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Monrovia Older American of the Year

If you know a great Monrovian who is at least 60 years old and is an active volunteer in the community, Monrovia's Department of Community Services is accepting nominations for the 2011 "Older American of the Year Award." Write to for an application form. For more information, call Community Services at (626) 256-8246. More here (scroll down):

PetSmart for Monrovia / Clamshell / Redevelopment

~ In his weekly report (, Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa said PetSmart is planning to lease the former Circuit City site. "This 25,000-square-foot location will be a flagship store featuring pet training, kennel and boarding, and a wide array of pet food and supplies. PetSmart is expecting to be open by December 2011."
~ Also, he defended the city closing Lower Clamshell road (off of Ridgeside), saying that a) if the city clears the mudslides, then the state won't pay for it, and b) it's a bit dangerous for inexperienced hikers. He said the state has accepted the project application and the city will get quotes for the dirt removal and report back to the City Council within two weeks. 
~ On the state budget, Ochoa thinks that instead of eliminating redevelopment agencies (as Governor Brown proposed), the state may be willing to have all the redevelopment agencies chip in to buy a $1.7 billion bond from the state, which, he said, enables "the State's current dysfunctionality" by allowing it to continue to borrow money. But he thinks that might be better than trying to eliminate redevelopment altogether.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Jake's

Jake's Roadhouse on Myrtle. Great for ribs, but I had a burger - good. Also, I love the signs on the wall. See attached.

- Brad Haugaard

Old Town Bistro - Soon

Right next to the old Box Jewelry clock/sign on Myrtle. Not open yet.

- Brad Haugaard

Huff Proposes Allowing Layoffs Based on Performance

Monrovia's State Senator, Bob Huff, has introduced a bill that would allow California school districts to base layoffs on teacher performance rather than teacher seniority. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Library Birthday / Sushi, Etc.

~ For your little literary one, you can have a birthday party at the Monrovia Library. Details:
~ Five good Asian restaurants in Monrovia. (I would add a sixth, little Hon Sushi, in the Pavilions parking lot [144. W. Foothill]. Nothing too fancy, just good meat-and-potatoes sushi ... so to speak.)
- Brad Haugaard

More on Upton Sinclair House / Santa Anita Y Run / Give a Dollar

~ Santa Anita Y Run/Walk.

~ More on the Upton Sinclair House, for sale in north Monrovia, along with a bit of history about Sinclair himself.

~ Another reminder: For each new Monrovia subscriber MonroviaNow gets this month, we'll donate a dollar to Foothill Unity Center. Sign up using the field in the right column.

- Brad Haugaard

UnSnow Above Monrovia

I thought this was snow just a little ways up from Camp Trask above Monrovia, but a friend said it was hail. ... Spoilsport.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Mechanical Hummingbird

A neat video of AeroVironment's cool little hummingbird aircraft.

- Brad Haugaard

Water Pumps & Shopping Carts

A couple items on Tuesday's Monrovia City Council agenda ( for 7:30 p.m. March 1:
~ The council will consider whether to replace a temporary water pump at the May Booster Station, the pump station that supplies water to the Ridgeside, Oakglade, Norumbega, Emerson, and Canyon Park Reservoirs. The new pump will cost $74,496.19, but will save $3,000 a year in electricity costs.
~ Last June the city passed an ordinance requiring shopping cart owners to implement a containment and retrieval plan to prevent the carts from being scattered all over town. Twelve of 22 businesses have submitted plans and been approved; three said they'll be doing it, and city staff expects everybody will comply by the one-year deadline and that there will be a lot fewer abandoned carts around town.
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino to Congress? / Schamadan Column

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia in the State Assembly, may be preparing to run for Congress.
Schamadan: Monrovia Historical Museum, etc.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire / Wine & Cheese / Black History / Home Tour / Singers

~ Fire damages homes on West Olive today.

~ Complimentary wine and cheese at Armstrong Garden Center tomorrow, Feb. 25, from 4-7 p.m. Plus 20 percent off everything in the store.

~ Monrovia celebrates Black History Month.

~ There are several Victorian homes on the annual Mother's Day home tour this year. For details:

~ Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church is looking for singers for its Good Friday Concert. For details, contact Director of Music Peter Green at 358-3297 or at

