Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:

SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
What's Going On

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:
The Reel Deal

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
In the Kitchen

Healthy Lifestyles:
Dr. Tina Paul
The Joy of Yoga

Just for Best Friends:
Happy Tails
Pet of the Week
SGV Humane Society

Arts & Entertainment:
Jeff's Book Pics
Sean's Shameless Reviews

The Good Life:
… This and That
Senior Happenings

Business News & Trends:
Social Media Tips, Tricks & Ideas
Family Matters
Life Lines

The World Around Us:
Looking Up
Christopher Nyerges

Opinion … Left/Right:
Tina Dupuy
Michael Reagan
Out to Pastor
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Things to Do & More:

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Merri Jill Finstrom
Marc Garlett
Katie Hopkins
Sean Kayden
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Tina Paul
Amanda Rogers
Joan Schmidt
Ben Show
Rev. James Snyder
Keely Totten

Recent Issues:
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 8:
Issue 52
Issue 51
Issue 50
Issue 49
Issue 48
Issue 47
Issue 46

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1





 After hours of public 
comment and discussion 
among the council members, 
a unanimous vote enacted a 45 
day Demolition Moratorium of 
any residence in Sierra Madre 
built before 1940. 

 With a full chamber of 
residents both for and against 
the moratorium, speaker after 
speaker, united in their desire 
to maintain the small town 
character of Sierra Madre, 
brought forth their differing 
opinions. Four of the most 
compelling speakers were the 
families currently with projects 
“in the pipeline” that would be 
halted. All had been working 
on building their homes for 
years and the most controversial 
demolition project, 126 E. 
Montecito, was only days away 
from completing the 30 day 
waiting period before they 
could begin the demolition of 
the house which some have 
deemed as historical. 

 Also offering differing 
perspectives were Former 
Mayors Clem Bartolai and Glen 
Lambdin. Bartolai was for 
the moratorium and Lambdin 
expressed concerns on its 
impact on individual property 
owner’s rights. 

 The Ordinance was proposed 
in an effort to prevent 
developers from destroying 
historic homes and replacing 
them with structures that do 
not fit the diverse, yet size and 
style appropriate residences 
in Sierra Madre. Reference 
after reference was made to 
the ‘supersized’ structures 
in Arcadia and how no one 
wanted Sierra Madre to become 
subject to the same type of 

 However, Gina Felikian, whose 
property will be delayed by the 
moratorium, reminded the 
council that none of the owners 
of the four homes that were in 
the ‘pipeline’ were developers. 
She stated that it was clear 
that the town did not want 
developers but, “But not once 
did I hear that you did not want 

 In the end, the council 
unanimously passed the 
Moratorium with exceptions 
that will spare two of the 
four homes that have already 
submitted applications for 
permits. The project on E. 
Miramonte along with the 
project on Rancho will be on 
hold for the next 45 days.

The full emergency ordinance 
can be found on page 14.

 S. Henderson/MVNews


 Starting on Monday, February 2nd, the 75 year-old Fire Horn 
will once again be heard throughout the community on a daily 
basis. The Horn, which is located on North Baldwin Avenue 
within the East Montecito Public Parking Lot, will be blown 
every day at 5:00pm. During emergencies, the horn will go off in 
a series of three blasts. When residents hear the three blasts, they 
should take a moment to become aware of their surroundings, 
and tune in to the City’s Emergency Radio Station AM 1630 for 

 This restoration project is the culmination of an idea from Sierra 
Madre Kiwanis Club members including Hank Landsburg, 
George Maurer, and Joe Pergola to enhance the City’s emergency 
communication abilities. In April of 2008, many hillside 
residents of Sierra Madre were faced with approaching flames of 
the Santa Anita Fire. The premise was that during a major disaster 
or emergency, the Fire Horn could be sounded manually and 
residents would be able to tune into a City low-power AM radio 
station, which would be powered by emergency generators. The 
Kiwanis Club, along with community volunteers, began raising 
the funds and the new emergency radio station, AM 1630, was 
completed in 2011 and proved to be a valuable communication 
tool during mudslide events that followed the Santa Anita Fire and the major windstorm event. Currently the 
radio broadcasts city and community events and programs in the absence of emergency messages.

