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Shaw's Seat on Monrovia City Council | API Scores | City Beat | 9-11 Memorial

~ Discussion of Clarence Shaw's empty seat on the Monrovia City Council.
~ API scores show Monrovia schools doing a bit better.
~ The latest City Beat cable program features Sena (a new pub) and Candy Connection on Myrtle and information about the Police Department's "Drive 25" program.
~ 9-11 memorial. Just a reminder, there will be a memorial at Fire Station 101, 141 E. Lemon Ave., at 1 p.m. Sunday, September 11. It will begin with a presentation of the colors, the national anthem, then Mayor Mary Ann Lutz will give a presentation and the city's Youth Commission will present a tribute poem, and a bronze statue will be unveiled.
- Brad Haugaard

Old Car Show in Monrovia | Financial Aid | Green Dot

~ Saturday, Sept. 10, there will be an old car show along Myrtle, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce.
~ A student financial-aid simplification bill by Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been approved by the Legislature and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. A Portantino press release says it would "end a needlessly duplicative process and get more students to participate in state and federal aid programs." 
~ Monrovia's Green Dot will give a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Financial Technology Conference.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Ellis McCarthy on Cover of Local Sports Magazine

If you are a high school football fan, you probably ought to pick up a paper copy of the Star-News today. It comes with a nice insert magazine - prepXtra - with Monrovia's Ellis McCarthy on the cover and profiles of all the local teams (it ranks Monrovia #1).
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator: Budget and Economy Bad, Epilepsy Bill Progresses

Senator Bob Hufff, who represent Monrovia in the State Senate, paints a bleak picture of the California budget and economy in his latest newsletter ( ), but on the bright side, he says his bill to authorize school employee volunteers to provide emergency medical assistance to pupils with epilepsy who suffer a seizure is making progress:
Huf writes that "there's no question that the budget is in trouble." He says it depends on "overly optimistic" tax estimates which are not coming true, plus the State Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to the state's plan to kill redevelopment [and thus collect more tax revenue].
Also, he writes that "the California unemployment rate edged up to 12%. It’s the first increase in the jobless rate since September 2010. California’s unemployment rate is now 30% higher than the national average. This isn’t good news."
- Brad Haugaard

210 Bridge Foundation About to be Drilled

Mr. Crane being assembled to drill foundations.

The foundation for the 210 bridge over the eastbound lanes near Santa Anita will be drilled over the next four weeks, according to a press release from Gold Line Spokesman Habib Balian.
In the image you can see a large drill rig and crane are being assembled on the south side of the freeway. This is the location of the first of three 110 foot deep, 11 foot in diameter foundations. The other two are located in the center median of the freeway.  
"Each foundation will take approximately six days to drill and cast. We anticipate drilling the first foundation next week, followed by the installation of the reinforcing steel cage, concrete placement and testing the following week. This schedule is dependent on receiving final approval from Caltrans this week. During these activities, partial and full eastbound lane closures are planned (full closures occur late at night to minimize traffic delays)."
- Brad Haugaard

Indian Restaurant for Myrtle Ave.

an "upscale" Indian restaurant will replace Teri & Yaki near Foothill and Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

Paintings at Segil Fine Art

Paintings by Lynne Fearman (car) and Sharon Weaver (walkway) on display until October at Segil Fine Art, 110 W. Lime. Artist's reception this Saturday, Sept. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Introduces New Drone

AeroVironment introduces Shrike "quadcopter" vertical take-off drone.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Green Dot Hires General Manager

Green Dot Corporation, a Monrovia-based prepaid financial services company, has hired marketing and branding expert Eric Duehring as general manager of the Green Dot-branded card business unit.
- Brad Haugaard

Comment Time for Monrovia Hillsides | Welcoming Baby Monrovians | Happy Birthday

~ Monrovia seeks comment on Hillside plan.

~ City Council welcomes the newest Monrovians.

~ is a bit over a year old. Here's a link to our first posting, on July 31, 2010. On bears. What else.

- Brad Haugaard

Stanford Report: Numbers Used Against Portantino 'Suspicious'

A Stanford University non-profit research group, California Common Sense (CACS), says Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, is not the top spender in the Assembly - he's 18th - and that the figures released by the Assembly that show him to be the top spender are "suspicious."

From the CACS press release: "Given everything we know right now, it appears that the Rules Committee under-reported other Assemblymembers’ spending on staff and over-reported Portantino’s spending on staff. If this turns out to be the case, it is a sad day for California. It is a problem if elected officials such as Portantino who seek more transparent and accountable governance are being punished."

In his own press release, Portantino writes that the Stanford researchers "have completely exposed the clumsy attempt to falsely portray me in a bad light and exposed petty politics at its worst.  The actions of the Assembly leaders not only undermine the public’s trust, they raise serious constitutional questions."

He adds: "I am asking the legislature to join me in requesting a complete and thorough audit of the State Assembly’s budget and expenditures."

Sources: CACS press release ( ), CACS executive summary ( ), CACS Policymaker Report ( )

UPDATE: Commenting on the Portantino affair, the Star-News accuses Assembly Speaker John Perez of "cooking" the Assembly's books and says he should resign.

- Brad Haugaard

Back to School, Monrovia! | Profile of Ellis McCarthy

~ Back to school day. Drive carefully! And here's a picture:

~ LA Times column on Monrovia football player, lineman Ellis McCarthy:

- Brad Haugaard

Hit and Run Near Farmers' Market

Man run over near Farmers' Market.


- Brad Haugaard

Hurray for the Frugal Ones!

Opinion: It is disappointing to find Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been spending more than any other Assembly member on office staff ($213,263.28) so far this year -- unless, of course, as Portantino maintains, that this isn't the full picture.

Still, I very much appreciate him forcing this information out into the open. But anyway what REALLY strikes me is the following five Assembly members, who all managed to squeak by spending less than $100 grand on their office staffs:

Jose Solorio (D), $98,134.27
Mariko Yamada (D), $96,990.86
Mike Morrell (R), $86,610.09
Bob Blumenfield (D), $81,036.50
Mary Hayashi (D), $62,457.60

I don't know how they vote on the bigger issues of spending, but good for them for keeping their office expenses under control. Maybe the rest of the Assembly could take lessons.
- Brad Haugaard

Released Records: Portantino Had Highest Spending | Ellis McCarthy Pictures | Accident Pictures | School Summer Music | Four Burglary Arrests

~ According to this article ( ), recently released Assembly records show that Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, spent more than any other Assembly member. Portantion has called this the equivalent to an April Fools joke:
~ Pictures of Monrovia's Ellis McCarthy. "Intimidating."
~ Photos of Friday accident at Huntington and Mayflower.
~ Summer music at Monrovia schools.
~ Four Monrovians arrested on suspicion of burglary in Pasadena.
- Brad Haugaard

Next Monrovia School Board Meeting

Back to school night schedule

At the next School Board meeting - Aug. 31, 7 p.m. in the board room (agenda: ) - the board will, among other things:

~ Consider ratifying an agreement with the various school employee unions. Big items: in 2013 employees will take a 3 percent salary cut, but will work six fewer days. Also, annual health insurance cost for employees will rise from $300 to $800.
~ Hear a report on the STAR test results.
~ Decide whether to fill Clare Chesley's seat (she moved out of town) or just leave it vacant until the November 8 election.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Could Take Another Financial Hit

The likelihood of state cuts to K-12 education is "quite real," according to an analysis by David Conway, Monrovia Schools' Director of Fiscal Services.
In his preamble to a proposed revised budget ( ) that the school board will consider at its August 31 meeting, Conway slammed the state and warned of possible cuts to come. Here's some of his analysis:
"As has become standard practice in recent years, the State Budget is balanced using some accounting gimmicks, funding shifts and an increase in the deferral of state apportionments into the next fiscal year. Even more troublesome, this budget assumes an additional $4 billion dollar increase in State revenue above the already optimistic assumptions used in the May Revised budget.
"To reassure financial markets and others that this budget was in fact balanced despite its rosy revenue assumptions and projections, the legislature included a 'trigger' that will be implemented after December 15th if revenue collections do not meet the projections at that time.
"Should these revenues not be realized, mid-year cuts - including cuts to K-12 education - will be implemented, unless subsequent legislation offering a different solution is passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. July State tax collections were well under projection. The probability of mid-year and/or out-year cuts to K-12 education funding is quite real."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Portantino Says Perez Insults Public

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, responded today to the release of Assembly documents, saying:

"If these documents were not posted on the Assembly's web page, I would think they were an April fool's joke.  Today, Assembly Speaker John Perez released 8 month expenditures that continue to mislead the public on how the Assembly operates.  The documents released hide true and accurate accounting of staff budgets and complete staff expenditures.  I once again implore Assembly leaders to come clean and open the Assembly to true transparency.  The documents released today are an insult to the public."
- Brad Haugaard (from press release from Portantino's office)

Monrovia's Clifton Middle School Gets New Principal

Monrovia High Assistant Principal Jennifer Gates will be moving over from Monrovia High School to take over the job of principal at Clifton Middle School, according to Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Kiku Sushi

Lunch at Kiku Sushi, 670 W. Huntington, just west of Chili's. Got a JalapeƱos Bomba (not strictly authentic Japanese) and Kiku's Lunch with chicken teriyaki and spicy albacore roll. Very nice.

- Brad Haugaard

World Vision vs. Famine

Monrovia's World Vision challenges African Union to show leadership in Horn of Africa famine.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia #1 | PetSmart Coming | Slow from Pasadena Tonight | Mayor Wins Civic Award | Cabaret Night

~ Monrovia No. 1 in Mid-Valley Division Top 10 poll.

~ The old Circuit City on Huntington will be a new PetSmart.

~ Two 210 Eastbound lanes will be closed tonight for bridge construction. Between Rosemead and Santa Anita, 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz has won the Civic Award from the NAACP and will be receiving it September 8.

~ San Gabriel Valley Choral Company will present "Cabaret Night" at First Presbyterian Church on Sept. 24.

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Accuses State Legislature of Hypocrisy and Corruption

Assembly Member Anthony Portantino - who represents part of Monrovia - has introduced legislation to force the Legislature to comply with the California Public Records Act.
A press release from Portantino's office says: "Currently, the State Legislature is the only government agency in California that exempts itself from compliance with this important 'good government' standard."
It then quotes Portantino as saying: "It is hypocritical of the Legislature to say it embraces open government when it is fighting so hard to keep the public in the dark on how it operates.  A secret budget is by its very nature a corrupt budget.  Assembly leaders are putting themselves above the will of the people by declaring that budgets, expenditures and ongoing operational documents are preliminary drafts, notes, or legislative memoranda."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD: Arguing Over Steering Wheel, Another Termite Burglary

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for August 18-24 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 579 service events, resulting in 99 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Family Disturbance / Mental Evaluation

On August 20 at 7:04 p.m., police responded to a family disturbance in the 900 block of West Olive Avenue. A mother and her 17-year-old son became involved in an argument. During the argument, the son expressed a desire to hurt himself. The son had been drinking alcohol and the mother reported that he has recently been depressed. The son was taken to a hospital and held for mental evaluation.

Driving Under the Influence / Hit and Run Traffic Collision With Injury – Two Suspects Arrested

On August 21 at 1:56 a.m., a male and two female subjects were riding in a Toyota truck in the 700 block of Ridgeside Drive, returning home from a party. The male driver and female front passenger began to argue, and the female grabbed the steering wheel from the driver, causing him to crash into a parked car. The driver fled the area, but was located by an officer. The driver and female passenger were intoxicated. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence and felony hit and run with injury. The front female passenger was arrested for public intoxication and for interfering with the driver of the vehicle. The second female passenger was taken to a hospital for back pain.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On August 21 at 12:06 a.m., an officer on patrol came across a vehicle parked partially in the street at Walker and El Norte with its engine running and the driver sleeping behind the wheel. The driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Commercial Burglary

On August 22 at 4:11 a.m., officers responded to a business in the 900 block of West Huntington on an alarm activation. Upon arrival, they discovered a smashed window. A responsible party arrived and reported that several cell phones and one computer monitor was taken. Investigation continuing.

Commercial Burglary

On August 22 at 11:39 a.m., an officer responded to a business in the 1500 block of South California regarding a burglary. Unknown suspect(s) cut the chain link fence around an outside yard and made entry into a secured area where merchandise is kept. Investigation continuing.

72-Hour Hold / Mental Evaluation

On August 23 at 8:44 a.m., a resident in the 1600 block of Pilgrim Way reported that her grandson was threatening suicide. When officers arrived, the subject became uncooperative and was combative. He struggled with officers as they attempted to take him into custody for his own safety. One officer sustained a minor injury during the incident. The subject was taken to a hospital, where he was held for 72-hour mental evaluation.

Grand Theft Auto

On August 23 at 2:49 p.m., a resident in the 900 block of South Ivy reported his vehicle had been stolen. He reported he had brought a male subject to his house to put some music together. The suspect told the victim he had left his wallet in the victim’s vehicle. The victim handed the subject the keys to his vehicle. The suspect entered the vehicle and drove away, heading west on Huntington toward the freeway. The victim’s vehicle is a silver, 2000 BMW 740i. Investigation continuing.

Brandishing a Weapon

On August 23 at 4:40 p.m., a subject/victim was sitting in his vehicle in a business parking lot in the 500 block of West Huntington. Another subject in a vehicle parked next to his displayed an offensive hand gesture after the victim asked him what was wrong. A female passenger in the vehicle brandished a gun and the suspects drove off. The victim followed the suspect vehicle and last saw it heading eastbound on Duarte at Myrtle. The suspect vehicle is described as an older model Izusu Rodeo. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary

On August 24 at 4:52 a.m., an officer on patrol noticed a large hole in a fumigation tent on a residence in the 100 block of Stedman Place. The hole was directly outside a window; the window was wide open and a light was on. An officer watched the location for some time, but no one was located in or around the house. The location was checked for loss after it was safe to enter and it was discovered that a 42-inch television had been stolen from the residence. Investigation continuing

- Brad Haugaard

Recreation Department Classes | Monrovia High Exit Exams | Businesses We Want

~ If you are dying to learn Zumba, or any of dozens of other useful skills, Monrovia Recreation Division has classes for all ages. Here's the newest list: . And here is a sign-up form:

~ How Monrovia High did on High School Exit exams. Short answer: better.

~ Here are the businesses people want in Monrovia. Number one: a bookstore. Lotsa luck with that. I think bookstores are, sadly, going the way of newspapers.

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Gets Audit of High Repair Bills

At the request of Assembly member Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, the state's Joint Legislative Audit Committee today agreed to investigate charges of overcharging for repair work in state-owned properties along the 710 Freeway corridor. Portantino requested the audit into how Caltrans has managed state properties along the 710 Freeway right-of-way in the Pasadena area, after the LA Times reported finding roof repairs costing “four to five times what most homeowners could expect to pay for a new roof”.
- Brad Haugaard (from Portantino press release)

Monrovia Hillsides Presentation | MHS Auditorium

~ Presentation on Draft Environmental Impact for Monrovia hillsides.
~ I hear that the revamped Monrovia High School auditorium is opening this Friday and that it is "beautiful."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Canyon Rattlers

This rattlesnake (in Monrovia Canyon Park) took a lunge at my biking buddy today. I think they were both surprised. We saw two rattlers within three minutes. This one is the biggest I've ever seen.

Sacramento Acts Against Possible Gold Line Lawsuit

The Gold Line is getting support from Sacramento in its battle with a Monrovia property owner, with legislators introducing legislation to permit local city council members to sit on the Gold Line board, and also by appealing to the state Attorney General not to allow the property owner's lawsuit to proceed. Habib Balian, of the Gold Line, writes:

"As many of you know, legislators representing the corridor are supporting legislation in Sacramento to respond to technical challenges being made by a local property owner trying to slow down or stop the project. The allegations he makes relate to the issue of 'incompatible offices,'  suggesting that local officials have a conflict of interest by serving on the Gold Line Board. However, as Assemblywoman Torres  points out in the article 'The best qualified folks to sit on these types of boards are the ones who sit on local city councils.' This LA Times article outlines the issue and the work led by Assemblywoman Norma Torres and Senators Hernandez and Huff."

- Brad Haugaard

Henry's to Become Sprouts

Henry's Farmers Market, on Huntington, is switching its name to Sprouts Farmers Market, as part of a merger between Henry's and Sprouts.

- Brad Haugaard

Ramirez in Monrovia Football Lineup

De'Shawn Ramirez back in lineup for Wildcats football.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia FD Uses Jaws of Life | Have a Home Escape Plan

~ Monrovia Fire Department responded to 95 emergency calls from 8 a.m. August 9 to 8 a.m. August 16, 2011, including an early Sunday morning collision in which firefighters used the Jaws of Life to rescue a female from a vehicle. She suffered a broken leg and was transported to a trauma center in stable condition. 

~ Also, the Monrovia FD recommends creating a home escape plan. Scroll down a bit to see the instructions on making one: 
- Brad Haugaard

Mayor on How Monrovia is Helping Air Quality

Video of Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz being interviewed by the Air Quality Management District's "On the Air" program, discussing how Monrovia is helping improve local air quality.

- Brad Haugaard

Popular Pastor to Start Church in Monrovia

Albert Tate, a popular pastor at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, is starting a new church in Monrovia that will hold its first service Jan. 15, 2012. Tate is dividing his time between serving at Lake Avenue Church (the large church at Lake Avenue and the 210 Freeway) and this new venture. He is looking for a building in Monrovia and will spend several months in New York, where he will study how to start churches.
Tate is known for his humorous and congregation-involving style. A sermon clip ( ) and a one-on-one chat ( ).
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Killed

Monrovian killed in North Hollywood shooting.

UPDATE: Police searching for gunmen.

- Brad Haugaard

Star-News Editorial Page

For the second Saturday in a row, the paper Star-News (which covers Monrovia) has not had an editorial page. Last Saturday I thought maybe it was just an emergency problem fitting it in to the paper - though I had never seen it missing in decades - but now, twice in a row, I think maybe it is going away on Saturdays. Too bad.
- Brad Haugaard

Construction at Old Spire's Site

Construction appears to have begun on what I've heard will be a Chase Bank at Huntington and Monterey. At the old Spire's restaurant site.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Chili's

Got the Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla with a bowl of chili. $7. Very good. Been to Chili's many times and they've never disappointed me.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Quarterback | More Portantino | And Now Donnelly, Too

~ Monrovia High quarterback:

~ Portantino vs. Perez - columnist says it's about Congress:

~ And now Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (who also represents part of Monrovia) and two other Republicans have released their full office budgets in defiance of Assembly leadership and in support of Democrat Portantino. [How about that - bipartisanship.] Donnelly said voters would be angry if they knew how the legislature spends its money.

- Brad Haugaard

Redistricting the County | Should Monrovia Football Worry?

~ Three plans for redistricting for the County Board of Supervisors.

~ Should Monrovia High football be worried about West Covina?

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Art

If you are interested in public art at the Gold Line stations, here are two videos produced by the Gold Line folks that talk about it: and .
The first of these video says that the Gold Line spends half a percent of its $810 million budget on public art, or, a little over $4 million.
- Brad Haugaard

Foundations About to be Built for 210 Bridge

Work will soon begin on the foundations for the Gold Line bridge over the 210 near the eastbound Santa Anita Avenue offramp, including three 110-foot deep foundations, according to a press release from the Gold Line, which adds ...
"Over the coming months, intermittent partial and/or full freeway closures of the eastbound I-210 lanes will continue to occur, mostly from Midnight to 5:00 a.m.  Traffic will be detoured along Foothill Boulevard.
"Avoid Traffic Delays: Register to receive construction alerts to your cell phone or e-mail at"
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD Gets Money to Reduce Alcohol-Related Problems

The Monrovia Police Department has been awarded a grant in the amount of $20,000 by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Representatives from the department attended an ABC training conference in Sacramento earlier this month.
The grant will allow the Monrovia Police Department to focus on providing education to ABC licensed establishments in their responsibilities as licensees. The department will also focus on enforcement of alcohol related offenses related to the licensed establishments. The police department will be conducting inspections of licensed establishments, as well as conducting enforcement operations to ensure the establishments are operating within the law.
The Monrovia Police Department has not received a grant from ABC in the past. The Monrovia Police Department hopes to establish lasting relationships with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and with the licensed locations within the city.
Receiving an ABC grant for a city the size of Monrovia is significant because it will allow the Monrovia Police Department to focus on alcohol related offenses before they occur with a goal of reducing the number of alcohol related calls for service.
- Brad Haugaard (from Police Department press release)

Monrovia Detective Cases: Theft from Under Termite Tents, Molestation, Etc.

[Monrovia PD Detective Bureau Cases from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for August 11-17- Brad Haugaard]
Identity Theft
On Tuesday, August 16, 2011, Monrovia detectives served a search warrant in the 200 block of West Palm on an identity theft suspect's apartment.  Detectives found evidence linking the suspect to the crime.  Monrovia detectives also found evidence of three additional identity theft victims.  The suspect was arrested and the handling detective is continuing his investigation by contacting the three additional victims.  This case will be presented to the District Attorney's office for filing considerations.  The suspect will be facing a minimum of 10 identity theft allegations/charges. The investigation into the additional victims may produce even more allegations/charges of identity theft.
Residential Burglaries Committed While the Residences Were Tented and Being Treated for Termites
On Thursday, August 18, 2011, Monrovia detectives served a search warrant at a public storage facility in Arcadia in connection with two burglaries.  The investigation led the handling detective to believe that one of the suspected burglars had a storage space at this storage facility.  The search warrant allows the detectives to enter the storage space and to obtain information and records from the office regarding this space.  This investigation is still ongoing.
Child Molestation / Suspect Convicted on August 16, 2011
The suspect was arrested on December 15, 2009, for child molestation.  The suspect, a registered sex offender, allegedly, had repeatedly molested his live-in stepdaughter over an 8-year period, beginning when she was only 4 years of age.
The case was assigned to a detective for further investigation and the District Attorney's review.  During the course of the detective's investigation, he was able to locate a previous victim of the suspect, an ex-girlfriend's daughter.  She, too, was the victim of repeated sexual molestation by the suspect, which began when she was 6 years old.  This case occurred in West Covina in 1995, while the suspect lived with the victim's mother. 
Three felony charges were filed against the suspect for the Monrovia case by the Pasadena Superior Court and a jury trial began on August 10, 2011.  On August 16, 2011, the case went to the jury, and in a short 60 minutes, they returned with a verdict: GUILTY on all counts.  Each of the three counts holds a 25-year-to-life sentence, due to his prior felony sexual assault conviction.

Monrovia Police: Mother and Child Hurt in Car Accident, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for August 11-17- Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 659 service events, resulting in 103 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

Driving Under the Influence Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

On August 13 at 12:46 a.m., a female driver in an SUV was traveling south on Mayflower when another female driver in a sedan pulled out in front of her in the 1300 block of South Mayflower. The driver of the SUV was unable to stop and struck the sedan. Her SUV drove over the front end of the sedan, she overcorrected, and then struck a wall under the freeway overpass. The SUV was occupied by a 12-year-old female and her mother. The child sustained a broken femur and the mother sustained a broken left foot, both were taken to a hospital for treatment. The driver of the sedan was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. She was also taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Residential Trespassing

On August 14 at 12:15 p.m., the owner of an apartment complex located in the 100 block of Montana discovered that one of the empty units at the complex is being used by what appears to be transients. The transients left evidence of possible identity and the investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto Recovery

August 14 at 7:45 p.m., a stolen 1993 Nissan Altima was located at a hotel in the 700 block of West Huntington. The vehicle had been stolen out of Azusa on July 28. No suspect information is known. The owner responded and recovered the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

August 14 at 8:25 p.m., a green, 1997 Honda was stolen from a carport area in the 400 block of West Duarte Road. The victim last saw the vehicle at 9:30 p.m. the previous night. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto Recovery

August 15 at 8:20 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 1600 block of Radford Place regarding a suspicious vehicle. The officer located the vehicle parked on the street. It was a reported stolen vehicle and it was unlocked and intact. The victim was notified and responded to recover the vehicle. The victim did not find anything missing from the vehicle. A witness reported seeing a male Hispanic subject, 25-30 years old, 5'10", 200 pounds, with short hair and clean shaven. The subject drove the vehicle to the location and parked it. He then left the location in a Chevy Tahoe that had followed the stolen vehicle and was being driven by a female Hispanic, approximately 25-30 years old. The vehicle was returned to the victim and the investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary

October 15 at 1:54 p.m., an officer responded to the 200 block of South California on the report of a vehicle burglary. The victim reported that her locked vehicle was broken into and her property was stolen.

Vehicle Versus Pedestrian Traffic Accident

On August 15 at 4:07 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of North Mayflower Avenue regarding a traffic accident. The incident involved a vehicle that struck a 77-year-old female pedestrian. The Monrovia Fire Department paramedics were on scene and readying the victim to be taken to a hospital. The driver of the vehicle was apparently backing up his van, using only his mirrors, and did not see the female victim and struck her. The female subject fell backward onto the roadway and hit her head on the street. The victim was taken to the hospital and was in critical care overnight. She passed away the next day.

Criminal Threats – Suspect Arrested

On August 15 at 8:09 p.m., police received a call reporting a disturbing subject at the skate park in the 800 block of East Olive. The caller reported that a male subject was threatening people and said he had a gun, which was not seen, but he repeatedly reached into his waistband. The subject left the area prior to the arrival of officers. The suspect was claiming that the subjects at the skate park had taken his wallet, which he believed he had lost there. A short time after the officers left the area, the subject returned and confronted three people at the skate park. He pointed at them and threatened to shoot them. Officers responded and the suspect was positively identified by the victims, arrested, and charged for criminal threats. The suspect did not have a gun.

Attempt Burglary

On August 17 at 10:00 p.m., a resident in the 400 block of South Mayflower reported an attempt burglary. Sometime between August 16 and 17 an unknown suspect attempted to pry open the front door of the residence. There was no loss and the investigation is continuing.

No-Bail Warrant – Suspect Arrested

On August 17 at 1:04 p.m., an officer on patrol observed two suspicious subjects standing next to a vehicle in a parking lot in the 800 block of West Huntington and a third subject was crouching next to the vehicle. One of the standing subjects nudged the subject who was crouching down as if to alert him of police presence. The officer continued driving, but then went back to watch the three subjects. The officer believed the subjects were tampering with parked vehicles and detained them. Warrant checks revealed one of the subjects had two no-bail warrants for grand theft auto. He was arrested for the warrants. The other

- Brad Haugaard

Tree Blocks Monrovia Canyon Park

A rotted oak tree has fallen over and blocked cars from getting in or out of the upper park. I guess the folks here now will have a longer picnic than they counted on.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets Oregon Contract

Monrovia-based AeroVironment has been selected by the Oregon Department of Transportation to supply, install, operate and maintain electric vehicle charging stations along major highways.

Monrovia Patch Owner, AOL, Having Financial Troubles

AOL, the owner of the Patch local-news sites, including the Monrovia Patch, is having financial troubles. This article by Bloomberg ( ) suggests that AOL may be a takeover target, and this New York Times article ( ) says some people are thinking Patch may need to be closed. All speculation, mind you, nothing official.
Opinion: I hope Patch survives. Relative to MonroviaNow, Patch has more depth in its articles, but I have fun trying to be first getting an article on line -- though they often beat me there as well. But, anyway, it wouldn't be much fun without you guys. Best wishes, Patch!
- Brad Haugaard

STAR Test Results for Monrovia Schools | Study Supports Portantino

~ STAR test results for Monrovia schools.

~ Stanford research supports the claim of Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) that the California Assembly's finances are opaque. It concludes that in at least one case, spending by an assemblyman is more than eight times higher than claimed.

- Brad Haugaard

Fixing Riparian Habitats to Improve Innovation in California

Monrovia's assemblyman, Anthony Portantino, sent out a press release this morning saying that he supports the California Council on Science and Technology's just-released report on improving innovation. He said it "reflects California's unique way of addressing challenges and solving problems."
A summary of the report - which I found here: - calls California's situation "alarming," and compares us unfavorably with Texas, Virginia and Washington. The solution? 1) a privately-funded "California Innovation Corporation" to help academia and industry work together, 2) broadband Internet access for K-12 students, and 3) "publicprivate partnerships" to monitor and control water usage and quality, and to restore "watersheds and riparian habitats."
Opinion: Regarding solution 2 - Does this mean the state is going to quit stealing money from school districts so the schools will have the cash to install broadband? Regarding solution 3 - I agree water management is critical, but to suggest that water management is a key to improving innovation is just totally bizarre.
- Brad Haugaard

Run Over by a Rover - Unity Center's Back-to-School Event

At the August 18 Back to School Fair - organized by Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center - low-income children will receive school supplies and have a chance to feel the suspension wheels of a Mars Rover run over their bodies as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory brings a model rover to the event.
JPL will also bring an eight- by twenty-foot three-dimensional image of the McMurdo Panorama, the highest-resolution image ever taken of Mars, and will get to inspect a full-scale inflatable model of Curiosity, the rover for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, slated for launch this November.
Children will also get to talk with experts from ITT  Corporation, which handles operation and maintenance of the antennas, equipment, and facilities of the Deep Space Network (DSN) and provides mission operations support to JPL and NASA.
- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Monrovia's AeroVironment Plans Vertical Takeoff Aircraft

Monrovia's AeroVironment is considering creating a vertical takeoff and landing craft.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Book Sale | New Elected Representatives? | Portantino

~ In August, Friends of the Library is having is Yellow Dot sale. All adult books and media with a bright yellow dot on the spine are half-price. The Friends Store is in the Library.
~ Possible Monrovia representatives after redistricting.
~ Portantino-Perez feud continues.
- Brad Haugaard

September 11 Remembrance in Monrovia | Community Center Maintenance

~ A tenth anniversary remembrance of the 9/11 attacks will be held at the Monrovia Fire Department at 1 p.m., Sept. 11. Details:
~ Dates of facility maintenance at Monrovia Community Center:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets Huge Order | City Split in Redistricting | Flame Broiler Restaurant Opening

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment gets $65 Million order for its unmanned aircraft systems.
~ Redistricting chops Monrovia in two for congressional representation. 
~ A Flame Broiler fast-food restaurant that serves up healthy alternatives like grilled chicken teriyaki bowls is opening soon in the Henry's Market complex. 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Registration

Monrovia High Registration - Aug. 16 for Seniors, Aug. 17 Juniors, Aug. 18 Sophmores, Aug. 19 Freshmen. Aug. 22 Make-up Day. Students need TDAP shots to register. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision Helping Somalia

Monrovia's World Vision delivers tents for Somalia refugees.
- Brad Haugaard

Olympic Speakers in Monrovia

Monrovia Reads is sponsoring a Distinguished Speakers Series, featuring Olympians Louis Zamperini, John Naber, Mark Crear, and Kim Rhode. They'll speak at the Monrovia Library Community Room, from 7–9 p.m. on Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Feb. 9, 2012, and March 8, 2012. All proceeds benefit Monrovia Reads. Details here:
- Brad Haugaard

A Taste of Old Town Monrovia

Monrovia Kiwanis Club is sponsoring an event to let Monrovia restaurateurs show off their culinary skills. Food and music and proceeds go to benefit the YMCA. October 16, 5-8 p.m. on Myrtle between Lime and Olive. Tickets $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Details:
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Makes Drone-Bomb

The Economist Magazine describes drone-bombs called "Switchblade" being developed by AeroVironment.

- Brad Haugaard

Decoding Monrovia Street Lights | Motorcycle Crash | Why Hunt Was Selected as Police Chief

Selections from Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa's weekly report:

~ In case you were wondering how to tell streetlights that are owned by Monrovia from streetlights owned by Southern California Edison, well, all wooden and metal poles are owned by SCE, except for the green metal poles in the Old Town area around Myrtle Avenue. The remaining poles (concrete) are primarily owned by the City. So if you see any burned out bulbs, now you know who to tell. City Public Works: (626) 932-5575; SCE: (800) 611-1911

~ The Fire Department responded to 66 emergency calls from 8 a.m. August 2, to 8 a.m. August 9, including helping Arcadia treat a motorcyclist involved in a crash on the 210 on August 6. The cyclist "received traumatic injuries when he fell from his motorcycle. The victim was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital Trauma Center where he is expected to recover from his injuries."

~ Jim Hunt got the job as police chief, Ochoa writes, because of his "knowledge of the Department, personnel and community, his vision of the future of public safety in Monrovia, his proven leadership over the years, and his engaging management style earned him the job. ... [H]e is a Five Tool Player: he Thinks, he Leads, he Communicates, he knows our Operations, and he is a dedicated Public Servant."

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino's Transparency Legislation

[Press release from Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's office. Portantino represents part of Monrovia.]

Continuing his efforts to bring transparency and accountability to the State Legislature, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino  (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced an Amendment to the Standing Rules of the Assembly (HR20) calling for all Assembly financial records to be made public.

“Californians deserve the respect of the legislature by having access to how their money is being spent,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “We have used the better part of this legislative year legislating good practices in cities such as Bell and Vernon.  We need to lead by example and not shroud our budgets in secrecy.”

HR 20 requires all current financial records to be made available to the public, not a year from now, but immediately.  The resolution also provides for fairness in budgeting for all members’ office expenses and precludes leadership from either rewarding or punishing a member for voting their conscience.  There can no longer be arbitrary budget action under HR 20.  In addition, it requests that the State Controller conduct annual financial audits.

“Assembly leadership has refused to release current budget details and has not conducted a Performance Audit as required by law,” explained Portantino.  “Further adding insult to the process, the incomplete information released by the Assembly Rules Committee for last year has been discredited by the press.  Unfortunately, Leadership needs to be brought into the sunshine kicking and screaming. Under HR20, the adoption of members’ budgets would be done in an open and public hearing instead of behind closed doors. Not only will members’ budgets be made available, but, all Assembly leadership, committee, caucuses and all administrative budgets for the Assembly will have to be disclosed in comprehensive detail.  It is outrageous, unacceptable and wrong to keep the public in the dark when it comes to spending their money.”

The Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times have filed suit against the Assembly Rules Committee for keeping comprehensive budgets secret from the public.  Like the press, Portantino’s requests for comprehensive budget information have also been denied.

- Brad Haugaard

Ten-Year-Old Monrovia Boy Honored for Cancer Work

Nathan Hickey, 10, of Monrovia, has been honored by Kids Who Give, an organization that recognizes "young people who put their time, energy and hearts into helping people and making the world a better place."
Nathan formed Mountain Biking for Pablove to show support for kids with cancer. He rides his mountain bike for Team Pablove in races from March until September, and in October for Pablove Across America. Nathan races to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and in 2009 he raised almost $2,000 with his fundraising campaign.
For more about Kids Who Give, visit
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia a Leader in Curbing Gangs | Portantino | Adult School | Homeboy

~ According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Monrovia is "emerging as a leader on how to quell gang crime." Baldwin Park is asking for advice.

~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) defies his own Assembly Democratic leadership by pushing bill to make legislative expenditures public.

~ Registration is now open for classes at Monrovia Community Adult School.

~ Father Gregory Boyle, of Homeboy Industries, will be speaking at the library this Saturday.

- Brad Haugaard

Upstream at Monrovia Library Park

Nice calypso steel-drum sound at the summer concert series tonight.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Baldwin's

Lunch at Baldwin's Sidewalk Cafe, 110 E. Lime. Got the pralines and pear salad. Yummy.

- Brad Haugaard

Difficulties Faced by Monrovia Youth Baseball

A feature story in the LA Times about the problems faced by the Monrovia Youth Baseball League.
- Brad Haugaard

New Tech at Monrovia PD | Portantino

~ New Monrovia Police Chief, Jim Hunt, to introduce video reporting, crime mapping, more.
~ In Portantino Affair, Portantino may challenge Assembly Speaker John Perez' protege in primary battle.
- Brad Haugaard

UPDATED: Seven Candidates for Monrovia School Board

UPDATED: It looks like a crowded race for Monrovia Board of Education. Seven of the eight people who took out papers have filed to run. These are: Incumbents Ed Gililland and Bryan Wong; David Dale Crabtree; former Monrovia Mayor Rob Hammond; Janeane Lechuga Covarrubias, an escrow officer; Ed McCarthy, a businessman and parent; and Terrence G. Williams, entrepreneur/businessman. Crabtree is listed as living in Arcadia, but Superintendent Linda Wagner (see comments) says that this address could be unincorporated area which could fall within the Monrovia School District boundaries.

- Brad Haugaard

Clifton Principal to Gompers Middle School in LA

[From Monrovia Schools press release]

Traci Gholar has accepted a position with the Los Angeles Partnership
for LA Schools, as the new Principal of Samuel Gompers Middle School.
This Partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the City
of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District. Traci was
recruited for this position and will begin her new adventure August
Traci has been an integral part of Monrovia Unified School District as
a parent, teacher, student body director of activities and
administrator at Monrovia High School, as well as the principal of
Clifton. We will miss her very much and wish her the best in her new
- Brad Haugaard

Clifton Principal to LA Schools

According to multiple sources, Traci Gholar, principal at Clifton Middle School, will be leaving Monrovia schools. One source said, "it was pretty well known Ms Gholar was heavily recruited from LAUSD -- they sought her out and she accepted. Huge loss for MUSD."
- Brad Haugaard

Redevelopment Money Grab on Hold | The Calendar Battle

~ California Supreme Court blocks state's redevelopment money grab. . So... does this mean the state budget is again not balanced and the legislators have to forfeit their pay?
~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has released his legislative calendar to the press. Big yawn, right? Well, no. Apparently doing what you would think he has the right to do, and what he should do and what you'd think he would be required by law to do, puts him at odds with Assembly Speaker John Perez. More Assembly pettiness at the link:
- Brad Haugaard

Support Monrovia Band and Color Guard

Support the Monrovia Band and Color Guard by getting your car washed at CVS on Foothill and Fifth on Saturday, August 13, 10 to 2 p.m. and by visiting Cherry On Top, Monday, August 15 from 3 to 8 p.m. The band will earn 20% of all purchases made with the attached flyer.
- Brad Haugaard

Woman Sues Monrovia, Claiming She was Beaten By a Police Officer

A woman has filed suit against Monrovia alleging she was beaten by a Monrovia Police officer two years ago, according to the LA Weekly. , but Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt says it was the other way around, that she assaulted the police officer:

- Brad Haugaard

Open Audition for Monrovia Rotary Talent Show

The Rotary Club of Monrovia is looking for local talent for its annual talent show and BBQ. The selected performers will compete for the title of best in town and a $500 grand prize.

Open auditions will be held at the YMCA (501 S Mountain Ave, Monrovia) on Saturday, August 27, September 10, and September 17 each from 12 noon-3pm for the annual Monrovia’s Got Talent competition. All ages are welcome.

Please RSVP to Denise Harvey (626-483-4861) prior to the auditions to pre-qualify. All types of acts are welcome such as singing, dancing, comedians, instrumentalists, magicians, guitarists, novelty acts, or any other unique talents.

The annual talent show titled “Monrovia’s Got Talent” is a fundraiser for the Monrovia Rotary Foundation, a 501c3 charity which supports community and international projects. The event will be a talent competition as well as a Texas BBQ held on Saturday September 24, 2011 from 5pm to 10pm at the Monrovia Historical Museum (742 East Lemon, Monrovia).

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by contacting Denise Harvey (626-483-4861) or Julie Roybal (626-222-0571).

Continually updated information on the event can be found at

- Brad Haugaard (from press release)

Monrovia PD: Copper Wire Theft, Auto Theft, Domestic Violence, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for August 4-11 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 534 service events, resulting in 79 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:


On August 4 at 0:22 a.m., officers responded to the 800 block of West Huntington regarding a male transient reporting, three male suspects took him inside the restroom in the 700 block of East Lemon and beat him up. The suspects then took his shoes and wallet and fled in an unknown direction. The victim walked to the 800 block of West Huntington and called police to report the incident. There were no suspects found. Investigation continuing.

Mail Tampering

On August 5 at 4:02 a.m., an officer responded to a call in the 500 block of Valmont, regarding two male subjects seen tampering with two mailboxes in the area. An area check was conducted but the suspects were not located. Investigation continuing.


On August 6 at 9:03 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of West Huntington regarding a robbery that had just occurred. Officers were advised that a male suspect wearing dark clothing entered the business through the front door and proceeded to the “take out” counter. The suspect pointed a silver revolver at the female employee and demanded the money. The victim handed money to the suspect who fled out the front door and out of sight. Investigation continuing.


On August 7 at 3:52 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain regarding a burglary. On August 5, a male suspect committed an unreported theft, where he stuffed a backpack full of merchandise, then fled prior to being caught. On August 7, the same suspect re-entered the store and immediately began cutting off security sensors from tools using a cutting tool. The property was valued at over $2,000. The suspect began stuffing his backpack and was detained to prevent him from fleeing the store again. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Domestic Violence

On August 8 at 11:52 an officer responded to the 800 Block of West Olive regarding a domestic disturbance. A male suspect became intoxicated and began to argue with his live in girlfriend. The argument escalated and he assaulted her several times causing visible injury. He was arrested for domestic violence and placed in the sobering cell until he could be booked. An emergency protective order was obtained on behalf of the victim.

Vehicle Burglaries

On August 8, dispatch received reports of two window smash auto burglaries. The first occurred in the 400 block of South Alta Vista between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., the loss was an empty purse. The second occurred in the 100 block of North Mayflower between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., the loss was a black briefcase with cash, a telescope and a camera. There is no suspect information at this time. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

On August 9 at 6:55 a.m., an officer responded to the 500 block of Fano regarding a stolen vehicle report. The victim told the officer he parked his vehicle on the street in front of the location and left the keys on the seat. He did not lock the vehicle and did not have an alarm. The victim went inside the residence and returned an hour later to discover the vehicle missing. The vehicle is a white, 1991 Honda Accord. Investigation continuing.

Stolen Vehicle

On August 9 at 11:45 a.m., an officer responded to the 400 block of West Walnut regarding a stolen vehicle. The victim told him she parked and locked her vehicle on the street in front of the location at 1:00 a.m. She returned to her vehicle at 4:00 a.m., and it was missing. All keys were accounted for and there was no glass on the ground where it was parked. The vehicle is a green, 1991 Honda Accord. Investigation continuing.


On August 10 at 7:45 a.m. an officer responded to a business in the 700 block of West Huntington. The reporting party was a contracted electrician who is working at the location. The suspect(s) apparently forced open (by pushing in) a sheet of plywood covering a dock door on the north side of the building. Once inside, the suspect(s) removed approximately 100 feet of 1 inch copper wire and pushed a metal tool box out of the dock door opening. It appears, due to scrapes on the concrete floor, that the suspect(s) backed up a truck and loaded the metal tool box into it, and left undetected. Investigation continuing.

Attempt Vehicle Burglary

On August 10 at 11:40 a.m., an officer responded to 100 block of West Pomona regarding an attempt vehicle burglary. The reporting party reported that someone tried breaking into one of their vehicles, a Ford F-350 Van. The suspect(s) damaged the rear door lock of the van; however, no entry was made. Investigation continuing.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company Donates Milk to Africa

Prolacta Bioscience, a Monrovia company that creates human breast-milk formulations for critically ill premature infants, partnered with International Breast Milk Project to provide 5,000 ounces of milk to Cape Town South Africa.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Business Workshop Rescheduled

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce has rescheduled the Small Business Workshop Series.  Part One will be held on September 8, and will cover "Ten of the Hottest Human Resource Topics," with information on how to keep your business from being vulnerable. RSVP by calling, 626 358-1159 or by email to Korrine Ramirez at
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Launch Campaign to Slow Driving

The Monrovia Police Department has launched a campaign starting in August that reminds us to slow down in the name of safety.
“The Keep Kids Alive - Drive 25” anti-speeding campaign kicked off on National Night Out on Aug. 2. The intent is to remind drivers with signs, vests and even stickers on garbage cans to drive within the speed limit – especially in residential neighborhoods.
“Traffic enforcement impacts the number of speeding violators on our residential streets, but it is not the only solution to the problem,” said Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt. “The Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 traffic safety education program will be an important tool to help reduce the number of drivers exceeding the residential speed limit.”
Residents can pick up free signs and stickers from the Police Department’s lobby at 140 E. Lime Avenue, or by calling Sgt. Glen Coleman at (626) 256-8020. To get a yard sign, all residents need to do is sign up by leaving their name and address, and the Police Department will come by in two months to pick up the signs so the signs can be used in another neighborhood.
The program was initiated following concerns expressed by participants of a neighborhood survey, in which they noted the number of speeders on their streets. In response, the department performed a street radar survey.
Through the street radar survey, it was discovered between 2 to 12 percent of drivers exceed the speed limit on residential streets, and over 70 percent of the speeders are residents of the neighborhood. The survey also revealed that while violations occurred throughout the day, the highest volume of traffic occurred in the morning and afternoon.
The Drive 25 campaign – which is part of a national campaign based out of Nebraska – will hopefully make these drivers more aware of their speed by reinforcing to them to slow down with images of children playing in the street. The campaign comes at a time when children are gearing up to return back to school.
The Drive 25 campaign is among the several traffic safety programs offered by the Monrovia Police Department. To learn more about these programs, visit the website at
- Brad Haugaard (from Police Department press release)

Monrovia's World Vision in Somalia | School Board Candidates | Openness at Police Department

~ While the U.S. is becoming interested in helping with the famine in Somalia ( ), Monrovia's World Vision is already there:
~ Candidates who want to run for Monrovia School Board need to turn in their paperwork by this Friday. As you can see, eight people have taken out papers and three have filed. (See last two columns):
~ New Monrovia Police chief promises more openness.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Creates Huge Mural

Monrovian John Valadez has created a giant mural for Long Beach.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fundraiser for SEAL Families | Paying for Portantino's Proclamation

~ Monrovia's Team Crossfit Academy and the Monrovia Weekly are sponsoring a fundraiser to help the families of the Seals who lost their lives in Afghanistan. Details here: . And a story here:

~ State Assembly Speaker John Perez won't allow state funds to pay for a proclamation honoring a Pasadenan because it was proposed by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) and because Perez and Portantino are having a tiff, so a group of "little old ladies" have offered to step up and pay for the proclamation. Chee! Are there ANY adults in Sacramento?

- Brad Haugaard

City of Monrovia Hires a New Police Chief

The City of Monrovia is pleased to announce the hiring of Jim Hunt as the new police chief. Chief Hunt was selectedafter the exhaustive and highly competitive selection process.

Jim is a 20 year veteran of the Monrovia Police Department.  He was first hired in 1991 as a Police Officer.  He progressed through the ranks and was appointed to the rank of Police Sergeant in 1998, Police Lieutenant in 2002 and then to Police Captain in 2008.  He was appointed to the position of Interim Police Chief in May, 2011 upon the retirement of former Police Chief Johnson. Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said, “I have known Jim along time, and he is definitelythe right man for the job. Monrovia has many challenges ahead and I am confident Jim will lead this department with integrity and wisdom."

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Garcia said, “Jim has been preparing himself to be a chief for some time, and now that dedication is paying off for him; we’re pleased to have him as our new chief.” Chief Hunt has a Bachelor’s Degree from Whittier College and a Masters Degree in Public Administration fromthe University of La Verne. He also completed both the California Law Enforcement Command College, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s esteemed National Academy for leadership development in 2010.

Councilman Tom Adams said, “Jim has served the department in many different capacities throughout his career in Monrovia; he was especially instrumental in the gang injunction process a couple years ago, and we’re excited to have him leading our force into the future.” Councilmember Becky Shevlin said, “I’m pleased to have Jim as our new chief, he has shown great leadership as a captain and I have no doubt that will continue as the chief.”

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Huff Wants Easier Anti-Epileptic Treatments at Schools

State Senator Bob Huff, who represents part of Monrovia, is pushing for a bill to allow non-medical school employees to be trained to administer Diastat, a gel form of Valium that can stop epileptic seizures. Here is an article about that:

- Brad Haugaard

Background on Former Monrovia Fire Chief - now Federal Nominee

Background on Ernie Mitchell Jr., former Monrovia fire chief and nominee to head the United States Fire Administration.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Chamber Member Dies | Bike Racks | Portantino

~ The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce reports that a long-time member, Larry Van den Bossche, died of pancreatic cancer July 31.

~ A picture of one of the new old-town bike racks.

~ Not much new at this link, but this article has the cleverest headline I've seen regarding the Portantino Affair. It's called: "Portantino's Complaint."

- Brad Haugaard

Pix of Monrovia's Latest 'Produce in the Park'

Nice pictures of the latest "Produce in the Park" veggie exchange.
- Brad Haugaard

Seussical Play by Monrovia Team | Help Paying Gas Bill

~ A correspondent mentions Monrovia's Centre Stage, and its latest production, "Seussical," at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner theater in Claremont. She writes: 

"Wanted everyone to know of a wonderful hometown gem-of-the-foothills organization here in Monrovia for children - Centre Stage, with studio on Olive Ave. It was created as a nonprofit Community Theater Co in 2000  in order to offer the experience and joys of music and theatreand dance. Children can start as young as 4 and go through high school age. They produce amazing professional quality shows, providing the students with such a sense of fun and accomplishment. "
~ If you are having financial difficulties, Southern California Gas is offering several programs to help pay your gas bill.
- Brad Haugaard

Better Biking in Monrovia

If you are a bike rider, the Monrovia public works crews have just finished installing five new decorative old town bike racks 1. Breezeway across from the Krikorian theatre, 2. Northwest corner of Lemon and Myrtle, 3. Southeast corner of Colorado and Myrtle, 4. Southwest corner of Colorado and Myrtle, 5. On East Colorado near Ivy.

- Brad Haugaard

Pettiness in Sacramento | A South Monrovia Playground?

~ Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez has blocked a proclamation by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (also a Democrat, and who represents part of Monrovia) to honor a Pasadenan.
Opinion: These proclamations are purely routine and really advance no political agenda, and for Perez to block it because he and Portantino are having a fight about another topic is vindictive pettiness of a kind you'd find on a badly run kindergarten playground.
~ Pushing for a South Monrovia park.
- Brad Haugaard

Newspapers Sue to Get Legislative Records | Chu Seeks to Represent Monrovia | Emergency Tips

~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's skirmish with the State Assembly is turning into a battle. The Sacramento Bee and LA Times are now suing to force the Legislature to release office budget records.  (Portantino represents part of Monrovia in the Assembly.)
~ Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) will run to represent Monrovia in the House of Representatives.
~ Some emergency earthquake, fire, terrorist tips from the city:
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Nano Cafe

Lunch at Nano Cafe (on Duarte just a smidge east of Mayflower). Got the Rueben sandwich. $8.99. It was good.

-Brad Haugaard

A Point for Monrovia's Assemblyman

According to records released by the State Assembly, while Assembly members have cut their office expenses a smidge this year, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (representing part of Monrovia) spent a bit more, but then, so did nine other Democrats and three Republicans. The significance of this is that the Assembly leadership is temporarily laying off Portantino's office workers and he says it is because he voted against Governor Brown's budget. Assembly leadership denies that and says it was because he overspent his budget (which he denies).
Opinion: A big point for Portantino! To fully answer the question of whether Portantino is being singled out, we would have to know the budget for each Assembly member and whether they exceeded it. But since others have also increased their spending and are not being punished, that suggests Portantino is indeed - as he says - being punished for his vote.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fighter Plane Art

I love this mural/ventilator fighter plane. Very clever. It is in an alley on the west side of Myrtle. There is a path leading from Myrtle between Lemon and Lime. Take it and you'll see this.

- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Fire Chief Nominated to be Top US Fireman

A former Monrovia fire chief - Ernest Mitchell Jr. - has been nominated to be head of the United States Fire Administration.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Gets Help from Senator Hernandez

In the face of a lawsuit from a Monrovia landowner, Senator Ed Hernandez has been drafting legislation to expedite the Gold Line going forward. Here's an article:
- Brad Haugaard

Construction on 210 Freeway Bridge Begins

Freeway bridge construction, on eastbound 210 at Santa Anita exit.

Habib Balian, spokesman for the Gold Line, writes that:
"Work on the Iconic Freeway Structure has begun. As you have seen over the last few weeks, the center median of the eastbound I-210 is clear and the 500-foot-long retaining wall is well on its way to completion. The retaining  wall is the first step in the construction process, creating the needed wide flat surface for the large construction equipment to access the construction area....
"As construction continues in the coming weeks, the wall will be completed, and then work will begin on the 110 foot deep foundations. That will be the first time a late night full closure of the eastbound lanes will be needed.  We will provide advanced notice of those activities."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Man Hit with Bat, Hit and Run, Battery and Batteries

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for July 28-August 3 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 552 service events, resulting in 80 investigations. Following are the last week’s highlighted issues and events:

28th Annual National Night Out Against Crime

On August 2, 2011, the Monrovia Police Department united with cities across the nation to celebrate the 28th Annual National Night Out. National Night Out is an effective and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police/community partnership in our fight for a safer nation.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz kicked off the event with the “Keep Kids Alive Drive 25” program, which is geared to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety in residential areas. Thirty-five families signed up for yard signs and stickers to promote the program.

The festivities this year took place at Library Park with music from the live band, “Upstream.” Hot links, snow cones, popcorn, and police displays brought approximately 500 people out to celebrate. Forty-five families participated in the Child Identification program, over 700 hot dogs were served, and over 400 snow cones were given out. A great night was had by all, and the benefits from this great community event will extend well beyond one night out.

Battery Thefts

On July 29, two curbside box battery thefts were reported in the early morning hours. The boxes were pried open and the batteries stolen. The thefts occurred on Duarte at Magnolia and the 400 block of East Cherry. The investigation is continuing.


On July 29 at 9:29 p.m., officers were flagged down by a male subject who was bleeding from the mouth. He told officers he was jumped by two to three male juveniles. No suspects were located. Investigation continuing.

Wanted Robbery Suspect Arrested

On July 30 at 11:09 a.m., officers located a named robbery suspect they had been searching for extensively. The suspect was wanted for the robbery of a business in the 300 block of West Huntington that occurred on July 12. The suspect had approached a cashier with his hand in his jacket pocket and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t give him the money from the register. After obtaining the cash, he fled the location. Officers had identified the suspect and had been watching several locations he was known to frequent. He was located working on a vehicle in the city of Duarte and was arrested without incident.

Domestic Violence / Child Abuse – Suspect Arrested

On August 1 at 3:49 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of East Los Angeles Avenue regarding a male subject hitting another subject with a bat. When officers arrived, they located a male subject that was bleeding from a head injury. The two suspects with the bat had left the location. The investigation revealed that the subject with the head injury had physically abused his girlfriend, with whom he has two children. He had also physically abused one of the children. This subject was taken to a hospital for treatment. The identity of the two suspects that assaulted the domestic violence suspect is unknown at this time. The injured suspect was arrested after he was treated and released from the hospital. Investigation continuing.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision

On August 2 at 12:06 a.m., police received the report of a vehicle striking the Acapulco Restaurant building. The occupants of the vehicle fled the scene. Officers arrived and determined there were no injured patrons in the restaurant and no occupants of the car remained at the scene. A driver’s license and an employee badge belonging to a female subject were found at the scene, along with an identification card for another female subject. Further investigation revealed that the driver at the time of the accident was probably the female with the identification card. A location check of her residence was made, but she was not located. The investigation is ongoing and charges for driving without a license and hit and run will be pursued. Investigation continuing.

Felony Vandalism

On August 3 at 7:25 a.m., a resident in the 400 block of East Olive reported her vehicle had been vandalized. The vehicle was parked on the street and had been keyed during the night. At about 12:01 p.m., officers returned to the location, as two other vehicles belonging to the same victim had also been keyed. All of the vehicles had been vandalized sometime between 12:00 p.m. and 7:25 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Stompers | Adult School on Vacation

~ An article on Monrovia's Senior Stompers exercise group.
~ Monrovia Adult School will be closed until August 15 for a summer break.
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Fights for Legislative Openness | Monrovia Man Convicted of Murder | Small Business Seminar

~ Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia and is in a fight with the Assembly leadership, has proposed a bill to force the Legislature to disclose how much it spends on each of its members.

Opinion: Good for him! It is ridiculous that this is not already required by law. I would have thought it was a clear matter of public record.

~ Two men, including one Monrovia man, have been convicted of first degree murder in a San Bernardino Superior Court.

~ If you have a small business in Monrovia, the Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a three-part small business seminar. Here's a flyer with the details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor Thanks Representatives for Support of Redevelopment

[An open letter from Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz to Monrovia's representatives in Sacramento. - Brad Haugaard]

From Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz:

A Message of Thank You to Senator Bob Huff, Assembly Members Anthony Portantino and Tim Donnelly:

As Mayors and City Council Members, we find it hard to believe that Governor Brown and the California State Legislature actually voted to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies from the State of California in spite of clear facts that Redevelopment abates blighting influences and brings positive economic development benefits to our cities and the state. It is particularly disturbing that the Legislature would ignore the fact that less than a year ago the citizens of California voted overwhelming for Prop 22 – an initiative designed to protect local government funding and specifically, Redevelopment.

The sad fact is that they did approve the elimination Redevelopment; but not all State Legislators turned their back on the people they represent.

We are proud to stand next to and thank Senator Bob Huff, Assembly Member Tim Donnelly and especially the only democrat to oppose the bill, Assembly Member Anthony Portantino.

Taking principled stands that are not politically expedient is not easy. Representation that is meaningful and preserves local government serves all Californians and we are grateful to be represented by such fine public servants. Thank you Senator Bob Huff, Assembymembers Tim Donnelly and Anthony Portantino!

With gratitude from the Mayors and City Council Members from the following cities:

Monrovia Man to Stand Trial in Sex Abuse Case

A Monrovia man accused of sexual abuse while teaching in Duarte will stand trial.
- Brad Haugaard

National Night Out

Monrovia Police alert residents about crime prevention tonight.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's STAAR Surgical Has Great Q2 | Filming in Town

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical had a great second quarter.
~ Recent filming in Monrovia included a Harley Davidson commercial, "Hostage Do or Die," and a Wells Fargo commercial.
- Brad Haugaard

SUV Crashes into Monrovia Restaurant

Car crashes into Acapulco Restaurant in Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Draft EIR for Monrovia Wilderness Area

If you would like to comment on the Wilderness Preserve Draft Environmental Impact Report, here it is (It's a monster, so be patient as it downloads):  If you want just an overview, read through the "Executive Summary." A couple possible projects:
~ At the end of Cloverleaf Drive put a nature center; a native plant restoration garden; upgrades to the Wilderness  Fire  Station;  an  emergency  helicopter  landing  pad;  a  maximum  of  10  picnic  tables  (no fire/barbeque  pits);  bear  proof  trash  receptacles;  two  short,  loop  walking  trails;  a restroom  facility; and new informational signage, fencing and entry  gate.  Up to 25 parking spaces may be provided 
~ At the end of Highland Place a  parking  area  with  up  to  10  parking  spaces  with  a  Fire  Department approved  turn‐around,  picnic  tables  (maximum  of  4)  bear  proof  trash  receptacles; informational signage; fencing and entry gate.  No fire/barbeque pits.
- Brad Haugaard