Don't Forget: Sierra Madre Civic Club Annual Salad Luncheon and Chinese Auction Next Saturday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m at the La Salle High School Auditorium

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Sierra Madre:
Rich Johnson
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:
Hall Pass

Good Food & Drink:
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Table for Two

Arts & Entertainment:
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Opinion … Left/Right:
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The World Around Us:
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Happy Tails
… This and That

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Homes & Property:
One of a Kind

On the Course

F. Y. I. :

Meaghan Allen
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

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Don’t Forget: 

Sierra Madre Civic Club Annual Salad Luncheon and Chinese Auction 

Next Saturday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m at the La Salle High School Auditorium 



Who’s At YOUR Door? 

City of Sierra Madre Residents Warned about 
Utility Imposters


Auction Raises over $60k for Sierra Madre School’s Annual Fund

Photos and Story By Chris Bertrand

Despite the persistent rain, a happy 
throng dressed to the nines attended 
the tenth annual Sierra Madre School 
Auction on Saturday, March 26. 
Parents, SME staffers, city council 
members, Rotary Club sponsors and 
other community supporters set their 
sights on an evening of fun for a cause, 
with their checkbooks open. The event 
was held once again at La Salle High 
School in Pasadena. 

 Thanks to a well organized committee 
headed by three-time Auction chair, 
Lisa Brault, the event ran like clockwork, 
especially the bar coded silent auction 
bidding, which smoothed the checkout 
and validation process of the bid 
winners of more than 200 baskets of 
beautifully wrapped and coordinated 
auction items.

 Brault says she couldn’t have done 
it without help from Julie Flad, all-
around auction volunteer, Mimi Young 
(baskets), Yolanda Willits (classroom 
art and table centerpieces made by the 
classrooms), Lynne Levin-Guzman 
(Procurement), Denny Barry (DJ) and 
Live Auctioneer, Al Nocita, former 
PTA president who has been involved 
with the school auction since its first 
year, plus a cast of, if not thousands… 
hundreds of volunteers and donors.

She reflected, “What sets our school 
above the rest is the parent involvement 
and the commitment, within the school 
and within the community, to do what 
it takes to make a difference and give 
our children the amazing education 
that they deserve. Our tremendous 
staff, from our wonderful principal 
to the custodian, truly care about our 
school and our kids. It is what inspires 
our parents to do their part.

 Each classroom had a theme such as 
cooking, gardening, reading, family 
night out, and parents donated most 
of the items that filled up the 200+ 
baskets, according to Brault. Teachers 
also pitched in with lunches and outings 
with students from ice cream to 
rock climbing. 

 Volunteer parents worked with 
students in each classroom to create 
twenty four art vases, one from each 
classroom in the lower campus. 
One dad chuckled, saying “I’ve been 
told I HAVE to go home with my 
daughter’s class vase.”

 With so much to choose from, 
there was something for everyone’s 
taste. Restaurant and business gift 
certificates lined the walls. An art 
display was set up outside, including 
a stunning handcrafted tile featuring 
the front view of Sierra Madre 
School. In the live auction, high bids 
for a San Diego trip went for $1500, and 
an oil painting of the school’s Spotlight 
Awards went for $2000.

 Auction items often get quite creative. 
One item recurs each year. Twelve 
successful parent bidders will form a 
team to play a softball game against the 
teachers, to be held June 4 at Heasley 
Field. Another popular bidding favorite 
was Movie Night at School, complete 
with sleeping bags, popcorn and ice 
cream, planned for September. 

 Principal Gayle Bluemel, who just 
days before announced her retirement 
at the end of the school year said the 
proceeds of the auction will “contribute 
toward maintaining and improving the 
excellent programs that we have come 
to expect at our own Sierra Madre 
School…We are so proud of our theme, 
“Making a Difference”, because it aptly 
describes the tremendous effort we have 
seen this year in so many ways, from all 
members of our school community... 
parents, grandparents, friends, staff, 
students, alumni, faculty, school 
district representatives and community 

 Brault reflected the sentiment shared 
by many parents, on the one somber 
element to the evening. “This auction 
is bitter-sweet as it is the last with our 
beloved principal, Gayle Bluemel, at the 
helm. But I feel privileged that I have 
been able to work with her closely for 
the past three years, and I know we will 
be fine continuing on in the path she 
has put in place for us and led us down.”

Of Bluemel’s retirement, PTA President, 
Melissa Castillo Moore said, “My 
sadness is for our loss of a truly 
remarkable Administrator who has not 
only upheld the highest of standards for 
excellence at our school but also found a 
way to interweave the arts into the fabric 
of our school culture. I also celebrate 
with her the myriad of possibilities she 
has ahead of her as she enters the next 
phase of her abundantly full life. 

 After 38 years with Pasadena Unified 
School District, Bluemel said, simply, “It 
was time,” and smiled at her husband.

“In the first nine years of the auction, we 
raised half a million dollars,” says Brault, 
“which goes directly into our Annual 
Fund. Last year, it enabled our school to 
continue to fund staff training, science 
and technology programs, health 
and safety services, performing and 
visual arts education and many more 
programs that would otherwise have 
been eliminated. This year’s money will 
similarly fund those programs based 
on the priorities designated by our 
principal and School Site Council.”

Burglars have recently posed as utility 
workers to gain entry into homes 
in the Sierra Madre, Arcadia, and East 
Pasadena areas. Sierra Madre residents 
should be mindful of persons trying to 
gain access to their homes by posing as 
utility workers. Utility imposters may 
carry official looking credentials and 
often work in pairs. The latest scam 
involved a man claiming to be a Water 
Department employee investigating 
water pressure. The imposters gained 
access to a home by asking the resident 
for permission to check faucets for low 

Tips to protect you and your family 
from scam artist posing as utility 

· Do not open the door or give access 
to your property to someone you 
don’t recognize. Don’t allow anyone to 
enter your home or back yard if you are 
not certain of his or her identity.

· City of Sierra Madre employees 
wear City uniform shirts bearing the 
City logo, drive vehicles with City emblems 
and CA Exempt license plates 
and carry City-issued photo identification 
(I.D.) Other utility employees and 
utility contractors also carry photo I.D. 
Actual City or utility employees will be 
happy to show you their official I.D. If 
in doubt call the utility office to verify 
their identification before letting them 
into your home.

· Call the City of Sierra Madre at 
(626) 355-7135 if you are unsure about 
a person’s City identification or to verify 
City-related work is being done on 
your property. Call the police if you 
believe the person is an imposter.

· Unless you have an appointment 
and arranged for City inspections, 
don’t allow anyone to enter your home 
claiming to inspect plumbing fixtures 
for the City, as our staff do not do so 
without prior arrangements. 

· Advise your loved ones, friends 
and children about what to do if 
strangers approach their home and ask 
to come in.

If you have any questions please call the 
City of Sierra Madre at (626) 355-7135.


A Tour of Enchantment

Imagine a day of magic & enchantment, 
breath-taking beauty, all your senses 
stimulated. As you visit some of Southern 
California’s most exquisitely creative 
and inspiring gardens, you will discover 
landscapes & garden design you never 
dreamed of. If you are a garden lover you 
will be delighted. If you are not yet a garden 
lover, you most certainly will become one, 
as the gardens presented by Creative Arts 
Group on April 17th will far surpass your 
expectations and quite possibly change 
your life.

Four private and exquisite gardens 
grace the estates of historic, classic, 
contemporary and magnificent 
architecture, which include Italian Revival, 
Mid-century Contemporary, and Greene 
& Greene Craftsman. The owners have 
extensively restored their homes as well 
as completely transformed out-dated, 
sometimes long-neglected grounds into 
“Gardens of Eden.” Wildly various in 
style, each garden is a representation of 
the love, care & stunning artistry of garden 
designer, landscaper & owner, artistically 
synthesizing architectural style & land with 
personal creativity and dazzling features. 
Combinations of old growth and California 
native plantings with exotic and rare plants 
& trees is startling and harmonious. The 
plethora of garden features include a 
variety of pools, including an infinity pool 
perched on the edge of an expansive vista, 
pool houses, fountains, ponds, a river, 
complete with a beach, logias, sculpture, 
patios, decks, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, 
kitchen gardens, a double-helix potager 
garden, herb gardens, rose gardens, 
cactus & succulent gardens, an 18 ft. tall 
Euphorbia, a teepee garden, meditation 
garden, meandering pathways, bridges, 
old growth tree canopies, orchards, vine 
covered arches, and magnificent views.

As always, the tour also features the 
Creative Arts Group Jameson & Founders 
Galleries, where one can feast their eyes on 
a wide variety of fine artwork exhibited by 
artists from the local foothill communities. 
Celebrating over 50 years of providing 
classes & workshops for children and 
adults in the arts, including ceramics, 
enameling, jewelry making, drawing & 
painting and much more in an intimate 
and nurturing environment, Creative Arts 
Group is a non-profit art center dedicated 
to creative appreciation, development & 

The “Art of The Garden” Tour is held Sunday, 
April 17th, from 10:30am to 4:30pm. To 
purchase tickets or for more information, 
call Creative Arts Group at 626-355-
8350 or visit the office & gallery at 108 N. 
Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre. Tickets are 
$25 in advance & $30 if purchased the day 
of the event. All funds are used to support 
CAG’s educational & community-service 

Decisons, decisions. Supporters bid on a wide array of items 
ranging from gourmet gift baskets, travel junkets, and even 
opening day Dodger Tickets.

Auction Chair, Lisa Brault (L) with 
Principal, Gayle Bluemel (R)

Read The Paper Online At:

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