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

MVNews this week:  Page 4

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 12, 2022 



Christine 'Chris' Taylor, 72, Of Mesa, Arizona. Born and raised in 
Pasadena. Sadly passed away on Feb 18 from Kidney failure. She is 
survived by daughter Sheila Smith, Granddaughter Sabrina Tobar, 
two sisters, one brother, and nieces and nephew. Chris also lived for 
a while in Sierra Madre. Services will be held at 11 am, Thursday, 
April 7th at Knox Presbyterian Church, Pasadena. 


June 27, 1930 – March 4, 2022, she was three months shy 
of her 92nd birthday! 

A family memorial is planned at the residence of Erin & 
Peter Russell in Sherwood, Oregon. 

Mrs. Michael was born in Detroit, Michigan to Marjorie 
and John Christie. Midge graduated from Glendale High 
School and later attended Glendale College, in Glendale, 
California. She married Robert Clay Michael on June 2, 
1951 and later moved to Sierra Madre, California where 
she volunteered with The Pasadena Girl Scouts, Arcadia 
Children’s Guild, and she served as Chairman of the local 
Cancer drive. Midge and her family moved to Atlanta, 
Georgia in 1969 where she worked in Real Estate and was 
co-owner of two businesses. In 1988 Midge and her hus

band Bob retired to Bend, Oregon where she was active in the First United Methodist Church 
and volunteered at the High Desert Museum, the Deschutes Historical Museum, and with 
Interfaith Volunteers. Midge was also a member of the Genealogical Society. 

In addition to her passion for service, Mrs. Michael enjoyed books, tracing family genealogy, 
gardening, trips to the beach with her daughters, and walking in nature. Midge’s greatest joy 
was sharing time with family and dear friends. 

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 1997. Midge is survived by four daughters; 
Christie Dimon of Pendleton, Oregon, Heidi Hartman of Sierra Madre, California, Erin Russell 
of Sherwood, Oregon, Marjorie (Meg) Goehle of Olympia, Washington and by one sister; 
Patricia Lindley of Ventura, California. Midge was also blessed with 11 grandchildren and 13 

Midge’s family requests that memorial contributions be directed to Habitat for Humanity in 
Bend, Oregon, and to Tenderly Hospice, LLC in Portland, Oregon. 



by Robert Gjerdge 

Last month I wrote about “NIMBY’s” attempt to target and infringe on the religious rights of Mater Dolorosa 
(the “Monastery”). The feedback has been varied, but mostly missed the point, as did the editorial 
response by J. Clarke which equated to a personal attack for pointing out the infringement of the religious 
rights of Mater Dolorosa. Conveniently, he did not address issue of religious discrimination. He then condemned 
me for not “engaging in reasoned discussion of the merits of the 42-unit housing development.” 

That’s because this extreme initiative has nothing to do with a 42-unit housing project. Instead it changes 
longstanding City laws and impacts the entirety of the Monastery property, including infringing on their 
right to expand their ministry on the 27 acres of land not proposed for any residential development. Should 
the Monastery want to add a new sanctuary to their church, add a parking lot, or expand their kitchen to 
serve additional meals to needy residents? They can’t do it. Those would be illegal under this ill-conceived 
initiative. No other churches or businesses in our town would be subject to these rules. 

Limiting the rights of the Monastery to expand their ministry is the express intent of the initiative, as 
evident by the language of the measure which states it is to: “permit the continued operation of the Mater 
Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center without expansion, significant physical alteration, or change in use, as a 
nonconforming use“ [emphasis added]. “Nonconforming use” is a bit of planner jargon but basically means 

No matter how you feel about a housing project, any fair-minded resident understands stripping the Monastery 
of their rights to expand their religious practices is wrong. Worse yet, it is also illegal under the 
federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and could expose the City, and 
taxpayers, to very costly lawsuits. 

RLUIPA prohibits zoning laws that substantially burden the free exercise of religion unless it is the least 
restrictive means of advancing a compelling governmental interest. The stated compelling interest is to 
“protect the hillside environment.” Certainly, that can be accomplished without prohibiting all expansion of 
the Monastery and its ministry. It is easy to see that the initiative overreaches and violates RLUIPA. Somehow 
this critical consequence was left out of the city’s Initiative Summary. 

The initiative also subverts the deliberative process to consider development permits, including legal advice 
from our City Attorney. Should this initiative pass, the City Council no longer has the authority to make 
development decisions about this property and the Monastery would have to seek an expensive public vote 
to ever expand their religious development. 

