Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shirley Moore: South Bay Wildlife Rehab and the Rescue of a Sierra Madre Great Horned Owl

Watch out, mice.
(Mod: I thought I'd take a break from political scandals and end the month on a happier note. Shirley Moore and Paul Fisher from up in the Canyon, with the assistance of South Bay Wildlife Rehab of Palos Verdes (click here), rescued an injured Great Horned Owl. The mishap apparently occuring right behind Nature Friends in the Canyon, which I guess if you are an owl and need a place to have disaster strike, you couldn't pick a better place. After months of rehab in stylish Palos Verdes our owl was brought back here and returned to the wild on Monday. To the left is a picture of the owl shortly after its release back into the wild. This account is in two parts. The first passage was written by Paul to a fellow Nature Friends member before the owl's rehabilitation, the second by Shirley and it describes the happy ending. It is a great Sierra Madre story.)

I swore that I wouldn't write any bulletin articles this year.  Having been our local editor for 2011, it's now Henny's turn to have fun reporting on the LA Branch's activites.  That said, this week she asked me to photograph for her some recent clubhouse maintenance work so she could write a blurb on it.  Knowing the wisdom of never disagreeing with Henny, I ran up Yucca Trail the very next morning and, upon arriving at the clubhouse, met with Bruce Anderson who directed me up the dormitory stairs where some plumbing was recently repaired.  Not exactly the most exciting news story.

After snapping a few shots I decided to walk a little further up the old trail behind the dorms to get a view of LA from the canyonside.  It was here, out of the corner of my eye, where I encountered a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). It was on the ground staring up at me from about five feet away.  Realizing it unusual to encounter an owl at daytime (let alone at night), we shared glances for a few moments when I finally noticed it was injured.  There was a tree branch, about five inches long, impaled in its left shoulder, rendering the poor fellow earthbound- becoming a predator vulnerable to predation (i.e. from coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, even domestic pets).  Perhaps even worse, since a downed owl cannot hunt its eventual fate would be starvation.  Immediately I called upon our caretaker, Ken Symington, who recalled that just two nights before he heard an owl very close by and sounding in distress.  I wasn't sure what to do so I headed down the street to ask Shirley Moore, a fellow member who has has experience with wild animal rescue.  Shirley called the Pasadena Humane Society and, after realizing they would not send anyone to help, took it upon herself (and me) to rescue the owl.  I ran down and got a quilted packing blanket while Shirley got some heavy leather gloves, towels and a portable pet crate.

Returning to the trail we found the owl retreated down a slope but still flightless.  Clearly it was in trouble.  We slowly and calmly were able to surround it with the goal of throwing the blanket over it then transferring it into Shirley's crate.  It was strong enough to evade our first attempt at capture and to coast further down the slope. Shirley successfully blanketed him the second time.  Clearly the owl was already exhausted because there was no struggle as we softly coaxed him into the crate.  He sat still in cautious calm as we headed downhill through a neighbor's yard and then on to to the Humane Society in Pasadena after safely placing our 'birdcage' in Shirley's car.

Amidst all the dogs and cats they receive on a weekly basis, the Humane Society staff seemed mildly surprised when we walked in with our little owl. They immediately took him to their medical personnel to examine the extend of its injury.  We don't know yet what his fate will be but we think he has a good chance of survival.  Whether he'll be able to fly again or not is another story to be told. Such unexpected excitement on a random Saturday.  It all goes to show that it always pays to visit the clubhouse ... and to do Henny a favor.

(Mod: And now Shirley's description of the happy ending.)

In a burst of feathers accompanied by the cheers of a small group of onlookers, a diminutive male great horned owl made a triumphant return to the wilderness behind Nature Friends in Sierra Madre Canyon on Monday night.  Rescued by canyon residents Paul Fisher and Shirley Moore late last May after Paul discovered the bird grounded and defenseless with a broken tree branch protruding from one of his shoulders, the owl resided in a 100-ft. flight cage at South Bay Wildlife Rehab in Palos Verdes (http://www.sbwr.org/) for several months, recovering from surgery and regaining the strength needed to fly the friendly skies of Sierra Madre again.

