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A Moment in Monrovia History: 1897 View of Grand View Hotel

Monrovia Messenger Souvenir Edition 1897: Colonel [Samuel] Keefer purchased a tract of land from Mr. Baldwin, and erected on the northwest corner of Lemon and Ivy La Vista Grande Hotel." History of Monrovia by John L. Wiley 1927 p 29. "For a few years the Vista Grande Hotel was known as The Antlers. It is variously referred to as La Vista Grande or Grand View, which is merely the anglicized form of its original Spanish name. From the Myron Hotchkiss collection. See full details here.

For more historic photos and papers, see the Monrovia Historical Society’s complete Legacy Project collection here. Learn more about the Monrovia Historical Society here.

- Brad Haugaard

Free Train Rides Saturday

Metro is offering free bus, train and bike share rides on tomorrow in honor of Transit Equity Day, which commemorates Rosa Parks' birthday and her act of defiance against racial segregation on transit.

- Brad Haugaard 

State of City Meeting; Lead-Free Homes; Art on Utility Boxes; Youth Sports; Food Waste Champion Day

In his latest report ( City Manager Dylan Feik reports: 

~ The State of the City meeting will be on Feb. 13 at LOOK Cinemas at 6 p.m. The City Council will provide the community with an update.

~ The Lead-Free Homes program offers free assessments and licensed contractors to eliminate lead paint hazards in homes in Monrovia built before 1951 with 4 units or fewer. Qualification is based on presence of a child under 6 or pregnant person. Apply at or call 744-6027 for more information.

~ The Art on the Box Contest is a program to enhance the appearance of city-owned utility cabinets by sponsoring artists. The theme for 2023 is "Be Water Wise" and 5 boxes are available. Artists can apply by March 30, 2023 and receive a $700 stipend if selected. Contact Kerri Zessau at 932-5564 or for more information.

~ The City of Monrovia is offering an After School Youth Sports Program for Winter 2023 Co-ed Basketball Season for 4th and 5th graders. The program runs from Jan 11 to March 24, Monday to Friday, and provides basketball practice, homework help, healthy snacks, character development and fun after school. The registration fee is $100 and includes a t-shirt. Scholarships are available. Contact the Community Center at 256-8246 for more information.

~ Food ED is hosting Food Waste Champion Day on Feb 25, 9am-2pm at Monrovia Community Garden to educate on food waste and SB1383 composting law. The event includes Q&A, kids' crafts, compost bin raffle, workshps on critters and cooking, and free compost for registered attendees. Register at or email Kristin Ritzau at for more information.

- Brad Haugaard

Valentine's Day Romantic Carriage Ride

- Brad Haugaard

Company Offers Monrovians Discounts on EV Chargers

Webasto, a Monrovia-based manufacturer of electric vehicle chargers, is offering a 10% discount on charging systems equipment to Monrovia residents until Feb 28. Use coupon code Monrovia10 at checkout at Contact 652-7958 for questions.

- Brad Haugaard

Organizations Collecting Funds For a 'Steve Baker Bear,' With Baker's Signature Top Hat and Tails

If you'd like to contribute to the creation of a "Steve Baker Bear" to honor the late Steve Baker, Monrovia's City Treasurer and Historian, various local organizations have created a creating a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the installation and maintenance of the art piece, which will feature Baker's signature top hat and tails. Contribute here: The location for the bear is still being decided.

- Brad Haugaard

Historic Anderson House Reopening Feb. 19, 2-4 PM

The Monrovia Historical Society is hosting an open house and grand reopening of the newly restored George H. Anderson House on Feb 19 from 2-4 PM. The event includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:15 PM and free refreshments. No RSVP is needed to attend. Contact Sandy Burud at 675-8323 for more information.

- Brad Haugaard

Black History Month Events

The Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association is hosting two events in February for Black History Month.

On Feb. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m., there will be a kick-off event at the Duarte Monrovia Historical Museum. Monrovia Changemakers will share stories and the creation of its book, "Monrovia's Changemakers Combatting Bigotry and Segregation". More information:

On Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a Black History Month Health Fair & Workshop held at the Monrovia Community Center with workshops on various health topics. More information: Both events are free, but reservations are required. Contact Barbara Gholar at 392-5512 for more information.

- Brad Haugaard

Guidelines for Spending Measure K Money; Making Rotary Bandshell Historic Landmark; Monrovia's Economy Is Good

At its next meeting (agenda: the Monrovia City Council will consider ...

~ A set of guidelines for spending Measure K sales tax funds as proposed by the Measure K Citizens Advisory Committee. The guidelines prioritize basic needs, completing one-time projects, leveraging Measure K funds for other funding sources, building reserves, funding ongoing capital improvement projects, and seeking projects with a "payback" or "return on investment".

~ Approving a local historic landmark designation for the Rotary Club Bandshell in Library Park.

