Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 29, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 3


Mountain View News Saturday, July 29, 2023 


by Deanne Davis


By Zoie Matthew Jul. 25, 2023

Reprinted by permission from KCRW

Daniela Anino has generally been happy with her 
cozy home at the border of Sierra Madre, a tiny suburb 
in the lush foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. 
But lately, one of her neighbors has been exhibiting 
some boundary issues.

 First, he started stopping by uninvited for dinner. 
Then she’d find him hanging around in her driveway 
at odd hours. Most recently, he’s been breaking 
into her backyard to swim in her pool without 

 He’s entitled, pushy, and also weighs about 400 
pounds and sports a thick coat of fur — because he 
is a black bear. 

“This guy, I see him every day now,” says Anino. “The 
younger bears come more during the day, they're 
more curious, they're not so respectful of the rules.”

Over the five years she’s lived here, Anino says she’s 
seen more and more bears wandering the neighborhood, 
and their behaviors have been getting bolder. 
Human encounters with black bears are booming all 
over LA’s foothill communities — and that’s left state 
and local officials at a loss over how to handle the 
ursine explosion. 

 “You have those that want you to harm the bear. 
And then you have those community members that 
want you to hug a bear. That's the reality of it,” says 
Sierra Madre Police Chief Gustavo Barrientos.

 Daniela Anino, who lives on the border of Sierra 
Madre, says this one young black bear has been repeatedly 
visiting her home in recent months — and 
even broke into her swimming pool last week. Photo 
courtesy of Daniela Anino.

 In 2022 alone, police in Sierra Madre say they received 
130 calls about bears — up from just over 100 
in 2020. And last year, 17 of those incidents involved 
bears breaking into cars, homes, or swimming pools. 

“We've tripled – almost 300% – of incidents where 
the bear enters a residence or causes property damage,” 
says Barrientos. 

 But while cops will respond to these calls, there’s 

really not much they can do. Unless the animal is 
acting aggressive — which black bears almost never 
do — police policy is mainly to warn other people a 
bear is around, and to avoid making it angry.

 “I think our citizens are under the impression that 
we go and, number one, we're going to shoot a bear, 
number two, start using some sort of force to move 
it northward. We don't do that. I think there's more 
harm with doing it than good,” says Barrientos. 

 Some locals, like Anino, are fine with this live-and-
let-live policy. She says the bears haven’t caused her 
any real problems aside from sometimes dragging 
trash into her yard: “At least in my experience, I've 
been able to coexist with them peacefully.”

 In her eyes, bears have as much right to be here as 
people. And with so many cars around, she’s more 
worried about the animals’ health than her own. She 
just keeps her kids far away, and her garbage bins 

 But other Sierra Madre residents don’t feel so warm 
and fuzzy about the ani-mals. Cynthia Compton 
keeps a stun gun on hand to scare the bears away because 
she’s tired of them repeatedly raiding her bird 
feeder and trash bins. She says she fears for her safety. 

“I don't like it. It's nerve-wracking. I've seen him right 
there by my living room window. And I'm pounding 
on the window: ‘Go bear, go, get out of here,’ and pull 
out the stun gun,” says Compton. 

 She says officials need to be doing more – if she had 
it her way, she would have all the bears shipped away. 

“I would like to see them be taken back to Yosemite 
where they came from. They don't belong here. This 
is not their native territory, they weren't here be-fore 
humans,” she says. “They're getting too comfortable 
around people and around people's houses and coming 
into people's houses.”

 Compton is right that the black bears now roaming 
the San Gabriel foothills are not native to the area. 
In the 1930s, bears were a big attraction in Yosemi-te 
National Park, where rangers created special “bear 
pits” filled with trash to attract them for spectators’ 

 Unsurprisingly, those bears acquired a taste for human 
food. Once they start-ed breaking into coolers 
and cabins, they transformed from a novelty to a 

 So, the state came up with a plan: Ship 27 bears to 
Southern California to re-place the California grizzlies 
that had been hunted into extinction in the 

 Those bears’ many, many grand-cubs are the ones 
that roam the foothills to-day.

 These descendents still haven’t lost their taste for 
human food — which is part of why they’re showing 
up more often in these urban areas. 

