Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

Halloween Happenings:
Music News

Sierra Madre:
Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Police Blotter

Education & Youth:

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
The Chef Knows

Legal Notices:

Left/Right … Opinion:
My Turn
Stuart Tolchin On …
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

The World Around You:
On Line
Looking Up
Ask jai …
Rich Johnson
… This and That

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Home & Property … Sports:
One of a Kind
On the Course

F. Y. I. :

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

Recent Issues:
Issue 42
Issue 41
Issue 40
Issue 39
Issue 38
Issue 37
Issue 36
Issue 35
Issue 34
Issue 33
Issue 32

MVNews Archive:  Page 1





 Sierra Madre’s Annual Halloween Costume Contest 
proved to be a challenging task for this year’s children. 
Over a hundred children, ranging in age from a few months 
to their teens adorned their favorite Halloween costume 
and marched through the city to Memorial Park. There, 
with encouragement from MC extraordinaire Lisa Spagai-
Perez, judges were given the task of awarded prizes for the 
best costumes in five categories. The judges, Children’s 
Librarian Meegan Tosh; Mayor Joe Mosca; Mrs. Shirley 
Anhalt; Kiwanis 
President Susan 
Henderson and 
Costume Contest 
Chairperson and 
Kiwanis Treasurer 
Pat Birdsall, all 
admitted that 
choosing the ‘best’ 
from so many 
great costumes 
was difficult. 
“They’re all so 
adorable”, said one 

 The event is 
annually by 
the City of 
Sierra Madre in 
conjunction with 
the Sierra Madre 
Kiwanis Club and 
the Sierra Madre 
Chamber of 
Commerce. The 
Chamber assists with the downtown merchants 
participation in the Window Painting and Trick of 
Treating during the parade.

 Winners for this year’s contest were:

Age Group 0-2 Years: Rebecca Fromer, Olivia 
Moran, Ava Jane Damery, and Tessa Moran 
(pictured top left); 

Age Group 3-4 Years: Sophia Garcia,Norah Nuss, 
Payton Thomas, and Sophia Astacaan; Age Group 
5-7 Years: Kellar Black, Johan Thuen, and Grace 
Elias; Age group 8-10 Years - center picture: Aaden 
Corona, Kate Salempier and Danny Comer; Age 
Group 11 and up: Ryan Adams, Daniel Netz 
and Ashford Milne. Each winner received a gift 
certificate from Vroman’s Bookstore, courtesy of 
the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club. Right: Revelers 
parading down Sierra Madre Blvd. on their way to 
the contest.

Photos by Dean Lee/MV News

City Issues First Alert of 2010 
Fall-Winter Season


On Friday, the City of Sierra Madre 
issued a Green Flag Alert for mudslides 
and debris flows in the hillside 
communities. This was the result of 
the National Weather Service forecast 
of rain for Friday Night and Saturday. 
This was the first such alert of the fall/
winter season.

A Green Flag Alert is issued when 
there is an 80% chance or more of 
precipitation. Affected residents should 
get ready for potential evacuation and 
keep close watch on weather forecasts. 
This includes residents of the Upper 
and Lower Canyon as well as any 
resident whose property abuts the 


Background on the Flag Alert System 

 Due to the Santa Anita fire in April 
of 2008, the hillsides where stripped 
of much of the vegetation causing 
the potential for mud and debris 
flows to enter residential areas. The 
City of Sierra Madre has developed a 
three-color flag alert system as part 
of its ‘Ready for Seven’ emergency 
preparedness program.


