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Lunch at Bull Taco

Lunch at The new Bull Taco, on the north side of Lemon near Myrtle. Minimalist  decor. Got a California Burrito ($8) and a Diet Coke (1.50). The burrito (I took a couple bites before snapping this picture) has carne asada, tater tots and avocado in it. Came with chips and quite spicy salsa. Satisfying burrito. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Construction Will Affect Traffic at Myrtle and California

- From Nov. 3 to May 2015 traffic lanes at California and Myrtle will be affected. Expect delays and use alternate routes when possible. The streets will remain open to through traffic but street parking will not be available. They will be down to one lane each way for a limited time during construction.

- The Monrovia Park & Ride Lot at the southwest corner of Myrtle and Pomona Ave will be for the most part closed starting Nov. 10 to May 2015. The contractor will be building the Monrovia Transit Plaza and Park.

Source: City of Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Wildfire Protection Plan; Friday Family Festival

At its November 4 meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will ...

- consider adopting a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, to protect homes threatened by fires. "Monrovia has 1,450 homes in the very high fire zone and 3,500 homes in the ember zone, meaning there are 4,950 homes at some level of risk from wildfire."

- consider adopting an agreement to extend for 6-months Family Festival Productions' contract to produce the Friday Night Family Festival in Old Town, while at the same time asking other companies for proposals on how they would manage the festival.

- Brad Haugaard

Naked Woman Running on Foothill | Another Monrovia Football Title? | STAAR Q3 Report

~ Naked woman running on Foothill Boulevard this morning.

~ Monrovia about to wrap up another league title?

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical, which makes implantable eye lenses, today reported third quarter revenue of $18.2 million, a 6.3% increase over $17.1 million reported for the third quarter of 2013.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Teen Driver vs. Pedestrian; Bear on Roof; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for October 27-29 2014 . - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 387 service events, resulting in 61 investigations.

Traffic Collision – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian 
On October 28 at 7:29 a.m., a traffic collision was reported in the area of Myrtle and Foothill. A teenage driver hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Suspicious Noises / Bear Incident 
On October 28 at 8:47 p.m., police received a call from a resident in the 400 block of North Primrose reporting suspicious noises on their roof. An officer responded, along with the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter, and they discovered a bear on the roof of the residence. The bear was left alone and eventually left the area.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested 
On October 28 at 10:38 p.m., officers responded to a 9-1-1 hangup call involving a family disturbance in the 900 block of West Olive. An officer arrived and spoke to a male adult, who stated his 17-year-old stepson was arguing with him and took off, jumping over walls to get away from him. A computer check of the juvenile revealed he had a no-bail juvenile warrant for his arrest. Officers eventually located the subject hiding in the bed of a pickup truck in a hotel parking lot. The juvenile was arrested and taken into custody. He was taken to Eastlake Juvenile Hall.

Under the Influence of a Contolled Substance / Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspects Arrested 
On October 29 at 11:40 a.m., acting on evidence gathered from a grand theft auto incident earlier in the week, officers went to a location in the 600 block of West Palm to further the investigation. At the location, officers discovered drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a suspect under the influence of a controlled substance. Three suspects were arrested.

Mental Evaluation 
On October 29 at 11:01 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of North Grand Avenue to keep the peace. An 18-year-old, male subject was out of control in the residence. The subject was distraught over a breakup with his girlfriend. He was taken to a hospital, where he was held for mental evaluation.

Sunrise over Monrovia

Sunrise over Monrovia. Looks like a beautiful day. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia California Prepares for Ebola | Rain?

~ While downplaying the possibility of Ebola hitting the Monrovia area, Fire Chief Christopher Donovan says the city is getting ready anyway. Special protective gear, ambulance and hospital procedures. Comment: Good! Better safe than sorry. Details:

~ National Weather Service predicting rain for California this Friday and Saturday, though not much for the Monrovia area.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Annual Award Winners

The recipients of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce is annual awards for 2014 are:

- Iris Award, Citizen of the Year, Pam Fitzpatrick.

- Monroe Award, Business Person of the Year, Ron Ross of Wendy's Monrovia.

- Dick Lord Award for outstanding contributions to the Chamber, Jason Landes.

- Military Service and Stewardship Award, Rob Hammond.

- Brad Haugaard

Sign Being Removed | Monrovia City Hall Closed for Vets Day

~ I saw this sign at the entrance to the Monrovia Hillside Preserve just off of Ridgecrest. Since this isn't Forest Service land I asked Director of Community Services Tina Cherry why it was there. She said the Forest Service "has used this access point in the past" but is no longer using it, "so the sign will be removed."

