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Monrovia Church Moving to Make Room for Wine Village

Calvary Chapel Monrovia will be moving. A staff report at the City Council meeting Tuesday said the church - near Myrtle on Evergreen on the south side of the 210, next to the Chevron station - is leasing its property from the city and will have to move to make way for the wine village the city has planned. The church's lease expires at the end of this month.

- Brad Haugaard

Battle Creek to Film in Monrovia Canyon Park

The television show Battle Creek apparently really likes Monrovia Canyon Park. Diane Delmatoff, in the Community Development Department, reports that the show will be filming in Canyon Park again on Thursday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Wine Village; Street Fair; Outage

At its meeting tonight the Monrovia City Council ...

~ Voted to approve an wine village down near the soon-to-come train station. Several representatives of CIBA Real Estate, which represents an alternative proposal, a hotel, argued that the process was not transparent. 

~ Asked staff to see if Family Festival Productions would accept a shorter contract for putting on the Friday Night Festival so the city can get proposals from more companies about putting on the festival and other events throughout the year. 

~ Heard a spokesman for Southern California Edison say the company is sorry about a Friday night power outage that took some merchants off line at 10 p.m. instead of midnight, when it was scheduled. Miscommunication, he said.
-Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Halloween Home

One of the more dramatic Halloween homes I've seen in town. 223 N. Canyon.

Brad Haugaard

Inauthentic Mexican Restaurant Opening in Monrovia

Devon Restaurant, on the north side of Lemon near Myrtle, has closed and is being replaced with Bull Taco, "inauthentic Mexican." Love it! I think most ethnic restaurants are inauthentic, and probably better for it, but nice to see someone just come out and say it. Put my nose to the window and looks like it's just days from opening. Thanks to Doran for the tip. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Evacuation of Monrovia's Canyon Oaks HS | Police Promoted

~ An ordor in the chemistry lab at Canyon Oaks High School forced an evacuation of the building today ( ). Update: It was pepper spray:

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz reports that three Monrovia police have been promoted: Nick Manfredi - Lieutenant; Heath Harvey - Sergeant; Rob Wilken - Sergeant.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Tricked Out of Her Car; Meth and a BB Gun; Robbery; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Highlighted Activity for October 16-19 . - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Stolen Vehicle 
On October 16 at 7:32 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen in the 400 block of Royal Oaks. The victim parked her 1985 Honda Accord in front of her residence at 6:15 a.m. She locked and secured the vehicle. When she went outside at 7:30 a.m., she found her vehicle was gone. The investigation is continuing.

Warrants - Suspect Arrested 
On October 16 at 11:47 p.m., an officer responded to a business in the 400 block of West Huntington regarding a subject causing a disturbance. The subject was located and was found to have two outstanding warrants for his arrest from the Monrovia Police Department; he was arrested taken into custody.

Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Recovered 
On October 17 at 12:33 p.m., a vehicle was stolen from the 900 block of West Foothill. The victim is an elderly female who was attempting to park her vehicle in a handicap stall. She exited her vehicle to remove a cart that was blocking the stall. A male subject that was standing next to her vehicle eating ice cream jumped into the vehicle and drove away. Monrovia police responded along with the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter. An area check was made for the vehicle, but it was not located. The vehicle was later recovered. It was found parked on a street in Pasadena. The victim's purse was recovered, but cash was taken. The suspect in this case is described as a male Hispanic, wearing a blue shirt, jeans, and carrying a black backpack. The suspect had some facial hair. The investigation is continuing.

On October 17 at 11:22 a.m., an officer responded to a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain regarding a theft that had just occurred. Loss prevention witnessed the suspect taking items without paying. When security confronted the suspect, he returned the property, but he refused to walk back to the office. The suspect then pulled out a pair of needle-nose pliers and advanced on the security officer. The security officer was able to push the suspect away. The suspect and a female subject then fled in a white Toyota Tacoma. The suspect is described as a male Hispanic in his 30's, shaved head with tattoos. He was with a white female in her 30's. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Exhibiting an Imitation Firearm / Driving on a Suspended License / Warrants – Suspect Arrested 
On October 17 at 6:31 p.m., a suspect motorist reportedly brandished a firearm at another motorist in the area of California and Hurstview. Police arrived and located the vehicle, and the suspect was detained. Investigation revealed the suspect brandished a BB gun at the victim in an incident of road rage. The suspect was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was driving on a suspended license and had three warrants. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – Suspect Arrested 
On October 19 at 1:30 a.m., an officer was on patrol near the intersection of Chestnut and Alta Vista when he stopped a motorist for a traffic violation. The motorist was determined to be under the influence of alcohol; the driver was arrested and taken into custody.