 A series of three different colored 
flags will be flown at four different 
locations in the City (City Hall, 
Search and Rescue Station, Mountain 
Trail at Churchill Road, and Mary’s 
Market). When possible, flags will 
be displayed indicating one of three 
stages of emergency. Be sure to check 
the website, email alerts, SMTV3, 
AM 1630, or simply call City Hall or 
the Police Department to confirm the 
current stage of emergency and please 
understand the City may not always 
have the ability to change these flags 
the moment conditions or forecasts 


 The City has identified a number of 
streets that will need to be clear of 
all vehicles during a Yellow Flag or 
Red Flag alert. The affected streets 
are: Mount Wilson Trail, Churchill 
Rd., Skyland Dr., Fern Glen, Fern 
Dr., Idlehour Ln., Canyon Crest Dr., 
Orange Dr., Woodland Dr., Brookside 
Lane, Sunnyside Lane, and Yucca 
Trail. The Yellow and Red Flag Alerts 
will trigger vehicles being towed from 
these streets at the owners’ expense

 Stage One: GREEN FLAG - Activated 
under a prediction of 80% - 100% 
chance of precipitation. Affected 
residents should get “READY” for 
potential evacuation. This includes 
keeping a close watch on weather 


Stage Two: YELLOW FLAG - Stage 
Two yellow flag is activated with an LA 
County Phase 1 mudflow forecast, or 
deemed consistent with the County’s 
forecast thresholds. This is described 
as small, isolated debris and mudflows 
possible at specific locations. Affected 
residents should get “SET” to leave 
their homes and may choose to 
voluntarily evacuate. Please note that 
all vehicles must be off the streets in 
potential mudflow areas during Yellow 
Flag alerts.


Stage Three: RED FLAG - Activated 
with an LA County Phase 2 or 3 forecast. 
Phase 2 includes moderate debris 
and mudflows at more widespread 
locations. Phase 3 - the potential exists 
for significant debris and mudflows 
to be widespread. Affected residents 
should “GO”, meaning they should 
immediately evacuate, and vehicles 
should not be parked on the streets.


When evacuating, please plan to 
be as self-sufficient as possible with 
important paperwork, medications, 
and clothing for at least seven days. 
It is important anticipate a possible 
evacuation order, and make plans for 
your pets in advance. 


Please note that Public Safety Officials 
do not take evacuation orders lightly 
and residents should heed these orders. 
Once mud begins to flow, Emergency 
Responders will NOT rescue those 
who failed to evacuate until the mud 
has stopped flowing and it is safe for 
responders to enter the mud flow areas.

For more information about mudslide 
and debris flow preparations, please 
visit http://www.cityofsierramadre.
com/ and click “Emergency 
Preparedness Information” and on the 
home page. 

 Updates will also be issued on SMTV3 
(Time Warner-channel 3), Sierra 
Madre Community Radio (AM 1630), 
and the City’s Emergency Blog http://


The Public is invited to the annual 
Veteran’s Day ceremony to be held 
at Hart Memorial Park in Sierra 
Madre on Saturday, November 13, 
2010 at 11:00 am at the Veteran’s 

 Although Veteran’s Day will be 
officially celebrated on November 
11th, the ceremony will be held on 
Saturday. VFW Commander David 
Loera will officiate and Sierra Madre 
Police Chief Marilyn Diaz will be 
the guest speaker.

 Autumn’s briskness in the 
air rouses thoughts of aromatic 
candles burning in the night and 
the glow of jubilant orange hand-
carved lanterns resting on the 
porches, driveways and lawns of 
Sierra Madre residences. It is at this 
time of the year I look forward to 
seeing the Parker family and their 
gorgeous homegrown, carved 
immense pumpkins. Last year I 
eagerly attempted to grow my own 
gigantic pumpkins. The vines I grew 
were quite lovely and impressive. 
I tended to them daily, watering, 
trimming and treating them with 
anti-fungal spray. Most of my 
pumpkins grew to be softball size 
then rotted and died. By the time 
Halloween 2009 arrived, I had been 
on the emotional roller coaster of 
pumpkin growing way too many 
times. My entire harvest was a 10 
lb pumpkin. This experience gave 
me even more reasons to appreciate 
that Doug and Heather Parker 
reside in Sierra Madre; sharing 
with the community not only their 
zest for gigantic pumpkins and 
Halloween but their extraordinary 
hospitality. I went to visit the 
Parker’s on Saturday, October 
23,2010 which happened to be 
“Pumpkin Moving Day”. This year 
they managed to harvest a crop of 
35 pumpkins, despite the fact that 
the neighborhood deer decided to 
add pumpkin to their diet.