~ Monrovia City Hall will be closed for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia World War II Vet Celebrates 90th Birthday

Antonio Sanchez Jr., a long-time Monrovian (having lived in the same house since the 1950s) and a World War II veteran, is celebrating his 90th birthday here in Monrovia on Nov. 8. His son Richard says his dad was attached to the 390th AAA [Anti Aircraft Artillery] as part of General George Patton's Third Army. Happy birthday, Antonio! And many more.

- Brad Haugaard

Statements by Candidates For 41st Assembly District

I was approached in early September by Nathaniel Tsai, who is the Republican candidate for the 41st Assembly District, of which Monrovia is a part. He asked if I would do a story about his candidacy. Instead, I offered to publish a campaign statement, with the understanding that I would make the same offer to incumbent Chris Holden. Both responded favorably, and have submitted statements. Here they are, unedited, in the order I received them. - Brad Haugaard

From Assemblyman Chris Holden's Campaign

Dear readers,

When I was elected to the Assembly in November 2012, the future of our great state was an unsteady one. Facing lagging job growth, record budget deficits and rising costs for college and post-secondary education, I joined my fellow members in the Legislature in working to make California a better place to live for millions of middle-class families.

But this work is hardly reserved for those in Sacramento. In my two years serving Assembly District 41, it has been my privilege to work with business owners and community leaders alike to create common-sense solutions and boost job growth for the Foothill communities. We have worked to expand usage of small business loans, boosted the development of 'start-up' companies and helped reduce fees for California students attending our public universities through the Middle Class Scholarship program.

In addition, I have continued to advocate for expansions of the Gold Line, a project that I first got involved with as Mayor of Pasadena, my city of lifelong residence. Connecting Pasadena to the Gold Line, coupled with the construction of the Paseo Colorado and the new convention center, helped revitalize the downtown area for both residents and business owners.

Expansion of the light rail in the San Gabriel Valley would connect the existing line from Pasadena and progressing expansion projects to Azusa with communities extending out through to La Verne, Claremont and even to Ontario Airport. This would not only provide a clean and cheap transportation alternative for commuters in our district, but it would also continue to boost local business activity.

Today in California, we've turned record deficit into budget surpluses, a first in many years for our state, which has allowed us to make investments to safeguard our state's future. Expanding our public transportation options is an investment in our businesses, communities and our environment.

It has been my honor to serve the foothill communities in the Assembly these past two years, but I chose to run again because I know there is more work to be done. I hope that you'll join me this November in working to continue to support small business growth, provide aid for job seekers and ensure the success of future Californians by improving our public schools and universities as well as preserving our precious natural resources. I have always relied on the advice of people like yourself, so I look forward to working with you to find the commonplace solutions that will keep making this state better.


Chris Holden

From  Nathaniel Tsai's Campaign

"Welcome to Our Future":  Nathaniel Tsai for California State Assembly
by Zachary Grau

As of April 9th, Nathan became an official write-in candidate for California's State Assembly in the 41st District. On June 3 Nathan marked a chapter in this journey, as he became California's youngest state nominee for State Assembly! Now Nathan has a chance to become the youngest candidate to win a state election in the entire nation later this November.

Nathan was born in Glendale, CA, and was raised in Alhambra before moving to San Marino, where he graduated from San Marino High School. Nathan is currently a freshman at CMC, where he is majoring in Government. He is a swimmer for the CMS Swim and Dive team, an active member of the Claremont College Republicans, and a cadet in CMC's ROTC program.

During our interview, it became apparent how much Nathan valued the importance of representation. As he puts it, "I'm not attracted to politics, but rather I'm attracted to serving the interests of my constituents." Following this ideal, Nathan wanted me to know how this whole campaign did not start because of his love of politics, but rather "the opportunity to serve the true interests of his constituents". He spoke about how "service above self" is an important principle he lives by, and that political office is an outlet where he could personify this principle on a grand scale.

Toward the end of our interview, one question still remained: Why start this campaign now? Nathan gave me two reasons. First, his involvement in ROTC would make it impossible for him to wait until after graduation to run because he would have at least another 4 years of service ahead of him. For his second reason, Nathan explained how he "wanted to make an impact on our generation now". Nathan plans on having a significant role in today's politics, while establishing a new mentality for other ambitious minds to adopt.

Nathan provided me with some key issues that he believes need attention. "Education" is an issue he believes needs immediate revision, "especially when taking into account the downward path of California's public education system the past decade". Having attended public institutions himself, Nathan was able to witness first-hand the many problems with our schools, including overcrowded classrooms, lack of funds, etc. Another topic Nathan wants to focus on is transportation, "specifically in the public sector". Nathan realizes that future transportation projects could lead to more job opportunities for people. At the same time, he also wants to put an end to the rising concern of over-crowded freeways that everyone can attest to. Lastly, Nathan wants to tackle the apparent drought/power crisis in California, with water consumption on an exponential rise and the controversial shut down of the Santa Onofre power plant.

