Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 29, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1




By Joan Schmidt

 2018 was quite a noteworthy year in the Monrovia, Arcadia, 
and Duarte communities with many unexpected and remarkable 

 Let’s begin with Duarte, where History was made. Cities have 
been forced to form districts for better ethnic representation: two 
qualified candidates (often close friends) ran against each other. 
Not Duarte. It chose to add two new districts; now there are seven 
council members: Mayor Tzeitel Paras-Caracci, Mayor Pro Tem 
Sam Kang, Council Members John Fasana, Liz Reilly, Margaret 
Finlay, Brian Urias and Jocelyn Nunez. Residents also voted to ban 

 In Monrovia, Foothill Unity Center moved to a wonderful, much 
larger building to better serve many communities. What began as a 
food pantry is now a multi-service resource helping low income and 
homeless people gain stability and begin the journey out of poverty. 
Prior to school opening, 1200 students were prepared for a great 
year, and December saw a toy give-away. Two great supporters were 
honored: Dr. Adam Kendal at a “Thank You” reception and Gaetano 
D’Aqunio received their Heart in Hand Humanitarian Award for 
contributions and support to various cities and community groups.

 Monrovia’s Fire Department held a wonderful Memorial 
Dedication and Reception for their late Fire Chief Harry A. Stevens, 
who died in the line of duty on December 4, 1934. Stevens was with 
the Department eighteen years and recognized the community’s 
needs. He ordered a new American La France Pumper, built a new 
fire station, and hired more firemen which allowed the community 
to be serviced by two complete fire companies. (Thank you Fire Chief 
Dover, Historian Steve Baker, and Stevens’ grandson Marshall.)

 In Arcadia, the Great Race Place provided many memorable 
events. Bob Baffert did the unthinkable and won ANOTHER Triple 
Crown with Justify, ridden by Mike Smith. Justify went on to win 
his next six races and then had to be retired. Jockey Joel Rosario has 
returned to Santa Anita; he went on to the Breeder’s Cup and won 
on Accelerate after Victor Espinosa was seriously injured. (Victor 
wants to return to racing next month.) Victor’s nephew Assael and 
Heriberto Figuera, two apprentices, tied for most wins at a Los Al 
Meet. Santa Anita’s Winter Meet opened December 26; everyone got a calendar; kids, stuffed horses 
from Mathis Brothers, who also awarded College Scholarships. Big Stakes Winners were: Flavien Pratt: 
Spiced Perfection (La Brea) and River Boyne (Mathis Brothers), Joel Rosario: Gift Box (San Antonio) 
and Mike Smith: McKinzie (Malibu). Other Opening Day wins: Joel Rosario (Twentytwentyvision), 
Jose Ortiz (Amers), Heriberto (I Am the Danger), Drayden Van Dyke (Amandine), Mike Smith (Big 
Scott Dandy), and Rafael Bejarano (Acker).

 The first Winterfest at Santa Anita has been a great success with its skating rink, snow, horse-drawn 
carriage rides, Petting Zoo, train, Santa, children’s Play Area with Bouncers, Christmas Music, great 
food and gift booths.

 Lastly, the 2018 election results brought MANY surprises. Challenger Alex Villanueva was elected 
Sheriff, and Susan Rubio defeated Mike Eng.

 Yes, 2018 certainly was a year to remember.

Above: Mike Smith reunites with Justify. Right: Joan Schmidt with Dr. Kendall and Gaetano 
D’Aqunio. Below: Mike Antonovich with Sam Kang & Margaret Finlay after he swears them in.

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