Monrovia's Fountain to Falls Race | 'Low on Food' | Huff: Teacher Pink Slip System Illogical | MHS Open House
Monrovia Assemblymen: Donnelly Charged in Gun-at-Airport Incident; Portantino Re-Introduces Whistleblower Bill
With a Jack in the Box restaurant coming to the corner of Huntington and Magnolia, I thought I should preview what we're going to get by trying the Jack we already have, at Myrtle and Duarte. The atmosphere is pure fast-food. Got a Homestyle Ranch Chicken Club with curly fries. It was very good. Not elegant, but good. But I still wish - just for variety - that the new restaurant would be something different.
- Brad Haugaard
The Monrovia Fire Department is pleased to announce the promotions of four members of its current personnel. The recent promotions were awarded to Ryan Phillips, Jeremy Sanchez, Dave Phillips and Harvey Hewitt, who combined have over 40 years of fire fighting experience.
Division Chief Ryan Phillips – With over 18 years of service, Ryan Phillips, a Monrovian resident, assumed the duties as the “A shift” commander on the morning of February 16. “Chief Phillips’ ability to effectively manage emergency operations is exceptional,” said Fire Chief Chris Donovan, who went on to highlight Phillips’ long tradition of professionalism and dedication to Monrovia. The Chief’s faith in Phillips was quickly confirmed; by 2 p.m. of his first shift as Division Chief, Phillips’ crew had already responded to four emergency incidents, and established incident command at both a vegetation and a structure fire. Under his new title, Chief Phillips will oversee the department’s Administration and Disaster Preparedness operations.
Fire Captain Jeremy Sanchez – Chief Phillips promotion created a vacancy at the Fire Captain position. Monrovia Fire Department filled this by promoting Jeremy Sanchez. Captain Sanchez has over eight years experience in fire service. He has served as a Paramedic with the last three years as a Fire Engineer at Monrovia Fire. “Captain Sanchez has natural leadership abilities in addition to exceptional emergency operations and administrative skills,” said Fire Chief Chris Donovan. “This is a critically important position within our department, and Jeremy is certainly capable of performing his responsibilities.” Captain Sanchez has recently been placed in charge of the department’s apparatus. This includes being responsible for studying future needs for repair and replacement of the department’s fleet and maintaining the department’s overall operational readiness.
Fire Engineer Harvey Hewitt – Jeremy Sanchez’ promotion to Fire Captain created a vacancy in the Fire Engineer rank, which is being filled with the promotion of Harvey Hewitt. Fire Engineer Hewitt has four years of experience with Monrovia as a Firefighter/Paramedic in addition to five years experience with the Monterey Park Fire Department. In addition to his new duties as an engineer, Fire Engineer Hewitt will continue to evaluate requirements and training mandates for the department’s cadet program.
Fire Engineer Dave Phillips – Dave Phillips was promoted to Fire Engineer in September 2011 to fill the vacancy left by Fire Engineer Rob Vita’s retirement. Prior to this position Dave had served as a Firefighter/Paramedic for five years. During his service with Monrovia Fire, he has been instrumental in the brush abatement program, as well as many other programs involving training and development, including the successful Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) program.
- Brad Haugaard
Gold Line press release:
This morning, the Construction Authority, City of Monrovia, and the Successor Agency to the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency signed an agreement that will result in the Authority acquiring the remaining land needed for the project’s maintenance and operations facility. The agreement includes settlement of all lawsuits and claims related to the land acquisition and follows the City Council and Successor Agency’s approval of the terms earlier this week, and the Construction Authority Board’s approval last night.
The agreement is actually a “Stipulation for Entry of Judgment in Condemnation” and will now be sent to the Superior Court judge overseeing the eminent domain case for final approval and judgment. Once approved, the Authority will have the ownership rights it needs for 100% of the land required for the maintenance facility - an important milestone for the project, per our funding agreement with Metro and our contractual agreement with the Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture (the Alignment design-build contractor).
The terms agreed to today include four separate elements. The Authority agreed to pay $40.6 million to obtain the land held by the City and the Successor Agency and to settle the eminent domain case and all current and future claims and objections by the City related to this land acquisition. The Successor Agency and City agreed to reimburse the Authority up to $200,000 for legal expenses related to the Excalibur Property Holdings, LLC case and $650,000 environmental remediation costs associated with mitigating contamination on the land. The City and the Authority agreed to arrangements related to the planned parking facility for the future Monrovia Gold Line station. The Authority agreed to pay the actual amount (up to $15.75 million) needed to make public improvements around the 24-acre maintenance facility, as required under the City’s Transit Village Planned Development Area.
