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
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Best Friends:
Happy Tails
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Pasadena – Altadena:
Altadena Crime Blotter
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter

The World Around Us:
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Education / Good Life:
Senior Happenings

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Shop Locally:

Opinion … Left/Right:
Christine Flowers
Dick Polman
Tom Purcell
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

F. Y. I. :

Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Katie Hopkins
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder

Recent Issues:
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 12:
Issue 52
Issue 51
Issue 50

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1






Sierra Madre Police Present Annual 

By Kevin McGuire

With safety, efficiency and community-oriented 
policing at the forefront, Chief Joe Ortiz and the 
Sierra Madre Police Department have a lot to be 
proud of as they tally 2018 achievements and set 
new goals for 2019.

Lieutenant Edward Delcoure presented the 
Department’s Annual Report to the City Council 
Tuesday, during their regular bi-weekly meeting. 

One of the biggest goals of the Police Department 
in 2018 was the reduction of traffic collisions 
and traffic-related offenses within the City. 
The Department increased traffic enforcement, 
especially in “hotspots” for collisions and traffic 
violations. There were 38 traffic collisions in 
2018, the lowest since the 42 collisions in 2015, 
and down from a whopping 85 in 2017 (a 72% 
reduction). One reason for the decrease in 
collisions is the increase in citations issued in 
2018, which totaled 1450, an increase of 613 over 

The determination was that most traffic 
violations occurred in the areas of Baldwin Ave. 
from Suffolk Ave. to Northeast Highland Ave., 
and Sierra Madre Blvd. from Mountain Trail 
Ave., to South Hermosa Ave.

Among the greatest accomplishments for the 
PD and the City, the National Council for Home 
Safety and Security conducted a study and 
determined Sierra Madre to be the 5th safest 
city in all of California. Sierra Madre ranked 
behind only Hillsborough, Palos Verdes Estates, 
Imperial and Truckee. 

There were eight violent crimes reported in 
Sierra Madre in 2018, and 108 property crimes. 
Residential burglaries jumped from 20 in 2017 
to 23 last year and vehicle burglaries rose from 
five in 2017 to 13 last year. There was no clear 
indication why burglaries were up in 2018. 

There were 786 investigations in Sierra Madre in 
2018, only four of which still remain open.

In addition to increased traffic enforcement, 
in 2018 the Department added a Homeless 
Assistance Resource Team which partnered 
with L.A. County to tackle some of the homeless 
issues in the surrounding areas. They also added 
programs in Leadership Training, Tactical Skills, 
Active Shooter Simulation Training, and a Drug 
and Alcohol Recognition program. 

The Department, led by Chief Joe Ortiz, also 
stepped up their community outreach initiatives 
including a stronger presence on social media, 
neighborhood watch programs, “Coffee with a 
Cop” and “Cookies with a Cop” programs, and 
just visiting area businesses and being more 
engaging in the community. In addition, many 
police officers participated in events such as the 
Wistaria Festival, 4th of July Celebrations and 
the Mount Wilson Trail Run. 

The Sierra Madre PD is now fully staffed with 16 
full-time officers, four dispatchers, 13 part-time 
staffers and 16 volunteers. Officers are equipped 
with the latest video equipment for their vehicles 
and receive monthly trainings and annual 

What’s new for 2019? Well, goals for the 
Department include: Becoming a model for 
other small towns in efficiency and effectiveness, 
reduce crime and traffic collisions even further 
and improve efforts in community engagement. 

You can see the latest information on the 
Sierra Madre Police Department on the City 
website at
departments/police_department, on Facebook 
at, and Twitter 
plus Instagram @SierraMadrePD. 

The reconfiguration of Kersting Court has been a topic of discussion for several years in Sierra Madre. 
It appears that the project is beginning to take steps which will make the area ADA Accessible and 
enhance the 'Kersting Court Experience'. Below are the two concept drawings which "are the product 
of brainstorming and discussions between a contracted designer and a focus group of invested community 
members. The focus group collaborated with City staff and consisted of two Community 
Service Commission members, two Kersting Court business owners, the President of the Sierra Madre 
Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community at-large that were previously involved with 
earlier efforts to get the project on line. A number of different concepts were considered, with portions 
of one concept being layered over other concepts, until the focus group was able to narrow their preferences 
to the two attached designs", says Public Works Director Chris Cimino. 

