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KABC Report On Monrovia's Hippie Bots Robotics Team as It Prepares for International Competition in Spain



This is the KABC report on Clifton Middle School's Hippie Bots robotics team, which is heading to Spain as the only team from the United States invited to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Barcelona Championship.

- Brad Haugaard

Mayoral Candidate Grollnek Endorses Mayoral Candidate Taylor

Stephen Grollnek is running for mayor of Monrovia in a three-way contest with incumbent Tom Adams and challenger Melissa Taylor. But what's weird is that he has lawn signs for Melissa Taylor (also running for mayor) in his front yard, and none for himself.

Why?

Grollnek told me that he was thinking of running for mayor but found out that if he was the only challenger that the city would have to pay 80-some thousand dollars for an election.

So at first he decided not to run, but then he heard that Melissa Taylor had filed to run, so the election was on regardless.

So he decided to run.

Then he met Taylor, found that they agreed "on everything except global warming," and decided she would make a good mayor.

So why not drop out?

He said at this point he can't get his name off the ballot, and besides he wants to be at the Feb. 5 candidates forum so he can publicly come out in favor of Taylor at that time.

(Note: With 10 comments on the Monrovia Now blog or MonroviaNow's Facebook page, I think I've met the requirement to publish this. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, it really doesn't matter.) 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company Getting Into Cannabis Distribution Business

Monrovia-based Sugarmade, Inc., is getting into the cannabis delivery business and moving away from hydroponics for cannabis cultivation.

It's newly redesigned web site says, "Enjoy California's Newest Premium Cannabis Delivery Service."

Sugarmade CEO Jimmy Chan said, "We see significantly larger opportunities in the California cannabis distribution arena and have entered into advanced talks to make a strategic move into this area." https://is.gd/sNFdaT

The company's stock dropped today and closed at less than a penny per share.

- Brad Haugaard

Why Is One Mayoral Candidate Displaying the Lawn Signs of Another Mayoral Candidate?

Well, here's something you don't see every day.

Stephen Grollnek is running for mayor of Monrovia, in a three-way contest with incumbent Tom Adams and challenger Melissa Taylor.

So, since Grollnek is running against Melissa Taylor, why is he displaying HER signs in his front yard?

I called him up to ask.

He told me the whole reason but then asked me not to publish it yet unless at least 10 people comment on this article.

Hoo Boy!

Anyway, please comment so I can write the rest of this story. I think either here or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/monrovianow/) will work fine.

- Brad Haugaard

Artist Eric Watkins Paints Utility Box

Artist Eric Watkins is painting a utility box at the corner of Foothill and Magnolia with the founding fathers of Monrovia. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Artists, You Can Paint a Utility Box; Read in a Monrovia Classroom; Construction on Ivy; Canyon Park Volunteers


In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Dylan Feik reports:

~ The utility box painting program - Art on the Box - is returning. Want to paint a box? Applications are being accepted through March for artists of all ages. General information: https://is.gd/Mx7eqY and application form: https://is.gd/EE4tMv

~  Monrovia Reads will host Read Across Monrovia on Thursday, March 5, at 8 a.m. If you would like to read a story in a classroom, fill out this application: https://is.gd/thI41S. If you need help picking a book, the Library can help.

~  Monrovia Canyon Park recognized three volunteers:  Cree Horner, Joanie Ruggles, and Carl Jack. Cree "brings a great attitude and positive vibes to our hard-working crew of trail builders." Ruggles does "everything" with a "great smile and a passion to serve." Jack has been involved in numerous projects at Canyon Park "for nearly two decades."

~  Beginning Feb. 3, SCE and other contractors will be working around Ivy next to City Hall to make improvements to aging underground equipment and infrastructure. The project should last through March and will require traffic lane and sidewalk closures. Those affected will be notified of two planned power outages. For questions call Public Works at 932-5575.

