Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:
Hall Pass

Summer Fun:
Once Upon a Wayside
Newspaper Fun!

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

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

Legal Notices:

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

Curbing Bad Behavior
My Turn
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin On …
The Funnies

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

F. Y. I. :

Meaghan Allen
Chris Bertrand
Jeff Brown
P. J. Carpenter
Ron Carter
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Hail Hamilton
Howard W. Hays
Jai Johnson
Rich Johnson
Sean Kayden
Chris LeClerc
Miss Palmer's 3rd. Grade
La Quetta M. Shamblee
Stuart Tolchin
Katie Tse
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

MVNews this week:  Page 1





Last month, when the Sierra Club of Los 
Angeles issued a public report on Solar 
Permit fees, it listed Sierra Madre as being 
one of the most expensive fees in the 
County for Commercial properties. Since 
that report was published, there has been 
continued concern among residents regarding 
the solar permit fees the city 
charges. As a result of other news reports 
and the Sierra Club report, the city decided 
to ‘Set The Record Straight’: (This notice 
appeared on the city’s website and is being 
reprinted verbatim in its entirety.)

The city has received a number of 
inquiries as a result of news articles 
that list the City of Sierra Madre 
as having among the highest fees 
for solar projects in the County 
of Los Angeles; City staff and officials 
would like to clarify a number 
of items and provide answers to 
common questions that have been 

The figures in the local news articles 
come from data produced in 
the “Executive Summary of Commercial 
& Residential PV Permit 
Fee Report, Los Angeles County 
by Sierra Club, Los Angeles and 
Loma Prieta Chapters, 4/27/2011, 
updated 6/18/2011.” The data includes 
fees for residential and commercial 
solar projects for 89 cities 
in the County of Los Angeles. It is 
based on a survey to each of these 
cities that was conducted by the Sierra 

Residential Solar Project Fees:

More than two years ago, the City 
of Sierra Madre reduced residential 
solar permit fees to a flat fee (not 
valuation-based) of $515.00, as reflected 
in the Sierra Club survey. 
The previous fees were valuation-
based and ranged from approximately 
$700.00 to $1,200.00. On 
June 14, 2011, the City Council 
adopted the Fiscal Year 2011/2013 
Biennial Budget that further reduced 
the fee to $473.00 beginning 
July 1, 2011. Due to the fact that 
we have a very small commercial 
district and have never received an 
inquiry, nor received any applications 
for commercial solar permits, 
we did not create a commercial solar 
permit fee.

Commercial Solar Project Fees:

In order to complete the survey, 
a “sample commercial project” 
that was provided to us by the Sierra 
Club to calculate the cost for 
a commercial solar project using 
the appropriate permits (building, 
electrical, etc.) that the City would 
use in the event that such an application 
would be made.

The “sample commercial project” 
that was provided was for a $1.2 
million solar project, with the installation 
of 648 panels and producing 
131KW annually. The approximate 
size of the commercial 
roof was 12,500 square feet. The 
calculation of this hypothetical 
commercial solar fee was based 
on current valuation-based permits 
that would apply to general 
construction projects, and the result 
placed Sierra Madre in the top 
three most expensive commercial 
solar fees in the County.

The City would like to point out 
that the “sample commercial project” 
we were asked to use for the 
calculations is not representative 
of a project that could exist in our 
commercial district. The largest 
roofs in the district are less than 
50% of the square footage of the 
“sample commercial project”.

The City would like to encourage 
any Sierra Madre businesses that 
are contemplating a solar project 
for their commercial project to 
contact the Development Services 
Department. Staff will be happy to 
provide an accurate and site-specific 
commercial solar project fee 
for consideration.