~ The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, which shows that the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022 was marked by growth, stability, and positive financial milestones, according to the report. The city received a credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor's, its net financial position increased by $74.5 million, and the General Fund had a positive increase of $12.54 million. The city's cash and investment balances increased by 55% over the previous year, and its net liability for pensions decreased by 27%.

~ Because of what appears to be an improving economy, city staff is recommending to adjust its estimate of general fund revenues upward by $434,737 and expenditures upward by $55,803.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Runners in Traffic; Man Punches Woman; Loose Child Reveals Fraud; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 26 – February 1. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 331 service events, resulting in 58 investigations. 

Mental Evaluation
January 26 at 4:34 a.m., officers responded to Myrtle and Palm regarding a female running in and out of traffic and jumping on vehicles. Officers arrived and determined she was a danger to herself. She was transported to a hospital for a mental evaluation. 

Grand Theft
January 26 at 6:57 p.m., a grand theft was reported in a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington. Three female subjects grabbed a large amount of items and fled without paying. This investigation is continuing. 

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
January 26 at 7:08 p.m., a couple was driving near the 200 Block of E. Fig and got into an argument. They exited their vehicle and continued to argue in the street. The male subject became angry and punched the female in the head causing injuries. The male fled the area before officers arrived. The female was treated by MFD and released at the scene. The male subject later came to the station to give a statement. He was arrested and taken into custody. 

Vehicle Burglary
January 27 at 7:24 a.m., a caller reported his vehicle was broken into while he was shopping at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. This investigation is continuing. 

Injury Traffic Crash
January 27 at 7:50 a.m., a traffic collision was reported in the area of Madison and Foothill. Officers and Paramedics arrived to check on the well-being of the occupants. The driver at fault was issued a citation. 

Weapon Offense – Suspect Arrested
January 27 at 4:33 p.m., a witness reported a male subject parked in the 900 block of S. Fifth was possibly selling drugs. Officers arrived and contacted the male subject. An investigation revealed he was in possession of a cane sword and illegal drugs. He was arrested and taken into custody. 

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
January 28 at 12:54 a.m., an officer saw a vehicle violation in the 800 block of S. Shamrock and conducted a traffic stop. The driver was contacted and displayed signs of intoxication. A DUI investigation revealed the driver was under the influence. The driver was arrested and transported to the MPD jail to be held for a sobering period. 

Indecent Exposure – Suspect Arrested
January 28 at 6:43 a.m., officers were dispatched to a business in the 600 block of S. Myrtle regarding a male subject exposing himself. Upon arrival officers contacted a subject matching the description and recognized him from previous contacts. He was arrested and taken into custody. 

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
January 29 at 1:06 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Colorado and Primrose when she saw a motorist commit a traffic violation. She conducted a traffic stop and found the driver was displaying signs of being under the influence. A DUI investigation revealed the driver was under the influence. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon / Battery
January 29 at 1:12 a.m., a caller reported a large fight at a business in the 100 block of E. Olive. Officers arrived, but the fight had already ended. Officers located three male adult victims. The six male suspects fled the area prior to officers arriving. The victims were treated by MFD, but refused to be transported to the hospital. This investigation is continuing. 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / No Bail Warrant – Suspect Arrested
January 29 at 4:18 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 1600 block of S. Primrose when he saw a male subject loitering in the park after hours. The male adult subject was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and provided the officer with a false name. In the jail the subject admitted who he really was. A computer check revealed he had a no bail felony warrant. He was arrested and taken into custody. 

Fraud – Suspect Arrested
January 29 at 4:24 a.m., an employee of a business in the 900 block of S. Fifth, reported a child running around without an adult around. Officers responded and as they arrived the mother appeared, leaving her other child in the room. The mother gave the officers a false name, and when they were checking on the welfare of the other child who had been left alone, they discovered the room was filled with the tools to commit fraud and fraudulent documents. The subject was arrested and taken into custody. 

Commercial Burglary
January 29 at 7:13 a.m., a caller reported a church in the 900 block of S. Magnolia was broken into and items were taken. This investigation is continuing. 

Drug Possession – Suspect Arrested
January 29 at 8:42 a.m., an employee from a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington called to report a suspicious. Officers arrived and contacted the driver. He was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested, issued a citation, and released at the scene. 

Mental Evaluation
January 29 at 10:49 a.m., a resident in the 1400 block of Monterey called to report that a neighbor was having a mental breakdown. Officers arrived and determined the neighbor was a danger to herself and she was transported to a local hospital. 

Petty Theft
January 29 at 5:52 p.m., an employee from a business in the 100 block of W. Foothill reported a male subject walked in, took items off, and fled the store without paying. This investigation is continuing.

