Spring forward this Sunday!

Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Map: Sierra Madre mud and debris flow
News and info about
Sierra Madre mud
and debris flow

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

2011 Wistaria Festival:

Sierra Madre:
Rich Johnson

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:
Hall Pass

More News:
Newspaper Fun!

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Arts & Entertainment:
Music News
Jeff's Pics
Sean's Shameless Reviews

Legal Notices:

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

The World Around Us:
On Line
Looking Up
Ask jai …
Happy Tails
… This and That

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Homes & Property:
One of a Kind

On the Course

F. Y. I. :

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

Recent Issues:
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 4:
Issue 51

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1




 The Sierra Madre Wistaria vine was 
planted in 1894 by Alice Brugman, who 
purchased a one-gallon plant from a 
nursery in Monrovia for 75 cents. The 
vine grew to a point where it destroyed 
the original home on the property, 
growing into the walls and fireplace 
and causing the roof to collapse. At its 
peak, the vine covered more than an 
acre of ground, was estimated to have 
weighed 250 tons, and featured more 
than 1.5 luxuriant lavender blossoms. 
It has been certified by the Guinness 
Book of World records as the world’s 
largest blossoming plant. Each March, 
the City of Sierra Madre celebrates the 
vine by holding a downtown festival, 
and the vine owners, Nell and Bob Solt 
and Tony Held, graciously open their 
property to allow tours of the vine in 

 Sierra Madre’s Wistaria Festival will 
take place this year on Sunday, March 
20th. The downtown festival, presented 
by the Sierra Madre Chamber of 
Commerce and featuring more than 
150 artists, crafters and food vendors 
will be from 9am to 5pm, and tours of 
the 117-year old Wistaria Vine will take 
place from 9am to 4pm. Viewing the 
117-year old vine, which is on private 
property, is free of charge, however, 
folks who would like to take advantage 
of the old-time California Trolley 
shuttles to get from the downtown 
festival up the hill to the vine are 
asked to reserve their seats by ordering 
tickets in advance at the Chamber’s 
website www.WistariaTickets.com. 
Presale tickets are $10, with senior and 
child discounted tickets at $7. Readers 
of this paper can save $1 off the regular 
priced tickets by entering the code 
MVN01 when ordering their tickets. 
Day of event tickets will be $12, so 
order your tickets online now and save 
some money!

Fifteen musical acts will perform at 
five outdoor venues during the course 
of the day, with the grand finale taking 
place from 4:45 to 6pm at Memorial 
Park, where all of the day’s artists will 
be invited to participate in an “All-Star 
Jam” to close out the festivities. For 
a schedule of entertainers, with links 
to samples of some of the musician’s 
work, visit the Festival website at www.

Also in Memorial Park will be kids’ 
attractions and a food court. 

 Downtown restaurants and shops will 
also be open all day long to serve you. 

 General information about the vine 
and the festival can be found online 
by visiting www.WistariaFestival.com, 
or contact the Chamber at (626) 355-


Fountain Square 
West Interest in 
Skilled Nursing

Center by Bill Coburn

Billy Shields, Executive Director 
for Fountain Square Development 
West began his presentation 
by reiterating what City Manager 
Elaine Aguilar had stated in introducing 
the Agenda item at 
tonight’s City Council meeting, 
that no plan has been presented 
to the City for the property at the 
site of the former Skilled Nursing 
Facility. No formal application 
has been submitted. His purpose 
this evening was to present to the 
community what his firm is in 
the very preliminary stages of exploring. 
The idea being that as he 
later stated, the company would 
meet with neighbors, particularly 
the neighbors in back of the site, 
and could incorporate their ideas 
into the plan. He emphasized 
that the designs he was presenting 
this evening were because 
they had to start somewhere, but 
the company doesn’t have to stick 
with what they’ve put together 
and was very open to suggestions 
and feedback from the City and 
the community.

He then showed a series of slides 
that would seem to indicate that a 
fair amount of work has gone into 
the “very preliminary” design 
they are considering.

According to Shields, the plan is 
to create an assisted living community 
that would have about 
ninety residents and a staff of 
about twenty-five. A fully licensed 
facility with nurses on 
duty 24 hours a day. He added 
that the average anticipated age of 
the residents of the facility would 
be about 83 years old. I believe he 
said that about 40% of the facility 
would be designed to accommodate 
residents with Alzheimer’s or 
other forms of dementia.

