Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 12, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 12, 2022 
13CONVERSATIONSCONVERSATIONS Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 12, 2022 

So as far as my Birthday went, I was happy to 

Susan Henderson - Publisher/Editor 

In the midst of all that 
is going on around us, 
sometimes it is necessary 
to take a break and 
share something from 
the lighter side of life.
Recently, yours truly 
celebrated a milestone 
birthday. While I am not 
going to disclose what 
milestone, I’ll simply 
tell you this…..all of my 
children are members of 
AARP. Got it?! 
Well, anyway, those same 
children led by my sons 
Mr. Fred as he is known 
to many Sierra Madre 
parents and children, 
and my oldest son Paul, 
pulled off the undercover 
operation of the century!
They were aided and 
abetted by my daughter 

in law Doreen and my partner. The mission: To surprise me on mybirthday. 

Anyone who knows me well realizes how difficult a task it is to 
really ‘surprise’ me. It’s never been done in my entire life. My parents 
couldn’t even surprise me when I was a child because I always 
picked up on coded conversations or locked closets that had never 
been locked before or the slightest changes in their regular routine. 
There has always been at least a hint that something was going on, but 
not this time. Some might say I have a heightened level of curiosity, 
others that I am just plain nosey and/or controlling. Nevertheless, 
they did it this time and it turned out to be the best birthday ever!

 So, for my birthday, which was last Friday, my partner took the 
day off and insisted we play golf. Playing golf is never a problem for 
me, but playing on a Friday, the day this newspaper goes to press, is 
something I haven’t done for more than 16 years. But….this was a 
big birthday so, ok. She continued to remind me all week to get as 
much editing as possible done on Thursday and eventually let me 
know that Fred would be playing golf with us as well. Ok. Nothing 
unusual about that. On Thursday, she shared that some of our golfingfriends would also be playing with us to celebrate my birthday. Ok. 
Nothing unusual about that. They almost all play on Friday anyway. 
Then Friday morning on the way to the golf course, she mentions 
that we will have dinner afterwards. Ok, that isn’t unusual either. 
Then she says, “By the way Paul will be playing with us.”. Now that 
was front page news. Paul, my oldest son, is no fan of golf, he doesn’t 
believe it’s even a sport. He is Mr. Black Belt, Mr. Taekwondo, etc. In 
30 years he has never, ever set foot on a golf course. So when I heard 
this I thought she was kidding and but sure enough, there he was at 
the course. He actually rode in the cart with me and made an effort 
to putt a few times. I was overjoyed as when he said, “Ok, I confess, 
this game is harder than it looks”. 

have my sons playing with me and going to 
dinner with my family and friends afterwards. But that wasn’t even 
the icing on the cake!

After golf we went to a great restaurant near the course in LongBeach. (A great place, wonderful outdoor dining venue - Shenandoah 
at the Arbor. As we escorted to our reservation table, I noticed 
it was set for far more people than in my immediate family, but some 
of my golfing friends and their wives trickled in. And shortly after I 
was seated, while awaiting the arrival of Doreen and my granddaughters 
I noticed two very tall people, 6’2” and 6’7” woman and man 
respectively, walking in. And then I realized that it was my Sister 
and Brother In Law from Georgia that I haven’t seen since late 2019! 
At that point, I just lost it. All I could say was “OMG”, “OMG”, as I 
almost tripped trying to get to them and hug them! 

Turns out that my sister and brother in law were ‘smuggled’ into LA 
County, actually ‘smuggled’ in Sierra Madre two days before and 
were ‘hidden’ from me. The scheme was elaborate. Late Thursday Ihad to come to Sierra Madre and make a few stops by the office and 
my partner volunteered to drive me. Little did I know or pay attention 
that she didn’t take her usual route, she wanted to make certain 
I didn’t run into the stowaways! I’ve also learned that when Paul 
called me the day before, his request that I FaceTime the call wasn’t 
about me seeing his cat, it was so he could confirm that I wasn’t in 
Sierra Madre so they could take their Aunt and Uncle to The OnlyPlace In Town. By FaceTimeing the call, he could see that I was in myhome office and not in Sierra Madre. And the number of other little 
things that they did made their plan come off flawlessly. And even 
my sister pitched in. The picture above was taken on the course and I 
texted it to my sis proud to have the ‘boys’ playing golf with me. She 
responded just as though she was in Georgia, like I thought she was! 
The hardest thing for me during this Pandemic hasn’t been business 
challenges, or the cancelled holiday plans, it was not being able to 
see my Big Sister other than on Zoom. My big sister is my rock and 
my kids know that. Actually being able to hug my favorite couple,
(they’ve been married 63 years), was absolutely the best Birthday 
present ever.
What a day! What a Wonderful day! So now my family has given me 
a new nickname, OMG! It was truly amazing and I am truly grateful 
and amazed. Amazed? Yes, with all of this planning and execution, 
no one, including my granddaughters, spilled a single bean! Nope, I 
never knew a thing.
Thank you family. You’re absolutely the best!

