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Monrovia New Year Party

The Lance and Gary Show play some Eagles music at Monrovia's New Year's Eve party on Myrtle.

Update: Heat lamps! Wonderful.

- Brad Haugaard

Happy New Year's Eve, Monrovia!

Don't forget, party in Old Town from 7 p.m. to midnight. Details here: http://goo.gl/59O0I . If you go, I'd bundle up well as it may get down to 38 degrees tonight: http://goo.gl/WO2BV

- Brad Haugaard

Cold Day in Monrovia | Gussied Up Library

~ A frost advisory is in effect for the Monrovia area until 9 a.m.: http://goo.gl/Y7tUC (I can testify to that as I was out before 6 a.m. Brrr!) Low of 39 today in Monrovia, high of 63: http://goo.gl/2hccc .

~ Monrovia Public Library reports on Facebook that "We've gussied up the new book area - it's now on your right as you enter - and added new teen books to the mix. On the right side of the lobby, where new books used to be, are displays for our Discover Your World Cultural Program Series. Feel free to oooh and ahhh."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Preservationist Picks Maybe-Ugly But Green Future Over Pure Historic

In the January newsletter of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group, group president Jim Wigton describes his decision to add solar panels to his historic home. He writes: They may be ugly but they are the future." He says that "their appearance on the roofs of residential homes may be unsightly to many (and especially, perhaps, to preservationists), but because they are renewable and somewhat green (the panels themselves are not) they will most likely become the norm unless a cheaper alternative can be found."

Comment: A difficult situation for Wigton to be in, but I suppose if you hold two ideals that occasionally come into conflict, you gotta choose one.

- Brad Haugaard

Rainy Day in Monrovia?

60 percent chance of rain today here in Monrovia. http://goo.gl/Pp5aw

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's New Year's Eve Party

The second New Year's Eve Party on Myrtle, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Featuring a beer and wine garden ($5 for a drink), family friendly seating (I believe that means seating for those without alcohol), a live band, midnight ball drop. And, of course, Myrtle restaurants will be open. For more info, call Dan Bell at City Hall - 303-6602

Comment: Having seating for families, as well as those having a drink, is an excellent idea. Last year my brother and I took our families with kids and the kids had to sit on the curb since they couldn't go into the alcohol area.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Work Moves to Monrovia | Sick Dog Fundraiser

~ Pouring the foundations for a retaining wall at the Gold Line "Operations Campus" (I think that is the maintenance yard) just below the freeway in Monrovia. http://goo.gl/pDzxK

~ Fundraiser for sick Monrovia dog. http://goo.gl/UqeYZ

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Chang Thai Bistro

Lunch at Chang Thai Bistro on Myrtle just south of Colorado. Got the Green Curry with chicken instead of my standard chicken curry, Kang Ka Ree (yummy), for $6.95 plus tax and tip. Came with a cup of veggie soup. Very nice, but I think my favorite is still the Kang Ka Ree.

Hmm. It appears the restaurant is undergoing a change of ownership. There is a notice next to the front door saying the restaurant is applying for an alcoholic beverage licence for the new owner.

- Brad Haugaard

Find a Job Seminar at Monrovia Library

Job Seekers All Day event at Monrovia Library, Jan. 5, 9-5. http://goo.gl/IiNvN

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Store and Tough Retail Economy

Monrovia store used in this story as illustration of struggling retail economy. http://goo.gl/IgKyU

- Brad Haugaard

Electric Car Trends - Interview with AeroVironment

A question and answer session with a senior VP at Monrovia's AeroVironment about trends in electric cars. http://goo.gl/OI7w9

- Brad Haugaard

Merry Christmas, Monrovia: A Christmas Painting and Story


I hope you enjoy this. I admired a Madonna painting by Duccio di Buonisegna
and thought I would try one myself.  I call it, "Child and Madonna." 


In the following story I imagine what the nighttime flight of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus into Egypt might have been like, inspired by Matthew 2:13-14. I think the magi actually arrived after Jesus' birth, but since they are traditionally portrayed in Christmas scenes, and since I mention them here, and since I don't have a more Christmasy story, I thought I'd go with this. So ...

Escape to Egypt


He woke suddenly and alert.

The lamp was still burning and Mary was sitting in the corner sewing by its flickering light and humming quietly, the child beside her.

It hadn't been a bad dream. He'd had those before - waking with a gasp and sweat on his forehead - but still, though he felt he should be frightened, he wasn't. Perhaps he was getting used to angels.

No, you don't get used to angels appearing in your dreams.

It was certainly frightening the first time, though, when the angel told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Strange that he just knew it was not some bizarre nighttime halucination, but an angel, a real angel. Maybe it was the reality of the experience, the clarity of the dream, that convinced him. It was astonishing, but not weird and disjointed, like so many dreams.

And this dream was the same way. It was as clear as a friend talking to him across his carpenter's bench. No, not a friend, more like the governor! It was frightening, like standing in front of a high official.

And this time the angel didn't give him comforting words, to do as his heart desired - to wed Mary. This time it was an order. Not exactly threatening, but in a tone that could not be mistaken, with an insistence that would not let him wait until morning.

"Get up," the angel said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt."

It wasn't fear he felt, just urgency.

Joseph got up.

"What is it? Mary asked.

"We need to leave. Now."

"Now? But why?"

"I'll explain later. We need to pack and leave right away."

There was clothing, water skins, a bit of food, and, of course, the gifts the Magi had left for Jesus - gold, incense and myrrh. They would be useful for a trip to Egypt.

Mary wrapped Jesus in a blanket, and they slipped quietly out of the house. Joseph left a coin on the table for the landlord. It would more than pay for their rent.

He held the rope and led the donkey, with Mary and Jesus, through the town, the donkey's little feet clicking against the occasional stone.

The angel had warned that Herod meant to kill the child, so Joseph watched for soldiers, his heart beating wildly when he saw two guards talking. But they barely glanced as Joseph led the donkey past them.

At the edge of town he heard what he wanted before he saw it, the braying and chuffing of camels - a caravan, and, as he had hoped, a caravan to Egypt.

The magi's gold was useful. For a few gold coins, a packet of myrrh, and the donkey, Joseph purchased a trip.

He helped Mary and Jesus onto a kneeling camel.

"Joseph, where are we going?" Mary was insistent.

"Egypt," he said, climbing atop his own camel.

"Egypt? But why?"

He did not want to speak aloud. If he was overheard perhaps the caravan leader would turn them in to Herod for a reward, or perhaps he would be afraid of Herod and not want them in his caravan. So he held up his hand to Mary and looked at her, as if to say, "Be patient."

Roped head to tail, Joseph's camel to the back of Mary's, and hers to the camel in front of her, the train headed into the desert as the eastern sky turned pink, and then golden.

The sun rose and the shadows shortened and the camels plodded farther into the desert and Joseph's heart ceased its hammering, and Mary leaned back when she could, to talk, and when he thought nobody was watching he would lean forward and whisper bits of what the angel had said, and sometimes she heard but mostly she couldn't.

But that was all right. When they stopped for the night, then, near a flickering fire in the wilds of Sinai, he would whisper the story to her, and they would plan what to do in Egypt, and wait for the day when the angel would come again and tell them it was safe to return to Israel.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Christmas Eve Services

~ Calvary Chapel Monrovia (123 W. Pomona Ave., near Myrtle next to the freeway). 6 p.m. for a "time of worship and remembrance of the birth of our Lord." Childcare for grades 3 and below.

~ First Baptist Church (Encinitas and Palm). Christmas Eve Service at 6:39 p.m. A "simple yet touching time of Scripture, carols, candle lighting and communion."

~ First Presbyterian Church (Myrtle and Foothill). Family Candlelight Service, 5:30 p.m.

~ Immaculate Conception (726 Shamrock Ave.). A 4 p.m. English family Mass, 6 p.m. English, 8 p.m. Spanish, and midnight Mass.

~ St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Foothill and California). Carol singing at 7:30 p.m., first mass of Christmas at 8 p.m.

If I've missed any Christmas Eve services, let me know quickly and I'll add them.

Miracle on Myrtle Christmas Celebration

Quite a crowd at the Miracle on Myrtle Christmas celebration in the front yard of the Library. Some great singing, snow for kids. Just got started.

Update: The Miracle on Myrtle film featured a cameo, of sorts, of Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz. Cute.

- Brad Haugaard

Best Outdoor Display in Monrovia

Drove by the "Best Outdoor Display" on Alta Vista tonight. Just morth of Foothill. Pretty.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church Outgrows Community Center, Will Move to High School


Beginning on the last Sunday of this year, Dec. 30, Fellowship Monrovia will begin meeting at the newly-renovated Performing Arts Center at Monrovia High School. According to one of my sources, the church, which began early this year, quickly grew to 500-600 in attendance each Sunday and outgrew the Community Center across from Library Park. Services will continue to be held at 9 and 11 a.m. http://goo.gl/nLS3Q 
 
- Brad Haugaard

World Premier of 'Miracle on Myrtle' Movie


Here is the flyer for the Miracle on Myrtle Christmas event. 5 p.m. Sunday at Library Park. Live music, the world premier of the film, "Miracle on Myrtle," and there are rumors of snow. http://goo.gl/7tLqH

- Brad Haugaard

Memorial in Library Park

A memorial in Monrovia's Library Park to the children and school staff who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at 21 Bistro. Wow!

Lunch at the new 21 Bistro, at 110 E. Lime, just east of Myrtle, a French style restaurant. Got the Slow Braised Short Ribs and Mashed Potato, $10, and iced tea for $1.75. Plus tax and tip. Nice, crunchy warm bread for starters. If you know menu-French you'll be ahead of the game. Food? Oh! My! Goodness! A-mazing! I've always thought short ribs were greasy, but not here. Okay, I do admit to a personal interest in this review, which is that I want it to stay open so I can eat here again, so please try it! Oh, dessert was also super.

- Brad Haugaard

Christmas Music at Monrovia's Academy of Music for the Blind | Christmas Eve Rain?

~ Video: Two cute kids at the Academy of Music for the Blind in Monrovia perform Christmas music at the Academy's winter recital - http://goo.gl/tQ7ZB - and, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: http://goo.gl/L4diR . Here is the Academy's website: http://www.ouramb.org/

~ Forty percent chance of rain in Monrovia on Christmas Eve but should be a partly-cloudy but rain-free on Christmas. http://goo.gl/baqY9

- Brad Haugaard

Memorial Walk | Elf on Almond Street Tonight

~ Memorial walk at Library Park for Newtown victims. http://goo.gl/gXYNb

~ Movie night on Almond Avenue tonight. Showing Elf. Bring a chair (and a coat). Details: http://goo.gl/KrrEG

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: More Police Near Schools; Grinch Stealing Christmas Packages

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 17-19. - Brad Haugaard]
 
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 410 service events, resulting in 76 investigations.
 
Monrovia Police Department Providing Police Presence at City Schools
Our hearts go out to all touched by the tragedy that has occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.  This horrific event has affected us all.  Safety in our schools has always been, and continues to be, a high priority for law enforcement.  In response to this senseless act of violence, the Monrovia Police Department is providing an increased police presence at schools throughout the city.  Patrol officers have been instructed to periodically visit and touch base with all schools in the city during daytime hours.  The visits will be random and will occur at various times and locations.  This increased visibility is meant to help comfort and calm the fears of the children, parents, and school staff, alike.     
 
The Monrovia Police Department trains annually to deal with incidents of violence that might occur at a school.  The department has a tremendous collaborative working relationship with the Monrovia Unified School District.  Police Department and school staff meet and train regularly to ensure employees are prepared to deal with these rare, but critical, types of incidents.  Police officers conduct scenario training, yearly, at actual school campuses throughout the district, and each school in the district has prepared a crisis response box for the Police Department with information necessary to deal, immediately, with any incident at any school.    
 
Theft of Packages
December 17 at 3:15 p.m., a theft of packages was reported in the 500 block of Terrado.  The victim had packages delivered and they were left on the front porch.  A neighbor saw a white Chevy Silverado drive up quickly to the front of the victim's home.   The suspect exited the truck and ran up to the home, grabbed the two packages and ran back to the truck.  The vehicle fled southbound, out of sight.  The suspect is described as a young, male, African American.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Library Board Member Sponsors Elephants for Library

Monrovia Public Library becomes sponsor of elephant babies. http://goo.gl/Vr9ec

- Brad Haugaard

Santa Touring Monrovia

Santa is touring Monrovia now ...



with his reindeer ...

and sleigh full of Monrovians.

For full Santa schedule: http://goo.gl/KLSKG

- Brad Haugaard


Visit the Monrovia Home Decorating Winners

All the Monrovia Holiday Home Decorating contest winners: http://goo.gl/aF86F

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Firefighters Turn Over Toys and Cash to Unity Center

Today the Monrovia Fire Department's Spark of Love toy drive turned over more than a thousand toys and $6,000 to Foothill Unity Center to make local kids' Christmases a bit brighter. City spokesman Dan Bell said the firefighters did even better than last year, when, he said, it appears a lackluster economy and rainy days depressed giving. Firefighter Ernie Moreno was the driving force behind the drive.

Channel 7 Eyewitness News, a sponsor of the event, showed up to report the event.

- Brad Haugaard

Police Chief: More Patrols Around Monrovia Schools

Monrovia Police Chief said the police would step up patrols around Monrovia schools in light of the recent shootings in Connecticut. http://goo.gl/CKB9t

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Boy's Soccer

A report on Monrovia High boys soccer. http://goo.gl/DGQqK

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Councilman Garcia Won't Run Again

Monrovia Councilman Joe Garcia won't run for reelection. http://goo.gl/o8x2e

- Brad Haugaard

Power Outage Hits Monrovia

There is a power outage affecting 1,745 Monrovia customers. I saw the lights were all out around Foothill Boulevard near Magnolia Ave. Southern California Edison is estimating it will be mostly restored by 7 p.m. today. It says it doesn't know the cause, but I'm guessing wind. Details: http://goo.gl/DqGeC

UPDATE: 2,712 customers affected. Cause: "Weather Conditions"

More here: http://goo.gl/fZ5bJ

- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Mayor Earns Degrees Before End of World | First Presbyterian Provides Breakfast for Teachers

~ Former Monrovia mayor and current school board member, Rob Hammond, reports that he has finally been awarded the degrees he went back to school to earn. "After four long years it is finally over. Double major in Organizational Management and Public Relations & Marketing." After mentioning a list of supporters, he says: "Thank you all... Good thing I finished before the end if the world!"

~ Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church is providing a continental breakfast for Clifton Middle School teachers this morning as part of its Caring for Clifton program. http://goo.gl/WGLFj

- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Bridge Completion Ceremony | New Restaurant at Aztec Hotel | Where's Santa?


Construction Authority Board Chairman Doug Tessitor makes remarks during the bridge completion ceremony.
   
~ On Saturday more than 350 guests and officials gathered to mark the on-time, on-budget completion of the Gold Line Bridge. Speakers included Representatives Grace Napolitano and Judy Chu; State Senator Carol Liu; Supervisor Mike Antonovich; and Metro and Construction Authority board member John Fasana.
    
~ New restaurant "will soon be opening in the Aztec Hotel." http://goo.gl/kvkfT
 
~ Tonight Santa will be touring south of Huntington, west of Myrtle to Fifth, north of southern city boundaries. Also on Valley Circle. For full schedule: http://goo.gl/KLSKG
 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: The Season for Drunk Driving, Metal Knuckles, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 13-16 – Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On December 14 at 12:52 a.m., an officer observed a driver go through a stop light at Huntington and Magnolia. He conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, and the investigation determined the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested and taken into custody.

 

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On December 14 at 5:50 a.m., an officer observed a driver go through the stop sign at Mountain and Foothill. He stopped the driver and conducted a DUI investigation. The driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Commercial Burglary – Suspect Arrested

On December 14 at 6:29 p.m., a burglary was reported at a business in the 100 block of West Foothill. A male suspect entered the store, concealed alcohol under his clothing and fled the location. Loss prevention chased the suspect, caught him and called police. The suspect admitted to entering the store with the intent to steal alcohol as he had no money to pay. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

Weapons Violation / Warrants – Suspects Arrested

On December 15 at 3.20 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by two male subjects in the 200 block of East Huntington. Both occupants had outstanding warrants, and the driver had a suspended driver's license. Upon searching the vehicle, the officers located metal knuckles beneath the center bench seats. The driver claimed ownership of the metal knuckles and was additionally charged for the weapons violation. Both subjects were arrested.

Monrovia Schools Restore Some Cuts with Passage of Prop 30

The Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education authorized the
restoration of five school days and one staff development day for the
2013-2014 school year as a result of proactive fiscal management and
new state revenue, Superintendent Linda Wagner announced today. In
addition, the board also announced the end of salary reductions for
school employees.

Due to ongoing state budget cuts and declines in revenue, the school
district had been forced to reduce student and staff development days
over the last three years, as well as institute an across-the-board
three percent salary reduction for school employees. However, as a
result of proactive and smart fiscal management by the school district
and the passage of Proposition 30 in Nov, the school board was able to
restore all cuts to days and end the salary reduction.

"Our students and our schools owe a big thank you to the voters for
supporting Proposition 30," said Monrovia Unified School District
Superintendent Linda Wagner. "Despite budget cuts from the state, we
pulled together and found solutions that ensured our students
continued to receive the level of education they deserve. Our
teachers, staff and the school board should be commended for their
efforts over the last few years."

Over the last three years, Monrovia school leaders have taken
proactive steps to reduce costs and protect local schools from the
impacts of state budget cuts. In addition to reducing school days and
employee pay, the school district has adopted other local cost-saving
measures, including:
- Reduced administrative support in K-8 schools
- Modified library hours
- Streamlined adult education course offerings
- Created greater efficiencies with textbook ordering

The new school days will be a part of the 2013-2014 academic schedule,
which will be made available in the Spring of 2013. Restoration of
employee salaries will coincide with the start of the new school year.

For more information, please visit www.monroviaschools.net.

Source: School District press release

- Brad Haugaard

Fellowship Monrovia: Toys for 350 Children

According to a Facebook post, the church, Fellowship Monrovia, has adopted 350 children in low-income families and is collecting toys today for their parents to give them at Christmas.

- Brad Haugaard

Biking Saves Life of Owner of Stan's Monrovia Bike Shop

Feature article about Carlos Morales, new owner of Stan's Monrovia Bike Shop, and how biking saved Morales' life. http://goo.gl/QC8ak

- Brad Haugaard

Wild Motorcycles Made in Monrovia

Check out the video of a wild motorcycle created by Dugally MADercycles of Monrovia. Had no idea a company like this was located in town. http://goo.gl/woc78 . And here's its website: http://dugallery.com/

- Brad Haugaard

Local Reaction to Connecticut Killings.

Monrovia Patch has a good round-up of local leaders'  reaction to the tragic killings in Connecticut. http://goo.gl/sbBr8

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Soccer Star Trying Out to Play Major League Soccer

Monrovian Joe Franco (partial bio: http://goo.gl/jIwtE ), who led Cal State Northridge to "its most successful season in seven years" and was "the 2012 Big West Defender of the Year," will get a chance to try out to play Major League Soccer.

Franco was invited to the 2013 Adidas MLS Player Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from Jan. 11-15, where he will demonstrate his skills to coaches from the 19 MLS clubs, giving him the chance of being drafted on Jan. 17.

Only 54 players have been invited to the Combine so far this year and only 38 will be drafted in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 17 in Indianapolis.

Source: Major League Soccer press release

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Remodeled Jim's Burger

Lunch at the remodeled Jim's Burger at Sixth and Duarte Road. It is remodeled on the outside but identical on the inside, including the good burgers. Got a cheeseburger with avocado for $4.85 plus the cost of an iced tea and tax. Liked it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's 'French Tip' Robber | School Soon Out | Santa Schedule | Unity Center

~ Photos of Monrovia's "French Tip" Chase bank robbery suspect: http://goo.gl/Rh1oy

~ Monrovia schools will be out on Christmas break starting Dec. 20. Drive safely! http://goo.gl/sJZLE

~ Santa tour schedule here: http://goo.gl/KLSKG

~ Monrovia's Unity Center prepared more than 1,500 students for school in August. Also, the center is looking for volunteer truck drivers and packers, and money for dental services and hygiene kits for the homeless. Call: 358-3486. The Center's latest newsletter: http://goo.gl/6FPpS

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council May Impose Settlement on Firefighters, Will Hear Report on Gold Line Improvements, Chat With Lawyers

At its December 18 meeting (agenda: http://goo.gl/ThA4I ), the Monrovia City Council will...

~ Consider imposing its "last, best and final offer" on the city firefighters since the union voted the offer down and the city and union are now at an "impasse." Implementing this would include "the suspension of merit salary adjustments and the Longevity/Performance Bonus Program. In addition, members will pay 6% (2/3) of the employee cost (9%) of the Public Employees' Retirement Benefit." This would save the city $208,000 a year, but there would be increases of about $34,000, which I gather means the savings would be about $174,000. Source: http://goo.gl/pFK6C

~ Hear a report on planned public improvements for the Station Square Transit Village. (That's the area around the planned Monrovia Gold Line station.) Here's the report: http://goo.gl/lVOEo

~ Meet in closed session to discuss three lawsuits and one property negotiation, all of which appear to be connected with the Gold Line development. http://goo.gl/MfPSA

- Brad Haugaard

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Old Town Monrovia

On New Year's Eve, 7 p.m. to midnight in Old Town, a live band, ball drop and a beer and wine garden.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: The Dogs Bark in Vain, Meth Arrest, Burglary

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 10-12 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 421 service events, resulting in 81 investigations.

Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale – Suspect Arrested

December 11 at 12:28 a.m., police received a call reporting suspicious individuals in the 300 block of West Palm. When officers approached, they saw a male subject hide something in a bush. Methamphetamine and cash was recovered. The suspect, who is currently on parole, was arrested and taken into custody.

Vehicle Burglary

December 12 at 5:07 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported by a resident in the 500 block of Date Court. The vehicle was parked on the second level of a parking structure between midnight and 5:00 a.m. The victim reported that he locked his vehicle. There were no signs of forced entry. Tools were stolen from the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Hot-Prowl Burglary

December 12 at 11:26 p.m., a hot-prowl residential burglary was reported in the 1300 block of South Primrose. The victim left for work at 8:00 a.m. She locked her bedroom door before leaving. When she returned at 11:15 p.m., she found her bedroom had been ransacked and her jewelry had been stolen. The suspect had removed the screen from an unlocked rear window to enter the bedroom. The victim's mother was in the house when the crime occurred, but did not hear or see anything suspicious. Another family member was in the rear house, which faces the point of entry. The family's dogs were heard barking at approximately 4:00 p.m., but no one checked to see what was disturbing them. Investigation continuing.

Monrovia Firm Starts 'Koupon Kitty' Internet Company

Monrovia's venture capital firm, Juvo Capital (in the old Dogwood's market - http://goo.gl/9rHNS ), has started a new company called Koupon Kitty, a web browser "bookmarklet" to provide coupons for online shoppers: http://kouponkitty.com/

Source: http://goo.gl/GKEfQ

- Brad Haugaard

The Snake Belly Bridge is Now Done

The next time you drive under the new Gold Line bridge on the 210 Freeway, remember that you are lower than a snake's belly. Yup, the bottom of the bridge is patterned after a diamondback rattler.

Today the Gold Line folks gave the media a tour of the new 210 Freeway bridge, which (congrats!) was completed on time and on budget.

The press materials describe the bridge this way: "The 584-foot dual track Gold Line Bridge is anchored by two 25-foot 'baskets' that pay tribute to the indigenous peoples of the San Gabriel Valley and the oversize iconic roadside traditions of nearby Route 66. The serpentine main underbelly of the bridge features casted grooves and hatch-marks that simulate the patterns found on the Western Diamondback snake, metaphorically referencing the spine of the transit system. As the most visible element of one of the region's largest transit projects, the bridge serves as the Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley."

I wondered how much the art work that decorates the bridge cost. Answer: About $1 million of the $18.6 million cost or about five percent. But as a percentage of the total cost of the Foothill Extension, about half a percent.

A bit of trivia: Spokesman Habib Baluan said that a lot of the old rails that are being pulled up will be reused in the Line's maintenance yard in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard



Disney Animators Work on Monrovia Church Production | Rain? | Rowland Over Monrovia :-(

~ From Twitter: "Fellowship Monrovia has teamed up with top notch Disney animators in order to produce a custom made cartoon for our Miracle on Myrtle event!" Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. in Library Park.

~ Should be getting some rain tomorrow. http://goo.gl/y1aun

~ Rowland High School basketball over Monrovia. http://goo.gl/uDrsN

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Community Planning Meeting

Community meeting to give ideas for Plan Monrovia, the city's five-year plan, at the Community Center. Ten tables for about six people each. Roughly 48 community members. Each table with a tall flip chart on which to write ideas. Some preliminaries from Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and City Manager Laurie Lile, then small group discussions, reporting on small group discussions, then voting on priorities. If you missed it there will be another meeting on Jan. 12 at Calvary Chapel (just south of the freeway). It's pretty painless. Give it a try.

- Brad Haugaard

Plan Monrovia on TV

NBC has a report on Plan Monrovia. http://goo.gl/t895Q

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's State Senator Proposes Making Taxes Easier to Pass

A few days ago State Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, introduced a bill before the State Senate to make it easier to pass taxes for transportation projects.

The bill would lower the percentage of voters required to pass a tax from two-thirds to 55 percent. Here's the gist:

"This measure would provide that the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for local transportation projects requires the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition. The measure would also make conforming and technical, nonsubstantive changes."

Source: http://goo.gl/4vfVy

- Brad Haugaard

Help Monrovia Develop Its Five-Year Plan

Give your ideas for Monrovia's five-year plan Tuesday (Dec. 11) at 7 p.m. at the Community Center, 19 W Palm Ave., across the street from the Library on the north side. Plan Monrovia is "a strategic planning process that engages and solicits community feedback to build a roadmap for Monrovia for the next five years."

- Brad Haugaard

Superintendent Wagner on District's Capital Appreciation Bonds


By Superintendent Linda Wagner

Recently, there has been press about capital appreciation bonds (CABs), and the cost of these bonds to taxpayers. CABs accrue interest which is paid in full at the time bonds mature, similar to federal government savings bonds. The Monrovia Unified School District was featured in a Los Angeles Times article focusing on this issue, and because of this, we would like to provide our local bond supporters with information regarding the status of Monrovia’s bonds. We are extremely grateful to the voters in our community for their support of bonds that have funded recent student housing projects. We take our responsibilities seriously; not only as educators of the students we serve, but also as stewards of local bond dollars.

The following provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about CABs.

What are Capital Appreciation Bonds and why use them?
Capital Appreciation Bonds, or CABs, are bonds in which all accrued interest is paid at the time the bonds mature, similar to a Federal government savings bond. The one-time payment at maturity includes all of the interest accumulated over the life of the bonds. Given that investors of municipal bond CABs do not receive any payments until the maturity date, they require a slightly higher interest rate to compensate for the delayed receipt of semi-annual payments.

In the case of a typical 30 year home mortgage, a buyer usually ends up paying much more than the purchase price; usually two to three times the original amount over the life of the loan, depending on the interest rate. Similarly, the repayment amount of bonds generally ends up costing two to three times the amount for which they were originally issued. In Monrovia’s case, that repayment calculation for the 1997 bond election is 2.90 and the 2006 repayment ratio is 2.40.

Districts choose CABs for several reasons:

1) School facilities will be used for many generations. CABs allow the District to spread part of the burden of paying for school facilities out to the future, giving some relief to current taxpayers who might otherwise pay what could be considered more than their fair share given the future use of these buildings to generations that will follow.

2) CABs allow schools to make the most of their General Obligation (GO) bonds by accessing dollars at the time the bond is passed, and therefore making use of the current construction costs. If it were not for the CAB portion of a District’s portfolio, construction would have to wait until bond dollars were available. In our case, it is estimated we would have had to wait years longer to access the dollars and begin construction than we were able to access using CABs. In many cases, during that delay, inflation can rise and construction costs can increase.

3) The voters in a given area likely passed the bond for student housing reasons, as was the case in Monrovia. CABs allow students to be housed in effective classroom buildings, providing a boost in the academic experience for current students, rather than waiting years to commence construction.

What is the status of Monrovia’s bonds relating to capital appreciation bonds?

The District has always been attentive to the costs associated with bond dollars. The LA County Treasurer's office participated in all the District's bond sales and approved both the interest rates and the structure (including the issuance of the CABs). In both bond programs (1997 and 2006) the District had a combined repayment ratio of 2.62 to 1 (principal and interest repaid as a ratio of the amount of principal borrowed). Our District has prudently managed its 1997 and 2006 bond election financings to take advantage of all available options to save taxpayers money.

What are the bond repayment ratios for Monrovia?

The 1997 Bond Election had an overall repayment ratio of 2.90 to 1.
The 2006 Bond Election had an overall repayment ratio of 2.40 to 1.
Combined, all of the bonds issued by the District had a repayment ratio of 2.62 to 1.

What is the media focusing on?
The LA Times story focused on the repayment ratio, which measures the combined interest and principal repayment compared to the original bond amount issued.  As noted in the story, the CA Treasurer has recommended that the ratio not exceed 4.0. With the exception of the 1997 Election Series B Bonds that were sold in 2000 with a repayment ratio of 4.8, none of the District's bond series has exceeded a 4.0 repayment ratio.

One misleading and deceptive aspect of the story is that the list focused only on the CAB portion of the bond issuance, as opposed to the total repayment of each bond series. What impacts taxpayers is the overall repayment of the bonds when taking into account every aspect of the bond program, including the other bonds issued. Picking out the CABs, as in the LA Times story, is comparable to evaluating a 30-year home mortgage after the first three or four years and asking “why did you pay over 80% in just interest during these years?" without looking at the overall repayment of the mortgage. What impacts taxpayers is the overall repayment of the bonds when taking into account every aspect of the bond program, including other bonds issued.

We thank you for your support of the new facilities at Monrovia High School. They are making a positive difference each and every day for Monrovia High School students, and will for generations to come.

Monrovia Police: Beer Bust, Mething Around With Cell Phone While Driving, Sleeping in Mid-Street, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 6-9. - Brad Haugaard]
 
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
 
Vandalism
December 8 at 5:12 a.m., an employee at a business in the 100 block of West Foothill called to report that the glass front window of the neighboring business had been smashed.  Officers responded and checked for any evidence.  The investigation is continuing.
 
Commercial Burglary - Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 7:06 p.m., a burglary was reported at a business in the 300 block of West Huntington.  A male suspect entered the business and went directly to an isle, where he placed two three-packs of beer under his sweater.  A store employee observed him leaving the store without attempting to pay and pursued him.  The suspect was apprehended by the store employee and convinced to return to the store.  He admitted to entering the store with the intent to steal the beer without any means or intent to pay for it.  He was arrested and charged with burglary.
 
Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 9:36 p.m., the Monrovia Special Enforcement Team was assisting the El Monte Police Department in the containment of an armed robbery suspect and they were checking cars leaving the area for the suspect.  They observed a driver nearly collide with the car in front of him as he was talking on his cell phone.  They stopped him and while investigating the driver for possible driving under the influence, they observed a small baggie containing a white crystalline substance on the seat of the car.  The substance turned out to be methamphetamine.  The driver was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
 
Traffic Collision - Light Signal Damaged
December 10 at 12:27 a.m., a male driver who was not paying attention to his driving while looking for a gas station collided into a light signal mounted on a center island.  The signal was damaged and will need to be replaced.  The Monrovia Fire Department and Southern California Edison responded to turn off the power to the loose wires. 
 
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
December 10 at 2:17 a.m., a male driver stopped his vehicle in the middle of the roadway at Mayflower and Duarte Road, turned the ignition off and fell asleep, leaving his headlights on and the car in drive with the keys in the ignition.  Passersby called police to check on the welfare of the subject.  When officers arrived, they discovered the driver was heavily intoxicated.  He was arrested for driving under the influence.

Monrovia's First Presbyterian Puts Up Nativity Scene

I guess it is really the Christmas season. Monrovia First Presbyterian Church has its nativity scene up.

- Brad Haugaard

Four Nights of Freeway Closures

Four nights of full eastbound 210 Freeway closures, starting tonight (Monday, Dec. 10) and continuing through this Thursday. Full closure of all lanes begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. the following morning.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Falls Short in Regional Playoff vs. Madison High :-(

Monrovia football loses state regional playoff game against San Diego's Madison High School, 21-17.

Story: http://goo.gl/YCbHl

- Brad Haugaard

Listen to Monrovia vs. Madison Football

Listen to Monrovia vs. Madison football live here: http://goo.gl/xxpvi

- Brad Haugaard

Foggy Monrovia Morning

Fog advisory for San Gabriel Valley until about 10 a.m. http://goo.gl/1GRdF

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision Helps Typhoon Victims

Monrovia's World Vision, a Christian relief agency, reports that it is assisting thousands of families in the wake of a Philippines typhoon. http://goo.gl/7BXcg

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Major Water Damage at MHS Event Center; Yes, It Can Pay It's Bills ... For Now

At its 7 p.m. Dec. 12 meeting (agenda here: http://goo.gl/1PKa6 ), the Monrovia School Board will, among other things ...

~ Consider authorizing $115,111 to fix rainwater damage to the Monrovia High Event Center caused by over-pressurizing a heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. http://goo.gl/QxncO

~ Affirm, as required by law, that it can pay its bills for the next four years. "However, due to probably flat State funding and estimates of continued declining enrollment, current budget projections show that the district may not be able to maintain a positive ending balance in 2015-16." http://goo.gl/fCTBQ

- Brad Haugaard

One More Week of Gold Line Bridge Construction, Reeds on Basket, Lane Closures



The basket-y reeds on the tops of the Gold Line bridge are now in place.

Also, the Gold Line should be completed by December 15. There could be up to four nights of lane closures until then. Lanes will be closed no earlier than 11 p.m. and reopen no later than 5 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Acquitted in School Sex Charges

A Monrovian who taught in Duarte schools has been acquitted on all charges of sexual abuse. http://goo.gl/2yFlT

- Brad Haugaard

Panda Express for Lunch

Went to Panda Express for lunch today (the one at Huntington and Monterey). Got the three-item entree for $7.88, plus the cost of drink and tax. Got Shanghai Angus Beef, Beijing Beef and Eggplant Tofu with noodles. Very good.

- Brad Haugaard

Rosemead Over Monrovia in Basketball :-( | Christmas Tamales for Science | Holden Swearing In

~ Rosemead over Monrovia in basketball. http://goo.gl/5a2bZ

~ Order Christmas tamales and help Monrovia High's Math and Science Academy. Here's the form: http://goo.gl/t1kfN

~ Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia in the Assembly, will have a local swearing-in ceremony this Sunday at 4 p.m. at Noor Terrace, 260 E. Colorado, Pasadena (located in Paseo Colorado). Reception at  4:30 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Pictures of Monrovia Holiday Parade










Pictures from Thursday night's holidays parade on Myrtle. Click them to get a bigger view.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's New Christmas Tree Lighted

After a few words from Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, the lighting of Monrovia's new Christmas tree. The old one was blown over by the super wind storm. The new one was donated by Home Depot. It is at the southeast corner of Library Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Fiscal State: Difficult, But We Have a Balanced Budget


Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile explains the city's fiscal situation:

Our Current Condition: 
- Since 2008, we have reduced staffing by 17%, an equivalent of 47 positions, and cut $2 million in expenditures.
- These cuts came to our key services, like street resurfacing, the Monrovia Area Partnership, literacy services, community policing, building and engineering.
- Federal and State regulatory compliance has remained constant.  That means that we still have to comply with many government regulations, like Storm water, state realignment for prison releases, energy compliance measures, and shutting down Redevelopment.  These are things that cannot be ignored when we realistically discuss what the City should be focusing on.
- Redevelopment funding has been taken away, and we don’t expect it to come back any time soon.
- Sales tax revenue, the second largest revenue source to the City, has been down 25% over the past three years.
- Property taxes remain flat.
- The good news: Monrovia’s budget is structurally balanced.

Source: http://goo.gl/wL2XO

- Brad Haugaard

Tickets for Monrovia Playoff Game | Library Closed | City Manager, Mayor Explain 'Plan Monrovia'

~ Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco reports on Facebook that tickets for the Monrovia High State Regional Playoff game at Friday's street fair, from 5-8 p.m. "We hope to be located at the south end of Myrtle Ave. near Olive Ave."

~ Monrovia Library will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 13. http://goo.gl/qcr16

~ Video: City Manager Laurie Lile and Mayor Mary Ann Lutz discuss "Plan Monrovia." Lile writes: "With 47 positions cut and $2 million fewer dollars, the City can no longer be all things to all people. We have to pick and choose -- what are the most important things for the City to focus on achieving, and what can the community achieve on its own?" Video here: http://goo.gl/AkFlo

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Chase, Two Arrested; Female Impersonator Robs Bank; Stealing Liquor

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Dec. 3-5. - Brad Haugaard]
 
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 70 investigations.
 
Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Pursuit / Felony Evading / Conspiracy to Commit Grand Theft Auto - Suspects Arrested
December 4 at 4:43 a.m., a resident in the 700 block of East Greystone called to report two suspicious male subjects who were standing next to the resident's parked truck.  When the resident asked the subjects what they were doing, they ran to two nearby vehicles and quickly fled the area.  The vehicle descriptions were broadcast and officers located both of them driving south on Mountain from Foothill. 
 
Officers stopped one of the vehicles at Mountain and Lemon.  The other fled, continuing southbound on Mountain.  The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and collided into a wall at Mountain and Shrode.  The suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot through yards and into a wash.  Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputies responded to assist and detained the suspect at Mountain and Meridian.  He was positively identified as the driver of the vehicle, which was determined to be stolen out of West Covina. 
 
The suspect detained at Mountain and Lemon was found to be in possession of new power tools and had a suspicious story about how he obtained them.  A search was conducted of the area and officers found a vehicle parked in the 300 block of East Greystone that had fresh damage to the driver's door lock similar to the damage on the stolen vehicle.  Both suspects were arrested and taken into custody.  The suspect who fled was charged with grand theft auto, felony evading, and conspiracy to commit grand theft auto.  The second suspect was charged with conspiracy to commit grand theft auto and suspicion of receiving stolen property.
 
Bank Robbery - Chase Bank in Monrovia
November 5, at approximately 10 a.m., a male suspect trying to disguise himself as a female robbed the Chase Bank at 690 West Huntington in Monrovia, California.
 
The suspect approached the teller's window carrying a briefcase.  The suspect made a demand for money and told the teller there was anthrax in the briefcase.  The teller gave the suspect the money. The suspect took the money and the briefcase and left the bank.  The suspect was seen getting into a silver PT Cruiser.
 
The suspect is described as an African American male, wearing a tan women's tracksuit with a hood.  The hood was pulled up.  The suspect had a white bandana on his head, clear lip gloss, cherry red nail polish, gold hoop earrings, dark brown Ugg style boots, glasses with black plastic frames and clear lenses, and was clean shaven.
 
Anyone with information is asked to call the Monrovia Police Department Detective Bureau.
 
Commercial Burglary - Suspects Arrested
November 5 at 3:50 p.m., two adult suspects walked into a business in the 100 block of West Foothill.  The suspects were witnessed on camera stealing liquor and fleeing the business.  Police located the suspects at Foothill, near May.  Both suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

Will Monrovia Coach Maddox Leave?

Will Monrovia football coach Ryan Maddox move on after season? http://goo.gl/z3ATs

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge: On-Time, On-Budget

Final details are being completed on the Gold Line Bridge, as Skanska readies the bridge for turn-over to the project alignment contractor (Foothill Transit Contractors) in just over one week. The landscaping, irrigation and lighting installation is well underway, and work will be completed over the next several days on the final barrier walls along the superstructure. Also, as you can see, nearly all of the reeds have been installed on the outrigger baskets.

With the rainy weather behind us for now, the contractor has cleared the way for an on-time, on-budget completion.

Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard


Snow In Monrovia's Library Park | Nativity Scene | Tree Lighting | First Vineyard Service in New Building | Chu Cheers

~ The church, Fellowship Monrovia, has announced on Facebook that its Miracle on Myrtle event at 5 p.m. on Dec. 23 in Library Park will be "1 big Christmas celebration with Real snow. Yes I said real snow!!!" There will also be "live musical performances" and "the world premiere of an animation called, "Miracle on Myrtle."

~ Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church has announced, also on Facebook, that it will be putting up its traditional nativity scene on the corner of Myrtle and Foothill this Saturday at 10 a.m.

~ Christmas tree lighting in Library Park Thursday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m., followed by "All that Glitters is Gold" parade (Grand Marshall, Kim Rhode) along Myrtle at 7 p.m.

~ Live Oak Vineyard Church will have its first meeting at its new Myrtle building (1307 S. Myrtle) this Sunday, Dec. 9, from 10-11:30 a.m. http://goo.gl/4cKvt

~ Monrovia's Congresswoman covering north-of-Hillcrest, Judy Chu, writes on Facebook: "Kudos to CA Attorney General Harris! Yesterday, she said local police don't have to participate in Secure Communities - a broken program that sweeps up immigrants who aren't even criminals." She adds, "We must secure our borders, but we should be smart and compassionate about it too."

- Brad Haugaard

Pretty-Lips Guy Robs Monrovia Bank - Had His Nails Done, Too

Lip-gloss guy robs Monrovia's Chase bank. Said he had anthrax. http://goo.gl/JQQjZ

- Brad Haugaard

Eastbound 210 Closing Late Tonight and Tomorrow Night

Full closure of eastbound 210 freeway for Gold Line bridge work tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow night, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. both days. So the crew can finish the columns and superstructure, and to remove scaffolding.

- Brad Haugaard

Watch Monrovia-Madison Game Live | Coach Maddox | AeroVironment Stock UP

~ Tune in to see the Monrovia vs. Madison game live, Saturday, Dec. 8, here: http://goo.gl/xbmmM

~ Feature on winning Monrovia football coach, Ryan Maddox. http://goo.gl/7sEJQ

~ Monrovia AeroVironment stock up 15% the morning after its great quarterly report. http://goo.gl/14Yoc

- Brad Haugaard

Supervisor Michael Antonovich Warns of Official Mailing That Looks Like Junk Mail

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich urged county residents to check their mailboxes for the "Official Notice to Property Owners of Public Hearing" which could result in a property tax increase.

"While the mailing looks like junk mail, it is an important document that allows one to protest the proposed parcel tax," he said.  

"It is vital that property owners return the protest form to stop this additional tax," he added.  "Property owners, schools and businesses already pay flood control taxes and now they are being asked to fork over more money at a time when families are struggling, schools are hurting and businesses are fleeing the state."

Residents have until January 15 to file their objection by returning their protest form or protesting at the public hearing on January 15, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in the Hearing Room of the Board of Supervisors at the Hall of Administration.  If a majority of the property owners do not object, the Board of Supervisors can approve a mail-in-ballot to be sent to all property owners in March.  Passage requires only a simple majority.

Those who misplaced this mailer, please call (800) 218-0018 or email water.info@dpw.lacounty.gov.  

SAMPLE FLYER: http://goo.gl/L2qCG
 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Has Great Quarter | Grand Theft Auto Arrest | Teacher Group Honors Chu | Citrus Top Transfer College | Home Decorating

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. After hours its stock jumped up 9 percent. http://goo.gl/h6M24

~ Two men arrested in north Monrovia on suspicion of grand theft auto. http://goo.gl/4hkBE

~ Judy Chu, who represents the top of Monrovia in Congress, reports on Facebook that she "just received a leadership award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which promotes excellence in teaching. They support my bill to recruit quality teachers in under-served communities."

~ Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, has been named one of the top colleges for student transfers. http://goo.gl/jgM2N

~ Details on the Monrovia Home Decorating contest. http://goo.gl/7A5qi

- Brad Haugaard

City of Monrovia's Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Kick off the holiday season this Thursday, December 6 and enjoy the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade. The evening begins with the Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at Library Park, on the corner of Myrtle and Lime Avenues. The Holiday Parade will begin at 7 p.m., traveling north on Myrtle Avenue from Chestnut to Palm Avenue. This year̢۪s parade theme is "All that Glitters is Gold" in celebration of this year's Grand Marshal, Kim Rhode, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist. The parade is sponsored by the Monrovia Old Town merchants.

Source: Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assembly Member Introduces Bill Saying Legislature Wants Jobs, Economic Growth


Yesterday I noted that Monrovia's new Assembly Member, Chris Holden, had introduced a bill on his first day in office ( http://goo.gl/q06gQ ), but from the press release I wasn't quite sure what Assembly Bill 9 does, so today I looked it up and basically it says the legislature wants to pass laws to promote jobs and the economy. Here it is in its entirety:
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California workers and businesses are currently facing some of the harshest economic conditions since the Great Depression.
(b) Unemployment in California remains in the double digits after the mortgage crisis and the subsequent economic collapse.
(c) It is estimated that over 2.5 million Californians have lost jobs during this recession and bankruptcies among small businesses have been nearly double the national average.

SEC. 2. It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that promotes job and business growth and encourages economic development.
Source: http://goo.gl/WgVaa

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Speed Sign: Warns, Collects Speed Data, But No Pictures


A reader points out a rather different looking radar sign just north of Foothill on the east side of Mountain. "It occasionally works and flashes speed warnings when a car approaches above 25 miles per hour, and if one hits 30 mph, it has a bright flashing white light.
 
"It has no city affiliation noted on the unit that I can see."

But it is a city sign. Captain Alan Sanvictores of the Monrovia Police Department explains:

"The Monrovia Police Department was able to obtain the traffic speed measuring box through a federal grant. The Monrovia Police Department utilizes this speed measuring device as part of the "Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25 Campaign."  The speed measuring box records the speeds of vehicles on the roadway in order to provide us with statistical data in order for us to gauge the success of the safety campaign.  As you are already aware, this device also provides visual speed indication to drivers. The device does not take photographs of vehicles. The goal of the device, along with the safety campaign is to educate and remind the motoring public of the importance of traffic safety."

- Brad Haugaard

Rotary Club of Monrovia Santa Clothes Project

On Dec. 8, 30 disadvantaged children identified by Santa Anita Family Services will get a special treat. Through the assistance of the Rotary Club of Monrovia, the students, from 5 to 10 year old, will get the opportunity to shop for new clothing and shoes. Each child will be paired with a Monrovia High School Interact Club member or with an adult Rotarian to assist with their shopping and will be able to purchase $120 work of school-appropriate clothing.

This is the first year that the Rotary Club of Monrovia has offered the Santa Clothes project to less fortunate children in the Monrovia area. According to Rotary President Julie Roybal, "Just one look at the smile on the face of any young person, Interact student, or Rotarian will indicate that this event is a win-win for all concerned. We hope to be able to continue this project for many years to come."

Tax deductible donations (501(c)3 EID: 51-0656409) are being accepted online for the Santa Clothes project to help fund more children at http://www.rotaryclubofmonrovia.com/donations.html

Source: Rotary Club press release

- Brad Haugaard

Catch a Ride on the Monrovia Santa Tour; Tour Schedule


Monrovia Santa Tours, sponsored by Monrovia Police, Monday, Dec 17 through Friday Dec. 21. If you want to ride with Santa, be one of the first to hop on the sleigh at the Monrovia Fire Station, 141 E. Lemon Ave. at
5:30 pm. (under 18 must be accompanied by a parent).

Schedule:

- Monday, Dec. 17: south of Huntington, west of Myrtle to 5th, includes Valley Circle.
- Tuesday, Dec. 18: east of Myrtle, north of Foothill.
- Wednesday, Dec. 19: west of Myrtle, north of Foothill.
- Thursday, Dec. 20: east of Myrtle, south of Foothill, north of Duarte Rd., to east city boundary.
- Friday, Dec. 21: west of Myrtle, south of Foothill to Huntington between Myrtle and 5th.

Source: Becky Shevlin
 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Preps for Madison Game | Chu Fiscal Cliff Survey

~ No time for Monrovia to relax as it hosts Madison High of San Diego on Saturday night. http://goo.gl/8CnqB

~ Judy Chu, who represents the top of Monrovia in Congress, has a survey asking asking how you would avoid the fiscal cliff. Note: The survey says that "By participating, you agree to receive periodic e-mail updates from Rep. Chu." http://goo.gl/uDAEF

- Brad Haugaard

Tenth Annual Small Works Show in Monrovia


River's Bend, 6"x8" by Lynne Fearman

Tenth Annual Small Works Show at Monrovia's Segil Fine Art Gallery, 110 W. Lime. More than 80 artists and all works are 9"x12" or smaller. Dec. 1-Jan. 10, Tuesdays-Saturdays 1-6 p.m. For more information: 358-5563.

- Brad Haugaard

Art Show at Monrovia's Sycamore Gallery


One-man painting show called As I See It featuring the works of Raymond Logan, at Sycamore Gallery, 116 E. Lemon. Tuesday through Saturday 1-6 p.m. Dec. 15-Jan. 31. 357-6200
 
- Brad Haugaard

Protecting Monrovia From Wildfires

Give your ideas on protecting Monrovia from wildfires. http://goo.gl/8cnOL

- Brad Haugaard

Wanna Be a Monrovia City Council Member?

Monrovia City press release:

Interested in serving as a Monrovia City Council member? Want to make a change in your community by serving as an elected official but not sure where to start? Then the Monrovia City Clerk's office is here to help.

In preparation for the April 9, 2013 Monrovia General Municipal Election, the Monrovia City Clerk's Office will be hosting a pre-nomination candidate information meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 5. This meeting will offer valuable insight on how to run for one of the five available elected positions in Monrovia. Information will include an overview of forms, campaign reporting requirements, and important timelines.

"I began this candidate information meeting several years ago in an effort to raise awareness about what it means to be a candidate so that people weren't blind-sided when they came to pull nomination papers," said City Clerk Alice Atkins. "Hopefully this meeting demystifies the process for them."

The period to file nomination papers opens on Dec. 17, 2012, and ends Jan. 11, 2013. Positions open for the upcoming Monrovia General Municipal Election are: Mayor (2 years), two City Council seats (4 years), City Treasurer (4 years), and City Clerk (4 years). The Municipal Election is April 9, 2013.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in running for local government in any city or who simply want to learn more about the election process. All Monrovia and non-Monrovia residents are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 6 p.m., Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Avenue.

To attend the Candidate Information meeting, please RSVP to the City Clerk's Office to (626) 932-5505.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: More on Teen Luring; Safekeeping or Theft? Aggressive Parolee; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 29 - Dec. 2. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Man Attempts to Lure Teen into Car
On Thursday, November 29, 2012, at approximately 8:10 a.m., a 15-year-old high school student was walking to school in the 500-600 block of West Olive when she was approached by a male white suspect driving a white, four-door, pickup truck, unknown size.  The suspect asked the student to get into his vehicle, but the student refused, stating she did not know him.  He drove forward and turned onto the 600 block of Monterey, parking along the curb.  He waited for the student to approach.  As the student approached the vehicle again, the driver offered the student $200 to get into his vehicle.  The student refused, and the suspect left the area.  The student notified school officials as soon as she arrived at school.

It is unknown if this is related to the incident which occurred on November 8, but detectives are investigating and are coordinating their investigation with school officials.
Suspect Description:  male, white, 30-35 years old, unknown height, thin build, black shaggy hair - medium length, wearing black framed prescription glasses.  The victim could not describe the suspect's clothing.

Suspect Vehicle Description:  older model, white, four-door, pickup truck.

Residential Burglary
November 30 at 10:50 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of North Alta Vista to investigate a burglary that had occurred within the last two days.  The victims had been out of town and returned home to discover someone had broken into their home.  The suspect(s) smashed the glass backdoor and gained entry into the home.  Once inside, they took a purse and some jewelry from the home.  The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 30 at 4:14 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 800 block of Ridgeside Drive.  The location is a vacant residence that is in the process of being remodeled and was left unlocked.  The suspects entered the residence and took tools from the attached garage.  The suspect(s) then left the location undetected.  Investigation continuing.

Elder Abuse / Grand Theft
November 30 at 5:24 p.m., an elderly male subject came into the police department lobby and reported that several guns he owns were stolen from his apartment while he was in the hospital.  Further investigation revealed he had begun to associate with two female neighbors, who steadily gained his trust and took over his finances.  While he was in the hospital, they went into his apartment and took his property, including bank statements and gold jewelry.  He told the investigating officer that he never gave anyone permission to go into his apartment and take his property.  A call was made to the female neighbors, who admitted they had his property, but claimed he told them to take it for safekeeping while he was in the hospital.  An Adult Protective Services referral was generated.  The investigation is continuing.

Parolee at Large - Suspect Arrested
November 30 at 8:11 p.m., an adult male subject was aggressively confronting two people who were waiting for the bus at Magnolia and Huntington.  An officer in the area had stopped, noticing the subject, and was waved over by one of the people waiting for the bus.  The officer contacted the male subject, who then immediately became confrontational with the officer.  Additional officers arrived and the subject was determined to be intoxicated and had been in possession of an open container of alcohol.  He was arrested and taken into custody.  At the police station, a computer check revealed the subject is a parolee at large and considered armed and dangerous.  He has an extensive history of violent crimes.  A parole hold was obtained for the suspect.

Transformer Fire and Power Outage
November 30 at 8:48 p.m., a transformer on California, south of Evergreen, blew after the pole it was on fell due to the soft soil from the rain.  The transformer then struck another power pole.  Officers responded with fire personnel and contained the area. Southern California Edison was called and responded.  Power was restored quickly and Edison was to repair the downed pole.

Possession of Fraudulent Social Security and California Identification / Drinking in Public - Suspect Arrested
November 30 at 12:55 p.m., an officer observed a subject with an open alcohol container on Myrtle Avenue.  He stopped and detained the subject.  The subject presented a fraudulent identification card.  He was subsequently arrested and booked.  The investigation is continuing.

Fight in Progress
December 1 at 1:55 a.m., officers were dispatched to a possible fight in progress at a hotel in the 900 block of Fifth Avenue.  Several subjects were detained, and one male subject was checked by Monrovia Fire Department paramedics after reporting he had been sprayed with pepper spray.  He declined medical treatment and officers could not confirm the fact the he was sprayed with pepper spray.  One female subject was arrested for a warrant.  All of the subjects were detained and field interview cards were completed.  All persons not staying at the hotel left the premises.

Grand Theft Auto
December 2 at 9:10 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 400 block of Los Angeles.  The vehicle is a red, 1996 Honda Civic, which was taken from the street in front of the victim's home.  The investigation is continuing.

Domestic Violence / Driving Under the Influence / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer
December 2 at 10:43 p.m., an officer on patrol observed a maroon van driving east on Huntington at an unsafe speed.  The van turned into a parking lot in the 700 block of West Huntington and scraped the bottom of the front bumper.  The officer stopped the vehicle and contacted the male driver and two female occupants.  One of the female subjects was found to be a juvenile.  The driver was determined to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.  The female juvenile gave a false name and was arrested.  The adult female complained of medical problems and was taken to a hospital, and while at the hospital, she stated the male driver had physically abused her.  The male driver was arrested for driving under the influence and domestic violence.

New Monrovia Assemblyman Sworn In, Introduces Bill | State Lists Local Services

~ Assembly Member Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, was sworn in today and introduced Assembly Bill 9, "addressing economic development and jobs creation." The press release says that "AB 9 provides the platform to develop, evaluate, and negotiate economic development policy."

~ The California Department of Community Services and Development has a new website. Here are some of its general services ( http://goo.gl/R4S4J ) and some speciically Monrovia-area services: http://goo.gl/qgVk9

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Gets Rights to Swedish Drone | Madison High | Library Book Christmas Tree | Your Monrovia Vision

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment is putting $3 million into Sweden-based CybAero AB to "develop and distribute a Tier II vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aircraft system. AeroVironment gets exclusive rights to provide CybAero AB systems to United States customers and to government customers in NATO and other countries. http://goo.gl/51esq

~ A look at the Wildcats opponent in the state playoffs, Madison High School. http://goo.gl/FsK3J

~ Books become a Christmas tree at Monrovia Library. http://goo.gl/5032Y

~ If you want to give the leaders of Monrovia your vision for the future of the city, the next city forum is Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m. at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm, across the street on the north side of the Library.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wildcats in State Regional Playoffs

Monrovia Wildcats head for state regional playoffs. http://goo.gl/PWjHk

- Brad Haugaard

No Ice Cream for Weight Watchers

An unfortunate juxtaposition of signs. Weight Watchers doesn't actually meet at Baskin Robbins, but at its new home across the Pavilions parking lot in a storefront next to Cherry on Top.

Kitty Banks in Monrovia for Sandy Victims

Make-up Artist Kitty Banks in Old Town Monrovia to raise support for Sandy victims. http://goo.gl/aHKcR

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wins Third Consecutive Football Title :-)

Monrovia came back strong after trailing 7-0 at the end of the first half, quickly scoring in the third quarter and then leading for the rest of the game. Final score: 23 to 7 over Paraclete.

Full story: http://goo.gl/ZiXzG

- Brad Haugaard

Power Outage Hits Monrovia

A power outage has hit approximately 933 Monrovia electricity users, according to Southern California Edison. SCE says it does not know the reason for the outage and hopes to have the problem fixed by 10 p.m. today. http://goo.gl/GaFyJ

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council Member Wants to Hop Up Nightlife | School Board Switches Hats | Prop 30 Helps Citrus | Volunteer at Unity Center

~ At its Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. meeting, the Monrovia City Council will hear a plan by Councilmember Becky Shevlin to crank up nightlife in Old Town. She brought the idea back from a League of California Cities conference. It's called "Wednesdays in Old Town," it will start on Wednesday, January 9 and occur each Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. between Lime and Olive avenues and will include as many as three live musical entertainers throughout the program area. It will have a sidewalk sale format with no street closures. Myrtle Avenue businesses will be able to sell stuff on the sidewalk. This, and other Council agenda items, here: http://goo.gl/Wa2jM

~ At its Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m. meeting, the Monrovia School Board will elect new officers and assign duties for the next year. Details here: http://goo.gl/DoKst

~ Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, reports that 165 endangered course sections will be restored since Proposition 30 has passed. In a press release the college says that passage of the proposition prevents $3.5 million in cuts and will enable "students to complete their educational goals in a timelier manner."

~ Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center distributed 1,300 Thanksgiving food boxes and during the upcoming Christmas season is planning to distribute to more than 1,500 families. If you'd like to help, adult volunteers are needed on December 16, money is welcome, you could host a food or toy drive or donate frozen turkeys. For details contact Raina Martinez, 358-3486 or raina@foothillunitycenter.org.

- Brad Haugaard

School Board Member's Volunteer Project | Paraclete Tonight! | More Rain | Unity Fundraiser | Old Railway Ties

~ Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco asks for support for her GRACE Project. She writes on Facebook, "MUSD has many homeless families and the GRACE Project helps get basic needs to Monrovia school children without a permanent home." The project flyer says, "It's simple. Go to your school's office and request a family's needs list. Collect your items and drop them off at the school's GRACE Project donation box." Interested? Contact Jill Skultin at the District Office at jskultin@monroviaschools.net or 626-471-2031

Comment: Cool, Alex! Good for you for taking the initiative.

~ Tough challenge for Monrovia football tonight against Paraclete. http://goo.gl/fjB6G

~ Good chance of rain through Monday. http://goo.gl/kjs36

~ Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center will have a benefit featuring Mercy and the Merkettes (plus silent auction, raffle, door prizes, and food) on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at The Lodge in Sierra Madre, at 33 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Bring cash, check, or an unwrapped gift for a child. Details: http://goo.gl/k9XHt

- Brad Haugaard

~ Gold Line construction folks are removing old railway ties in Monrovia to prepare for putting in new railway ties. http://goo.gl/lJNPc

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School District on Hook for High-Cost Loan

Monrovia school bond means the district will have to repay five times the amount borrowed. http://goo.gl/xV28M

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at BigShrimps

It's a rainy soup kinda day so went to BigShrimps (just east of Myrtle on Colorado) to get a cup of lobster bisque. Got that with the salmon lunch special and an iced tea for $13.87. No picture of the cup of soup but it was round. Very good, as always.

- Brad Haugaard

Miracle on Myrtle

Miracle on Myrtle, at Monrovia's Library Park on Dec. 23, 5 p.m. The church, Fellowship Monrovia (which meets at the Community Center), is sponsoring live musical performances, and the world premiere of "Miracle on Myrtle," a new animation by Fellowship Productions. The church says it wants this to be an annual tradition. http://goo.gl/uAGMt

- Brad Haugaard

Handel's Messiah Concert | Holiday Events | Rain? | What's Your Zoning?

~ Handel's Messiah Christmas Concert at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church, Friday Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Free but an offering is welcomed. Details: http://goo.gl/kQzLR

~ More holiday events: Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Library Park, Thursday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.; "All that Glitters is Gold" Holiday Parade, along Myrtle in Old Town, Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m.

~ Fifty percent chance of rain tomorrow, Friday. http://goo.gl/fvtwH

~ Now you can see how your property is zoned. Go to the city's Zoning page ( http://goo.gl/yDUrD ) and click on Zoning Map (or just click here: http://goo.gl/4KUPk ). Then click on the grid number containing your property. Your property will be color-coded. What does the color mean? Zoom way in on the previous map to read the key. OPINION: Very cool but the color key is hard to find and hard to read. Should be more prominent.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Chewing Narcotics Baggies; Man Tries to Stop Police Entering House, Arrested; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 26-28. - Brad Haugaard]
 
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 405 service events, resulting in 58 investigations. 
 
Under the Influence of Narcotics / Vandalism / Burglary / False Imprisonment - Suspect Arrested
November 26 at 9:34 p.m., police were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of East Los Angeles.  A female resident reported her adult son was under the influence of narcotics so she wouldn't allow him into her home.  The son broke a window on the home with a shovel and fled on foot.  He went into the backyard of a residence across the street.  He broke a window and gained entry into the home, where he was confronted by a woman who lived there.  The suspect restrained the woman by grabbing both of her arms.  When she tried to pull free, the suspect tightened his grip and told her she wasn't going anywhere.  Another female heard the commotion and began to scream at the suspect, who then fled.  He was detained by officers a short distance away, and was arrested without further incident.
 
Possession of Narcotics for Sale / Destruction of Evidence - Suspect Arrested
November 27 at 12:10 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting a suspicious vehicle in the 600 block of East Colorado.  Officers responded and saw the vehicle leaving the area and stopped it.  While one officer was speaking to the male driver, another officer saw the female passenger conceal something in the seat.  The female subject was ordered out of the vehicle and the officers noticed she was chewing something and told her to spit it out.  She spit out several plastic baggies with narcotic residue in them.  Another baggie containing methamphetamine was found in the seat where she attempted to conceal it.  The female suspect was arrested and taken into custody for possession of narcotics for sale and destruction of evidence.
 
Resisting and Obstructing a Peace Officer - Suspect Arrested
November 28 at 5:15 p.m., a family disturbance was reported in the 400 block of Genoa.  The reporting party said they could hear children crying and screaming.  When officers arrived and asked to see the children, a male resident blocked the doorway and told the officers to leave.  The officers explained to the male suspect the reason why they were there and the need to see that the children were okay, but the male suspect continued to forcibly prevent the officers from entering the residence.  He was taken into custody and charged with resisting and delaying an investigation.
 
Detective Bureau Case Follow-Up
The Special Enforcement Team obtained a search warrant for a gang member in El Monte who had weapons.  The Foothills Special Enforcement Team served the search warrant and two subjects were arrested; the primary suspect was charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a shotgun.
 
- Brad Haugaard