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Monrovia's Trader Joe's Recalls Almond Butter

Monrovia-based Trader Joe's recalls almond butter. Possible salmonella contamination. http://goo.gl/DtBalT

- Brad Haugaard

Mountain Ave./Duarte Rd. Intersection Closures

This Friday, Aug. 22, beginning at 9 p.m., through Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. the intersection of Mountain Ave. and Duarte Rd. will be closed to through-traffic to reconfigure the traffic lanes and prepare for the second phased closure. This work follows completion of the northern portion of the intersection, which included work on the new light rail at-grade street crossing at Mountain Ave, two months ahead of schedule.

On Sunday, August 24 at 9:00 p.m., the northern portion of the intersection at Mountain Ave and Duarte Rd will fully re-open, and one lane of traffic in each direction on Duarte Rd will be available. The southern portion of the intersection will be closed for approximately three months. Here are more details:

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. thru November 2014: Mountain Ave will be closed to thru-traffic from the center of Duarte Rd south through the intersection. Duarte Rd will be open, one lane of traffic in each direction (see detour map below). The approximate three-month closure will be in place 24-hours per day, seven days per week, and will allow crews to realign the intersection to improve visibility for the traveling public and future trains, as well as install new storm drains, traffic signals, sidewalks and crosswalks. Crews will work extended work shifts from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, Monday - Friday, in order to expedite this work. Occasional work on weekends may be performed. Construction schedules are subject to change.

Source: Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Organization Helping in Iraq | Plastic Bag Ban

~ The Monrovia-based Christian relief agency, World Vision, is providing food, health, water, sanitation, and child protection for Iraqis fleeing the violence in the country. http://goo.gl/GWwxxj

~ The city has now published the details of its ban on plastic carry-out grocery bags. It is already illegal for big grocery stores to hand out plastic carry-out bags, but that ban won't be enforced until Jan. 1, 2015. http://goo.gl/DpSoq6

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Representative Chu Asks Obama to Make Mountains 'National Monument'

Representative Judy Chu, who represents Monrovia, has asked President Obama to unilaterally declare federal lands in the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument. Chu currently has legislation before Congress to make the area a National Recreation Area, but according to some sources ( http://goo.gl/I7Xvqr ) the bill has a very low chance of being enacted. The City of Monrovia has requested that it be excluded from the proposed NRA. http://goo.gl/foQzx4

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Attempted Suicide; Vehicle Theft; Tantrum and Drugs; Vandalism Reward

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for August 14-17. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Felony Vandalism
On August 14 at 7:42 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the Mary Wilcox Center in the 800 block of East Olive regarding a report of vandalism. Recently, juveniles have been seen on the roof of the building. While servicing the air conditioning unit, it was discovered that the radiator coils and aluminum housing had been vandalized. The estimated damage is $ 4000.00. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
On August 14 at 8:39 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 700 block of East Huntington. The vehicle is a brown Honda Accord, and it was stolen sometime after 6:00 p.m. The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Suicide
On August 14 at 10:03 p.m., a female subject called police to report her boyfriend had sent text messages to her and to friends, asking them to say goodbye to all his friends. She also reported that he had attempted suicide in the past. Officers arrived at the location in the 200 block of West Maple. While officers tried to make contact at the front door, another officer pulled himself up on a wall to look through a window. He observed the subject attempting to hang himself; the subject’s face was flushed. Officers rushed into the location and were able to save the subject. They laid him on his back, allowing him to breathe. Paramedics arrived, treated the subject, and took him to a hospital. The subject was admitted and placed on a 72-hour hold for mental evaluation. If not for the quick actions of the officers in this incident, the subject may have ended his life.

Grand Theft Auto
On August 14 at 10:36 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a hotel parking lot in the 700 block of West Huntington. The vehicle is a truck and trailer with another vehicle inside the trailer. The vehicles were stolen sometime between 8:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The truck is a white, 2005 Ford F350 with New Mexico plates. It has an oversized bed with a large white fuel tank, metal box, and a faded NASA sticker in the center of the windshield. The trailer is 24 feet long and has a Wells Cargo decal on each side. Inside the trailer was a black, Chevy Chevelle, #14 race car, with pink color on both doors. All keys are accounted for and there were no physical signs of forced entry. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
On August 14 at 10:40 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 400 block of West Huntington. At 4:00 p.m., the victim parked and locked her white Honda Civic in the parking lot and went into work. When she returned to the vehicle after work at 10:30 p.m., the vehicle was gone. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Violation of Restraining Order – Suspect Arrested
On August 14 at 11:27 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of West Cypress regarding a male subject screaming, hitting walls and throwing things. When officers arrived, the subject had quieted down and was inside the residence. The officers contacted the subject at the door of his residence and could see a female inside the location. The officers asked if they could enter to check on the welfare of the female subject. The male subject allowed them into the residence. The subject was standing behind the door and seemed to be attempting to hide something in his pocket. Officers could see something bulging inside the subject’s pocket. A pat-down search of his person revealed a blue plastic container with several controlled substances inside. The subject said he was holding the container for someone else. Drug paraphernalia and a loaded rifle were located in plain site inside the location. A computer check revealed the male subject had been served with a criminal protective order and could not be in possession of firearms. He was arrested and taken into custody without further incident for the above listed charges.

Felony Warrant – Suspect Arrested
On August 15 at 3:50 p.m., officers responded to a domestic disturbance at a restaurant in the 300 block of West Huntington. When they arrived, they recognized the male subject as a known gang member with an outstanding felony warrant. The officers confirmed the warrant and arrested the subject.

Burglary – Suspect Arrested
On August 15 at 4:27 p.m., a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called police regarding a female suspect preparing to steal items from the store. Security watched the suspect enter the changing room with clothes and come out with no items. Officers set up outside the store and waited for the suspect to exit. The suspect was detained outside the store with the stolen items in her possession. The suspect was found to be in possession of a rental car key, and further investigation revealed possible stolen items and methamphetamine inside the rental vehicle. A computer check of the suspect also revealed she was wanted for a robbery in Orange County.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
August 15 at 9:09 p.m., Special Enforcement Team officers stopped a vehicle at Shamrock and Huntington. The driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Vandalism – Suspect Arrested
On August 16 at 10:37 a.m., a witness called police to report that a male suspect spray painted a utility pole in the 900 block of California. The witness provided a description of the suspect. Officers responded to the area and detained the suspect, who was positively identified by the witness and was arrested. Officers found graffiti on city property on California, from Royal Oaks to Olive. The witness to this crime was given Monrovia Police Department’s Graffiti Bounty award of $100 for reporting vandalism which led to the arrest of the suspect.

Legislaure Approves Increased Dumping Fines

A bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden to increase fines for dumping and vandalism in nature areas has been approved by the state Legislature and now goes to the Governor for signature. Holden represents Monrovia.

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football Preview

Sports speculation. Will San Marino end Monrovia's football streak? http://goo.gl/s1w1rp

- Brad Haugaard

New City Manager for Monrovia?

I've been wrong on this repeatedly, but it sounds like a closed session item at a special meeting of the Monrovia City Council this Tuesday, Aug. 19, may involve appointing a new city manager. Here's the item:

"Public Employee Appointment Pursuant to Government Code §54957: City Manager"

The "Pursuant to Government Code §54957" bit is just citing the California government code specifying when closed sessions are appropriate.

Source: http://goo.gl/HUiWab

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Peach Cafe


Lunch at Peach Cafe, on Colorado. Just west of Ivy. Got the Cornbread Melt - ham, cheese, mushroom and tomato on cornbread - with a side of chicken noodle soup ($11.95), and an iced tea for $2.75. I heard the restaurant had changed hands and wanted to check it out. Still very good!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Station Square: Planning Done, Construction Begins Next Month

Station Square timeline. Click to enlarge.


A note from Public Works Director Carl Hassel

Over the past two years, the City of Monrovia has been working hand-in-hand with IBI Group to design the $25 million public improvement project we know as Station Square.

Throughout this design process, the City Council gave direction at study sessions, the community weighed in at public meetings and open houses, and we worked with the Gold Line Construction Authority to make adjustments- all in an effort to get this project where it is today.

The design phase is over and I believe that through this process, we have created a Station Square concept that will truly allow us all to be proud.

Now, we have to build it.

As I write this, contractors are bidding on two parts of the process:

- Off-site work.  This will include street improvements, medians, undergrounding of utilities, tree planting, freeway improvements and a new traffic signal.

- And Station Square.  This is the work directly surrounding the not-so-distant future Gold Line station. It will include our Neighborhood Park, Depot Promenade and Transit Plaza. You'll see new bike racks, public art and wayfinding signs.  Station Square is the centerpiece to this entire project.

In September, the City Council will award the Off-Site and Station Square projects to the contractors who will complete the work.  And on September 10, the City Council will officially break ground.

Construction will begin next month.

Construction work will be significant.  You may see streets closed, you may find your way blocked at times, and there will be noise and inconvenience.  Bear with us.  Remember, businesses will still be open, so please support them.  This is the construction that will bring this project to life.

We have committed to pushing the project along as quickly as possible so that you are not inconvenienced long, and we can open Station Square to you by the end of 2015 in conjunction with the completion of the Gold Line extension.

For questions about construction, please call Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email pwcomments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.  Visit our website at www.cityofmonrovia.org/stationsquare to sign up for email notices or text STATIONNEWS to 888777 for text alerts on construction.

Sincerely,

Carl Hassel
City of Monrovia, Department of Public Works Director

Also ...

Station Square groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 10, 2014 at 10 a.m., Monrovia Park & Ride Lot at 1601 S. Myrtle Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Back-to-School Driving Tips

Children in Monrovia are returning to school on August 20, 2014, and with students going back to school, traffic congestion will be increased on the road and drivers will need to be extra cautious. Whether in a school zone or a residential neighborhood, drivers need to remember to slow down and be prepared to stop. The speed limit in school zones and residential neighborhoods is 25 miles per hour, unless posted otherwise; some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 miles per hour.

Always stop for school buses. Flashing yellow lights on a school bus indicate it is preparing to stop to load or unload children, and drivers should slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped, and children are getting on and off. Drivers are required to stop their vehicles and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again. The greatest risk to children is not riding on the bus, but getting on and off the bus.

Always drive more carefully near schools, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas because children may suddenly dart into the street from between parked cars and other objects along the roadway. Also, many children have not yet developed the ability to judge speeds and distances well enough to cross streets safely when cars are moving fast. Drivers need to stay alert and obey traffic signs, especially where children may be present. Slow down and stay alert to help keep children safe!

Source: Monrovia Police Department

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: 12-Year-Old Skateboarder Hit; Hit and Run Suspect Arrested; Jumping on Car Hood

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for August 11-13. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 390 service events, resulting in 66 investigations.

Injury Traffic Collision
On August 11 at 7:12 p.m., a motorist struck a 12-year-old female riding a skateboard at Olive and Monterey. The skateboarder was riding in the street and the motorist did not see her. The juvenile was taken to a hospital for precautions and for complaint of pain to one of her legs.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision – Suspects Arrested
On August 11 at 5:57 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the 600 block of South Alta Vista regarding a hit and run traffic collision. The victim heard a loud crash. She went outside and found her gray Isuza Rodeo had been hit and the suspect vehicle had fled the scene. A witness who had also heard the crash had walked down the street to Olive. He saw a white Acura Integra with damage and a flat tire parked on the street. He saw a male Hispanic subject standing near the vehicle looking at the flat tire. Another male Hispanic subject exited the vehicle and began looking at the tire. The witness went back to the scene of the collision and saw white paint transfer on the victim’s vehicle. He reported what he saw to the police. The officer located the vehicle on Olive, but the suspects were gone. He observed fresh damage and gray paint transfer on the vehicle. The vehicle was stored for investigation of being involved in a hit and run. Later, at around 9:00 p.m., the owner of the suspect vehicle and his father came into the police department to report the vehicle had been stolen. The owner had a story about how his vehicle was stolen, but his statements were conflicting. The owner eventually recanted his story and confessed to being involved in the hit and run collision. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Felony Vandalism in Progress – Suspects Arrested
On August 13 at 1:08 a.m., a female resident called police to report she could see four subjects jumping on the hood of her neighbor’s vehicle. The vehicle was parked on Alta Vista, just south of Montana. She gave a general description of the suspects, and officers responded and located them across the street from the damaged vehicle. The witness positively identified all four suspects, and they were all detained and arrested for felony vandalism. After interviewing the suspects and re-interviewing the witness, it was determined that only two of the four suspects were responsible for the crime, the other two subjects were released.