- Brad Haugaard

Sky Cat: Friendly to Everyone

Tian Mao is two years old and loves to play. Her name means "Sky Cat" in Chinese, which may be due to her owl-like features (didn't you know that owls are the cats of the sky?). This gorgeous kitty isn't just playful, she's also very friendly with everyone, even people she's just met. And unlike the owl that lives in the tree outside your house, Tian Mao loves to be pet (disclaimer: don't pet wildlife.). If you're looking for a cat that checks all the boxes, Tian Mao is the sky cat for you.

The adoption fee for cats is $90. All cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated before being adopted.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org. Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard

YMCA Senior Summit Luncheon

Santa Anita Family YMCA senior community will hold its second Annual Senior Summit on Friday Jan. 31 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Monrovia Y's Multipurpose room.

Executive Director, Eric Boyd, and the leadership team will discuss the plan for year 2020. Free food and drinks. Sign up today at the Welcome Center in person or email julieflores@ymcala.org. Call the Y at 359-9244 for details.

- Brad Haugaard

Police Trying to Find Arcadia Resident

The Arcadia Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in locating Charles Henry Washington, a 70-year-old Arcadia resident.

On Sunday Jan. 19, at approximately 8 a.m., Washington checked out of a local hospital against medical advice. Washington returned to his home, in the 800 block of West Duarte Road. At approximately 6:30 p.m., Washington was last seen walking eastbound in the 800 block of West Duarte Road. Washington requires daily medication. Neighboring law enforcement agencies and hospitals were contacted; however, Washington has not yet been located.

Washington is described as a male, Black, 6'01" tall, 250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Washington was last seen wearing a blue and green colored button-down shirt, blue jeans, and white shoes.

Contact Arcadia Police if you have any information: (626) 574-5151

- Brad Haugaard

Financial Auditor Gives Monrovia Schools a Thumbs Up

Monrovia School District's auditor reports that the district's finances appear to be correctly stated in its financial documents.

These statements, according to auditor Nigro and Nigro, "present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, business-type activities, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of Monrovia Unified School District, as of June 30, 2019." https://is.gd/57YMlm

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Nano Cafe

Lunch at Nano Cafe, at the corner of Mayflower and Duarte Road. Got the fried chicken off the lunch specials menu for $12.99 and an iced tea for $2.79.Came with a cup of soup (I got split pea), which was delicious, as was the rest of the meal

- Brad Haugaard 

Council to Consider 310-Unit Apartment Complex Near Train Station, Adding to Wilderness Preserve; Evaluate City Manager

At its next meeting (https://is.gd/0N3Lic) the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Consider okaying a seven-story mixed-use residential/commercial development which would include 310 apartment units, 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and a three-level (two underground) 479-space parking garage. It would be take up the block just west of Myrtle and immediately south of the freeway. https://is.gd/mVLHZo

~ Consider changing the zoning for two north Monrovia properties off Highland Place (which were donated to the city) from residential to Hillside Wilderness Preserve, which basically means nobody can build on them. https://is.gd/pxzdlF

~ Evaluate (in closed session) the city manager. https://is.gd/XE8hfF

- Brad Haugaard

Clifton's Hippie Bots Is Only US Robotics Team Selected to Compete in Spain!

The 2019-20 Clifton robotics team, Hippie Bots, has been chosen as the sole representative of the United States in the FIRST Tech Challenge Barcelona Championship in Vic, Spain in February, 2020. If you'd like to help the team get to Spain (i.e. - give money), click this link: https://is.gd/NxbEAW

- Brad Haugaard

Workshop on Tree Trimming, Fruit Growing, Grafting on Saturday

Learn about tree trimming, growing fruit and grafting this Saturday at Monrovia Community Garden (at Mountainside Communion Church at Colorado and Magnolia), from 9-10:30 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Drunks and Drugs; Shoplifting; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 9-15. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 366 service events, resulting in 56 investigations.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
January 9 at 10:50 a.m., a female subject called police to report her husband pushed her while at their home in the 100 block of W. Cypress. Officers arrived and contacted both parties. The couple was involved in an argument that escalated into a physical altercation and the female subject sustained multiple injuries. The male subject was arrested for domestic violence and taken into custody.

