Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 22, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, September 22, 2018 


WALKING SIERRA MADRE... The Social Side By Deanne Davis

“Experience the magic of the floats before they make their 
debut in the 2019 Rose Parade. During the final stages of 
preparation a variety of seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, 
grasses and of course, flowers are being applied to 
the floats by experienced professionals as well as hard 
working volunteers.”

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the 
pessimist stares at the thorns, 

oblivious to the rose.” Kahlil Gibran

 Dick Sappington, our “go-to” guy for the Sierra Madre 
Rose Floats for the past 21 years or so is way more 
concerned about being sure our float is within all the 
parameters of the Rose Parade Rule Book than whether 
the roses have thorns or not. Said Rule Book, over the 100 
years of the Tournament of Roses, has grown from a few 
hazy details – including the famous “Never on Sunday!” 
Rule – to a volume .” thick as new rules are added 
whenever something goes wrong. Float builders must 
now be sure they follow rules to the letter as they will most 
definitely be enforced by the Tournament inspectors. 
Most important rule of the Tournament of Roses: You 
Don’t Stop The Parade!! If your float is so foolish as to 
stop the parade, that means an immediate $1,000.00 fine. 
If there’s some way you could have prevented your float 
from having the bad taste to stop the parade then you’re 
really in trouble. Our fantastic floats have been towed 
four times. Each time our float folks end up in front of a 
group where you are judged guilty till proven innocent. 
Needless to say, Dick’s major concern is to be sure beyond 
a shadow of a doubt that our float will keep going and not 
break down in any way at all.

 Building the float is fun, Dick says. It’s built by people 
who enjoy creating mechanical things. The basic system 
is a custom-made chassis, out of industrial steel and truck 
components per Tournament regulations. Any repairs or 
upgrades to the chassis must be completed early in the 
year. A metal lattice is created out of .” steel rods, welded 
together to form the shape of the float. This year’s float 
design is based on the oriental garden at Sierra Madre 
Elementary School. Once the design is approved, the 
builders start with the bare chassis.

 Great detail is used to make sure every curve is 
just right. Individual structures are built that will go 
on top of the float. These structures, like one of the 
lanterns this year will often be assigned to one person 
who might spend a number of months building it 
with great care. 

 Dick’s wife, Kay, is head of decoration and she does 
the floral design. She’s also the one who deals with the 
hundreds of volunteers in December. This year the 
building crew of construction guys numbers nine. Dick 
works two days a week on this hobby of his - Sunday 
and Thursday, where you can find him at our barn. 
Over the years, he has worked on all the independent 
floats, South Pasadena, Burbank, Cal Poly – Dick is 
still an advisor with the Cal Poly gang. He really likes 
working with 50 or 60 engineering students who are 
not, as Dick puts it, “millennials!” For Dick, the fun part 
is the design engineering aspect – every float is a new 
toy. He has acquired a massive cross-section of skills 
over the years: mechanical engineer, hydraulics expert, 
automotive genius and electrical-electronic know-how. 
As a motorcycle rider-builder, car builder and rider, ex-
military and even farming, Dick learned it all along the 
way. He’s one of those guys who can create whatever’s 
needed. His training has been living a mechanical life, 
playing with many many toys. 

 There will be more hydraulic lifts on our float this year 
than ever before. A lift is raised or lowered 14’ and we 
will have 9 vertical functions this year! 4 cattails, 3 trees, 
2 lanterns and a waterfall in the back. Dick builds for 
the crowds along Colorado Blvd., not necessarily for the 
television cameras. His final words were, “If I can’t weld 
it, I can’t work with it!” No problem, our float is one weld 
after another.

 The Sierra Madre Rose Float would not be possible 
without the volunteer builders and the many residents 
who donate to the Rose Float Association. To donate or 
volunteer to work on the float, visit their website at www. or just show up any Thursday or Sunday 
at 10:00 a.m. You’ll be glad you did! 

 My book page: Deanne Davis 

Kindle books of all sorts and hardcover “Tablespoon of 
Love” are on there, as is “Star of Wonder.”

Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! Take a look!


 Follow me on Twitter, too!

Last week, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity 
Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) Strategic 
Intelligence Unit published their annual report 
on the impact of the legalization of marijuana in 
Colorado. RMHIDTA has published annual reports 
every year since 2013 to track issues related 
to marijuana use in Colorado.

Of note, the RMHIDTA was established by the 
White House Office of National Drug Control 
Policy (ONDCP) in 1996. As of 2017, the program 
has 30 RMHIDTA designated counties in 4 
states (Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming), 
and the group’s mission is to support the national 
drug control strategy of reducing drug use.