Robbery / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested 
On October 19 at 3:07 p.m., a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called to report a robbery that just occurred. A female suspect was attempting to hide items in her purse, return other items and pay for some items; she was detained by loss prevention. When she realized they were calling the police, she hit a store employee who was trying to keep her from leaving and attempted to get away. An officer arrived and she was arrested. A used methamphetamine pipe was located in her purse, which was added to her charges.

Residential Burglary 
On October 19 at 6:41 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 1600 block of South Mayflower. The victim left her residence earlier and returned to find the side door of her garage ajar and property taken. A bicycle and golf clubs were missing. The investigation is continuing.

Monrovia Power Outage - More than 6,000 Affected

Southern California Edison reports power outage in Monrovia, affecting 6,099 customers. They're analyzing the problem and estimated restoration time is still being determined. I've seen reports of outages at Monroe School, on Primrose and Lemon, West Olive, Encino south of Huntington, Scenic, Ivy, Duarte Road and Mayflower, Myrtle south of Lime, parts of Huntington Oaks Shopping Center, etc.

Update: SCE now has two outage reports for Monrovia, indicating that now only about 102 customers are affected.

Update 2: SCE hopeful most of the problem will be fixed by 5 p.m.

Update 3: It was caused by a squirrel, now deceased.

- Brad Haugaard

'Meet Me In St. Louis' at Monrovia's Taylor Performing Arts Center

The Taylor Performing Arts Center will present its fourth professional production, Meet Me in St. Louis, on Nov. 20., 21, 22, and 23 for five performances only.

Travel back to the turn of the 20th Century in St. Louis where everyone is talking about the World’s Fair coming to town! Memorable songs include "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Patrick Garcia, Director of Performing Arts for Monrovia Unified School District and the Producing, Artistic Director, said Monrovia resident Marjory Zuk will play the lead role of Esther Smith and Bradoaks Elementary School student Samantha Rily will play Tottie Smith.

Advanced tickets may be purchased at Monrovia Travel (401 South Myrtle) or
at or by calling 800-838-3006.

General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and children age 12 and younger. Discounts for groups of 10 or more and for seniors age 65 and older. VIP tickets, center section, rows 2 through 6 are available for $35. Rush tickets in the first row are $10 and will be sold on a first come first served basis before each performance. Tickets may also be purchased at the Taylor Performing Arts Center beginning one hour before show time.

The Taylor Performing Arts Center at Monrovia High School, at 845 West Colorado Boulevard.

- Brad Haugaard

Backyard Bears in Monrovia | Unity Center Food Drive | Job Search Workshop

~ Bears in your Backyard Public Safety Forum, Thursday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at the Monrovia Police Department, 140 E. Lime. Monrovia PD, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Athens Services. Contact Assemblymember Chris Holden's office for more information: 351-1917.

~ Foothill Unity Center is seeking donations of food, turkeys, funds, food drives and volunteer time for its Thanksgiving food distribution ion Monday, Nov. 24, at Ayers Hall at the Arboretum in Arcadia, and for and its Holiday Distribution in December. Funds may be donated online at Food and checks may be dropped off weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 415 W. Chestnut Ave.

~ 21st Century Job Search Workshop, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to noon, Monrovia Public Library Community Room. Learn best places to search, technology and the job search. Led by Angelina Pride, continuing education representative from Mt. San Antonio College. For more information contact Rebecca Elder at

- Brad Haugaard

Meet New Monrovia City Manager

Community lunch in Library Park. Bring lunch and meet the new city manager, Oliver Chi. Oct. 29, 11:30-1:30.

- Brad Haugaard

History of Monrovia Street Names | Gold Line Track Complete

~ Fascinating history of Monrovia street names from this Monrovia Library website. Did you know Hillcrest used to be Banana Avenue? Lots more here:

~ A Gold Line construction worker hammers in the final e-clip for the Gold Line track to Azusa.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Rolls Over Temple City in Football

Monrovia has big win over Temple City - 56 to 6.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: More Transferring Out Than In; Declining Enrollment; Etc.