If this initiative was about the 42 homes it would then be critical that it prevented them from being built. 
But that simply isn’t true. As the City Attorney notes in the impartial summary, “under state law, duplexes, 
single-family homes, and accessory dwelling units are allowed with a permit approved…without a public 
hearing by the director of community development” [emphasis added]. The Hillside Residential zoning 
imposed by the initiative would allow for more than 42 homes to be built and, unlike the project currently 
proposed, these permits can be issued without consideration by the City Council. 

Since this initiative is a citizen-led effort and puts the city at significant legal and financial risk, the city 
council should perform its due-diligence and take steps to educate the voters on RLUIPA, and potential 
other legal claims, by having the City Attorney conduct a full analysis and explain the risks to our City if 
it passes. A failure to fully educate voters on the significant legal and financial exposure only makes things 
worse, particularly when there are many discriminatory and hostile comments from residents both on the 
public record and on social media expressing bias against the church and working to cancel their constitutionally 
protected rights. 

If a precedent is set by this initiative then what stops this small group of initiative proponents from targeting 
other private property owners and businesses in Sierra Madre that they don’t like? Our collective action 
should be to educate voters and oppose this harmful initiative. 


There is a longstanding process for property owners 
to follow to make major modifications to or 
build on their property. This process clarifies and 
allows for protection to the owner that their rights 
are honored. At the same time the city and its residents 
are assured that the modifications or building 
are safe and meet certain standards. Due to the 
complexity and nature of the proposed Meadows 
project a Memorandum of Understanding was 
created with a negotiated agreement between the 
Meadows Project and the City. This established 
the ground-rules for proceeding with the Meadows 
The MOU states that “This MEMORANDUM 
OF UNDERSTANDING (‘MOU’) will facilitate 
the administration of the Proceedings, discussed 
below, and will not dictate a substantive outcome 
regarding the Proceedings of the Applicant’s Project. 
This MOU grants the Applicant procedural 
rights. It does not grant any planning or land use 
entitlements. The MOU was signed “IN WITNESS 
WHEREOF, the Parties execute this MOU through 
their authorized officers on the dates shown below”. 
Engleland, City Manager, and APPROVED AS TO 
FORM: Aleks R. Giragosian, Assistant City Attor

Zeking, Director of Financial/Assistant Treasurer, 
and APPROVED AS TO FORM: Gregory M. 
Murphy, Esq.

 The Passionists Organization should be afforded 
their rights. They are following the MOU and the 
required due process with their application to the 
City of Sierra Madre. The MOU was legally set up 
to facilitate the development and it was signed by 
both parties and sent to the City Council for approval. 
The initiative being circulated subverts a 
fair process for both the Passionists and the City. 
The initiative to change the zoning of their property 
would take away their rights as property owners, 
and in effect, taking away the rights of the City to 
either approve or disapprove of the project.
The Passionists signed the MOU in good faith and 
have followed the procedure. The City, in good 
faith, has followed the procedure. The process 
should continue and in good faith give the Passionists 
their due process. This process should 
continue through to the Planning Commission and 
then to the City Council. The Planning Commission 
and/ or the City Council can suggest improvements, 
deny or approve the application. The initiative 
being circulated at this time is taking away the 
rights of the applicant and that of the City to follow 
the process. Pat Alcorn, Sierra Madre 


by Deanne Davis 

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin 
transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” Adrienne 

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover – hard to find and 
lucky to have.” 

“May your troubles be less, and your blessing be more. 
And nothing but happiness, come through your door.” An 
Irish Blessing 

St. Patrick’s Day is next Thursday and, speaking of Patrick, 
he had a pretty tough time, captured by Irish pirates 
at age 16, brought to Ireland, enslaved for six years 
working as a shepherd in County Antrim, heard a voice 
at age 22 telling him to go home, ran away to port, set 
sail for Britain, shared his new faith with fellow shipmates, had a vision to go back 
to the place where he had been held captive and minister to the people. After various 
adventures, now in his early twenties, he returned to his family in Britain where 
he continued to study Christianity and recounted a vision he had a few years after 
returning home:
“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried 
many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: "The Voice of the 
Irish". As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those 
very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and 
they cried out, as with one voice: "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and 
walk among us." 
Needless to say, he felt a definite call to return to Ireland where his impact was vast: 
100,000 baptisms, 300 new churches, countless priests and nuns. But he was also 
beaten repeatedly, chained, faced execution… sounds a little like the Apostle Paul’s 
“And he watched over me before I knew Him and before I learned sense 
or even distinguished between good and evil.” 