Once released, the owl gazed wide-eyed at his audience from atop an initial perch on a nearby post, getting his bearings and perhaps showing his gratitude before soaring away to freedom in the tall trees.  We all wish our prodigal wild neighbor a hearty welcome home and offer thanks to Christina, Melissa, Kai and the SBWR staff for their successful efforts to restore this regal raptor to his native habitat.

Thanks for bringing this to me, Shirley.

More on the Nick Conway preliminary hearing

This from the Whittier Daily News (click here): 

L.A. Judge postpones decision on whether ex-COG executive director Conway will stand trial - Saying she needed more time, Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria on Wednesday postponed a decision on whether to order the former executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to stand trial or throw out criminal charges brought by the District Attorney's Office. The unexpected delay reflects on the complexity of the case presented by the Los Angeles County District Attorney against Nick Conway, 60, of Pasadena.

Conway ran the regional planning agency for 17 years as part of his consulting company, Arroyo Associates, until he was charged with four felony counts of conflict of interest after DA investigators raided his residence last June.

De Longoria concluded the two-day preliminary hearing held in the Clara Foltz Criminal Courts Building after listening to impassioned final arguments from both sides. But while many expected a determination, the judge said she hadn't read the hundreds of pages of documents submitted as evidence. "It would be unfair to rule without having the opportunity to read each and every document," she announced. "I want to give it my full attention."

She ordered both sides back in court on Feb. 14, when she is expected to make her ruling.

Should be quite an interesting Valentine's Day. I received an e-mail yesterday from a friend who is watching this case very closely, and here is what she had to say:

The judge hearing Nick Conway's case is Antonio Villaraigosa's sister. She also has had the pleasure of dealing with  other famous criminals  - Bell's Robert Rizzo and former Irwindale City Manager Steve Blancarte and the cast of Irwindale criminals.  Appears she's not real happy with public corruption. Not good news for Nick Conway but it couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

I hope that is the good news it was intended to be.

Two Sierra Madre Tattler Milestones

We went over the 1.3 million hits mark sometime last night. Which is not too bad from a little blog covering the politics and affairs of a small city of less than 11,000 folks. Equally exciting (to me at least) is that we set a new record for actual hits this month. Our previous best, 60,624, was set last November. For January we are now well over 63,000, and I figure by the end of business today we will be somewhere beyond 64,000. A number I could never have imagined us reaching a few years back.

A whole lot of folks reading this blog these days. Thank you.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

62 comments:

  1. Moderator, what do you attribute the increase in readership to? You don't advertise, right?

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    1. I think people really want to read hard, down and dirty local news. So few other places cover it, so the Tattler gets the traffic. Also the coverage we're giving the PUSD story has added a lot of readers. Pretty much an invisible story otherwise.

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    2. I bet PUSD doesn't appreciate it. Their staff probably go to the Tattler to find out themselves what's going on.
      Glad you brought this story line in, as well as bringing in the Brandenburgs.

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    3. I think it's the variety of topics you're bringing in.

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    4. Sierra Madre is not an island. A lot of what goes on in other cities, plus Sacramento and even Washington, has an effect in town. Much of what we hear from the City didn't start here. Finding the real source is important because so much of what we are told is just a sales pitch for agendas that we had nothing to do with when they were discussed and decided upon. We were not a part of the conversation on those decisions. That is why the blog has to branch out.

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    5. You're right JC. You also say it in a way that pulls no punches.

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    6. So much for the Michillinda Curtain, eh?

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    7. The city council are just messengers sometimes. We don't always control our own city.

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    8. Maybe not an island, but a peninsula for sure! Surrounded by urban density on three sides and saved by the hillsides and a treasured national forest to the north.

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    9. JC- how are you going to cover more topics AND get your sleep?

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    10. Contributors and caffeine. Anybody in town has something they'd like to write about and would enjoy having a few thousand people read it, and then cuss you out, send me an email.

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  2. Thank you Shirley. Thank you Paul.

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  3. I hope that is good news about the judge, too. Her brother is a party boy.

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    1. he's the cabo party fuhrer

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    2. I guess he figured since he was done with being mayor, it wouldn't hurt him to be praised by, and photographed with, Charlie Sheen at the end of an all-nighter.

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  4. if i am scrolled on the clicker, i see it go off every few seconds. today it sat stoicly staring back without movement. that's when i realized i was sitting and working on my own blog. haha

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    1. it doesn't move.

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    2. Must be Brandenburg

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    3. yes, i had both windows open. usually there is ticker activity out of the corner of my eye in the am if i am on the tattler, but it was just sitting there all mute. i thought, "nope, not going to hit a thousand today, john." then i realized why. haha

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  5. PS Bicycle Blvd opened today in Pasadena. Your tax dollars at work, cal trans, and a grant. ribbon cutting ceremony later today. not to be confused with rib splitting at robin's house of texting

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    1. Maybe I'll drive down and take a look.

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    2. when will there be a pogo-stick road? there is no equity in that town for people who have to hop around

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    3. Social equity demands that the needs of all forms of walking be accommodated. I personally do the banana walk, and I have seen nothing in Pasadena that accounts for my requirements.

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    4. Hey, how about us skippers? We get a pretty good speed going and need our own lanes too.

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    5. Everybody knows banana walking is a more green practice. Skipping leads to sidewalk rubber burn.

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    6. Bananawalkers Anonymous (BA)January 31, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      Please use the following dictionary when discussing appropriate verbiage when discussing banana walking. thanks.

      http://madcoversite.com/dmd-alphabetical.html

      BPLFLT!

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    7. It is a process.

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  6. Shirley Moore and Paul Fisher are both my friends and neighbors. This heartwarming story is so typical of their caring and involvement to make our environment a better place. Thank you Mr. Mod for this updated report, and thank you Shirley and Paul for taking the time our of your day to help a fellow critter.

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  7. Plenty of varmints for the owl to pursue, 3 right on the city council.

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  8. Bicycle Blvd: Looks like a minimum of $500,000.00 for a sign that says "closed to through traffic" on a 3/4 mile stretch of existing roadway. Give me a million dollars and I'll explain how to ride all the way across Sierra Madre without using Sierra Madre Blvd. (Hint: it involves the mysterious "sidestreet.") Your tax dollars at work.

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    Replies
    1. How much does that come out to per rider?

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    2. Let me put it this way, it would be cheaper to pay the bike communters to stay at home.

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    3. and $75,000 to PUSD Community Schools project

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    4. Yeah, but wait until you see all the revenue generated when triathletes from Boulder and Mammoth find out there is 3/4ths of a mile they can ride in Pasadena. Megabucks!

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  9. Thank you Shirley and Paul, through your ation you have shown your true compassion and the caring people you are. If only we had a few thousands more in in town like you.
    Excuse the pun, you will be placed in the Sierra Madre Who's Who book ...

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    Replies
    1. great story. i love the owls that hang around my house.

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  10. I just signed the petition "CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife & F&G Commission: Stop Coyote Killing Contest" on Change.org.

    It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/ca-dept-of-fish-wildlife-f-g-commission-stop-coyote-killing-contest



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  11. To think the rescue of this owl was the best lucky happenstance discovery, but the follow through was the pure actions of caring people. Love to Shirley and Paul and all nature's creatures.

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    1. A great story!Thank you Crawford for including it.A welcome relief from the the continuous saga of swindles,fraud and deceptions we have become accustomed to from our city,state and local government officials.

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    2. it is nice to hear about the great things people have to give of themselves

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    3. Excellent Owl rescue tale. Thank you.

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  12. Only 99,000 to go to 1.4 million.

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  13. New article up on the Pasadena Weekly site regarding the DA's investigation of Ishmael Trone's actual address and whether he actually lives in the district he is running in. Looks like he is trying to bluff his way out of his problem.

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    1. Welcome to the Trone Zone.

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    2. See, he's sitting on a couch. Can you have any doubts that the couch is in the right district?

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    3. Above his mom's bail bond shop no less.

