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Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre edition

Sierra Madre Edition

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Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
… This and That

Shop Local:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Local Area News Briefs
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter

Best Friends / The World:
Happy Tails
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Food, Drink & More:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
Looking Up

Education / Good Life:
Senior Happenings

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
The Missing Page
The Joy of Yoga

MVN Ballot Positions
Blair Bess
Left of Left
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Marc Garlett
Hail Hamilton
Lori A. Harris
Katie Hopkins
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder
Keely Totten

Recent Issues:
Issue 42
Issue 41
Issue 40
Issue 39
Issue 38
Issue 37
Issue 36
Issue 35
Issue 34
Issue 33
Issue 32

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1



VOLUME 12 NO. 43


Charles “Charlie” Fox 
Kissinger, a well-known 
member of the Sierra 
Madre community, has 
died. He passed away 
peacefully at home after 
a valiant battle with 
cancer on Tuesday at the 
age of 72. He is survived 
by his wife Kim Clymer-
Kelley Kissinger.

Charlie was born in 
Wisconsin to Raymond 
Frances Kissinger of 
Vancouver, British 
Columbia and Laura 
Vivian Fox Kissinger of 
Wisconsin. His family 
moved to Sierra Madre 
in 1956 and for his 
childhood and most 
of his adult life, Sierra 
Madre was his home. 
He is preceded in death 
by his parents and sister.

In a reflection by his wife, Kim Clymer-Kelley Kissinger, “Charlie was an icon in this town... definitely 
“one of a kind”, smart, fun, interesting, “jack of all trades”, knowledgeable of so many things, generous, 
caring, kind, funny (in his quirky, often inappropriate, punny kind of way), adventurous, peace- loving, 
nature loving, community- minded, and principled man”, he was all that and much more.”

Yes, Charlie was the epitome of a true Sierra Madrean. A regular fixture at Beantown and Kersting 
Court. Before health challenges slowed him down, he could be seen walking with his friend Michael 
from one end of town to the other. He was an advocate for maintaining the quality of life in Sierra 
Madre, especially in the canyons, often bringing important issues to the attention of city leaders.

For years on Thanksgiving and more recently on Christmas Day, Charlie was by Kim’s side hosting 
a traditional Holiday dinner free to the community at Mary’s Market. An effort is underway, in 
coordination with city staff, to install a Charlie Kissinger Memorial Bench and Seating Area “on the 
corner he worked so hard to keep clean”. Donations to support this effort may be left at Mary’s Market, 
561 Woodland Drive, Sierra Madre. 

As Charlie was also a passionate lover of the outdoors and nature, In lieu of flowers, donations can 
also be made to his favorite wildlife area – The Southern Utah Wilderness. (Go to: 

A memorial gathering for Charlie will be held at Mary’s Market at 4pm on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. 
Friends are encouraged to bring their music and best Charlie memories. 

S, Henderson/MVNews



The Sierra Madre Community Emergency Response 
Team (CERT) graduated 32 new members this week 
from their CERT Basic Training class, their largest class 
yet. The training, which took place over two Saturdays 
and three nights, is a 25 hour FEMA certified course. The 
class is designed to ensure citizens have the basic skills to 
act safely while assisting themselves, their families, and 
neighbors during a major disaster. CERT members may 
also volunteer to assist the city when resources are 
stretched to the limit.

 In addition to the 32 graduates there were another 13 
trainees who completed at least a portion of their CERT 
training or completed training for other local CERT 
programs. The participants were mainly from Sierra 
Madre but also included residents from neighboring 

 Over 80 people were involved in the final day’s 
exercise, including a team of firefighters and paramedics 
from the Sierra Madre Fire Department under the 
direction of Captain Mike Goth. CERT President Dennis 
Burton oversaw the training which involved more than 
15 members of Sierra Madre CERT who ran the Incident 
Command Post. Sierra Madre Middle School’s Service 
Club provided 20 “victims” who suffered from an array 
of cuts and bruises, severe burns, arterial bleeds, broken 
bones, and severe head wounds. For the third year, 
Nichole Rinker of provided the 
moulage (makeup) services giving the trainees realistic 
wounds to consider in their medical assessment. 
Photographic documentation of the event was provided 
by Hood from the Sierra Madre Drone Association, 
directed by Gary Hood where he had a birds-eye view of 
the disaster exercises.

 CERT particularly expresses gratitude to Sierra Madre 
City Manager Gabriel Engeland for supporting CERT 
and allowing the use of the Sierra Madre Emergency 
Operations Center for the training. Administrative 
Assistant Laura Aguilar helped coordinate the week’s 
activities, including the use of the City Council Chambers 
for the search and rescue operations.

 Included in the training is a written test and evaluation, 
after which the graduates were awarded FEMA 
certificates by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 
volunteer CERT Instructor Dudley Rainey. As part of the 
training graduates receive a CERT backpack with their 
personal protection equipment.

 The Sierra Madre CERT program, which has trained 
almost 200 members, got its start in Sierra Madre in 2009 
under the guidance of Caroline Brown, Gary Hood, and 
Mike Kinney. CERT’s purpose is to educate citizens for 
emergency preparedness and to assist the City of Sierra 
Madre when called out by the Fire Department. As part 
of educating the citizens of Sierra Madre in disaster 
preparedness, CERT distributes informative material at 
numerous city events.