In the meantime, staff is also compiling 
information for the development 
of flat commercial solar 
permit fee in anticipation of its 
potential future incorporation to 
our Development Services’ fee 

 One of the most beloved monuments 
in Sierra Madre is the Veteran’s 
Wall in Memorial Park. 
Built in 2003 by volunteers lead by 
the late John Grijalva, the site is a 
unique tribute to veterans who have 
served our country and lived in Sierra 
Madre. Located in Memorial 
Park in the center of town, the wall 
is a collection of photograhs of soldiers 
and personalized bricks that 
pay tribute to the men and women 
of Sierra Madre who served in the 
Armed Forces.

 Grijalva and his group of volunteers 
also maintained the wall and 
decorated it with donated flowers 
until John’s passing in December of 

 Today, volunteers continue to carry 
on John’s mission. These volunteers 
are embarking on an effort to 
re-educate the public on the significance 
of the wall and how to participate 
and support it.

Auction for A Very Special Flag

Ed Clare, one of the sponsors of 
the wall, recently announced a new 
fundraising project. “We are auctioning 
off the original Veteran’s Wall 
Memorial flag. It is the flag that was 
given to us by the U.S. Congress that 
flew over the White House and was 
the flag that was used for the memorial 
to this point.

It is in very good condition It is a 
8’x5’ flay and we are holding an open 
auction in order to sell the

flag so that we may raise money not 
only for the replacement flag but the 
additional Veteran’s flag that 

now flies over the memorial.

Any extra money that is generated 
from this auction will go toward the 
upkeep and maintenance itself

and for the purpose of purchasing 
additional picture plaques to put on 
the wall. 

We will keep the bidding open until 
Labor Day then whoever has offered 
the highest bid will be awarded

the flag. “ 

The starting bid is $150 by Miner 
Harkness. If you would like to bid 
on the flag you can contact Ed Clare

either at 626 355-4424 or email ed@

Sponsor A Brick Program

 Another means of generating income 
for the support and maintenance 
of the memorial is the “Sponsor 
A Brick Program”. Families can 
show their gratitude to veterans 
by becoming either a Gold Sponsor 
for $350 and purchasing an 8” 
x 8” brick that can contain 
up to 6 lines and/or graphic 
image or they can become a 
Silver Sponsor by purchasing 
a brick for $150 which 
can contain up to 3 lines. 
Bricks are placed at random 
around the Memorial. More 
information can be obtained 
on this program by going to www.

Veterans Photo Wall

 One of the most popular aspects 
of the monument is the Photo 
Wall. It contains Legacy Etchings 
of men and women from Sierra 
Madre that have served in the 
Armed Forces. The etchings are 
generated from photographs of the 
service person and permanently 
etched onto stainless steel. Any 
Veteran who lives or has lived in 
Sierra Madre for more than a year 
may have their photo included on 
the wall at no charge. Just fill out 
the “Sierra Madre Veteran Military 
Service Record Form” and send it 
along with a photo to: 

S.M. Veterans Photo Wall

130 East Montecito, #165

Sierra Madre, CA 91025 or 

E-mail: info@sierramadreveterans.

- MVNews

Above: Veteran Bud 
Switzer, one of the original 
volunteers that helped the 
Veteran’s Wall become a 
reality, places poinsettas 
on the wall during the holidays. 
Photo by Bill Coburn 
Right: Former Mayor Doug 
Hayes (left) and the late 
John Grijalva (right) at the 
Dedication in 2003. Photo 
courtesy of the Veterans 
Wall organization.


 As reported in the July 16th edition 
of the Mountain Views News, the City 
of Sierra Madre, is one of three defendants 
in a lawsuit filed by a Sierra 
Madre resident alleging, among other 
things, police brutality.

 In the initidal documents filed, the 
lawsuit only named Former SMPD 
Officer John Ellins and listed the second 
Officer as ‘John Doe’. However, 
in a subsequent filing, the second officer 
has been identified as Christopher 
Canon, another former SMPD 

 The allegations against Ellins and 
Canon are: Negligence, Assault and 
Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional 
Distress, Unlawful Arrest (State 
and Federal) and Excessive Use Of 
Force and Violation of Constitutional 
and Civil Rights.