Warrant Arrests / Drug activity – Suspects Arrested
January 30 at 3:24 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Myrtle and Evergreen. The officer contacted three subjects in the vehicle. A records check revealed that two occupants had warrants and the third was in possession of narcotics. They were arrested and taken into custody. 

Driving Under the Influence
January 30 at 5:27 a.m., a caller reported two subjects slumped over in a vehicle in the area of Duarte and California. Officers arrived and found a female driver extremely intoxicated behind the wheel. MFD was called to the scene and she was transported to the hospital. 

Grand Theft Auto
January 30 at 7:30 a.m., a resident in the 800 block of E. Lime reported his work vehicle was stolen from his driveway. This investigation is continuing. 

Under the Influence of Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
January 30 at 5:08 pm, officers responded to the 600 block of W. Huntington regarding a female standing in front of vehicles and refusing to move. Officers arrived and located the female subject. She displayed objective signs and symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance. She was arrested and taken into custody. 

Warrant Arrest – Suspect Arrested
January 30 at 7:40 p.m., a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain called to report a male and female suspect taking items from the store. The male suspect fled and the female was still inside the store gathering items. Officers arrived and detained the female who was in possession of credit cards belonging to someone else. A computer check revealed she had a warrant for her arrest. She was arrested and taken into custody. 

Non-Injury Traffic Collision
January 31 at 7:10 a.m., a non-injury traffic collision was reported in the 100 block of E. Foothill. 

Grand Theft Auto Recovery
January 31 at 7:44 a.m., a stolen vehicle was reported in the 400 block of Stedman. The vehicle was recovered shortly after. This investigation is continuing. 

Fraud / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
January 31 at 12:12 p.m., a business in the 100 block of W. Lime reported a female subject paid for merchandise with fraudulent checks. Officers located her the female subject. A computer check revealed a warrant. She was arrested and taken into custody. 

Injury Traffic Collision
February 1 at 8:28 a.m., an injury traffic collision as reported in the area of Magnolia and Duarte. An involved party complained of pain and was transported to the hospital. 

Vehicle Burglary
February 1 at 8:33 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The victim reported items were taken from the vehicle. This investigation is continuing. 

Grand Theft – Suspect Arrested
February 1 at 9:49 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of W. Cypress reported the catalytic converter from her vehicle was stolen. This investigation is continuing. 

February 1 at 11:10 a.m., the victim walked in the MPD lobby to report someone was fraudulently using his license in a different state. This investigation is continuing. 

Threatening Report
February 1 at 9:15 p.m., an officer responded to the 400 block of W. Huntington, regarding a threatening report. Employees said a male suspect entered the store and started taking items. When employees confronted the subject he threatened the employees. Officers searched the area for the suspect but were unable to locate him. This investigation is continuing. 

Water District Gets Its First Female President - Jennifer Santana

Jennifer Santana, Director for Division 5 in the Monrovia-based Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, was elected as the first female president in the district's 63-year history. The decision was made during the annual board reorganization and was approved unanimously by the board. Santana aims to address the challenges of climate change and invest in sustainable water supplies for future periods of drought. The remaining officer positions for 2023 are Vice President - Director Anthony Fellow, Treasurer - Director Katarina Garcia, and Secretary – Director Ed Chavez.

Monrovia Schools to Promote Itself with 'School Showcase'

Monrovia Unified will hold its first "School Showcase" on Feb 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Monrovia High. Student performances, food trucks, and learn about MUSD's opportunities for students and families. Call 626-471-2031 for more info.

- Brad Haugaard

Lord Empanada One of Top Restaurants in US

Yelp has named Lord Empanada one of the hundred best places to eat in the United States. It’s on the east side of Myrtle just south of the freeway. Here.

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Something Healthy

Dinner at Something Healthy, on the east side of Shamrock just north of Huntington. Got the Rosemary Sandwich for $9.25 and a blueberry lemonade for $2.75. A nice light dinner. 

- Brad Haugaard

Rose Can Keep You Entertained All Day Long

Who doesn't like a Rose around Valentine's Day? This sweetheart is bursting with love and ready to snuggle her way into your heart.

Rose has a cute little snort when she gets excited, which is pretty often because she seems to adore everyone she meets. She likes short walks followed by long naps- she's definitely more couch potato than athlete.

She also might have a bit of a stubborn streak which we have to admit is pretty adorable- If she's walking the way she wants to go, easy-peasy. If you want to turn to go in a different direction, she jams on the brakes until you can bribe her with a tasty treat. Rose will keep you entertained ALL DAY.

Rose's (and many other dogs) adoption fee will be only $14 from 2/9 - 2/15 as part of the Be Mine Valentine's Special.

The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

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 and schedule an adoption appointment at Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard

Water District Offers Free Virtual Classes on Resilient Landscaping Techniques

Upper San Gabriel Valley Water District is offering two virtual classes on landscaping, "Resilient Alternatives to Turf" and "Protecting Your Trees." These classes are on Tuesday, February 7 and Thursday, February 23, respectively, and will run from 6-7 p.m.