 When computer aided dispatch technology was installed in 1999, the use of the Fire Horn as a secondary system 
was abandoned and the Horn was no longer tested. Shortly thereafter, and number of residents signed petitions 
and created t-shirts in support of reactivation of the horn for nostalgic reasons. The campaign was successful, and 
again the Fire Horn was sounded daily until its equipment became unreliable.

 There are countless donors and supporters that are responsible for the Fire Horn’s return. The City would 
especially like to thank the Kiwanis Club, George Maurer, Hank Landsburg, Joe Pergola, Gary Hood, Mark 
Kennedy and his Post Alarm technicians, Debbie Henderson, Fire Department and Public Works Department for 
returning the historical Fire Horn back to life on its 75th anniversary.

Jan Reed examining A Foothill Village at the SMHPS table Photo by Diane Sands

By Diane Sands

 Last Saturday, the 24th, 300 visitors packed 
Pritchard Hall at Sierra Madre Congregational 
Church to see and hear the most renowned 
historians and authors specializing in our San 
Gabriel Mountains. There was a great demand 
to visit with, and buy signed books from, John 
Robinson and a dozen other notables. 

 In addition to Robinson (writer of the definitive 
books on the history and trails of the San Gabriels 
and our own Mount Wilson Trail), the authors 
were Michele Zack (our town’s centennial book), 
Elizabeth Pomeroy (John Muir and San Marino), 
Nat Read (Don Benito Wilson), Glen Owens 
(Big Santa Anita Canyon), Christopher Nyerges 
(whose weekly column graces these pages), Willis 
Osborne (Mount Baldy and San Antonio Canyon), 
Paul Rippens (Henninger Flats, Mount Lowe, 
Saint Francis Dam), Harrison Scott (historian 
and crusader for the Ridge Route), Chris Kasten 
(cartography and Sturtevant Camp), Norma 
Rowley (Forest Service personnel in the Angeles 
National Forest over the years), and Michael 
Patris and Steve Crise (writer and photographer 
respectively of Mount Lowe and local railways).

 Many of these experts sold out of their volumes 
by the conclusion of the “Meet the Authors” 
sponsored by the Sierra Madre Historical 
Preservation Society and First Water Design 
(designer of books written by four of the authors).

 The event that began at 1 p.m. paused for a 
lively hour-long panel discussion at two o’clock. 
Jeff Lapides of First Water Design, the event’s 
organizer, moderated and posed questions, some 
of which came from those in the audience.

 Amy Putnam, president of the historical society, 
thanked the authors and welcomed her special 
guest, Jan Reed, former editor and publisher 
of the Sierra Madre News from 1983 to 1997. 
The historical society sold many copies of the 
new edition of Reed’s 1997 coloring book, A 
Foothill Village. Putnam presented the authors 
complimentary jams donated by E. Waldo Ward, 
and she offered cookies for the event that were 
baked by Poppy Cake Baking Co. 

Inside this week: 



By Dean Lee


 Ruth A. Pickett, 
97, passed 
away peacefully in 
her home January 
23, 2015. Ruth was 
born in Fallriver, 
Massachusetts in 
1918. She then 
moved with her 
family to Sierra 
Madre in 1923, where 
she lived for a great 
part of her life. She 
spent the last 20 years 
living in Glendora.

 In Sierra Madre, 
she was a member of the Priscillas organization for 45 years. She 
was lovingly known as “Little Ruthie. She used to share so many 
stories of the old days of Sierra Madre, from riding the Red Car, to 
her marriage to Ken Pickett, to spending time with Lizzie of Lizzie’s 
Trail Inn, to changing linens for her Uncle at Orchard Camp. She 
always considered Sierra Madre her home town.

 Ruth’s dad was a fireman in town. She and her husband lived 
through the depression in Sierra Madre. Her uncle for a time 
owned Orchard Camp, and 
she and her cousin spent 
many summer weekends 
up there having the time 
of their life, never realizing 
that they were the maids! as 
they changed linens, helped 
with meals etc. 