 The city is only named in charges 
of Excessive Use of Force (2 counts) by 
Ratification and for Violation of Constitutional 
and Civil Rights. 


Inside This Edition...

By Susan Henderson 

Early Tuesday morning, the voice of 
a Lion was silenced forever. community 
leader, community legend, 
Ralph McKnight died peacefully 
while sleeping in his Pasadena 
home with his wife Kitty at his side. 
In May, he suffered a stroke from which 
he never recovered.

At age 78, Ralph had lived through 
a lot. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he 
was born and reared in Washington 
D.C. at a time when his uniform was 
meaningless when it came to battling 
the rampant racism that our country 
was afflicted with. But that didn’t deter 
Ralph one bit. in fact it inspired him 
to become a life long activist, working 
on making the world a better place for 

Self described as “an angry black man” 
his work was not limited to the plight 
of African Americans. He worked tirelessly 
within the ranks of the Democratic 
Party on both the statewide and 
local levels. And in Pasadena, he was 
well known in political, social and artistic 

His accomplishments were many. He 
was among the first African Americans 
to serve as an Air Traffic Controller in 
the 1960’s. He ran many community 
based organizations in Washington, 
D.C. and the Los Angeles Area.

Politics was his number one passion. A 
Democratic activist, he was a champion 
for all people. He served in a variety 
of positions over two decades including 
serving as chair of the statewide Rainbow 
and African American Caucuses. 
He served as Chair of the statewide Organizational 
Development Committee. 
He was very active with the Los Angeles 
County State Central Committee 
and was very involved with the Pasadena 
Foothills Democratic Club.

Ralph also loved Pasadena. He was 
instrumental in the development of 
the Levitt Pavillion in Pasadena and 
served as an Ambassador. He served as 
a board member of the United Nations 
Association; he worked with the Pasadena 
Community Access station and 
was a member of the ACLU.

The Arts were also one of Ralph’s many 
passions. Among other things, he 
served on Pasadena’s Arts Commission 
until recently. 

A gifted percussionist, Ralph loved 
jazz. He also was a writer, contributing 
to this publication during Presidential 
elections. Prior to his illness, we 
discussed plans for him to resume his 
contributions to MVNews’ “The Ballot 
Box” feature in 2012. He was also 
President of The Pasadena Collection, 
which specialized in custom tiles that 
he designed.

But perhaps Ralph’s greatest passion 
was for the future. He spent countless 
hours educating and encouraging 
young people to get involved and bring 
about change in our society. Despite 
his difficult dealings with the realities 
of the South in the 50’s, Ralph believed 
in America’s tomorrow. On of the most 
memorable moments in his life was 
when “someone like me” became President 
of the United States. 

Sometimes considered to be intimidating 
and steadfast in his ways, he had 
the roar of a lion and underneath it all, 
the gentleness of a lamb. 

For more than 30 years, his constant 
companion was his wife Kitty, who 
cared for him until the end. They 
worked side by side, sharing their lives 
in an effort to make the world a better 
place. He is also survived by his 
mother-in-law, Kat, daughter Kareim, 
sons, Ralph, Jr., Scott, Mark McKnight, 
step sons Dino and Mark White and a 
host of grandchilren, other family and 
legions of friends. 

To the surprise of only those who did 
not know him, Ralph was a committed 
atheist. He did not wish to have a funeral 
or memorial service in his honor. 
However, there will be a very brief tribute 
to Ralph on August 7th, just before 
the Billy Mitchell concert at the Levitt 


Sierra Madre News Page 3

Pasadena/Altadena Page 4

Around San Gabriel Valley Page 5

Arcadia Page 6

Monrovia/Duarte Page 7

Education & Youth Page 8


Good Food & Drink Page 10

Arts & Entertainment Page 11

Legals Page 12

Left/Right Page 13

Opinion Page 14

The World Around Us Page 15

 The Good Life Page 16

Homes & Property Page 17

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