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Monrovia Council May Appoint Subcommittee to Keep an Eye On Station Square Project

At the recommendation of City Manager Oliver Chi, the Monrovia City Council will consider at its April 21 meeting (agenda: ) whether to create an ad hoc City Council Station Square Construction Monitoring Subcommittee to keep an eye on the project. The subcommittee would last until the project is done and Chi recommended appointing councilmembers Spicer and Blackburn to serve on the subcommittee.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Canyon Park Named as Great Hiking Spot

Monrovia Canyon Park named one of the best SoCal hiking spots. (Thanks for the tip, Gem City Images.)

- Brad Haugaard

Night Trains Coming

Nightly train testing for the 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa will begins today and will continue through early June, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

To limit noise during the night testing, the grade crossing bells will be disconnected and Metro train operators will use their optional "quiet-zone" horns, which will sound similar to buzzers and are commonly used in residential areas. Sheriff Deputies will be supporting the effort.

Source: Press release

- Brad Haugaard

Result of Prop 47 - Crime on the Rise

LA County Supervisor Antonovich, who represents Monrovia, says Proposition 47 is not working out the way it was intended. He says that a preliminary review of crime rates, especially property crime, shows that they "are on the rise." ( ). Monrovia Police Chief James Hunt was none too happy about the proposition either:

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Smashburger

Had dinner last night at Smashburger, on Huntington. I got the big size Buffalo and Blue Cheese Burger ($7.69) and a Mint Oreo Shake ($4.59). Nice, and shake was great. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Over San Marino in Baseball | Rain?

~ Monrovia baseball in 3-1 win over San Marino.

~ Slight chance of rain on Tuesday (10%), growing to 20% Wednesday and 60% Thursday.

- Brad Haugaard

Old Town Monrovia Is Now Officially a 'Great Place'

This week, Old Town Monrovia was honored by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA California) with its "Great Place in California" award.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Softball In Big Win Over South Pas

South Pasadena Tigers softball team loses to Monrovia, 15-4.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Crash; Window-Smashing Ex-Girlfriend

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 13-15. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 416 service events, resulting in 65 investigations.

Injury Traffic Collision
April 14 at 2:50 p.m., a traffic collision with injuries involved was reported at Mayflower and Evergreen. A driver that was heading southbound on Mayflower made a left turn into the path of a driver heading northbound on Mayflower. Both drivers and a passenger were injured. All injured persons were taken to a hospital for treatment. The injuries were not life threatening.

Residential Burglary/Vandalism - Suspect Arrested
On April 15 at 11:31 p.m., an officer responded to 900 block of West Duarte regarding a disturbing subject. The victim said his ex-girlfriend, who does not live at the residence, smashed out an upstairs window and got inside the home. The victim’s daughter was inside a downstairs room when the ex-girlfriend broke into the house. The suspect exited the window and was walking through the backyard when she picked up a brick and threw it through the sliding door window where the daughter was. The suspect fled before officer’s arrived. Several hours later a neighbor of the victim called to report the ex-girlfriend had returned and was breaking into the residence again. All units responded to the residence and located the suspect in the daughter's room. The suspect was arrested for burglary and vandalism.

Monrovia School Board Meetings Now on KGEM

Monrovia School Board meetings are now being broadcast on KGEM.

- Brad Haugaard

ABC 7 Story on Kings and Queens | Life-Science Incubator to Monrovia | Softball

~ ABC 7 did a video story about how the Kings and Queens - Monrovia High's robotics team - is getting ready for championship competition:

~ LA Business Journal reports that life-science incubator Lab Launch has signed a lease for almost 11,000 square feet in Monrovia. (Looks like the same building the Star-News/Tribune/etc. will be moving into.)

~ Britney Lopez helps Monrovia High softball team with pitching.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Horse Trainer Dies; One of the 'Winningest' in California

Trainer Mike Mitchell, an iconic and dominant figure on the Southern California horse racing landscape for nearly 40 years, passed away Tuesday, at his home in Monrovia following a lengthy battle with brain cancer at age 66. Santa Anita says that he "ranks among all-time winningest trainers in California."

In addition to his wife and two daughters, Mitchell is survived by a twin sister, Cheryl, and brothers Earl, Jr., Guy and Casey.  Funeral services are pending.

Mitchell, who won his first race at Bay Meadows in 1974, won 19 overall training titles in Southern California.  In addition to his two Santa Anita Winter Meet titles, he won four training titles at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree Meeting; in 1983, 1995, 1996 and 2004.  He also took five overall Hollywood Park titles that included the 1982 Spring/Summer Meet, and Hollywood Park Fall Meets in 1983, 1985, 1993 and 1997.

Del Mar’s all-time leading trainer with 476 seaside wins, Mitchell won seven Del Mar titles; 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 1996 and 2011.  He was also leading trainer at Fairplex Park in 2008.