Fountain West Development’s design 
calls for lowering the grade 
about three feet, meaning, he said, 
that the new building maximum 
height would be about nine feet 
higher than the existing building. 
Most of the building would sit on 
the same footprint as the current 
structure, with an addition on 
the west end of the building. The 
driveway to the parking lot would 
be located about five feet from 
where it currently sits. 

The design as presented calls 
for 23 “Neighbor Units” each of 
which will have multiple suites 
consisting of a bedroom and siting 
area. Each unit will have a 
kitchenette with a fridge and a 
sink, but no cooking area. 

According to Shields, the company’s 
next step is to contact 
neighbors and meet with as many 
as they can. Concurrently they 
will begin the process of making 
a formal application to the City, 
noting that the time needed to 
complete such a process would 
be many months and that there 
would be ample time to meet with 
the neighbors and synthesize 
their input. Not sure if synthesize 
is the right word, the audio was 
really bad in Council Chambers 
tonight, and I may not have heard 
that right.

Mr. Shields invited the community 
to contact him with questions 
or input, giving his direct phone 
number as (858) 748-0201.

Contestants (L to R) Chang, Estes, Little and Bruer stand with Rotary President, Cathy Hundshamer, and 
Contest Emcee, Rudy Hayek. Photo by Chris Bertrand

High school seniors performed in 
Rotary’s Dan Stover Music Competition 
on Thursday evening, March 11 at La 
Salle High School in Pasadena. The 
top club winner from Sierra Madre 
will go on to regional competition. 
The winners of the four regional 
competitions, to be held by May 1, 
will compete for the final prize of up 
to $5,000 to be awarded to the District 
Champion which will be held Saturday, 
June 11 at the La Jolla Marriott Hotel 
in La Jolla.

First place was awarded to cellist, 
Morgan Little, a student at Los Angeles 
County High School for the Arts 
(LACHSA), who performed Bach 
and La Lo. Little is hoping to attend 
Baltimore’s Peabody Institute or The 
Manhattan School of Music next year. 

Second place also went to an LACHSA 
student, violinist Patrice Chang, who 
performed Kreisler compositions. 
Chang hopes to attend UCLA in the 
fall. Third place winner, Lauren Bruer, 
a guitarist, played a combination of 
classical and Chet Atkins. Fourth place 
Daniel Estes, a French horn player, 
performed Ravel. Both third and 
fourth place recipients attend La Salle 
High School. 

The competition was named for 
educator and musician, Dan Stover, 
who played his “Rotary organ” for 
club members in Alhambra until his 
passing in 1987. The contest was first 
established in Alhambra in 1988, and 
then graduated to a Rotary District 
5300 event. Since then, a generation 
of talented young musicians has 
competed against their peers for funds 
to apply to their musical education. For 
more information on the contest, visit 


A Celebration @ the Park

Everyone is invited to drop by 
Memorial Park, 222 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., on Friday, March 25, from 5:30 
p.m.-7:30 p.m. to enjoy authentic 
Japanese food and festivities at “Sierra 
Madre Japanese Cultural Night.” 

At 5:30 p.m. the evening’s activities 
will kick off with a Sumo wrestling 
demonstration by the Centurian Sumo 
Club. Sports fans will enjoy meeting 
and chatting with Troy Collins, 
former U.S. National Sumo Wrestling 
Champion, who will be attending the 

 Following the wrestling demonstration, 
Soma Nomaoi (Samurai Warriors) 
in historic garb will take center stage, 
recreating an authentic Samurai battle 

 At 6:00 p.m., Sierra Madre Mayor 
Joe Mosca will formally welcome the 
event’s special guests, the Honorable 
Junichi Ihara, Consul General of 
Japan in Los Angeles, Consul Shuichi 
Matsumoto, Mr. Satoshi Ichikawa and 
Mr. Hiroyuki Kimura of Tokyo City 
Keiba from Japan.

 At 6:30 p.m., a stirring 45-minute 
performance of classical Japanese 
Taiko drumming by the acclaimed 
Hiroyuki Hayashida Taiko Trio will 
round out the evening’s activities. 

Performance times are approximate. For 
more information please call 626-355-7186. 
This event is sponsored by Tokyo City Keiba 
(TCK), Yakult USA, Santa Anita Park, and 
U.S. Equine, Inc.

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