Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 8, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, November 8, 2014 

Walking Sierra Madre…The Social Side 

by Deanne Davis





2015 Sierra Madre Rose 
Float Theme

What a delight to see so many folks 
at our polling place this morning! 
Sierra Madreans are most definitely 

 Had a great time with Dick 
Sappington, LaDonna and Dave 
Gaydosh, and dear friend, Donna 
Sutcliffe, at the barn up behind Sierra 
Vista Park where the Sierra Madre 
Rose Parade floats are constructed. 
This was my first visit since July 
and, oh my gosh! they have gotten 
so much more done. The float is going to be 
incredible! Dick Sappington kindly turned on 
all the engines and hydraulics and I got to see 
exactly how brilliant he is as the float’s master 
mechanic! The cars rock from side to side, the 
wheels on the engine and the cars spin, the 
engine comes right up off the track to show 
how hard he’s trying to get up that hill, the 
engine cab parts exactly like the Red Sea, the 
smokestack lowers itself and the passengers of 
the cars, two giraffes and one huge bear rock in 
opposite directions from their cars! AND, the 
giraffes bend their long necks to accommodate 
getting under bridges! 

 I can’t wait to see our float on New Year’s 
Day. We are definitely prizewinners again this 

 Here’s something you might not know, I 
know I didn’t, there are three tests our float 
must pass before it gets it gets its official 
certification. There are two mechanical tests 
for roadworthiness and one more for safety. 
On this third one, all the riders are aboard, 
this year including a crew of four and four 
princesses. They have to perform a fire drill 
where they are allotted 45 seconds to get 
everybody off the float, the riders and crew 
safely out of harm’s way and the float totally 
shut down. Dick said they’ve never taken 
more than 20 seconds. If you could see how 
the driver of the float is reclining inside the 
left side of the float, just a foot or so off the 
ground, and driving backwards, that’s quite a 

 The third and final test took place Saturday, 
November 1st when “I Think I Can!” left the 
barn, drove down to Sierra Madre Blvd., headed 
west to Baldwin, turned around at Baldwin and 
back to the barn, missing the showers by mere 
minutes. Everything worked perfectly!

 Right now, the cars are fully constructed with 
wood sides, and the engine and most of the rest 
of the float is heavy construction wire. There is 
foam overlay on the lower portions. After an 
unexpected incident while applying the flowers 
last year, the engines and all the “works” will be 
covered in plastic to be sure no hot glue drips 
down on them. 

 Some of the dried flowers and other non-
fresh items are already in the house. Donna 
showed me a big box of bright yellow straw 
flowers which will need to have their stems 
clipped off and ground down before they can 
be applied. The engine will be covered in Ti 
leaves, which are long, flat green leaves. The 
first shipment of fresh flowers arrives the day 
after Christmas.

 As you already know, our float is always an 
all volunteer project. Dave and LaDonna drive 
in from Hawthorne every weekend and some 
week days to work on this project, which is so 
dear to their hearts and they’ve been doing this 
for more years than they want to admit. Same 
with Donna Sutcliffe, whose husband, Doug, 
was right there with her for so many years until 
he passed away. Donna, as always, is in charge 
of our princesses, who were crowned recently at 
The Lodge, Sierra Madre’s historic meeting and 
banquet hall, which was built in 1927, just in 
case you wanted to know! And she is delighted 
with these young ladies who will be riding on 
our float New Year’s Day, representing our city.

 Barbie Bevington is serving as Interim Rose 
Float Association President until December 
when a new president will be elected. Barbie has 
been working with our Rose Float Association 
longer than anyone else in the current group of 
Association members. She was there when the 
floats really were constructed in an old barn. I 
bet she’s got some great stories!

 The new t-shirts are available now at the barn 
for $15.00 and they are really nice. The “I Think 
I Can” engine is on the back. Post cards are 
available, as are pins. You could be wearing the 
shirt today! One more thing, donations are a 
real necessity and volunteers will be welcomed 
with open arms when it’s time to decorate the 
float with flowers. Just one more wonderful 
thing about Sierra Madre!

 If you like Walking Sierra Madre, you oughta 
take a look at my book!

 “A Tablespoon of Love, A Tablespoon of 
Laughter” is available on or


Longtime Sierra Madre resident passed away recently. Dotty was a lifelong 
homemaker, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. 

 She will be missed by her family and many dear friends.



Sierra Madre, CA. – October 28, 2014 – Sierra 
Madre resident and local environmentalist, 
Caroline Brown, is featured on new READ posters 
and bookmarks by the Sierra Madre Public Library.

 “I love to read. I have several books going at once 
by my bed as well as on my iPad,” said Brown. The 
book she chose to feature on the READ bookmarks 
is, Moby-Duck: An Accidental Odyssey: The True 
Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the 
Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalist, 
and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in 
Search of Them by Donovan Hohn.

 Moby-Duck charts the movement around the 
North Pacific of over 28,800 rubber ducks that 
spilled from a cargo container and ended up in 
garbage islands, or gyres, in the Pacific Ocean. They 
were called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and 
grew from the size of a football stadium to twice 
the size of Texas.