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    4. At the gym today CNN's big news story was about Beyonce singing at the Superbowl. Now I feel informed. The question is, How did the Tattler miss a big story like this?

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    5. Really? After Beyonce was busted for having lip synced at Obama's inaugural? Now there's controversy!

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    6. clearly she's in the wrong district

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  14. I just heard there was a big burglary up on Grandview....yesterday?
    Anyone know anything about this?

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    1. Sierra Madre is the happy hunting ground. Here is how they do it. Get someone with a broken turn indicator to run a stop sign in front of a cop car. Within minutes every asset the SMPD has is on the scene to handle this problem. The effect being the entire town is without law enforcement for a half of an hour so. Just enough time to completely clean out someone's home.

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  15. This surprises me about the Pasadena Humane Society not willing to send someone out. About a month ago my girlfriend and I found an Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)with an injured leg down on the corner of Grandview and Mountain Trail. I called the Pasadena HS and they said they had a truck in the area, so they were there within 5 min. or so. I thought they were going to take the bird and possibly euthanize it, but found out they actually do send these animals to rehabilitation centers and work to release them back into the wild. Apparently no matter how small.

    Seems like they would have (should have) had time for the largest species of owl in North America...

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  16. Someone should start a neighborhood watch or something, it seems like houses are getting robbed more and more. We see these burglaries reported 2 or 3 times a week, or at least it seems. Won't be long until every home has been robbed at this rate.

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    1. We need real law enforcement. Everytime I see two SMPD police cars and a bunch of cops standing around while one of them writes a ticket for not coning to a complete stop at a stop sign, I can't help but think the town is wide open for robbery.

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    2. OMG!!! You guys are right....this is how the criminals are robbing homes!
      YIKES!!!!!!

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    3. New sign on Baldwin...Welcome to Sierra Robme. Glad I have dogs in the house1!!!!!!!

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  17. Congrats on the 1.3 millionth reader. You get like hundreds more comments than I do per story -- what's your secret?

    BTW, I was at a candidate forum last night for Kim Kenne and Dean Cooper, running for PUSD District 1 (we get to vote for our representative -- Sierra Madre, I gloat at thee). Nothing said that would wake one from slumber, but they did say they felt they would represent all the children in PUSD, not just in their neighborhood. On the strength of that statement, I submitted a question about the Middle School Hole, in two parts: 1. How committed are you to see this completed, and 2. Finishing the middle school was one of the promises made if we passed the last bond issue -- how committed are you to keeping this promise? The moderator just asked if they wanted to see it finished. Kenne said yes, Cooper was pretty obviously not familiar with the situation. there ya go!

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    1. Snark and anonymity. It is how you empower commenters to really speak their minds. If you let people say what they really think, rather than what is expected of them to say, they will come. It is what people really want, a chance to say what they can't say anywhere else. I think a lot of folks find it liberating. That plus it annoys all the right people.

      I went to some parents PUSD summit shindig a week or so back at SME. The thing I found to be most annoying is the position of authority the visiting school dignataries put themselves in. Rather than getting down with the parental hoi polloi, they sat at a table up on a stage with someone vetting and then reading some of the written questions from the masses. It was kind of like officers and enlisted. Except I don't think the school officials deserve the honor.

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    2. I have commented frequently through the years not because of the temptations of snark, but because of the moral imperative to call out bad decisions in hopes for better ones. Sierra Madre is a truly small place, and once a person looks clearly at the city councils, and comes to know that what is done in that room impacts the whole town, it's hard not to speak up. The hope is always present that through Crawford's excellent blog, a more informed citizenry will be voting on representatives who live up to the name.

      Add to this context the fact that a dull-witted and short-sighted group of people have been the council majority for most of the past 15 years, and that they have been making dull-witted and short-sighted decisions, and you have a blog full of insightful, revealing articles and appropriately indignant comments.

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    3. Sage, they never really "promised". At least not in Sierra Madre. It was always more carefully worded than that. It was Developer Speak: We'll do the best we can, to the best of our ability, as far as we are able. You get the idea.

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