Wanted Person / Resisting Arrest – Suspect Arrested
January 9 at 1:54 p.m., a resident in the 500 block of W. Colorado called police to report seeing possible drug activity. When the officer arrived, he saw a vehicle matching the description provided by the caller. A traffic stop was conducted, and the investigation revealed one of the occupants in the vehicle was a wanted person. The subject initially resisted arrest, but was eventually arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
January 10 at 12:39 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 700 block of S. Magnolia, when he saw a vehicle commit several traffic violations. A traffic stop was conducted and the officer spoke with the driver. After field sobriety tests were conducted, the driver was arrested for DUI. He was taken into custody and held for a sobering period.

Theft From a Vehicle
January 10 at 12:14 p.m., a resident in the 500 block of Court called police to report that items were taken from his unlocked vehicle. One of the items taken was a credit card, and it had already been used at a Home Depot and Walmart that same day. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
January 10 at 3:12 p.m., an employee from a business in the 3000 block of S. Peck called police to report the theft of a trailer. A male suspect in an older-model, Ford truck drove into the business parking lot at approximately 12:45 p.m. He attached a trailer that did not belong to him to his truck and left the property. Investigation continuing.

Critical Missing Person – Located
January 11 at 1:12 p.m., a resident in the 700 block of W. Foothill called to report that his elderly relative, who has medical issues, was missing for approximately two hours. Officers arrived and set up a search team. The elderly individual was located a short time later and was returned home safely.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
January 12 at 1:36 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 100 block of W. Central, when he saw a vehicle commit several traffic violations. A traffic stop was conducted and the officer spoke with the driver. After field sobriety tests were conducted, the driver was arrested for DUI. He was taken into custody and held for a sobering period.

Weapon Offense
January 12 at 11:44 a.m., a female subject came into the police department lobby to report a suspect that brandished a weapon in the 1400 block of S. Magnolia. The victim reported that when she was getting into her vehicle to go to work at 4:30 a.m., a female Hispanic subject approached her from the residence across the street and said, "right here, right now." The victim does not know the woman. The woman then brandished an object that appeared to be a handgun. The victim immediately started her vehicle and drove to work. She said she did not report the incident immediately because she needed to get to work. Investigation continuing.

Weapon Offense / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
January 12 at 2:45 p.m., a family disturbance was reported at a residence in the 300 block of E. Olive. Officers arrived and contacted two adult brothers, who were involved a verbal argument. One of the brothers alleged that during the argument, his brother brandished a pocket knife. The brother who brandished the knife was also found to be in possession of a pipe used for smoking narcotics. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence / Non-Injury Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested
January 13 at 4:46 p.m., a caller reported a non-injury traffic collision in the 100 block of Fig. A vehicle had backed into another vehicle, and one of the drivers had to be restrained to prevent her from leaving. Officers arrived and determined the driver being restrained was too intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely. She was arrested for DUI and held for a sobering period.

Vandalism
January 14 at 11:48 p.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Mountain and Evergreen, when he was flagged down by a female subject. The woman stated her vehicle had been broken into while parked in front of a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The suspect gained entry by breaking a window, but no items were taken. Investigation continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
January 15 at 12:29 p.m., an employee from a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain called police to report a male suspect just left the location without paying for items he had taken. Officers arrived, located the subject and detained him. The stolen items were recovered and the subject was arrested for shoplifting.

Trespassing / Open Container of Alcohol – Suspect Arrested
January 15 at 2:49 p.m., a subject was inside a business in the 400 block of W. Huntington causing a disturbance. He was asked to leave by an employee, but he refused. The employee called police and reported the situation. Officers arrived and spoke with the subject. The subject still refused to leave and he was in possession of an open container of alcohol. He was arrested for trespassing and being in possession of an open container of alcohol in public.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
January 15 at 8:02 p.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Mountain and Oceanview, when he saw a driver commit a traffic violation. He conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver. A computer check revealed the driver had several outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Jeremiah LaCroix Guilty in 2017 Murder at Gem City Grill

A jury has found Jeremiah LaCroix, 33, guilty of the murder of 43-year-old Michael Lowe in 2017 at the Gem City Grill in Monrovia. https://is.gd/qIL5Q0

- Brad Haugaard

Parking Fee at Canyon Park Jumping from $6 to $10

parking feeBeginning Feb. 1 the parking fee for Monrovia Canyon Park will jump from $6 to $10 for weekends and holidays. 