 A former environmental science teacher at 
Claremont High School, Brown has a special interest 
in the health of the ocean. “The ocean is the heartbeat 
of the earth and, as we treat it so badly, we only bring 
ourselves more and more environmental misery. The 
tale of the ducks must help us to do better,” she said.

 Brown is a member of the Environmental 
Action Council, helped form the local Mountain 
Conservancy, volunteers with the California 
Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, and helps 
preserve Sierra Madre’s Urban Forest.

 Moby-duck is available at the Sierra Madre Public 

 Read, Discover, Connect @ Sierra Madre Public 
Library, 440 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 
CA 91024, (626) 355-7186,


 Applications now being accepted for the Sierra 
Madre Waterworks Community Advisory 
Board. The Community Advisory Board 
(CAB) was created to provide residents and 
the community an opportunity to be a part of 
the planning process for aquatic services at the 
Sierra Madre Aquatic Center. The CAB consists 
of seven distinct positions representing: 
swim lessons, swim team, lap swimming/
water aerobics, recreation swim/social user, 
a Waterworks Aquatics staff, Community 
Services Department staff and Community 
Services Commission liaison. Each of the 
community positions serve one year terms and 
are appointed by the a selection committee 
consisting of the Waterworks Aquatics staff, 
Community Services Department staff and 
Community Services Commission liaison. The 
CAB meets on a once a month basis throughout 
the year. Upon completion of the one year 
term, members of the CAB can reapply for 
appointment. Applications can be turned in to 
Sierra Madre Aquatic Center, located in Sierra 
Vista Park at 611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra 
Madre, CA 91024. 


For more information on the CAB please contact 
the City at 626-355-7135 ext. 703 or Waterworks 
Aquatics at 626-836-1200. 



 As a Navy Veteran that served for over 
nine years on two warships and deployed to 
operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 
I proudly admit that I am that veteran. You 
know the one, the guy that tears up every time 
he hears our National Anthem. I’m the veteran 
that thinks military march music is the most 
inspirational music ever written. The one 
that cringes every time I see our “Stars and 
Stripes” displayed improperly (as a side not 
SM residents, we all could use a refresher on 
flag etiquette please visit http://www.usflag.
org/flagetiquette.html). I am as patriotic as 
you can find and would have easily given my 
life, on the orders of others, if asked while in 
the service of my country. 

 I have always been relatively quiet about my 
service and the classified information I was 
charged with. For three years of my service in 
the US Navy I served in the intelligence office 
for the Pacific Fleet Commander. This person 
is the highest ranking military commander in 
the Pacific Command. He is overall responsible 
for all service members (Army, Navy, Air 
Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) that serve 
anywhere the Pacific Ocean touches. It was my 
duty to provide daily intelligence briefings and 
ship/force movements to the Admiral and his 
staff officers. In my position I was privvy to the 
intimate details of every single military action 
of the United States and our Allies as well as 
any information regarding opposition forces 
obtained through a myriad of methods. At no 
time ever, had I even considered leaking any 
sensitive information. So when I first learned 
that there were Special Operations veterans 
willing to sell their stories I was obviously 
outraged. As I see it, your service doesn’t end 
just because you no longer wear the uniform. 

That was until Admiral Losey, the Navy’s top 
commander for Special Operations wrote an 
open letter to former operatives reminding 
them to keep quiet. To Admiral Losey and the 
rest of our military leaders who are willing 
to speak up about the breaches of military 
conduct I ask one question, why are you all 
woefully silent on the issue of care for our 

 As many as 131,000 veterans are homeless 
in this country on any given night in this 
country ( One out 
of every three homeless men at one point 
in their lives proudly wore a uniform of our 
armed services. Military veterans comprise 
34% of the male population and 40% of the 
male homeless population. These men are not 
societal pariahs, considering that:

 89% received Honorable Discharges

 69% served 3 years or more

 33% served in warzones

 In other words, most of these men were the 
bravest of the brave. 

Also consider that approximately 1.5 million 
veterans are at risk of being homeless 
(, or the fact that 30% 
of our veterans between the ages of 18-24 are 
unemployed or the 1.2 million veterans that 
have had to seek mental health services for 
service related disabilities last year, and it is 
clear to me that military leaders are failing to 
care for their own.

 In addition to being left to die after service, 
our veterans are being failed by our local, 
state, and federal governments. We live in a 
different world these days. So many citizens 
care more about their individual rights than 
they do about our collective responsibitilies. 
Too many elected officials seem to be more 
concerned with proving their intellectual 
superiority than working tirelessly on behalf 
of every citizen. Not just their supporters. 
It’s no surprise to me that our veterans are 
treated with such disregard as this is the same 
treatment that is evident in the way we treat 
each other. As a whole, this country has lost 
its sense of civic responsibility and we are all 
suffering as a result…especially our veterans.

 This Veterans Day, I challenge each of you 
to take a moment from your hectic lives to 
think of ways to help our forgotten heroes. I’m 
not asking for people to (cont. on pg. 7)NAVY 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: