News:   •  Restaurants   •  Library Catalog   •  Library Activities  •  History   •  Facebook / X/Twitter / RSS

Happy New Year Monrovia

Here is the ball that will drop at midnight.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center's 2011 Accomplishments

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center reports on its accomplishments in 2011.

Over the past twelve months, we:

- Gave more than four million pounds of food (over 33,300 food orders plus pet food) via monthly and weekly distributions plus delivery to homebound senior and disabled clients.

- Gave substantial bag lunches three times a week to people and families who were homeless or had no place to store or cook food. While the need has never been greater, inventories of USDA and donated foods at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank — one of our key resources — reached an all-time low this year. It’s costing us much more to provide meaningful amounts of food.

- Collaborated with more than a hundred local agencies and organizations to connect  our clients with a range of crisis services, including motel vouchers, referrals to transitional services for domestic violence victims, employment counseling, shelter, advocacy resources, bus tokens and taxi coupons, and work experience programs.

- Helped our families access low- to no-cost health, vision and dental care, health education and more through our growing network of partnerships with local practitioners and health care providers.

- Gave over 1,800 local K-12 grade client children the clothing, supplies and haircuts they needed to start the new school year with confidence.

- Provided generous food boxes to our families at our special Thanksgiving and Holiday  distributions — along with new toys, clothing and more for over 3,000 children at the Holiday event.

- Brad Haugaard

New Year's Eve Party in Monrovia

Remember, there is a New Year's Eve party tonight, from 7 p.m. to after midnight in Old Town Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Philly's Best

Lunch at Philly's Best, in the shopping center at Huntington and Fifth. Got a Cheese Steak sandwich. Thin-sliced beef, melted white American cheese, onions. Tasty and quite filling.
- Brad Haugaard

Help Monrovia Win $100k for Schools

A Monrovia home is number five - in the top 24 finalists - in the national Patch home decorating contest. If it gets enough votes and becomes number one, Monrovia schools will win the $100,000 prize. According to Monrovia Patch Editor Nathan McIntire, you can vote once a day between now and Jan. 8. At this writing Monrovia has 166 votes, and the leader has 535. Here's where to vote:
- Brad Haugaard

Celebrate Monrovia High's Championship

The Monrovia High Football Championship Celebration will be held Thursday, January 12. The parade starts at 5 p.m. from the school to Library Park, with a rally to follow. Mayor Mary Ann Lutz says on her Facebook page: "Come out and celebrate a great achievement by our High School Football Team!"
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Will Ask Court to Reverse Its EIR Ruling

The Gold Line will ask the court to reverse its ruling that an Environmental Impact Report was inadequately done. It says the ruling - which involves the Monrovia property the rail line wants for a maintenance yard -  was based on "erroneous facts." Here is its press release:

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) announced today that it will request reversal of a court ruling released this morning, because it was based on erroneous facts. The ruling released today “vacates” a previous ruling that had validated the Construction Authority’s certification of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR), which, among other things, found the Monrovia maintenance and operations (M&O) facility site environmentally superior to another site in the City of Irwindale.  At issue in today’s ruling was the adequacy of the alternatives reviewed in the SEIR for the M&O facility.

While rejecting one of the arguments made by the petitioner - that the number of alternatives reviewed in the SEIR was insufficient – the ruling found, incorrectly, that the alternate site in Irwindale evaluated in the SEIR was not feasible because of its location. The ruling stated that the site was “located beyond the terminus of Phase 2A [Pasadena to Azusa] of the project.” In fact, the site in Irwindale, just south of the I-210 Freeway, is directly adjacent to the Phase 2A (Pasadena to Azusa) alignment. 

“The basis of today’s ruling is quite confusing to us, as it seems to be based on a factual inaccuracy — that the alternative site evaluated for the M&O facility was outside the Pasadena to Azusa project area,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “In fact, the alternative site evaluated in Irwindale not only sits directly along the project alignment, it also meets all other requirements set for the M&O facility. In the end, it was just found to be environmentally inferior to the Monrovia site.”

After a thorough, year-long process, that included multiple public meetings and hearings, the Construction Authority Board of Directors certified the SEIR, identifying the Monrovia M&O site as the preferred site, in January 2011.

“It is our hope that when the court understands that the Irwindale alternative site is located adjacent to  the Pasadena to Azusa alignment , it will conclude that the Authority’s SEIR complied with CEQA’s requirements regarding analysis of project alternatives,” said Balian. “It is an unfortunate error, but it is one we trust the court will correct as quickly as possible.”

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa is a $735 million project funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R. The light rail extension is being overseen by the Construction Authority and is currently under construction. The project is on schedule to be completed in 2015, extending the Metro Gold Line light rail line from its current terminus in Pasadena along the Foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The extension includes six stations in the Cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. During the four year construction project, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates that the project will generate nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output for the region.

Monrovia New Year's Eve Party Preview

Preview article of Monrovia's planned New Year's Eve party on Myrtle.
- Brad Haugaard

More Monrovia Police: Arrested While Selling Meat; Commercial Break-In; Theft from Vehicles

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 26-28, 2011. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, December 22 -28, 2011, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 72 investigations.  Following are the highlighted issues and events for the weekdays listed above.
Theft From Vehicles
On December 26 at 6:32 p.m., theft from two unlocked vehicles was reported.  The thefts occurred from vehicles that were parked in a driveway in the 500 block of Terrado between Thursday night and Friday morning, December 22 to 23.  The victims delayed reporting the crimes because they thought they may have misplaced the items.   The items stolen were gift cards, checks, and a wallet.  Investigation continuing.
Commercial Burglary
On December 27 at 7:37 a.m., an officer went to a business in the 200 block of East Foothill regarding the report of a burglary.  The owner told the officer they closed at 12:00 a.m. and secured the location.  He arrived the next morning at 7:30 a.m. and saw broken glass inside and the cash register was beeping.  The front window had been broken.  He checked the cash register and saw the small amount of cash kept there for the next day was missing.  The business surveillance video shows a male Hispanic suspect, 5'8", about 150 pounds, wearing all black, punch the front sliding service window and pulled himself inside.  The suspect took money from the register and then left the location out of the same window.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
On December 27 at 11:50 a.m., an officer on patrol saw a vehicle parked in the 100 block of East Camino Real that caught his eye.  He checked the vehicle and a DMV check indicated it had been reported stolen.  The stereo had been taken from the vehicle.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
On December 28 at 4:15 a.m., officers were providing extra patrol to a parking structure in the 700 block of South Myrtle when they found a 2006 Mercedes convertible with the roof slashed.  They located the owner and confirmed the vehicle had been burglarized between 7:00 p.m. and 4:15 a.m.  A pair of sunglasses were stolen.  Investigation continuing.
No-Bail Felony Warrant
On December 28 at 4:47 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of Oakglade regarding subjects selling meat out of a truck.  The officers located the vehicle and detained the subjects.  Computer checks of the subjects revealed one of them is on parole for burglary and had a no-bail warrant for narcotics out of San Diego.  He was arrested and taken into custody.
Residential Burglary
On December 28 at 5:09 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of East Los Angeles regarding a burglary.  The victim had left home at 10:00 a.m. that morning and returned at 4:00 p.m.  He went inside and realized someone had broken into the house.  A window was broken out and was the point of entry for the suspect.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Police: Stolen Wedding Ring, Vehicle Burglaries, Graffiti, Attempted Bike Swiping

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 19-21. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, December 15-21, 2011, the Police Department handled 465 service events, resulting in 105 investigations.  Following are the highlighted issues and events for weekdays listed above. 
On December 19 at 8:10 a.m., an officer was dispatched to an elementary school in the 100 block of West Duarte on a report of vandalism.  The janitor at the school reported the outside gym walls had graffiti written on them in black spray paint over the weekend.  The officer checked the graffiti and noted that it was gang related.  The spray paint can was located.  Investigation continuing.
Possession of Burglary Tools / Attempt Theft / Conspiracy to Commit a Crime / Prowling - Suspects Arrested
On December 19 at 3:27 p.m., officers responded to an apartment parking structure in the 700 block of South Myrtle regarding two subjects trying to steal a bicycle.  Officers arrived and detained two suspects; one suspect was trying to cut the lock securing a bicycle and the other was acting as a look out.  One of the suspects was in possession of burglary tools.  The suspects were arrested and taken into custody.  
Vehicle Burglary
On December 19 at 5:17 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported at an apartment parking structure in the 700 block of South Myrtle.  The victim had parked her truck on the ground level near the entrance at approximately 8:45 a.m.  When she returned to her vehicle at about 5:15 p.m., she saw the passenger side window had been smashed and her Garmin Navigation System had been stolen.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
On December 20 at 6:58 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 500 block of West Duarte on the report of a vehicle break-in.  The victim's vehicle had been broken into during the night and the stereo was stolen.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft
On December 20 at 11:23 a.m., the victim of a grand theft came to the police department lobby to file a report.  The victim lives in the 600 block of West Colorado.   She told the officers she had placed her wedding ring in a jewelry box she keeps in the closet in early August.  On November 11, she went to get the ring to wear it and found it was missing from the jewelry box.  A construction company had been at the house doing work over the summer and had access to the entire house.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
On December 20 at 11:42 a.m., an officer responded to a business in the 700 block of East Huntington regarding a vehicle burglary.  The female victim reported that she parked and secured her vehicle and went into the gym to work out.  When she returned to her vehicle, she saw the front passenger window had been smashed and her purse was stolen.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
On December 20 at 12:19 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 500 block of Los Angeles Street.  The victim reported his vehicle was taken sometime between 11:00 p.m. on December 19 and 11:30 a.m. on December 20.  The vehicle is a silver, four-door, 1997 Honda Civic with a Monrovia parking permit on the rear bumper.  All keys are accounted for and the investigation is continuing.
On December 20 at 4:51 p.m., a burglary was reported at an apartment in the 500 block of West Duarte.  Unknown suspect(s) entered a garage through an unlocked side door and stole two wallets from a vehicle.  The theft occurred sometime between December 17 and 18.  Investigation continuing. 
Vehicle Burglary
On December 20 at 7:53 a.m., an officer responded to the report of a vehicle burglary in the 600 block of Vaquero.  The victim told the officer his vehicle was broken into during the night sometime after 10:00 p.m.  Nothing was disturbed or taken.  No one was seen or heard and the investigation is continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
On December 20 at 2:52 p.m., the victim of a vehicle burglary came into the police department lobby to report that personal property had been stolen from his vehicle.  The crime occurred at a hotel parking lot in the 900 block of West Huntington.  The victim reported that the vehicle was locked, but there were no signs of forced entry.  The items taken were gifts: an iPod, cash, gift cards, and a book.

Top State Court Ruling Could Complicate Completion of Gold Line

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the State of California can kill off redevelopment agencies ( ). Monrovia has a very active redevelopment agency, which has agreed to sell land to the Gold Line for a maintenance yard. Patch editor Nathan McIntire has a good preliminary look at how this affects Monrovia:
- Brad Haugaard

Judge Says Gold Line EIR Done Incorrectly

Judge tells Gold Line its Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Monrovia maintenance yard was done badly. Could cause delay in completion of the line.
- Brad Haugaard

Court Rules Against Family Festival Productions

Court rules against Monrovia's Family Festival Productions in breach-of-contract suit. Owner says he will appeal.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia History | State of the City | Wildrose Library

~ Historical Picture (Facebook): Clearman's Northwoods Inn in Monrovia, 1959. I know there is one on Rosemead, but never knew there was one in Monrovia.
~ The Mayor's State of the City Speech is set for Jan. 24.
~ Wild Rose School has been able to expand its library thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Mervyn L Brenner Foundation. The Mervyn L Brenner Media Center now has more than 10,000 books, plus iPods and MacBooks. Source: Monrovia Today Magazine
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Canyon Park is 100 | Possible Freeway Closures | Job-Seeker Event

~ I hear on good authority that 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of Monrovia Canyon Park. It's a little bit late, but Happy Birthday, Park!

~ Possible freeway closures on the eastbound 210 between now and Jan. 7 for construction of the Santa Anita Gold Line bridge. However, for-sure no closures on Jan. 2 (somebody was thinking). Any closures will be from 10 p.m. through no later than 1 p.m. the following day.

Friends of the Monrovia Public Library is sponsoring an all-day "Job Seekers" event from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football Players Win Awards | Friday Night Live Stays Alive

~ Monrovia High's Blake Heyworth shares MVP; Marquise Bias named Offensive Back of the Year.
~ City renews Friday Night Live, a program for teens during the Friday night street fair.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Christmas Tree Disposal

I hope you let it stay up for a few days, but to dispose of your Christmas tree when you're ready, just put it on the curb between now and Jan. 13. Flocked and fire-retardant coated trees are okay, but no ornaments, tinsel, nails, plastic bags, lights, or tree-stands of any kind. It'll be picked up on your regular trash day. After Jan. 13, cut it up and put it in your green-waste container.
- Brad Haugaard

Christmas Eve: A Son is Given

Nativity scene at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's McCarthy Finalist for National Award | Help Patch Raise Money for Schools | Delivery Thefts

~ Monrovia High's Ellis McCarthy is a national finalist for the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year award.

~ MonroviaNow's competitor, Patch, is having a contest with a grand prize of $100,000 to support local schools, winner based on the best decorated house in the country. You upload a photo of your decorated house and people vote on it. Patch is competition, but, well, 'tis the season for peace on earth and goodwill, and besides, it's for the schools. So, here's the upload site for Monrovia:

~ There is some Internet chatter about thieves following UPS and FedEx trucks and swiping the delivered packages. One report was that it happened on Mountain just south of Foothill. It's unconfirmed, but couldn't hurt to keep an eye out.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Noor's Indian Bistro

Lunch at Noor's Indian Bistro, new place just south of Foothill on Myrtle, where Teri & Yaki used to be. Got the buffet and went back for seconds. Good. Not as casual as I expected. White tablecloths. I like Indian so I'll be back.

UPDATE: A profile of the restaurant in the Star-News:

- Brad Haugaard

Feature on Nation's Top Fire Official, from Monrovia

Feature article on Monrovia's former fire chief, Ernest Mitchell Jr., who is now the nation's top fireman, heading the United States Fire Administration.
- Brad Haugaard

Sing in Monrovia | Slow Down

~ The San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, which meets in Monrovia, is looking for new members.
~ If you are concerned about the speed people drive through your neighborhood, you can get a "Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25" sign at the city.
- Brad Haugaard

Fence Around Old Monrovia Train Station

Fencing has been added around old Monrovia train station.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Drones Join the Navy

Switchblade drone by Monrovia's AeroVironment to be deployed on Navy submarines.
- Brad Haugaard

No Federal Disaster Assistance for Windstorm

Area doesn't qualify for federal disaster assistance since not enough was damaged.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Approves Backup Plan - Eminent Domain Against Monrovia

The Gold Line board has decided on a backup plan to get land for rail maintenance yard - use eminent domain against Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Home Decoration Winners | Volunteers Honored | New Year's Eve Party | No-Fee ATM | Pawn Shop Website

~ Here is a list and map of all the holiday home decorating winners if you want to drive around:
~ Windstorm volunteers honored.
~ Details on the New Year's Eve party on Myrtle, 7 p.m. to midnight. Beer and wine garden, live band, midnight champagne toast and ball drop.
~ I was in Old Town today, needed cash and saw an ATM at the Pacific Western Bank (on the west side of Myrtle just south of Lemon) and withdrew some money. I was surprised to find there was no fee, though it is not my bank (maybe it should be). Right neighborly, I thought.
~ New school board member (and former mayor) Rob Hammond has a new web site for his pawn shop.
- Brad Haugaard

Spicer is New Fill-In Monrovia City Council Member | Cheap Gifts

~ Larry Spicer will be Clarence Shaw's fill-in replacement while he is on active duty ( ). Councilman Tom Adams didn't like the choice ( ).

~ Need a last minute gift for a literary friend and you're down on dollars? The Friends of the Monrovia Library Bookstore has books on sale for as cheap as $1. It's just inside the Library doors on the left.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Profiled on Strong Cities Web Site | Shaw Wants Spicer to Be His Fill-In

~ Monrovia profiled on Strong Cities Strong State website.
~ City Council member Clarence Shaw has asked that Larry Spicer be his replacement until he can return from active duty.
- Brad Haugaard

Will Gold Line Use Eminent Domain Against Monrovia?

The Gold Line may consider using eminent domain against Monrovia to get land for a rail maintenance yard if the State Supreme Court doesn't hurry up and resolve the cities-vs-state battle over redevelopment agencies, which has frozen all transactions until it is resolved.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge | New Indian Restaurant in Monrovia | Prolacta

Working on the Gold Line bridge.
~ Crews complete work on the base for the first of two basket-themed columns for the Gold Line freeway bridge at Santa Anita. The basket elements will be added in the coming months.
Today, crews are working to complete the bridge abutments and columns, and will shift to the aerial components of the bridge in the coming months. In January, the temporary falsework will be installed over the eastbound lanes of the freeway. Installation will require multiple, consecutive night closures (midnight to 5 a.m.) of the eastbound lanes.
Source: Gold Line press release
~ Noor's Indian Bistro opens. It's at the site of the former Teri & Yaki, near Myrtle and Foothill. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
~ Prolacta Bioscience, of Monrovia, has named Sally Crawford to its board of directors.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Home Fire

Monrovia apartment fire. Everyone okay.

SBA Opens Disaster Loan Office

If you need a loan to fix damaged property, the SBA has opened a disaster loan office in Pasadena.

Reception for Outgoing Monrovia City Manager | Grand Opening of Charlie's House

~ "Tomorrow night, prior to the City Council meeting, the City of Monrovia will host a reception for outgoing City Manager Scott Ochoa at 7 p.m. This reception will be held in the lobby of City Hall (415 S. Ivy Avenue). The public is invited. Refreshments will be served until 7:30 p.m. Please join us to thank him for his years of dedicated service to our community."
~ There will be a grand opening of Charlie's House Tuesday, Dec. 20 at noon at 430 S. Myrtle Ave. in Old Town. Charlie’s House "offers unique and stylish home d├ęcor and accessories, unique gifts and much more at very affordable prices." The store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Manager Says Goodbye

In his last weekly report ( ), City Manager Scott Ochoa says goodbye:

Well, after nearly eight years, my tenure as City Manager is coming to an end. I've actually been with the organization for 19 years. Beginning as an intern while I was still attending Claremont McKenna College, it has been my honor to serve Monrovia since January 1993. Over the years, I was given opportunities to contribute to this team and to this community. I did my best and tried to make a lasting and positive impact on the people around me. I am happy with the successes we've enjoyed and grateful for the lessons I've learned. As I move on to the next chapter in my career, I know I will always rely on my experiences in Monrovia. To all of the residents, business leaders, elected officials and staff members, thank you for making me the City Manager I am today.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: A Strong Disagreement Over Music; Shoplifter Tries It One Time Too Many; Bar Robbed on S. Myrtle; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 15-18. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.  To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to the City of Monrovia website at and click on the crime mapping link.
Burglary / Parole Hold - Suspect Arrested
On December 15 at 7:30 p.m., police responded to the 700 block of East Huntington on the report of a burglary.  A female suspect entered a business and was recognized by loss prevention as a shoplifter from previous encounters.  They maintained surveillance on the suspect and contacted police when she exited the store with merchandise without paying.  Through investigation, it was determined she had entered the store with the intent to steal and was charged with burglary.  She was found to have prior convictions and is currently on parole.  A parole hold was obtained.
On December 15 at 10:58 p.m., police were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 300 block of West Central.  A male subject went to the residence and rang the doorbell and knocked.  When the victim opened the door slightly, the suspect pushed the door open, pulled out a revolver from his waistband, and pointed it at her.  The victim began screaming.  The suspect then grabbed the victim and pulled her out of the apartment and onto the landing outside her apartment, causing injuries to her hands.  The victim continued to scream and the suspect fled east from the location on foot.
The suspect is described as a male Hispanic in his 20's, 5' 8", medium build, medium complexion, round eyes, round nose and a high forehead.  He was wearing a denim collared-type shirt, dark pants, black or blue baseball cap, and he used a silver, full-sized revolver.  Investigation continuing.
Possession of Burglary Tools / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
On December 16 at 1:46 a.m., a suspicious subject was reported in a parking lot in the 100 block of West Cherry.  Officers responded and located a male subject hiding behind some storage bins.  He had a bag of tools and told officers he was stripping wire he found in the parking lot for copper.  During a pat-down search, a methamphetamine pipe was found in his pants pocket.  He was arrested for possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.                          
Outside Assist / Irwindale Police Department - Active Shooter
On December 16 at approximately 1:45 p.m., Monrovia Police Department received a request for mutual aid from Irwindale Police Department regarding an active shooter at a business complex being utilized by Edison California.  All available units where dispatched to assist and the Foothill Special Enforcement Team was activated.  Five persons were struck by gunfire, with three fatalities, which include the shooter.  The events leading to this incident are under investigation by Irwindale Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office Homicide Bureau.
Armed Robbery
On December 19 at 1:40 a.m., the owner of a bar in the 1500 block of South Myrtle reported that he had just been robbed.  He was closing the bar when three male Black suspects entered the premises.  One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and pointed it at the victim.  The suspects demanded money from the register, escorted the victim to the register, and took the money.  The suspects ordered the victim to the floor and took his wallet, and then fled in an unknown direction.  The suspects were described as three male Blacks in their early 20's, wearing dark clothing and black hooded sweatshirts.  Investigation continuing.   
Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Battery
On December 19 at 1:55 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a local hospital regarding an assault report.  The victim reported that he and his girlfriend were at the suspect's residence at an address on Stedman listening to music.  The suspect told the victim to change the song.  When the victim refused, the suspect punched the victim in the face, causing him to go unconscious.  The suspect then stood over the victim and punched him in the face repeatedly.  The victim's girlfriend attempted to push the suspect away, but the suspect then pushed her to the floor.
The victim suffered a concussion, a moderate laceration above the left eye, a broken nose, and disfigurement to the left side of his face.  The victim's girlfriend was not injured.  The officer was unable to locate the suspect.  A want for the suspect's arrest was entered into the computer database.  Investigation continuing.
Special Enforcement Team Activity
False Information to a Police Officer / Sales of Methamphetamine / Transportation of Methamphetamine - Suspect Arrested
On December 14, the Special Enforcement Team was on patrol and stopped a vehicle for multiple vehicle code violations.  A search of the vehicle revealed several baggies of methamphetamine.  The suspect also gave officers a fraudulent international driver's license with someone else's name on it.  The suspect was arrested for false information to a police officer, sales of methamphetamine, transportation of methamphetamine, and he is a previously deported illegal alien.  An ICE hold was obtained for the suspect.
Parole and Probation Compliance Checks
On December 16, Monrovia's Special Enforcement Team conducted parole and probation compliance checks with Monrovia detectives and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department DAMAGE personnel.  The team went to four locations and made two arrests.  A parole compliance check was conducted at a residence in the 400 block of East Greystone, but the parolee was not there.  His wife, who is on probation, was at the residence.  A search of their bedroom revealed several pieces of drug paraphernalia and two California identification cards that did not belong to her.  She was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and later released pending further investigation.  Another parolee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
On December 16, between 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., Monrovia's Special Enforcement Team officers conducted ABC saturation patrol and assisted ABC at several local bars.  At approximately 1:30 a.m., officers entered a bar in the 1500 block of South Myrtle and arrested four subjects for being drunk in public and an ABC Investigator cited the owner for serving an obviously intoxicated customer.

Cleanup Money From State? | Monrovia Hillside Recommendation

~ City Manager Scott Ochoa reports that State of California "has finally recognized the magnitude of the windstorms" and "made the necessary declaration," which may result in some money from the state.
~ The Community Services Commission has recommended to the City Council the "minimalist" (5b) option for managing the hillside area above Monrovia. This essentially means leaving things as they are but adding some gates and direction signs and No Parking signs in the residential areas near the gateways. Also, the Commission recommended keeping Lower Clamshell Truck Trail closed pending further environmental study. . Also, see the executive summary of the various plans here:
Opinion: My concern is that all Monrovians paid for this hillside area, so all Monrovians should have reasonable access to it, but if the city reduces the amount of parking (by putting up No Parking signs), that would make this area less accessible. Homeowners near the gateways reasonably don't want cars in front of their houses all day, so I think the project should include at least some new parking so the homeowners are not imposed upon and so there is a net parking increase - not decrease - for visitors.
- Brad Haugaard

Drones by Monrovia's AeroVironment May Find Work in Oil Fields; Company Wins Award for Wind Turbine

People seem to find more and more uses for the little drones made by Monrovia's AeroVironment (military, police). Now oil companies want to use them to keep an eye on pipelines.

Also, CleanTechnica has named AeroVironment's architecturally-attractive mini wind turbine, "Architectural Wind," as one of its five best micro wind turbines.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Hunt for Chubby-Cheeked Suspect

Monrovia Police are looking for a chubby-cheeked man suspected of attempting to force his way into a Monrovia apartment. Picture:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center - Looking for an Executive Director

Foothill Unity Center Executive Director Joan Whitenack is retiring and now the Center is advertising for her replacement. Here are the requirements:
- Brad Haugaard

Petition Seeks to Undo Portantino's Ban on Open-Carry of Guns

A petition is being circulated that would overturn a law that bans the open carrying of firearms, a law authored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Gunman Forces Monrovia Woman from her Apartment

On Thursday, December 15, 2011, at approximately 11 p.m., in the 300 block of West Central, a woman answered a knock at her front door. The male on the other side of the door asked for a name she did not recognize. When she opened the door the male suspect pulled a revolver from his waist band and tried to force his way in the apartment. The woman screamed and the suspect pulled her from her doorway and onto a landing outside of her apartment. The victim fell to the ground causing abrasions to her hands.
As the victim continued to scream the suspect fled. The suspect is described as a male, Hispanic, 5’8”, medium build wearing a denim type, collared shirt and dark pants. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Monrovia Police Department at (626) 256-8000
The Monrovia Police Department would like to remind everyone to be alert to their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the police.
- Brad Haugaard (from Monrovia Police press release)

Lunch at Taisho Teriyaki Grill

Lunch at Taisho Teriyaki Grill at 919 W. Huntington. Got the Combo Sushi Bowl with avocado. Restaurant is small inside but lots of room outside. Very fresh and tasty food. (That's seaweed you see on the left, by the way.)
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Greeting Card | Shop Locally | Lobbyists Help Portantino

~ This holiday snow-globe from the Gold Line folks includes the cheery information that the Pasadena-to-Azusa segment of line should be completed by 2015.

~ Star-News columnist Steve Scauzillo suggests local Christmas shopping, like in in Monrovia's Old Town, but, he adds, no pepper spray.

~ Lobbyists helping Portantino in congressional race.

- Brad Haugaard

Montgomery New Citrus Prez | Monrovia Kiwanian on Rose Float

~ Joanne Montgomery is new president of Citrus College board.
~ Monrovia Kiwanis reports that member Don Yost will be riding on the Kiwanis Rose Parade float on Jan. 1.
- Brad Haugaard

A Temporary Replacement for Shaw? | Friday Night Live | Rental Inspections | Recycling | Street Fair

A few items on the Monrovia City Council agenda ( ) for Dec. 20:
~ Consider whether to find a temporary replacement for Councilman Clarence Shaw during his active duty for the Army.
~ The City Council will hear a report on an experimental Friday Night Live program designed to reduce the number of youth loitering problems during the street fair and consider whether to continue it. Opinion: The data ( ) seems ambiguous. Also, the city increased police bike patrols at the same time as it added the youth program, which makes it a harder to untangle cause and effect. Change one variable at a time.
~ Consider a pilot Rental Housing Inspection Program in the 700–900 blocks of West Walnut and Olive Avenues. Rental properties result in the most service calls. Maybe more inspections will help.
~ Some reports on recycling.  and
~ Consider a three-year contract with Family Festival Productions to continue putting on the street fair. City staff recommends approval.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Finances: Better But Worse

Despite some bright economic news, Monrovia calculates that it will have $137,536 less money to work with this fiscal year, according to a report to the City Council by Mark Alvarado, Director of Administrative Services.
The good news: In the first five months of the 2011-12 fiscal year there has been an increase in sales and property taxes, and city staff expects this to continue.  "Revenue from auto sales and leasing are strong again," Alvarado writes, "after two years of huge decreases. Building and construction activity is still flat, as the housing market muddles through more foreclosures and high unemployment."
Earlier, the city projected a 5 percent increase in sales tax. Now it's thinking it'll be 8 percent.
Also, property tax revenue is up about 4 percent from last year, but - and here's the main problem - last year the city expected more revenue but got less, so it is behind by $289,147.
And the other negative is the state. In an attempt to balance its own budget, the state is not passing through $110,000 in motor vehicle license fees the city usually gets.
Lots more details here:
- Brad Haugaard

Will Monrovia Move to Merit-Based Pay System for Employees?

Monrovia needs to switch to a merit-based, rather than seniority-based, compensation system for its employees, according to a report to the City Council by Mark Alvarado, Director of Administrative Services.

He writes:

The focus must also be on restructuring the current compensation model so that the City pays only what it can afford. As a service delivery organization, personnel is the largest cost factor in the operating budget. Compensating employees for a job well done, as opposed to how long they have been employed, is a sound financial model to follow. All current labor contracts expire no later than the 2012-13 fiscal year. All future budget projections regarding labor costs are based on pension cost sharing and reasonable merit salary increases.

The City Council will decide on his recommendations at its Dec. 20 meeting.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Bean Bag Motivates Mountain Lion, Burglary, Grand Theft Lexus and Silverado

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for December 12-14 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, December 8-14, 2011, the Police Department handled 496 service events, resulting in 96 investigations.

Residential Burglaries

On December 13 at 8:23 p.m., two residential burglaries were reported that occurred on a lot in the 500 block of West Maple. In both cases, the unknown suspect(s) gained entry by prying open the rear door of the residence. The front house was ransacked and jewelry was stolen. There was minor ransacking in the back house, but nothing was taken.

Mountain Lion

On December 14 at 2:37 a.m., police received a call reporting a mountain lion in the 800 block of East Lemon. Officers responded and found an adult mountain lion, possibly a female, in a yard in the 800 block of East Lemon. It appeared to have an open wound next to its left eye. The officers fired two beanbag rounds, which motivated the mountain lion to move back into the hills.

Drug Violations

On December 14 at 2:56 p.m., Monrovia Special Enforcement Team officers on patrol stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. This encounter led to the officers conducting a search of the vehicle, which revealed hidden drug contraband under the pad of a child seat. The driver was arrested and booked for numerous drug violations.

Grand Theft Auto

On December 14 at 5:51 p.m., police responded to Mckinley Place and Foothill regarding a stolen vehicle. The victim reported that he parked his vehicle on the street. When he returned to where he had parked it, the vehicle was not there and he could not find his keys. The vehicle is a white, two-door, Lexus SC300. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

On December 14 at 6:12 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 700 block of East Central on the report of a stolen vehicle. The theft occurred between 6:45 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The victim parked and locked his vehicle on the street and went into work for the day. When he returned at the end of the day, his vehicle was missing. The vehicle is a black, 2004, Chevy Silverado pickup truck. The victim reported that there was an unloaded handgun in the vehicle at the time it was stolen, but there was no ammunition in the truck. Investigation continuing.

Downtown Mountain Lion | $10K Reward in Arcadia Killing

~ A Twitter report by Nancy Casanova says that a Mountain Lion has been spotted near Lemon and Mountain. Careful.

~ Antonovich offers $10k reward for information on killer of Arcadia father.

- Brad Haugaard

Santa Tours Monrovia | Unity Center Needs Helpers

~ Santa makes the rounds in Monrovia. It's not every day you see a pickup truck with antlers.
~ Foothill Unity Center, of Monrovia, is still short of volunteers (adults only) for its Holiday Distribution for families this Sunday, December 18, in Ayres Hall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia. If you'd like to help, email for a sign-up form.
- Brad Haugaard

Progress in School-Baseball League Negotiations; New MYBL Initiatives

Monrovia Youth Baseball League board vice president, Jack Taylor, says he believes the MYBL and the Monrovia School District are making "good progress" and will successfully complete fee negotiations for field usage by February, when the league's season opens.
Previously, he said, the league was able to use the fields for free, and he'd like that to continue that for community groups such as MYBL, but he also understands the district is in a tough financial position. But, then, so is the MYBL. He said he has met with numerous school and city and officials and feels everyone is trying to be helpful.
If there must be fees, he said, he hopes they can be offset by work that the league could do at the schools, such as reseeding the fields.
Taylor said the league also has several new initiatives:
- Instituting a curriculum and increasing the number of training classes for coaches at each of the league's five levels, both in technical aspects of the game and in management of players and - ahem! - parents. The goal is for the players to be able to move directly to high school baseball when they graduate from MYBL.
- Recruiting a lot more Monrovia district students - at least 10 percent - to increase league membership to about 500, up from the current 370. Taylor said scholarships are available for students who cannot afford the fee. 
- Developing tighter relationships with the Monrovia community. He said MYBL is making a more determined effort to distribute flyers at schools, participate in the street fair, in Chamber of Commerce events, and develop relationships with city and school officials and civic organizations and give priority to Monrovia businesses. At its opening day fair, for example, he said the league wants Monrovia businesses to have the first crack at displaying their services and goods.
For more information about MYLB:
- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Newspaperman Dies | New Senior VP at AeroVironment

~ Former Monrovia newspaperman, Stuart Bonham, dies.

~ Wahid Nawabi, an executive from the power technology industry, has joined Monrovia's AeroVironment as senior vice president and general manager of its Efficient Energy Systems.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Robocats in the Finals | Townloop

~ Despite a broken lifter, Monrovia High's Darkmatter robot battled its way into the finals at the LA FTC Robotics Championship Tournament held at MHS. The Robocats hosted 37 other teams. The Cats other 'bots were Thundercat and Banana Pudding.

~ Townloop (started in Pasadena by a friend) now has what I believe is its first deal with a Monrovia company, BigShrimps. The deal is you buy a discount coupon for a meal at BigShrimps and a school of your choice gets a kickback.

- Brad Haugaard

Snows Over Monrovia

The snow-capped mountains above Monrovia, as seen from Home Depot.

Monrovia Football Parade Postponed | Collecting Canned Goods

~ A report that the Wildcat victory parade will be postponed due to rain.
~ Monrovia Municipal Employee Association is collecting canned food for needy families. Donations can be brought to City Hall. For more information call 932-5550 during regular business hours Monday-Friday. See flyer:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Dog Breaks Woman's Wrist, Pistol Robbery, Suicide Prevented, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for  Dec. 8-11. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.  To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to the City of Monrovia website at and click on the crime mapping link.

Dog Bite

On December 8 at 10:27 a.m., an animal control officer responded to a residence in the 100 block of Encinitas on the report of a dog bite.  During the power outage on December 1, an 80-year-old female subject was in her front yard when a dog approached her and bit her on the arm.  The dog owner tried to stop the dog, but failed.  The woman fell to the ground and was assisted by the dog owner.  The woman refused medical attention and no call was made to police to report the incident.  On December 8, the woman was taken to a doctor and discovered she had sustained a broken wrist.  The woman's daughter then called police to report the incident.  An animal control officer was dispatched to investigate.


On December 8 at 10:30 a.m., a male victim was walking in the 1100 block of Norumbega when a dark colored sedan stopped ahead of him and a male suspect exited the vehicle.  The sedan drove up the street and the victim continued walking.  The suspect then approached the victim and pointed a black handgun at him and demanded his property.  The victim handed over his binoculars.  The suspect demanded the victim's wallet and then reached for the victim's rear pocket, but the victim slapped the suspect's hand away.  The suspect then fled south on Norumbega and got back into the sedan, which was waiting down the street.  The vehicle was last seen heading south on Norumbega out of sight.  The victim did not call police until 5:00 p.m. that evening, after being encouraged to report the incident by family members.  The suspect is described as a male Black, 20 years old, 6'1", weighing approximately 200 pounds.  Investigation continuing.

Vehicle Burglary

On December 9 at 4:09 a.m., officers were dispatched to the 100 block of West Cypress regarding a vehicle burglary.  The victim parked his car at approximately 6:00 p.m. and went to work with his co-worker.  On his return at about 4:05 a.m., he discovered a window on his vehicle smashed and his stereo missing.  A screwdriver was found on the front seat.  Investigation continuing.

Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested

On December 11 at 2:33 a.m., an officer on patrol observed a subject drive through a stop sign at Myrtle and Walnut.  The officer stopped the driver and noticed a strong odor of alcohol and, after investigation, determined the driver to be under the influence of alcohol.  The driver was arrested.

Traffic Collision - Vehicle Versus Pedestrian

On December 11 at 6:04 a.m., a woman was walking to work and crossing in the crosswalk on a green light when she was struck by a driver whose windows were fogged up.  The driver did not see the pedestrian in the crosswalk.  The pedestrian complained of pain in her arm and side and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Stolen Bicycle Recovered - Suspect Arrested

On December 11 at 7:21 p.m., an officer took a report on a bicycle that was stolen from the 700 block of West Walnut.  At 8:11 p.m., another officer stopped a bicyclist in the 100 block of West Maple for not having a light during darkness.  The bicyclist had a warrant for his arrest and was taken into custody; the bicycle he was riding was brought to the police station.  The officer who took the stolen bicycle report noticed that the bicycle matched the description of the victim's stolen bicycle.  The victim came to the police station and positively identified the bicycle.  The suspect was additionally charged for receiving stolen property.  He claimed the bicycle belonged to a family member and he borrowed it without their knowledge or permission.

Outside Assist - Possible Attempt Suicide

On December 11 at 10:20 p.m., the Monterey Park Police Department called to report a suicidal female subject, possibly driving a black Honda in Monrovia.  The female was text messaging her boyfriend in Monterey Park and told him she took 30 sleeping pills because she wanted to die.  The female told her boyfriend she was in the 400 block of East Evergreen.  The boyfriend called Monterey Park Police Department and reported the incident.  Monrovia officers searched for the female, but she was not found.  Approximately two hours later, Monterey Park police called back and reported the female was now possibly in the 300 block of North Myrtle.  Monrovia officers began a second search and an officer eventually located the female subject in the 300 block of North Melrose.  She claimed to have taken 20 sleeping pills and was taken to a hospital by ambulance. 

Monrovia's Assemblyman Proposes Disaster Requirements for Utilities

In the wake of the recent windstorm that caused major damage throughout the San Gabriel Valley, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) has proposed legislation to require each utility to report with every county in its service area every two years to review, update and improve their emergency disaster and preparedness plans. Portantino's proposal would also have the California Public Utilities Commission set preparedness standards
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Celebration for Victorious Monrovia Wildcats

Monrovia will hold a football championship celebration tomorrow,  Mayor Mary Ann Lutz reports on her Facebook page.
She says the celebration will be Tuesday the 13th (that's tomorrow) at 6 p.m. Like last year, a procession of the football team and coaches will start at Monrovia High and continue east on Colorado to Myrtle, and end in front of Library Park. The Celebration at Library Park should begin about 6:20 p.m.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Centre Stage Students Perform 'The Gift'

The vocal students of Monrovia's Centre Stage will perform "The Gift," an evening of classic and new carols, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 and 21 at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena. Tickets $15. Call (626) 533-4919 to order.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Department: Christmas Tree Safety

Monrovia Fire Department reports that Christmas trees cause "a surprisingly low number of fires," but those fires cause a surprisingly high number of fatalities, about one in every 18 fires. So, tips on having a safe Christmas tree:

- Use a fire-retardant tree. Check that artificial trees are certified fire-retardant and that cut trees are fresh and adequately watered.
- Make sure lights are in good condition and used properly.
- Keep the tree away from heat sources.
- Don't let the tree or other decorations block exits.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council May Choose a Temporary Member if Shaw Cannot Participate

Monrovia Councilman Clarence Shaw is on active duty and the City Council has left his seat open, but this resulted in a tie vote, so ...

Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa writes that the "Council directed that the City Attorney and I consult with Councilman Shaw to determine definitively whether he can participate in Council deliberations during his tour of active duty. If he is precluded from participation, then the Council may reconsider the temporary appointment."
- Brad Haugaard

City Manager: Monrovia Best Responder After Windstorm

Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa says he thinks Monrovia did better than any other agency during the windstorm:

I do believe that Monrovia responded faster and with more resources than any other agency affected by the windstorms. We kept field crews working all night, staffed the main City Hall switchboard so that folks could actually have a live person to talk to, and constantly updated all of our various media. Augmented by community members, such as our CERT volunteers and local contractor Steve Pokrajac's heavy equipment crews, Monrovia's clean-up efforts have been accelerated greatly!

But, he added, "I do worry that not enough of our homes are prepared to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours."

Opinion: Agreed! I think the city did a fabulous job. I know a city worker who was on the job even though his own home had serious damage. Also, I thought the giant bins around town for yard waste were a great idea. Suggestion - since we couldn't put palm fronds in those bins, maybe next time add a few bins just for palm fronds. 

- Brad Haugaard

Local Politicians and SoCal Edison

About SoCal Edison's ties with Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, and other politicians. Can politicians fairly investigate SoCal Edison when it gives them substantial money?
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wins CIF Championship 53-14 :-)

The Monrovia Wildcats win the CIF championship - again.
San Gabriel beautifully played the Wildcats to a 14-14 standstill at the end of the first half, even leading briefly, but in the third quarter Monrovia exploded to a 36-14 lead, then in the fourth quarter pulled even further ahead to end the game at 53-14.
- Brad Haugaard

Brown Declares State of Emergency for San Gabriel Valley

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the San Gabriel Valley, which will allow local cities to recover some of the costs they incurred in responding to the windstorm.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Short on Food

From the Center's Facebook page:

With just ten days to go, we’re short 500 turkeys, and 1,100 pies for our annual Holiday Distribution. Each year, hundreds of our client families register to pick up generous holiday food boxes at this two-day event. This year, we’re expecting over 1,500 families with 3,000 children, and we need your help! You can drop off turkeys and pies any weekday from 9 to 5 at either Center location, 415 West Chestnut Ave. in Monrovia or 191 N. Oak in Pasadena. Short on time? Help us buy birds and pies to fill the gaps by clicking the Donate Now button on our website. One more easy (and tasty!) way to donate pies: at participating local Coco’s, you can buy an extra pie and they’ll hold it for us to pick up. Thanks for sharing with local families in need!
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Finances and Attendance Headed Down; Start Date;Advocacy

A few items on the Dec. 15 Monrovia School Board agenda ( ): 

~ The Monrovia Unified School District projects that it will be able to meet its financial obligations for this year and the two years following, but after that, um, maybe not, because, well, who knows how much money the state will give to the schools. That would mean the schools would have to cut some more.
~ It appears that despite a nice little bump up in attendance from 2010-11 (5951) to 2011-12 (5961), Monrovia School District projects its enrollment will resume its decline - to 5886 in 2012-13 and to 5871 in 2013-14.
~ If you want to plan a family vacation, note that school will start on August 27 in 2012, assuming the School Board approves this recommendation:
~ Here is a list of "Board Advocacy" issues. Basically, appeals to the state for money ( ) Opinion: I wonder if it would be possible for the state's school districts to create a separate taxing authority for k-12 education, separating its finances from the state's, as it used to be. I think the state government has demonstrated it is wretchedly irresponsible with money. Better to have separate bank accounts.
- Brad Haugaard

Randone Not Guilty of Murder of Monrovian Felicia Lee | Replace Shaw? | Chamber Open House | Freeway Closures | Tharpe

~ Brian Lee Randone found not guilty in death of murder of Monrovian Felicia Lee. Star-News: , Monrovia Patch:

~ Monrovia City Council discusses temporarily replacing member Clarence Shaw, who has been called onto active duty in the Army:

~ The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce is having an open house Dec. 14. Admission price is a $10 child's toy, being collected for Foothill Unity Center.

~ Between now and Dec. 24 there may be partial freeway closures on the 210 eastbound for bridge construction. Closures will occur no earlier than 10 p.m. and end no later than 1 p.m. the next day.

~ Feature story of Monrovia businessman Joseph Tharpe.

- Brad Haugaard

Dog Dies in House Fire

Dog dies in Monrovia house fire.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Daphne's

Lunch at Daphne's at 915 W. Huntington. "California Greek" style. Got the chicken wrap with chips and hummus. Nice and fresh. Quick service, cheerful atmosphere.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football - Blowout? | Volleyball | Wrestling | Parade Pix

~ Sportswriters say Monrovia vs. San Gabriel could be a blowout for Monrovia.

Prelim story:

~ All-Star volleyball in Monrovia Sunday.
~ Indie film at Library. You gotta call for the title but it's about a volunteer wrestling coach.
~ Some great pictures of the Monrovia Christmas parade.
- Brad Haugaard

City Treasurer Brings Monrovia History to Life

A feature story about Monrovia's Steve Baker, city treasurer and Monrovia historian.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Green Dot Buys Bank | Cookies

~ Monrovia's Green Dot Corporation has completed its purchase of Bonneville Bank of Utah.