- Brad Haugaard

Mother is Male Suspect, but isn't, uh, Male ... I'm Confused. And More

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 16-23. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 91 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Grand Theft
February 17 at 4:43 p.m., the victim of a grand theft came into the police station.  He reported that he parked his vehicle in a parking lot at Myrtle and Pomona in the morning.  When he returned in the afternoon, he found someone had stolen the catalytic converter off his 2004 Toyota Pickup.  Investigation continuing.
Felony False Impersonation
February 17 at 10:33 p.m., a male subject was arrested in San Bernardino County for a Monrovia battery warrant from an incident that occurred in 2001.  An officer was sent to bring the suspect to the Monrovia jail.  The officer dispatched had investigated the original case and discovered the suspect was actually the mother of the male subject's children and she had used his name and information to identify herself to officers in 2001, and on other cases, as well, which resulted in the warrant being issued for the wrong person, the male subject.  A felony false impersonation report was completed by the officer and the warrant was reentered into the system with a note as to the true suspect.
Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
February 18 at 10:36 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the High School in the 800 block of West Colorado regarding a male student being detained.  When the officer arrived, he learned the student had been brought into the discipline office for wearing a t-shirt with the word ecstasy written across the front, which is a school dress code violation.  While in the office, the student became very nervous and kept reaching into his pocket.  School security searched him and found three ecstasy pills in his pants pocket.  The student was arrested, booked, and later released to a parent.
Domestic Violence - Suspect Arrested
February 18 at 7:25 p.m., a male subject came home and got into an argument with his wife.  During the ongoing argument, the wife tried to take the husband's phone from him.  He responded by biting her hand, causing visible injury.  He was arrested for domestic violence. 
Grand Theft
February 19 at 9:58 a.m., an officer responded to the 500 block of West Lime regarding a grand theft report.  The victim told the officer he parked his vehicle on Mayflower the evening before, but did not lock it.  He returned to his vehicle in the morning and saw the interior had been ransacked and some property taken.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
February 19 at 5:48 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a business parking lot in the 500 block of West Huntington.  The victim had parked his vehicle in the parking lot and secured it.  When he returned, he saw the door lock had been punched and the third row seat had been taken.  Investigation continuing
Commercial Burglary
February 19 at 9:34 p.m., loss prevention from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington observed three suspects cutting tags off of and secreting items on their persons.  Officers responded and were in place when the suspects left the store with the merchandise.  The officers detained the suspects without incident.  Stolen merchandise was found on all three of the suspects.  One suspect was found to be on probation for burglary and another was on parole for robbery.  A consent search of their vehicle revealed further merchandise that is believed to be stolen from another retail store.  The three suspects were arrested and taken into custody.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
February 20 at 9:07 a.m., an officer was patrolling a shopping center parking lot in the 600 block of West Huntington.  The officer noticed an unoccupied vehicle and discovered it to be a stolen vehicle.  The vehicle is a 1999 Honda Civic and was reported stolen February 19 out of Baldwin Park.  The officer recovered the vehicle. 
Grand Theft
February 20 at 10:48 a.m., an officer responded to a business in the 1400 block of South California regarding a theft of copper wire.  Suspects removed a large amount of copper wire from a spool at a business.  The suspects possibly gained access from a back alley.  Investigation continuing.
Non-Injury Traffic Collision
February 20 at 11:36 a.m., an officer responded to a solo traffic collision at Myrtle and Colorado.  A driver was attempting to make a turn onto Colorado from Myrtle when they hit the signal on the corner and knocked it down.  Monrovia Fire Department and the Edison Company responded for exposed live wires. 
Residential Burglary
February 22 at 5:59 p.m., officers responded to a residential burglary in the 300 block of North Mountain.   It appears the suspect entered through an unlocked door and stole miscellaneous valuables from the home.  Two shotguns were taken, but the suspect left them on the lawn as he fled the area, he may have been startled by a neighbor.  During the investigation, it was discovered that a neighbor had seen a suspicious subject sitting in a parked vehicle just south of the victim's house at approximately 7:10 a.m.  The subject is described as an 18-19 year old male, 5' 10", with a thin build.  He was sitting in an older model, Dodge Plymouth minivan, white in color, with the engine running.  The neighbor did not report the suspicious subject to police.  Investigation continuing. 
Vehicle Burglary
February 23 at 6:13 p.m., officers responded to a vehicle burglary that occurred in a hotel parking lot in the 700 block of West Huntington.  A window on the vehicle was smashed and a purse was stolen.  Investigation continuing.
Unreported Grand Theft Auto - Suspect Arrested
February 24 at 5:14 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department called to report they had been in pursuit of a 1995 Saturn and had one male suspect in custody.  They requested a Monrovia officer contact the registered owner, who lives in the 200 block of East Pomona.  The vehicle was stolen from the street in front of the registered owner's residence during the night.  The victim was unaware of the theft and does not know the suspect.

Congratulations MHS Teams

Monrovia High offers its congratulations to the school's teams:
Congratulations to boy’s basketball for a great season and coming in 2nd in league.
Congratulations to girl’s basketball for a great season and making it to the second round of CIF playoffs and who earned the honor of being Rio Hondo League champs with an undefeated league season.
Congratulations to boy’s soccer who advanced last Friday after a win against South El Monte to the 2nd round of playoffs today at home at 3:00pm.
Congratulations to the cheer squad for a fantastic season and placing second in the Las Vegas competition last weekend.
- Brad Haugaard

Boys Soccer :-( / Blood Drive / Clamshell Road / Restaurant Gone

~ Boys Soccer - Victor Valley 3, Monrovia 1 :-(

~ There is a blood drive coming up on Thursday, March 3, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Community Center parking lot at 119 West Palm Ave. Walk-ins welcome. Donate blood and get a coupon for a pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream. Eat, drink plenty of water and bring a photo ID.

~ Hikers and bikers want Lower Clamshell Road reopened. (Yeah. But in the meantime, take the Ben Overturff Road from Monrovia Canyon Park. It's more challenging.)

~ Pioneer Point restaurant has closed. (It was at the corner of 5th and Huntington.)

- Brad Haugaard

Sena Restaurant / Old Myrtle / More on Upton Sinclair House

~ A new restaurant called Sena is opening this summer in Monrovia.

~ There's a neat old 1949 picture of Myrtle Avenue here. (Scroll down a bit).

~ A bit more on the Upton Sinclair House, for sale in North Monrovia. Oddly, the article doesn't say where the house is. It is way up Myrtle, on the east side of the street just before you go up into Gold Hills.

- Brad Haugaard

Sinclair House for Sale / Murder Sentence / Rotary / Delay for Gold Line?

~ Monrovia's Upton Sinclair house is for sale for $1.5 million.

~ Monrovian sentenced to 35 years for killing.

~ Monrovia Rotary Club will be sending 6 female and 6 male attendees from Monrovia High School to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards on March 4-6 in Idyllwild, a three-day seminar with nearly 200 students from Southern California and Nevada. They are Giselle Moreau, Jamie Truong, Stephanie Garcia, Dushani DeSilva, Amanda Aquilar, Corrine Marino, Kevin Romero, Levi Helm, Christopher Rosedale, Saul Denova, Diego Nieves, Michael Arevelos.

~ A Monrovia property owner is suing to prevent his property from being taken for Gold Line Extension.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Candidate Forum, Thursday, March 3

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a City Council Candidate Forum the evening of Thursday, March 3, 2011; the League of Women Voters will assist in facilitating the meeting.
The Forum will take place in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia and will be aired live by Community Media of the Foothills (KGEM) from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
The community is welcome to attend and be part of the audience in the Council Chambers and submit written questions to candidates.  There will also be open phones line over which viewers at home may submit questions for the candidates.  Questions will be sorted by a panel and read by a moderator.  The forum will be taped for repeated viewing until the April 12, 2011 election.

- Karin Crehan, Monrovia Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday Monrovia School Board Meeting

Also on the agenda ( for the Monrovia Board of Education's meeting on Wednesday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m.:
~ A report on the Elementary School Counseling Program.
~ A report on English language and math progress.
~ The no-bullying policy updated.
~ The School Board's to-do list:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Construction Agenda

Report on when construction is going to be completed at Monrovia High School. Marked items in red are not finished yet. This is on the school board agenda for the Wednesday (Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.) meeting.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Enrollment Down

Enrollment continues to slip at Monrovia schools.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Broke in 2012?