Source: Santa Anita Park press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Election Results - Apparent Winners: Mayor, Adams; Council Members are Crudgington and Shevlin

Summary: It's not an absolutely done deal since City Clerk Alice Atkins says there are 701 mail-in and similar type ballots to count, but from the numbers tonight, it appears Tom Adams has won the mayor's office and Gloria Crudgington and Becky Shevlin  have won seats on the city council.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Saving More Water than State Average, Plans to Save More | Train Yard Grand Opening | Listen for Fire Alarms | Hirsch Honored | Arbor Day

In his weekly "City Manager's Update," Monrovia City Manager Oliver Chi reports that ...

~ Monrovia is doing 12.5 percent better than the average for the rest of California in water conservation. He writes: "In California, the per capita water usage per day is 196 gallons. In Monrovia, for all of calendar year 2014, we utilized 174.18 gallons per capita per day, which is 12.5% less than the statewide average."

~ The city is putting together a plan to conserve more water. The plan should be ready for review within the next few weeks. Some ideas:

- Water efficient landscaping contest
- Xeriscape demonstration gardens
- Access to "cash for grass" programs
- Rain barrel rebate programs
- Soil moisture sensor rebate programs
- Water conservation marketing plan

~ Metro Gold Line Construction Authority is planning a grand opening for the maintenance and operations yard on Saturday, May 23.  The event is tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and last through 1 p.m.

~ If you hear fire alarms coming from city facilities this week, no worries. The Public Works Department is just testing the systems.

~ Susan Hirsch, director of Quest Academy Community Day School at the Monrovia schools, has been named one of Congresswoman Judy Chu's Women of Distinction for 2015.

~ Arbor Day event to take place on April 23, 2015, at 4 p.m. at Rotary Park, at 401 S. California Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Cops Donate Their Tips to Special Olympics

At a "Tip-A-Cop" fundraiser on April 9, Monrovia Police officers and LA County Sheriff's deputies served as waiters at the Monrovia Claim Jumper restaurant and donated all the tips they received, over $3,400, to Special Olympics.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Election Tuesday

The Monrovia election is Tuesday, April 14 (tomorrow, as I write this) and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your  polling place is in a red box on the back of your sample ballot. If you've misplaced it, go to and type in your address.

You get one choice for mayor (duh) but two choices for city council members as there are two open seats.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Samson the Bear Statue Is Fixed - for a While

Gem City Images reports that the wooden Samson the Bear statue in Monrovia Canyon Park has had its head reattached (It fell of because of termite damage), and looks okay. But Samson's in pretty bad shape and the fix is only for a while.

Update: I was just up there and Samson is still wrapped up in black plastic. I guess the glue is still drying.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Drunk Youth Not Happy to See Parent - Oops,! Now He's Shoplifting; Assault on Officer; Burglary, Drugs and Alcohol

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 9-12. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Possession of Methamphetamine / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
April 9 at 7:30 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Shamrock & Walnut when he stopped a motorist for traveling at an unsafe speed. Upon contacting the driver, the officer discovered the driver had an outstanding warrant issued by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The officer arrested the suspect for the warrant and upon conducting an inventory search of the vehicle prior to storage, methamphetamine and a glass pipe was found. The additional charges were added.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
April 9 at 8:00 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of West Foothill regarding a disturbing subject. Upon arrival, the officer determined the subject was too intoxicated to care for her safety. The subject was arrested for public intoxication and held for sobering.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
April 10 at 1:31 p.m., officers were called to an apartment in the 800 block of West Olive on the report of a domestic violence incident which had just occurred between a male and female couple who live together. The male subject had left the location prior to police arrival. Officers contacted the female subject and saw that she had visible injuries on her arms. The female victim stated that she and her boyfriend were arguing and he began hitting her. She ran into her bedroom, locked the door and attempted to call the police on her cell phone. The suspect gained entry to her room by punching a hole in the door and unlocking it. He grabbed and threw her cell phone, and then began hitting her again. He then left the location and she called police. Officers called the suspect’s cell phone and convinced him to turn himself in at the Monrovia Police Station for questioning. After investigation of the entire incident, the male suspect was arrested for domestic violence and taken into custody.

Weapons Offense – Suspect Arrested
April 10 at 6:19 p.m., an officer was talking to a citizen in front of the police station when he saw a male subject with an open beer, walking west toward Myrtle. He detained the subject and during a pat down search, found a large kitchen knife concealed in his waistband. The suspect was determined to be a juvenile and under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and later released to a parent. When the suspect walked out of the police station, he ran from his parent. Officers searched for the juvenile, but he was not located.

Shoplifting Offense – Suspects Arrested
April 10 at 9:24 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 300 block of West Huntington regarding two suspects who had just committed a theft and fled the store. Officers located and detained the two male suspects. The investigation revealed the suspects selected and concealed over-the-counter cold medication and fled without paying for the merchandise. A computer check revealed both suspects also had outstanding warrants for their arrest. They were arrested and taken into custody.