~ Red Hat Society cookie exchange.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD: Mother Reports Daughter for Grand Theft Auto; Tracking Device Recovers Laptop; No Counterfeits, but Meth; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 5-7. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, December 1-7, 2011, the Police Department handled 858 service events, resulting in 91 investigations.  Following are the highlighted issues and events for weekdays listed above. To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to for crime mapping.
Grand Theft Auto
On December 5 at 7:13 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 900 block of West Walnut regarding a stolen vehicle.  The victim stated that she had picked up her daughter and her daughter's friend at the El Monte Bus Depot the day before.  She drove them to her residence and parked the vehicle on the street.  The victim went to sleep at 9:00 p.m., and when she woke up the next morning around 6:00 a.m., the daughter and her friend were gone.  She went outside and saw her car was missing. She checked her purse and found the keys to the vehicle, her cell phone, and 100 dollars were missing.  She did not give the daughter permission to take her car.  The vehicle is a gold, four-door, 1996 Ford Taurus.  Investigation continuing.
Attempt Residential Burglary
On December 5 at 10:16 p.m., a resident in the 800 block of South Canyon called police to report an attempt burglary.  The crime occurred sometime between 12:00 noon and 10:00 p.m.  The front door of the residence was forced open, but nothing was taken.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
On December 5 at 9:49 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 500 block of West Huntington.  The stolen vehicle was a white, four-door, 1994 Honda Accord.  At approximately midnight, the Monrovia Police Department was notified by the California Highway Patrol that the vehicle was found abandoned on the 60 Freeway at Rosemead Boulevard.  Investigation continuing.
Possession of Narcotics - Suspect Arrested
On December 7 at 12:57 a.m., an officer stopped a bicyclist at Mayflower and Colorado for a traffic violation.  During a consent search, the officer found a small baggie of cocaine.  The suspect was arrested for possession of narcotics.
Theft from a Vehicle
On December 7 at 7:47 a.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 500 block of West Lime.  The victim reported that someone went into his vehicle during the night and took his GPS System.  The vehicle doors had been left unlocked.  Investigation continuing.
Theft from a Vehicle
On December 7 at 8:51 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Lime regarding a theft from a vehicle.  The victim reported that someone went into his vehicle, which was parked in an alley, and took his car stereo.  The vehicle doors were left unlocked.  Investigation continuing.
Residential Burglary
On December 7 at 1:34 p.m., an officer responded to the 700 block of Norumbega Drive regarding a burglary.  The victim has been ill and was home asleep.  Suspect(s) broke a bedroom window, gained entry, and stole jewelry from the room.  The victim did not hear the glass breaking.  He woke when he heard his bedroom door open and the lights went on and off quickly.  He did not see the person and thought it was the cleaning lady.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
On December 7 at 3:52 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 700 block of South Myrtle at an apartment complex.  The victim reported that his locked vehicle had been broken into sometime on Saturday, December 3.  His GPS System, iPod, and some coins were taken.  Investigation continuing.
Domestic Violence - Suspect Arrested
On December 7 at 4:02 p.m., a female victim of domestic violence called to report an incident that occurred in the 900 block of Diamond.  The female victim reported that she had been battered by her live-in boyfriend, who is the father of her child.  He struck her in the head several times with a closed fist and left the location on foot.  The officer learned the suspect might be on his way to Pasadena.  The Pasadena Police Department was notified of the incident, and within the hour, Pasadena called to advise they were detaining the suspect.  The officer responded to Pasadena and arrested the suspect.
Theft from a Vehicle
On December 7 at 8:42 p.m., a theft from an unlocked vehicle was reported in the 200 block of West Lemon.  The crime occurred between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.  A laptop computer and a ring were stolen from the vehicle.  Investigation continuing.
Fight / Warrant Arrest / Delaying a Peace Officer / Child Annoying / Drunk in Public - Suspects Arrested
On December 7 at 9:51 p.m., and officer was flagged down by a citizen reporting a possible fight in the 100 block of West Foothill.  As the officer approached a group of subjects, including two male subjects that looked as if they were preparing to fight, one of the subjects ran.  The officer recognized the remaining subject and knew he had an outstanding arrest warrant.  The subject was uncooperative and challenged the officer, who then requested assistance.  Assisting officers arrived and the suspect continued to resist, but was eventually taken into custody.  No one was injured.
At 10:36 p.m., while officers were attempting to locate witnesses to the fight, a 15-year-old girl told officers that the subject who ran from the incident had approached her and had made several lewd comments.  That suspect was located nearby and was positively identified by witnesses.  The second suspect is an 18-year-old male.  He was arrested for child annoying and being drunk in public.
Fight in Progress - Suspects Arrested
On December 7 at 11:56 p.m., police received a call reporting a fight in progress at Myrtle and Pomona.  Officers arrived and found two female subjects who witnesses said had been fighting prior to police arrival.  The two subjects were arrested for being drunk in public.  The subjects were part of the group from the above listed fight incident that occurred in the 100 block of Foothill.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-Up
On December 6, detectives went to Anaheim to serve a search warrant for a stolen laptop computer.  The computer was stolen from a vehicle at Homestead Village.  The laptop was equipped with a tracking device.  The tracking service was able to produce the Facebook page for a possible suspect and an address associated with the IP address.  The detectives recovered the computer.  The investigation to identify the suspect continues.
On December 7, detectives went to Winnetka to serve a search warrant on a counterfeit suspect.  The search warrant allowed the detectives to search for additional counterfeit bills.  The detectives did not find any more counterfeit bills, but they did seize a usable amount of methamphetamine.

New Monrovia Christmas Tree! | Lee Murder Trial | Huff on Education

~ Home Depot is giving Monrovia a new Christmas tree, a 17-foot Cedrus Deodara, to replace the 60-year-old Christmas Tree in Library Park that fell over in the windstorm. Thanks Home Depot!
~ Jury deliberating in Felicia Lee murder trial.
~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, says the California Teachers Association is trying to prevent the implementation of a law he authored to help epileptic students. Also, he said, "special interests" oppose the state seeking a waiver to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act because they don't like "the teacher job performance evaluations the waiver would require."
Also, he says state tax revenue is far under what was projected, which means automatic cuts will go into effect for education, but "I believe it would be far more prudent to look elsewhere in the budget before turning to education funding so quickly."

Opinion: Regarding state revenue, I don't think anyone believed it would be adequate to avoid automatic cuts, so I wonder if lawmakers just pretended to believe so they could say they passed a balanced budget and could continue getting their paychecks. They just imagined absurdly high revenue and - Presto! - instant balanced budget. Or am I'm just becoming cynical?
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High's Luke Williams

Feature on Luke Williams, Monrovia High wide receiver.
- Brad Haugaard

Details for Monrovia Fans about the CIF Championship Game

From the Monrovia Wildcats Facebook page ( ):

~ Game is at Monrovia High.
~ There will be a Monrovia High CIF Championship tailgate event, Saturday noon to 6:30 p.m. at Eisenhower Memorial Park, 601 N. 2nd Ave. in Arcadia.
~ Ticket Prices are $9 and $5. High school students must show ID to get the $5 price. 
~ Tickets are available all week 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the ASB office. Cash only.
~ The ticket booths will open on game day at 5:30 p.m.
~ Parking is $5 and the lots will open at 5 p.m.
~ Only CIF-SS may sell merchandise. We risk losing future rights to host games and possible fines if anyone else sells merchandise. 
~ Bleachers will be brought in to provide more seating for the visitors side. 
~ Band members from both teams will be on chairs, down on the track to allow more seating for spectators.
~ No horns allowed. They are against CIF policies. Blowing Bull horns or using other loud horns can get us disqualified.
~ Wear green and white. Party City has hand clappers and Green and White Pom Poms for sale. $2.99
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Holiday Parade

Even though it was rescheduled because of the wind storm, apparently word about the Monrovia Christmas parade got out. I had to park about three blocks away and there were solid people on either side of Myrtle when I got there. There were even more people there when I returned after trudging back to my car to get the camera I forgot.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Has Enough Seating for Visiting San Gabriel High

Monrovia High has plenty of seating in the football stadium for visiting San Gabriel High.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Finance Director Named Interim City Manager | SCEInvestigated, Apologizes | Boy's Soccer | 210 Bridge | Donnelly on Daily

The form for freeway bridge pillar.
~ Monrovia's finance director, Mark Alvarado, has been appointed to be interim city manager.
~ The State's Public Utilities Commission is investigating Edison's response to the windstorm.
~ SCE apologizes for windstorm response.
~ The Monrovia High Boy’s Soccer team finished as one of the top four teams in the Paso Robles Soccer Tournament.
~ Later this week, the contractor will pour concrete to complete the structure of the first column of the 210 bridge. The column “form” (shown in the photo) is nearly installed. Once complete, concrete will be poured into the form and allowed to cure. The form will then be stripped and moved to form the second and third columns.  Later next year the basket aesthetic elements will be added.
~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, appeared on The Daily Show, defending the initiative process:
- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Chase Bank Opens

