Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 6, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page A:3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 6, 2021 


Okay sports fans, or should I say residents 
and all concerned, if you attended or 
watched last Tuesday’s City Council meeting 
you may be as confused as we are about the 
parsing of the phrase “Natural open space.” 
Who cares and what does it mean you might 
ask? The consultants, hired by the City for 
about $250,000 are trying to come up with 
the 208 lots where additional housing can 

be built to comply with our regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) to accommodate the State’s 

To that end, Curtis Zacuto of Eco Tierra Consulting, the consultant hired to respond to the Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Report (SEIR, not to be confused with the EIR, Environmental 
Impact Report for the Monastery property, a/k/a The Meadows) attempted to explain that “natural 
open space” as defined in the 2015 General Plan Update, is not really meant to include an area such 
as the 20 acre planned development on the Monastery property. Interesting premise, since several 
members of our Preserve Sierra Madre Steering Committee were instrumental in the implementation 
of the aforementioned Update. 

What is their reasoning you might ask. Good question. This consultant’s rationale is that any 
area, such as the 20 acres on the Monastery property, on the southern portion of the property does 
not immediately abut open space, but instead will abut the Monastery Retreat Center on the north 
(the second building was destroyed in the 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake), houses to the south and 
west side, and Bailey Canyon to the east side. As a result, this cannot be “natural” open space. Even 
though it has remained in its present condition for the almost 100 years that the Monastery has 
owned the property. 

An internet search describes the benefits of Natural Open Space as follows and it is clear that the 
Monastery property meets these criteria: 

*Promotes physical and spiritual health – reduced stress is demonstrated to improve mental 
outlook and increased physical activity results in reduced medical needs*Increases the value of nearby residential properties since people like living close to parks and

 protected open spaces and are willing to pay for the privilege.
*Helps protect the water supply by allowing for natural recharge and reduced flooding.
*Reduces the Urban Heat Island Effect 
*Maintains wildlife habitat and linkages*Protects important archaeological and historical sites 

Again you might ask, so what? The consultants in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report 
(SEIR) are attempting to change Objective Hz7 in the safety portion of the General Plan, which 
currently states “avoid expanding development into undeveloped areas in Very High Fire Severity 
Zones.” Mr. Zacuto proposed “Objective Hz5.b: Avoid construction of new development on land 
currently unimproved and abutted by natural open space areas in Very High Fire Hazard Severity 
Zones.” We believe the original language of Hz7 “avoiding expanding development into undeveloped 
areas in Very High Fire Severity Zones” should stay as is in the General Plan to protect our City. 

In other words, changing the SEIR wording of the General Plan, which is what was under discussion, 
will also change the intention of the EIR for the Meadows project, right in the middle of the 
Very High Severity Zone. From all appearances, this new suggested verbiage has been changed to allow 
building 42 large homes in an area previously thought of as “natural open space” or at least “open 
space.” No matter, it is still a very high fire severity zone. It was only a year ago that the Bobcat fire 
threatened the northern boundary of our City, we might remind our City Leaders. 

City Council will meet for the only time in November next Tuesday evening, 5:30. Please come if 
this concerns you and if you want answers to the “natural open space” issue. If you cannot attend 
and would prefer to send your comments to the City Council, do so by 3:00 pm on Tuesday, to PublicComment@ 


BOO! Did I scare you? Ok, I know that was lame but I spend most of my time alone pet sitting 
so I have to have my fun wherever I can, even if it's pathetic! So this year's Quarantine Halloween 
event hosted by Sierra Madre Gives Back was a complete and absolute success! I promise 
I’m not using this column to shine light on my org. I truly want to shine this spotlight on all of 
the donors that made that day so special. So this Spotlight is for you my Give Backers! I would 
be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible Meghan Baier! (I’ve officially dubbed her the best 
Meghan in town!) She made and donated over 200 candy and kids toys bags to be passed out 
during my event and trick-or-treating! I can't believe how many we went through! Not gonna 
lie, I really wanted to keep a toy bag for myself, there was play dough in it! Who can say no to 
play dough?! It was such a fun day, even though my old body was beyond exhausted I was extremely 
happy knowing that this was a Halloween to remember. 

For those of you who don't know what the event was that I threw, I'll give you a quick 
rundown. I had parents schedule a specific time with me that they would bring their kids to 
hunt for toys and candy in my front yard for about half an hour. Then they moved over to the 
craft station where they could make halloween themed scratch ornaments or put funny faces 
on foam ghosts, pumpkins, etc.. I had also had a fun pumpkin bean bag toss game for them to 
play with. Their last stop was the treats table! We had some incredible chocolate lollipops and 
halloween themed hershey bars created by the very talented Annette, her business is Nettie Creations. 
It was such a blast to see all of the costumes (scary and creative). I do have to say that my 
favorite costumes were on these two adorable sisters. One was a taco butterfly and the other was 
a sushi butterfly! It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! 

As Halloween came to an end I wasn't as sad as I usually am at the end of a holiday because 
I knew I still had “The Second Annual Bud Switzer Pumpkin Carving/Decorationg Contest 
'' to look forward to. Bud Switzer was a pillar in this community. Because of him we have 
our now famous “Pumpkin Lane”! It was through his own passion and love of carving pumpkins 
that this all began. When I heard that he passed away last year, I knew Sierra Madre had lost a 
gem. That’s why I started this contest. A little something to remind everyone to live their best 
lives. For me, that means binge watching zombie shows and hanging with my cats, but for Bud 
it was decorating pumpkins.With that said, I will wait no longer to announce our winners! 

 Our first place winner is 
Frances Farham for her Donald 
Duck pumpkin! It is absolutely 
gorgeous! Its so amazing 
to see how talented she is 

at such a young age! I see lots 
of pumpkin fame in her future! She is such a great kid and I'm 
so happy for her! She might be a secret pumpkin aficionado! She 
shared with me that last year when she tossed her pumpkin into 
their compost (shes a pumpkin contest winner and shes trying 
to save the world #girlboss) she unknowingly gave the pumpkin 
everything it needed to turn its seeds into tiny adorable baby 
pumpkins! I mean if that's not Kizmit I don't know what is! 
That's all for me folks! Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you so much to all of 
you for making the Quarantine Halloween event incredible! This organization wouldn't exist 
without you! 

(Pumpkin Spiced Latte)

Third Place: Mary Claire 
Malooly (Olaf) I wasn’t a 
judge so there was no favoritism 
here! Lol 

Second Place: Justin Miller 
(Smilely Face ) 

Runner Vanessa Baez 
First Place: Frances Farnam (Donald Duck) 

by Deanne Davis 
We’ve gotten through it once again,
The ghouliest, ghostiest time of year.
When creatures large, and creatures small,
Prowl the highways, infest the byways,
And give us plenty of reason, in this fear-
filled season,
To quiver and shiver and shake in our 
Yes, we’ve survived another one, friends 
and neighbors. A splendid time was had 
by all and, judging from the number 
of candy wrappers still decorating the 
town, our local dentists will soon be fill-
ing cavities by the score. Hope you got 
lots of Milk Duds, Dots and Three Mus-
keteers! I managed to give away almost 
all my candy and had some really cute 
trick or treaters, including a small boy in 
a blow-up dinosaur costume. This thing 
was huge and the little guy had quite a 
time just staying on his feet. The Park-
ers, as usual, did fantastic things up on 
Alegria, as did everyone else. The scare-
crows ‘round town were great, the events 
downtown and the canvas art in the win-
dows were all so creative. I’d say it was 
the best Halloween we’ve had in a couple 
of years. 
And, in case you didn’t know it, candy corn goes well with Sauvignon Blanc and chocolate 
of every kind goes spectacularly well with a nice Pinot Noir...just saying! 
“Teddy Bear’s Picnic”
“If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surpriseIf you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguiseFor every bear that ever there was 
Will gather there for certain because 
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnicEvery teddy bear who's been good is sure of a treat todayThere's lots of marvelous things to eat and wonderful games to playBeneath the trees where nobody sees 
They'll hide and seek as long as they pleaseThat's the way the teddy bears have their picnic.” 
The music to this song was first written in 1907 by John W. Bratton, an American who was 
an accomplished composer and producer. Although Bratton usually wrote lyrics himself for 
his own compositions he did not for this piece of music, instead he sold it as sheet music 
entitled "the Teddy Bear Two-Step". It sold well and was often used to accompany circus acts. 
The lyrics were added much later by a British songwriter, Jimmy Kennedy in 1930. Renamed 
"The Teddy Bear’s Picnic", the song rose to fame and has been recorded by a number of folks.
Continuing to ramble on about bears, another version, a bit darker, goes something along 
the lines of: If you go down in the woods today, you better not go alone. It’s lovely down in 
the woods today, but safer to stay at home! 
My friend, Celia, looked out her window around noon a few days ago and saw two enor-
mous bears frolicking on her front lawn. They then proceeded across the street to her neigh-
bor’s house and on down the street. There’s a terrific video up on Google by Sierra Madre resi-
dent, John Holden, showing a bear relaxing on his kitchen counter devouring the contents of 
a barrel of Kentucky Fried Chicken. 
Returning home, Mr. Holden said he was surprised to find his front door wide open and 
the bear scarfing down the chicken. There was another bear outside and at least one more in 
the house. He got them to leave, eventually, by making loud noises (probably something like 
screaming in terror?) “I’ve had a lot of other encounters with them and actually had them 
bump into me a couple times in the backyard, but definitely never in the house like that…
they sure made a mess of the place.” Mr. Holden thinks the smell of KFC was just too tempt-
ing for the bears to resist, adding they even dared to lounge around in his yard after stealing 
his food. They opted for chicken instead of candy for their Halloween treats. 
Ann McDonald wasn’t sure if the big guy galloping toward her was a bear or a person in 
a bear costume as she was out with her daughter on Halloween, bag of candy in her hand. 
People yelled, cars honked and she quickly got out of the way. He was probably on the way to 
John Holden’s house for chicken. It was a pretty wild Halloween. 
The picture today was taken by Robert Gjerde. A splendid portrait of one of our local bears. 
Just like all the rest of us, the bears love Sierra Madre. Who can blame them! We live in one 
of the most beautiful communities in California. 
The Pasadena Humane Society has a few suggestions should you happen to encounter a bear 
while you’re out there training for your next marathon: 
“The normal human reaction to encountering a bear is to freeze or run away, which actually 
sends the bear the wrong message; you need to let the bear know that it needs to leave! First, 
make sure the bear has a safe escape route. When you are a safe distance from the bear, make 
eye contact and yell at the bear. If you have bear spray, make sure you are upwind of the bear 
before using it.” 
Here are a few more suggestions to keep these big guys out of your area:
• Do not put out trash cans the night before pick up. 
• Store garbage cans in a garage or closed shed. 
• Keep garbage cans clean. Deodorize and disinfect them with bleach or ammonia. 
• Consider purchasing bear spray and keep it next to your front and/or back door.
And, most important of all, do not leave KFC sitting on your kitchen counter.
Daylight shifting time, as my best friend, John, now residing in heaven where the sun always 
shines and it’s always a beautiful day, ends tomorrow. Be prepared, friends and neighbors. 
Spring ahead, Fall back. Ugh. It’s always a difficult adjustment.
So sorry to see Christian Lebano is leaving the Sierra Madre Playhouse. He produced so 
many great shows and is simply a splendid person. Wishing him all the best things possible 
wherever he goes next. 
At long last, the new Emma Gainsworth novelette is out!
“Hurricane: An Emma Gainsworth Adventure 
Look for it on my book page: Deanne Davis 
Here’s the link: is up to her elbows in disaster…you’ll love it! Trust me! 
The Sierra Madre Rose Float Association has opened 
the online sign up program for decorating the Sierra 
Madre Rose Float during Deco Week (December 
26th to December 31st). 
Please sign up for this year’s float entitled “Nature’s 
Classroom” and join us preparing our beautiful 
Amazon rainforest. 
Sign up through our website at https://sierrama- to 
get involved, then volunteer, then decorate! 
Our Volunteer Guidelines have changed this year, and we have some new restrictions and Co-
vid-19 protocols, so it is important to read our guidelines BEFORE you sign up through iVolun-
teer. If you have difficulty signing up or have questions, please email us at info2021@sierrama- 
If you have a group of 8 or more, you need to schedule a time that would be convenient for your 
group to work. Please complete the Application for Group of Volunteers form and return it to 
We may be able to open up more spots when it gets closer to Deco Week, so if you don’t find your 
preferred shift or the shifts are full, please check back in December. 
Thank you for participating and we’ll see you at the barn! 
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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