72-Hour Mental Evaluation
April 11 at 12:28 a.m. in the early morning hours, police received a call reporting a suspect that had just committed a theft at a store in the 100 block of West Foothill. An officer responded and determined the suspect was the same juvenile arrested for the weapons offense earlier. After investigation, officers learned that the suspect had battered his sister and made statements that he wanted to stab someone. He was placed on a 72-hour mental evaluation hold. Criminal charges are pending.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
April 11 at 1:16 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the area of Myrtle and Colorado. A witness saw a vehicle driving recklessly on the 210 Freeway. The suspect vehicle nearly rear ended the reporting parties vehicle and almost collided into the center divider of the freeway. The suspect vehicle exited at Myrtle, followed by the reporting party who contacted the police department. The vehicle was located parked at Myrtle and Colorado with a male subject behind the wheel and the engine running. The subject was determined to be intoxicated and driving under the influence. He was arrested and held for sobering.

Vehicle Burglary
April 11 at 9:31 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 100 block of West Pomona. A work truck was broken into sometime during the night. The investigation is continuing.

Commercial Burglary
April 11 at 9:33 a.m., a commercial burglary was reported at a business in the 1300 block of South Mountain. A small glass window was broken out during the night behind a parked vehicle. Based on the initial inspection, there was no obvious property loss, and it is unknown if the suspect(s) actually entered the building. The investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication
April 11 at 2:17 p.m., an officer observed a subject walking with an alcoholic beverage. The officer contacted the subject and determined he was extremely intoxicated and was very agitated. He was arrested for being drunk in public and held for sobering.

Assault on a Peace Officer Resulting in Injury – Suspect Arrested
April 11 at 4:19 p.m., a business in the 400 block of West Foothill called police to report a disturbing subject who was throwing items in the store. The subject left the location and was heading west on Foothill. An officer located the subject several blocks away and attempted to detain him. He exited his car and told the subject to stop. The subject did not comply and yelled at the officer. An assisting officer arrived and the subject was detained. The subject said he did not know who he was and he continued to be verbally abusive and spit at the officers. The subject struggled with the officers as they took him into custody. One of the officers was injured during the struggle.

The subject continued to be verbally abusive and struggle while being transported in the patrol car. He slammed his forehead against the plastic divider several times, causing a cut to his forehead. Once at the station, he was examined by Fire Department personnel for his injury. The suspect continued to verbally assault police personnel and spit at them. He made vague, irrational threats about death and injuries to police and their families. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injury and was cleared and released for booking.

Residential Burglary
April 11 at 11:07 p.m., an officer responded to a residential burglary that occurred in the 100 block of East Foothill. The investigation revealed that entry was made into the home through a second story bedroom window, where the screen was cut. The victim left the window open to ventilate the room. Several items were taken and the investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
April 12 at 12:15 a.m., a citizen called police to report a drunk driver. The caller followed the driver from the 110 Freeway in Pasadena to the 100 block of Stedman. Officers located the vehicle and saw it pull over to the curb on Stedman. They contacted the driver and determined she was intoxicated. She was arrested and held for sobering.

Monrovia's Kings and Queens Robotics Team Needs Money to Get to World Championship

The Monrovia High Kings and Queens robotics team has been vigorously fundraising to cover the cost of the team's upcoming trip to compete in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis on April 22-25.  Support from the Monrovia community has been enthusiastic but the team is still short of the needed $12,000 for lodging and transportation for the students, coaches, robot and materials. Please help if you can, and help spread the word.  Donations of any amount will get them closer to their goal.  Businesses who donate $500 or more can have their company logo displayed on the robot "Sir Lancelot" both during the competition and after he comes back to a well-earned retirement to be displayed at school functions.

The team has an online donation site at Donations there can be made a credit card or by transferring funds from a bank account.  GoFundMe keeps about 8% of the funds to cover card and bank charges and their costs.

They also gladly accept checks mailed to the address below.   A note should be written on or included with the check that the donation is for the Kings and Queens Robotics Team:

MHS Math and Science Academy Boosters.
Attn: Monrovia High Robotics Program
PO Box 1887
Monrovia, CA 91017

The Monrovia High Robotics Program is a part of the MHS Math and Science Academy Boosters for tax purposes and all donations we receive pass through them.  The MASA Boosters are a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization with ID number 27-3072381 and all donations to us are tax deductable and qualify for company matching-gift programs.

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Who Knew? Monrovia High's Front Lawn Designed for Overflow Parking

There has been some debate on Facebook after people noticed cars parked on the front lawn of Monrovia High School during this Sunday's meeting of Fellowship Monrovia, the church which meets at the school. Some said it shouldn't be allowed and others said that such parking is regularly allowed for other large events. Then School Board member Ed Gililland posted that:

"The area was considered for pavement, but considering the amount of surface that does not allow rain water to permeate into the ground, the decision was made to put in pavers that allowed grass to grow and water to permeate into the ground. It is designated and designed for overflow parking."

- Brad Haugaard