Sierra Madre Pasadena – Altadena Arcadia Monrovia/Duarte Business News — Spotlight Monrovia

Featured News Items

Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Monrovia Police Blotter

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Education & Youth:
Hall Pass

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

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

Legal Notices:

Left Turn / Right Turn:
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

My Turn
Stuart Tolchin On …
Letter to the Editor

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

More News:
Rich Johnson

F. Y. I. :

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

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

Recent Issues:
Issue 17
Issue 16
Issue 15
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1





Toni Buckner Set To Retire 
From Library

Sierra Madre Business 
Spotlight, Part 2











Page 5

Page 6

Page 4 

Page 3 

Page 7



“To Do Good......”

John Buchanan Becomes Sierra Madre Mayor, Again


On Thursday, when news of Sierra 
Madre Police Chief Marilyn Diaz became 
public, many Sierra Madreans 
immediately began expressing their 
disappointment. “It’s not that she 
doesn’t have the right to retire, but she 
was doing so good”, said one longtime 

 When Diaz became Chief of the 
SMPD in 2006, she also became the 
first female Police Chief in Los Angeles 
County and made national news. 
Prior to coming to Sierra Madre, she 
served for 32 years in the Pasadena Police 

 Diaz, a Sierra Madre resident, recognized 
immediately that the SMPD had 
a unique mission as Sierra Madre is a 
city that “provides their own services 
catered to the needs of the community.” 
She also recognized that there 
had been an accumulated degradation 
of service to residents and that changes 
need to be made. She quickly began 
making certain that the department 
could provide quick, attentive 
responses as well as preserve 
the welfare and safety of residents 
her first priority. In order to accomplish 
that, she embarked upon 
an ambitious plan that included 
bringing out the best qualities and 
best services of the members of 
the SMPD. She focused on minimizing 
costs and becoming more 
creative in bringing resources into 
the department.

 Of course, that did not come 
without controversy and challenge. 
As Chief, the decision had to 
be made to dismiss several officers. 
There were also lawsuits, however, the 
amount and nature was comparable to 
the same kinds of actions that other 
police departments face. 

 Despite those 
issues, Diaz has 
been a true community 
law enforcement 
leader. She was 
always accessible 
and was 
willing to talk 
to any resident 
any time, any 
where. She was 
also very visible 
at most Sierra 
Madre community 

 In the press release 
from the 
city, “During 
her tenure, Chief 
Diaz was instrumental 
in transforming 
the Police 
into the exemplary 
that it is today. 
She focused on 
enhancing staff 
through extensive 
training in ethics, 
use of force, civil 
liability and safe 
field tactics; and 
she spearheaded 
the complete 
renovation of the 
Police Department’s evidence and 
property rooms. She also enhanced the 
Department’s ability to be proactive by 
innovatively using (cont. pg. 3)

Left to Right: Sierra Madre Vice Mayor Josh Moran, Former Mayor Joe Mosca and Mayor John Buchanan

Chief Diaz pictured above talking with resident Paul 
Neiby in 2008. Below, Diaz helped the All American 
City Team lobby for Sierra Madre in 2006. She set to 
retire at the end of this year.

By Susan Henderson

John Buchanan became Mayor of Sierra 
Madre for the second time on Tuesday 
evening at the council’s reorganization 
meeting. In a rather brief and yet compelling 
statement, he articulated words 
that all candidates for public office and 
the communities they serve should 

 “There is but one reason anyone should 
seek and hold elected office, to do good! 
Being a council member and Mayor is 
not a prize to be won, a title to hold. It is 
a chance to do good. To do good we must 
and will confront challenges head on, although 
the public good is not always the 
most popular thing.” 

 He went on to remind the audience 
that Sierra Madre is a full service city 
and given the looming economic problems 
of the county, state and federal 
governments, we will be challenged to 
continue to “provide a sustainable bundle 
of community services.”

 During Buchanan’s previous tenure 
as Mayor in 2006/2007, the turmultous 
campaign over Measure V which restricts 
downtown development without 
voter approval was passed. And yet, 
despite the divisiveness, he managed 
to stay positive. As his term ended he 
left office with these words, “We have 
to decide to come together...Measure V 
has passed… it’s our obligation to do our 
darndest and make it work.”

