Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:
The Reel Deal

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

Just for Best Friends:
Happy Tails
SGV Humane Society

Healthy Lifestyles:
Dr. Tina Paul
The Joy of Yoga

The Good Life:
… This and That
Senior Happenings

Arts & Entertainment:
Jeff's Book Pics
Sean's Shameless Reviews
On the Marquee

F. Y. I. :

Section B:
What's Going On

The World Around Us:
Looking Up
Christopher Nyerges

Business News & Trends:
Social Media Tips & Tricks
Family Matters

Rich Johnson
Out to Pastor
As I See It
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Subscribe Today:

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Merri Jill Finstrom
Marc Garlett
Howard Hays
Katie Hopkins
Rich Johnson
Sean Kayden
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Tina Paul
Renee Quenell
Joan Schmidt
Ben Show
Rev. James L. Snyder

Recent Issues:
Issue 33
Issue 32
Issue 31
Issue 30
Issue 29
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1





MADRE After serving 
an 8 Year Sentence in Federal 
Prison, AWest, now a registered sex 
offender, has come back to Sierra 
Madre near a local school

First day of class peaceful at South 
Pasadena High as police increase 
foot and bicycle patrols around 

By Dean Lee

Police stepped up enforcement around 
all South Pasadena schools on the 
first day of class Thursday, a day after 
prosecutors officially charged two teens, 
aged 16 and 17, with making criminal 
threats to kill another teen in connection 
with a thwarted mass shooting plan at 
South Pasadena High School.

 “As is a tradition here, we always 
provide extra patrol [on the first day] to 
our schools, we have five schools in our 
city, in this case I’ve asked for off duty 
officers to come in and work around 
the schools… I want there to be a sense 
of safety within our community,” said 
South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller. 

Residents around South Pasadena High 
including parents, students and teachers, 
held a prayer vigil Wednesday evening 
that ended with a walk to the campus. 
Some expressed compassion for the 
teens, still in custody, hoping they get 
the help that they need. “It is so hard to 
even grasp,” one of the parents said. 

 Miller said the two teens were arrested 
Monday after police uncovered an 
alleged threat to massacre students and 
specifically kill three staff members at 
the high school. 

 “The South Pasadena Police Department 
was notified by the high school staff 
that they had received information 
of a possible treat to the school that a 
shooting was going to occur,” Miller said. 

 He said investigators had been “working 
on the case around the clock” since being 
notified the Thursday before. 

(continued on page 2)

AWest aka Andrew West Reid, Jr., was released 
from federal prison on January 17, 2014 after 
serving 8 years for multiple sex crimes against 
children. He was found guilty of two counts of 
committing lewd acts with children in state court 
and one count of possession of child pornography 
in federal court. The crimes for which he 
was convicted were perpetuated against a friend 
of his daughter who was only six years of age. 

Sentenced in 2006 to two 6 year and one 8 year 
terms, he was allowed to serve them concurrently. 
Now, eight years later, AWest is back in Sierra Madre.

AWest and his wife were also sued in civil court 
by the victim. The suit alleged that Awest was 
“a renowned director for children’s shows and 
utilized his position of trust to gain access to 
plaintiff [victim] and sexually abused her”. She 
sued AWest for sexual battery and breach of 
fiduciary duty, and sued his wife, Patrycja AWest 
for negligent supervision and breach of fiduciary 
responsibility. The court awarded a judgment 
in the victims favor for $2.4 million pain and 
suffering, $500,000 future medical expenses and 
$2.5 million in punitive damages. However, 
to date, the victim has not received anything.

In 2012, the California Court of Appeals reversed 
the lower court’s civil ruling. AWest, who 
represented himself in the civil suit, convinced 
the Appellate Court that due to the fact that he 
was in custody and unable to appear in person 
or telephonically, he should have a new civil trial. 
He utilized the services of an attorney for the appeal 
who also argued that the award was excessive. The 
Appellate Court agreed and reversed the judgment of 
the lower court with direction for a retrial of the case. 

No new trial date has been set, in fact, in late May of this 
year Attorney Tony DiMarco of Pasadena who represents 
the child that was molested, filed a request for dismissal. 
The request was filed “without prejudice” meaning the 
victim may refile at any time. In a telephone interview 
with DiMarco, he indicated that the young lady, now a 
teenager, has until she is 26 years of age to do so. DiMarco 
also hopes that other victims who were very young at 
the time may now be ready emotionally to come forth. 

(continued on page 3)

AWest aka Andrew West Reid, Jr., was spotted by a Sierra 
Madre resident who noticed him washing a vehicle contrary 
to city’s new water conservation policy. 

Police, media and parents watch as students enter SPHS.

Inside this week: 

WATER CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS: The Messersmith’s Masterpiece


Story and Photo by Coco La Salle

 It’s that time of the year again. With weather 
up in the 80’s and higher, bright sunny skies, and 
those warm Summer nights we all love so much, 
it’s no wonder the majority of our time is now 
spent trying to cool off. While many of us have 
been lounging pool-side or hiding in the comfort of 
our well air-conditioned homes, others have been 
going above and beyond to make environmentally 
conscious decisions that have caught the eyes of the 

 Although beating the heat has posed no threat 
to us, our foliage would say otherwise. Lawns have 
turned from a lush green to practically hay. The 
only way to maintain the beauty would be to water 
constantly, but with the ongoing water crisis that 
has taken a toll on the city that would be nearly 
impossible . . . or would it? Our neighbors, Jim and 
Wendy Messersmith, have done the impossible 
and proved to the community that making a few 
mindful changes can actually reap many rewards 
both for themselves and the neighborhood. 

 The homes of Sierra Madre are all quite lovely, 
but have you ever gone past one that literally makes 
you stop dead in your tracks? For the sake of this 
article we can call that the “Messersmith effect”. 
From a passerby’s view you are immediately greeted 
by a highly decorated yard filled with all sorts of 
beautiful succulents, grasses, and rocks. What many 
don’t know is that this brainchild was spawned by 
the very humble, Jim Messersmith. 

 The Messersmiths told me of the great headache 
they had once called their yard. Jim battled against 
different fungi, weeds, and horrible weather 
conditions to sustain the splendor. When he noticed 
their water bill skyrocketing and heard all the water 
conservation hype in town, he knew it was time to 
make a change. “Finally it got to the point where I 
was just sick of it. I couldn’t do it anymore. So I just 
completely stopped maintaining it; the amount of 
water and all.” Within a blink of an eye their yard 
had nearly withered away creating more of a fire 
hazard than anything. Although this lawn suicide 
was a heartbreak, it fueled Jim to construct this 
drought tolerant masterpiece, what is now a scenic 
spot for neighbors and town visitors a like. 

 What makes this work so special is the fact that 
each individual component has a specific memory 
associated with it. The Messersmiths have had some 
of their most cherished memories, while camping 
in the Anza-Borrego Dessert. The family would 
cross a series of bridges to get to the natural oasis 
in Palm Canyon, which is the inspiration for the 
dry riverbed and bridge. On one of their hiking 
adventures, they journeyed for what seemed like 
forever and came upon an Elephant Tree, a tree so 
rare that skeptics once refused to acknowledge its 
existence. While hunting tirelessly for California 
native plants to add to the lawn they miraculously 
found a young Elephant Tree, which now stands tall, 
growing in the middle of it all. Each big boulder, 
grass, and plant was specifically placed in order to 
give off the sensation of being back at the desert and 
for them, bring back memories that will now last for 
a lifetime. 

 If you think the yard is amazing, you would be 
left speechless after getting the grand tour of the 
Messersmith home. Jim, being a jack-of-all-trades, 
has completely transformed his childhood home 
(did I forget to mention this Sierra Madre native was 
born and raised in that very house?). Everything 
from the photographs on the walls, home décor, 
backyard greenhouse oasis, vegetable garden, cacti 
collection and, soon to come soda pop room for the 
grandkids, were all created and hand-built by he 

 Always keeping the water crisis in mind, Jim has 
gone through great lengths to recreate his stunning 
home, hardly using any water. They share all of 
these memories with their seven grandchildren, 
who absolutely love playing all over their creation, 
and now also with the entire neighborhood. 


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Rich Johnson is back! Pg. 10


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Jim and Wendy Messersmith stand in front of their drought tolerant creation.


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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