Needless to say, the terms agreed to today are an important achievement for the project. With this and all of the other property acquisition and design-build agreements complete, we are on track to stay within the approved budget for the M&O facility. We are appreciative of the City of Monrovia’s efforts to work with the Authority to come to terms that were mutually acceptable, and to keep the project on time and on budget.
- Brad Haugaard
Full Closures of Freeway Coming Up | Sherman Ave Honored | Monrovia's Xencor Partners with German Firm
Monrovia Son of Red Tail Airman works on Red Tail Movie | Democrats for Holden | Gun Owners vs. Portantino
- Brad Haugaard
Source: press release
- Brad Haugaard
State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, said Standard & Poor's decision to upgrade California's credit ratings outlook from stable to positive is a nice move, but "we still haven’t fixed our structural budget gap." http://goo.gl/TKjOR
Great work by the Monrovia HS Academic Decathlon Team: Crystal Morris - Silver Award in Art, Matthew Shepard - Gold Medal in the Speech AND a Silver Award in the Essay, Alana Koritzke - Bronze Award in the Interview, Kevin Greenwood - Silver Award in the Interview, Jackie Cabrera and Crystal Morris - both receiving the Gold Award in the Interview. And in only their second year competing took "Top 20 Honors" in the head to head competition, finishing one spot behind San Marino HS. Great work team and Go Wildcats!
Yesterday, the Construction Authority and Excalibur Property Holdings, LLC agreed to terms for purchase of the remaining privately-held property needed for the maintenance facility. The Metro funding agreement requires control of half of the required real estate before the remaining $527 million can be committed. Yesterday’s agreement brings the Authority’s total to approximately half of the land needed. Meeting this milestone allows the project to stay on budget and on schedule.
As you know, Excalibur – which owns 20% of the total land needed for the facility - has initiated several lawsuits against the Construction Authority over the last year. At the same time, the Authority has initiated eminent domain to acquire its land. All of these actions have been progressing on separate schedules and each has been affecting the other, together creating significant legal and financial risk to the project.
Over the last two weeks, the Authority, Metro and Excalibur representatives have agreed to terms through the guidance of Superior Court Settlement Judge Helen Bendix. As the result of this effort, all lawsuits are settled for $24 million, protecting taxpayer funds by avoiding continuation of costly litigation and associated significant project delays (which we estimate could increase the project cost by well over $100 million). The agreement amount is within the approved budget for the maintenance facility, keeping the project on budget and on schedule.
Gold Line press release
- Brad Haugaard
Once again, activist judges with a political correctness agenda have disenfranchised the people who voted overwhelmingly to oppose same-sex marriage in California — over 4.5 million Californians in 2000, and over 7 million in 2008. This ruling needs to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Someone should remind the Speaker that it was Democrats that enacted a partisan majority-vote budget that cut $1.5 billion from UC and CSU – without a single Republican vote. It seems to me that this is similar to an arsonist that sets fires and then joins the volunteer fire department. Republicans have long argued that the low income students are heavily subsidized and that the UC and CSU are relative bargains for the more affluent students. It’s always the middle class that gets squeezed as legislative Democrats continue to prioritize welfare programs and public employee salaries and pensions. Senate Republicans continue to believe that working together in a bi-partisan fashion to solve problems is the best approach. Let’s first enact the Governor’s pension reforms and balance the state budget then we can better assess the need for changes in tax policy and higher education.
Before that work can begin, Skanska must erect the temporary support structure, known as falsework, which will create a secure work space over the lanes of the freeway for the entire span of the future superstructure. Because the 584-linear-foot bridge is crossing the freeway at a skewed angle, the falsework structure will be significant and result in creating a temporary tunnel through this area.
The James Q. Wilson Award for Excellence in Community Policing is presented by the Regional Community Policing Institute - California, and sponsored by the American Military University and the Office of the Attorney General - State of California. The purpose of this award is to recognize California law enforcement agencies that have successfully institutionalized the Community Policing philosophy. One agency each year is chosen as the recipient of the award and two others receive recognition as finalists. Judging is based on the topics of problem solving, partnership with the community, partnership with public and private organizations/agencies, institutionalization of the community policing philosophy, and results.
The Monrovia Police Department is proud to have been chosen as a 2012 James Q. Wilson Award finalist in recognition of our Community Policing Program. In 1991, the Monrovia Police Department embraced a new concept for providing police service to our community. The implementation of Community Activist Policing (CAP) became not only a strategy for providing police service, but a philosophical shift in the police department’s approach to defining service. Police officers became community "activists" to affect change and solve long-term problems, utilizing any resource available in the community.
Over the past 20 years, the Monrovia Police Department has continued to improve Community Activist Policing in the community by introducing innovative programs such as Chaplains for At-Risk Youth (CARY), Monrovia Anti-Gang Intervention Committee (MAGIC), Duarte and Monrovia Anti-Gang Enforcement (DAMAGE), and the Formative Years Program. These innovative and collaborative programs and our involvement with the Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) have been extremely effective in changing the lives of many Monrovian’s, and are a true example of the Monrovia Police Department’s dedication to Community Activist Policing.
Even as staffing levels have been cut throughout the department during the current recession, the value of Community Activist Policing and the department’s commitment to the program has not changed. The men and women of the Monrovia Police Department and the Community Policing Bureau continue today to work with citizens, city staff, the school district, businesses, faith-based and non-profit organizations, as well as property owners, to maintain the high standards set nearly 20 years ago.
[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 2-5. – Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.
Grand Theft Auto – Utility Trailer
On February 3 at 7:06 a.m., a utility trailer was reported stolen from an unsecured parking lot in the 200 block of West Foothill. The trailer did not have license plates on it. It was taken sometime between 4:00 p.m. on February 2 and 500 a.m. on February 3. The investigation is continuing.
On February 3 at 6:24 p.m., a female resident in the 400 block of East Olive reported her home had been burglarized sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 5:25 p.m. that day. A laptop computer was taken, as well as the resident’s black and white Boston Terrier. The dog has a microchip. Investigation continuing.
Petty Theft / Drunk in Public – Suspect Arrested
On February 3 at 12:01 a.m., a sergeant on patrol witnessed a male subject come out of a bar in the 300 block of West Foothill, walk across Magnolia, and pickup up the corner resident’s potted plant. The male subject began walking away with the plant. The sergeant stopped him. The owner of the property was located, an elderly female, and she desired prosecution. The plant was returned to the owner and the suspect was arrested, not only for the theft, but for being drunk in public.
Mail Tampering / Weapons Offense – Suspects Arrested
On February 4 at 4:56 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of North Alta Vista regarding a male and female subject in a black car that were taking mail out of mailboxes. Officers located the vehicle and stopped it. The investigation revealed a large quantity of stolen mail, burglary tools, and a loaded revolver in the vehicle. The revolver was found by the battery in the engine compartment of the car. Both the male and female subject were arrested and charged with conspiracy, receiving stolen property, mail tampering, and weapons charges.
On February 5 at 10:06 p.m., police responded to the report of a battery that occurred in the 200 block of Madeline. The adult male victim was standing in front of his residence when he was approached by the suspect, his girlfriend’s former boyfriend. The suspect approached the victim in a friendly manner and asked if he would be willing to speak with him. The victim agreed. Without warning, the suspect punched the victim in the face several times. The suspect then left the location. The victim sustained a swollen left eye as a result of the battery. The investigation is continuing.
Special Enforcement Team Weekly Activity
Assault With a Deadly Weapon Warrant – Suspect Arrested
On February 3, the Special Enforcement Team was on patrol and conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. A computer check revealed the driver was wanted by Monrovia Police Department for assault with a deadly weapon. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.
- Brad Haugaard
Joan Whitenack, executive director of Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center, reports that in past Januaries the Center usually has a 3-6 month food supply, "but not this January." This year there is only a 1-2 month supply. If you'd like to contribute: http://goo.gl/d7HZd- Brad Haugaard
~ Black History Month celebration Feb. 19 at United Methodist Church, 140 E. Palm Ave., 2-5 p.m. Photos, live entertainment, speakers and refreshments. To contribute old photos, money, etc., email firstname.lastname@example.org~ The Monrovia Y has several restaurant fundraisers this month, at Rubio's, Ranchero and T-Phillips. But you gotta bring the flyer, so contact the Y to get one. - Brad Haugaard
~ Driver who was arrested in hit-and-run case released on her own recognizance. http://goo.gl/MTJJU~ On its Facebook page, First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia reports that it will serve a "Soup"-er Bowl Lunch tomorrow (Feb. 2) to the staff and teachers of Clifton Middle School, with several people from the congregation making the soups. - Brad Haugaard