The Monrovia Unified School District will run out of money by May, 2012.

Connie Wu, Monrovia School District's Chief Business Officer, projects - even assuming Governor Brown's optimistic assumption that a tax extension will be approved by the voters - that the district will face a cash deficit of $1 million by May of 2012 and $3 million by June 2012. And if the voters reject the tax extension? Probably a $5 million deficit by June 2012.
Why? Because the irresponsible State of California has refused to cut its own expenditures, and so, to compensate for its spendthrift ways, is looting local school districts. (That's my own opinion, if you didn't guess.)
Obviously, to avoid a deficit, some serious cuts could be in store.
Lots more detail, including spreadsheets, here:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Assaulted / Judge: City Didn't Violate Law

~ Monrovia man assaulted with cutting tool in Irwindale.

~ Judge says Monrovia didn't violate open meeting laws.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Newts - Dangerous

With the recent rains the newts are out in the hills above Monrovia. Cute though they are, a ranger told me they are deadly poisonous.

He said a couple was once found dead. It turned out they had scooped water from a stream, boiled it for coffee and drank it. They scooped up and boiled a newt by accident.

They are rusty brown on top and orange on the bottom Don't even touch.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Files Suit / Help Unity Center

In lawsuit, Monrovia's AeroVironment accuses competitor of stealing schematics to its electric-car battery testing systems.

Quick, Free Ways to Help Unity Center

Help Foothill Unity Center win $5K by going to and and dashing off a quick review. The organization that gets the most reviews before Feb. 28 will receive $5,000 from nonprofit marketing company KIMBIA. (Also, and even easier, MonroviaNow [] is paying Foothill Unity Center a dollar for each new email subscription it gets this month. Just add your email address on our home page.)

- Brad Haugaard

Snow Over Monrovia

A beautiful dusting of snow over Monrovia this morning.

- Brad Haugaard

MHS Band Perform at Carnegie Hall?

MHS Symphonic Band may play at Carnegie Hall if it can raise enough money.
- Brad Haugaard

Black History Month in Monrovia / Marijuana Arrest / Basketball Pix

~ Story about Black History month in Monrovia.
~ Monrovia liquor store worker arrested for allegedly selling pot.
~ Pix of Monrovia vs. La Mirada Boys Basketball game.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Monrovia's Market Grill

The Dirty Dog at The Market Grill. A chili dog with New England style homemade bun, grilled on the outsides like a grilled cheese sandwich. Different and delicious. Wife loved her burger as well. 525 S. Shamrock Avenue. The place was packed.

- Brad Haugaard

Girls Basketball :-) / Black History Pix / Blues / Seafood

~ Girls Basketball CIF playoffs - Monrovia 55, La Mirada 32 :-) . Two stories: and . Plus, some slides:

~ Slide show of upcoming Monrovia Black History exhibit:

~ LA Blues Society jam session at T. Phillips on Sunday, 2-7 p.m.

~ A new seafood restaurant is opening in Monrovia soon (don't have the exact date). It is called Big Shrimps Fish Grill, and it will be at 123 E. Colorado Boulevard in Old Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Burglary, Theft, Intoxication, Missing Hiker, Attempted Rape, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 10-16. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 494 service events, resulting in 82 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Monrovia Special Enforcement Team Search Warrant - Three Suspects Arrested
February 10, Monrovia's Special Enforcement Team conducted a search warrant with the assistance of the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA IMPACT).  The warrant was served at a business in the 2100 block of Huntington and a residence in the 3500 block of Conata; both locations are in the City of Duarte.  Two male subjects were arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a female subject was arrested for a warrant.  The business was also found to have a number of code violations and was cited by Duarte code enforcement.
Commercial Burglary
February 10 at 7:47 a.m., an officer heard an alarm going off and tracked it to a business in the 9100 block West Huntington.  Upon arrival, he found a smashed window at the location.  No suspects were located and the investigation is continuing.
Residential Burglary
February 10 at 1:28 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of West Lemon on the report of a burglary.  The suspect forced a vertical sliding window open and climbed into the house.  The items taken were two video game stations.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
February 10 at 3:29 p.m., an officer located a stolen vehicle in the area of Lime and California.  He confirmed it was stolen out of LAPD Pacific Division on February 9, 2011.  The vehicle recovered is 2010 Chevy Malibu.  Investigation continuing.
Driving Under the Influence Traffic Collision
February 11 at 12:46 a.m., a female driver was heading west on Foothill in the 800 block when she struck a parked car.  Officers arrived and determined the driver to be under the influence of alcohol and she was arrested.
Felony Obstruction / Possession of Alcohol / Trespassing / Petty Theft - Two Suspects Arrested
February 10 at 10:57 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting two intoxicated subjects refusing to leave a theater in the 400 block of South Myrtle.  A male subject had bought a ticket and then let several friends in a side door.  Theater staff asked them to leave, but they refused.  Officers arrived and contacted the subjects, who then became verbally abusive.  A male and a female subject were arrested for trespassing, public intoxication, and the male was arrested for petty theft for sneaking people into the theater.  Both subjects were determined to be minors.  They were arrested and taken into custody. 
Fight in Progress / Under the Influence of Drugs / Possession of Marijuana - Three Suspects Arrested
February 11 at 6:20 p.m., an officer observed a fight in progress in the parking lot across from the police station and requested assistance.  Officers responded and all subjects were detained.  It was determined that three subjects who are friends had been drinking at a bar and two of them began to fight.  One of the subjects was determined to be under the influence of a stimulant.  Two subjects were arrested for fighting and one was charged with being under the influence and another was charged with possession of marijuana.  They were later cited and released.
Found Elderly Subject
February 11 at 7:25 p.m., officers responded to the report of a subject with dementia found driving in the area of Acorn and Meadow Lane.  She is a 74 year old female from Fullerton.  Officers were able to obtain information about her family, who live in Irvine, and they responded to pick her up.  They were counseled regarding the seriousness of her condition and a DMV reevaluation form was completed. 
Parole Violation / Warrant - Suspect Arrested
February 12 at 3:19 p.m., an officer saw a subject he recognized as having a no-bail warrant for parole violation.  He detained the subject and confirmed the subject was still wanted.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
February 12 at 3:42 p.m., the victim of grand theft auto called to report she had found her vehicle in the 700 block of West Huntington at a hotel.  A known suspect was named in the report.  Officers responded to the location and contacted a male and female subject by the vehicle.  After investigation, the male was arrested for receiving stolen property and told officers the named suspect was possibly in the immediate area.  The vehicle was released to the victim.  Officers searched the area and located the named suspect near a restaurant in Arcadia.  The suspect was detained, his identity confirmed, and he was arrested for grand theft auto. 
Attempt Rape
February 13 at 5:30 a.m., police received a call alleging a 44 year old male attempted to rape his 19 year old niece while she was sleeping.  She was able to fight him off and the uncle fled the location.  The suspect is on parole for burglary and is a narcotics and sex registrant.  The suspect was not located despite an extensive search.  Parole was advised and has set their fugitive team in motion.
Missing Hiker Located
February 14 at 8:09 p.m., a female subject called and stated her husband had left their residence at 5:00 a.m. to hike up to Monrovia Peak and had not returned.  She became worried and called police.  Officers located the hiker's vehicle parked on Canyon, just south of Ridgeside.  His cell phone and jacket were visible in the car.  An airship responded to check the lower hills for signs of the hiker, but he was not located.  The upper elevations could not be checked due to darkness.  Sierra Madre Search and Rescue was called out and a command post was set up at the gate to Canyon Park.  After several hours, police received a call from Arcadia Police Department reporting the lost hiker had shown up at a residence on Highland Oaks, next to the foothills.  The hiker was cold, wet and slightly bruised up, but refused medical assistance.  He stated he had tried to hike back a different way and got lost.  
Parolee-at-Large - Suspect Arrested
February 16 at 1:45 p.m., police received a call from a female who reported there was a parolee-at-large at her residence.  Further investigation revealed the parolee was wanted for drug charges and was considered armed and dangerous.  Officers and the Special Enforcement Team responded to the location and arrested the parolee without incident.
Residential Burglary
February 17 at 4:44 a.m., a resident in the 800 block of California woke in the morning and discovered his set of golf clubs had been taken during the night from his attached garage.  The garage had been left unlocked and the suspect entered through the garage door.  No suspect was seen or heard and the investigation is continuing.
Driving Under the Influence
February 17 at 4:52 a.m., a 19 year old female subject was driving east on Foothill and turned north onto Canyon.  The driver failed to steer the vehicle correctly and struck the curb, which caused two flat tires.  The driver continued northbound for a short period.  Residents heard the collision and called police.  When officers arrived, they located the vehicle and the female subject attempting to remove the spare tire to change one of the flat tires.  Through investigation, officers determined the driver was under the influence and she was arrested.  No damage was caused to city property. 

