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Monrovia High to Host Drum Competition

Monrovia High will host 30 teams in a Southern California Percussion Alliance drum line competition on Saturday, Feb. 11. A note to neighbors warns that "the noise level will be elevated." Details:
- Brad Haugaard

Twain's Other Woman | Guilty Plea in Monrovia Hit and Run

~ Talk on The Other Woman in Mark Twain's life. "Learn many of the Twain household's dark secrets in the last decade of his life." Saturday, March 3, 1-3 p.m. at the Library. 256-8274 to reserve a spot. Details (Facebook):

~ Driver pleads guilty in hit-and-run.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Dance Against Cancer

California About Out of Money Again

California will run out of money in early March unless the state takes fast action, Controller John Chiang says: Opinion: I wonder if this will affect Monrovia schools. It seems the state is pretty good at cutting other people's budgets (like those of the state's school districts) and pretty bad at cutting its own (I'm still waiting for it to de-fund the Division of the State Architect: ). I hope it doesn't use this as another opportunity to cut education money. 
- Brad Haugaard

210 Freeway Closures Wednesday and Thursday Nights

All eastbound lanes of the 210 will be closed at Baldwin Avenue starting midnight Wednesday (partial closures will begin at 10 p.m.) and lasting until 5 a.m. Thursday. Then, same thing Thursday night through Friday at 5 a.m. Closures are so the rail bridge construction crew can install the temporary support structure that will support the bridge during construction.

UPDATE: The freeway closure for tonight (2/1) is off. The freeway will remain open tonight, but the closure will be in effect tomorrow (2/2)

Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor to Attend Mayor's Institute on City Design

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz will join an elite group of elected officials this week as she travels to Houston, Texas, to attend the National Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD), a conference intended to provide mayors from across the nation with tools to help them lead their cities in urban design. 

Mayor Lutz will be one of only eight western U.S. Mayors invited to contribute to this organization’s study of urban design issues on topics such as downtown revitalization, design of new public buildings, and transportation planning. “I am honored to be invited to this event,” Mayor Lutz said, “It’s a testament to the fact that Monrovia is at the forefront in urban design.”

The Mayors' Institute on City Design is a National Endowment for the Arts Leadership Initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities. The MICD achieves its mission by organizing sessions where mayors engage leading design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. “The Mayors’ Institute was founded both to educate mayors about design and to educate the design community about the latest practical needs of our cities,” according to MICD officials.

The sessions are designed to provide mayors with hands on experience and advisement from professional planners. Each session is limited to less than twenty participants, half mayors and half a resource team consisting of outstanding city design and development professionals. Each mayor must present a problem from his or her city for the other mayors and designers to discuss. Mayors present a range of challenges, including waterfront redevelopment, downtown revitalization, transportation planning, and the design of new public buildings such as libraries and arts centers.

The Institute has graduated more than 850 mayors and more than 600 design professionals.

This week’s session is being hosted by the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. Other west coast invitees include representatives from the cities of Boulder, Colo.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Santa Barbara, Carson and Redwood City, Calif.; and the mayors from Baytown and New Braunfels, Texas.

Source: City of Monrovia press release
- Brad Haugaard 

Williams Goes with UC Davis | Drama Teacher Resigns

~ Monrovia High's Luke Williams has committed to UC Davis.
~ MHS Drama Director, Marc Segal, resigns.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Hit and Run | Pink Vandalism at Band Shell | Laser vs. Airplane | Stabbing, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 26-29. - Brad Haugaard]
Residential Burglary
On January 26 at 4:58 p.m., a resident in the 200 block of East Lemon called to report a burglary.  An unknown suspect entered the residence sometime after the resident left for work and ransacked the home.  A video game station was stolen.  Additional property was found by the victim on the front lawn.  Investigation continuing.
Residential Burglary
On January 27 at 2:48 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of East Colorado regarding a burglary.  The victim reported that she left her home for work at 10:00 a.m. on January 26 and returned home at 2:45 a.m. on January 27 to find her house ransacked.  There were no signs of forced entry; however, the front door was open.  Money was taken from a shoe box in the living room.  Investigation continuing.
Hit & Run Traffic Collision / Vehicle Versus Pedestrian - Suspect Arrested
On January 27 at 3:31 p.m., a hit and run traffic collision occurred at Huntington and Canyon.  A 12-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle as she tried to cross the street.  After stopping briefly down the road, the driver drove off and did not stop to check on the child or to render any aid.  The child was severely injured and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in critical condition.
Officers conducted an intense search for the suspect driver.  Witness statements and evidence at the scene led officers to an address in Monrovia, where the suspect vehicle was recovered and the passenger who had been in the car during the incident was found.  Through further investigation, officers eventually located the suspect at a business in Duarte.  The female suspect admitted to driving the vehicle and striking the child.  She was arrested and booked for the appropriate charges. 
The father of the child called later and reported that the victim had been upgraded to stable condition.
Vehicle Burglary
On January 27 at 8:06 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a hotel in the 900 block of West Huntington regarding a vehicle burglary.  The victim reported that he arrived at the location at about 7:00 p.m., parked his vehicle in the parking area, and went into the hotel.  When he returned to his vehicle at about 8:25 p.m., he found the dashboard had been removed and the navigation system was missing.  Also missing was a briefcase containing personal information and other miscellaneous paperwork.  Investigation continuing.
On January 28 at 2:53 p.m., graffiti was reported at a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle.  Suspects wrote on the band shell in the park in pink/red letters.  Investigation continuing.  
Discharge of a Laser at an Aircraft
On January 28 at 9:13 p.m., the Foothill Air Support helicopter reported being hit by a green laser from the area between Diamond and El Dorado.  Arcadia Police Department was also notified.  Monrovia officers responded to the area, but were unable to locate the source of the laser.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
On January 29 at 12:30 a.m., an officer responded to a local hospital regarding a stabbing victim at their facility who reported that the incident occurred in Monrovia.  The victim, a 16-year-old male, stated that he and several friends had left a friend's house in the 100 block of East Evergreen and began walking to another friend's house in the 800 block of East Olive.  When they reached California, they were confronted by two male Hispanic subjects.  The victim pushed the suspect and the suspect stabbed him in the arm.  The second suspect jumped in and hit the victim in the face.  Then they separated and walked away in different directions.  The victim was taken to a hospital by friends.
Suspect number one is described as 18 to 22 years old, 5 foot 5 inches tall, 140 to 160 pounds, black hair, thin moustache, wearing a light colored baseball cap, gray hooded sweatshirt and light colored shorts.  Suspect number two is described as a male Hispanic, 20 to 22 years old, 5 foot 7 inches tall, 140 to 160 pounds, black or brown medium length shaggy hair, wearing a black t-shirt.  The weapon is a pocket knife with a 4-inch stainless blade.  Investigation continuing.

Monrovia's Acapulco Restaurant Goes Dark

Monrovia's Acapulco Restaurant, on Huntington Drive, has gone out of business. All that is left of the business sign is a shadow and there is a "for lease" sign out front. Its parent company, Real Mex, is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Brad Haugaard

Dam North of Monrovia Appears Low on Water

Cogswell Dam seems a bit low on water.

I took some pictures this weekend of the water level in Cogswell Dam - in the West Fork of the San Gabriel River in the mountains just north of Monrovia. The water appears to be way low. Friend Steve Scauzillo, environmental reporter for the Star-News, comments on it. "Pray for rain," he says. Here's another picture and Steve's commentary:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia State of City Video On-Line | Sutherland Honored | Snail's Pace

~ Mayor's State of the City video now on line.

~ Monrovian Karen Sutherland honored by Chamber of Commerce.

~ The Monrovia running store, A Snail's Pace, gets national recognition.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Hit-and-Run Victim Improving | Donnelly Honored | Police Investigate Stabbing

~ 12-year-old girl struck by car in Monrovia is improving.
~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, reports on Facebook that he was named State Legislator of the Year for 2011 by the California chapter of Concerned Women for America, an organization that fights for "Faith, Family and Freedom."
~ Police investigate Monrovia stabbing.
- Brad Haugaard

Driver Arrested in Hit-And-Run | Girls Basketball | Tax Services

~ Driver who allegedly hit-and-ran after striking an 12-year-old girl has been arrested. Girl in critical condition.
~ Monrovia High School girls basketball over South Pas.
State Senator Carol Liu and others were at the Foothill Unity Center in Monrovia, CA to talk about free tax services that are available to working Californians.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's State Senator on Education Spending, Local School Authority,and Chiropractors

California education spending and its results.
~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, said he created this scatter graph of school district spending versus student performance. He said: "If there is a connection between the two factors–in other words if more spending as a rule results in better student performance–there should be some kind of correlating line beginning in the lower left quadrant and ending in the upper right quadrant. But results do not show even a faint line from left to right. The dots are fairly random and it is difficult—if not impossible—to see a relationship between these two factors."
~ Huff said he wonders if Governor Jerry Brown is coming around to the view that Sacramento should return authority to local school districts. He quotes Brown as saying it is important to "give more authority to local school districts to fashion the kind of programs they see their students need," and Huff responds that, "it is refreshing to see the governor arrive at this position. It is finally sinking in that state bureaucracies can no longer play school board."
~ A Huff measure to stop chiropractors from treating allergies has been approved by the State Senate.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Looking For Car in Hit-and-Run on 11-Year-Old Girl

Monrovia Police looking for a car possibly of this make and model, a pearl white Infinity.
On Friday, January 27, at 3:51 p.m., the Monrovia Police Department received a call of an injury traffic collision at Huntington Drive and Canyon Blvd Officers determined an eleven-year-old female had attempted to cross the road and had been struck by a passing car. The child was injured and is now hospitalized. Investigators are still gathering evidence at this time. Witnesses observed a pearl white Infinity, possibly a 2004, j30 model or a similar vehicle, strike the child. The driver fled without stopping at the scene, continuing west on Huntington, south on Myrtle and then West on the 210 Foothill Freeway. 
Anyone with information about this collision please call the Watch Commander at the Monrovia Police Department. 626-256-8000.
Source: Monrovia City press release
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Cafe LuMar

Lunch at the new Cafe LuMar, 136 E. Colorado Blvd. Clean and attractive, with paintings of Croatia on the walls. I got the roasted pork panini, added a bit of mustard to my taste and it was yummy and filling. Oh, also got a banana chocolate crepe for desert, which I can recommend highly!
- Brad Haugaard

Peek at the Sun at Monrovia's Library Park

The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project outreach program will be at Library Park, at the northwest corner of Myrtle and Lime, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, with a solar telescope and some handouts, like solar glasses. Come out and look at our nearest star.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Black History Events

Black history events at Monrovia United Methodist Church ( ) and at the Krikorian ( ).
- Brad Haugaard

Trial Starts in Shooting in Unincorporated Monrovia

Trial begins in 2008 shooting of teen in unincorporated county area near Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Films at Monrovia Library

Film nights at the Library. Midnight in Paris, Jan. 30; Beginners, Feb. 6; The Help, Feb. 13. All at 6 p.m. Details:
- Brad Haugaard

Getting Ready to Pour Abutments for Gold Line Bridge

Installing the form work for the southern bridge abutment. Late next week, crews are scheduled to pour concrete.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Green Dot Ends 2011 with Strong Quarter

Green Dot Corporation of Monrovia reported strong Fourth Quarter 2011 results:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Oops! Wrong Address on Narcotics, Wrong Gift Cards, A Quiet Place to Smoke Weed, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for  January 23-25. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 392 service events, resulting in 81 investigations.

Suspicious Package

On January 23 at 1:41 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of West Chestnut regarding a suspicious letter received by a local business.  A white powdery substance was contained within the letter.  Monrovia Fire Department, in coordination with Los Angeles County Fire and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Hazmat Teams, responded to recover the suspicious letter.  The substance was analyzed and tested positive as a narcotic substance.  The origination of the letter is under investigation and being handled by the Monrovia Police Department.

Possession of Stolen Property - Suspect Arrested

On January 24 at 11:30 a.m., an officer observed a bicyclist run a stop sign in the 900 block of Alta Vista.  After stopping the subject, he received consent to search.  During the search, he found the subject was in possession of several gift cards.  The names on the cards matched the names of victims from thefts that occurred earlier in the week in Monrovia.  The suspect was arrested for possession of stolen property and the investigation is continuing.

Trespassing - Suspect Arrested

On January 24 at 9:52 p.m., officers responded to an audible alarm activation at a residence in the 200 block of North Myrtle, which is a house that is under construction.  When officers arrived, it appeared as if someone had climbed through an unlocked rear window.  Upon closer examination, a wallet with identification was found inside the house. 

While officers were speaking with neighbors, they noticed a male subject walking nearby.  His head was down as if he were looking for something he had dropped.  The officers contacted him and discovered he was the owner of the wallet found in the vacant house.  This individual lives in the neighborhood.  He said he was looking for a place to smoke Marijuana, and he knew that the house was vacant.  He climbed through an unsecured window and activated the audible alarm, which caused him to flee and drop his wallet.  There was no evidence indicating the suspect entered the location to steal any property.  He was arrested for trespassing.

Possession of Burglary Tools - Suspect Arrested

On January 25 at 4:08 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of West Olive reported hearing suspicious male voices in the alley.  Officers responded and detained two subjects.  One of them was arrested for possession of burglary tools.  Nearby, the officers found a red and black, "Gary Fisher" brand, mountain bike that had been discarded.  The bike was taken as found property and the officers began attempting to locate its owner.  Investigation continuing.

Attempt Burglary

On January 25 at 9:03 p.m., an attempted residential burglary was reported in the 1000 block of Orange.  The incident occurred sometime between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  An unknown suspect attempted to pry open the front door of the residence.  There was no loss.  Investigation continuing.

Detective Bureau Case Follow-up

Search Warrant - Suspect Arrested

A proactive investigation by patrol officers gave Monrovia Police Department's Detective Bureau enough information to secure a search warrant for a residence in the 200 block of West Olive, which was served on January 25.  The residents are suspected to be selling stolen property and narcotics from the residence.  As a result of the search warrant, detectives, assisted by Special Enforcement Team officers, found several items that have been listed in recent theft from vehicle incidents.  Special Enforcement Team officers stopped one of the primary suspects of the search warrant outside of the residence.  The suspect was carrying a quantity of packaged methamphetamine and was arrested and taken into custody.

Conditions inside the residence were reported to Monrovia Code Enforcement and the Department of Children and Family Services.  This warrant will hopefully net additional arrests.

Portantino Breast Cancer Bill Approved by Assembly

A health bill by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has been unanimously approved by the Assembly. The measure requires health insurers to provide information to women about when they should start being screened for breast cancer. The press release continues ...
“There has been a lot of confusion in recent years over when a woman should and shouldn’t begin receiving these screenings,” explained Assemblymember Portantino. “This measure cuts through that confusion and gives patients and doctors maximum flexibility.  It’s good for the patient and in the long run, good for the insurance provider.  Early detection helps save lives and certainly saves healthcare dollars.”
AB 137 also eliminates outdated guidelines to the Insurance Code that limits coverage for mammograms in younger women.  Instead of basing the need for mammograms only on a woman’s age, AB 137 allows doctors to order diagnostic tests based on a more complete list of risk factors that are part of today’s medical science.  The existing code requiring insurers to provide a baseline mammogram beginning at age 35, is now outdated. Many women who are at “high risk” for breast cancer often develop cancer in their 20’s and 30’s and should be screened at an earlier age.  AB 137 will allow doctors more control in when to order this diagnostic test.
AB 137 now moves to the state Senate for consideration later this session.
- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment's HummingDrone passes DARPA Milestone

The itty-bitty hummingbird drone, developed by Monrovia's AeroVironment, has passed Phase II technical milestones set out by DARPA  (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

Gold Line Lobbies Feds | Monrovia's Green Dot to Release Prepaid AARP MasterCard | Financial Seminar

~ Gold Line lobbies Federal Government for money.

~ Monrovia's Green Dot is coming out this year with a prepaid AARP MasterCard.

~ There will be a three-session seminar on Financial Literacy & Fitness at the Monrovia Library, 11:30 to 1 p.m. on Jan. 31, Feb. 7, and Feb. 15. Bring a lunch. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Honda Ad Filmed in Monrovia Airing

A Honda ad filmed in Old Town Monrovia has begun airing.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz' State of the City Speech

Full text of Mayor Mary Ann Lutz's State of the City speech:

My take on the general tone of the speech: We're doing okay and will continue improving, but it's not going to be easy.

A few of her looking-ahead comments:

~  "We'll survive" the loss of redevelopment.

~  "We begin this new year optimistically, but with continued concerns."

~  "I can tell you, the County's ‘Most Business Friendly City' isn't going to miss any opportunity to stimulate jobs, attract business or reinvest in ourselves this year."

~ "If MAP [the award-winning 'Monrovia Area Partnership'] is now going to have to compete for limited General Fund dollars with other City programs, then something may have to give. More cutbacks may be needed, somewhere." But, she added, "we do not intend for MAP to go away."

~ ` Sales and property taxes are 'trending up,' but with the loss of redevelopment dollars, "we have a potential deficit of more than $1 million."

~ The city will be dealing with commercial recycling and waste-water runoff this year.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Meeting Tonight

The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority will meet at 7 p.m. today here in Monrovia. Here's the agenda if you want to attend ( ) and the staff reports ( )
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Liked President's Emphasis on Community Colleges

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, reports on Facebook that he watched President Obama's State of the Union address with IATSE Local 80 (union of professional stagehands, motion picture technicans, and allied crafts) and "was impressed wih the President's continued focus on the importance of Community Colleges."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High May Gain Covina Football Star | Huff Bond Legislation | Green Dot Purchase | Donnelly

~ Monrovia may get Covina football star, Gevontray Ainsworth.

~ Green Dot Corporation, of Monrovia, a provider of pre-paid banking cards, "has acquired certain processing and hardware assets of eCommLink for $2.5 million in cash."

~ Bond reform legislation by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (who represents Monrovia) will move to the State Assembly after passing a final Senate floor test with unanimous support. SB 633 ensures that voter-approved general obligation bond money is spent on the projects that voters approved at the polls.

~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, reports that a heart operation on his two-day-old nephew was successful and the boy should be discharged shortly. He thanked people for praying.

- Brad Haugaard

No In-N-Out for Monrovia | Black History | Jtest

~ No In-N-Out for Monrovia in the near future.
~ Black History Month in Monrovia-Duarte.
~ Parasoft Corporation, of Monrovia, releases Jtest, a Java (computer programming language) testing tool.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board Angry at Delayed State Payments | Contract Dispute involving Family Festival Productions

~ Monrovia School Board is hopping mad that it has to borrow money because the state is late in paying what it owes.
~ Contract dispute involving Monrovia-based Family Festival Productions continues in Whittier.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Two-Year-Old Takes Solo Walk; Second Burglary Doesn't Work So Well; Thefts From Cars; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 19-22. - Brad Haugaard]
Found Child
On January 19 at 3:58 p.m., officers were flagged down regarding a 2-year-old child walking alone in the 300 block of North Grand.  Officers were able to determine the child lives at a residence in the 400 block of East Greystone.  Her grandmother is currently her guardian, as the child's mother was recently taken into custody.  At the time of the mother's arrest, a referral to the Department of Child and Family Services was generated.  This incident was reported to the Department of Child and Family Services worker.
Commercial Burglary - Suspect Arrested
On January 19 at 8:51 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 700 block of East Huntington regarding a male subject who stole merchandise.  An officer saw a subject walking on Huntington who matched the description of the suspect.  As the officer attempted to contact the suspect, he ran.  The officer gave chase, detained the suspect, and he was arrested for burglary.  The suspect had apparently committed the same crime two days prior.
Vehicle Burglary
On January 20 at 1:05 a.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of South Alta Vista on the report of a burglary that had just occurred.  The victim's van was parked and locked on the street.  The victim's wife heard the van door open and told the victim, who went out to investigate.  He saw a male subject near the rear doors of his van.  The suspect ran to a vehicle and fled in a possible 1990's, black Honda Civic.  The suspect had punched out the rear door lock to gain entry to the van and took an electric sander.  The suspect is described as a male, wearing dark clothing and either a mask or bandana over his face.  Investigation continuing.
Driving Under the Influence
On January 20 at 4:25 a.m., an officer on patrol drove by a vehicle parked in the 300 block of West Foothill and saw a subject slumped over the steering wheel.  The vehicle was running, it was in drive, and the subject would not respond to his knocking. Eventually, the subject woke up and the vehicle moved forward, but stopped shortly. After investigation, the subject was arrested for driving under the influence.
Theft From a Vehicle
On January 21, several thefts from vehicles occurred overnight.  The thefts occurred in the 200 block of North Alta Vista, 200 block of West Lime, 400 block of Concord, and the 300 block of North Mayflower.  All of the thefts appear to have occurred in the early morning hours and in most of the incidents, the vehicles were left unlocked.  The items taken were cash, electronic items, gift cards, and miscellaneous items that were left in the vehicles.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
On January 21 at 8:00 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a residence in the 1300 block of South Alta Vista.  The vehicle is a black, 2000 Honda Civic and was taken sometime during the night.  The vehicle has yellow fog lights on the front and a rear spoiler.  Investigation continuing.

Old Town Monrovia in LA Magazine

Old Town Monrovia got a nice write-up in LA Magazine.

- Brad Haugaard

Donnelly Says Got Word of Encouragement from Gov. Brown in Gun Incident

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, reported he got surprise word of encouragement from Governor Jerry Brown in the gun-at-the-airport incident.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Teams with BMW | Computer Club | First Novel

~ BMW partners with AeroVironment to provide charging station for the car company's new electric car.
~ New computer club at Monrovia Library.
~ Monrovian writes kinda-okay self-published Christian novel about a sorta evil cult that tries to take over the world. Opinion: It may not win any awards, but I (Brad) had fun writing it and those constrained by blood or friendship have charitably said mostly nice things about it.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assemblyman Introduces Another Bill to Ban Public Display of Firearms

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has introduced another bill to prevent the open display of firearms. According to Portantino's press release, he has ...

introduced AB 1527, a measure that will prohibit individuals from openly displaying unloaded rifles and shotguns in public. Portantino introduced the legislation at the urging of law enforcement as a follow up to last year’s successful AB 144, which banned openly carrying an unloaded handgun in public places.
In reaction to the enactment of AB 144, Open Carry Organizations across the State began hosting open carry events brandishing rifles and shotguns in place of the now illegal handguns. In at least once instance, they showed up at a police fundraiser wielding unloaded rifles. 
“Last year, the state made it clear that this type of behavior had no place on Main Street, California,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “Unfortunately, the Open Carry community has decided to once again force our hand by escalating their unnecessary activities and entering our communities with AR-15s and other long guns. I had hoped cooler heads would have prevailed and this law wouldn’t be necessary, obviously that hasn’t been the case and I must once again take action to ensure the safety of our communities.”
AB 1527 builds on the newly enacted law authored by Portantino last year and provides a similar list of exemptions to enable safe transportation, lawful hunting, and use by law enforcement officials.
"The Brady Campaign supports AB 1527,” said Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Brady Campaign Chapters. "These public displays of shot guns, rifles, and live ammunition intimidate and scare people. This is not the kind of society Californians want to live in, and we support ending this dangerous practice."
AB 1527 currently awaits referral from the Assembly Rules committee and will likely be set for hearing in the Assembly Public Safety committee sometime in late March or early April.
- Brad Haugaard

Attempted Murder, Arrest, Reported in Monrovia

In a press release, the City of Monrovia reports:

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, at approximately 5:50 pm, Monrovia Police Officers responded to the 1200 block of Encino Avenue regarding a male adult victim with one stab wound to his chest.  The victim was treated at the scene and taken to a local hospital where he was admitted in critical condition.  The victim’s medical status was later upgraded to stable condition.  

A subsequent investigation revealed the suspect violated a restraining order and entered into the home of his estranged wife.  The suspect was holding a hunting style knife and confronted his wife and the victim, who is his wife’s male companion. The suspect stabbed the victim one time in the chest and fled from the location.

Monrovia Police Officers located the suspect at a nearby hotel in Monrovia and surrounded his room.  The suspect was unaware of the police presence and exited his hotel room where he was taken into custody without further incident.  The suspect was arrested and charged for Attempt Murder and violating a protective court order. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Investment Firm Moving into Dogwoods - Plans to Invest $100 Million

The former Dogwood's produce market has been purchased by, and will be occupied by, an investment company called Juvo Capital ( ), which plans to invest up to $100 million in start-up companies over the next several years.

The general partners of the firm, Talmadge O'Neil and Harry Tsao ( ), are not new to Monrovia, having founded one of the largest firms in Monrovia that few people have ever heard of,, which was sold several years ago for about $300 million and is now part of ValueClick.

Full disclosure: I worked with both Talmadge and Harry (nice guys, both) at in Pasadena.

- Brad Haugaard

Koncept Headquarters in Monrovia | UCLA McCarthy

~ Koncept, a high-end LED lamp company, has located its headquarters on Huntington Drive in Monrovia.

~ Picture of Monrovia football player, Ellis McCarthy, in a UCLA jersey.

- Brad Haugaard

Boy Dies | Huff School Bill Passes Senate

~ Boy dies in Monrovia after discovered not breathing.
~ Senator Bob Huff's school-renaming bill passes senate. Huff represents Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Silver Green Monrovia | Video Bridge Report

~ Monrovia has been awarded "Silver" status as a "California Green Community."
~ A video report on the Gold Line bridge progress.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Shanghai Dumpling House

Lunch at the new Shanghai Dumpling House (215 E. Foothill in the Certified Market center). I passed on the Black Fungus, though I'm sure it's fine, and got the Spicy Pork Dumplings. Oh, Wow! These are seriously delicious. Highly recommend.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Construction Update

The Gold Line reports that the Santa Anita freeway bridge is on schedule, and that ...

during the coming months, crews will install the temporary support structure called falsework over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway. For safety purposes during falsework installation, multiple partial and full closures of the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway will be required. Full eastbound closures will all occur late at night, and the freeway will be reopened by 5:00 a.m. the following mornings. 

Also over the next several months, crews will be conducting surveying, geotechnical work and utility locating activities along the planned line. Major construction is scheduled to begin near the end of the year.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte Town Council Meeting

There will be a meeting of the Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte (MAD) Town Council Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the Annunciation Church Parish Hall at 7 p.m. The council represents all residents who live in unincorporated areas of Monrovia, Arcadia and Duarte.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Wildcat Toilet Plunger

A Willy The Wildcat plunger.
On Facebook, Lauri Knowlton Fleming reports finding a "treasure" from her days at Monrovia High, a 1975 Willy The Wildcat plunger ( ). "I stuck that on many a football helmet," she said. Hmmm ... I'd love to know how toilet plungers became associated with the Wildcats and the significance of attaching them to helmets. (Thanks to Lauri for permission to use a picture of her treasure.)
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision Responds to Africa Food Crisis | FTSI

~ Monrovia's World Vision scales up its response to a growing food crisis in West Africa.
~ Monrovia's FTSI is debuting six new professional services for credit unions and community banks.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge Progress | Williams on Town Council | A Few OpeningsFor State of City Speech | Fire Department Communications | Job Opening

A photo of what is and what is planned to be.

~ Construction on the Gold Line bridge advances as abutment forms are now being erected around the eastern abutment. These final abutment activities complete the substructure work and set the stage for construction of the superstructure. (Gold Line press release)

~ Terrance Williams, a candidate for the Monrovia School Board, has been selected to the Monrovia Arcadia Duarte (MAD) Town Council.

~ There are just a few openings left for Mayor Mary Ann Lutz's annual State of the City address (7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Krikorian Premiere Theatre in Old Town). Call 303-6600 if you want to attend. Also, KGEM TV will carry the speech, and it will be on the city's website later.

~ The Fire Department has begun upgrading its communication equipment. The project should be completed by the end of next week.

~ Foothill Unity Center has a job opening for an executive assistant.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: GPS on Phone Leads to Arrest; Cyclist Hit; Suspect Arrested in December Hold-Up of Duarte Road Liquor Store

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 16-18. - Brad Haugaard]
Assault with a Deadly Weapon / Criminal Threats - Suspect Arrested
On January 16 at 11:52 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 100 block of West Cherry regarding a suspect making verbal threats to his family.  The suspect has recently obtained a handgun and has been wearing it in his waistband.  During recent arguments, he has threatened to shoot them and has shown the weapon.  After, once again, being threatened, the suspect's brother found the loaded gun hidden in their parent's room.  He took the gun and locked it up. 
The next day when the suspect went to retrieve the gun and realized it was gone, he became irate and threatened the family with a stool, which he dropped, and then retrieved a knife from the kitchen counter.  He then threatened the family with the knife.  The victims went into their bedroom, locked the door, and called police.  Officers arrived and were able to arrest the suspect without further incident. 
Theft - Suspect Arrested
On January 17 at 3:00 p.m., a Monrovia High School teacher reported her cell phone had been stolen.  She had left the phone unattended near a practice field.  She was able to activate a GPS feature, which indicated the stolen phone was at a residence in the 100 block of East Los Angeles.  Officers responded, and were able to recover the phone and arrested the 16-year-old suspect.
Grand Theft Auto - Motorcycle
On January 17 at 6:00 p.m., a red and white colored Honda dirt bike with no plates was stolen from the 500 block of West Duarte between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.  A 1990's, dark green minivan, possibly a Ford or Chevy, was seen in the area.  The vehicle was driven by a male White subject, approximately 50 years old, medium build, with a brown mustache and goatee.  Investigation continuing.
Traffic Collision - Vehicle versus Bicyclist
On January 18 at 1:43 p.m., a female juvenile on a bicycle was on her way home from school.  She was traveling west on Duarte Road, crossing at Alamitas, when she was struck by a vehicle.  The driver was stopped on Duarte Road, turning south onto Alamitas.  The bicyclist was on the sidewalk and entered the crosswalk, but the driver was looking towards his left and never saw the bicyclist enter the crosswalk.  The impact knocked the juvenile off her bike, causing minor visible injuries.  As a precaution, since the juvenile was not wearing a helmet, she was transported to a hospital by ambulance.  Her parents were notified and responded to the hospital.
Prowling / Possession of Burglary Tools- Suspect Arrested
On January 19 at 2:27 a.m., a resident in the 300 block of Shadow Lane reported seeing a male subject using a flashlight to look into parked vehicles.  The subject ran when he saw police cars approaching.  Officers conducted a yard-to-yard search and found the suspect hiding in a backyard.  He was arrested for prowling and possessing burglary tools.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-up
Update:  2010 Armed Robbery - Suspect Arrested
On December 28, 2010, an armed robbery occurred at a liquor store in the 400 block of West Duarte Road at approximately 8:45 p.m.  Three suspects wearing ski masks entered the store.  Two of the suspects walked behind the counter and one of them punched the clerk.  The clerk fled into the store and was followed by the suspect.  This suspect had a small chrome handgun and demanded money from the clerk.  When the clerk said he didn't have any, the second suspect took the cash register and all three suspects fled to a waiting vehicle, driven by a fourth suspect.
On January 18, 2012, a suspect was arrested by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau for a murder committed in Lynwood.  During the lengthy interview, the suspect admitted to committing the armed robbery at the liquor store in Monrovia, along with two additional suspects.  The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Major Crimes Division is taking over the investigation and prosecution of the armed robbery case.

Portantino's Whistleblowing Bill for Legislative Staff Dies

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, reports that his bill "to provide legislative staffers with the same protections from retaliation as other state employees, has been sidelined in the Assembly Appropriations Committee." The press release continues:

“I am disappointed that the Assembly Appropriations Committee chose to kill Whistleblower Protection in the State Capitol,” said Assemblymember Portantino.  “Every other state agency has protections in place for folks who bring forward allegations of waste fraud and abuse.  Today’s action continues a self-serving exemption that undermines the public’s confidence and trust.  Late opposition to AB 1378 was unfortunate since the measure had previously been supported unanimously in policy committee. I will continue to bring forward proposals to seek openness and transparency in California government.”

 AB 1378 called for legislative employees to be given legal protection from reprisals for reporting government wrongdoing such as waste or abuse. Specifically, AB 1378 would have required the Rules Committees of both the Assembly and Senate to designate an officer to receive written complaints and the State Auditor would then investigate those complaints. Those found guilty of retaliation faced fines up to $10,000 and a year in county jail.

Opinion: If the state government wants Californians to believe that the laws it passes are not burdensome, then exempting itself from those laws is not the way to do it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Borrow to Pay Bills? Charge to Ride Bus?

At its Jan. 23 meeting (agenda here: ) the board will consider ...
~ (if I'm understanding correctly) borrowing money to pay its 2012 bills, which may run short by May. Why? Because the state is deferring payment to the districts.
~ a bus-riding fee for students, unless they get free or reduced-cost meals. Again, less money from the state.
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Won't Run in 2012

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has said he will not run for office in 2012.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Flat Rat | Teacher Jeopardy | Chamber Awards | Healthy Kids | Senator Responds to Brown

~ You may have missed part of the painted bear ("Bearlovian Paradise") in the Youth Services section of the Library. The usually-invisible underside of Bearlovian's foot features a flat rat. Second item down at the link:
~ First Annual Teacher Jeopardy this Friday in the Monrovia High auditorium from 6-8 p.m. $3 a ticket at the door or you can buy in the ASB student store. Sponsored by Sophomore Student Class Council. (I assume this is open to the public. Let me know if not. - Brad)
~ At its annual awards dinner, the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce will honor its award winners: 
- The Iris Award, Karen Sutherland
- The Monroe Award, Rudy Castrellon of Rudy's Mexican Food
- The Dick Lord Award, Gloria Huss of Monrovia Floral
The Jan. 27 dinner is open to the public, but sign up by Jan. 23. Details:
~ The YMCA is sponsoring a "Healthy Kids and Family" speaker series, with a topic each month from February through October. Details: 
~ State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, said Governor Jerry Brown's proposal "to raise taxes ... will strangle our recovering economy." He said Republicans think "the focus should be to streamline government and help create new jobs."
- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Restaurant: Shanghai Dumpling House

New dumpling restaurant in the Certified Market mini shopping center on Foothill a couple blocks east of Myrtle. At the site of the former, short-lived, Archie's.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Banfield/PetSmart Grand Opening Saturday

Banfield Pet Hospital, located in the new PetSmart at 745 W. Huntington, will celebrate its grand opening along with PetSmart on Jan. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to its press release, Banfield, "the world's largest veterinary practice," will donate 20 percent of the opening weekend revenue to the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. Also, there will be refreshments, contests, giveaways, “Ask-the-Vet” and hospital tours.
The hospital will offer routine checkups and vaccinations, and a range of medical services. It will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., with drop-offs beginning at 7 a.m. The hospital is closed on Wednesday. Staff veterinarians include Manal Hanna, DVM and Patrick Singh, DVM.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Valentine's Day Prize

Win a free Old Town Valentine's dinner (or maybe a teddy bear or roses).
- Brad Haugaard

Man Pleads Guilty in Collection Agency Scam

Man pleads guilty to running a collection agency scam in Bakersfield, Monrovia and Anaheim.
- Brad Haugaard

Full Eastbound Freeway Closure Tonight | Spicer Sworn In | Green Dot Executive Resigns

~ At midnight tonight, all eastbound lanes of the 210 will be closed when approaching Santa Anita offramp. The freeway will be closed until 5 a.m. tomorrow (Jan. 18) when some lanes will reopen. All lanes will be open by 6 a.m.

~ Fill-in Monrovia City Councilman, Larry Spicer, will be sworn in tonight. He is taking Clarence Shaw's place while Shaw is on active duty with the army. Update: Councilman Tom Adams says Spicer has already been sworn in.

~ Mark Troughton, President, Cards and Network of Green Dot Corporation, is resigning at the end of this month.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Shots Fired, Target Uncooperative; Embezzling; Marijuana Sales; Husband Battering; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Jan. 12-15. - Brad Haugaard]
Shots Fired
On January 13 at 10:42 p.m., residents in the area of 1100 South Primrose heard several shots fired.  Officers responded and discovered four .45 caliber bullet casings in the south alley in the 200 block of West Huntington, near Magnolia.  Video surveillance showed a male suspect, possibly White or Hispanic, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt in the alley.  The suspect fired four rounds east in the alley, then he ran west out of sight.  It is unknown what he was shooting at; however, at the time of the shooting, the manager of a business saw a male Black subject, approximately 18 to 20 years old, wearing baggy clothing, dancing around in the parking lot.  He then ran east toward Primrose.  It's possible he could have been the target and was attempting to avoid getting hit.  No impact points or blood on the ground was located.  Hospitals were notified, but no victims were reported during the night.
On January 16 at approximately 3:00 a.m., an officer stopped a suspicious subject.  During the contact, the subject claimed to be the victim of the shooting that occurred on January 13.  The victim said he was in a business parking lot and was shot at; he was not struck or injured.  The victim would not cooperate with the officer and refused to provide any additional information.  The clothing the victim was wearing during his contact with the officer matched the possible victim's clothing reported on the night of the shooting.  The officer completed a supplemental report regarding his contact with the possible victim and an identification card was also completed.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto - Motorcycle
On January 14 at 2:33 a.m., a resident in the 300 block of South Shamrock heard noises in his front yard and went outside to investigate.  He saw his 2005, orange and black, KTM, dirt bike motorcycle was missing off a trailer he had parked on the street in front of his house.  Witnesses told him they saw a male Hispanic subject, approximately 30 years old, pushing it west on Lemon toward California.  Officers searched the area for the suspect and the motorcycle, but did not locate either.  Investigation continuing.
On January 14 at 10:19 a.m., officers responded to a theft report at an apartment complex in the 700 block of South Myrtle.  A pickup truck parked on the first level of the parking structure behind the security gate had two duffel bags stolen out of the bed of the truck.  Investigation continuing.
Embezzlement - Suspect Arrested
On January 14 at 11:43 a.m., officers responded to a business in the 600 block of South Myrtle regarding an embezzlement report.  The owner of the business noticed a discrepancy in the inventory and confronted the employee in charge, who admitted to embezzling property from the business.  During investigation, the employee confessed to embezzling property from the business over the past five years.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody. 
Special Enforcement Team Activity
Traffic Stop / Possession of Marijuana for Sales / Warrants - Suspects Arrested
On January 14 at 8:46 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in the 1600 block of South Myrtle.  He recognized the driver and knew she had an active want for her arrest issued by Monrovia Police Department.  A search of her vehicle revealed marijuana found in different containers, and a large quantity of cash was found on her person.  Her cell phone contained multiple texts from people that indicated she was selling marijuana to them.  She was arrested for the want, as well as possession of marijuana for sales and transportation.  There was a passenger in the vehicle that was found to have five felony warrants, which included a no-bail probation warrant.  The passenger was also arrested.
Domestic Violence / Outside Assist - Huntington Beach Police Department - Suspect Arrested
On January 14, the Special Enforcement Team detained a distraught female on Myrtle and Duarte.  The subject said she was upset because her twin sister had been involved in domestic violence with her husband.  While talking to her, her husband and sister arrived.  After further investigation, the sister was arrested for domestic violence for battering her husband.  Since the incident occurred in Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Police Department responded and took custody of the female suspect.

Bald Insurance Executives Help Monrovia Anti-Cancer Foundation

A bunch of insurance executives have recently shaved their heads ( ) to raise $700,000 for Monrovia-based St. Baldrick's Foundation ( ). St. Baldrick's raises money for research to find cures for childhood cancer. The organization has raised $78,804,186 since 2005 and $914,760 so far this year.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's McCarthy Switches to UCLA | Mayor to Conference | PetSmart Open | Salon Cheo | Dogwood's

~ Monrovia defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy has switched his commitment to UCLA.

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz plans to attend the National Conference of Mayors.

~ The PetSmart store on Huntington is now open.

~ It appears a new business is opening on Foothill, Salon Cheo.

~ By the way, I hear a rumor (nothing more), that the now-closed Dogwood's will be converted into an office building. Update: Yup, its true -

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman's Nephew | Free Mulch | Chase Grand Opening

~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, asks on his Facebook page for prayer for his two-day-old nephew, Maximilian, and his parents. Maximilian is going to have a stent installed in his heart today. Update: Successful, with a part-two operation later this week.
~ Free mulch! The recent windstorm knocked down a lot of trees and limbs, which have been helpfully ground up into mulch. If you want some, get it on Jan. 21 or 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Recreation Park (600 S. Shamrock next to the Boys & Girls Club). Bring a shovel, containers, gloves and safety glasses. Take as much as you need while it lasts.
~ The new Chase Bank at the former Spire's restaurant location had its grand opening Saturday. A photo:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Gallery to Feature 'Impressions of France' | Alex Zucco

Baignoire Chez Nous
~ Impressions of France show at Segil Fine Art, 110 West Lime Ave., Jan. 21-April 7. Demonstration of plein air (outdoors) painting Sunday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. outside the gallery, of painting and sculpting from a live model (1:30 - 3:30 p.m.), and a panel discussion (4-5 p.m.) on creativity and the beauty of rural France.
~ A profile article about Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco, by the person who knows her best.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill

Lunch at Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill yesterday, at the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center. Very clean and nice. Got a Chili-Lime Wild Salmon burrito for $7.99. Very tasty; I could easily have eaten a second one. My wife loved her chicken tortilla soup.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Pet-Food Drive | Third Gold Line Bridge Column Done | Huff Legislation

~ Unleashed by PetCo (614 W. Huntington Drive) is having a foodraising drive to benefit Foothill Unity Center's Pet Food Bank. Get a raffle ticket for every can of food donated.
~ The third Gold Line bridge column (near eastbound Santa Anita offramp) has been completed.
~ A new measure authored by State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, would give the State Department of Finance "the authority to issue a corrective action plan, if an audit uncovers that bond funds have been misspent by a state entity or agency."
~ Another Huff measure would "make a technical change to the Open Enrollment Act by changing the name of 'low-achieving' schools to a less judgmental and more benign title of 'open enrollment' schools."
- Brad Haugaard

Portable Generator for Monrovia | Reroofing City Garage | Cacciotti Raises $108,953

~ Interim City Manager Mark Alvarado reports that the City Council will consider buying a portable generator in case the city experiences another power outage such as the one caused by the recent windstorm.
~ Also, he said, staff is recommending re-roofing the Public Works Corporate Yard Garage, which was damaged in the storm. The roofing job will cost $29,340.
~ South Pasadena Mayor and Assembly District 41 candidate, Michael Cacciotti, today announced that he has raised $108,953 for his Assembly campaign in the first six weeks since he announced his intentions to run in late November. He said he is "overwhelmed by the strong rush of support" he has had. Source: Cacciotti press release.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wildcat Victory Celebration

Tonight in Library Park, the Monrovia High Wildcats and the community celebrated the football team's second consecutive championship.

More pictures:

Full story:

- Brad Haugaard

Electric Car Chargers Installed by Monrovia's AeroVironment Almost On Line

Electric charging stations installed by Monrovia's AeroVironment almost ready to go on line in Oregon.
- Brad Haugaard

Dogwood Closing Sale

The sign says it all. Too bad. It has been a nice market.

Monrovia Police: hit and Run Details, Tagging

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for Jan. 9-12. – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, January 4-10, 2011, the Police Department handled 474 service events, resulting in 98 investigations. Following are the highlighted issues and events for the weekdays listed above.

Felony Hit and Run Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

On January 9 at 5:42 p.m., a bicyclist was traveling west on Foothill and stopped at Violet when a dark colored SUV collided into the bicyclist. The bicyclist was ejected approximately 20 feet and the driver of the SUV fled west on Foothill. The bicyclist was treated by Monrovia Fire Department at the scene and was taken to a hospital. His external injuries appeared minor, but his internal injuries were unknown, so as a precaution, he was taken to a trauma unit.

During the investigation, Monrovia Police Department received a call from a subject who claimed to have possibly been involved in a traffic collision with another vehicle on Foothill. The caller provided a description of his vehicle, which matched the description of the hit and run vehicle. Officers responded to the driver’s location and after further investigation, the suspect was arrested.

Detective Bureau – Case Follow-up

On November 16, 2011, at approximately 8:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of 300 East Colorado regarding vandalism in progress. The officers were able to locate one adult suspect and a juvenile suspect. The suspects were arrested for tagging in the area of 300 East Colorado. The tagging is unique and there were several reports describing the particular tagging.

A follow-up investigation by a detective discovered two additional suspects tied to the original suspects. After an extensive data collection effort by the detective, the cost of cleaning up the paint and replacing the damaged glass amounted to a felony vandalism charge. The detective was able to use the detailed preliminary investigation by the officer to secure a felony filing against all four suspects and close 25 cases. Since the case was filed, the detective has found two additional cases to add to the filing.

- Brad Haugaard

Filming in Monrovia

Neon Trees in Monrovia to shoot Buick commercial.

- Brad Haugaard

Deer Dining Spot in Monrovia

Deer enjoying snacking on a lawn on Canyon in north Monrovia. My presence didn't bother them at all.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football Celebration Tonight | Assembly Records | Antioxidants

~ Monrovia Wildcat football victory parade tonight at 5 p.m., from MHS, along Colorado, and north on Myrtle for a celebration at Library Park at about 5:30 p.m.
~ Analysis of recently-released Assembly records as they relate to the charge by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) that he was unfairly picked on by Speaker John Pérez.
~ Brown bag lunch discussion on antioxidants at library, Jan. 17 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church Serving In-N-Out | New Church | Theft From Church | Portantino Spent Less Than Most of His Democratic Colleagues

~ Monrovia's New Beginnings Family Church (2780 S. Peck Rd.) is serving free In-N-Out Burgers this Sunday.

~ The new Fellowship Monrovia church will officially begin meeting this Sunday, at 11 a.m. at the Community Center. The church has already had several "prequel" meetings.

~ Monrovia man charged with stealing from Glendale church donation box.

~ Last year Assembly member Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, spent less than 38 of the 52 Democrats in the Assembly.

- Brad Haugaard

New Businesses in Monrovia | Huff Worries About Governor's Budget

~ A list of businesses that opened in Monrovia in 2011.
~ Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (who represents Monrovia ) worries that Governor Brown's proposed budget will "increase the state’s dependence on highly volatile income tax payments by the state’s wealthiest individuals" and result in "yet another boom and bust cycle" ( ). Opinion: Ya know, a boom and bust cycle wouldn't be so bad if Sacramento would only restrain itself during the booms so we don't go broke during the busts.
- Brad Haugaard

Portantino's Whistleblower Bill Passes First Hurdle

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s bill to provide Legislative staffers with the same protections from retaliation as other state employees has been approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote, according to a press release from Portantino's office. Portantino represents part of Monrovia.
The press release continues:

The bill marks the first time legislative employees will have legal protection from reprisals for reporting government wrongdoing such as waste or abuse. It’s part of Assemblymember Portantino’s broader efforts to ensure openness, transparency and accountability in state government.
“This is another self-serving protection that the legislature enacted that needs to be repealed.  Workers should know that when they do the right thing they won’t have to face the threat of retaliation. Repealing this exemption show’s we are serious about finding waste and fraud.  It’s the right thing to do,” commented Portantino.
Each year, thousands of Californians do the right thing by reporting waste, fraud, violations of law, and political corruption. When they do the right thing, they are protected from retaliation under the California Whistleblower Protection Act.  In most state houses in the nation those who witness and report these abuses are also covered with protection.  Not in California.  Folks who work for the State Legislature have no such protection.  AB 1378 will change this disparity.
AB 1378 would require the Rules Committees of both the Assembly and Senate to designate an officer to receive written complaints and the state Auditor would then investigate those complaints. Those found guilty of retaliation could face fines up to $10,000 and a year in county jail. 
The bill now goes to Assembly Appropriations later this month.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Stopping a Suicide, Swiping Mail, Driving Under the Influence, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Jan. 5-8. - Brad Haugaard]
Grand Theft Auto
On January 5 at 7:51 p.m., an employee of a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain called to report a stolen vehicle.  The female victim arrived at work, parked, and secured her vehicle in the parking lot.  While on a break at 5:00 p.m., she saw her vehicle in the parking lot.  At 7:45 p.m., she went on her lunch break to her vehicle and the car was gone.  There was no broken glass on the ground where the car had been and the victim has accounted for all keys to the vehicle.  The vehicle is a silver, four-door, 1998 Honda Civic.  The vehicle was later recovered by El Monte Police Department.  Investigation continuing.
Mail Tampering
On January 6 at 9:52 a.m., mail was stolen from the mailbox at Mayflower and Foothill. The mail was found in several different locations.  Checks had been taken from the envelopes, and it was later determined that a male Hispanic subject had attempted to cash one of the checks in Santa Fe Springs, unsuccessfully.  Investigation continuing.
72-Hour Mental Evaluation
On January 6 at 10:57 a.m., a male teenager who resides in the 1200 block of South Sherman was threatening suicide while on the phone with his mental health counselor. Officers responded and had to make forced entry into the residence.  The subject was taken to a hospital, where he was held for mental evaluation.  His mother was notified.
Residential Burglary
On January 6 at 8:28 p.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 400 block of East Los Angeles on the report of a burglary.  When the officer arrived, the female victim told him that her son arrived home at 7:00 p.m. and found their computer and some items of jewelry missing.  Investigation continuing.
Hit and Run Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
On January 7 at 9:44 p.m., officers were dispatched to Myrtle and Lemon regarding a non-injury traffic collision.  Upon arrival of officers, one of the involved parties was leaving the scene in his vehicle, heading east on Lemon.  The suspect parked in the 100 block of East Lemon and ran south on Ivy.  The suspect's direction of travel was broadcast and another officer in the area located and detained the suspect at the corner of Ivy and Colorado.  He was positively identified as the driver of the suspect vehicle by witnesses.  Through investigation, officers determined the suspect was also driving under the influence.  He was arrested.
Special Enforcement Team Activity
Felony Warrant / Possession of Methamphetamine / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
On January 4, Special Enforcement Team officers saw a known subject in the 300 block of South Myrtle that they knew had a $100,000 felony warrant for his arrest and a suspended driver's license.  As the subject started to drive away, he was stopped and arrested for the warrant.  A vehicle search revealed a methamphetamine pipe that contained a useable amount of methamphetamine.  He was also charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  His vehicle was stored.
False Tabs on a Vehicle / Driving Without a License
On January 7, during an investigation, Special Enforcement Team officers stopped a vehicle for numerous vehicle code violations.  The driver was arrested for placing false tabs on his vehicle's plates and driving without a license.  The vehicle was stored.

Man Arrested in Monrovia Hit and Run

A Monrovia man has been arrested on charges of hitting a bicyclist on Foothill. It appears the cyclist will be okay.
- Brad Haugaard

City of Monrovia to Take Over Dead Redevelopment Agency

With the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency killed off by the State Supreme Court - along with all the other redevelopment agencies in the state - the City Council will consider at a special Jan. 11 meeting whether to designate itself as the entity to take over its accounts and duties.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Introduces Whistleblower Law for State Legislature

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, has introduced a law to protect staff members of the California Legislature from retaliation if they report illegal activity. Currently, he said, the legislature exempts itself from the whistleblower law that it requires others to obey.

Here is the press release from Portantino's office:

Each year, thousands of Californians do the right thing by reporting waste, fraud, violations of law, and political corruption. When they do the right thing, they are protected from retaliation under the California Whistleblower Protection Act.  In most state houses in the nation those who witness and report these abuses are also covered with protection.  Not in California.  Folks who work for the State Legislature have no such protection. 
Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) is introducing legislation to change this disparity and offer the same protections to Legislative staffers as those offered to employees in the Governor’s office, other state agencies and appointees to state boards or commissions.
“This is another self-serving protection that the legislature enacted that needs to be repealed.  Workers should know that when they do the right thing they won’t have to face the threat of retaliation. Repealing this exemption show’s we are serious about finding waste and fraud.  It’s the right thing to do,” commented Portantino.
AB 1378 marks the first time legislative employees will have legal protection from reprisals for reporting government wrongdoing. It’s part of Portantino’s broader efforts to ensure openness, transparency and accountability in state government.
According to the Wall St. Journal, 34% of working Americans have seen “wrong-doing” at their jobs. But, it has only been in the last few decades that workers have been able to come forward and report that wrong-doing without fear of losing their jobs. 
AB 1378 would require the Rules Committees of both the Assembly and Senate to designate an officer to receive written complaint and the state Auditor will investigate complaints. Those found guilty of retaliation could face fines up to $10,000 and a year in county jail.  The bill will be heard Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Assembly Judiciary Committee.

- Brad Haugaard 

Windstorm Gives Workout to Monrovia Service Club's Emergency Database

The recent windstorm gave a workout to a new database designed to help city officials check on disabled Monrovians during an emergency, according to Quota Club member Charlotte Shamadan.
She said the club collected 50 disabled people's names and addresses through a form in the city's Monrovia Today newsletter as part of the service club's Disaster Recovery and Safety program. (Someone, she said, even sent in his or her house keys.)
When the storm hit, the city was able to check on every person on the list.
Shamadan said the Quota Club is working on having a computer program and database created that will simplify checking on the disabled.
The database is now maintained by Shamadan, with a copy at the Fire Department. The information, she said, is completely private.
- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia News Weekly | FD vs PD | Odd Females | Doctor Buggy | 'Worst Case' Ruling | MHS Landmark?

A few items from today's Monrovia Coordinating Council:
~ Monrovia is getting a new paper news weekly starting Feb. 2, the Route 66 Weekly, which will be distributed in restaurants for people to read while waiting for their food. Publisher Shawn Davis says it will be light reading, with a mix of local and national information, and humor. It is starting in Monrovia but he plans to extend it to other communities soon.
~ The Monrovia Youth Baseball League is thinking of putting together a Monrovia Fire Department vs. Police Department baseball game, according to league representative Roger Llamas.
~ The Odd Couple play (Jan 12, 7:30 p.m. at Monrovia High) will be "The Odd Couple - Female Version," according to School Board Member Ed Gililland.
~ The Monrovia Historical Society has obtained a doctor's buggy, which has been used in parades.
~ Monrovia City Council member Becky Shevlin said that the California Supreme Court's redevelopment decisions were "the worst case scenario," with "a wrench thrown in everything." She said the sale of land to the Gold Line will happen, but the decision "affects what we are going to get out of the deal."
~ Monrovia preservationist Jim Wigton makes the case for designating the main Monrovia High building as a landmark.
- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Closures Through Jan. 21

There may be closures of the 210 eastbound near Santa Anita between now and Jan. 21. Closures will begin no earlier than 10 p.m. and close no later than 1 p.m. the following day.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High's McCarthy Picks Cal

Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy picks Cal.
- Brad Haugaard

Dream Act Repeal Initiative Fails to Get Enough Signatures

An initiative to repeal the Dream Act has failed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot, according to Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia. He may try again later.
- Brad Haugaard

Lawsuit vs. Monrovia Assemblyman's Gun Law | McCarthy College Announcement

~ Lawsuit filed against Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's law outlawing the open-carry of firearms. Portantino represents part of Monrovia.
~ More on the expected college announcement of Monrovia High defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy. Leaning towards Cal?
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board to Declare Jan 12 'Monrovia Varsity FootballWildcat Day'

At its Jan. 11 meeting (agenda here: ) the Monrovia School Board will consider whether to declare Jan. 12 as "Monrovia Varsity Football Wildcat Day" ( ), with a victory parade and rally. Hmm. I'd say the odds are high that the board will approve this measure.
The parade, by the way, will start at Monrovia High, travel east along Colorado, then north on Myrtle to Library Park, where it will be welcomed by the Monrovia City Council, School Board, high school band and Wildcat fans. The city is  asking Monrovians to line the route and join the festivities at Library Park at approximately 5:30 p.m.
- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia School Board Officers - Wong, Rich, Zucco

I missed this earlier, but at its Dec. 15 meeting, the Monrovia School Board elected new officers ( ):
Bryan Wong - President
Chris Rich - Vice President
Alex Zucco - Clerk

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman's Fight Results in Release of State Assembly's Financial Data

The California State Assembly today complied with a court order and released financial data for its members that it tried to keep hidden. The lawsuit which caused the information to be release was prompted by a fight between Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, and Assembly Speaker John Pérez.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Tommy's

Lunch at Tommy's, at the corner of Huntington and Mountain. Simple menu. Burgers and dogs with chili. Nice place for a change when you are not in a health food mood. I had a chili cheeseburger with fries. Yummy and greasy.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's McCarthy Expected to Announce College Pick

Monrovia High defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy expected to announce his college pick at Saturday's Army Bowl.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Xencor Gets Patent on Antibody Technology

Xencor, Inc., of Monrovia, has received "a broad patent covering optimized monoclonal antibody variants and their application for extending in vivo half-life of antibodies." Opinion: I suppose those who need to know understand what that means, but I think it means Xencor has figured out a way to keep antibodies alive and working in people's bodies for longer.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Calls Governor's Budget 'A Good First Step'

Republican State Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, responded to Governor Jerry Brown's proposed 2012-2013 budget:

“The Governor’s plan is a good first step but relies far too much on a $7 billion tax hike that voters are likely to reject. More:

UPDATE: And the Star-News says Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, representing part of Monrovia, "had cautious praise for the governor's overall approach."

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Progress, Late-Night Freeway Closures Coming Up

The form surrounding the south-side freeway bridge column near Santa Anita.

Habib F. Balian, of the Gold Line, reports progress on the Gold Line ... 
The I-210 Bridge two main column structures in the center median are complete and the “form” was moved early yesterday morning to the southern shoulder and is now installed around the third. The abutments are also well underway, and crews are getting ready to turn their attention to the super-structure.

In the coming weeks, installation of the falsework will begin. This activity will take a number of weeks to complete, and will require up to 20 late-night closures of all eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway. Some closures will occur on consecutive nights, and all will take place starting at Midnight with lanes reopening by 5 a.m.
Source: Gold Line press release
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Department's Christmas Miracle

In the weekly city manager report ( ), the Monrovia Fire Department reports on a very special visitor...

This week, the Fire Department had a special visitor who turned out to be a true Christmas miracle. On Saturday, December 10, a 911 call for a baby not breathing was dispatched. Upon arrival, the crew found two-year Thierry Espinoza in full cardiac arrest. Fast action and advanced life support from Firefighter/Paramedic Harvey Hewitt and Anthony Gallegos, along with Captain Brad Dover, Engineer Andrew McDaniel and Firefighter Randy Towns was initiated, including insertion of a special medical device into the shin bone for medicine administration, insertion of a tube for breathing, heart defibrillation and CPR.
Baby Thierry was transported to Arcadia Methodist Hospital in critical condition and was later transferred by ambulance to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where he underwent therapeutic hypothermic treatment (lowering the core body temperature) and advanced medical care. After 8 days in the Intensive Care Unit and another two weeks in a cardiac monitoring unit, Baby Thierry was released from the hospital.
On Wednesday, Baby Thierry, his older brother William and Mom Karin along with his buddy, Diego and Diego's Mom, paid a visit to the fire station to say thank you. All of the on-duty crew were extremely happy to visit with Thierry and spent time visiting, playing, and showing the boys around the station. They also spent time talking with Mrs. Espinoza and sharing in the joy of his survival. This was a unique and special visit, as the crews knew that Thierry's condition was critical and didn't know the outcome of his treatment and care. Certainly this was an incredible story with a very happy ending and a true Christmas miracle.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Monrovia Firefighters on scene, the care of nurse's and Doctor's as well as Thierry's strength to survive, the Espinoza family had a special Christmas this year.

Monrovia New Year Party a Success, Redevelopment, Buick Commercial, Fire Department Toy Drive

In his weekly report Monrovia Interim City Manager Mark Alvarado said ...

~ The New Year's Eve event was "quite a success." He said the city is "evaluating this year's event in preparation for next year's celebration." Opinion: I attended and enjoyed it. Great for adults who drink beer and wine, but we should add something for teens or non-drinking adults (our teens got bored and left for Old Pasadena). How about a booth (with seating) that serves cocoa, coffee, hot cider and sodas.

~ The state Supreme Court's ruling essentially eliminating redevelopment agencies in California "really is a sad day," but, it does not appear that the state intended to eliminate redevelopment, but rather raise money to fix the state budget. So, he said, "there is discussion (within the legislature) about how to bring back redevelopment in some fashion."

~ There will be a Buick commercial filmed in Old Town this Saturday, Jan. 7, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. "The commercial will involve music tour buses following a picture car. The main location is Jenni B's dress shop at 106 E. Lime Avenue. Please note that Lime Avenue, from Myrtle Avenue to east of the Police parking lot will be closed during the filming hours."

~ Gifts donated to the Fire Department's Spark of Love Toy Drive not only stuffed a fire engine, but raised $2,332 in cash for additional toys, up 20% from last year.

- Brad Haugaard