Mountain Views News, Pasadena edition

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Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
Local City Meetings

Pasadena – Altadena:
Altadena Crime Blotter
Pet of the Week

South Pasadena / San Marino:

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

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
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder

Recent Issues:
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Volume 12:
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MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1





City to Celebrate 100 Years 
of Women’s Right to Vote

Pasadena city Councilmember 
Margaret McAustin is 
spearheading a committee 
comprised of City 
representatives, in collaboration 
with the Commission on the 
Status of Women, to recognize 
the centennial passage of 
the 19th Amendment which 
guarantees equal voting rights 
to American women.

 Passed by Congress in 1919 
and ratified in 1920, the 19th 
Amendment was achieved after 
decades of protest and struggle 
to ban discrimination. The 
City of Pasadena’s celebration 
of this landmark victory 
for women will kick off in 
March 2019, joining other 
efforts throughout the city 
commemorating Women’s 
History Month. The committee 
hopes to build momentum in 
2019, culminating with a wide 
variety of events in 2020.

 The City is calling on both 
women and men to join in the 
national celebration and take 
pride in the 19th Amendment’s 
passing and its impact on our 
country. The goal is to highlight 
women’s accomplishments 
over the years in various fields, 
including government, science, 
literature, and the arts. Other 
community partners include 
Vision 2020; Pasadena Museum 
of History; Pasadena Unified 
School District; One City, One 
Story; Tournament of Roses; 
and others yet to be announced.

 “We want to collaborate with 
city stakeholders to not only 
reflect on the past 100 years 
and the changemakers who 
broke barriers but also to 
remind ourselves that there is 
still much work to be done to 
achieve full equality for women 
and girls in this country,” said 
Councilmember McAustin.

As part of the kick off, the City 
will unveil a commemorative 
logo at the March 4 City 
Council meeting. The logo was 
designed by Sonia P. Rodriguez, 
a graphic artist with the City’s 
print shop, in coordination with 
Councilmember McAustin and 
committee members. The logo’s 
colors have both historical and 
symbolic significance, paying 
homage to the women’s suffrage 
movement. The Suffragist, 
Vol. 1 No. 4, published on 
December 6, 1913, describes 
the symbolism of the colors. 
“Purple is the color of loyalty, 
constancy to purpose, 
unswerving steadfastness to a 
cause. White, the emblem of 
purity, symbolizes the quality 
of our purpose; and gold, the 
color of light and life, is as the 
torch that guides our purpose, 
pure and unswerving. The 
City’s signature rose is also 
proudly highlighted in the logo.

 A list of local programs 
and events commemorating 
the 100th anniversary of 
the women’s right to vote is 
forthcoming and will be posted 
on the City of Pasadena’s 

 A 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 

 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 

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.

 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 

Norma Coombs Celebrates Opening

 Norma Coombs Elementary 
Celebrates Opening

Students, staff, and families of 
Norma Coombs Elementary 
School celebrated Wednesday 
the grand opening of two new 
buildings and other campus 
improvements. A ribbon cutting 
ceremony marked the occasion. 
Also at the event were Pasadena 
Unified School District (PUSD) 
Board of Education President 
Larry Torres, Board Member 
Roy Boulghourjian, City 
Councilman Gene Masuda and 
other officials.

 “The renovations at Norma 
Coombs Elementary build 
on the school’s proud history 
of excellence and provide 
students with an enhanced 21st 
century learning experience,” 
said Superintendent Brian 
McDonald. “Our district’s 
building program supports 
academics and demonstrates our 
commitment to creating positive 
learning environments for all 

 The campus improvements 
consist of two new buildings 
that house classrooms, 
administration offices, a 
science laboratory, and a music 
classroom. A new entry and 
parking lot welcome students 
and visitors. Other renovations 
include the replacement 
of a boiler and chiller, 
which lower energy 
consumption; fire alarms 
and security features; a 
new kiln room for the school’s 
signature ceramics program; and 
additional green space. Working 
with the City of Pasadena, a 
crosswalk was relocated. The 
project won a special award 
for worker safety during 

 “The new buildings and 
renovations are a dream come 
true for our school community. 
By providing this beautiful 
environment with all the modern 
elements, it lets our students and 
staff know we value them!” said 
Principal Dr. Jennifer Smith. 
“The renovations promote 
teaching and learning, and 
provide spaces where our richly 
diverse and talented students 
can develop into the leaders of 

 Norma Coombs Elementary 
School serves 385 students 
in pre-Kindergarten through 
fifth grade, and is dedicated to 
developing each child’s gifts. 
The principal, teachers, and staff 
have worked hard to establish 
an environment of academic 
excellence that challenges and 
engages all students. The Norma 
Coombs school community 
appreciates the importance of 
providing a well-rounded and 
balanced education rooted in 
academics that also develops 
and exposes students to a wide 
range of experiences. The school 
has implemented the “Leader 
in Me” program that develops 
and empowers students with 
the leadership and life-skills 
they need to thrive in the 21st 
century. For decades, the school 
has offered a ceramics program 
that builds students’ motor-
skills, allows for self-expression, 
and promotes application of 
vital 21st century skills, problem 
solving skills, and collaboration.