To get more information on Nathaniel Tsai and his campaign, you can visit his website at or email him at

Monrovia's Everlert to Issue Its First Dividend

Monrovia's Everlert, Inc. will issue its first ever dividend, according to Darin Shaw, President and CEO. He said this "is certainly a healthy sign." The company makes ink cartridges in the U.S. postage meter industry.

- Brad Haugaard

Meet Monrovia Station Square Contractor

Meet the on-site construction contractor for the Station Square project. An opportunity to ask questions about the project. Thursday, Oct. 30, 5:30 p.m. at the Park & Ride Lot at 1601 S. Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

No Word on When Copper Still Grill Will Move In

Reader Darcy Roberts asks what is going on with the Copper Still Grill, which is supposed to be going in where the old Sam's Kabob used to be on Myrtle. Good question. I asked Monrovia Planning Division Manager Craig Jimenez, who says: "We have not heard anything from the business for quite a while. So I'm not sure what's going on."

- Brad Haugaard

Bond to Pay for Monrovia Infrastructure? - Maybe Not | Canyon Park | Swap Produce

~ While City Manager Oliver Chi confirms that there is a rumor that the Monrovia city government plans to ask voters to pass a bond measure to fund deferred maintenance on water, sewer, streets and related infrastructure, he said he has not heard any such proposal either from the City Council or from city staff. He added, "I don't believe we will need to go out for a bond" to fund improvements. However, he did say the Public Works Department is working on a master plan for the sewage and water systems, and curbs, gutters and sidewalks, but it hasn't reached the point of discussing how to pay for it. But when the discussion reaches that point, he said, there are options other than a bond, such as Measure R funds (from an existing countywide tax) and user fees.

~ Director of Community Services Tina Cherry reports that while the popular Haunted Hike, in Monrovia Canyon Park, is not being held this year, that decision "may be reconsidered." The problems with the hike, she said, are that it costs too much (the fees do not cover the expenses) and it is "not necessarily" aligned with preservation of the environment. She said the fishing line to hang up spooky stuff may not all get cleaned up.

~ Also, Cherry reports that Senior Park Ranger Hector Inzunza is taking a new job with Riverside County. Comment: Met him. Always seemed a very competent guy.

~ Gem City Images blog reports that the newest trail in Monrovia Canyon Park was dedicated today as the Cunningham Overlook Trail, after volunteer trail crew boss Ed Cunningham.

~ Produce in the Park, this Saturday, Nov. 1 9-11 a.m. in Library Park at the corner of Lime and Myrtle. Swap produce.

- Brad Haugaard

Update on Access to Monrovia's Hillside Wilderness Preserve

The new gate, shown here, has been temporarily removed.

I noticed the other day that the almost-new gate at the Ridgeside trailhead to the city's Hillside Wilderness Preserve, which you can see above, has been removed. This struck me as odd because it was only installed around early January of this year. The old gate, which you can see below, is now back in use, but can be swung open far enough to admit bikers and hikers, but not enough to admit cars or trucks.

In a meeting with City Manager Oliver Chi and Director of Community Services Tina Cherry, Cherry said the new gate was removed because it was crowding the space trucks need to turn around. She said a new-new gate will be installed after working out the best location for it with adjacent landowners and after redesigning it to force cyclists to slow down before they enter the narrow residential road. Also, she said, the "Road Closed" sign you see posted on the old gate has either been removed already or will be removed shortly. The road isn't closed, it's open.

Another factor, she said, is that while the city has an easement for the trail, the easement - apparently due to faulty surveying ages ago - is for a brief distance actually located alongside the road, just to the right of the road as you see it in the above pictures, over essentially impassable ground. That also needs to be resolved.

Chi said the issues with the Ridgeside trailhead should be resolved within a few months.

Cherry said homeowners at other end of the trail - which exits onto Coverleaf Drive but passes over private property which is currently blocked by a locked gate - have been working with city appraisers. She said the appraisers have completed their appraisals and the city is now ready to meet with the homeowners in an effort to come to an agreement that will open the Cloverleaf gate.

Chi said that while there may have been disagreements with those property owners in the past, "at least we're talking to one another." He added, "We need to resolve this today so people can enjoy it." Cherry added that, "We have the resources to have it done."