"Resilient Alternatives to Turf," will focus on diversity in landscaping, selecting ground cover blends for greater resiliency, and how to transition to a more sustainable landscape. Attendees will also learn about  rainwater capture and limited irrigation.

"Protecting Your Trees" will cover topics such as understanding the collaboration between trees in a landscape, developing an efficient irrigation strategy, separating irrigation systems, and creating a successful maintenance practice to ensure the survival of trees.

Sign up here:

- Brad Haugaard

A Moment in Monrovia History: 1920s Girls Gym Class at Monrovia High

Monrovia High School Girls gym class in the 1920s. From the Myron Hotchkiss collection. See full details here.

For more historic photos and papers, see the Monrovia Historical Society’s complete Legacy Project collection here. Learn more about the Monrovia Historical Society here.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Third Graders Create Worm Bins

Monrovia Schools Superintendent Ryan Smith tweeted that, "This week, 3rd-grade students created worm bins with help from our partners at Food ED. These bins will help produce compost for the gardens at their school sites."

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Promise Program Offers Free Tuition, Academic, and Personal Support for First-Time College Students

Monrovia High graduate Yesenia Bugarin is pursuing an associate degree in business administration with the help of the Citrus College Promise program.

By Mary Ann Lutz
Citrus College Governing Board Member

When Yesenia Bugarin graduated from Monrovia High School in 2021, there was no question that Citrus College would be the next step on her academic journey. “I saw how much support my older sister had received as a Citrus College student, so I was encouraged to apply,” she says.

Within a few short months, Yesenia had successfully settled into life as a college student. The 19-year-old business administration major credits much of her smooth transition to the Citrus College Promise program. Designed to remove barriers that hinder academic success, the Citrus College Promise increases access by covering enrollment costs and other expenses, such as health services, student representation and GoPass transportation fees. However, Yesenia says that monetary assistance isn’t the program’s only benefit.

“The Citrus College Promise not only relieved me of financial burdens, it also ensured that I maintain a good academic standing,” she says. “It has offered me many opportunities to gain professional skills, and the program’s completion specialists consistently reach out to make sure I’m on track. They do their best to support their students one-on-one.”

Individualized support and guidance have been key elements of the Citrus College Promise since the program’s debut in 2018. Valuable members of the Citrus College Promise team, completion specialists ensure that students maintain their program eligibility and make progress toward their academic goals.

To become part of the Citrus College Promise, eligible students must finish the Citrus College Early Decision program or complete the onboarding process for another student support program. Other requirements include submitting a FAFSA or California Dream Act application, declaring a course of study/major, maintaining a minimum of 2.0 GPA, completing a student education plan, and completing college/transfer-level English and mathematics.

After joining the program, students not only have all of their enrollment fees paid, they also receive a $100 textbook voucher. All of this support and guidance is provided throughout the student’s first two years at Citrus College.

Although originally limited to graduating high school seniors, the program expanded last year to include all first-time students who have never attended college and are California residents/AB 540 eligible. As a result, more students can now benefit from the program. In fact, there are approximately 1,000 students currently participating in the program.

“I would recommend the Citrus College Promise program to other students because, aside from the financial and academic assistance, the program helped me feel like I belonged at Citrus College,” Yesenia says. “The program encouraged me to take advantage of all the school’s resources and to finish my associate degree in two years.”

As Monrovia’s representative on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, I am proud of Citrus College’s efforts to increase access and remove barriers to higher education. I am confident that the Citrus College Promise program will continue to provide excellent opportunities for the many first-time college students in our community.

- Brad Haugaard

Police Get New Equipment: Body Cams, AR-15 Rifles; Licence Plate Readers; Emergency Prep Class

In his latest report ( City Manager Dylan Feik reports: 

~ Changes at the Police Department.

  • The police station is receiving a pressure wash, a new sign, and a fresh coat of paint.
  • New emergency communications equipment has been installed.
  • New patrol vehicles have been added and new license plate reading cameras are in use to assist in recovering stolen vehicles.
  • All officers are now equipped with body-worn cameras for capturing information and details during service calls. Videos by these cameras are used for training.
  • The department has switched from using the Ruger Mini-14 rifle to the industry standard service weapon known as the AR-15.

~ Monrovia Fire & Rescue and Monrovia Community Emergency Response Team are offering a free three-day CERT Basic Training starting tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 28. Open to Monrovia residents and employees of Monrovia businesses. Ages 16 and over with a parent. Classes will be held on Feb. and 11. CERT volunteers assist Monrovia Fire & Rescue with preparedness education, fire patrols, and disaster response. Email Suzanne Dobson at to register or for more information.

- Brad Haugaard