This year’s grandest pumpkin 
weighs 650 pounds which is about 
60 pounds lighter than their largest 
pumpkin ever grown .The Parker’s 
have a special pumpkin cart and 
pumpkin tarp that Doug Parker 
made himself. These tools enable 
him along with the participation 
of neighbors, friends and family 
to move the enormous pumpkins 
from their backyard to the front 
yard for carving and display. 
They grow a variety of pumpkins 
such as, Big Max, Atlantic Giants 
and the Cinderella type, which 
is also known as the Rouge Vif 
d’Estampes. This year they 
discovered a hybrid pumpkin 
in their crop. The hybridization 
surprised them because they 
meticulously plant each variety 
of pumpkin in it’s own section of 
the garden. It seems that strong 
willed pumpkin vines cannot be 
deterred from cross-breeding.

 The Parker’s moved to their 
Alegria street home in 1988. 
Heather Parker had had her 
eye on the enchanting bungalow 
house with the large front yard 
on Alegria. When it went on 
the market, the Parkers quickly 
purchased it.

 When Heather was growing up, 
she experienced fun Halloween 
traditions with her family. These 
traditions left a strong impression 
on her. Her mother enjoyed 
Halloween and the family would 
open their home as a haunted 
house. Heather and her siblings, 
Chris and Peggy would give tours 
and her mother would serve 
cider. Heather wanted to keep her 
mother’s tradition of serving hot 
cider to trick or treaters.

 During the first years of living 
on Alegria, the Parker’s Halloween 
decorations included store bought 
pumpkins. At this time, they did 
not have a front porch. They would 
drape part of their living room off 
and invite trick or treaters inside 
for treats and cider. In 1998 Doug 
haphazardly discarded the remains 
of store bought pumpkins in his 
back yard. Mutant pumpkins grew 
from these remains. 

 In 1999, after doing research 
and talking to growers, he decided 
to make a real effort at growing 
large pumpkins. Since then it has 
been an on-going science project 
in which Doug has experimented 
with soil ph and optimal watering 
systems and optimal location for 
each pumpkin type to grow.

 The whole project starts in 
May when the seeds are first 
warmed and then placed into 
small biodegradable pots. The 
culmination is Halloween 
evening when Doug and Chris 
Roberts, (Heather’s brother) 
have completed all the pumpkin 
carving. The sculpting of these 
giants takes 4-5 days of constant 
carving and construction. Chris 
flies in from North Carolina to 
assist the Parkers in the final leg of 
their annual project. While Doug 
creates functional objects, such as 
fountains or tiffany lamps out of the 
pumpkins, Chris uses his talented 
hand to sculpt unusual characters 
and unique faces. The combination 
of their skills in working with 
giant pumpkins guarantees the 
Halloween visitor a resplendent 
visual treat.

 So when the Parker family lights 
their gorgeous lantern pumpkins, 
warms their cider and prepares to 
distribute one hundred pounds of 
candy grab your pillow case and go 
trick or treat. 

Parker’s Pumpkins 

Story and Photo by Lina Johnson

Inside This Week...




 Page 4



 Page 6

Chris Roberts carving his 3rd pumpkin on the first carving day. 


Education & Youth Page 7

Good Food & Drink Page 8

 Peter Dills....Table For Two

Legals Page 9

Opinion Page 10

The World Around Us Page 11

The Good Life Page 12

Homes & Property Page 13

SPORTS Page 14 

 Bobby Eldridge - On The Course

 Betty Cleveland - No. 1 Tennis Player 

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