~ New Chase Bank opens on Huntington (old Spire's site).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia QB Competition | Christmas Parade | Lee Murder Trial | Holiday Concert

~ Thoughts on the competition to be Monrovia Wildcat quarterback.
~ Remember, the rescheduled Christmas Parade is tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. along Myrtle in Old Town.
~ Prosecutor: Suspect kicked Felicia Lee.
~ Hear holiday and classical music in the Library Lobby at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Featuring the Sterling Flute Choir, Cal State Northridge Flute Quartet, Le Petit Duo and others. Light refreshments.
- Brad Haugaard

210 Bridge Patterned on Basket

The Engineering News Record calls the design of the new rail bridge over the 210 at Santa Anita "iconic." Reports it is patterned after a Native American basket.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Reports Nice Profit

Monrovia's AeroVironment reports a $6.6 million profit for the quarter.
- Brad Haugaard

New Owner of Chesley Law Office

Torossian LLP, of Pasadena, is taking over the Law Office of Clare Chesley, formerly run by Monrovia School Board Member Clare Chesley, who moved out of town.
Partner Darrell G. Brooke - a longtime Monrovian - will head the new Monrovia office, assisted by Aimee Saye and Sigrid Caldera. Brooke has been involved in various community organizations, including the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group, on which he serves as a board member and legal advisor. 
Torossian specializes in estate planning, probate, elder law, conservatorships, and tax and business planning. The office is located at 525 S. Myrtle Ave., Suite 204, at the corner of Myrtle and Colorado. Telephone: (626) 303-1806.
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Santa Touring Monrovia

Santa is set to tour Monrovia for five nights, Monday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Dec. 16, from 5:30–9:30 p.m. as follows:
Monday, Dec. 12 – Streets south of Huntington, west of Myrtle to Fifth, and north of southern city boundaries. Also includes Valley Circle.
Tuesday, Dec. 13 - Streets east of Myrtle and north of Foothill.
Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Streets west of Myrtle and north of Foothill.
Thursday, Dec. 15 – Streets east of Myrtle south of Foothill, north of Duarte Road and west of the east city boundaries.
Friday, Dec. 16 – Streets south of Foothill to Huntington between Myrtle and Fifth.
- Brad Haugaard (thanks to Becky Shevlin for info)

Power On in Old Town Monrovia

Power to Old Town Monrovia is now 100 percent on.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Asks SG Valley be Declared in State of Emergency

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare the San Gabriel Valley to be in a state of emergency. Here is his letter:
Dear Governor Brown,
The devastation in the San Gabriel Valley and the 44th Assembly District has been significant and dramatic.  There continue to be homes without power nearly one week after the winds began.
I respectfully request that you declare a "state of emergency."  Residents of small and large cities need assistance and the towns and counties warrant the state's help in meeting the demand placed on them from this horrendous natural disaster.
Please consider touring the affected communities and I again urge you to quickly declare so that emergency resources can be made available.
Anthony J. Portantino
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Monrovia PD: Emergency Operations, Burglary, Theft, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for December 1-4 – Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events. To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to the City of Monrovia website at and click on the crime mapping link.

Monrovia’s Emergency Operations Center Activated

On December 1 at 4:24 a.m., the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the City of Monrovia was activated due to the amount of damage created by windstorms. All available personnel were assigned to specific tasks to meet the demands on the calls for service regarding power outages, downed power lines and downed trees. The windstorms began the night before at approximately 11:00 p.m., but calls reporting property damage began after midnight. The police department received over 500 calls for service in a 24-hour period. The calls ranged from residents trapped due to downed trees or power lines, preventing them from leaving their residences, to broken water lines. The appropriate departments were notified through the EOC. The entire day was spent answering calls for service due to the wind related incidents. While there were over 500 calls for service, only two calls involved criminal investigations. The calls for service did not let up until after 9:00 p.m. The EOC was scaled down after midnight.

Attempt Residential Burglary

On December 1 at 8:36 a.m., a resident in the 400 block of West Colorado reported an attempt burglary. Suspect(s) tampered with the deadbolt on the detached garage and cut the lock off a toolbox on a nearby trailer. The incident occurred sometime between 2:45 and 6:30 a.m. No suspects were seen or heard. Investigation continuing.

Commercial Burglary / Forgery

On December 1 at 5:31 p.m., the owner of a business in the 400 block of West Foothill called to report that a female suspect had entered her business on November 19, 2011, and purchased several items using a check from a closed account. The female was identified through computer checks. The investigation is continuing.

Petty Theft

On December 2 at 1:26 p.m., a resident in the 500 block of Falling Leaf called to report someone had stolen his laptop from his unlocked vehicle, which was parked in front of his residence during the night. No suspect(s) seen or heard. Investigation continuing.

Commercial Burglary / Runaway Juvenile

On December 2 at 3:46 p.m., a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called to report two female juveniles who had walked into the business, selected merchandise, and stole several items from the location. The juveniles fled the location when approached by the loss prevention officer. They had dropped their purses as they were trying to get away. One of the juveniles eventually came back to the location and turned herself in to police. A computer check revealed she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. The juvenile was taken into custody.

The subject was found to be a ward of the court and was later released to a worker from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). As the female and the DCFS worker exited the police department, the female ran southbound on Ivy and out of sight. Officers responded and conducted a search, but she was not located. A missing person’s report was completed for the runaway.

Vehicle Burglary

On December 2 at 6:54 p.m., a female resident in the 1000 block of Royal Oaks parked her vehicle in the parking lot of her apartment complex, leaving her purse inside the vehicle. The female was inside for about hour, and when she returned, she discovered the passenger window had been smashed and her purse was taken. No suspect(s) were seen or heard. Investigation continuing.

Vehicle Burglary

On December 2 at 8:37 p.m., a female subject called to report a vehicle burglary that occurred in the 1300 block of South Magnolia. She parked and locked her vehicle in a carport of an apartment complex. When she returned to her vehicle, she discovered her rear window smashed and her computer case and accessories missing. A citizen recovered some of the victim’s property in the roadway at Canyon and Chestnut. The citizen called police and turned in the victim’s property. The crime occurred sometime between 6:40 and 8:30 p.m. Investigation continuing.

Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On December 4 at 3:20 a.m., a vehicle collided with two parked vehicles in the 800 block of West Foothill. Officers responded and determined the driver to be driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested.

- Brad Haugaard

$4 Million Damage in Monrovia | Arboretum Hit

~ Monrovia estimates $4 million loss from wind storm. 
~ Next door in Arcadia, the Arboretum was seriously hit. See the video. Sad, but an "opportunity."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Clean-Up Could Cost Half a Million Dollars

Clean-up costs for the City of Monrovia could be up to half a million dollars.
- Brad Haugaard

Extra Curbside Green-Waste Collections | County Emergency Management | Big-Item Collection | Big Bins | Mini Police Copter

~ Athens will pick up extra green-waste this week. Just keep putting your refilled green-waste barrels out through Dec. 9.
~ LA County announced today that it is activating its Disaster Hotline (1-800-980-4990) to report damage caused by the wind storm. You can also call 2-1-1. The press release says the county will use this information to get state and federal assistance. Also, it reports that the Office of Emergency Management "stands ready to ramp up if conditions warrant." [Opinion: Good, but, um, I think conditions warranted five days ago. For an emergency office, this strikes me as rather slow off the mark.]
~ Athens will also pick up bulky items that won't fit in your barrels (you get two free bulky-item pick-ups per year). If you need to do that, call Athens Services to schedule a pickup at (626) 336-3636.
~ Updated list of where you can take big branches and big-plant stuff (but not palm fronds):
~ A pretty cool (though slow-loading for me) video of AeroVironment's Qube mini police-copter.
- Brad Haugaard