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Portantino May Move to Monrovia, Etc.

~ Star-News columnist Larry Wilson says Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) may move to Monrovia so he can run for Congress after congressional districts are redrawn.

~ More on Portantino's battle with the state Assembly. Portantino represents part of Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Help Unity Center by Having Dinner at Paco's

Help Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center help low-income families by having dinner Sunday night, July 31, at Paco's (200 E. Foothill, Arcadia). Ten percent of the proceeds Paco's receives between 5 and 8 p.m. will go to help the Center.
- Brad Haugaard

Bears, Bears, Bears - in Monrovia and Elsewhere

I received a note from a Monrovia correspondent the other day entitled "bears bears bears," which read:
"The past three nights, when my husband and I have gone out to do our walks, we've had to turn back because of bears.  Bears are all the buzz.  Bears are all the rage.  Praying nothing bad happens!"
And then I saw this NY Times story about increasing numbers of human run-ins with bears:
I've seen plenty of black bears - even in my back yard - and never had a problem, but it is wise to remember they're wild animals and not safe, Samson notwithstanding.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Huff Says State Making Life Tougher for Schools

State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, writes that...
"Life is about to get far more difficult for school districts across California thanks in large part to a measure that strips local school boards of a great deal of authority when it comes to making budget decisions."

"AB 114 strips local authority by making it virtually impossible for districts to cut spending by laying off teachers or cutting programs."
Huff said the measure was rushed through during the budget process.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Hon Sushi

Lunch on Monday (been out of town since then) at Hon Sushi, in the Pavilions parking lot. Got the salmon teriyaki with shrimp and vegi tempura. Very good and filling.

- Brad Haugaard

Amazon Ads Aiming at San Gabriel Valley | Monrovia Arboretum?

Example of San Gabriel Valley advertising from

~'s AmazonLocal - in association with - has begun distributing local coupon-advertising to the San Gabriel Valley by email. (See image above.) More competition in the local advertising arena.
~ Monrovia almost had an arboretum, according to City Council member Tom Adams.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Green Dot Doing Great | Portantino Staff Members Face Furloughs

~ Monrovia's Green Dot reported a whopping big revenue increase for the second quarter of this year.
~ Eleven staff members of Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, have been notified that they will be temporarily laid off in late October.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Brave Little Dog Saves the Day, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for July 21-27 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 588 service events, resulting in 97 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Hot Prowl

On July 22 at 1:20 a.m., a resident in the 800 block of East Lemon was sleeping in the living room when she heard her small dog growling at something outside. She went to investigate and saw a male subject wearing dark colored clothing crawling through her bedroom window. The suspect saw the resident and fled. Officers conducted an area search, but were unable to locate the suspect. The investigation is continuing.

Receiving Stolen Mail / Parole Violation – Suspect Arrested

On July 22 at 9:17 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 800 block of West Walnut due to recent complaints of drug activity. He observed two subjects walking down the street carrying a duffle bag. When he stopped and talked with the subjects, he learned one of them was on parole for burglary. A search of the duffle bag revealed stolen mail from several residences off Royal Oaks. The suspect was arrested for possession of stolen mail and a parole violation.

Armed Robbery – Suspects Arrested

On July 24 at 4:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to a motel in the 900 block of West Huntington. A male victim reported that a male occupant staying in a room at the motel had just robbed him of all his property at knife point. The victim went to the motel to trade items he found in the trash for marijuana. The suspect did not want what he was trading and decided to take everything he had, including his backpack and iPod. The suspect was identified and arrested without incident. The stolen property was located and returned to its owner. A female subject inside the room was also arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, as well as another male subject that had rented the room. A stolen bicycle was found in the second male subject’s vehicle, so he was also charged with possession of stolen property.

Wanted Robbery Suspect Arrested

Arcadia Police Department recently circulated a special bulletin regarding a wanted robbery suspect from their city. On July 24 at 10:43 p.m., a Monrovia officer who is familiar with the suspect from prior contacts drove by an area where the suspect was known to frequent. The officer saw the suspect walking near Fifth and Olive with another male subject. The suspect tried to conceal himself behind a bush, but was detained without incident. Arcadia officers arrived and took custody of the suspect.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Burglary Tools – Suspect Arrested

On July 25 at 4:00 a.m., an officer saw a suspicious person in the area of Foothill and Canyon. The officer contacted the male subject and determined he was under the influence of a controlled substance. Upon further investigation, the officer found the suspect had a flashlight, screwdriver, and box cutter in his possession. The suspect did not have a reasonable explanation for having these tools or being in Monrovia. The suspect was arrested for being under the influence and possession of burglary tools.

Driving Under the Influence / Hit and Run Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

On July 25 at 2:34 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of South Peck, where a vehicle collided into four parked cars. The suspect’s vehicle lost one of its wheels, but the suspect continued south on Peck into the City of El Monte on three wheels and an axle. A witness followed the driver and led officers to the suspect. He was detained and officers determined he had been driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and taken into custody.


On July 25 at 6:23 p.m., police received a report of a battery that just occurred in the area of California and Walnut. The reporting party stated a male subject had exited a truck and was seen hitting a female, then dragging her into the bushes. Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate anyone. The reporting party called again and stated he had been incorrect in the location, and that it was Canyon and Walnut. Officers returned and located a trail of blood from Walnut to Maple. After an extensive investigation, it was determined an altercation had occurred between a teenage boyfriend and girlfriend, and the female may have hit the male in the nose, causing him to bleed. Officers were unable to determine exactly what transpired, as the two juveniles were uncooperative and had no visible signs of injury.

Battery Thefts

On July 26, three curbside box battery thefts were reported. The suspect(s) pried open the box doors and stole several back-up power batteries that are used in case of power outages. The thefts occurred in the 1300 block South Magnolia, the 500 block of Bradbury, and the 1000 block of Royal Oaks. No suspects have been located. Time Warner Cable reported that a few nights ago, the City of Pomona had approximately 60 of these boxes broken into in one night. The same thefts are also occurring in Arcadia and South Pasadena. Investigation continuing.

Residential Burglary

On July 26 at 10:00 p.m., a subject who was house-sitting in the 100 block of North Madison arrived at the home and found the front door ajar. The point of entry into the home was a kitchen window; no forced entry was apparent. The house appeared to be thoroughly ransacked and the actual loss is unknown, since the owners are away. The loss will be determined when the owners return. Investigation continuing.

Possible Drug Activity

July 27 at 12:11 a.m., a caller reported a male subject standing near a blue van in the 900 block of West Walnut that appeared to be smoking marijuana. The caller stated they did not think the person belonged in the area. When the officer arrived, the suspect fled. As he ran, he placed his hands in his sweatshirt. The officer called out commands for the suspect to remove his hands, but the suspect kept running and was able to get into a construction storage yard at the 210 Freeway and Fifth. Containment of the area was set up and the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter assisted in the search. The suspect was not found. He is believed to be associated with a local residence in the area. A methamphetamine pipe was found in the area.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Gets Two-fer: Most Techie and Cheapest Contractor

As expected, the Gold Line awarded a $485.9 million contract to "Foothill Transit Constructors – A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture," to design and construct the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa.

The Kiewit/Parsons team was both the top ranked technical proposal and the lowest bid, according to Construction Authority Board Chairman and Glendora Mayor Doug Tessitor.

According to the Gold Line press release: "Kiewit and Parsons have teamed up nearly 20 times in the last decade to complete design-build projects and have designed and built more than 60 major infrastructure projects in the last forty years. Both are award-winning companies, providing world-renowned experience in successful completion of light rail transit projects.

"Kiewit was the lead team member on Phase 1 of the Gold Line from Los Angeles to Pasadena (with Parsons as the lead design subcontractor), which was completed in 2003 on time and under budget. Kiewit also recently oversaw demolition of the Mulholland Bridge (part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project)."

According to Gold Line spokesman Habib Balian, "The Kiewit Parsons proposal was $72 million less than the next highest proposer and $123 million less than the highest price proposal."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Portantino Denied Access to Assembly Finance Info

In a battle with his own Democratic party, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been denied information regarding fellow legislators' budgets. He had been accused of overspending (he denies it) and I think he'd like to compare his office expenses with those of other Assembly members.

Opinion: This makes the Assembly leadership smell like a rotten chicken. Portantino - and for that matter, the public - should be able to see how much money the Assembly is spending on each of its members.  Star-News reporter Beige Luciano-Adams did a good job on this article.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Dental Clinic | Alta-Dena Dairy

~ Free dental clinic for Monrovians August 5.
~ Some history: Alta-Dena Dairy started in Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Plans to Award $500 Million Contract

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board of Directors will consider awarding a nearly $500 million design-build contract for the 11.5-mile light rail extension from Pasadena to Azusa tomorrow at a Special Board Meeting. This contract is anticipated to create nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output to the region during the next four years of design and construction.

The July 27 board meeting is from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Arcadia City Hall Council Chambers, 240 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia.

Update: According to Gold Line spokesman Habib F. Balian, the Gold Line intends to award the Pasadena to Azusa Alignment Design-Build contract to Foothill Transit Constructors - A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture.

- Brad Haugaard (from Gold Line press release) 

Monrovia and Gold Line | Artist's Work Displayed

~ The Star-News is sorta happy with how things are progressing between Monrovia and the Gold Line. . Opinion: And I'm sorta in agreement, though I don't see the Monrovia City Council in the negative light the Star-News casts it as compared with the saintly Gold Line.

Update (from City Council Member Becky Shevlin): Brad – Thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt.  The reason that we have to wait until September is that the State has rendered the Redevelopment Agencies powerless unless of course we pay their ransom; which is what we agreed to at our last meeting; with the resolution process now taking place, it won’t be until September that we can actually take any further actions.  As for the being “ambushed” don’t believe it. 

~ Here is a review of artist Susan Dobay's work at Monrovia's Scenic Drive Gallery.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Police Chief 'Soon' | Gold Line Deal Not Done | Redevelopment Law Challenge | State Government 'Frightening'

In his weekly report ( ), Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa ...

~ Says the city should have a new police chief very soon. He said the city is now down to three candidates. "I think Monrovia will be well-served by this process and we will have our new Chief seated very soon."

~ Adds a bit of caution to reports that Monrovia and the Gold line have reached a land-sale agreement. He writes: "I must note that there can be no deal until and unless the Monrovia City Council / Redevelopment Agency Board agrees to the transaction. Considering the position all cities and redevelopment agencies are in because of the State budget, Monrovia cannot consider this matter until early September - at the earliest."

~ Lays into the state government again. He said the state's new redevelopment law ("AB 1X 26 and AB 1X 27, commonly referred as the redevelopment 'elimination and extortion' bills") are being challenged in court.

~ Says it is "frightening" that the "State Legislature seems overcome with a need to control the entire apparatus of government in California. They appear to be desirous of making policy at every level, for every level. Today, the State effectively controls school districts and counties" and, he said, the state is becoming "increasingly aggressive" towards cities.

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Gets HERO Award from Gay Group

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been given a HERO award by The Stonewall Young Democrats, "whose mission is to represent and mobilize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer/Questioning and Allied youth within the Democratic Party."
- Brad Haugaard

Financials from Monrovia's STAAR Surgical | Macramé | Mills View Mansion

~  will release financial results for Q2 August 2.

~ Make a macramé owl. British sailors passed the time on long voyages by knotting intricate useful objects. An instructor helps you get started. All materials provided. In the Teen Area of the Library, Wednesday, July 27, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free.

~ History of Monrovia's Mills View Mansion.

- Brad Haugaard

Rob Hammond to Run for School Board

Former Monrovia Mayor Rob Hammond plans to run for the school board seat being vacated by Clare Chesley.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia and Gold Line Tentatively Come to Terms

Apparently the Gold Line Construction Authority and the City of Monrovia have agreed to terms for the Gold Line to purchase the much-disputed Monrovia properties.

Here is a news release from Gold Line spokesman Habib F. Balian: 

"Just moments ago, the Construction Authority and City of Monrovia agreed to purchase terms for 14-acres of city-owned land within the 24-acre M&O site. The purchase terms will now go to the Authority Board and City Council for final approval.

"Although negotiations have been challenging over the last few months, all parties have stayed strongly committed to making this critically important transaction happen, as well as remained unwavering in their dedication to the project. Click here to view our press release.

"Because our Funding Agreement with Metro requires the Authority to own half of the land for the M&O facility before significant funds are transferred to the Authority to build the Pasadena to Azusa extension, this agreement could not have come at a better time. Next Wednesday, July 27, the Authority board will consider awarding the Alignment contract to one of the three short-listed design-build teams. Staff and our multiple evaluation committees - who’s hard work I must acknowledge - have completed our work and I will recommend to the board that the Foothill Transit Constructors – A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture win this important contract. However, the board will make the final decision on Wednesday - so stay tuned!

"If you want to attend the board meeting on Wednesday, it will be held at Arcadia City Hall, in the Council Chambers starting at 9:30 a.m. The contract award agenda item is scheduled in the second half of the meeting, following closed session, and will start after 10:30 a.m."

- Brad Haugaard

School Board Member Clare Chesley's Resignation Letter

Here is the text of Clare Chesley's resignation letter to the Monrovia Board of Education:

Dear Board of Trustees:
Please accept this letter of my resignation from the Monrovia Unified School Board of Trustees effective August 1, 2011. My resignation is due to the fact that I will be moving my place of residence to La Canada, California for personal reasons.
It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Monrovia and the students and staff of our district. I have enjoyed working side by side with all of you who are consummate professionals and share the common goal of making our district World Class.

Clare R. Chesley, Esq.

Oh, yeah, she adds that she and her children, Fiona and Emory, "just completed the Oxnard 'Strawberry Fields' Triathlon on Sunday. It was our 6th. The kids did great. Fiona got on the podium (3rd) despite getting a flat tire and having to carry her bike the last 2 miles barefoot."

Helping Business in Monrovia

Monrovia is unveiling a new web page designed to help businesses thinking of opening or moving to Monrovia. Here it is:
- Brad Haugaard

Kidnapping Case vs. Monrovian | Book Club

~ More on the kidnapping case with Monrovia defendent Kelvin "Sgt. Mac" McFarland.

~ A new book club will meet in the Children's Story Room at the library on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Sarah's Key by Taitana de Rosnay. In August the club will read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. "Be prepared to shed torrents of tears for that one." [Do people read books to cry? I guess I'm wired differently.]

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Biotab to Pay $1.75 Milion

The Orange County Weekly writes that Monrovia company, Biotab, which makes a male enhancement product, has agreed to pay $1.75 million in an action brought by the Orange County District Attorney's office.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board Member Chesley Resigns

Monrovia School Board member Clare Chesley has given her resignation from the board, according to fellow board member Alex Zucco. Zucco says that the board "accepted Clare Chesley's resignation as she begins a new chapter...or book in La Canada."
Comment: She will be missed. Clare is razor sharp and passionate and has solid good sense. She has left a very positive mark on Monrovia School District. Best wishes, Clare!
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Adjusting Stereo while Drunk; Stealing Lawnmowers, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for July 14-20 – Brad Haugaard]</I

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 572 service events, resulting in 105 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

On July 14 at 10:49 p.m., a driver was traveling east in the 400 block of West Foothill. She reached down to adjust the car stereo, drifted toward the right side of the lane, and collided into a parked vehicle. During the investigation, it was determined the driver was under the influence and she was arrested.

Public Drunkenness – Suspect Arrested

On July 17 at 8:49 p.m., police received a report of a disturbing subject, possibly intoxicated, at a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle, where a summer concert was being held. An officer responded and located the subject in question on Palm Avenue. After assessing the subject, the officer determined that she was unable to adequately care for herself. She was arrested for public drunkenness and later released after sobering.

Grand Theft

On July 18 at 2:32 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Parkrose regarding a theft. A gardening crew working in the area left two lawnmowers in two different yards while they took a break in the backyard of a house. When they returned to the front of the house, the lawnmowers were missing. The lawnmowers are valued at approximately $1700.00 each. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

On July 19 at 9:30 a.m., a white, 1986 Toyota truck was stolen from a parking lot in the 3300 block of South Peck Road. The vehicle was entered into the stolen vehicle system.

Grand Theft Auto

On July 19 at 5:27 p.m., a victim discovered his blue, 2004 Chevrolet Silverado truck had been stolen out of a parking lot in the 700 block of East Huntington. An officer viewed surveillance videotape and saw the suspects commit the theft. Two male subjects drove into the lot in a white, Chevrolet Silverado truck, broke into the victim’s truck and drove away. Investigation continuing.

Residential Burglary

On July 19 at 5:32 p.m., a male subject returned to his home in the 900 block of West Hillcrest and discovered his front door was unlocked and his dog was out. Further investigation revealed forced entry had been made through the rear glass door. The suspect entered through the rear yard gate. The suspect stole jewelry and cash. Investigation continuing.

- Brad Haugaard

National Night Out in Monrovia

Give a going away party for crime. The Monrovia Police Department is sponsoring National Night Out in Library Park, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2. The event is designed to alert residents about crime prevention, and will feature police displays, demonstrations and refreshments. Flyer here:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision Helps Somalia | Traditional Music | County Says Portantino's Bill a Burden

~ With the United Nations warning of spreading famine in Somalia, World Vision, a Monrovia-based relief organization, is already at work in Somalia with food, healthcare, sanitation and development projects.

~ During the Summer Art Walk (7-10 p.m. July 30 along Myrtle in Old Town) there will also be a traditional music performance in the breezeway behind the east-side businesses, featuring Half Again ("Smooth folk with rich harmonies") and the Kattywompus String Band.

~ Supervisors for California's Nevada County are unhappy about the rape-kit reporting requirement proposed by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia. They say the measure does not provide funding for the extra work.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Has Best Football Team - Star-News

Star-News says Monrovia High football team is tops. "There really can't be any disputing Monrovia is the No. 1 team in the area."

- Brad Haugaard

Fake Gunshots for Movie

Did anyone hear gunshots today near the corner of Duarte Road and Sixth Avenue? If so, it was a movie being filmed.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Reps Oppose Gays-in-History Teaching Mandate | World Songs and Fashion

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and Senator Bob Huff, who represent Monrovia, oppose a new state mandate that schools teach about gays in history.

World songs and fashion, at the library. Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m. Free. Reserve at Adult Reference, or call 626-256-8274.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Artist Finds Look-Alike Sculpture at Orange County Building

Monrovia sculptor Don Wakefield was surprised to see something that looks an whole lot like one of his sculptures sitting outside a building in Orange County.
You can compare the two sculptures here:
- Brad Haugaard

Cost of Protecting against Terrorism Will Rise | Monrovia Library Popular | Paying Off the State

In his weekly report ( ), Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa writes that:
~ The toolbox that wasn't a bomb, but was just a toolbox (here: ), may be a sign of things to come. He says: "It is indeed better to be safe than sorry, but I suspect expensive days like this may become more common. Unfortunately, the credible threat of violence is like a bell that has been rung and now cannot be un-rung; a cost of doing business in the crazy world."
~ Library programs are growing: This fiscal year (June 2010 to July 2011) the library staff "presented a total of 504 programs for youth with 28,341 participants. Last Fiscal Year 2009-10, the Library Staff presented a total of 322 programs for all ages with 18,298 participants."
~ A Gold Line item has been removed from the City Council agenda because the city's redevelopment agency "may no longer function until we agree to pay off the State of California." (The recently passed state budget eliminates redevelopment agencies and only allows them to be reconstituted if they agree to pay money to the state.) So, the city council will need to "adopt a non-binding 'Continuation Ordinance' which tells the State that we plan to make the ransom payment next year."
- Brad Haugaard

Difficulties in Prosecution's Case Against Monrovian

The prosecution's case against Monrovian Kelvin McFarland, who runs a Pasadena "boot camp" and is accused of kidnapping, etc., seems to be running into some difficulties.
- Brad Haugaard

Wonderelles in Monrovia

The Wonderelles at the summer concert series, Sunday evenings in Library Park. "Welcome to the past lane." All girl 50s band. Fun. Next Sunday (July 24, 7 p.m.) it's Mariachi Zacatecas.

 - Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Wizard of Bras | Food List for Unity Center

~ Creative Woman - aka "The Wizard of Bras" - is featured in the LA Times today. (The store has 18,000 bra styles. Who knew?).

~ Foothill Unity Center has released a list of the kinds of supplies they need.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Senior Complex

More on Rose Gardens at Santa Teresita, the planned senior retirement homes planned on the Monrovia/Duarte border.

- Brad Haugaard

School Employees Get 3% Pay Cut - in 2013, Etc.

Proposed school employee salary adjustments

The Monrovia School District has negotiated with its various employee groups a three percent salary decrease ("in conjunction with a decrease of 6 days in all work calendars"), effective Sept. 1, 2013, and apparently no raises until then.
That will be on the agenda of the Board of Education's July 20, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda: ). Also on the agenda, the board will consider ...
~ Upping the payment authorization to re-roof some Mayflower School buildings. Apparently the original estimate missed a few items. The price will now be $219,900.  
~ Consider switching to a data management system (Illuminate) that will save the district $20,000. 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor on Air Quality | Flamingos | Green Dot

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz discusses Monrovia's work to improve air quality on this video.
First Presbyterian Church's high school department is covering Monrovia lawns with pink flamingos as a fundraiser. $20 per hit.
Green Dot will announce its Q2 results July 28.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Bella Sera

Lunch at Bella Sera on Myrtle. Got a prosc... prosh... Italian ham sandwich. I liked it a lot. Very tasty sandwich and good service.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Redevelopment: Join or Die | New Old Town Signs

At its 7 p.m., July 19, meeting ( ), the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Consider whether to pay the state of California for the privilege of allowing Monrovia's redevelopment agency to exist. City staff recommends joining the program, even though its report characterizes the state action as a "raid on local funds" and seems to mock the volunatary nature of the arrangement. 

~ Consider a city staff recommendation to replace various Old Town signs, which "are quite old and have been looking shabby for the past few years." The new ones would be paid for by Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board and "available franchise fees."
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Battle Heats Up | Monrovia Fundraiser | Shaw's Deployment

~ The battle between Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, and his own party's leadership gets serious. He is demanding budget office records from his own Democratic Party ( ).  Background: 1. Portantino voted against governor's budget. 2. Democratic leadership cut his budget. 3. He says it was as punishment. 4. They say it's because he overspent his budget. [Opinion: I don't know if Portantino overspent or not, but there is a) something suspicious about the timing, and b) something ludicrous about Assembly leaders accusing ANYbody of overspending.]

~ Help Unity Center by having dinner at Paco's, July 31, 5-8 p.m. 10% of proceeds go to the Center's Auxiliary.

~ More on City Councilman Clarence Shaw being called on to active duty.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Unity Center Needs Help To Serve Students

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center is looking for school supplies and funds to help equip low-income students going back to school in the fall. From the press release:

Throngs of children from local low-income families will fill the vast concourse at Santa Anita Park racetrack on Thursday, August 18, for Foothill Unity Center’s 13th Annual Back-to-School Fair. Last year, over 1,800 local kids participated in the distribution. This year, as the tough economy continues to put more families in desperate straits, the Center is preparing to outfit 2,000 local K-12 students. Only children of qualified low-income families can participate in the event.  Families are asked to register their children by Friday, July 29.
On a day that’s a favorite for Center staff, volunteers, and the local community, the youngsters will pick out new backpacks; receive uniforms (clothing for high schoolers), underwear, socks and school supplies; and even get haircuts and manicures. Each child will also receive a shoe gift card from the Tzu Chi Foundation and a new age-appropriate book from Monrovia Reads. There will be dental screenings by the USC School of Dentistry, vision screenings by the Western University College of Optometry, and a ceramic art project with Paint N Play. 
The entire community shares in this annual effort. Many of the costs of backpacks, clothing and supplies are covered by grants from major sponsors, including Vons Foundation and others. To date, however, this year’s sponsorships are down,  making individual donations even more critical.
While donations of school supplies are welcome, monetary contributions allow the Center to buy much more efficiently. Just $50 helps to provide a uniform, socks, underwear, a new backpack and school supplies for one child.  Checks may be mailed to Foothill Unity Center, Back to School Program, 415 West Chestnut Avenue, Monrovia, California, 91016. Donations can also be made securely online at
School supplies may be dropped into one of sixty collection barrels in stores and offices throughout the community. Lists of collection sites,  Back to School items needed and volunteer opportunities can be found on our website,  or by  visiting or calling the Center at (626) 358-3486.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Carrying an Un-Gun, Robbery, Suspicious Toolbox, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for July 7-13. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 609 service events, resulting in 102 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.
72-Hour Mental Evaluation
July 8 at 10:30 a.m., a caller reported seeing a female subject carrying a pistol in the 100 block of West Foothill.  Officers located the subject, who was now walking on Lime, approaching Magnolia.  The officers observed that the female was carrying a pistol.  Once the female saw the officers, she immediately complied with their commands.  The pistol turned out to be a very realistic replica of a semi-automatic pistol.  As the officers interviewed the female, it became apparent she was a danger to herself and others, and she was taken to a hospital where she was held for 72-hour mental evaluation.
Juvenile Problem / Fighting in a Public Place - Suspects Cited
July 8 at 8:44 p.m., officers responded to a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle regarding a fight.  Three female juveniles were involved in an altercation over a boy.  One female sustained an injury to her hand and was taken to a hospital for treatment.  All three juveniles were cited for fighting in a public place.
Traffic Stop / No-Bail Warrant - Suspect Arrested
July 9 at 12:20 a.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation.  The driver said that he did not have his driver's license with him, but identified himself and provided a driver's license number.  The officer became suspicious and with further investigation, discovered that the driver did in fact have his license on him and he had provided a false name to the officer.  A computer check with the driver's actual name revealed a no-bail warrant.  The subject was arrested and taken into custody.
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
July 9 at 4:25 a.m., a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation in the 700 block of West Huntington.  The driver was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested.
Suspicious Toolbox
July 9 at 4:00 p.m., security in the 100 block of West Huntington saw a suspicious toolbox in the parking lot on the north side of a building.  The security officers had made foot passes in the area and had not seen the toolbox prior to 4:00 p.m.  Officers were dispatched to the location to inspect the toolbox.  Based on the recent threats reported in the news and the unusual location of the toolbox, the Los Angeles County Bomb Squad was requested and responded to the location.  The toolbox was opened by the bomb squad and no suspicious items were found.
Vandalism - Suspect Arrested
July 11 at 6:09 p.m., a witness reported a male juvenile gang member was spray painting gang graffiti in the 100 block of East Walnut in the alley.  Officers responded quickly and apprehended the suspect.  He was arrested for vandalism.  The citizen who witnessed the crime and took action reporting the suspect was rewarded with Monrovia Police Department's $100.00 Graffiti Bounty.
Bicycle Theft
July 11 at 7:06 p.m., a subject who lives in the 700 block of South Myrtle reported his bicycle stolen.  His bicycle, a 10-speed silver mountain bike, was secured by locking the front wheel to the bike rack on the third floor of the parking garage.  The suspect removed the frame from the front wheel.  It appeared that two other bicycles were stolen in a similar fashion, but officers were unable to locate additional victims.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Tampering - Suspect Arrested
July 12 at 11:00 a.m., a business in the 200 block of East Huntington called police to report a male subject rummaging through a car that was not his.  When officers arrived, the suspect was gone.  One of the officers watched the store's security video and recognized the male subject from prior contact.  She quickly apprehended him nearby and he was arrested for vehicle tampering.
July 12 at 9:51 p.m., a business in the 300 block of West Huntington reported a robbery.  The suspect approached a cashier with his hand in his jacket pocket.  He threatened to shoot her if she didn't give him the money from the register.  After obtaining the cash, he ran south on Magnolia, then west on Cypress, out of sight.  The suspect was described as a male, African American, approximately 30-years-old, six foot tall, about 200 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.  He had some sort of tattoo next to his right eye.  Investigation continuing.
Driving Under the Influence/Marijuana - Suspect Arrested
July 12 at 10:57 a.m., an officer stopped a female driver at Walnut and Fifth.  During the investigation, it was determined the driver was driving under the influence of marijuana and the driver was arrested.
Vehicle Burglary
July 12 at 3:42 p.m. an officer responded to the 1600 block of South California, regarding a vehicle burglary.  The owner discovered his car was broken into and stereo system and speakers were stolen.  Investigation continuing
July 13 at 8:55 p.m., an officer responded to the 500 block of South Mountain regarding a smashed vehicle window.  The victim parked his vehicle on the street at 7:45 p.m. When he returned to his car he had discovered the crime.  There was no loss.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Annoyed at Post Office | McCarthy a Top Player | Starbird Retires | E-Waste | Volunteer Opportunities

~ The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce reports that it "has had so much trouble with the Post Office not delivering our mail that we are starting a file of problems to take to them and ask them to explain. If your business is experiencing problems with the Monrovia Post Office, please let us know."
~ Monrovia High's Ellis McCarthy is third-highest rated defensive lineman.
~Jim Starbird, former Monrovia City Manager and current Glendale City Manager, is retiring.
~ There will be an e-waste collection July 30-31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Myrtle and Pomona. They'll take computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, toner and ink cartridges. But don't bring household batteries, refrigerators, washers, dryers, paints, solvents, cleaners, oil, light bulbs or hazardous waste.
~ Foothill Unity Center needs volunteers to help get 2,000 kids back to school. If you'd like to help give local children a better start to school, complete with new backpacks, uniforms, supplies and even haircuts and manicures, download the signup sheet (here: ) to help out.
~ You can help "Be The Match" Registry save cancer victims. If you are 18-60, willing to donate and in good health, you can register July 17 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets Certification, Will Provide Chargers for State of Washington

Monrovia's AeroVironment has received certification on its fast car-charging systems ( ).

Also, more on the company's being selected to install chargers on Washington State's highways ( )

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Cat Headed Home

Very hungry Monrovia cat found after two months. (I'm such a sucker for happy cat stories that I'll even link to the competition.)

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Accused of Overspending Office Budget

The state Democratic leadership is accusing Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, of overspending his office budget, which is why it is being cut, not - they say - because he voted against the governor's budget. Portantino denies he has overspent his $550,000 a year budget.

Opinion: I thought $550,000 a year was a lot until I read that the Assembly spends $146 million on its 80 members each year, or an average of $1.8 million per member per year.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Summer Events

~ Erica Silverman, author of the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series, will be in the Library's Community Room July 14, at 2 p.m. This event is perfect for early readers.
~ There is a weekly stretch class held every Monday at 1 p.m. at the Community Center for seniors and active adults. $2 per class. Isometrics, yoga, tai chi, balance exercises and breathing techniques. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a towel. Call (626) 256-8246 for more information.
~ The Senior Stompers meet Fridays at 9 a.m. at the Community Center for a half hour stretch and a walk. Free and open to seniors and active adults. Call (626) 256-8246 for more information.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblymen: Portantino - Democrats Punishing Him; Donnelly - California Run by Thugs

~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, is charging the Democratic leadership in the Assembly with punishing him for voting against the state budget.

UPDATE: Mayor Mary Ann Lutz responds on her Facebook page: "This is WRONG on so many levels. Assembly Member Portantino supported his cities, voted according to his principles and this type of retaliation has no place in a democracy! Let Assembly Member Portantino know how grateful you are for his courageous stand! Thank him today!"

~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents the other part of Monovia, says that California is run by "lawless thugs."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fireworks Attendance Double Last Year | AeroVironment | Lawsuit

In his weekly report, Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa writes that:

~ The crowd at the Fourth of July event was about 9,000 people, more than double the number who attended last year. Ochoa writes: "There were folks setting up their spots in Library Park at 10 a.m.! The Park and the 300 & 400 blocks of Myrtle were packed."

~ When AeroVironment was threatened by terrorists, the city took "appropriate measures," but then, "Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on your perspective - word about this threat was leaked to the media and a frenzy began." [Opinion: Well, I'll go with "fortunately." This was an important news story that needed to get out, frenzy or not.]

~ Regarding a lawsuit charging city councilmembers shouldn't be on the Gold Line board because it is a conflict, Ochoa says lots of regional agencies are arranged that way as long as it is "expressly allowed by law". So, he writes, if that's a problem, the law can just be changed to allow it.


- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Concert Series | Football | Make a Basket

~ The Doo-Wah Riders performed in the Monrovia summer concert series at Library Park last night. Picture: . Next up, the Wonderelles (50s music), July 17 (this coming Sunday) at 7 p.m.

~ Football: Monrovia over Crescenta Valley, falls to Arroyo High.

~ Learn to make an African-style coiled basket. Teen area at Monrovia Public Library, Wednesday, July 13, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free.

- Brad Haugaard

WorleyParsons Hiring Oil and Gas Professionals

WorleyParsons - an international engineering firm with offices in Monrovia - is holding a job fair near the Ontario Airport to hire "Full-Time and Contract candidates with experience in the Oil and Gas Industry," according to a large ad by the company in today's paper Star-News.

Nice to see somebody hiring these days.

- Brad Haugaard

Toolbox is not a Bomb in Monrovia

Suspicious toolbox found on Myrtle Avenue parking lot in Monrovia is found to be harmless.
- Brad Haugaard

Coffee-Table Book About Monrovia | Portantino Outraged Over Proposed College President Salary

~ Project One will be a coffee-table book documenting each of 52 weeks in a year of Monrovia's life with black-and-white photos by 52 photographers.

~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, is hopping mad about a plan to give the new San Diego State president a $400,000 salary.

- Brad Haugaard

Twice as Many People Need Monrovia's Unity Center

Foothill Unity Center reports: "The economic crisis has doubled the number of local people and families coming to us for food and help in the past three years." If you can help, the Center would appreciate it.

- Brad Haugaard

Work on Freeway Bridge | Gold Line 'Hopeful' it can Acquire Land forMaintenance Yard

Gold Line spokesman, Habib Balian, sends these photos, taken this morning, of construction that has just begun on the new Gold Line freeway bridge that will span the eastbound 210 Freeway just before the Santa Anita off-ramp. He writes: "Multiple lane closures have taken place over the last several nights, and I am happy to report that they have gone very smoothly."
Also, he reports that "the Authority remains in active negotiations toward acquisition of the 24 acres of public and privately-owned property [in Monrovia] required for the project's Maintenance and Operations Facility. At this time the Authority is reasonably hopeful that we will be able to complete the acquisitions in time to meet our schedule, and stay on track to complete construction of the Pasadena to Azusa segment in 2015."
- Brad Haugaard

Help Monrovia Cats Get to Carnegie

Help the Monrovia Wildcat Band and Colorguard get to Carnegie Hall. Have dinner Tuesday, July 12, at Rudy's Restaurant on Myrtle in Old Town. The restaurant will give back 30% on all purchases from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the attached flyer.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Gene's Grinders

Gene's Grinders, at Myrtle and Walnut. Why has nobody told me how good this is? I'm glad I got the small pastrami dip. They really don't skimp. Definitely worth a return visit.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Complication | Monrovia's McCarthy Likes Cal and USC | Doings of State Representatives

~ More on attorney charging Gold Line board members shouldn't also be officers in cities through which the line will run. (Hmm. I thought that was the whole point, so the views of the cities along the route are represented on the Gold Line board.)
~ Monrovia defensive tackle, Ellis McCarthy, says Cal and USC are his favorites.
~ A rape-kit bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has passed a State Senate committee.
~ A measure by State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, to allow school employee volunteers to give emergency medical assistance to pupils who suffer epileptic seizures while on campus, has been approved by the Assembly Education Committee.
- Brad Haugaard

WorleyParsons Expanding in Monrovia | Mayor Keynote Speaker at Symposium

~ WorleyParsons to stay in Monrovia, and expand.

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz will be a keynote speaker at the State of the San Gabriel River Watershed Symposium on this July 20, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The symposium will discuss five years monitoring the land that drains into the San Gabriel River. She says, "The day should be very informative. All are welcome!"

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD: Thieves Drive BMW Getaway Car, Assault, Hit and Run, Etc

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 29 - July 6. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last eight-day period, the Police Department handled 615 service events, resulting in 88 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Grand Theft Auto
On June 29 at 7:50 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Evergreen regarding a stolen vehicle.  The female victim reported her vehicle had been stolen some time during the night.  The vehicle is a black, 1990 Honda Accord.  The victim has accounted for all sets of keys.  The vehicle has a damaged passenger headlight that has been taped, a driver side window that does not close all the way, a sunroof and chrome rims.  Investigation continuing.
Residential Burglary
On June 29 at 1:13 p.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 100 block of East Colorado on a residential burglary call.  The victim reported his apartment had been burglarized while he was out of town.  A small amount of cash, a video game station, and several video games were taken.  Investigation continuing.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon - Suspect Arrested
On June 29 at 9:24 p.m., police received a call reporting a fight in front of a residence in the 200 block of East Cherry.  Two male subjects at the location began to argue and one stabbed the other in the neck.  The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment and the suspect was arrested without further incident.
Hit and Run Traffic Collision / Solo Vehicle Traffic Collision - Suspect Arrested
On June 30 at 10:28 p.m., a resident inside her home heard some type of collision occur on the street.  Several residents went out to investigate and found that a parked vehicle had been struck.  A gray compact vehicle was observed leaving the scene.  Officers located a vehicle side-view mirror and a piece of car molding in the street.  An area check was conducted, but the vehicle was not located.
At 11:08 p.m., a motorist witnessed a gray Honda Civic strike the center divider in the 300 block of East Huntington and called police.  Officers arrived and found a solo occupant who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  During the investigation, officers noticed the side-view mirror was missing from the vehicle, as well as a piece of molding.  The officers compared the side-view mirror and molding recovered from the hit and run traffic collision and discovered it was a match.  The driver was not injured and there was no damage to city property.  The vehicle sustained moderate front-end damage, two flat tires, and the airbags deployed.  The driver was arrested for driving under the influence, and also charged with the hit and run traffic collision.
Grand Theft
July 1 at 7:43 p.m., a male subject was inside a business in the 100 block of West Foothill using his laptop computer.  Two male suspects entered the store.  The suspects were seen looking around.  They approached the victim from behind and quickly grabbed the computer and ran out of the store.  The suspects were last seen getting into a light gray, 4-door BMW and traveling south on Primrose.  The investigation is continuing.
Driving Under the Influence / Solo Vehicle Traffic Collision
On July 3 at 11:02 p.m., officers responded to Foothill and Grand regarding a solo vehicle traffic collision with injuries.  When officers arrived, they discovered the driver and his passenger had moderate injuries.  The officers detected the odor of alcohol on the driver's breath.  The driver and passenger were taken to a hospital to treat their injuries, and a blood sample was obtained from the driver.  The driver was not arrested due to his injuries; however, DUI charges are pending, based on the results of the driver's blood alcohol level.  The fire hydrant at the corner of Foothill and Grand was damaged.  Public Works was notified and responded to inspect the fire hydrant.
Drug Activity / Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
On July 4 at 12:11 p.m., an officer was dispatched to an alley in the 300 block of Valle Vista regarding a suspicious vehicle.  When he arrived, he located the vehicle parked in a "No Parking" zone and blocking the alley.  The vehicle was occupied by three male subjects.  During a consensual pat-down search of one of the subjects, the officer found what looked like rock cocaine inside the subject's pants pocket.  It was packaged in a clear plastic baggie, which was sealed.  The subject was arrested without incident.
On July 5 at 12:20 a.m., an officer responded to a location in the 600 block of West Lemon regarding a deceased male subject, 46-years-old, that had hung himself in his bedroom.  The Coroner was notified and responded to the residence to take over the investigation.
Suicidal Subject
On July 5 at 1:19 p.m., an officer responded to the report of a suicidal subject.  When he arrived, the subject drove off in his vehicle.  A short pursuit ensued, which ended in the 600 block of West Duarte, where the subject crashed into a house.  The suspect ran, but was quickly apprehended by officers on East El Norte.  He was taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation.  There were no officers or citizens injured in the incident.
Burglary - Suspect Arrested
On July 6 at 12:04 p.m., officers went to an apartment in the 700 block of South Myrtle on the report of a burglary.  The victim had locked his bicycles to a rack using a bicycle chain and lock.  When he returned, the bicycles were gone, as well as the lock.  The victim stated an ex-friend was probably the suspect, since he was one of two people who knew the combination to the lock.  The officer contacted the ex-friend at home.  They did not find the bicycles, but they did find a key fob for the apartment complex.  The investigation determined that the named suspect, a juvenile, had stolen the bicycles and he was arrested.  He was also charged with petty theft for the stolen key fob from the complex.
Residential Burglary
July 6 at 10:48 p.m., and officer was dispatched to the 800 block of West Hillcrest on a residential burglary call.  The victim's husband was the last to leave the residence at 9:15 a.m., and he left the rear laundry room door unlocked.  The victim returned at 10:45 a.m. and noted the door open and called police.  Officers responded and cleared the location.  The victim noted cosmetics, jewelry, and a camera missing.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Fairly Happy According to City Survey

Results of Monrovia's survey of residents' s satisfaction with the city.

Monrovians generally seem to be fairly happy with their community, according to the city's Neighborhood Survey.
The survey rates the city on Safety, Appearance, Services, and Community. Click here ( ) to see the full report, and information about your neighborhood.
Here are a few highlights on the 1-10 ratings:
- The city scored an overall 7.26, which falls in the Healthy category.
- Overall, Safety was rated 8.39, or "Thriving,"  and was the highest rated category by respondents in almost every area of the City.
- Community was the lowest rated (6.28), though that still falls in the "Healthy" range.
- Traffic issues, especially speeding, were are one of the main concerns.
- 90 percent of people feel safe in their neighborhoods during the day. 19 percent feel unsafe at night.
- 68 percent feel police and fire respond quickly and 65 percent believe safety officers treat people with dignity.
- 20-25 percent report public drug sales or use.
- Only 33 percent said that they often participate in social or recreation activities with neighbors.
- Just over 70% agreed that neighbors are friendly with one another.
If I could generalize, it appears the north end of town is a bit happier than the south end. In the south part of town are several neighborhoods rated "Stable," a level just below "Healthy."
- Brad Haugaard

Defending Monrovia's AeroVironment | Green Construction | Testimony in Sex Abuse Case

~ In an editorial, the Star-News defends America's use of the drones developed by Monrovia's AeroVironment against terrorists, but thinks America needs to "do a better job of explaining [to the world] the philosophical underpinnings of this kind of defense."

Opinion: Oh, Pish! Nobody hates us because of drones. People who hate us hated us before drones and they'll hate us after drones. So why do they whine about drones? Because they work.

~ A seminar on environmentally friendly construction. At the Monrovia Public Library, July 15 and 22.

~ Girl testifies in case of Monrovia man accused of sexual abuse.

- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Mayor Bob Bartlett Honored

Former Monrovia mayor Bob Bartlett - along with community supporter Robin Salzer, owner of Robin’s WoodFire BBQ in Pasadena - will receive Heart in Hand Humanitarian Awards at Foothill Unity Center's 13th Annual Golden Plate Awards. The award honors local people who have made an outstanding impact on the quality of life in their communities and beyond.
Bob Bartlett was born and raised in Monrovia and ran for City Council because he saw his hometown floundering while other cities were progressing. First elected in 1974, he became a major force behind the city’s extensive redevelopment projects. In 1976 he became the last Monrovia mayor appointed by the City Council and the city’s first African American mayor, serving a two-year term. In 1988, he was elected to the office, and served for another thirteen years. Many residents cite Bartlett’s strong leadership and vision as the key to Monrovia’s transformation from a blighted, gang-infested location to the prospering city it is today.
During his tenure, Bob served as the President of the California League of Cities and the Southern California Association of Governments as well as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the National League of Cities. He also played a major role in creating the Foothill Transportation Zone and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, among many other achievements. He also served as president of the board of Foothill Unity Center.
In March of this year, Bob received the 2011 Life Changers Achievement Award for his many contributions to the community at the San Gabriel Valley Gospel Expo in Monrovia. In praising the event for bringing people together, he made an observation that could describe his own career. “It’s not only redeveloping the buildings and edifices that’s important,” he said. “You have to change the hearts and minds of people.”
Tickets to the Unity Center event, the Center’s only major fundraiser of the year, are $75 per person. The evening will include silent and live auctions, al fresco trackside dinner, live entertainment and more. Sponsorship opportunities range from $1,000 Bronze to $10,000 Platinum packages, each with special recognitions including ads in the Tribute Program. Ads may be purchased separately.
The Center is also seeking items for the evening’s silent and live auctions. Donations valued at $50 or more will be acknowledged in the program. For more information, visit or contact Gerald at the Center, (626) 358-3486.
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Gold Line Bridge Construction Begins

Here is a video update of the construction of the new 210 Freeway bridge near the eastbound Santa Anita offramp. It's starting around now and will take about a year to build.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Street Repair - West Side Huntington Oaks | Unions Oppose Huff Measure

~ Street repair today along Monterey Avenue south of Huntington Drive. (That's on the west side of the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center).
~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, said legislation he authored that would allow "school employee volunteers to provide emergency medical assistance to pupils with epilepsy who suffer a seizure while on campus" is being opposed by school unions.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fourth of July Fireworks

Big crowd for fireworks. Along Myrtle from north of Palm to south of Lime. Filling the front of Library Park. Maybe 8,000? Mayor Lutz said it's bigger than last year. Yeah, easily. Fabulous show. I think there were some slow fuses for the finale, which went on for several minutes even after the lights went on. Still, I'll bet it is one of the best fireworks displays in the valley, and free is certainly the right price.

The show sponsors deserve some credit: Green Dot Corporation, Old Town Merchants Association, and Mayor Mary Ann and Corey Lutz. Thanks, folks, for a great time!

UPDATE: Oh, a much better picture of the fireworks than my cameraphone shots:

-Brad Haugaard

City of Hope Bloodmobile in Monrovia

Help with summer blood shortages. The City of Hope Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot of Citibank (237 S. Myrtle) this Thursday, July 7, from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, or schedule a time to give blood by calling Jill Schwartz at 626 471-7236 or email her at Donate blood and get a free 30-day VIP pass at Foothill Gym, which includes classes and a free session with a personal trainer.

Happy Independence Day! | Loss of Former City Manager | Sena Open

~ Fourth of July Celebration tonight. Should be great fireworks.

~ A letter from Pat Ostrye lamenting the death of former Monrovia City Manager Rich Beal.

~ I have it on good word (a friend ate there) that the new Sena restaurant on Myrtle is now open and serves delicious food.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia al Quaida Story Spans Globe | July Four Celebrations

~ The story about al Quaida targeting AeroVironment has spread all over, from LA (KTLA, to Sacramento (Sacramento Bee, to India (Times of India 
~ More on Monrovia's Fourth of July celebrations.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Massilia

Had lunch at Cafe Massilia on Lemon, just east of Myrtle. I had the Chicken Dijon. Tasty. Nice for a relaxed, special occasion. Oh, and the chocolate mousse is really delicious!

Monrovia Produce Swap | Huff Charges Wastefulness | Rising Football Star?

~ Swap produce (and "worm tea" and stuff) at the Library Park, July 1 (tomorrow, Saturday) from 9-11 a.m.

~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, charges that the quasi-public California School Boards Association wastes money, with at least one "City of Bell-style" salary, association money spent at a casino, and allegations of kickbacks.

~ Monrovia High's George Frazier, a replacement for Nick Bueno? 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council Date Moved

If you are a Monrovia city council attendee, the July 5 council meeting has been put off until July 6. I assume it will be at 6:30 p.m. Here's the agenda:

Big item on the agenda appears to be a hearing about the Gold Line property.

Also, staff is recommending the council take a stand on three state measures: oppose a bill making it harder for cities to go bankrupt; oppose a bill requiring an election before cities can contract out library services; and (tentatively) support a bill that would reform redevelopment.

- Brad Haugaard

Al-Qaida threatens Monrovia's AeroVironment

Al-Qaida threatens 11 executives of Monrovia-based AeroVironment.

- Brad Haugaard