- Brad Haugaard 

State of City Address; New Utility Bill Format; Business Emergency Training; Bullet Journaling

In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Dylan Feik reports:

~ The State of the City Address will occur on Jan. 29, at Studio Movie Grill, at 7 p.m. The Mayor and City Council will discuss accomplishments of the past year and speak about future projects.

~ Your utility bill will look different starting this February. Here's a preview: https://is.gd/qG97CE

~ The Library's Veterans Resource Center and the American Legion Women's Auxiliary are collecting these items for military personnel who are hospitalized, recovering from injuries sustained during service: White socks for men and women; coloring books for adults; coloring pencils, markers, pens; board and card games for adults. Drop off donations in the large blue box in the Library's main lobby this month. For questions contact Mabel Cross, Adult Services Librarian, at 256-8294.

~  Monrovia Fire & Rescue's Business Emergency Resiliency Training (BERT) is a free six-seminar series covering: Introduction to the Emergency Response System; Employee Preparedness; Fire Safety and Utility Awareness; Emergency Operations Plans and Business Continuity Plans; Disaster Exercise Planning; Terrorism/Crime and Safety Awareness. First session is Jan. 22, 9 a.m. - noon. Sign up here: https://is.gd/oTjX2x

~ Learn bullet journaling on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m., at the Library Community Room. In this two-hour workshop you will set up your own custom planner for 2020. All materials are provided. Register: https://is.gd/OpLl8T

- Brad Haugaard

Information About Monrovia Mayoral and City Council Candidates

Introducing  the candidates for Monrovia Mayor and City Council. I've included email addresses and a web page when I could find one. Alphabetical by last name.

Mayor
- Tom Adams: https://www.facebook.com/highpockets tom@c21ab.com
- Stephen Grollnek: spreeguy@aol.com
- Melissa Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaforMayor2020/
 melissaformonrovia@gmail.com

Council
- Donna Baker: https://www.donnabakermonrovia.com/ donnabakerformonroviacouncil@gmail.com
- Gloria Crudgington: http://gloriacrudgington.com/ gloria@crudg.com
- Becky Shevlin: https://www.facebook.com/becky4monrovia/ beckyshevlin@gmail.com

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Opens Permanent 'Artist Alley' at Community Center

Launching with a gala reception on Sunday, January 26, Monrovia will have a permanent art gallery in the halls and lobby area of the Monrovia Community Center at 119 W. Palm Avenue. Dubbed Artist Alley, this gallery program is a partnership between the City of Monrovia Community Services Department and Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA), now in its 58th year of serving the community.

Artist Alley will feature the work of juried MAFA member artists on display and for sale on a three-month rotating installation basis. The inaugural exhibit will feature four distinguished and popular MAFA artists: Ron Husband (world-renowned Disney animator who will display his pen and ink illustrations), Joan Whitenack (oil paintings), Carol Curtis (photography) and Eric Watkins (pen and ink and colored pencil drawings).

The public is invited to attend all gallery receptions and browse the art. All the new exhibit gallery receptions will feature wine and refreshments, and the reception schedule for the rest of the year will be Sunday, April 26, July 26 and October 25, all from 2 to 5 p.m., as each new multi-artist installation is ready for display.

The public gallery hours are the same as the Community Center: Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sunday except for special events (during which the gallery will be open).

Interested buyers can purchase art (via check only) at the front desk of the Community Center. Purchased items will be tagged as sold and the proud new owners may take the art home at the end of the current three-month show.

Artists interested in participating in this gallery should contact Frank Zgonc, gallery Coordinator, at frazgo@msn.com. Participating artists must be active MAFA Artist Members.

For more information and to RSVP for the gallery receptions, contact Christine Geltz at christine@monroviafinearts.org.

Source: MAFA press release

- Brad Haugaard