Monrovia Spy Bird / Retirement Accounts / Girls & Boys Basketball

~ Nano hummingbird developed by Monrovia's AeroVironment could be military mini-spy: . Also a profile of AV in Fortune magazine:
~ Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has introduced legislation to eliminate penalties on early withdrawals from retirement accounts for workers who have exhausted their unemployment insurance.
~ Gina Henderson and Monrovia Girls Basketball.
~ Alemany 77, Monrovia 65, end of Boys basketball season. :-(
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia in Top 10 / Garcia: Huntington Traffic will be Bad

~ Although the Monrovia Area Partnership did not win, it was in the top 10 for the "Out of the Box" prize from among more than 300 entries from around the world.

~ Councilman Joe Garcia says traffic will be a "nightmare" during repaving of Huntington in March.

- Brad Haugaard

MHS Academic Team Honored / Huff Wants Regulation Cuts

~ Congratulations to the Monrovia High Academic Decathlon team as it was selected as LA County Rookie Team of the Year and finished in the top three in its division. Source:
~ Monrovia's State Senator, Bob Huff, has introduced legislation to cut regulations that hinder job development in the state. Details:
- Brad Haugaard

Drizzly Days Ahead / Fifth and Huntington

~ Kind of drizzly right now, and it looks like we're in for on-and-off rain for the next week or so.

~ More on the corner of Fifth and Huntington, where the city is planning to cover the wash to provide a more contiguous and build-able area.

- Brad Haugaard

MonroviaNow Donating Up to $1,000 for Email Sign-Ups

For each Monrovian who signs up to receive the MonroviaNow weekly news digest during this February, MonroviaNow will donate a dollar, up to $1,000, to help Foothill Unity Center feed the hungry. Just add your email address to the field at the right, where it says, "Enter Email," and press the Submit button. That's all it takes!

If you already subscribe, please tell your Monrovia friends they can donate - and keep up with Monrovia news - by adding their email address on our home page, here:

Thanks much!

- Brad Haugaard

Support Mayor Lutz in Cancer Relay

You can support Mayor Mary Ann Lutz in her participation in the June 4 Cancer Relay - sponsored by the American Cancer Society - at Recreation Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Fountain-to-Falls Sign-Up Opens

If you are interested in the 7-mile Fountain to the Falls walk/run on May 14, you can sign up now for $30, plus an unspecified "per person online registration fee." The run begins at 7 a.m. and takes you on a round-trip course beginning at the Fountain in Library Park to the Falls in Monrovia Canyon Park. The awards presentation will immediately follow the race. Registration is available on-line only, here: . No registration on the day of the event. All entrants will receive a medal and t-shirt. 400 participants maximum. Registration ends May 11.


- Brad Haugaard

Falls are Dangerous

Last Saturday a hiker slipped and fell from the waterfall in Monrovia Canyon Park.

The fire department reports: "Firefighter/Paramedics hiked over a mile up the trail to find an adult patient with injuries to the hip and lower back sustained from a nearly-30-foot fall. Advanced life support procedures were initiated as the patient was placed on a special 'stokes basket' gurney and carefully carried out of the Canyon. Due to the nature of incident the patient was transported to the Trauma Department at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena for further treatment."
Nice to look at the falls from below, but please don't climb up there. Very dangerous.
- Brad Haugaard

Partial Preservation

It appears that not much of the property at 270 North Myrtle Avenue - which the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group wanted to preserve - is salvageable.

According to a Monrovia city report, while the property owners are very cooperative, they "have encountered unforeseen issues involving the structural integrity of the house that must be addressed in order to meet the minimum requirements of the Building Code."


- Brad Haugaard


The Star-News has a good article today on how local cities are handling the possibility that California will eliminate the redevelopment process, and, by-the-by, grab a lot of local money for itself.

One scoff-worthy item in the story is that some people criticize redevelopment agencies because they "lack oversight," meaning some state agency isn't controlling what they do.

So, the oh-so fiscally responsible State of California - which always delivers a budget on time and never ever runs a debt and never ever uses accounting tricks to "balance" its budget - wants to make sure that redevelopment agencies are being responsible. Right.

Also in the article, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer calls redevelopment agencies "vampires," sucking blood for their own purposes. I dunno, if I was a state official and therefore representative of the biggest blood-sucker in the Western United States, I don't think I'd bring up the topic of vampires.

Having said all that, I have to add that I am a bit of two minds regarding redevelopment agencies. I agree with Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa about their economic benefits, but what concerns me is "eminent domain," meaning that a redevelopment agency (generally a city council wearing a different hat) can buy a property within a redevelopment zone even if the owner does not want to sell.

Redevelopment historians can correct me on this if I am wrong, but I believe redevelopment was initially instituted so government could force the sale of critical property to build vital public structures, such as freeways and hospitals, but it has gone far beyond that.

Yes, there are safety measures in place. Usually the agency has to pay an above-market rate for the property, and it needs to help people and businesses relocate, and I believe the vote to force the sale of a property must be  unanimous. Also, I know that cities - Monrovia included - are reluctant to use this power, and a property-owner could challenge the agency in court, nevertheless I'm troubled that someone's property can be purchased without his or her permission, for no crime he has committed and for no debt that he owes.

If redevelopment could be reconstituted without eminent domain, I'd feel better, but that would mean one recalcitrant property owner could derail a large city-benefiting project. But still, it makes me mighty nervous letting any government take people's property just so it can get more money, nice as more money would be right now.

Here is a Monrovia statement on redevelopment from 2008:

UPDATE: See Mayor Pro Tem Tom Adam's thoughts under Comment, below.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Ships Charger / Store Goes Online-Only / Basketball

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment has begun shipping and installing its residential Smart Charging Dock for plug-in electric hybrid cars.

~ Monrovia clothing business, Suburban Martini, moves to online-only:

~ Standing of San Gabriel Valley basketball teams. (Dig down a bit, Monrovia is there).

- Brad Haugaard

Candy Store / Disability Claim

~ New Monrovia candy store opening.
~ City Manager Scott Ochoa says former Monrovia worker who said he couldn't do handyman work for city was videotaped doing handyman work.
- Brad Haugaard

Cheap Paving / $8 Million Bond / Train Station Landscaping / Servicemen

Here are some items from the agenda for the City Council meeting, this Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Agenda:
~ Cheap Paving - Monrovia City Staff is recommending the city accept a $1.27 million street-resurfacing bid which is 37 percent lower than the cost staff estimated. In his report Public Works Director Ron Bow suggests that maybe contractors are hurting and are willing to work cheap. He writes: "[A]ll but the two highest bids were below the original estimated cost, which led staff to conclude that contractors are lowering their bids to be more competitive in this present economic condition." The streets to be resurfaced include parts of Huntington Drive, Duarte Road and Grand Avenue. Details here:
~ $8 Million Bond - Discuss issuing an $8 million redevelopment bond. (If my memory serves me, these bonds are used to redevelop areas, which then - hopefully - produce more tax revenue to pay off the bond and improve the city.) More here:
~ Station Landscape - Discuss whether to award a contract of up to $60,000 to IBI Group to develop a concept design for the open, public spaces around the new train station in Phase I of the Station Square Transit Village Project.
~ Servicemen - Also, at a special meeting at 7 p.m., February 15, before the regular meeting, the Monrovia City Council will honor  local men serving in the United States military. They are:

- Lance Corporal Guillermo O. Reynosa, United States Marine Corps.
- Private First Class James C. Knight, IV, United States Marine Corps.
- Lieutenant Jeffrey Scott Mitchell, United States Navy
- Seaman Ronnie Paniagua, United States Navy
-- Brad Haugaard

Ecstacy Flyer / Monrovia Rockhounds / Schamadan's 20th

~ Monrovia representative to the LA County Board of Supervisors, Mike Antonovich, is criticizing a county flyer on the Ecstasy drug as a how-to article.
~ Plan to attend the Monrovia Rockhounds Rock Show at the Arboreteum on March 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get a  free tumbled stone. More details:
~ Charlotte Schamadan's 20th anniversary column.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's 125th Birthday Party

Monrovia's 125th Birthday, featuring The Monrovia Day Parade - "Cruisin' With Samson." 7 p.m. on May 12.
- Brad Haugaard

Mountain Lion Alert

From the City Website:

A mountain lion has been sighted during the evening hours in the mountainous area around the 1100 block of Norumbega Road. California Fish and Game has been advised and is monitoring the situation. Residents in the area are encouraged to be alert to their surroundings and use appropriate precautions with their children and pets.

More detail:

- Brad Haugaard

40 Years in Prison, Meth, Fighting, Mountain Lion, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 3-9. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 525 service events, resulting in 101 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Update - Gang member sentenced for 2007 attempted murder
February 2, 2011, Monrovia Police Department detectives concluded the prosecution of a Monrovia Nuevo Varrio gang member who was responsible for the 2007 shooting and attempted murder of an individual in the 200 block of Cherry.  The suspect was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Vehicle Burglary
February 3 at 8:06 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Wildrose regarding a vehicle burglary.  He arrived on scene and the victim reported his vehicle had been broken into during the night.  The loss is unknown and the investigation is continuing.
Injury Traffic Collision
February 3 at 8:15 p.m., a vehicle collided into a light pole at Mountain, just north of the 210 Freeway.  The light pole fell onto a main power grid line.  Officers blocked Mountain until Edison arrived to clear the downed active line.  The driver of the vehicle was not hurt; however, the passenger had minor injuries and was taken to a hospital.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery
February 4 at 10:46 p.m., an officer on patrol located an unoccupied stolen vehicle.  The vehicle was a 1995 Honda and was parked on Chestnut in front of a business.  A DMV computer check confirmed it was stolen out of Monterey Park.  No suspects were located.
Driving Under the Influence / Possession of Marijuana / Outstanding Warrant  - Three Suspects Arrested
February 5 at 4:30 a.m., an officer stopped a driver at Magnolia and Lemon for possibly driving under the influence.  After conducting an investigation, it was determined the driver was, in fact, under the influence.  The front passenger was found to be in possession of a paper bag full of Marijuana, totaling just over three ounces.  The rear passenger was found to have an outstanding warrant.  All three subjects were arrested. 
Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer / Public Intoxication - Suspect Arrested
February 6 at 1:12 a.m., officers responded to a disturbing subject call at a night club in the 300 block of South Myrtle.  As the officer arrived, the subject ran from him.  The officer apprehended the subject near Ivy and Palm.  The subject was determined to be a minor under the influence of alcohol.  He was arrested and taken into custody.
Fighting / Drunk in Public - Three Subjects Arrested
February 6 at 1:56 p.m., an officer on patrol in the area of Palm and Myrtle observed several females fighting.  He requested assisting officers, who responded and the involved parties where detained.  The investigation revealed the females all know each other, but due to their intoxicated state, they argued and two of them got into a physical altercation.  All three subjects were arrested. 
Possession of Methamphetamine / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
February 6, a Special Enforcement Team officer conducted a traffic stop, and the resulting search revealed the subject was in possession of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine smoking pipe.  He was arrested for the narcotics charges and three outstanding warrants.
Police Pursuit - Suspect Arrested
February 6 at 9:09 a.m., an officer responded to the 100 block of North Lincoln Place regarding vehicle vandalism in progress.  The suspect was last seen driving north on Lincoln.  An officer located the suspect vehicle at Hillcrest, east of Myrtle.  Officers attempted a traffic stop with emergency lights, but the vehicle failed to yield and increased speed.  The vehicle went through several posted stop signs and a residential alley.  The pursuit ended in the 200 block of Canyon Crest, where the suspect fled on foot.  Containment was set up with the assistance of two units from Arcadia Police Department.  Officers conducted a search of the area with no results.  As officers were about to leave the area, the suspect was spotted in the 100 block of North Ivy.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident and positively identified by the witness.  The suspect was also wanted for criminal threats.  
Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer / Possession of Methamphetamine - Suspects Arrested
February 6 at 4:43 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting two male subjects fighting in the 800 block of West Duarte.  When the officer arrived, he saw a subject loitering near the passenger side of a parked vehicle and another subject in the driver's seat.  The subject on the outside of the vehicle had head injuries consistent with a fight.  As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver sped off south on Eighth and pulled into the carport area of an apartment complex, where the driver fled on foot.  The second subject also tried to flee, but was detained.  The Foothill Air Support helicopter assisted in the search for the first suspect.  Officers eventually located the suspect hiding in the laundry room of the complex.  Further investigation revealed the subject received the head injuries from an unrelated traffic collision and had just been released from the hospital.  The suspects were arrested for resisting and delaying officers.  One of the suspects was in possession of methamphetamine when arrested.
Disturbing Subject / Resisting and Delaying a Pease Officer - Suspect Arrested
February 6 at 9:51 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 100 block of North Canyon regarding an intoxicated adult throwing furniture and demanding vehicle keys from his family members.  The family members refused to give the suspect the keys because he was too intoxicated to drive.  The family members locked themselves in a bedroom and called police.  When officers arrived, they were greeted by the intoxicated suspect, who became aggressive and yelled profanities at the officers.  Officers attempted to check the welfare of the family members, but were obstructed by the intoxicated suspect.  Officers had to arrest the suspect in order to control him.  The officers were then able to check on the family members and found they were not harmed.  The suspect was taken into custody and later released after a sobering period. 
Animal Problem - Coyote
February 7 at 6:49 p.m., a resident in the 600 block of Wildrose called to report a coyote had jumped her fence and attacked her cat.  Animal Control responded to the location and found the coyote had attacked and killed the cat.  The coyote had left the location and returned again several times during the incident.  While animal control was at the location the coyote was seen again near the yard before it fled the area.  Later that same evening police received another call of a coyote seen at an apartment complex at Foothill and Magnolia, and later there was another sighting at Magnolia and Huntington.  The Department of Fish and Game was notified.
Search Warrant - Three Suspects Arrested
February 8, 2011, Special Enforcement Team officers and detectives served a search warrant in the 500 block of East Foothill.  Officers recovered a handgun, drugs and stolen property.  Three suspects were arrested.
Mountain Lion Sighting
February 9 at 9:06 p.m., a resident driving in the 1100 block of Norumbega saw a mountain lion in the middle of the road that was approximately 125 pounds.  An officer was dispatched to the area and located the mountain lion.  The officer used a beanbag gun and managed to send the mountain lion back into the hills.  

Arboretum Needs Your Opinion / Senator Needs Your Art

~ The LA County Arboretum, next door in Arcadia, wants your opinions for its planning to better serve the area. You can take a 5-10 minute survey here:  I took it. Pretty painless.

~ Bob Huff (R), who represents Monrovia in the California State Senate, is looking for entries for the California State Senate art show. Details here:

- Brad Haugaard

Online Library / Miss Majorette / Hiker Recovering

~ This is not new, but I'll bet a lot of people don't know that you can check if the Monrovia Library has a book, and if it is checked in, right from your home computer. Just click here:

~ Last year Clifton student Madisen Buonsanti became Miss Beginner Pre-Teen Majorette of California.

~ Injured hiker recovering.

- Brad Haugaard

Doggy Drinking Fountain

Monrovia's Library Park has become dog-friendly. The city recently added a doggy drinking fountain at the southeast corner. That and a doggy plastic bag dispenser for, well, uh, canine cleanup.

- Brad Haugaard

Boys Soccer, La Canada 2, Monrovia 1 :-(

Story, - Slideshow of the game,
- Brad Haugaard

Mayor to Testify before State Senate / Rename Olive Ave. Park? / Promotions

In his weekly report, City Manager Scott Ochoa reports that:
~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz is scheduled to testify before the Senate Local Government Committee next Wednesday. He said she'll defend redevelopment, a program that Governor Brown would like to end.
~ at the last City Council meeting, "Mayor Pro Tem Adams requested that a study be conducted to change the name of Olive Avenue Park to a name that recognizes the contributions of Monrovia's Latino community over the years."
~ Steve Sizemore and Craig Jimenez took over the jobs of Community Development Director and Planning Division Manager, respectively.
- Brad Haugaard

Carden School to Combine with Anita Oaks

On July 1, Monrovia's Carden of the Foothills school and Duarte's Anita Oaks School will combine to become Foothill Oaks Academy, located in Duarte.

Here is further information from the press release:
"The school will provide reasonably priced private school education from preschool through 8th grade, with a focus on individual attention to students, small class sizes, core curriculum, after school care, and many exciting opportunities for enrichment. Foothill Oaks Academy will kick off an engaging summer school program in 2011, which will be followed by a full academic program starting in September 2011.
"Both school boards and administrators came together to create Foothill Oaks Academy based on the best methods and style of education gleaned from both schools, with a continued commitment to core values and quality education that have come to define both schools within the community. The combination of the schools will provide a strong future, as well as improvements in academic programs for Foothill Oaks Academy. Nancy Lopez, the current principal at Anita Oaks School, and Diane Kieffaber, the current principal of Carden of the Foothills School, will co-direct Foothill Oaks Academy under the guidance of a board of trustees comprised of representatives from each school."
The Foothill Oaks Academy website is For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Ryan Soule at (626) 485-1688.
- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Walking Path / YMCA Run

~ City of Monrovia Management Analyst, Dan Bell, reported today that the city will install signs for a one-mile walking route throughout Old Town this week. The route, suggested by Councilmember Becky Shevlin and her husband, Chris, is being paid for entirely by the Monrovia Kiwanis Club.
~ If you'd like to help the Santa Anita Family YMCA and get a bit of exercise as well, the Y is having a 5k run/walk around Recreation Park on Saturday, Feb. 26. Adults $20, kids 14 and under $10. Money raised by the run will benefit the YMCA. Adult run at 8 a.m.; kids at 9:30 a.m. Call 626 359-9244 for details.
- Brad Haugaard

Huffington in Charge of Patch / Wrestling / Kirby Profile

~ The Monrovia Patch news website - and its hundreds of sister news sites - will soon have a new editor-in-chief in Arianna Huffington, the left-leaning commentator and founder of The Huffington Post. AOL, the owner of Patch, is purchasing The Huffington Post and putting her in charge of its media group.

From the press release:

"As part of the transaction, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more." (Emphasis mine.)

UPDATE: It appears Huffington will be somewhat of a hands-on manager. TechCrunch reports that Huffington "feels an affinity with Patch, AOL’s burgeoning local news properties."

UPDATE 2: In a blog post on The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington writes: "AOL's covers 800 towns across America, providing an incredible infrastructure for citizen journalism in time for the 2012 election, and a focus on community and local solutions that have been an integral part of HuffPost's DNA."

Certainly media owners have political viewpoints, though they usually try to at least sound neutral, but it sounds here as if Huffington intends to use Patch as a political tool and bring it into ideological alignment with The Huffington Post. I hope I'm misinterpreting this because I wish Patch all the best and I've enjoyed and admired it, and I don't think politicizing it is the road to success.

~ Wrestling. Monrovia's league standing.

~ Profile of former Monrovia City Councilman Dan Kirby.

- Brad Haugaard

Bear Poles / Basketball / Cupid / Author Talk / Rockin' Women / Tutoring

~ Along the Ben Overturff road, in Forest Service area above Monrovia Canyon Park, you see a lot of telephone poles (who has a phone up there I've no idea), all of which have scratch marks almost exactly six feet off the ground. Bear scratching posts. As you can see from the thin photo below, those bears could eventually chop down a pole. It got me thinking: When they replace a pole, maybe they ought to cut the old one off about seven feet from the ground instead of three feet. That way the bears would have a nice broken-in phone pole to scratch and maybe the new poles would last a lot longer. (No extra charge for that idea.)

~ Boys basketball; Monrovia 62, San Marino 31 :-)

~ On Saturday, February 12, from 2 - 3 p.m. Cupid is bringing some favorite stories, songs, crafts and film to the library in honor of love, hearts and Valentines. For ages 4 years through 5th grade.

~ Author Daniel McLaurin will talk about his book, "32 Minutes of Greatness," the story of the Hillside High basketball team of Durham, North Carolina, and how it persevered in the face of mid-1960s racism. Wednesday, Feb 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

~ The Monrovia Library will be holding a "Women Who Rock" performance in the lobby on Tuesday March 29, at 6:30. If you are a musically talented woman, contact Youth Services Librarian Rebecca Diaz at

~ Monrovia's AVID tutoring program.

- Brad Haugaard

Market Grill Review

This video of The Market Grill - which is kinda hidden away (525 S. Shamrock, across from Recreation Park) - shows the building it's in. I had a very tasty sandwich there.

Antonovich Blasts State Government

Monrovia's representative on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Mike Antonovich, testified before the  California State Assembly Subcomittee on the Budget this evening that, basically, the state is a spendthrift  that needs to make real structural reforms and shouldn't be trying to shift its expenses off onto the counties.

Antonovich said the state is "overspending," is driving businesses out of California, has a "bloated bureaucracy," is using a "magician's slight-of-hand trick" in its finances, and so forth. 

You can see his testimony on YouTube:

- Brad Haugaard

Mr. Monroe / Boost Monrovia / Water Polo / Upper Room Play

~ I was curious what our founder, Mr. Monroe, looked like, so I took a good look at him, right in Library Park. William N. Monroe seems like a nice guy - kinda stony-faced, but nice. Did you know his middle name was Newton?

~ The Star-News is having a "Readers Choice Awards" contest, so if you'd like to nominate a great Monrovia business or two, pick up a copy of today's Star-News and vote (I didn't see the form online). It is on page A5. I've seen the form before, so maybe the paper will run it again.