There will be parades all over the world, everyone you see will be decked out in green, 
green beer will be readily available and more arrests than any other day of the year 
for...shall we call it…impaired driving? 

St. Patrick’s Day brings to mind some lovely people John and I knew back in the days 
when he was hosting a radio program each Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to noon on 
KCBH-FM, which has been a number of other stations since then, currently KYSRFM. 
They were the Galligan Family, who traveled the world singing Gaelic folk music. 
Jim Galligan, who was very tall and cadaverously thin, was married to a lovely petite 
lady, Paulina. Jim sent us a loaf of Irish soda bread which he said “Was made this way 
in County Armagh by Grandma Galligan many years ago.” This bread was delicious 
and I’m going to make some as soon as I finish writing this edition of Walking Sierra 
Madre…The Social Side. 

1. Put 3 cups of flour in a bowl with 1 TB of baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. 
2. Rub in 4 TB. soft butter, 1 TB of caraway seeds, 1 cup of currants, 1 cup of dark 
raisins, 1 cup of golden raisins.
3. Mix! 
4. Add ¾ cup of sugar, 1 beaten egg and 2 cups of buttermilk 
(Now, very few of us have buttermilk lounging around in our fridge so to continue 
with your Irish soda bread, pour 2 TB of white vinegar in your measuring cup and 
add enough milk to make 2 cups. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and read the Calendar 
section of the paper or go make your bed and by the time you finish, you’ll have buttermilk. 
Cool, huh!)
5. Pour in greased iron skillet or loaf pan. 
6. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. Test center with a toothpick to see if it’s done, let it rest for 10 minutes, cut yourself 
a slice, butter it, and enjoy. Irish Soda Bread also makes delicious French toast. 
Corned beef and cabbage is a huge favorite on St. Patrick’s Day and I expect if you 
look around a little, you’ll encounter someplace that will serve you a dish of same. I, 
personally, will not be searching hard for it. 

My advice is to avoid green beer and make yourself some authentic Irish soda bread. 
And, just in case somebody wants to play a little Irish Trivia with you here are a 
few tidbits they might not know: C. S. Lewis was from Ireland, as were James Joyce, 
George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker. Now there’s a 
mixed bag if I ever saw one! 

“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” 

My book page: Deanne Davis – check out 
“The Crown” -a great Easter story.
“Sunrises and Sunflowers Speak Hope” 
Is available on as are all the 
Emma Gainsworth adventures, including:
“Emma’s Etouffee Café” a new Kindle story by me!
Here’s the link so you can take a look: 

Originally published March, 2020 


The following represents a summary report of some of the major incidents handled 
by the Sierra Madre Police Department during this period. This list is not 
intended to be considered exclusive or all-inclusive. 

Sunday, February 27THEFT FROM A VEHICLE At approximately 1:30 pm, a victim reported that the catalytic 
converter was stolen from their vehicle parked in the 00 block of N Baldwin Ave. The Detectives' 
Bureau is following up on this incident. 

Officers responded to the 600 block of Auburn Ave regarding a vehicle blocking the driveway 
of a residence. Upon arrival, officers observed a female inside a vehicle who appeared to be 
under the influence of an unknown controlled substance. The female initially refused to exit 
the vehicle but was ultimately convinced to exit. As she exited the vehicle, she failed to comply 
with the officer's direction and began to resist. The female was eventually taken into custody. 
Officers searched her property, which revealed a sizable amount of narcotics. 
The female was arrested, cited, and released on a citation. 

Thursday, March 3THEFT FROM A VEHICLE 
Officers responded to a reckless driver in the 600 block of E. Sierra Madre Blvd. An investigation 
determined that three unknown suspects stole gardening equipment secured in the back 
of a pickup truck. A minor traffic collision occurred between the victim and suspect vehicles 
during the theft. The Detectives' Bureau is following up on this incident 

Officers responded to the intersection of Orange Grove Blvd and Baldwin Ave regarding a 
traffic collision. An investigation determined that an elderly male had a medical condition 
and collided with a parked vehicle. 

A victim filed an online report stating that a suspect(s) contacted them via email claiming 
to be a neighbor and requested online gift cards. The cards were obtained and sent to the 
The Detectives' Bureau is following up on this incident. 

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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