Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 7, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 7, 2021 


By Lynn Collman 

Decisions have consequences and it’s not always 
easy to predict their real world impact 
on city residents. 

This is especially true of a decision made 
last year when the previous City Council on 
October 27, 2020 removed the design review 
process for new or remodeled houses from 
the Planning Commission and gave it to Staff to review and decide. Many residents were not aware of its 
true impact and will find out only when it’s too late. “Yeah, so what?” you might ask……..Staff is highly 
qualified. How true; but thanks to the real world experience shared by a Preserve Sierra Madre member, 
we know firsthand what happens now under this new decision: Transparency has disappeared. 

‘I got two blue post cards from the City in May notifying me of permits applied for by my neighbors. A 
design review permit needs to be requested for various reasons, particularly if a remodel increases a home 
to over 3500 square feet. Before October 27, the applicants would go before the Planning Commission 
at a public meeting. I would have watched (on zoom these days) and would have been allowed to ask 
questions, along with anyone else who was interested in what was happening. The Planning Commissioners 
would have asked questions of the architect/contractor/owner. If there was a problem, the plans 
would need to be revised. All of this was out in the open at a duly noticed public meeting. The five 
Planning Commissioners (7 until a year ago) are residents appointed by the City Council, and this is an 
entirely voluntary position of four or eight years. Our Planning Commissioners come from all different 
backgrounds – a year ago we had three architects. Now we have one. We also have a lawyer/developer, 
businessman, doctor, former firefighter. One of our best Commissioners had a background in social issues. 
In other words – they truly represent us, the residents of Sierra Madre. 

Now: I went to the City website after receiving the post cards, saw that I could view the general plans 
there, and could talk to a staff member at City Hall between 7:30-8:30 am on Monday or 7:30-9:30 on 
Wednesday only. I saw the same plans, at my trek to City Hall, but what could I ask? As a layperson, I 
always relied on the presentations from the architect or contractor to describe the project so I had a better 
understanding of it. Without that, I’m starting from scratch and wasting staff time. Without hearing 
concerns from fellow residents, I don’t know how others feel about the project. If I have a question, 
who do I go to? I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate a knock on their door when I have questions. 
Can I call City Hall daily? Yeah, I guess so, but don’t think that would be well received either. Next 
problem: I can file a protest if I want, but that is after the decision is made. And we are all learning how 
hard it is to reverse a decision once it’s been made. How can I file a protest if I don’t even know what I’m 
protesting, and second, should I want to, it will cost me $500. 

The Preserve Sierra Madre Steering Committee met with former City Manager, Gabe Engeland, in June 
to discuss the issue of transparency. After discussing the issues, Gabe agreed that with staff doing the 
review, there is no way for this process to be open and inclusive. 

This may be my issue right now, but it is also yours as well. Do you know what will be a “remodel” in your 
neighborhood, if it is over 300 feet away, or down the block and around the corner? Or on my street? 
Unless you keep tabs on our not too user friendly Sierra Madre website you won’t know who has applied 
for a design review permit’. 

 Welcome into the room Mr/Ms Elephant. 


 July 18, 2021 to July 28, 2021: 
During this period the Sierra Madre Police Department responded to 447 calls for service. 

On 7-19-21 at 12:19AM, a traffic stop of a vehicle where the driver of the vehicle was found to be driving 
a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. The driver was taken to the hospital 
where she was admitted. The driver was issued a citation and released to the care of the hospital staff. 
Case to DA’s office 

Sometime between 7-18-21 at 10:00PM and 7-19-21 at 2:30PM, unknown suspect(s) poured a white 
powdery substance onto the windshield of a vehicle at the victim's residence. No suspect(s) information 
were obtained. Case to Detectives 

Hit and Run 
On 7-22-21 at 8:02AM a driver in the 00 block of N. Sunnyside Ave. was involved in an accident colliding 
into a telephone pole and a vehicle. The driver left the scene and was later found by officers. The driver 
admitted to leaving the scene after the accident. The driver was cited for the violation of a Hit and Run. 
Case to Detectives 

On 7-25-21 at 11:28PM, a bicycle stop was conducted for a vehicle code violation on S. Baldwin Ave. The 
bicyclist failed to produce any form of identification to the officer that resulted his arrest. A search of the 
suspects back pack revealed that the suspect was found to be in possession of controlled substance. The 
bicyclist was transported to the hospital where he was admitted for pre-booking. Due to pre-existing 
medical issues, the bicyclist was issued a citation, however the suspect refused to sign the citation that is 
another violation. He was later released to the care of hospital staff.Case to Detectives 

On 7-25-21 at 7:22PM a traffic stop was conducted for a vehicle code violation at Michillinda and Foothill. 
A check of the driver’s information revealed that he had an arrest warrant out of San Bernardino. 
The driver was arrested for the warrant and taken to the Los Angeles County Jail. 

The owner of a gardening service reported a theft from his truck on 7-26-21, between 10:00 and 10:30AM. 
A lawn mower and a weed eater were taken from the rear of his truck that was parked in the 200 block 
of E. Highland Ave. while his employees were working in the back yard of a home. Case to Detectives 

Officers responded to a report of a disturbance in the 00 block of N. Baldwin Ave. on 7-27-21 at 9:18PM. 
Sierra Madre FD Paramedics were on scene for the treatment of injuries to a male then was taken to a 
local hospital. Following medical clearance, the male was taken to the Los Angeles County Jail. Case to 
Pasadena DA’s office 

On 7-28-21 at 7:45PM, officers took a report from a resident at the station regarding an apparent confrontation 
with a neighbor. Officers went to the location and interviewed the suspect. Following the interview 
the suspect was arrested for battery and taken to the Pasadena Jail for booking. Case to Detectives 


by Deanne Davis 

“August rain, the best of the summer gone, and 
the new fall not yet born.
The odd, uneven time.” Sylvia Plath 

“August: New month, new motivation, keep 
going, don’t give up!” 

“I pray August is full of good news, blessings 
and positive vibes.” 

I am writing my column today, August 3rd,
which is National Watermelon Day. If you 
haven’t gotten yourself one yet, if you haven’t 
devoured a whole lot of it, stop denying yourself 
and go get one. Then invite someone who is a lot 
of fun to be with to come share it with you. 

“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows 
what the angels eat.” Mark Twain 

Daughter Crissy, and granddaughters Jessie and 
Emily and I spent a few days in Huntington 
Beach this past week. The picture is of Jessie 
and Emily and grandsons, Caleb and Brady 
at the foot of Huntington Beach Pier where, 
sadly, Ruby’s Surf City Diner is no more. Windy that day but everyone had a splendid time. We 
went to see the new Disney movie, “Jungle Cruise,” and loved every minute of it. Great plot, great 
action, The Rock and Emily Blunt were terrific. The only part of the movie that related at all to 
the Disneyland ride was the first few minutes and then it was one unexpected event after another. 
Best movie we’ve seen. This was our third actual theater experience and it’s really nice to GO to 
the movies again. 

We had mango margaritas, delicious food everywhere we went – maybe a little too much of it – 
but all good. Got together with lots of other family members and it was wonderful to get away. 
School starts for Jessie and Emily tomorrow, August 4th. We are hoping it will be a good learning 
experience for them as they didn’t do well with the online-distance learning concept. 

We got home yesterday and I was opening the stack of mail that had arrived while we were gone. 
The first thing I saw was a letter from the IRS. My blood ran cold and I experienced that moment 
when you forget to breathe. 

“Dear Taxpayer,” it started, then went on to inform me they need more information to process the 
return accurately, and within 20 days. Of course, I couldn’t figure out exactly what information 
they wanted and was thankful, once again, for the wonderful folks who have been doing our taxes 
for years and years. 

Why is it that even the mention of the IRS can fill one with sheer terror, even when one has 
done everything right, got it in on time, and supplied enough supporting documentation to prove 
beyond a shadow of a doubt where every single dollar came from and, subsequently, went! 

John and I were audited twice by the IRS. Once shortly after we were married in 1967. Two IRS 
agents came to our house on Canon Drive. They happily accepted coffee and banana bread, petted 
our dog, and asked a lot of questions about contributions. John, being the person he was, an 
engineer to his very core, had all the documentation they could possibly want, and more, and they 
took notes, ate more banana bread and bid us adieu. That was all there was to that. 

The second time, he was summoned to IRS headquarters in downtown Los Angeles where he 
met with an agent, Ms. Black. She had a lot of questions about the radio station we were building 
at that time, KROR-FM – The Roar of the Desert, and John, of course, had every piece of paper 
connected with the project and was able to produce it all. Ms. Black said what a pleasure it was to 
audit engineers as they were so organized and such good record keepers. He was right on every 
single item and after meeting with Ms. Black a couple of times, we emerged unscathed again. 

I scanned the letter and sent it off to Ashley, my tax preparer, and am hoping that I, too, will 
emerge unscathed. 

Then I came across this book that I don’t think I can live without: 

“Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man’s Tour of Duty Inside The IRS” Here’s the synopsis: 

“Twelve years ago, Richard Yancey answered a blind ad in the newspaper offering a salary higherthan what he’d made over the three previous years combined. It turned out that the job was forthe Internal Revenue Service -- the most hated and feared organization in the federal government.
So Yancey became the man who got in his car, drove to your house, knocked on your door, andmade you pay. Never mind that his car was littered with candy wrappers, his palms were sweaty, 
and he couldn’t remember where he stashed his own tax records. He was there on the authorityof the United States government. 

With a rich mix of humor, horror, and angst, Confessions of a Tax Collector contains anastonishing cast of too-strange-for-fiction characters. But the most intriguing character of all is 
Yancey himself who -- in detailing how the job changed him and how he managed to pull himselfback from the brink of moral, ethical, and spiritual bankruptcy – reveals what really lies beneaththose dark suits and mirrored sunglasses.” 

Now I ask you, doesn’t that sound great! More on my adventures with the IRS to come!
August, September…I can almost smell the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Have a great week. 

My book page: Deanne Davis 
Where you’ll find 
“A Treasure Map, A Drunken Owl & 47 Rattlers in A BagTrue Tales of Early California.” 
Hot summer is the perfect time to read this exciting adventure.
For you Emma Gainsworth fans, all her escapades are there AND, there’s a new Emma story in 
the works! 

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