 Her husband Ken’s family 
had Pickett’s gas station that 
was near or on the property 
where Taylor’s is now. Their 
first house still exists on 
Montecito and the Red Car 
line ended virtually at their 
back door. They knew Lizzie 
from Lizzie’s trail in and her 
family had Lizzie over to 
their house for dinner on 

 Ruth leaves behind a son, Gary, grandson Bradley, daughter-
in-law Alice and a granddaughter in- law Annette, with a great 
grandson due in May. She also leaves behind her grandchildren 
Cooper and Liz and their children. She was so loved by all who had 
the pleasure of knowing her and fond memories will remain while 
she is greatly missed.

 Memorial Services will be held at Oakdale Memorial Park in 
Glendora, California. February 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

 Each January, the Who’s Who 
in the music world make a, 
metaphorical, pilgrimage like, 
journey to Anaheim for the 
NAMM (National Association 
of Music Merchants) trade show 
and this year was no different 
for Sierra Madre residents Tom 
and Rich Seymour, owners of 
the legendary Fret House music 
store in Downtown Covina.

Although the show, held at 
the Anaheim Convention 
Center, features over 600 
exhibitors, everything from 
DJ equipment to collectable 
violins to synthesizers, it was 
the traditional guitars Tom and 
Rich Seymour were looking for 
—both acoustic and electric. 

 “Guitar players are unique, 
so many of them tradition 
bound, a lot of them don’t want 
anything that was designed 
after 1957, period, Rich 
Seymour said. As an example, 
Tom Seymour took down, from 
his store display, a new Fender 
Stratocaster they had ordered at 
NAMM. The striking sapphire 
blue Fender sandblasted ash 
guitar had a design identical 
to Stratocasters made decades 

 “They try to make it new 
without changing it, sort 
of,” Rich Seymour said. 
Stratocasters come with 
either maple or rosewood 
fingerboards, the pickguard 
[and body] is the same shape, 
Tom Seymour said. 

 At the show, they also said they 
met with many of the venders, 
had the opportunity to associate 
with people in the music business 
and check in with people they 
know, including the owners of 
Taylor Guitars. 

 “We were Taylor dealers when 
Kurt [Listug] sold them out of 
his Volvo station wagon, back 
in the 1970s,” Tom Seymour 
said. “At that time they were a 
three man operation based in 
El Cajon… they are now one of 
the largest guitar companies in 
the U.S.” Along with Listug, Bob 
Taylor founded the company in 

 Rich Seymour said Taylor 
Guitars have always been an 
innovator and this year was no 
different, “They have changed 
the way guitars are built.” He 
said. “They have developed a new 
pickup system [the Expression 
System Baby pickup in the line 
of travel guitars] a design that’s 
never been used before.The 
two said the guitars would be 
available in their store soon. 

 Outside of guitars, Rich Seymour 
said this year they planned 
to upgrade the store’s website 
and computer management 
systems. They said there were 
two or three companies showing 
management software at NAMM 
including Tri-Technical Systems, 
author of the AIMsi and 
Active-e, software.

 “This is probably the most 
complicated small business 
you can put in a building this 
size,” Rich Seymour said. ”I 
imagine, on a lot of levels, we 
are as complicated as a Home 
Depot, yet we don’t have an IT 
department. “ 

 The software would allow them 
to control inventory and track 
sales along with repair and 
service, lesson/appointment 
scheduling, sales contracts and 

 The two longtime Sierra Madre 
residents said most people in 
town are unaware of what they 
do, “We thought about opening 
a music store in Sierra Madre.”

 The father and son duo has also 
hosted LA’s longest continuous 
running Open Mic Night. Tom 
Seymour said the monthly Open 
Mic, held in the basement of the 
store, has been going since 1969. 

 The Fret House is located at 309 
N. Citrus Avenue, Covina, and 
the telephone number is 626-339-

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Ruth Pickett, right, with “Lizzie” at 2014 
SMHPS Chicken Ravioli Dinner


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Peter Dills 

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 ARTS & 


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Maurice Orme and Ruth at Lizzies

US Pg. 14



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Useful Reference Links

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548