 The $7 million project was 
funded by Measure TT, a 
bond initiative approved by 
voters in 2008 for construction 
and modernization of PUSD 
schools. Measure TT bond 
funds are targeted for capital 
improvements and are separate 
from district operating expenses. 
For more information on 
Measure TT, visit

Photo by D. Lee/MVNews

Judy Chu on 
Gun Violence

Pasadena Lapidary Society 
Sends Meteorite To Space

 For the first time in 
25 years, the House of 
Representatives voted 
Wednesday on a major piece 
of gun violence legislation 
and passed H.R. 8, the 
Bipartisan Background 
Checks Act of 2019. 
This legislation expands 
background checks to cover 
all sales, closing the “gun 
show loophole” that allowed 
private dealers to sell guns 
without a background 
check. Rep. Judy Chu issued 
the following statement:

 “Last year, our country 
averaged one mass shooting 
per month. And the attacks 
in Parkland and at the 
Tree of Life Synagogue 
were among the worse in 
our country’s history. But 
each time, the Republicans 
in Congress responded 
with moments of silence 
followed by months of 
inaction, proposing that we 
turn schools into fortresses 
instead of acting to rein in 
gun violence. But students 
should be practicing math 
and reading, not how to 
hide from an active shooter.

 “That is why I am so 
pleased that today, we 
finally put an end to over 
two decades of inaction 
and passed legislation to 
require background checks 
for all gun purchases. This 
is common sense. We know 
that lives can be saved by 
keeping the most dangerous 
weapons out of the most 
dangerous hands. And that’s 
what this bill does.

 “Following mass shootings 
in the past, Donald Trump 
has expressed support for 
doing this exact same thing 
and so I am disappointed 
that he has backtracked on 
that to opposed this bill 
in order to stand with gun 

 The Pasadena Lapidary Society 
(PLS) members launched a 
helium balloon carrying a 
pallasite meteorite slice from a 
launch site near Bishop, CA, up 
95,000 feet into the stratosphere, 
often called “the edge of space”. 
A pallasite meteorite is a rare 
type of stony-iron meteorite 
containing olivine crystals of 
peridot in an iron-nickel matrix. 

 The balloon traveled over the 
snowy Sierra Nevada of central 
California on February 23. 
After the balloon popped, the 
meteorite was parachuted back 
to Earth, landing on the eastern 
edge of Death Valley National 
Park, where it was recovered 
the next day. The meteorite will 
be on display at the upcoming 
California Federation of 
Mineralogical Societies (CFMS) 
Gem and Mineral Show, March 
8-10 at Fairplex, Expo Hall 6, 
in Pomona. An image of the 
meteorite will be viewable in 
the days to come by way of

PLS, a non-profit organization, 
is co-hosting the CFMS show, 
entitled California’s Natural 
Treasures. The show features 
many exciting things to 
experience, a Kid’s area, fun 
games about rocks, minerals and 
fossils and many other unique 
items. Admission is $5 for 
adults, $4. For more information 



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Pasadena Pharmacy 
Owner Sentenced In 
Health Care Scheme


Pg. 4




 A Pasadena pharmacy 
owner was sentenced 
to 48 months in prison 
Monday for her role 
in a Medicare fraud 
scheme involving more 
than $1.5 million in 
fraudulent claims for 
prescription drugs. 

 According to the 
Department of Justice, 
Tamar Tatarian, 39, of 
Pasadena, was sentenced 
by U.S. District Judge 
John F. Walter of the 
Central District of 
California, who also 
ordered Tatarian to pay 
$1,537,710 in restitution 
to Medicare. On Dec. 
14, 2018, Tatarian was 
convicted of one count 
of health care fraud and 
two counts of wire fraud 
following a four-day 
jury trial. 

 Tatarian was an owner 
of Akhtamar Pharmacy 
in Pasadena. According 
to evidence presented 
at trial and sentencing, 
from approximately 
October 2015 through 
June 2018, Tatarian 
engaged in a scheme 
involving the submission 
of fraudulent claims to 
Medicare Part D plan 
sponsors for prescription 
drugs that Akhtamar 
Pharmacy never ordered 
from wholesalers, and thus 
never dispensed to Medicare 
beneficiaries. Tatarian 
attempted to conceal the 
fraud through the creation 
of fake invoices, reflecting 
wholesale drug purchases by 
Akhtamar Pharmacy which 
had, in fact, never taken 
place, the evidence showed. 
As a result of this scheme, 
Tatarian, through Akhtamar 
Pharmacy, submitted claims 
to Medicare for more than 
$1.5 million in prescription 
drugs that she never 
purchased or dispensed 
to patients, the evidence 

 The case was investigated by 
the FBI and HHS-OIG. Trial 
Attorney Alexis Gregorian 
and Assistant Chief A. 
Brendan Stewart of the 
Criminal Division’s Fraud 
Section are prosecuting the 


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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