Trash Bin. (I can hear you ask now, “But what do 
I do with leftovers between trash days?” Tuck a 
plastic bag in your fridge door, or freezer: store 
your leftovers there. It’s only a week.) Especially 
during hot, dry summers, bears and other wildlife 
head for the nearest water – which might be 
your (or your neighbor’s) fish or flower pond or 
fountain – and leftover food smells can invite bears 
to freely raid your poor unprotected trash can in 
the middle of the night – leaving you a big mess 
in the morning with the bear now knowing where 
food is. Trust me, you REALLY DON’T want to be 
the Bear Magnet in your neighborhood. 

 FYI: Here are the relevant California Fish and 
Game codes governing wild animal feeding:

“251.3. Prohibition Against Feeding Big Game 
Mammals. No person shall knowingly feed big 
game mammals, as defined in Section 350 of these 

“§350. Big Game Defined. “Big game” means the 
following: deer (genus Odocoileus), elk (genus 
Cervus), pronghorn antelope (genus Antilocarpa), 
wild pig (feral pigs, European wild pigs and their 
hybrids [genus Sus]), black bear (genus Ursus) and 
Nelson bighorn sheep (subspecies Ovis canadensis 
nelsoni) in the areas described in subsection 
4902(b) of the Fish and Game Code.” (Our area is 
in there …)

generally like peace and quiet – with enough time 
they’ll just wander elsewhere. However, if one 
wanders (trespasses) into your yard – it needs to 
learn in no uncertain terms that your yard is your 
territory. From a very safe distance, make sudden, 
loud sharp noises (clang pot lids), make sharp 
motions (big broad arm movements), your own 
very clear emotional dominance “NO!” may help 
– but that’s dangerous for you. So before it reaches 
the point where you’ve sufficiently annoyed the 
bear that it starts charging you – and you are faced 
with the two non-workable solutions of 1) drop/
curl into a ball so there’s less surface for the bear to 
whack around or chaw on, or 2) run away – useless 
since the bear runs and climbs faster than you do, 
and confirms you’re the scaredy cat (which he’s 
already smelling) …

DEPARTMENT. 911. That’s the safest way to get 
a bear out of your area. Our SMPD officers’ job is 
to ensure the bear safely leaves the area, and that 
people in the area are not endangered. If, in their 
judgment, our officers think someone is in danger, 
they have approved ways of encouraging the bear 
to go elsewhere, including using a really great tool 
that depoys bean bags at the bear, whacking it 
sufficiently smartly upside the head – or neck – 
or chest until it decides to amble (or run) away. 
And then they wait to make sure the bear really 
has left. Help our officers help you. And, please 
remember, a Fed Bear can become a Dead Bear if 
it becomes a nuisance, so …



This young bear, named ‘Blaze’ by local 
residents, was photographed while resting in a 
tree a few years ago. MVNews File Photo

When David Pedroza took up the plumbing trade while in 
the Navy, he thought that it would be a good trade for the 
rest of his life and apparently he was right. He and a co-
worker, Marc VanCleave decided to take the helm of GEM 
Plumbing, a local company that has been serving residents 
since 1949. In 1995 they purchased the business from their 
employer, one of whom is well 
known Sierra Madre Veteran 
Gordon Caldwell. Dave and 
Marc continued to carry on 
the company’s commitment 
to excellent service, reliability 
and outstanding customer 
service, values that has kept 
the company vital for over 60 

Their expertise with both 
old and new techniques and 
technology is applied to a 
satisfied and growing base of 
residential and commercial 
customers within a ten-mile 
radius of their Sierra Madre 
headquarters. As full-service 
PHCC (Plumbing, Heating 
and Cooling Contractors), 
they are equipped and 
experienced to handle the 
repair, installation and 
servicing for plumbing and air 
conditioning, from installing 
faucets and complete copper 
re-piping to servicing and replacing septic tanks. One of 
their most challenging jobs required a crane to lower their 
plumbers into the ground to replace a well pump located 
thirty-five feet below the surface.

Lead free faucets and a new generation of plumbing 
technology to conserve energy and water are included in their 
line up. They’ve gone “green” with an offering of tankless 
water heaters and hot water circulation pumps. The first 
is pilotless and only burns gas 
when used, the latter is a water 
saving device that provides hot 
water at any faucet in the house.

Special promotions are scheduled 
twice a year, air conditioning in 
April, and As the beginning of 
fall approaches, October specials 
on hot water heaters.

Staffed by family members and 
long-term employees, Gem 
Plumbing is actively involved 
in the community. You will 
see their name as sponsors 
in numerous local activities, 
including participation in the 
Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club and 
as volunteers during the annual 
Wisteria Festival.

 GEM is definitely a company 
that provides old-fashioned 
service with a smile. One of their 
thirteen employees is readily 
available from 7am to 4:30pm, 
Monday thru Friday. Emergency 
services are available afterhours 
and on weekends. Gem Plumbing, Inc. 140 E. Montecito 
Sierra Madre (626) 355-3496

Sierra Madre’s GEM Plumbing – Today’s Tasks with Yesterday’s Passion By LaQuetta Shamblee

Owners Marc Van Cleave (l) and Dave Pedroza make time 
in their busy schedules to support the community.

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