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What Happened With Monrovia Pavilions Roof

The Fire Department reports that:

"At 4:45 p.m. on June 23, Engine 101 responded to a reported roof collapse at Vons Pavilions. Upon arrival, firefighters found a large area of ceiling tiles that were buckling or had fallen due to an HVAC unit that had broken loose from the supports."

"According to store personnel, additional solar panels had been recently added to the existing panels. ... Fortunately, a Vons facilities manager was local and he quickly dispatched a shoring company to stabilize the roof."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Sites Closed for the Fourth

~ Monrovia Public Library will be closed Friday, July 1, until Tuesday, July 5.
~ Canyon Park and the Hillside Wilderness Preserve will be closed from Saturday, July 2, through Monday, July 4.
~ City offices and the Community Center will be closed July 4.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Manager: The State as Extortionist

In his weekly report (out early this time) the always colorful Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa compares the recent state budget to "extortion as practiced by organized crime as it preys on independent businesses." He said Monrovia would have to pay the state $1.1 million in "protection money" up front and an additional $400,000 every year thereafter.
Ochoa is objecting to a pair of bills, one which eliminates redevelopment agencies and the second that restores those that "voluntarily" contribute money to the state. He said the measures are "illegal and unconstitutional" and would be challenged in court.


- Brad Haugaard

Heron in Monrovia Canyon Park

I saw this bird wading in the Sawpit Debris Basin near Canyon Park today. I think it is a heron, but my opinion on such matters is for the birds.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Columnist Objects to Library Cuts

In her regular Star-News column (not yet on line), Charlotte Schamadan objects to the Board of Education's decision to cut library hours at Monrovia schools. She said it is true the board can't raise money, "but they can decide which need gets what percentage from the budget pot. And they shortchanged the libraries. ..."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library Gets Painted Bear | Legal Challenges to Killing Redevelopment | In-N-Out Is Out

~ The painted bear, "Bearlovian Paradise," will find a home in the youth area at the Monrovia Library. The bear is adorned with lots of other animals, including a squashed rat.

~ Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz comments about the Legislature abolishing redevelopment on her Facebook page:

"The BAD NEWS: The Senate and Assembly voted to Eliminate Redevelopment! We are hopeful legal remedies will correct this. The GOOD NEWS: Monrovia's Representatives - Senator Bob Huff, Assembly Member Tim Donnelly and Assembly Member Anthony Portantino really came through for us. Not only did they NOT vote for AB 1X26 & AB 1X27 (which eliminated redevelopment), they continued to support their local constitutes by NOT voting for SB 87.   Partticularly for Assembly Member Portantino this was a very brave thing to do; to put your constitutes ahead of political powers! Please show them you gratitude! This is the kind of representation we need for our city now and in the future! Join us: THANK YOU!!"

~ An agreement to bring an In-N-Out to town nearly fell apart, but negotiations back on. . UPDATE: Oops, negotions did fall apart:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Marijuana Chemistry Goes Wrong, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 23-28. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last six-day period, the Police Department handled 541 service events, resulting in 77 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
National Night Out Against Crime
On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, neighborhoods throughout Monrovia have been invited to join forces with over 34 million people from thousands of communities nationwide who will be participating in the Annual National Night Out Against Crime.  This event is designed to:  1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; 2) Generate support and participation in local anti-crime efforts; 3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community relations; and 4) Send a message to criminals, letting them know that our neighborhoods are organized and are fighting back.  This event will also kick off the start of our new "Keep Kids Alive Drive 25" residential speeding traffic safety campaign.
Structure Failure
On June 23 at 4:45 p.m., police were called to the Vons Pavilion's store in the 100 block of West Foothill regarding a structure failure.  A loud bang was heard and the roof began to collapse.  The Police and Fire Departments responded and helped to evacuate the building.  There were no injuries.  The air conditioning unit had a water leak and had weakened the supports.  The building recently had solar panels installed on the roof, adding weight.     
Attempt Robbery - Suspect Arrested
On June 24 at 8:00 p.m., police received a call from a female victim who reported that a male subject had tried to take her purse by force in the 700 block of East Huntington.  The suspect failed and fled the area out of sight.  The suspect was seen on video surveillance approaching the victim and trying to take her purse.  The video provided a good image of the suspect, which was given to officers.  During the investigation, an officer located a subject matching the description, and the victim and a witness positively identified the suspect.  He was arrested, and during a subsequent interview, admitted to the offense.
Chemical Extraction / Chemical Synthesis of a Controlled Substance
On June 24 at 8:45 p.m., the Fire Department was dispatched to an apartment complex in the 700 block of West Foothill regarding a burn victim.  When they arrived, they were told a male and female were burned while cooking in the kitchen, but there was no evidence to support their statements, the firemen requested police.  The burn victims had already been transported to a hospital when officers arrived. 
During the investigation, officers discovered what initially appeared to be a pipe bomb.  Further examination and questioning of the male victim revealed the item was not a pipe bomb, but a homemade plastic device used to extract a chemical from marijuana.  The male subject had researched the process online.  During the process, the gases from the chemicals located an ignition source from a wall heater and ignited.  The female subject suffered burns to her lower legs.  The male subject sustained 2nd degree burns to 25 percent of his body, which included his arms, face and back.  The investigation is continuing.  Charges will be filed with the District Attorney's office. 
Grand Theft Auto Recovery - Suspect Arrested
On June 25 at 3:12 a.m., an officer was traveling west in the 100 block of West Huntington.  A computer check of the license plate indicated the vehicle was stolen.  The officer made a u-turn and the driver turned around and headed west.  The officer waited for additional units to arrive and then conducted a traffic stop.  During the investigation, it was discovered the vehicle was reported stolen out of San Gabriel from a rental car company.  The driver was taken into custody without incident and the investigation is continuing.
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
On June 25 at 11:38 p.m., an officer was approached by a citizen who reported a vehicle screeching its tires in the Albertson's parking lot in the 700 block of East Huntington.  The vehicle was currently in the drive through line at a fast food restaurant.  The officer followed the vehicle as it left the area, heading east on Huntington and then south on Mountain.  The driver was traveling at 50 miles per hour on Mountain before the driver was stopped.  During the investigation, the driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. 
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
On June 26 at 2:03 a.m., an officer was in the area of Foothill and Mayflower when she noticed a vehicle traveling north on Mayflower failed to stop for a red signal as the driver turned east on Foothill.  The driver was stopped in the 400 block of West Foothill.  During the investigation, the driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested.
Hit and Run Traffic Collision / City Property Damage
On June 26 at 4:46 a.m., officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Terrace Drive regarding a water problem.  When officers arrived, they discovered a vehicle had struck a fire hydrant.  Officers followed wet tire marks left by the vehicle up a driveway and spoke with the resident, who admitted striking the hydrant while backing out of his driveway. 
Residential Burglary - Suspect Arrested
On June 26 at 7:21 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of North Canyon regarding a burglary.  This location was being fumigated and was tented.  An employee of the fumigation company arrived to inspect the location and noticed a large tear in the back of the tent.  He looked through the tear and saw two assault rifles and a baseball cap on the ground, between the tent and the exterior of the residence.  Investigation revealed the home was burglarized and the two assault rifles belonged to the resident.  The resident reported that he owned a .22 caliber pistol that was also inside the house.  Because of the chemicals used for the fumigation, the homeowner could not enter to conduct an inventory of his property and officers could not enter to clear the house.  The assault rifles were recovered and placed into evidence for safe keeping. 
Several hours later, a Glendale police officer stopped a bicyclist in their city.  The bicyclist was found to be in possession of the homeowner's .22 caliber pistol.  The bicyclist is a former Monrovia resident that is currently transient.  Glendale Police Department recovered the pistol and arrested the bicyclist. 
Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling
On June 26 at 9:31 p.m., police dispatch received several 9-1-1 calls regarding shots fired in the 900 block of West Colorado.  One victim was reported to have been shot.   A blue BMW occupied by four male subjects was seen parked near the apartment complex.  The male victim was on the second story balcony of an apartment, and several shots were fired in his direction.  The victim sustained gunshot wounds to his right leg and knee.  The shots were fired from inside the apartment complex front gate.  The shooter was not seen.  The BMW then fled the scene in an unknown direction.  The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment; his injuries are not life threatening.  The blue BMW is a vehicle of interest at this point.  The investigation is continuing. 
Domestic Battery - Suspect Arrested
On June 26 at 10:54 p.m., officers were sent to a residence in the 100 block of West Cherry regarding a family disturbance.  The investigation revealed that an argument had occurred between a husband and wife, resulting in the husband pushing the wife to the ground.  The wife sustained visible red marks on her back.  The husband was arrested for spousal battery and taken into custody.  The wife was issued an emergency protective order, which was served to the husband before he was released on citation.
Domestic Battery - Suspects Arrested
On June 27 at 1:30 a.m., officers were sent to a residence in the 500 block of South Magnolia regarding a family disturbance.  The investigation revealed a pushing match between a boyfriend and girlfriend, resulting in minor visible injuries to both parties.  The boyfriend was arrested for spousal battery and taken into custody.  Due to medical issues, a verified complaint request was completed on the female subject for spousal battery and will be submitted to the District Attorney's office for review.  During the course of this investigation, a male associate of the couple was present.  A computer check revealed he had a want issued by the Monrovia Police Department for spousal abuse; he was also arrested and taken into custody. 
Grand Theft - Suspect Arrested
On June 28 at 8:28 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the Home Depot in the 1600 block of South Mountain regarding a subject detained for shoplifting.  The value of the items the subject had concealed in his pockets totaled $975.00.  The loss prevention officer completed a private person's arrest, and the suspect was taken into custody.
Delaying and Obstructing a Peace Officer / Mental Evaluation
On June 28 at 8:30 a.m., officers responded to the report of a male subject throwing items and yelling at cars.  He was last seen north on Myrtle heading toward Huntington.  When the officer arrived, the subject ran north on Myrtle to Walnut and a foot pursuit began.  A detective tried to intercept the subject, but the subject swung at him several times.  The subject ran east on Walnut, stopped, and tried to run again, but was taken into custody.  The subject was not under the influence, but was determined to require mental evaluation.  The subject was cited and taken to a hospital, where he was held for mental evaluation.
Residential Burglary
On June 28 at 1:39 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of Bradbury regarding a possible break-in.  The reporting party stated she and her mother left the residence at 10:30 a.m. and locked the front door, which is not visible from the street.  When they returned, they found the front door had been forced open and they called police.  Officers cleared the home and found the master bedroom ransacked.  Some jewelry had been taken. 
Residential Burglary
On June 28 at 7:10 p.m., residents in the 600 block of Parkrose left their home on June 24 and were gone for several days.  When they returned on June 28, they found their home had been burglarized.  Unknown suspect(s) pried open the backdoor and ransacked the interior of the location.  Two handguns and items of jewelry were stolen.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Summer Concerts | McFarland Pleads 'Not Guilty'

~ The Delgado Brothers kick off Monrovia's summer concert series this Fourth of July. 
~ Monrovian, McFarland, pleads not guilty in kidnapping case.
- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: California Budget Dumbness

This has barely been reported yet, so even though it is California news and not specifically Monrovia, I thought I'd comment on it.

At a time when the state needs every penny it can get, the state's proposed budget has a provision that will actually cut state revenue by eliminating taxable income going to thousands of California companies and individuals.

The proposed budget has a provision that would require to collect sales tax on sales it makes to California residents.

Now, there is a good case to be made that it is unfair for physical stores to have to collect sales tax while online, out-of-state, retailers do not to have to do that, but Amazon is a Washington corporation, and California law does not have jurisdiction over Washington unless Amazon has a physical presence in California.

And it does! It has "associates," which are  California individuals or companies that make money by promoting Amazon products.

But, while it does have that physical presence, it won't for long.

Amazon has just sent a notice to all its California affiliates saying it "will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective." (I know this because as an associate - who hasn't made a dime in a decade - I got the letter.)

So, the only thing that will change is that more Californians will be unemployed (or underemployed) and as a result the state will collect less income tax. Amazon can still sell to Californians and still does not need to collect California sales tax.

Again, I agree the current situation is unfair, but this is just dumb and makes matters worse.

UPDATE - Well, the dumbness is now official. This, from Amazon: "Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High's Bueno Shines | Portantino Bill Advances | Donnelly Claims Budget Victory | More on Fourth

~ MHS football star, Nick Bueno, shines in San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Game.

~ An Assembly bill, introduced by state Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, to create a system to report how colleges are doing financially and educationally, has been approved by the state Senate Education Committee.

~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, said of the latest state budget: "The people won a major battle today. We blocked the Governor's plan to extend the temporary tax increase, forcing the budget to be balanced without hiking your taxes."

~ Here's the flyer for the Fourth of July in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Will Monrovia be in a Lonnnng Assembly District?

Could Monrovia be lumped in an Assembly district stretching from La Canada-Flintridge to Upland and Rancho Cucamonga? That's a proposal before the redistricting commission.

- Brad Haugaard

Where to Light Fireworks

You can't shoot off fireworks in Monrovia on the Fourth, but you can just over the border in Duarte, El Monte, Azusa or Irwindale. Be careful! Also, don't miss the Monrovia fireworks show. It was fabulous last year, and, personally, I'd rather watch that than light a sparkler. Here is a list of cities where you can (and cannot) use fireworks.

- Brad Haugaard

Spanish/Basque Restaurant Coming to Monrovia

Sena on Myrtle, a Spanish/Basque restaurant, is coming to Monrovia. . The food sounds pretty good - filet mignon or lobster tacos anyone?
- Brad Haugaard

History: Pro Boxing and Wrestling in Monrovia

It used to be a big thing in the San Gabriel Valley. Fighters could make a living at it.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator: State Budget Like Harry Potter Magic | Redevelopment Killed - Almost

State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, writes about "the latest Democrat attempt to pass a Majority Vote budget." He says, "The new proposal from the Governor and legislative Democrats assumes that $4 billion will automatically appear on top of the $6.6 billion increase that has already been projected. That’s nearly $11 billion in new revenue that the Democrats assume will magically appear. That’s a wand that Harry Potter would be proud to wield.
And Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz writes on her Facebook page: "They've done it! The Assembly and Senate voted to eliminate Redevelopment! It's not over. Protect Local Government... Protect Redevelopment. Join Us!!!"
She includes a link to this protect-redevelopment site:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia in The Atlantic Magazine | Portantino's Bill Goes Forward

~ The Atlantic magazine reports on the premier showing of "Courage" in Monrovia on Sunday. With video clip of movie.
~ A bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino to ban the 'open carry' of guns heads to State Senate floor. Portantino represents part of Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Will Monrovia Be Chopped in Half at Foothill? | Will PD Lose Money?