Monrovia to Remove 35 Trees | Pet Vaccination

~ The City of Monrovia is planning to remove 35 trees in north Monrovia, mostly palms, and "a small number of dead, dying or damaged trees of other types." Why? Because "Palm trees can act like torches during a fire, and burning fronds can spread fire far and wide." ( http://goo.gl/L2tZox ) Here's the list of trees to be removed: http://goo.gl/dIJU70

~ Low-cost pet vaccination, micro-chipping and dog licensing Thursday, Sept. 11, 6:30-8 p.m. at Library Park. Details: http://goo.gl/otBde2

- Brad Haugaard

Relay for Life of Monrovia This Saturday and Sunday

Schedule of events at Relay for Life of Monrovia. (Click to enlarge)

Seventh Annual Relay for Life of Monrovia to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back. All proceeds support the American Cancer Society’s research, education, advocacy and services for patients and families. A family-friendly camp-out event at Recreation Park, 740 East Olive Ave. from 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 to 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
- Brad Haugaard

City of Monrovia Statement on Water Emergency Regulations

The Monrovia City Council Declared a Water Shortage Emergency and implemented Phase I of the Water Conservation Ordinance at the August 5 City Council meeting, following Emergency Resolution No. 2014-0038 adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on July 15, 2014, an Emergency Regulation for Statewide Urban Water Conservation requiring mandatory water conservation.  Water Conservation efforts went into effect August 11 and will remain in effect until the City Council cancels the declaration.

The following restrictions are now in place:

- No person shall hose wash any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking area or other paved surface, except as required for sanitary purposes.

-  Washing of motor vehicles shall be done only with a hand-held bucket or hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle.

- No water shall be used to clean, fill or maintain levels in decorative fountains unless the water is part of a recycling (recirculating) system.

- No restaurant, hotel, café, cafeteria or other place where food is sold, served or offered for sale shall serve drinking water to any customer unless expressly requested by that customer.

- All customers shall promptly repair all leaks from indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures within 48 hours of discovery.

- All lawns, landscape or other turf area shall be watered down not more than every third day between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 a.m.

- No person or customer shall cause or allow water to run off landscaped areas onto adjoining streets, sidewalks, or other paved areas due to incorrectly directed or maintained sprinklers or as the result of excessive watering.

These water conservation efforts are part of an ongoing push by the State of California to respond to the statewide drought currently affecting California.

- In January 17, 2014, the Governor’s Proclamation No. 1-17-2014 declared a State of Emergency to exist in California due to the severe drought conditions, with 2014 projected to be the driest year on record.

- In April 25, 2014, the Governor issued an executive order to strengthen the state’s ability to manage water and called on all Californians to re-double their efforts to conserve water.

Due to the adoption of the State Resolution, the City of Monrovia may impose fines of up to $500 for noncompliance.  City officials will provide warning notices for residents prior to enforcing a fine and residents will receive 48-72 hours to address issues related to the Phase 1 restrictions.

The City of Monrovia must, by the 15th of each of month, report the amount of potable water it produced the preceding month and compare that amount to the same calendar month in 2013. By October 15, the report shall include the gallons of water used per person per day by the residential customers it serves.

Water is a critical part of California’s way of life. The economy, environment and day-to- day lifestyle need water to flourish. Conservation will help stretch water availability.

There are lots of simple ways to reduce the amount of water used at home, both inside and outside. Residents are encouraged to install drought-tolerant landscaping, turn off the sink when brushing their teeth, and promptly fix leaks.

Rebate programs are available to residents to help conserve water:

- Upper SGV Municipal Water District at www.usgvmwd.org or (626) 443-2297

- SoCal Water$mart at www.socalwatersmart.com or 1 (800) 376-3314

- Save Our Water at www.saveourH2O.org

For more information on how to use water wisely, please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email pwcomments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

To report water wasters, residents should contact City of Monrovia Public Works Department at (626) 932-5575 during regular business hours or send an email to PWComments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

Residents looking to convert to drought tolerant landscaping should check with the Monrovia Building and Planning Divisions at (626) 932-5565 for information on permits required and the City landscaping ordinance.

Source: City of Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Grads Help Drum and Bugle Corps Win 16th Championship


 Chyann Figueroa and Marcus Stone

Reader Jill Pyeatt writes that on Aug. 9 two Monrovia High graduates helped the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps win its 16th world championship with a score that topped any score ever awarded by Drum Corp International.

She said Chyann Figueroa and Marcus Stone, graduated from Monrovia High in 2011 and also participated in the Blue Devil's 2012 world championship in 2012.

Marcus is now in the UCLA marching band and Chyann is studying animal sciences at Fullerton Junior College.

All the drum corps are private groups and most of the participants have been involved in their high school bands.

- Brad Haugaard

Proposed New Monrovia Restaurant on Duarte Road; New BMW Building; Car Show on Myrtle

~ The Monrovia Planning Commission will consider allowing a proposed new restaurant in the Mon Arc Shopping Center at Sixth and Duarte Road, called MoMo Bakery & Grill (steaks, chops, seafood and baked goods), to serve beer and wine. http://goo.gl/UGbxKz

~ The commission will also consider allowing construction of a new BMW dealership building with a four-level parking structure at 1425 S. Mountain Avenue. http://goo.gl/opfrO5

~ At its next meeting, the Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board will consider closing Myrtle between Palm and Chestnut, and the 100 blocks of East and West Lime, Lemon, Colorado, Olive, and Walnut on Saturday, September 13, 2014, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. for a custom car show. http://goo.gl/i3hz5u

- Brad Haugaard

Big Rig Crash Slows Freeway; Giggle Buys Champion Internet Assets; Obama Bill Passes; Aussie Musicians

~ Big rig crash on 210 slows westbound traffic. http://goo.gl/olqHaN

~ Giggle Fiber acquired its fiber network and related Internet and telephone assets from Champion Broadband. http://goo.gl/n4Qydo

~ Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, reports that the Legislature has approved his bill to "encourage California schools to teach the story of President Barack Obama's trailblazing election." The bill now goes to Governor Brown.

~ Aussie duo, BaK, consisting of Beau Djekic and Kit Dyson, have three music videos -"Life & Perception," "Too Soon" and "Dasha Hara" - that have been officially selected for the Action on Film International Film Festival

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Homeless Man Accused of Battery; Grease Fire; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for August 7-10. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events. 

Battery – Suspect Arrested
On August 7 at 6:49 p.m., an officer was contacted by a male subject who stated he was hit in the eye by a homeless person at a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle. The suspect was located and detained. The victim made a private person’s arrest for battery and the suspect was taken into custody. 

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
On August 9 at 2:45 a.m., an officer observed a male subject riding a bicycle without a headlamp. When the subject saw the officer, he sped up and rode into an alley behind a business, but he was quickly detained. The subject admitted to having drugs/methamphetamine in his pocket. A computer check revealed he also had outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was arrested for possession and the two warrants. 

Fire Assist
On August 9 at 3:36 p.m., an officer responded to a business in the 3300 block of Peck Road regarding a brush fire. Within minutes, the fire had spread to the yard of a nearby business. All employees were evacuated. Several cars caught fire and some palm trees burned. 

Fire Assist
On August 10 at 7:31 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting possible smoke from a business in the 300 block of West Huntington. An officer arrived and saw flames break through the roof over the kitchen area of the fast food business. The grease inside the vent caught fire. Monrovia Fire Department responded and put out the fire. There were no injuries. All employees were out of the building upon police arrival. 

Fire Assist
On August 10 at 12:17 p.m., Monrovia Fire Department requested assistance for traffic control in the 200 block of East Foothill. Monrovia, Arcadia and Los Angeles County Fire Departments were all at the scene, as the structure was three stories high. Arcadia Fire used their hydraulic ladder to gain access to the roof. The Monrovia Fire Department investigated for the source of smoke. 

South Monrovia Fire Burns Junked Cars

Junked cars burned in Monrovia brush fire. http://goo.gl/uqZMX3

- Brad Haugaard