 At the February 25th Community Services Commission meeting, Cimino says, "the two concepts 
shown were presented to the entire Commission for conceptual input and recommendations before 
the more detailed and scaled plans are to be presented to the City Council for final consideration. This 
is a long and involved process, and had a few misstarts in previous years, but is necessary to ensure the 
final product is something we can all be proud of."


Sierra Madre resident and former lieutenant in 
the Pasadena Police Department was sentenced 
to one year and one day in federal prison Monday 
for exploiting his status as a police officer to 
engage in the unlicensed sale of more than 100 
firearms and for making a false statement during 
the purchase of a firearm.

According to the Department of Justice Vasken 
Kenneth Gourdikian, 50, of Sierra Madre, 
was sentenced by United States District Judge 
Stephen V. Wilson, who also ordered Gourdikian 
to pay a $10,000 fine.

Judge Wilson said he didn’t find credible 
Gourdikian’s claims of being “a hobbyist who got 
out of control.” In imposing the prison sentence, 
Judge Wilson noted, “This was a way for him to 
make money.”

In September 2018, Gourdikian pleaded guilty 
to federal charges of engaging in the business 
of dealing in firearms without a license and 
making a false statement during the purchase of 
a firearm.

Gourdikian engaged in the unlicensed sale of 
at least 108 firearms between March 2014 and 
February 2017 and used his official status as a 
police officer to purchase restricted “off roster” 
firearms. “Off roster” firearms are firearms that 
in California are not available for purchase 
by the general public directly from a licensed 
federal firearms dealer. While police officers are 
not prohibited from selling “off roster” firearms 
to the general public, Gourdikian unlawfully 
engaged in the business of selling firearms 
without a license officials said.

In advertisements to sell firearms that he posted 
to an online firearms marketplace, Gourdikian 
sought to increase the purchase price and 
desirability of his firearms by describing them 
as “off roster,” “BNIB” (brand new in box), and 
“never fired.” Gourdikian admitted in his plea 
agreement that 80 of the 108 firearms were 
“off roster” firearms he sold in third-party 
transactions to non-law enforcement customers. 
Had Gourdikian possessed a federal firearms 
license, he would have been unable to sell nearly 
75 percent of the 108 firearms he admitted to 
selling because California law prohibits federal 
firearms licensees from selling “off roster” 
firearms to non-law enforcement buyers, court 
papers state.

Gourdikian also abused his law enforcement 
position in other ways to benefit his gun-selling 
scheme. He admitted to circumventing the usual 
10-day waiting period required for firearms 
purchases by using his position as police officer 
to bypass this state law. Because California law 
also exempts law enforcement from a general 
rule that prohibits the purchase of more than 
one firearm within a 30-day period, Gourdikian 
often purchased multiple firearms in a single 
transaction as a means of restocking his sales 
inventory. Gourdikian re-sold 79 firearms within 
six days after he purchased them, according to 
the government’s sentencing memorandum they 

Highlighting the danger of Gourdikian’s conduct, 
court filings also described how, in 2016, one 
of the firearms that Gourdikian purchased was 
recovered by local police at the site of a narcotics 

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


 The season of Lent lasts approximately 46 days, including Sundays, between Ash Wednesday and Easter 
Sunday. Since its founding in 1885, Ascension and other churches in the Sierra Madre community have 
gathered to observe the weeks prior to Easter as a special time for prayer and meditation about their Christian 

 Lent officially starts with Ash Wednesday, a day of penitence and reflection. At Ascension, Ash Wednesday 
Mass and Imposition of Ashes will be held on March 6, 2019 at 7:00 am, Noon, and 6:00 pm. All are welcome.

 Ash Wednesday Services – March 6 Mass & Imposition of Ashes 7am, Noon, & 6pm

 For more information, please call (626) 355-1133 or visit: 

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

Useful Reference Links

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548