At its Oct. 22 meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia School Board will ...

~ Hear a report that says more students asked to transfer out of the district (332 for 2014-15) compared to students asking to transfer in (220). Plymouth Elementary has been particularly hard hit this year, with 81 students transferring out compared to an average of 21.25 transferring out for the other elementary schools. It appears the "Incoming Permits" table is either messed up or I need more coffee, but it seems that there was either only 1 request to transfer in to Plymouth, or 13 requests to transfer in.

~ Hear a report that projects continued enrollment losses at least until the 2016-17 school year. Here is an enrollment summary: 2011-12, 5,970 students; 12-13, 5,947; 13-14, 5,988; 14-15, 5,903; 15-16 projected, 5,804; 16-17 projected, 5,681.

~ Hear a report on student achievement. (Unfortunately, no detail provided in this staff report: )

- Brad Haugaard

Join the Christmas Chorus at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church

If you've ever wanted to sing Handel's Messiah, here's your chance to sing parts of Messiah and other Christmas music. Dr. Peter Green, Chair, Visual and Performing Arts Division, Professor of Music, Glendale College, will conduct the Monrovia First Presbyterian Church Chorus with orchestra on Sunday, Dec. 14, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, corner of Foothill and Myrtle. If you want to sing, come to rehersals, every Thursday night 7:30-8:30 at the church. Bring a friend. For more information, contact Dr. Peter Green, Music Director, 358-3297 Ext. 205 or Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Philly's Best

Lunch at Philly's Best at Huntington and Fifth. Got the Mushroom Steak sandwich ($6.99) and iced tea ($1.99). Simple but tasty. 

- Brad Haugaard

Duarte Road and Mountain Intersection Closed Tonight

The entire intersection at Mountain and Duarte Road will be closed tonight beginning at 9 p.m. and ending Saturday morning at 9 a.m. as part of the Gold Line light rail project. Crews will be realigning the traffic lanes to the final configuration during the closure and re-striping the pavement. No additional full closures are anticipated.

- Brad Haugaard

Creative Writing for Family, Friends of Vets at Monrovia Library

The Monrovia Public Library is offering a Creative Writing Workshop for Family and Friends of Veterans, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m. at the Monrovia Public Library Community Room. Bring an object or picture that means something special to you in relation to the veteran in your life. Pen and paper will be provided. Workshop is open to adults and mature teens. Contact Rebecca Elder at 256-8268 for more information. The library also offers resources for vets, here ( ).

Comment: Since this program is funded by Cal Humanities, with a goal "to increase public understanding for those who have served in the U.S. Military as well as how best we can support the process of reincorporating veterans into our community," it got me thinking. As a vet, what do I think vets would like? Well, a) A job. b) An occasional thank you. c) The government fulfilling its obligations to vets (See VA hospitals as an example of how not to do this.) d) An occasional free beer. And what wouldn't vets like? Unless he's laid up in the hospital, anything that smacks of, "Oh, you poor dear! Let me help you with that." Any other vets have thoughts?

- Brad Haugaard

Investment in Monrovia's Huntington Oaks

$71 Million investment in Monrovia's Huntington Oaks Shopping Center.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Wine Plaza Tuscan Village Planned; More Efficient Meetings; Veterans; Family Festival; Last Best Offer

At its next meeting (main agenda: ), on Tuesday, Oct. 21, the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Consider approving a $2,225,000.00 sale of property located at 123 and 137 West Pomona Avenue to Wine of the Month Club for "a Wine Plaza Tuscan Village, which is a conglomerate of wine ordering, wine blending production, wine shipping, wine purchasing, wine tasting, food and beverage sales and consumption, retail related to food and beverage production, and other food and beverage related uses or other shops consistent with the atmosphere of a European village marketplace," etc.

~ Consider recommendations to make city meetings more efficient. They are: 1) Do all proclamations and presentations on first meeting of the month, begin that meeting at 6:30 p.m. 2) End meetings at 11 p.m. and carry over all other items until the next meeting unless the meeting is extended by a majority vote. 3. Enforce the current 5-minute time limit for speakers.

~ Honor local veterans:

~ Approve an agreement with Family Festival Productions, Inc., for production of the Friday Night Family Festival in Old Town through 2017, with two one-year options to renew.

~ Impose the city's "Last, Best and Final Offer" to the Monrovia Firefighters Association.

- Brad Haugaard