“Bears in an urban environment, they can easily get 
a full day's meal just by visiting all the bird feeders 
in the neighborhood, or all the garbage cans in the 
neighborhood,” says Rebecca Barboza, a biologist for 
the Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

As LA’s foothill communities have crept closer to the 
mountains, climate change-related issues like fire 
and drought have made the forest less hospita-ble for 
bears, pushing more of them to make the commute 
to LA. 

 And that’s paid off in terms of population growth.

“The animals that are living in these urban areas are 
doing so well that they're able to reproduce more, and 
those offspring are able to survive to adulthood,” says 
Barboza. “So we've got an unnaturally dense population, 
we believe, within the urban zone.” 


In Sierra Madre, officials say they’ve tried everything 
from banning the feeding of wildlife to implementing 
a program to distribute bear-proof trash cans 
to quell the problem — but the creatures just keep 

 So, they’re asking for backup from the state. In 
April, the Sierra Madre City Council passed a resolution 
to declare bears a public safety threat in the city. 
Less a policy shift and more a plea for help, it urged 
the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to beef up 
its bear-prevention efforts in the region. 

 Officials say the state helped create this problem to 
begin with — and they have a lot more resources to 
deal with it, too. 

 “We’re very small, we're 11,000 people, we don't even 
have a traffic light in town. So you can imagine we 
don't have professionals. We don't have biolo-gists,” 
says James Carlson, a management analyst for Sierra 

 But Barboza from Fish and Wildlife says this isn’t 
just a Sierra Madre problem — the number of black 
bears has tripled statewide over the past four decades, 
which makes figuring out a long-term solution 

 “If we try relocation, if we try captivity, if we try euthanasia, 
there's still so many bears in the area. If one 
leaves, there's going to be another one that's going to 
start doing the same behaviors,” she says.

 Last year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife revamped 
its bear policy and created a whole team of 
human-wildlife conflict specialists who deal with 
bears on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the 
animals’ behavior, the de-partment might relocate or 
even put down an animal. But Barboza says at the 
end of the day, public education is still the best tactic 
they’ve got.

 “If people are still leaving doors open, if they're 
still leaving garbage available, if they're still leaving 
food out for the bears, then nothing is really going 
to work.” 

 She is, however, feeling hopeful about a new “trap, 
tag, haze” program the department is rolling out, 
which they have piloted in Lake Tahoe to mixed 
community response. 

 Under the program, state officials will capture the 
bears one by one, and tag them so they can track their 
movement. They say this will help them learn more 
about bear behavior, and give them a better sense of 
how many there actually are. 

 The final step is to haze the creatures with loud 
noises and beanbag projec-tiles, which they hope will 
drive the bears back into the woods for good. But, it 
remains to be seen how effective that will be — in 
Lake Tahoe, it’s worked on some bears, while others 
have headed right back to the trash buffet. 

 So for now, Anino will probably continue getting 
visits from her furry neighbor. She doesn’t mind — 
in fact, she says she’d miss the creatures if they were 
gone: “They are really cute. And when they come 
with the babies, their cubs, boy is it a beautiful sight.

“Let’s not light candles on your birthday; it’s 
hot enough as it is.”

“You were born in July as nature’s present, 
along with some of the best fruits, flowers, 
plants, scorching heat and worldwide complaining 
that it’s too hot.”

“Always be yourself, there’s no one better!” 
Selena Gomez (Born July 22nd)

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no 
expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge 
that one day someone might do the same for 
you.” Princess Diana (Born July 1st)

The picture today is of granddaughter, 
Emily’s 13th birthday party. This piece of 
chocolate cake was incredible and we all got 
a bite. A small bite as she was watching us 
with beady eyes and pursed lips. Her mother’s 
birthday is July 30th. Grandson, Luke’s, 
birthday was July 11th, my next-door neighbor’s 
birthday is July 25th. Gift cards are flying 
in all directions. Amazon gift cards are 
my favorite thing to give and also to receive. 
There are those who say gift cards are cold 
and impersonal. I totally disagree. They are 
wonderful, allowing the recipient to wander 
through all of Amazon looking for the perfect 
thing they simply can’t live without. The 
small boys on my gift list are going for Lego 
sets and Roblox is also very popular.

Our daughter, Leah, has just landed at LAX 
and she and Chuck are on the freeway heading 
home to Sierra Madre. They have been 
in Africa for almost two weeks. “I’ll be glad 
to get home, shower, and dress in different 
clothes than I’ve been wearing.” As she was 
only allowed one bag – without wheels – I 
suspect she’s really sick of everything she 
brought. If you look at my page on Facebook, 
you can see many of the pictures she took, 
all of which are amazing. She’s petting elephants, 
close enough to lions and leopards to 
touch them, traversing rivers teeming with 
hippos and it’s been the experience of a life

Thinking of experiences of a lifetime, here 
are a few of mine: 

 Learning to fly a Cessna 152 and 
surviving an afternoon flight through the 
Banning Pass, after leaving the Palm Springs 
airport, where the plane was bouncing up 
and down and my best technique was to let 
go of the yoke and let that baby fly itself. 
There was also praying involved.

 Hot air ballooning with John, celebrating 
his 40th birthday. Beautiful going 
over the land around Perris, CA, so quiet 
with an occasional whosh when the pilot allowed 
more propane to raise the balloon. As 
the flight ended with champagne, it was a 
perfect experience.

 Sitting in the warm ocean water in 
the Bahamas scrubbing moss off beautiful 
conch shells with sand. They still are here 
and there around my house as we brought 
them home wrapped in our clothes.

Swimming in the amazingly blue water in 
Greece, so clear you could see many feet 
down to the bottom.

Growing roses, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, 
tomatoes and enjoying them. Roses you have 
grown yourself are beyond beautiful and tomatoes 
you have grown yourself taste like 
nothing else in the world. 

Like you, I have so many more and I’m so 
grateful I had them.

School starts for Emily on August 7th and 
for Jessie on August 9th. They will both be 
so glad to get back with friends and be out 
of the house. School supplies are piling up 
on the dining room table at their house and 
new Converse high-tops were part of Emily’s 
birthday haul. They aren’t the only ones who 
will be happy to see school starting. Parents 
everywhere are counting the minutes, having 
heard, way too many times, “I’m bored!”

School starts in just a couple of weeks and 
I came across this piece I thought I’d share 
with all the rest of you parents:

A Parent’s Back to School Prayer

Dear Lord, help them find where they need 
to go, and go only where Your will leads.

To lead boldly, even where few will follow, 
and follow only the path You reveal.

Reveal kindness to those who yearn, yearn 
for excellence in all they accomplish.

Accomplish in themselves the promise of all 
You’ve given.

Give them a desire for truth and passion for 
real learning. 

Have them learn to give, to love, to forgive 
and encourage.

Stay by their sides and light up their souls.

Fill them, guide them, protect them and enliven 

And by all this have them become the masterful 
creations You formed and longed for 
them to be, Even in their mother’s womb.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares 
the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and 
not to harm you, plans to give you a future 
and a hope.” Jer. 29:11

Yes, school starts soon and our hope above 
all else is that everyone they encounter will 
be kind. God bless our children and keep 
them safe.

My book page: Deanne Davis

Where you’ll find the Emma Gainsworth 
Kindle novelettes, 

Along with other goodies like “A Treasure 
Map, A Drunken Owl

And 47 Rattlers in A Bag” True Tales of 
Early California

This bear discovered that bees and their honey had 
settled in a bird house on W. Mira Monte, so down it 
went. Photo by Sierra Madrean Susan Eigenbrodt


SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2023 6 - 8pm


The Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club

The Friends of the Sierra Madre Library and

The Sierra Madre Civic Club


Listed for $2,988,000462 Ida May Lane, Sierra Madre5 Beds | 5 Baths | 3,856 sf | 10,794 sf LotFrank Lloyd Wright Inspired HomeTRACY KHATCHADOURIAN626.665.5500 | 
agent lic. #01914290DIANE HATFIELD626.833.3171 | 
agent lic. #01418407real estateDPP® | Not a solicitation if your property is listed with a Broker | Photography by ZuWerks Photography ©2023Open House Sunday 2-4pm
The Skinny Ties are a Southern California band playing an assortment of new 
wave and rock songs from the 1980's!

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