 Sierra Madre CERT is funded entirely by donations 
and grants made possible by organizations including 
Athens Services, Sierra Madre Civic Club, Sierra Madre 
Community Foundation, Sierra Madre Rotary Club, 
Sierra Madre Woman’s Club, Southern California 
Edison, and Wayne Williams of Professional Advisory 
Services in Arcadia. CERT also holds a fundraiser each 
year selling glow sticks on Halloween. For information 
about CERT, our monthly meetings, or the next Sierra 
Madre CERT training, check their website at www. or send an email to info@

Sierra Madre Icon Charlie Kissinger and wife Kim in Oregon. 
Photo courtesy of Pam Kelly


By Kevin McGuire

 City Council and the Planning Commission met 
in a special joint session on Tuesday to discuss 
three hot topics in the city: 

- A Citywide Historic Resources Survey

- Mills Act Contract Update, and

- Safety Concerns over First Soft-Story and 

- Unreinforced Masonry Buildings.

 The Commission presented their matters to the 
full City Council staff Tuesday, October 23, 2018. 
Vice Chair Tom Denison, Gina Frierman-Hunt 
and William Pevsner were not present from the 
Planning Commission. Here is a breakdown of the 
three items discussed. 

Citywide Historic Resources Survey

 City Manager Gabriel Engeland gave the 
presentation along with the Director of Planning, 
Vincent Gonzalez. 

 The objective was to bring forward a plan for 
a Historic Resources Survey that discourages the 
demolition and substantial alteration of potential 
historic structures, and also identifies, documents 
and evaluates properties with historical 
significance without draining homeowners with 
high costs and regulatory burdens. 

 In February of 2017, the city passed the 
Discretionary Demolition Permit Ordinance, 
requiring properties 75 years old or greater to be 
viewed as potential historic resources. Property 
owners were required to provide a historic resource 
survey to the Planning Commission if they wanted 
to make significant repairs or renovations to their 

 During that time, 43 Historic Resource 
Evaluation Reports were submitted, each costing 
between $2,500 and $5,000 and taking several 
months complete. The results showed that 32 of 
the 43 properties had no historical significance 
which, for some, was perceived as a waste of time, 
money and resources. 

 Looking ahead, the Planning Commission 
is hoping to amend the current code and have 
homeowners in properties, 75 years or older, 
provide abbreviated surveys on the assumption 
that their properties are already historic. These 
abbreviated reports cost significantly less (between 
$800 and $1,200) and are quicker to complete. If it 
is determined then that the properties are indeed 
historic, then a full survey would be required. 

 If amended, the ordinance would require that 
the abbreviated survey be used as the primary 
record regardless of historic significance. The 
city staff is also proposing to bid the survey work 
to a sole provider who can offer lower rates and 
quicker turnaround. 

 The proposed revisions will be brought back to 
the Planning Commission for further discussion 
before being brought before City Council for a 

Mills Act Contract Update

 Presented by Director of Planning, Vincent 
Gonzalez, the Mills Act refers to the economic 
incentive program in California for the 
preservation and restoration of qualified historic 
buildings by private property owners. Owners may 
be eligible for property tax relief if they enter into a 
formal contract with the city and agree to maintain 
the historical character and architecture of their 
properties. There are currently 22 properties in 
Sierra Madre under contract, 19 of which are non-
compliant for not submitting required annual 
maintenance and rehabilitation reports. This leaves 
only three properties in compliance since 2013. In 
addition, three more properties were discovered 
by the Tax Assessor’s office; two of which have 
provided documentation. One is outstanding.

 Flaws that were found under the current system 
under the Mills Act include no inspections 
conducted, no annual reporting filed, no clear 
determination on what work was done to 
properties and whether it was allowed. 

 Proposed changes to the current report include: 
- Exterior building improvements only

- Allow limited system improvements (electrical, 
plumbing and mechanical)

- 10-year maximum contract with no auto renewal 
with allowance to submit new contract with new 
work plan after expiration

-Submit annual report documenting work 
completed. Non-compliant properties will not be 
renewed and may trigger cancellation which could 
result in a fee of 12.5 % of the current fair value of 
the property.

 Bottom line, in the past there was no oversight 
and follow through to make sure property owners 
were adhering to the rules presented in the Mills 
Act, and (Continued on page 3)


October is one of the best months to be in Sierra 
Madre. The weather is-hopefully-cooling down, 
fall decorations are being put up everywhere, and 
most importantly, competitions like the Scarecrow 
Festival and the Window Painting competition 
are going on. Having all of the scarecrows and the 
paintings all over Sierra Madre makes the town feel 
extra festive every year. 

 Well, October is almost over, and that means 
that the winners of the Scarecrow Festival have 
been announced. Hopefully, everyone in town 
had a chance to walk around the city and take a 
look at the scarecrows this year. For anyone new 
to town, every year the Creative Arts Group puts 
on a Scarecrow Festival. Residents, businesses, 
and organizations can all enter. Contestants must 
design a scarecrow and write a short story about 
their scarecrow. 

 This year there were some fantastic entries. 
Mother Madre won best in show. She was a beautiful 
scarecrow, surrounded by the animals and plants 
that she protects. Worthington had a wonderful 
story: he was a scarecrow who discovered that 
he could protect the land from forest fires. Sierra 
Madre certainly could use Worthington in the 

 Some of the most fun entries every year are the 
scarecrows designed by local children. This year, 
Flaky the Witch taught everyone the importance 
of taking some time to eat, and the Crow Twins 
reminded the town that work and play can go 

 Window painting will be starting soon, so make 
sure to see the scarecrows before they are gone! 

Go to page 3 to learn more anout 10/31/2018

R. Wright/MVNews

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

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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