Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, March 10, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:5

Mountain View News Saturday, March 10, 2018 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: 
Walking Sierra Madre…The Social Side 
by Deanne Davis 
“A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.” 
Sometimes a statement will stick out in front of you and 
you just have to do something with it. The quote above 
was what stuck out in front of me today and I thought I’d 
pass it along. 
The picture this week is of my friend, and probably 
your friend, too, Robert Gjerde. Thinking back, I’ve 
known Robert since before his kids were born and they 
are in 9th and 7th grade at this point. Robert arrived at my 
house for our chat and hopped out of this gorgeous CERT 
van, which sports a communications mast that extends to 
48’, providing line-of-sight to connect to transmitters on 
the hillsides, other communities, city hall and all sorts of 
places which need to be able to communicate during such 
time as a severe emergency has shut down all other forms 
of communications. 
Before we got down to Robert’s involvement with 
CERT – Community Emergency Response Team, we 
chatted about some of his excellent photography. Robert 
lives up in the canyon with a spectacular view of the entire 
San Gabriel Valley from his front window. He has posted 
many pictures of bears cavorting about his hillside, deer, 
and tortoises. His next door neighbor is the proud owner 
of a pair of tortoises who, after ten or twelve years living 
there finally produced babies! Tortoises, as you probably 
already know, lay eggs, bury them in the ground and some 
months later, baby tortoises appear all over the place. 
There have been three batches of tortoises so far and their 
proud owners keep them inside for the first year or so of 
life to give them a fighting chance to get big enough to 
avoid all their natural predators; think raccoons, skunks, 
etc. Robert caught this year’s Rose Parade flyby in the 
best picture I saw anywhere. A couple more interesting 
things about Robert, he’s on the board of our own Pioneer 
Cemetery and designed their website. He thought they 
needed one and created it! And, you know that bell in 
Kersting Court that gets rung for significant events like 
the Mt. Wilson Trail Race, the return of our Rose float, 
the Halloween Parade and other things like that? Robert 
noticed it, discovered it hadn’t been rung for some thirty 
years, did a little research on the bell tower, wrote an 
article about it, bought the right kind of rope, greased up 
all the parts and...voila! The bell rings! This bell, btw, is the 
original bell in the schoolhouse which originally stood in 
Kersting Court; the second school in Sierra Madre. As 
you can see, Robert is a go-to, get-it-done, kinda guy. 
CERT has been a presence in Sierra Madre for about 
ten years under the auspices of FEMA and is called out 
by the Fire Department. They are prepared for any sort of 
major disaster, fire, flood, earthquake, you name it. There 
are three CERT members on staff at the Fire Department 
at all times along with two paramedics, should that major 
disaster occur. They are equipped to deal with search & 
rescue issues within the city, in addition to fire suppression 
and triage. 
The CERT trailer, which was donated in 2013 contains 
medical, communications and triage equipment. It’s 
purpose, basically, is to try to keep people alive. There 
is a 20-hour training course yearly held in the EOC in 
the basement of City Hall, and a disaster drill was also 
held recently in the City Council Chambers featuring 15 
high school volunteers in full disaster makeup! CERT 
has trained around 150 people in disaster/emergency 
techniques and if you’d like to take a look at the CERT van 
and meet Robert, he will be out at the Wistaria Festival 
March 18 at the corner of Auburn and Sierra Madre Blvd. 
all day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Robert is also the CERT grant writer and he’s managed 
to coax about $10,000 from folks like So. Cal Edison, 
Sierra Madre Community Foundation, Sierra Madre 
Civic Club, Sierra Madre Women’s Club, Rotary and he’s 
just applied to the Pasadena Community Foundation for 
Emergency Communication Internet equipment. A real 
necessity as the internet is the only thing that will work in 
an emergency when everything else goes down. Come out 
and meet Robert and take a look at Sierra Madre’s CERT 
equipment. You’ll be glad you did! 
Stopped by Creative Arts Group last Sunday to take 
a look at their Art in Bloom Show and, friends and 
neighbors, we have some amazing floral artists here in 
town. Artists and florists pairing to create arrangements 
based on their interpretation of selected art pieces. 
Lisa Cardella of Ixora Florists, Jill Fordes and Lorie 
Westmoreland of Leonora Moss, take a bow! The flower 
arrangements were beyond fabulous and reflected 
perfectly each piece of art. Sierra Madre is such a super 
place to live! We are surrounded by talent, beauty and, of 
course, our own personal mountains. 
My book page: Deanne Davis 
Check out “The Crown” now that we are heading for 
If you’ve ever wondered what happened to that crown 
of thorns, 
“The Crown” is perfect for you! 
Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! Take a 
Follow me on Twitter, too!