This Edition is dedicated to all the Men and Women of the Armed Forces, Veterans and Active Duty. Thank you for your service. Happy Veteran’s Day Weekend.

Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
What's Going On

Arcadia Police Blotter

Monrovia – Duarte:

Education & Youth:
The Reel Deal

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
In the Kitchen
Newspaper Fun!

Just for Best Friends:
Happy Tails
Pet of the Week

The Good Life:
… This and That
Senior Happenings

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts / Health:
Sean's Shameless Reviews
Dr. Tina Paul
The Joy of Yoga
Jasmine's Corner

The World / Business:
Looking Up
Social Media Tips & Tricks
Business Today

Tina Dupuy
Rich Johnson
Out to Pastor
Stuart Tolchin On …

About SMTV 98:
What's on 98

SMTV 98 Programming:
This Week on 98

Left / Right & Legals:
Michael Reagan
As I See It

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

F. Y. I. :

Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Merri Jill Finstrom
Howard Hays
Katie Hopkins
Rich Johnson
Sean Kayden
Chris Leclerc
Tina Paul
Renee Quenell
Joan Schmidt
LaQuetta Shamblee
Ben Show
Rev. James Snyder
Stuart Tolchin
Jasmine Kelsey Williams

Recent Issues:
Issue 44
Issue 43
Issue 42
Issue 41
Issue 40
Issue 39
Issue 38
Issue 37
Issue 36
Issue 35
Issue 34

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1

This Edition is dedicated to all the Men and Women of the Armed Forces, 

Veterans and Active Duty. Thank you for your service. 

Happy Veteran’s Day Weekend. 



 One would expect that when ordering 
on line from a reputable company 
such as Amazon, you are making a 
purchase from a reliable source, will 
receive quality merchandise, and 
definitely will not open the box to 
find what looks like a ‘bomb’ inside. 
That is what most would expect.

However, on Monday, a Sierra Madre 
couple opened a box which allegedly 
contained the professional book that 
had been ordered and found what 
you see on the right.

 Yes, upon opening an approximately 
12” think technical book for 
veterinarians, they found that the 
inside of the book had been carved 
out and in the indented spaces were 
what appeared to be three batteries 
connected to a series of wires. Just as 
panic was setting in, they discovered 
a brightly colored note that read, 
“DO NOT BE ALARMED. This book 
was previously fitted with a harmless, 
passive tracking device. You have 
likely received this in error.”

 Needless to say, when reporting this 
incident to the Mountain Views, both 
people were still in a state of disbelief. 

Their initial reaction led them to 
place the box outside, away from their 
home. The box was delivered earlier 
in the day, and since it contained a 
book that had been ordered (or so 
they thought), it wasn’t opened until 
late in the evening. Nevertheless, 
after placing the box outside, they 
repeatedly called the number given 
on the insert only to reach a recorded 

 By early morning, after receiving 
no response, they decided to call the 
Sierra Madre Police Department as 
any thoughts they had of believing 
that this was some kind of ‘security 
mistake’ were diminishing. Rapidly.

At approximately 6:25 a.m. Tuesday 
morning, SMPD was called and 
Officers Doyle and Rodriguez arrived 
at the couple’s home. They examined 
the package, photographed the 
device, determined that it was not an 
explosive device, and went back to the 
station to research the matter further. 
According to Watch Commander 
Ruben Enriquez, the officers learned 
that the device is allegedly a part of 
Amazon’s security/tracking program.

Nowhere on the ‘flyer’ does Amazon’s 
name appear. (See image above). 
Attempts to contact them and the 
Rosetti Group (the contact number 
on the flyer) have been unsuccessful. 
We were able to speak a person who 
answers the telephones at Rosetti 
Group on Friday, however, we were 
told that a call would be returned by 
someone knowledgeable about the 
situation. At press time that call had 
not been received. The Rosetti Group 
is a Private Investigative/Security 
Firm in the Washington, D.C. area, 
and according to their website, 
they are a “Full Service Security 
Investigations Firm”. 

 In addition, in an effort to contact the 
publisher of the book, WoodForest 
Books, we learned that they are an 
online book seller that has been in 
existence through Amazon since 
March, 2013. Efforts to contact them 
failed as well.

 After several messages were left 
by the recipients of the ‘package’, a 
local representative of Rosetti came 
by to pick of the package and gave 
assurances that a replacement book, 
sans the ‘tracking device’ and cut 
outs, would be sent immediately. 
As of this writing, that has also not 

 According to the veterinarian who 
ordered the book, the second most 
disturbing aspect of the ordeal has 
been the ”lack of response from 
Amazon, The Rosetti Group or 
anyone associated with it”.

 In this current environment of dry 
ice bombings, random mall shootings 
and overall unpredictable domestic 
chaos, this situation becomes even 
more disturbing. And, “poor 
communications and never returning 
a phone call makes it worse”, said the 
recipient. “I just don’t understand 
how this could happen.”

Judging from the size and structure 
of the device (pictured right) and the 
‘notice’ pictured below, many, many 
questions remain unanswered. 

S. Henderson/MVNews

Photos provided by recipients


Local couple gets unnerving surprise delivered to their home


Earlier this week, residents of Sierra Madre received a bright yellow postcard 
in their mailbox from the City. The card informed residents that the council 
was considering “initiating a Proposition 218 written protest process”. The 
purpose of the card was to ask residents to please confirm that the information 
in the city’s water billing (which appears on the label), is correct to insure that 
the person responsible for paying the water/sewer bill, (property owner or 
tenant) actually receives the Prop 218 ballot.

Since the city is considering raising the water/sewer rates, they are required by 
law to allow the public at least 45 days prior, to file a written protest.

This is not the first time that the city has implemented the Prop 218 process. 
In 2010, when the city last raised water rates, the Prop 218 process was 
implemented and met with a lot of criticism from some residents. At that 
time there were allegations of ‘illegal and/or inappropriate’ behavior by some 
residents who actually canvassed the city soliciting ballots against the rate hike 
in person. Reports of being misled by the signature gatherers were frequent. 
Their ‘goal’ was to gain signatures from more than half of the rate payers to 
protest the rate hike. That effort fell short of getting the required signatures 
but led to a lot of confusion 
and discontent among many. 
This time, the city wants to 
be proactive and protect the 
integrity of the process by 
confirming that ballots are 
sent to the correct individuals.

In a city that has total control 
of its water resources, there 
are those who appear to be 
opposed to paying it. 

The city’s current water delivery 
system, which dates 
back to the early 1900’s requires 
constant maintenance 
and improvements. And although 
Sierra Madre is currently 
experiencing a water 
shortage, the water and sewer 
systems must continue to be 

When the previous protest 
against the rate hike failed, 
the city council, in an effort 
to appease opponents of 
the increase, did not raise 
water/sewer rates to the 
recommended levels. Instead 
a reduced increase was put 
into effect and as a result, three 
years later, our revenues are 
not, as predicted, sufficient 
to maintain the water/sewer 
systems and maintain the 
reserves required by our bond 

Thus, as the council 
contemplates asking for 
another rate increase, steps are 
being taken to make certain 
that all residents a) have the 
opportunity to learn how the 
water/sewer system operates; 
b) have the opportunity 
to scrutinize the finances 
involved with operating our 
system and c) are clear as to 
how they may oppose the rate increase should they choose to.

On Tuesday, the city council will be discussing their plans to proceed with the 
Prop 218 Notification and Protest Ballot process. For more information go to: 


Background: In November 1996, California voters 
passed Proposition 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes 
Act”. This constitutional amendment protects taxpayers 
by limiting the methods by which local governments 
can create or increase taxes, fees and charges without 
taxpayer consent. Proposition 218 requires voter 
approval prior to

imposition or increase of general taxes, assessments, 
and certain user fees.