 P.S. – Kudos to Delight Pastry in Pasadena. The constructed the most 
beautiful, decadent birthday cake in the shape of an “S”. Too yummyfor words! 
The looming specter of the proposed Meadows HousingDevelopment of 42 homes on land the Mater Delorosa purchased 
in the early 1920’s has found me re-thinking several 
long-held concerns regarding city management and maintenance. 
The lack of sidewalks above Grandview and on the 
north side of West Grandview is becoming one of my main 
concerns. Since I moved I to Sierra Madre in 2008, I was 
struck by how it felt that the city had forgotten to put in sidewalks 
in the upper northwest quadrant of town. Sidewalks 
have always made pedestrians feel safer while walking on 
streets whether it was with their dogs, taking an early morning 
walk, walking from neighbor to neighbor, or simply 
walking their children to and from school. In many cases the 
residents have made their own sidewalks in the dirt, because 
the city has not had an active program to put sidewalks in for 
its residents. However, I took a hard look at North Lima a few 
months ago and realized the residents have adjusted to this 
situation by using the street as their sidewalk. Because the 
elevation of North Lima is quite pronounced above Grand-
view, safety becomes another concern as the mere weight 
of the cars allows them to speed up until the first stop sign 
at Grandview. After doing further research the city actuallyhad a master plan for installing sidewalks and maintainingsidewalks once. This is part of what I found. 

“One Goal of the Sidewalk Master Plan” is listed below: 
“The Sierra Madre Sidewalk Master Plan is intended to be a 
broad planning document that can be referenced when sidewalk 
considerations confront the Public Works Department. 
Resources and funding will most likely prevent the city from 
accomplishing all recommendations of this plan immediately. 
The primary goal of this plan is continuous improvements towards 
a safe, accessible, useful, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable 
system of walkways throughout the city. 
Also recognized in the continuation of the Master Sidewalk 
Plan was: 
Sidewalks are the pedestrian arteries of the city and the safety 
of those pedestrians using the sidewalks is a significant concern 
to the community. As is the case with any other segment of 
city-owned infrastructure, the city is generally considered to be 
responsible for the safety of persons using the sidewalks. 
Further exploration of this 42 page Master Sidewalk Plan 
A sidewalk inspection program paired with a plan for maintenance 
and installation provides economic benefits to the cityby preventing claims and minimizing the expense of litigation. 
Aside from the prevention of accidents, inspection programs 
and maintenance/installation plans may allow cities to take 
advantage of certain governmental immunities that are not 
otherwise available to those entities without such programs. “ 

Clearly the city recognizes the need and the safety issues 
sidewalks address, but the question is the why has there 
been no aggressive sidewalk program to have them installed 
throughout this area? My home and my next-door neighbor’s 
home were built in 1922. Both homes are100 years old 
and neither have sidewalks. Why has the city neglected this 
area for so long? In fact, with the exception of one home 
whose owner installed their own sidewalk as part of a total 
landscape remodel for installing drought tolerant plants 
a few years ago, both sides of North Lima up to Carter have 
very few sidewalks. If the city’s plan was to have residents 
put in their own sidewalks when the property was involved 
with a major renovation, or when the homes were bought 
and sold that program has not occurred in Sierra Madre. It 
is rather a haphazard arrangement when someone wants a 
sidewalk installed they contact the city and pay for it themselves. 
However if had someone from the city told me when 
I moved into Sierra Madre I needed to put in a sidewalk in 
front of my home it would have been installed years ago. Instead 
I also use the street as a sidewalk because no sidewalks 
have ever been installed above Grandview. The sad comment 
is that if there has been a program in place no one has ever 
heard about it and I have lived here for 15 years and subscribe 
to the local paper. Why is that? 

All Things By Jeff Brown 
reasonably hope the pandemic will wane this year at last, after holding 
humanity hostage for more than 2 years. But there is no reason 
the expect an end to another viral epidemic of misinformation and 
tribal hatred that endangers our democracy. 
The thought of additional traffic or approximately 800 cars 
a day generated from 42 homes that MIGHT BE BUILT IF 
GOES FORWARD further concerns me. The current infra-
This is a dark time in a dark year. It began horribly, with a violent 
assault on the Capital intended to stop the peaceful transfer of 
power-a first for our nation. 
The climate showed us where we're headed, as biblical droughts 
baked the west and sucked reservoirs dry, 115-degree heatwaves paralyzed 
Portland and Seattle, and a polar cold snap froze Texas solid. 
American's no longer share common facts, information, or trusted 
sources and experts; a virtual secession has already occurred. Extremists 
are pushing the parties further apart, and on the Right, a 
radical, anti-democracy movement is gaining momentum. 
Three retired U.S. generals warned this week that a disputed presidential 
election in 2024 could cause "a total breakdown of the chain 
of command along partisan lines"-and actual civil war. If that sounds 
structure of the streets that will be impacted by this development 
are woefully not ready to accept extra traffic. Can you 
imagine the law suit generated from one child walking in 
the street to school being hit by a car speeding down Lima,
because the child had to walk in the street to get to school! 
Think about it. This is a real “wake-up call” for the city. 
Whether the Housing Development is accepted or not, for 
safety reasons sidewalks should be installed throughout the 
Forests in the western U.S. and the world exploded into flames. Mon-nuts, remember that 2 years ago, an insurrection and a pandemic city. Better be safe and start installing sidewalks in an aggressterous 
tornados almost never seen in December erased communiwere 
just as unimaginable. sive fashion so something like this does not have a chance 
ties across Kentucky and the Midwest. In the face of so many troubles and sorrows, what do we do? For per-
to occur. 
The pandemic we thought we'd beaten in the spring roared back 
twice, thru Greek letter, mutation-disguised variants that have filled 
spective, I often think back to what my parent's generation faced, and 
how dark it must have felt as 1941 gave way to 1942. Then, as now, 
Nancy Beckham, Sierra Madre 
hospitals and morgues with the voluntarily unvaccinated.surrender was not an option. Curse the darkness. Fight. Persist. The 
In the season of renewal and of hope, it takes real effort to find 
optimism about the future in our sore, beleaguered hearts. We can 
light is coming eventually. 
By William Falk Editor-in-Chief "the Week" 




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