A copy of the report can be found on the RMHIDTA 
website, and additional information about the 
RMHIDTA can be found online at www.RMHIDTA.
org. In addition, some of the startling highlights 
in the report have been compiled for your 
reference below.

As of June 2017, there were 491 retail marijuana 
stores in the state of Colorado, compared to 392 
Starbucks and 208 McDonald’s.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized, 
marijuana related traffic deaths increased 151%, 
while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 35%.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic 
deaths involving drivers who tested positive 
for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 
2013, to 138 people killed in 2017.

This equates to one person killed every 2 . days 
compared to one person killed every 6 . days.

The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths 
that were marijuana related increased from 
11.43% in 2013, to 21.3% in 2017.

Colorado past month marijuana use for those 
ages 12 and older is ranked 3rd in the nation and 
is 85% higher than the national average.

The yearly rate of emergency department visits 
related to marijuana increased 52% after the legalization 
of recreational marijuana (2012 compared 
to 2016)

The yearly rate of marijuana-related hospitalizations 
increased 148% after the legalization of recreational 
marijuana (2012 compared to 2016)

65% of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned 
medical and recreational marijuana businesses.


Saint Rita Catholic Church in Sierra Madre is hosting 
its first ever Meet the Priest Picnic and Dodgeball Game 
this Sunday, September 23rd at 11:15am. Saint Rita 
Parish and School is excited to formally welcome their 
new Pastor, Father Thomas Baker, to the Sierra Madre 
Community. What better way to do so than with a 
rousing dodgeball tournament? Father Tom Baker has 
been an ordained Priest for nearly 30 years, born in St. 
Charles, Missouri and raised in Lakewood, California, 
he studied and became a Certified Aircraft Mechanic 
before joining St. John’s Seminary College to pursue 
the Priesthood in 1982. He was ordained in 1989 and 
has since served as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph the 
Worker Church in Canoga Park; Associate Pastor at 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Los Angeles; Pastor 
at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Los Angeles; Pastor of 
Sacred Heart Church in Lancaster; Pastor of St. Kateri 
Tekakwitha Church in Santa Clarita; and Administrator 
of St. Anselm Church in Los Angeles. Father Tom 
was officially named Pastor of our own St. Rita of 
Cascia in Sierra Madre on July 1, 2018. In addition to 
following his calling to Priesthood, Father Tom is an 
avid outdoorsman and competitive athlete. Having 
participated in over 100 triathlons of varied distances, 
including 14 Ironman competitions, Father Tom 
realized his dream of competing in an Ironman World 
Championship in October of 2012. We are excited and 
blessed to have Father Tom joining our Saint Rita family, 
and look forward to welcoming him this Sunday. Please 
join us this Sunday on Saint Rita’s West Campus located 
at 322 N. Baldwin Avenue in Sierra Madre. There will be 
complimentary hot dogs, chips and water provided, so 
bring your picnic blankets, and coolers, and come join 
us! Gates open at 9:00 AM for setup, and the dodgeball 
fun begins at 11:15 AM following the 10:00 Mass. See 
you there!


The Sierra Madre Rose Float Association is once 
again seeking applications for the position of Princess/
Ambassador (in any combination of female/male) to 
represent the City at local functions and activities and 
to ride on our float on New Year’s Day in the Pasadena 
Tournament of Roses Parade!

This year we are searching for three (3-4) Princesses/
Ambassadors who will not only have the honor of 
riding on the Sierra Madre float, but will have the 
pleasure of speaking to the Sierra Madre City Council 
and local service organizations and clubs. In addition, 
they will assist with float decorating and contribute to 
publicity opportunities. Princesses/Ambassadors will 
have a very exciting and educational year!

Application Guidelines and Process:

 1) Applicants must be 15 to 18 years old, have a 3.0 
grade average and be a resident of Sierra Madre.

2) Applications may be picked up at City Hall, your 
High School or downloaded from the Sierra Madre 
Rose Float Association website:

3) Applications must be received at the SMRFA post 
office box (or delivered to the float barn) by Friday, 
October 12, 2017. Applications submitted later than 
October 12 will not be considered.

4) Applicants must be able to attend judging 
interviews on Sunday, October 14th at 3:15pm at the 
Sierra Madre Lodge. (No parents please.)

5) The Announcement Ceremony will be held 
Sunday, October 21, 3:00 PM at the Sierra Madre 
Lodge. Tickets are $5.00 for friends and family 
(candidates are free). Tickets will be available at the 
door. Refreshments will be served.

 For more information or questions, please 
contact Barbie Bevington, SMRFA Board President, 

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