Also, in his weekly letter ( ), Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa writes:
~ that the most recent redistricting maps show "a united Monrovia for State Senate and Assembly districts, but a split community for the Congressional map. The dividing line would be Foothill Boulevard. For Monrovia's part, we submitted a letter emphasizing that the City Council wishes to be included into one district for Assembly, Senate and Congressional purposes.
~ that through the state budget process, the Monrovia Police Department could lose $100,000. "Our Finance Division is working with the PD to ensure a workable response if this comes to pass."
He adds that State Controller John Chiang's refusal to pay state legislators - whom Chiang says failed to come up with a balanced budget - "should put a serious fire under the Legislature to get something done."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Responds to Star-News Criticism

Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa, in his weekly report, includes the City Council's letter in response to the Star-News editorial criticizing the city in the Monrovia/Gold Line conflict.
The letter says the Gold Line Construction Authority knew the history of the disputed property, said that the city's agreement with an unhappy property owner should not be an impediment to the Gold Line acquiring the property, and asks: " [W]hy should our residents shoulder an additional financial burden on top of accepting the M&O Facility in the first place?"
Full letter here:
- Brad Haugaard

Regulation of Boot Camps

A Star-News story about efforts to have regulatory oversight of boot-camp style programs for difficult-to-handle kids, such as the camp run by Kelvin McFarland of Monrovia, who has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Summer Art Walk

A decorated bear and other art along Myrtle at tonight's art walk.

- Brad Haugaard

Chase Bank on Old Monrovia Spire's Restaurant Site

It appears the old Spires restaurant site on Huntington will be occupied by a Chase bank branch.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Leader Mimi Mency Dies

Mimi Mency, the first black Monrovia school board member, has died.

- Brad Haugaard

Asking Trader Joe to Donate Food

An LA film director is trying to persuade Monrovia-based Trader Joe's to donate soon-to-expire food rather than trash it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Summer Art Show

Deconstructed Orange Juice

"Tell Us a Story," a summer group art show at Segil Fine Art, now through August 20. 110 W. Lime, just south of the Library.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at ABC Hawaiian BBQ

ABC is in the Pavillions parking lot. I got the Seafood Mix - shrimp, mahi mahi and (surprise) chicken. Don't usually like breaded stuff, but this was pretty good. I liked it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Market Closed This Morning | Chamber Forms 'Collaborative' Groups

~ The Monrovia Pavillions supermarket is closed this morning with the doors blocked with yellow tape and a sign that says it will open later this afternoon. A peek in the window appeared to show a plastic sheet over a portion of the market's ceiling as if there has been a problem with some of the ceiling tiles.

~ The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce is forming a series of "Collaborative Networking Groups," groups of like-minded business people who want to work together on specific interests.

- Brad Haugaard

Tea Party TV Show to Debut in Monrovia

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pilot movie "Courage, New Hampshire," which will initially screen at the Krikorian this Sunday ( ), is apparently part of a TV series created by a Pasadena Tea Party duo who have formed their own production company. Details:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Cupcake Council Meeting | Fit Plymouth Students

~ Monrovia has a cupcake City Council meeting.

~ Plymouth School finalist in Governor's Fitness Contest.

- Brad Haugaard

Senator Huff: How About People Voting on Pension Reform, Too?

State Senator Bob Huff - who represents Monrovia - and other Republican senators challenged Governor Brown, saying that if Brown wants the people to vote on keeping the tax he wants, how about letting them also vote on pension reform and a spending cap as well.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Pursuit, Stalking, Hit and Run, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for June 16-21 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 540 service events, resulting in 92 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Grand Theft Auto / Residential Burglary / Pursuit – Suspect Arrested

On June 17, 2011, the Special Enforcement Team (SET) received information that a suspect with a stolen vehicle was in the southwest area of our city. Members of SET and patrol responded to the area and found the moving vehicle in the 800 block of West Huntington. The vehicle was being driven by a male adult. Members of the Special Enforcement Team attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle fled from the officers and a short pursuit ensued.

In an effort to evade officers, the fleeing suspect drove at high rates of speed and ran several red lights. The suspect then purposely sideswiped several parked cars on a residential street. He then turned the wrong way on a one way street into oncoming traffic. The suspect slowed down in the 200 block of East Central and then jumped out of the vehicle while it was still moving. A short foot pursuit followed, and the suspect was caught and arrested. The vehicle the suspect was driving had been stolen from Altadena. The vehicle contained personal property which had been stolen in residential burglaries in Altadena and Glendora. The suspect had items stolen from these burglaries on his person when arrested. See Detective Bureau Case Follow-up section below.

Child Annoying / Stalking – Suspect Arrested

July 17 at 10:57 p.m., a 17-year-old female subject ran into a gas station in the 800 block of East Huntington. She asked the clerk for help because she was being followed by a male adult. The police were called. The victim reported that she was walking eastbound on Huntington at Mayflower when a male subject approached her numerous times and kept hugging her. She pushed him away, but he continued to follow her. The suspect also made attempts to pull her into parking lots as she tried to get away. At one point, the suspect approached her and she kicked him in the groin and ran to the gas station.

An officer located the suspect, who was still in the area of Huntington and Mountain, and detained him. The suspect told the officer he had followed the female because she was attractive, and he thought she was flirting with him. He also stated he did not know the victim was a juvenile. The suspect was taken to his vehicle, which he had left parked in the 400 block of West Huntington. Officers searched the suspect’s vehicle, but no additional evidence was located. The suspect was arrested. Information was sent out to police agencies regarding the description of the suspect and vehicle.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision

June 18 at 4:03 p.m., a black Toyota collided into the left side of another vehicle and the driver drove away, west on Huntington, without stopping to exchange information. The victim was able to get the license plate number, which is registered to a residence in the 1600 block of South Mayflower, Monrovia. Officers went to that address, but the vehicle was not there. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary

June 21 at 9:05 p.m., a resident in the 300 block of South Fifth reported someone entered his vehicle by prying the door open and then pried open the console. The crime occurred sometime between June 19 and 20. There was no loss.

Vehicle Burglary

June 21 at 11:55 p.m., an officer heard a vehicle alarm activate in the lot across the street from the police station in the 100 block of Lime. He located a vehicle that had a smashed window. He also located two witnesses who were walking through the lot when the crime occurred. The vehicle was registered to a business in the 100 block of East Lime. When the victim arrived, he learned the suspect’s description and realized it matched an employee who had quit his job that same day. Later that day, the victim received a phone call from the ex-employee/suspect. The suspect apologized to the victim and offered to make restitution.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Criminal Threat

On June 22 at 11:26 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Almond. The caller reported that his 15-year-old sister had a knife and had threatened to kill him and his other sister. When officers arrived, the subject no longer had the knife. Officers determined crimes had been committed and detained the suspect. She was arrested and brought to the station, and later taken to Eastlake Juvenile Detention Center.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon

June 23 at 5:22 a.m., police received a report of two males fighting at a residence in the 500 block of East Foothill. One of the men threatened the other with a machete and was arrested by officers. There were no injuries.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coach Quits Because of Parents | School District Cuts Dozens of Employees | Brazing Tool

~ Randy Medina quits as Monrovia softball coach. His staff, too. Says it was because of some parents.

~ As expected, the Monrovia School Board cut dozens of employees due to budget constraints.

~ Monrovia company, Miyachi Unitec, showcases brazing tool to help make solar panels.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assemblyman Pleased About No Pay for Legislators

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, seems pleased with "State Controller John Chiang's decision to uphold State law by withholding the Legislators' pay until they pass a truly balanced budget."

He writes that "the people have won this battle," and "it is time for the Legislature to get to work making tough choices to live within our means and stop whining that they will feel the same pressure every Californian feels when the budget is late."


- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Councilman Called to Active Duty | E-Recycling

~ Monrovia City Councilman Shaw has been called onto active duty in the Army.

~ There will be an e-recycling event at the corner of Myrtle and W. Pomona Ave. (south of freeway) on July 30, 31, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line and Monrovia Try to Work It Out

It appears both the Gold Line and Monrovia are backing away from a fight.

Gold Line spokesman Habib Balian writes that the Gold Line Construction Authority "has deferred eminent domain action on city/redevelopment agency land" and "has instructed its negotiators to explore with city officials work-arounds that satisfy both City and Authority interests."
Balian said the action was taken in response to the Monrovia City Council tabling any action regarding the proposed Gold Line property acquisition.
"The Authority," he writes, "remains hopeful that negotiations will produce a result that is satisfactory to all parties."
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge About to be Built

Bridge detour: Looks like Foothill Boulevard is going to get pretty hairy.

The Gold Line Construction Authority will begin work on the 210 bridge (just west of the eastbound Santa Anita exit) in the coming weeks.

Here are sections from the press release:

The first step will be to prepare the site and provide access for the large construction equipment. The center median slope will be removed and a temporary retaining wall will be built to support the westbound lanes. This work will take approximately a month to complete. Once the retaining wall is installed, work will begin on the bridge's foundations.

Initial foundation work will consist of drilling several deep steel-reinforced concrete foundations (called piles) ranging in size from 3 to 11 feet in diameter and up to 110 feet below ground. Once the foundations are ready, construction of the bridge structure itself will begin in the Fall. To protect the freeway during the year-long construction, a temporary support (called falsework) will be installed across the eastbound freeway lanes.  

As construction begins, the Authority will be preparing bi-weekly construction notices as well as sending construction alerts when eastbound freeway closures are anticipated. Attached is the first bi-weekly notice (for June 27 through July 2011). 

To sign up to receive future notices directly, click here ( ) or keep checking the Authority website for the latest construction news.  If you want to receive closure alerts, don't forget to provide your cell phone number.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Going Strong | Gold Line Analysis

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment fourth quarter profit greater than expected.

~ Thoughtful news analysis of the Monrovia/Gold Line battle by Patch Editor Nathan McIntire.

- Brad Haugaard

Ramirez Remains on Monrovia High Team

Football player De'Shawn Ramirez decides to remain a Wildcat.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Unity Center to Prep Kids for School

On August 18, Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center will hold its 13th annual Back to School Fair to give 2,000 low-income K-12 students a new backpack, clothing and school supplies, plus, dental screenings, haircuts, manicures, activities, snacks and music. [Cool! That's better than I ever got.] If you can volunteer or donate, call the Unity Center at 626-358-3486.

- Brad Haugaard

Selling Gold? Take Care

With gold at astronomical heights, companies are popping up offering to buy gold. The Monrovia Business License Division wants you to know that legitimate gold businesses must be licensed through the California Department of Justice and the weighing scales should have a blue label from the LA County Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards. Details here:
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Threatens to Take Monrovia Property

This morning Monrovia received notices of a "Proposed Eminent Domain Proceeding" from the Gold Line Construction Authority, according to Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa, writing in his weekly report.
In a nutshell, this means the Gold Line is moving ahead in its plans to take Monrovia property without the approval of the Monrovia City Council. Ochoa said the Gold Line's board will meet  on July 5 to consider doing this.
Ochoa adds: "In the shadow of a condemnation action, our willingness and ability to reach out to GLCA is limited at best. Though we still communicate with them about the project, it is becoming more apparent that our interests have diverged."
And, "I am hopeful that an agreement can still be reached that allows Monrovia to sustain the deal that we negotiated in good faith. I am more confident, however, in our ability to effectively defend our community's interests against an action by GLCA."
- Brad Haugaard

Eminent Domain Against Monrovia? | Star-News Whacks City Council

Will the Gold Line use eminent domain against Monrovia ( )? And today's Star-News editorial whacks Monrovia in its property dispute with the Gold Line:

OPINION: While not totally in disagreement with the Star-News editorial, there are three things I'd like to mention in Monrovia's defense:

1. The S-N says Monrovia will benefit from the proposed maintenance yard, which is undoubtedly true, but it will also be hurt by the maintenance yard because - as I seem to recall Councilman Tom Adams saying - part of the land is now private (read "taxable") and once it is transferred to the Gold Line (a governmental entity) it becomes non-taxable, meaning no more tax from that land going to the city from now until, well ... forever.

2. The S-N correctly points out that the maintenance yard could bring jobs and people to Monrovia. Yeah, but if a private developer opened a large business in the same location, that would do the same thing, so I'm not sure there is a net benefit from a maintenance yard. 

3. If it is - all things considered - a benefit to Monrovia, why did no other city along the line volunteer to have the yard?

Still, I agree with the general thrust of the editorial, which is that we really need to see this fight resolved.

- Brad Haugaard

UPDATE: Councilman Tom Adams responds: 


 Please keep in mind that there are always alternatives to Monrovia giving in on this.

 1) The maintenance of the trains could continue right where it is today, in Los Angeles. That yard serves the MTA rolling stock well and can for many years to come.

 2) The yard could be built in one of our neighboring communities rather than our neighbors ganging up on Monrovia and threatening to file a lawsuit for our unwillingness to do what they won't.

 As for the S-N talking about jobs, far less will be created at the yard than would be created in a business other than the yard, so Monrovia actually would lose jobs by taking the yard. Taxes, well none will be paid. 50 years from now when someone calls the paramedics to the yard, that cost will be subsidized by the Monrovia taxpayers, no one else.

 We all want the Gold Line to come but at what price? Does the S-N and others really think that Monrovia should bear this burden alone? Let's see, Los Angeles says it wants the current yard out of their city, none of the cities on the extension want it, everyone seems to want the yard in Monrovia and they all know at what price we should take what they won't.

 I don't think this passes the smell test.

Monrovia Schools 'Qualified' (Not a Good Thing) | 10-Day Pinto Baseball | Business Recycling

~ Monrovia School District assigned "qualified" status, meaning it may not meet financial obligations. 
~ The Monrovia Youth Baseball League is hosting a Regional Pinto Level Baseball Tournament at the Santa Fe Fields featuring over 20 baseball teams from all over.  Many parent volunteers have spent many hours making getting the field and the grounds ready.  Games start today and last for the next 10 days. (Thanks for the news, Jack).
~ Business Refuse & Recycling Workshop, Monday, June 20, 2011 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Monrovia Community Center. Details here:
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino and Wagner Make Up

A picture ( ) of Assemblyman Donald Wagner (R) making up with Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D), who represents part of Monrovia. Wagner compared the budget process to something out of The Sopranos and, as an Italian-American, Portantino objected. Nice to see political foes being personally friendly.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School District Enrollment Declining

I snagged part of a form from the School District's budget report. (Sorry, I excluded row labels.) It shows a projected steady decline in school enrollment and average daily attendance - from now through 2013-14. Not encouraging.

- Brad Haugaard

Dozens of Monrovia School Employees May be Laid Off | Salary Cuts forTeachers | MHS Construction Almost Done

At its June 22, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda here:, the Monrovia Board of Education will ..

~ Consider laying off a bunch of full- and part-time workers, including seven library people, 32 instructional aides, one instructional assistant, and two clerical assistants.  See the list here:

~ Consider adopting a budget that asks the employees to continue a 3 percent cut and six furlough days a year, though that needs ratification by the teachers' association. Note the picture as well - the dollar numbers in parentheses on the "Net Revenue Over Expenditures" line are negative (i.e. - bad).

~ Hear a construction report for Monrovia High, which appears seems to indicate that the only things remaining to do are the graduation sound system, press box, the old science building, front entrance improvements, and the wrestling/old ceramics building. It should all be done this July.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at MoonCat

MoonCat is cute, tiny place on Lime just off Myrtle. Got an Unagi (eel) rice bowl. Tasty.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Book Club Forming

If you enjoy reading and chatting about books, a new book club is forming at the Monrovia Library. The organizational meeting is Tuesday June 21, from 7-8 p.m. in the Storytime Room. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Loosening Up on Massage Parlors | Eagle Scout | Gold Line |Lower Tax | Higher Tax | Zone Change

At its June 21, 7:30 p.m. meeting the City Council will:

~ Consider loosening rules on massage parlors in keeping with new state law. The staff report says that "the proposed ordinance significantly lessens the City’s land use regulatory authority over businesses that provide massage services, both in location limitations and entitlement requirements."

~ Honor Monrovia Eagle Scout Jeffrey Ramos, whose Eagle Project involved planning, designing and installing the "Fountain to the Falls" route signs. It was the route followed by nearly 300 runners and walkers for the first "Fountain to the Falls" run/walk.

~ Hold a hearing on the proposed sale of land to the Gold Line.

~ Consider a lower tax rate for a citywide assessment district - an average of three cents less than before. Who said taxes always go up? (See picture.)

~ Oops! Discuss allowing Athens Disposal to have a rate increase, based on cost of living increases and increased dumping fees. (See other picture.)

~ Consider a zone change to help along the "Rose Gardens at Santa Teresita," which will be made up of "Senior Housing and Care Facilities in the Cities of Monrovia (2.7 acres) and Duarte (9.3 acres)."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Transformer Fire, Theft, Robbery, Assault, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 9-15. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 567 service events, resulting in 86 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Vehicle Burglary
On June 9 at 7:19 p.m., officers responded to a hotel in the 700 block of West Huntington regarding a Toyota 4Runner that had a window smashed.  A laptop computer was taken from the vehicle.  The burglary occurred between 5:30 and 7:19 p.m.
72-Hour Mental Evaluation
On June 9 at 11:01 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of West Palm regarding a subject who claimed to have overdosed on pills.  His girlfriend reported he had left the location and was now calling her, repeatedly, and leaving text messages, stating he took pills and wanted to die.  The subject was located by officers at Huntington and California.  He was taken to a hospital and placed on a 72-hour hold for mental evaluation.
Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence - Driver Arrested
On June 10 at 3:59 a.m., officers responded to the report of a solo vehicle traffic collision at Myrtle and Huntington.  A witness stated that the vehicle was eastbound on Huntington at a high rate of speed when it hit the east curb of Myrtle, just south of Huntington.  The vehicle flipped around and landed facing west on the sidewalk.  The driver did not sustain any injuries, but he was determined to be intoxicated.  He was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Residential Burglary
On June 10 at 10:06 p.m., a resident left home at approximately 8:15 a.m. and returned home at 9:45 p.m.  When she returned, she found the back sliding door leading into the family room wide open.  The family room and master bedroom were ransacked.  A laptop computer and miscellaneous jewelry were taken.  The suspect entered through the unlocked, back sliding door.
Receiving Stolen Property - Suspect Arrested
On June 11 at 8:31 p.m., an officer saw a bicyclist wearing dark clothing and carrying a backpack in the area of Monterey and Olive, riding on the wrong side of the roadway.  The officer detained the subject regarding the violation and discovered the bicycle he was riding was stolen.  The victim of the stolen bicycle reported the theft to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Temple Station.  The subject was arrested for receiving stolen property.  The subject also had miscellaneous tools inside of his backpack, but possession of burglary tools could not be established.
Missing Hikers
On June 13 at 7:31 a.m., a female subject called from Canyon Park to report that her boyfriend and a friend of his went on a hike a day ago and had not returned.  She said the two men were going to Rincon to retrieve the friend's backpack they had left behind on a hike several days prior.  Officers responded and Sierra Madre Search & Rescue was notified.  Search and Rescue and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter searched and located the two men, safe and in good health. 
Vehicle Burglary
On June 13 at 1:46 p.m., the victim of a vehicle burglary came in to the police department lobby to make a report.  He lives in the 200 block of Jasmine.  He had parked his vehicle in its assigned parking stall after midnight on June 4 and used his keyless remote to lock it.  He returned to the vehicle at about 8:00 a.m. to go to work without realizing someone had broken into it.  He later discovered his iPod and other property was missing. 
Delaying a Peace Officer / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
On June 13 at 2:14 p.m., officers went to a business in the 400 block West Foothill regarding two male subjects sitting in a vehicle, possibly selling drugs.  An officer arrived and detained the male and a female occupant of the vehicle and a second male subject standing outside of the vehicle.  The investigation did not reveal any drugs; however, the female provided a false name to officers and was found to be in possession of two syringes she uses to inject heroin.  The male subjects were identified and the female arrested.  
Grand Theft
On June 13 at 2:42 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of West Walnut regarding theft of copper worth $1500.00.  It appears the suspects entered the yard of the location by jumping over a fence adjacent to an alley.  The suspects pried open a door and removed a spool of copper wire.
On June 13 at 3:54 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain regarding a subject who was caught stealing a large amount of merchandise.  When they arrived, they determined the suspect is a juvenile.  The suspect entered the store with another adult suspect who told him he would pay him $30.00 if he pushed the cart out of the store.  The juvenile agreed and was caught.  He was arrested, booked, and later released to a parent.
Transformer Fire
On June 13 at 5:47 p.m., officers responded to the Shell Gas Station at Huntington and Monterey regarding a blown transformer that had caused a fire in the car wash and multiple traffic signals to black out.  Edison was advised and responded.  There was minimal impact to traffic as Edison advised the street could be reopened.  It appears there was a short in an underground power line.
Vehicle Theft
On June 14 at 1:39 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 600 block of West Huntington.  The reporting party told the officer that on June 1 at about 2:28 p.m. they parked their forklift to the rear of the business.  She was off for a few days and returned on June 5 and noted the forklift was not there.  She figured it had been picked up for maintenance.  On June 11 she returned to work and the forklift was still not at the business.  She called United Rentals, the owner of the forklift, to ascertain if they had picked it up for service and they did not have it.  She reviewed surveillance tapes and found that on June 5 a male Hispanic suspect, wearing a black shirt, white shorts, white sox, and black shoes stole the forklift. 
Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Robbery
On June 14 at 11:51 p.m., a 23-year-old, male, white victim was walking east on Fano when he was approached by a male Hispanic subject, also possibly in his twenties, about 6 foot 2 inches, thin build, wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt with dark trim.  The suspect passed by him, and the victim only remembers being struck from behind and passing out.  He came to consciousness and found his wallet had been taken.  The wallet contained $2 cash and some business cards.  The victim was taken by a friend to a hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.  Monrovia Police Department was summoned to the hospital.
Theft  From a Vehicle
On June 15 at 7:26 a.m., an officer went to the 1100 block of East Lemon.  The victim discovered his car, which they had left unlocked, had been rummaged through sometime last night or early morning.  He checked his vehicle and found the laptop and GPS system was stolen.  The investigation is continuing.
Vehicle Tampering
On June 15 at 9:24 a.m., an officer went to the 700 block of Mountain View, regarding vehicle tampering.  The victim discovered the inside of their vehicle had been ransacked.  The victim had left the doors unlocked and nothing was missing.
Theft From a Vehicle
On June 15 at 10:02 a.m., an officer went to the 1000 block of East Lemon.  The victim walked outside of their home and discovered their vehicle had been ransacked during the night or early morning.  The victim had left the doors unlocked.  The victim's in-dash digital television had been stolen along with speakers in a box from the truck.  The investigation is continuing.

96% of Monrovia Grads to College or Military

Ninety-six percent of graduating Monrovia seniors go on to college or the military, according to Monrovia columnist Charlotte Schamadan. She says that number used to be far lower so this is "phenomenal." (I'd link to the story but it has not yet been posted.)
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia State Assemblymen and the Budget

~ State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, said that as a proud Italian-American, he was offended by another assemblyman comparing the state budget to something out of The Sopranos.

~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, said "Democrats made a mockery of the people's voice" and that the budget "raided local funds and saddled the people with illegally passed taxes that are sure to land us in court."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor Lutz vs. Gold Line | McFarland to Stand Trial |Attorney: MHS Player Not Involved in Crime

~ Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz fires back at the Gold Line in the dispute about using land in Monrovia for a rail-line maintenance yard. She writes:

"GLCA has four basic options: 1) It can pay Excalibur enough money to make it a willing seller; 2) it can condemn Excalibur's property (and Monrovia's property, for that matter); 3) it can redesign the M&O Facility to exclude Excalibur's property or 4) it can find a different location for its M&O facility."

~ Monrovian - Kelvin "Sergeant Mac" McFarland - to stand trial for kidnapping.

~ Attorney says MHS football player had nothing to do with robbery/shooting.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Gets Budget in Order | SGVCOG Director's Pay | Carbon Monoxide| Summer School

Snapshot of the good and bad of Monrovia's finances. More at the link.

~ Here is an easy slide show ( ) of Monrovia's financial situation. Unlike a certain state government that will go unmentioned, the city appears to be accommodating itself to fiscal reality and making progress, even aiming at a 20% reserve.  More documents here:
~ San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) debates whether executive director should go or stay.
~ A reminder for homeowners: State law now requires you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home by July 1 if you have a fireplace, "fossil fuel burning appliances" or attached garage. Here are details from the city:
~ Summer school at Monrovia High starts June 16, this Thursday.
- Brad Haugaard

New Home for Monrovia Vineyard | Power Outage

~ Monrovia's Live Oak Vineyard Church, which is currently meeting at the Monrovia Community Center, is building out a new home in a former industrial building at the corner of Myrtle and Cherry (two blocks south of Huntington). I drove by and it looks like a BIG place.
~ I got a note (thanks, other Brad) that a gas station on Huntington blew a transformer early this evening, which took the power out in the area. We experienced a couple momentary outages at our house as well.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Bueno to Cal Lutheran | Hearing for 'Boot Camp' Instructor

Cal Lutheran gets Monrovia football star Nick Bueno.

Preliminary hearing for Monrovia "boot camp" instructor.

- Brad Haugaard

Bear-Resistant Trash Barrels for Monrovia

Athens Services can provide bear-resistant trash barrels if you agree to a 36-month contract. The cost per barrel can be billed in 36 monthly payments of $4.99 per month (in addition to the monthly trash rate) and the barrels remain the property of Athens Services. For more information, contact Athens Services at (888) 336-6100.

- Brad Haugaard

State May Resurrect Killed Redevelopment Agencies that 'Volunteer' Money

Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa said that instead of just killing redevelopment agencies (RDAs), the state is now discussing two bills, the first of which would eliminate RDAs, and the second which would recreate them IF they "voluntarily" pledge to give money to the state.

"An interesting way to enforce compliance," Ochoa writes, "but still roundly viewed as unconstitutional."


- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Ridership Up

Habib Balian, spokesman for the Gold Line, says that "ridership is at record levels and continues to increase. Metro has now announced that in addition to the introduction of three-car trains a few months back, the frequency of trains during peak morning and afternoon periods will be increased to every six minutes in both direction (rather than 10 minutes) later this month.

- Brad Haugaard

Will Gold Line Use Eminent Domain Against Monrovia?

The disagreement between Monrovia and the Gold Line Construction Authority (GLCA) over the purchase of Monrovia land for a railway maintenance yard continues.

In his weekly report, Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa says the GLCA is "trying to force Monrovia to pay GLCA's costs to settle two lawsuits filed against GLCA by Excalibur Holdings" (a company fighting against having its property acquired by the city), and that the GLCA is threatening to "condemn Monrovia's property." He also warned that "potential litigation between GLCA and Monrovia" could be "protracted."

"No one is forcing this site upon GLCA," Ochoa said, and "if they can make a better deal elsewhere along the Gold Line alignment, then perhaps the time has come for them to reconcile to this alternative as well."

Lots more reading here:

UPDATE: Habib Balian, spokesman for the GLCA, writes: "I hope to provide positive updates on the last remaining critical path items, including the private landowner’s lawsuit against the City of Monrovia allegedly preventing the City from selling city-owned land to the Authority for the maintenance and operations facility."


- Brad Haugaard

Should MHS Allow Ramirez on Team? | Auto Restoration

~ Should Monrovia High allow Ramirez to return to play football?

~ Feature on Monrovia's Tired Iron Works auto restoration.

- Brad Haugaard

Pilot of 'Courage' to Screen in Monrovia

The pilot screening of Courage, New Hampshire, the "chronicle of a shire town on the western border of New Hampshire in the 18th century," will screen Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m. at the Krikorian Theater here in Monrovia. The event will be hosted by radio personality Tony Katz and actress Victoria Jackson. Unfortunately, it looks as if it is all sold out:
- Brad Haugaard

Dreier to Face Portantino in 2012?

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, says he is "totally emboldened" by redistricting maps to run against Rep. David Dreier in 2012.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Responds To Monrovia Criticism

In the land-sale disagreement between the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority and Monrovia, Authority Chairman Doug Tessitor writes that the almost-purchase-agreement was "based entirely on ... the City’s ability to sell its land free and clear without litigation or other encumbrance. In fact, the draft Purchase and Sale Agreement stated there was no threatened litigation."
But with a landowner suing, he says the litigation changes the Authority's ability to purchase the property, so the Authority would like the city to share some of the costs to settle with the property owner. But, he said, "it does not appear that the City considers that it has any responsibility in the litigation or the cloud over its property."
- Brad Haugaard

Pastrami Burger at Jim's

Okay, a pastrami burger is probably not on the top-ten list of healthy foods, but it was very yummy. Jim's Burger is on Duarte Road at 6th Avenue.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fireworks | Gold Line Tiff | Crafts | Trader Joe's

~ Plan ahead for the Fourth of July fireworks. And by the way, last year was truly spectacular! Concert at 7 p.m. and fireworks start at 9 p.m. At Library Park.
~ More on Monrovia/Gold Line fight.
~ Craft series at Monrovia Library this summer. Paper flowers, basket, macramé.
~ You often hear of petitions against companies, but Monrovia's Trader Joe's often has petitions in favor of the company. In this case more than 8,000 Kansas City residents petitioned for a Trader Joe's, and are getting one.
- Brad Haugaard

Business Recycling Workshop | Guns-in-Public Bill Advances

~ If you represent a Monrovia business, you might want to sign up for a city-sponsored refuse and recycling workshop. It will let you give city folks your thoughts on how the program should be implemented. Details:

~ A bill to outlaw carrying an unloaded firearm in public, authored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has passed the state Senate's Public Safety Committee.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Theft, Burglaries, Robbery, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 2-8. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 549 service events, resulting in 85 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Attempt Theft
On June 2, an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Mauna Loa regarding an attempt theft from a vehicle.  The victim parked her vehicle in front of her residence at 6:00 p.m. in the evening.  The next day she went to unlock her vehicle with the remote and discovered she had not locked her vehicle.  She inspected her vehicle and found it had been ransacked and the headliner had been burnt.  No items appeared to have been taken from the vehicle. 
Theft From a Vehicle
On June 2, an officer responded to the report of theft from a vehicle in the 100 block of West Walnut.  The victim parked his pickup truck at 11:15 p.m.  He returned to his vehicle the following day at 11:00 a.m. and drove to work, which is in the 300 block of West Huntington.  He parked and went into work.  When he exited his place of work, he noticed his tailgate was missing.  The victim does not believe it was taken while parked in the parking lot at work, since it is always busy.  He suspects that it was taken during the night while parked in front of his residence.
Traffic Accident - Overturned Vehicle
On June 4 at 10:41 p.m., a vehicle was traveling east on Colorado when the driver either fell asleep or had some type of medical issue.  The driver only remembers driving straight and then waking up with the vehicle upside down on its roof.  The driver was checked and did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The driver was taken to a hospital for observation; no serious injuries were reported.
Driving Under the Influence / Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
On June 6 at approximately 7:27 a.m., police received a call reporting a female in a red Honda Accord honking her horn and yelling.  Officers responded and stopped the vehicle.  The female was found to be driving under the influence and was arrested.  She was extremely uncooperative and verbally abusive.  A thorough search of her property revealed a baggie containing methamphetamine.  She was charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.  The female subject is schizophrenic and had been contacted several times over the previous weekend by officers.
Commercial Robbery
On June 6 at 4:19 p.m., police received a report of a robbery at a fast food business in the 300 block of West Huntington.  The suspect is described as a male Hispanic wearing a light blue cap and white t-shirt with horizontal stripes.  The suspect had a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash.  The suspect walked out to a gray or silver, 4-door Honda Civic with paper plates, and the driver was a heavy-set female.  The vehicle fled south on Magnolia, out of sight.  An area search and notification was made to neighboring agencies, but the vehicle was not located.  El Monte Police Department had a robbery that occurred later that day in their city; the description of the suspects and vehicle is a close match. 
Vehicle Burglary
On June 7 at 4:30 p.m., police responded to a vehicle burglary in the 200 block of West Scenic.  The reporting party believed someone had broken into their neighbor's vehicle.  An officer went to the location and found the interior of the vehicle had been ransacked.  He dusted for prints, took photos, and checked for witnesses. 
Possession of Burglary Tools
June 7 at 11:47 p.m., officers observed a subject who was a known burglar in the area of Foothill and Magnolia near midnight.  He was riding a bicycle without a light and no rear reflector.  He was detained regarding the violations and questioned about his activity.  His responses were ambiguous and in conflict.  After a consent search of his person and property, officers found a sufficient amount and type of tools consistent with tools used for auto burglaries to arrest the subject.  He was arrested and taken into custody for possession of burglary tools.
Residential Burglary
On June 8 at 4:18 p.m., a resident in the 900 block of Briarcliff Road reported a burglary.  He had returned home and found the front door had been smashed and two televisions, a laptop, and other miscellaneous items had been taken.  Officers responded and cleared the house; no suspects were inside. 
Commercial Robbery
On June 8 at 8:48 p.m., an armed robbery was reported at a business in the 300 block of West Huntington.  The suspect was described as a male Hispanic, approximately 25-years-old, large build, wearing a white hat, white long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans.  He approached the clerk, pulled a silver colored revolver and demanded money.  He was last seen running westbound from the location.

Monrovia Reps - Portantino vs. Shiff? | Huff: No Bridge Tax

~ Redistricting may leave Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, in competition with fellow Democrat Adam Schiff, and Schiff in competition with Congressman David Dreier.
~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, has made a YouTube video saying Republicans are not going to support a "bridge tax," which he calls a "bridge to nowhere."
- Brad Haugaard

No Gold Line Deal - Yet | 'The Outlet' Going to Azusa

~ Monrovia thought it had deal to sell land to Gold Line, but doesn't. Monrovia and Gold Line disagree about how to handle a property-owner lawsuit if the suit should be successful. The City Council has delayed a decision for two weeks.

~ The Outlet by ELS, a Monrovia bargain store, will move to Azusa.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Arrested in Kidnapping Case

Monrovian arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assemblyman Hits Brown on Prisons

In another open letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly - who represents Monrovia - complained that Brown's plan to send prisoners to county jails "threatens public safety by placing an undue burden on the counties and forcing them to release inmates before their full sentences are served."

Also, he adds, Brown has "approved unlimited vacation build-up time and several other lucrative perks for the CCPOA" and has "allowed AB 900 to sunset, meaning 10,000 additional inmates will soon be returned to California's prison system from private out-of-state facilities. We can send prisoners out of state for half the cost of what it takes to house them in California."


- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coach in All-Star Game | Telling College Students About Money

~ Monrovia coach Jesse Mendez co-coaches in all-star game.

~ A bill by Anthony Portantino - who represents part of Monrovia - would tell college students they have access to federal money. It has passed the Assembly.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's MAP Program Wins Awards | Landscaping | Joplin

~ The Monrovia Area Partnership Program won several awards at the annual conference of Neighborhoods USA in Anchorage, Alaska. 
~ The Fire Department has some hints for selecting landscape maintenance companies. Mistakes in landscape maintenance can not only be a fire hazard, but cause other expensive problems. (Click on the source link below and scroll down for the tips.)
Fire Engineer Jeremy Sanchez is coordinating a collection to help Joplin firefighters who have been most effected by the tornado. If you would like further information please contact Sanchez at (626) 367-5202.
Source for all items:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Manager: Aztec Hotel 'Potentially Unsalvageable'

Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa is doubtful about the future of the Aztec Hotel. He writes:
"[T]he very historical significance of the structure [the Aztec Hotel] contributes to the high cost of renovation which makes the situation potentially unsalvageable. As a hotel, the economics of the property are challenging to say the least; as any other adaptive reuse, the significant rehab cost erodes the market value. Still, there are elements in the building that could inspire a long-term investor's imagination and vision. We shall see."
- Brad Haugaard

Muskets in Monrovia

There will be a Civil War reenactment from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday (June 11 and 12), featuring soldiers with period gear, musicians, clothiers, etc. There will be stories, President Lincoln will talk about his times, and there will be a musket demonstration. The event is at the Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 East Lemon Ave. It is a fundraiser and tickets cost $8 for adults and $4 for children.

- Brad Haugaard (thanks to Becky Shevlin for the tip.)

Monrovia Economics: Getting Better

On the economic front, Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa says that things are getting better, but life's still tough.

"The good news," he writes, "is that sales and property tax revenues are beginning to recover... . While it would be a stretch to consider this year as an economic juggernaut, we are meeting our conservative revenue estimates."

The "bad news," he says, is that "we continue to have to economize on costs."

He said the "foundation" of the city's business model is "attracting new businesses that generate new property and sales tax revenue; attracting employers whose employees shop and dine and live in Monrovia; and attracting the private investment that generates the momentum to sustain itself."


- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Senator vs. Mussels | Hearing Postponed | Anti-Cancer Event

~ Legislation to combat the spread of invasive mussel species, authored by State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, has been approved by the state Senate and now moves to the Assembly.

~ Hearing for former elementary school teacher from Monrovia postponed in molestation case.

~ A successful anti-cancer event.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Art Walks This Summer

There will be three free Art Walks in Old Town Monrovia featuring local artists on the last Saturday of each month this summer, on June 25, July 30 and August 27, from 7-10 p.m.
Local artists will set up along Myrtle Avenue to show and sell drawings, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, hand-made glass and ceramic artworks. There will also be live music, face painting, gallery receptions and the JACK  FM 93.1 Street Team.
At the June 25 Art Walk, Paint-N-Play 2 Studio & Gallery will feature the 'Los Angeles Windows Collection' by photographer Stephen Colman, with live music by the Locke Brothers.
At Paint-N-Play Art Studio and Gallery, 418 South Myrtle Ave., the first 50 kids (12 and under) can paint a ceramic piece for free. Sponsored by MAFA.
Live art demonstrations will include ceramics wheel throwing by Monrovia High School Ceramics, plein-air painting and clay sculpture. Artists Frank Zgonc and Heather Shaw will bring back the "Brush-Off," which is the two artists painting on each other's canvases as a collaborative effort. 
Old Town Merchants will be holding sales and special events, including the popular Traditional Music Gathering at The Dollmakers, 412 South Myrtle. 
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Monrovia Chopped Again?

Here is a proposed redistricting map that shows Monrovia apparently getting chomped between a couple assembly and senate districts: (Here is the home page: )

Alex Zucco, who brought this to my attention (Thanks, Alex), writes: "Here are the 'visualizations' - both the Assembly and Congressional seats have Monrovia in two districts, State Senate is harder to looks like since they call below Duarte 'Mayflower Village' they are trying to brand it as a different town - not a neighborhood."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Chopped in Redistricting? | MHS vs. Bullying | Joplin

~ Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco tweets about redistricting, saying that "some maps [are] showing #Monrovia spilt in 2 -- AGAIN! ... What happened to keeping cities in 1 District?" Amen.
~ Monrovia High students beat up on bullying.
~ New Beginnings Family Church tweets that its relief-supply team has arrived at Joplin.
- Brad Haugaard

Put Monrovia's Plymouth School on Traditional Schedule?

Here's the agenda of the School Board's 7:30 p.m. June 8 meeting.
It looks like the highlight is whether to switch Plymouth School back to a traditional school year effective Aug. 1, 2011.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Relay Against Cancer | Benefit Sale | Church Team Nears Joplin | Freeway Chase

~ Relay for Life tomorrow (Sat., June 4). More than $55,000 raised so far for American Cancer Society. At Recreation Park at 11 a.m. UPDATE: Here's a Star-News article:

~ Rummage sale scheduled to help children whose parents died. At Wild Rose School, Friday, June 17 at 9 a.m. through June 18 at 2 p.m.

~ Team from Monrovia's New Beginnings Bible Church has passed Oklahoma City on its way to deliver relief supplies to Joplin. Pastor's blog post on entering Texas here:

~ Monrovians arrested following short freeway chase.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Claim Jumper

Got BBQ chicken salad off the lunch menu. Good, but the potato cheese soup (pre-eaten, so not shown) is awesome!

- Brad Haugaard

Red Lobster Remodel

The Red Lobster restaurant on Huntington is being remodeled, but is still open.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Land to Gold Line? Gear for Fire Department; Deal With Forest Service

The Monrovia City Council will hold be a special budget study session at 6 p.m. on June 6, and then a regular meeting on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. At the regular meeting the Council will:
- Hold a hearing on whether to sell to the Gold Line the land bounded by Evergreen Avenue, Shamrock Avenue, Duarte Road and California Avenue.
- Consider buying $27,782.91 of protective gear for the fire department, paid for by a federal grant.
- Consider working a deal with the Forest Service to cooperate if there is a forest-city fire.
- Brad Haugaard

Goodbye Santa Teresita Hospital

At its June 7 meeting, the Monrovia City Council will consider zoning changes to facilitate a project to tear down Santa Teresita Hospital (mostly in Duarte but on the border of Monrovia) and replace it with the "Rose Gardens at Santa Teresita." This project will include "skilled nursing facilities as well as assisted living and independent living units in a campus type setting for seniors." The project "will be developed in four phases and the first phase includes construction of a 22-unit assisted living facility located in Monrovia."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Pastor Blogs Joplin Trip | Lutz Hopes Problems Can Be Fixed | Woman Not Charged

~ The pastor of a Monrovia church taking relief supplies to Joplin, Missouri, is blogging the experience along the way.

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz hopes problems identified by CalTrans audit of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments can be fixed.

~ Monrovia woman not charged in Altadena shooting incident.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD to Receive $20,000 Alcohol Control Grant

According to the Monrovia PD's Neighborhood Watch Report, the department's Special Enforcement Team was selected to receive a $20,000 grant for fiscal year 2011-2012 (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012) "to address alcohol related problems within the city." The program "will focus resources on licensed establishments that have a disproportionate amount of calls for service." The money will pay for overtime expenses and equipment.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's House of Spirits Loses Liquor License

Following a February undercover operation at House of Spirits Liquor Store at 501 W. Duarte, the store "will not be allowed to sell alcohol for 25 days and the liquor license will have to be transferred to a new owner within 180 days," according to the Monrovia Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: DUI, Burglary, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for May 26 – June 1 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 566 service events, resulting in 77 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On May 28 at 2:09 a.m., an officer on patrol observed a vehicle traveling south on Myrtle at Central and noticed it was weaving on the roadway. The driver failed to use a turn signal and was stopped. During the investigation, the driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested.

Vandalism In-Progress / Minor Consuming Alcohol / Possession of Controlled Substance – Three Suspects Arrested

On May 28 at 7:12 p.m., a business owner was driving in the area of Ivy and Walnut when he saw two male subjects tagging city property with spray paint. The suspects fled in a vehicle and the witness called police. Officers saturated the area and located the suspects in the 100 block of East Colorado, still in the vehicle in a parking lot behind a bar. As officers detained the suspects, a female subject exited the bar to inquire what was going on, as she owned the vehicle. Through investigation, it was learned the female was under age and had used false identification in the bar and had consumed alcohol. During a search, she was also found to be in possession of cocaine. She was arrested and taken into custody. The male subjects were positively identified as the suspects who spray painted city property and were also arrested. The witness will be contacted to receive the $100.00 Stop Graffiti Bounty for reporting a graffiti vandalism which led to an arrest.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On May 29 at 3:34 p.m., an officer noticed a vehicle exit the 210 Freeway and drive north on Myrtle. The driver was weaving on the roadway and was stopped by the officer. Through investigation, the driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. The driver was booked and later released on a citation.

Commercial Burglary

On May 29 at 10:30 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Myrtle regarding a burglary. The suspect(s) pried open a window, made entry into a business, and then pried open the door to the office of another business. Once inside the second business, the suspect(s) ransacked the office and took cash from a filing cabinet. They also took electronic items from both businesses, which included a flat screen television, three computer monitors and four computer laptops.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On May 31 at 1:44 p.m., an officer was flagged down and told there was a possible drunk driver at a business in the 100 block of East Duarte Road. The officer stopped the vehicle in the parking lot. The female driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. She was in the area to pick up her children from school. The school office and principal were notified. She was booked and held for detoxification.

Vehicle Burglary

June 1 at 3:49 p.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 1200 block of Encino. The victim reported that someone had broken into her vehicle and had stolen property, and that her credit card information had been used.


June 1 at 5:10 p.m., a 16-year-old, male victim of battery was brought to the police station lobby by his father. The victim reported that he had walked a girl home on Monterey after school when a male suspect struck him in the head with a skateboard and grabbed him in a choke hold. The suspect then let go of him and left the area. The victim went home and his father brought him to the station when he got home from work. Investigation continuing.

- Brad Haugaard