Specific Features of Proposition 218 

The primary changes put in place by Proposition 218 
are explained below.

1. Voter Approval on Taxes. Prop. 218 requires all local 
governments, including

charter cities, to get majority voter approval for new or 
increased general taxes.

2. Limits on Use of “General Taxes”. Proposition 218 
restricts the use of general taxes, which require majority 
voter approval, to general purpose governments (i.e. 
cities and counties). School districts are specifically

precluded from levying a general tax.

3. Stricter Rules on Benefit Assessments. Benefit 
assessments by definition must be calculated based 
on the benefit received by the parcel as a result of the 
project financed. Prop. 218 created stricter rules for 
initiating or increasing benefit assessments. Now, an 
agency must determine the specific benefit the project 
will have on individual parcels. A general enhancement 
to property

values can no longer serve as the benefit.

4. Increased Notification and Protest Requirements. 
Proposition 218 will require that agencies put all 
assessments, charges and user fees out to a vote prior to 
creation or increase. In most cases, the vote will require 
individual notices be mailed to affected property 
owners. A formal protest hearing is also required to 
move forward with the charge or increase.

5. Restrictions on Use of Fees. Proposition 218 prohibits 
local governments from imposing fees on property 
owners for services that are available to the public at 
large (like garbage collection and sewer service). In any 
case, fees

charged to property owners may not exceed the cost of 
providing the service.

6. Government Owned Property No Longer Exempt. 
Proposition 218 requires government agencies to pay 
their fair share of a benefit assessment, if the property 
receives benefit from the project or service financed.

7. Initiative Power To Repeal. Prop. 218 gives voters the 
power to reduce or

repeal any existing local tax, assessment, or charge 
through the initiative

process. Source: California Tax Data

The ‘tracking device’ that was inside the ordered book looks eerily 
like an explosive device.

Also Inside this week: 


Calendar Page A2

Sierra Madre News Page A3


Pg. A4

Another major store 


Senator Hernandez Speaks on 
Affordable Care Act



 Pg. A7


 Pg. A8

This flyer was found inside the book 



 Pg. A9



The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has begun prosecution 
of Sergio Villalobos, a 28 year old convicted felon accused of the unprovoked 
murder of former Sierra Madre resident Treavor Robinson. Robinson, 22, was 
gunned down while chatting with a friend in South Los Angeles on August 22nd 
of this year. His friend was also shot, but survived a bullet wound to the head.

Villalobos was arrested on September 11th by LAPD Detectives and is charged 
with four felonies. He is charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, 
Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Resisting Arrest. A female associate 
of Villalobos is also awaiting trial on a charge of being an ‘Accessory After The 
Fact’, a charged levied on those who aid and abet known criminals in their 
attempts to evade law enforcement.

Villalobos, who is being held on a $4,050,000 bond, is on parole after serving 
time for being found guilty of robbery in 2009. According to public records, on 
August 13th of this year, he was arrested for an unnamed infraction and released 
with a citation on the 16th of August. Six days later he shot and killed Treavor 
Robinson and wounded another young man.

A motive for the murder and attempted murder has not yet been presented by the 
prosecution. There is widespread speculation that the incident was one of many 
where innocent victims have been caught in the crosshairs of a gang war. Neither 
Robinson nor his friend were members of any gang or known to socialize with 
gang members.

The date for the Preliminary Hearing will be set on November 21st. The trial 
will begin sometime in 2014. The prosecution of this matter is being held in the 
South Central Division (Compton) of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

 S. Henderson/MVNews


Pg. A11

Savvy Senior

Senior Happenings

This and That



 Pg. B1


 Pg. B2




 Pg. B4

SMTV Channel 98 

Program Guide Pg. B5


Read The Paper Online At:

Useful Reference Links

Local Weather

National Weather Service: Sierra Madre forecast

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

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