And if that is all a bit confusing, here's a map:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Son Hits Dad in Face; Fake Gold Necklace Switch; Husband Locked Out - Wife Locked Out; Running Away to New York; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for October 23-26 . - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Commercial Burglary / Grand Theft Auto / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspects Arrested 
On October 23 at 4:59 p.m., loss prevention from a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain called police to report a theft that had just occurred. The suspects, a male and female, took an expensive drill and other items, and fled in a vehicle with no plates. An officer observed a vehicle that matched the description in the area of Evergreen and Mountain. The vehicle was stopped without incident, and the investigation revealed the vehicle was stolen. The stolen property from the business was still in the vehicle, along with additional property that is believed to be stolen and a list of other store locations. Used hypodermic needs were also discovered. The suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

Domestic Battery – Suspect Arrested 
On October 23 at 7:55 p.m., officers were sent to a residence in the 600 block of West Foothill on the report of domestic battery. The male subject was determined to be the primary aggressor. He was arrested and taken into custody, where he was held pending his court appearance.

Battery – Suspect Arrested 
On October 23 at 8:35 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of West Foothill on the report of a family disturbance. The investigation revealed the 15- year-old son was angry at his father and punched him in the face. The juvenile was arrested and taken into custody. The father sustained a minor injury to his face and declined medical treatment.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested 
On October 23 at 10:50 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of California and Duarte when he observed a couple arguing in a vehicle that was stopped along the side of the road. The officer contacted the couple and found the engine was running and the driver was determined to be intoxicated. The driver was arrested and later released on a citation after sobering.

Burglary / Fraud Arrest – Suspect Arrested 
On October 24, at 4:41 p.m., police responded to a business in the 600 block of South Myrtle on the report of a burglary. Two male suspects entered a pawn shop and told the employees they wanted to sell a gold necklace. The employees confirmed it was real gold and offered to buy it. Right before they exchanged the necklace for the money, the suspects said they changed their mind and no longer wanted to sell it. The suspects briefly left the store, and then returned again stating they reconsidered the offer and now wanted to sell the necklace. The suspects handed a fake gold necklace to the clerk instead of the real one. The suspects were detained by officers and arrested for burglary and theft by false pretense.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested 
On October 24 at 2:04 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 100 block of West Olive when he stopped a motorist for a vehicle code violation. The motorist was determined to be intoxicated and was arrested. The motorist was taken to the Monrovia Jail, where she was held for sobering. She was later released on a citation.

Domestic Violence Arrest – Suspect Arrested 
On October 25 at 2:46 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 1300 block of South Alta Vista regarding a report of domestic violence. The investigation revealed the wife locked her husband out of their apartment. The husband broke a window and climbed through it, sustaining a laceration to his arm. Upon entering the apartment, he grabbed his wife by the arms in an effort to pull her outside and lock her out. The wife sustained bruising on both of her arms. The husband was treated at the scene by Monrovia Fire Department paramedics for the laceration to his arm. He was then arrested and taken into custody. He had to be taken to a local hospital for further treatment of his arm.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested 
On October 26 at 1:57 a.m., an officer on patrol in the area of Myrtle and Cherry stopped a motorist for a vehicle code violation. The motorist was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested and taken into custody. The suspect was also found to have outstanding warrants for his arrest, which were added to his charges.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested 
On October 26 at 2:14 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Ivy and Cherry when he stopped a motorist for a vehicle code violation. The motorist was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested. The motorist was taken into custody and held for sobering. She was later released on a citation. The motorist was also found to be on probation for DUI.

Runaway Juvenile 
On October 26 at 7:39 a.m., the father of a 14-year-old called police to report his son had run away. He was last seen in the home about 4:00 a.m. that morning, but was gone when his father woke up. The boy left his phone and computer behind, but took his skateboard. It is possible he is on his way to New York, but by an unknown means. A flyer was distributed and the subject was entered into the law enforcement missing persons system. The investigation is continuing.

Discussion of Ballot Propositions | McMansionization

~ A video presentation by Monrovia Rotary Club and League of Women Voters on the propositions on the 2014 ballot:

~ A group of Monrovians is petitioning to "Stop the McMansionization of Monrovia."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Rotary, LWV on Ballot Propositions | 'McMansionization'

~ A video presentation by Monrovia Rotary Club and League of Women Voters on the propositions on the 2014 ballot:

~ A group of Monrovians is petitioning to "Stop the McMansionization of Monrovia."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Helping Hands Thrift Store Celebrates First Anniversary With Sale

To celebrate its one year anniversary, Helping Hands Store and Donation Center (925 W. Foothill) is holding a celebration this Saturday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free food, beverages, and raffles every hour and 55% percent off everything. Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard