Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 4, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 4, 2024 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Michele Kidd

Stuart Tolchin 

Harvey Hyde

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Dinah Chong Watkins

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta ShambleE






Like many old people I have trouble sleeping and I 
generally wake up early in the morning and it gives 
me great pleasure to do something that is actually 
helpful. A problem I have is that I feel generally 
useless. My wife now, and for a pretty long time, 
does almost everything that needs to be done and 
that leaves me with mixed feelings. Of course, I 
appreciate and probably need what she does what she does; but I am 
left with a feeling that I need to do something to affirm my identity and 
worth. Consequently, I am very happy to put out the trash, walk around 
the empty streets a bit, look up at the moon, and feel a bit special.

As you will learn from the rest of this article, I have a great deal of 
trouble finding things and frequently worry about that. This morning 
I checked first with my phone and read the news relating to the College 
demonstrations, the continuing killing in Gaza, the ongoing conflict 
in Ukraine. All stuff to worry about. Next, I move to begin this article 
for the paper. I cannot overemphasize how important creating these 
weekly articles is for me. It is always my hope that my articles will 
reach people and somehow make the world a better place. Making the 
world a better place is something I want to do, and my articles express 
that need and support my pride in myself.

Maintaining that pride is not easy as I am running into great 
difficulties in just existing. Yesterday I was determined to be on time 
to meet my friend at the golf course. No matter what time I get up I 
have trouble being on time. I left the house with no time for breakfast 
remembering to bring my phone and medications and water and was 
able to get there exactly on time. After I parked, I realized that in my 
rush I had forgotten my wallet. I embarrassedly explained the situation 
to my friend who said he would be glad to pay for the round. I told 
him I would call my wife and she could meet us at a restaurant, and I 
would buy him lunch . He told me not to worry about it, but of course I 
worried, not so much about the money, but instead about my continual 

We played our round and I called my wife to meet us which she did and 
brought the wallet. I opened my wallet to get my credit card and---no 
credit card. My friend paid again and said it was a birthday present. 
More embarrassment! I went off to Kaiser to get some medication and 
attempted to phone my wife when I realized I had forgotten my phone. 
I retraced my steps and returned to the restaurant finding my phone. 
Back I went to Kaiser and obtained the forgotten credit card. 

At Kaiser I talked to man who had helped me renew my prescription 
for the medication and he reminded me that about 25 years before, 
when the Kaiser office was right by the Courthouse. He remembered 
me wondering why someone would wear a suit and carry a briefcase 
to pick up medication. I explained that I was a practicing lawyer and 
had to wear the suit to Court. So, “why carry the briefcase?” he asked. 
I thought for a moment and answered that I always had a problem 
forgetting things and I probably held the briefcase because I feared I 
would forget it somewhere. 

All right, I can see that my problem may not be just my age. Nevertheless, 
today I believe I will have a chance for a lot of good tomorrows even 
with things to worry about. That is what it is like for me today! Hooray!


It has been said about me, “In reading Rich’s columns it is certain he must 
have been hit in the head a few too many times. Critics often chime in 
saying, “Rich goes where no man gone before.”

I am borrowing from myself (and my editor) as this column was originally penned and 
published in 2007. Back then a voice inspired me to help voters select the right person for the 
job as president. Write about the pets of the presidents. “Who really cares what school they 
attended, what prior jobs they had. We need to know how they treat their pets. True insight 
into the real person behind the manufactured façade.

It makes sense, horse sense actually, to review the pets of presidents past. For example, you 
might think most chief executives had dogs. You’d be wrong. Jefferson didn’t have a dog. And 
neither did 17 other presidents. In fact, four presidents had no pets at all. Chester Arthur, 
Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore and more recently Donald Trump. How can one get elected 
without having at least one pet? 

Six presidents had parrots. George Washington had a parrot. So did Madison, Jackson, Grant, 
Roosevelt and McKinley. 

A Fascinating paradox is the only president to have an elephant was a Democrat, James 
Buchanan. And the only president to have a donkey was a Republican, Calvin Coolidge. A 
donkey and elephant? It makes me wonder what other exotic animals have taken up residence 
at the White House. 

Let’s take a peek: I wonder if John Quincy Adams took his pet alligator out for walks down 
Pennsylvania Avenue? He had one. Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs. Andrew Johnson, 
white mice. Ulysses S. Grant had goats and gooses.

The two presidents that take the cake at having the most presidential pets. Teddy Roosevelt and 
Calvin Coolidge. (Both Republicans, hmmmmm)

Get this: Calvin Coolidge had a terrier, sheepdog, bulldog, shepherd, birder, 4 collies, and 2 
chows. Added to that he had 3 canaries, 3 cats, 2 raccoons, a donkey, bobcat, thrush, a goose, 
mockingbird, a bear, pygmy hippo, an antelope, and a wallaby. Oh and don’t forget the lion 

Teddy Roosevelt, no slouch in the pet department, befriended a retriever, Pekingese, mutt, 2 
terriers, 2 cats, a badger, pony, macaw, snakes, 12 horses, 5 bears, 5 guinea pigs, rats, lizards, 
roosters, an owl, flying squirrel, raccoon, a coyote, a lion, hyena and a zebra.

The names of some of these presidential pets are too good to pass up. Grant named one of his 
horses Jeff Davis (all you Civil War buffs will get it). James Garfield had Veto the dog. And 
Abraham Lincoln had Jack the turkey. Isn’t this just fascinating? Anybody? Anybody?

President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura welcomed Bernard Bush into the family in 
September of 2000. His nickname was Barney Bush and he was a Scottish Terrier.

President Obama and family were going to get either a labradoodle, or a Portuguese water 
hound. And on April 14, 2009, Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog puppy arrived at the White House 
compliments of Senator Kennedy. Bo, born “Amigo’s New Hope”, was named after singer Bo 
Diddley. His nickname was “Bobama”. Four years later, “Sunny” made her arrival. 

President Trump had no pets during his four years in the White House. 

President Biden moved into the White House with two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. 
The Biden’s also had an American tabby domestic short-haired cat named Willow Biden.

Finally, this upcoming Mother’s Day weekend May 10th, 11th and 12th, live stage performances 
of the wonderful classic, “Steel Magnolias” will be presented at the Portico Art Space in North 
Pasadena, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoons. On 
Saturday there will be a very special pre-performance Mother’s Day Tea in the garden adjacent 
to the theater. Proceeds from the Tea will go to the Monrovia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los 
Angeles. Type in the link below for more information regarding the events.

Mountain Views News 
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for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
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is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
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Madre, California, 91024. 
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A student valedictorian put on hold. A swarm 
of protesters fill up the university quad. 
Tents, megaphones, umbrellas and goggles 
are included in the laundry list of Personal 
Protection Equipment in the sprawling campus 
encampments. Protesters demand total 
capitulation of the administration as the only way to resolve a 
peaceful outcome.

Back room deals are solidified amongst opulent banquets 
in smoky Maotai-fueled private rooms. At times, thick red 
envelopes are passed between the dealmakers, other times an 
unspoken yet explicit acknowledgment of an IOU hangs like ripe 
fruit, to be harvested at a later date. Redevelopment and evictions 
come quickly after that, generations of citizens lose their homes 
without appeal or recourse.

The above scenarios place mob rule and corrupt practices against 
what we believe about democracy. Grass roots democracy is hard. 
It’s a door to door, person to person discussion to inform, sway 
and debate the pros and cons of change.

Currently there is a ballot initiative to support our city’s First 
Responders personnel through a parcel tax. Having personally 
benefited from the quick and professional response of our Police 
and Fire departments I wholeheartedly supported the initiative 
and was supplied with the potent tools of the democratic process 
- clipboard, ball point pen and petition. 

Boldly I rang the doorbells of my neighbors, one step away from 
a gooey dog chomp or the mistaken identity of the unwelcome 
and solicitous overtures of an unnamed Pest Control salesman.

Truth is, the Foothill communities are still a bastion of small 
town friendliness. No doors were slammed in my face, rather, 
long discussions of the initiative, the weather, past weather, 
upcoming weather and bears, lots of bears were bandied about. 

I learned a lot about my neighbors that day, a close encounter 
entailed more than fleeting glimpses of their preference of cars, 
landscaping or aptitude for seasonal holiday lawn decorations; 
doing democracy as the Founding Fathers constructed it with a 
say to all and all to be involved in our future paths as a community 
and a nation starts with an open door and “Hello!”

Years I spent abroad where democracy, the individuals rights and 
freedom of the press is not allowed makes me appreciate even 
more the slog and patience required for grassroots activism and 
the responsibility we are given through our choice to vote.

The best vote is an informed vote, to find out more about the Public 
Safety for Sierra Madre Ordinance, go to

And put a face with the voice you speak to when you call 911 at 
Smoothies with the Dispatchers

Wednesday May 8, 3-5 pm 

My Friends Cafe, Kersting Court

Meet our First Responders at the

Public Safety Open House

Saturday May 11, 10 am - 1 pm 

Sierra Madre Fire Station

See you at the voting booth in November, now if only I could find 
my megaphone.

Dinah Chong Watkins column appears every 1st and 3rd Saturday 
of the month.

For more Close Encounters Of The Wrong Kind go to www.ceotwk.

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

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concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
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support a prosperous 
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informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
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Integrity will be our guide. 

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