 Despite the acrimony of the Measure, 
Buchanan had an impressive list of accomplishments 
including the passing of 
the Hillside Management Ordinance, 
the establishment of paramedic services, 
and the hiring of Police Chief Marilyn 
Diaz (partial listing).

 He will begin this term, however, with 
the task of finding replacements for two 
key members of the city staff, Police 
Chief Diaz and and Library Director, 
Toni Buckner. (See related stories on 
this page.)

 Of their departure Buchanan said, “The 
pending departure of Toni and Marilyn 
will be a big loss for the city, but thanks 
to their dedication and hard work, we 
are prepared for the future. Both not 
only did their job with professionalism, 
but with great passion for the public services 
they performed.”

 In addition to Buchanan’s election by 
the council as Mayor, Josh Moran was 
elected as Mayor Pro-Tem. Both votes 
were unanimous.

 Former Mayor Joe Mosca who can also 
proudly boast an impressive list of accomplishments, 
made history during 
his term by being the first openly gay 
Mayor in Sierra Madre and the San Gabriel 


Photos and Story by Bill Coburn

 Three years ago at about 3pm on Saturday, April 26th, 2008, a fire broke out in the mountains above Sierra Madre. The fire burned 
for several days, ultimately burning 584 acres at the time of its containment on May 1st. Two hundred thirty eight acres were in 
the Angeles National Forest, and three hundred forty six acres were within the corporate boundaries of Sierra Madre. Five minor 
injuries were reported, at one point more than 1,000 firefighters were assigned to the fire. Just after midnight Sunday morning, 
the City Council under the leadership of Mayor Kurt Zimmerman had an emergency meeting to declare the City to be in a state of 
emergency, freeing up resources from outside agencies to assist in fighting the fire.

 Two Red Cross shelters were set up. Approximately 1000 people were evacuated from Oak Crest Drive across Carter Avenue to East 
Mira Monte Avenue, continuing down Mountain Trail Avenue, across Grandview Avenue to Santa Anita Avenue. A wedding party 
of 45 people and four pets were helicoptered out from Sturtevant Camp, it took five helicopter trips to move them all.

The people of Sierra Madre banded together as a community to help each other and the emergency personnel fighting the fire, controlling 
traffic, and keeping out looters (there was a false report that houses in the evacuation area were robbed). 

 In the end, only one small non-residential structure was destroyed, and the people of Sierra Madre had a new sense ofcommunity 
and appreciation for one another and emergency personnel. 

 The Mt. Wilson Trail Race of 2008 (the 100 year anniversary of the first running of the race) was postponed until June 7th, from 
its scheduled May 24th date, so that the trail could be prepared. Kudos to Charlie Bell, Pete Siberell, Gary Hilliard, John Grace, Pete 
McNulty, Mark Gage, and Mark Hacker and a crew of volunteers that helped get the trail in shape to be run just over a month after 
such a major fire. The entire Sierra Madre Fire Department was named Grand Marshal of the 2008 4th of July Parade. 

On May 6th, 16th and 31st, I was able to take photos on the 
Mt. Wilson Trail, even though for some of that time the trail 
was closed. The trail had burned most of the way to First Water, 
but there was very little damage along the trail from that 
point up to Orchard Camp. But up to first water, there was almost 
complete devastation, with much of the hillside looking 
more like a moonscape than a hillside on planet Earth. The 
other day, April 17th, 2011, I took my camera up on the trail 
with me, with printouts of some of the pictures I had taken 
in May of 2008, so that I could try to recreate as closely as 
possible the photos from 2008, giving us a side by side comparison 
of what the trail looked like then and now. All but 
one or two of the photos on the left below were taken on May 
6th. The right side photos are what the area looks like today. 
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it. Most browsers will then 
shrink the image to fit your screen size again, so if you want 
to see it larger, click on it again, but you will have to scroll to 
see the full image.

As you can see, there has been significant re-growth along the trail, and I think we can largely credit that growth for how little mudflow problems we had despite some very heavy rains this past winter.

Picture taken just east of Canon on Montecito, 

Saturday evening

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