~ Girls Water Polo - Monrovia 3, San Marino 8 :-(

~ Monrovia Second Baptist is putting on the play, "The Upper Room," as part of Black History Month.

- Brad Haugaard

Attack with a Drill, Child Abuse, Hit and Run, Robbery, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Jan. 27-Feb. 2. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 454 service events, resulting in 86 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Felony Vandalism - Suspect Arrested
January 20 at 12:35 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain regarding a subject that had thrown rocks at nine parked vehicles, breaking seven windows.  The male suspect was wearing a white t-shirt with a red sweatshirt tied around his waist and he had fled the area.  The suspect was located and detained by officers on Mountain under the freeway.  He was positively identified and arrested for felony vandalism and misdemeanor warrants.
Felony Hit and Run Traffic Accident - Suspect Arrested
January 20 at 2:14 p.m., officers responded to the area of Foothill and Mayflower regarding two male subjects fighting as a result of a traffic collision.  The collision involved a motorcycle and a car.  A passenger on the motorcycle sustained injuries.  The driver of the car fled, but was detained by an officer a short distance away.  The driver was positively identified and was arrested. 
January 21 at 6:05 p.m., police responded to a business in the 500 block of West Huntington that had just been robbed at gunpoint.  The suspect was described as male, 30 years old, possible mustache or goatee, wearing a blue baseball cap, dark hooded sweatshirt, and dark pants.  The suspect was given the money from the register and had exited the business running west toward Mayflower.  An extensive area search was conducted, but the suspect was not located.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto Recovery - Suspect Arrested
January 21 at 8:37 p.m., an officer on patrol in the 1600 block of South Mayflower located and conducted a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle was the listed suspect.  She was arrested and taken into custody.  The vehicle had been stolen from a car rental company. 
Child Abuse - Suspect Arrested
January 21 at 5:36 p.m., an officer was dispatched for a welfare check at a residence attached to a business in the 2100 block of South Myrtle.  The investigation resulted in the arrest of the father at the location. Two children were interviewed and stated their father chokes, kicks and pulls their ears.  The 4 year old male child had visible injury to his neck.  He told the investigating officer his father grabs his neck and chokes him.  The Department of Child and Family Services assigned custody of the children to the mother with the requirement that they be kept away from the father until his hearing.  In the early morning, the mother came to the police station with the children to bail out the father.  The Department of Child and Family Services was notified and responded.  They felt the children could not be protected under the current circumstances and took temporary custody of the children.
Fight in Progress / Public Intoxication - Subjects Arrested
January 23 at 1:44 a.m., officers responded to a night club in the 300 block of South Myrtle regarding a fight in progress.  Upon arrival, several patrons were gathered to the front of the business and to the rear parking lot.  No fight was observed and no victims came forward; however, two male subjects were obviously intoxicated and were arrested and taken into custody. 
Vandalism / Destruction of City Property
January 24 at 8:30 a.m., officers went to the 400 block of East Duarte regarding the vandalism and destruction of city property.  The officer found the lock to the location had been cut off. The property was checked, but no suspects were found.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
January 24 at 9:15 a.m., a resident in the 400 block of East Duarte saw a male and female subject on his neighbor's property.  He closed the gate to secure the couple inside the fenced in area.  The male suspect became combative and forced the gate open.  During the confrontation, the victim was struck on the head with a cordless drill.  The suspects fled the location.  A search of the area was conducted for the suspects, but they were not located.  The victim did not require medical attention.  The investigation is continuing.

Portantino on Film Commission / Boys Soccer

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been named to the state film commission.
Boys Soccer: Monrovia 3, Temple City 3 :-|
- Brad Haugaard

Cutting California's Budget - A Lesson from Monrovia

I've been following Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa's colorful - and, I think, mostly correct - fulminations against the California state government, but I sympathize with Governor Brown's predicament: how to balance the state budget. Therefore, I would like to make a little proposal - based on an experience right here in Monrovia - to make a small cut in the state's expenses.
My proposal: Tell the Division of the State Architect to stop overseeing school construction. The DSA's task, according to its home page ( ), is to "provide design and construction oversight for K–12 schools and community colleges throughout the State of California." But to the best I can determine, the main result of its oversight is to waste school districts' time and money.
This oversight requirement is insulting and wasteful:

- It is insulting: The point of the DSA's oversight appears to be to ensure that new construction will be in compliance with Title 24 ( ), some state energy-saving rules ( ). But requiring Sacramento to review schools' construction plans is like spitting in the faces of the cities' and counties' planning departments. It is saying they are either a bunch of stupid hicks who can't understand and enforce Title 24, or that they can't be trusted to enforce the law.

- It is wasteful. A few years ago a community group headed by Ed Gililland, now president of the Monrovia Board of Education, wanted to build a snack bar at Monrovia High School. This little building had to be approved by the Division of the State Architect. A snack bar! If I remember correctly, it got stuck in the state bureaucracy for years, while all the time the cost of construction was rising, while all the time the students were deprived of the use of a new snack bar.

Solution: Do away with the oversight part of the DSA and turn it over to local planning departments, where it belonged in the first place. Eliminating pointless enforcement will save the state money and will save local school districts unnecessary and expensive delays in new construction.

Just a gripe I've wanted to air for years.

- Brad Haugaard

Not So Fast on Monrovia Logo / Waste Roundup / Black History / AeroVironment / Green Dot

~ Oops! New Monrovia city logo was never approved by City Council.
~ Hazardous waste roundup scheduled for Saturday, March 5 at  the park and ride Lot, Myrtle at Pomona Avenues. Details:
~ Black History Month will feature photos at Monrovia Historical Museum. 

~ Milbank Manufacturing Co. of Kansas City, Missouri, has selected Monrovia's AeroVironment electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for its customers.
~ Monrovia's Green Dot Corporation, a leading prepaid financial services company,  has won four 2011 PayBefore Awards: Best Prepaid Program Media Advertising, Best Web Sales Channel, Best Consumer Value in Prepaid, and Best Third Party Prepaid Product Retailer.
- Brad Haugaard

Friends of Monrovia Library Cheap Books

Selected adult books and media half-price in February at the Friends of Monrovia Library book store (right in the front door and to the left at the library). Look for items with red dots on the spine. MonroviaOpoly game also on sale - $25.