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Monrovia Council: Fourth of July Show, Family Festival Fees, Water Cleanup

Among other things, at its March 5, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda ), the Monrovia City Council will consider ...

~ An agreement with Pyro Spectaculars for the production of the 2013 Fourth of July fireworks show. It'll cost $20,500. (Comment: Expensive but worth it. Beautiful show!)

~ Whether Monrovia should forgive all the franchise fees Family Festival Productions owes the city for 2012 and waive all 2013 franchise fees for producing the Monrovia Family Festival?

~ How to comply with the federal government requirement that cities clean up water from rain storms. (Here's the staff report: ). Staff is recommending that the city work with other local cities and either "watch, support, or protest the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fee Initiative." I believe that's the tax LA County suggested a while ago, got slammed for, and took back to the drawing board.

- Brad Haugaard

Report on Monrovia's Operation Safe Neighborhood

Stats for Operation Safe Neighborhood

At the March 5 meeting of the Monrovia City Council, Police Chief Jim Hunt will recommend continuing the Operation Safe Neighborhoods Program ( ). He listed "a number of significant events over the past year from the City’s Operation Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Task Force efforts." Here are some, from Hunt's report:

- On September 15, 2012, Monrovia Nuevo Varrio gang members drove by a house in the 100 block of East Los Angeles Street and shot at subjects sitting on the front porch. They struck a   female adult with a shotgun round. The victim was not a gang member. Monrovia officers were  handling a loud party call nearby and heard the shots. Officers responded to the location while other officers checked the freeway for the suspects. Officers located the suspect vehicle on the 210 freeway and followed it south on the 605 freeway. The suspects tossed the shotgun out on the 605 freeway. Three gang members were in the vehicle and were arrested. The shotgun was recovered. The victim survived her injuries and the suspects are being prosecuted for attempted murder.

- Chaplain Jerry Johnson responded to the death of a sixteen year old teenager who had committed suicide on July 11, 2012. He counseled the family and assisted with the process of dealing with the coroner. Chaplain Johnson also counseled the young lady’s boyfriend who arrived on the scene. On his return, he met with the officers who had responded to deal with the initial call.

- Several weeks later, the team who works with MAGIC, Lt. Ortlund, Officer Bushmeyer and Chaplain Brown participated in an event addressing teenage suicide at Monrovia High School. This is one more example of how our personnel interact with the community regarding at-risk youth.

- The Monrovia Police Department was recognized by the California Regional Community Policing Institute with the Community Policing Finalist Award for the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program. This program which included innovative suppression, intervention and prevention components resulted in a 64% decrease in gang crime in Monrovia over the last five years.

- Brad Haugaard

Last Major Contract Awarded for Gold Line

At its meeting last night, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board of Directors awarded a 48.7 million contract, the third and final design-build contract for the Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa, to Webcor Builders, a California-based construction company with more than forty years of experience building similar projects.

The contract is for design and construction of parking facilities for Gold Line stations, as well as enhancements at and around the stations to improve connections for train riders arriving by bus, foot or bicycle. Webcor will start by working on the design for the parking facilities and station enhancements.

"Webcor provided the best value to the Construction Authority," said Habib F. Balian, CEO of the Construction Authority. "Following the evaluation process, they received similar high marks for their experience and technical proposal as their competition; however, their price was almost $8 million less. Bottom line, we were able to get an extremely qualified team for the best price."

With this contract awarded, the Construction Authority has awarded all contracts needed to complete the 11.5-mile Foothill Extension project. The first contract was awarded to Skanska USA for the Gold Line Bridge in June 2010. The bridge was completed on time and on budget, and turned over to the Construction Authority in December 2012. Foothill Transit Constructors, a Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture, was awarded the $486 million Alignment design-build contract in November 2011. They have nearly completed design for the light rail project, cleared the right of way of old track and vegetation, and are under construction on numerous bridges, crossings and the first of six stations.

Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblymember Introduces Bill To Keep Mentally Disordered Offenders in State Custody

Assemblymember Chris Holden (who represents Monrovia) has introduced AB 1065 - supported by Los Angeles County - that would require an inmate who has been classified as a Mentally Disordered Offender, or Mentally Disordered Sexual Offender and served time for a crime where he or she was required to undergo treatment in a state mental facility, to remain under state supervision.

Under the state's prison realignment law that went into effect in October 2011, more than 12,000 parolees have been put on probation in LA County rather than state parole. To qualify, their last offense must have been non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious. But the law only applies to that last offense, not their entire criminal history.

"The state system is better equipped to handle these offenders than the counties which are being asked to take up the difficult task of supervising very dangerous offenders," Holden said.

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: No Car for Fake Checks, Bank Robbery Suspect Awaits Trial

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 25-27. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 454 service events, resulting in 78 investigations.
Fraud / Commercial Burglary
February 26 at 2:35 p.m., police responded to a business in the 800 block of East Central on the report of a fraud incident in process.  Two suspects walked into the car dealership to purchase a vehicle.  They each provided forged checks, and one provided an altered driver's license.  The salesman was suspicious and called police.  The suspects were arrested and taken into custody without incident.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-up
Chase Bank Robbery - Suspect Arrested for Series of Robberies and Awaiting Trial
On August 30, 2012, at 12:54 p.m., a lone male suspect entered Chase Bank located in the 600 block of West Huntington Drive.  He approached the business teller window and placed a demand note under the teller window.  The teller opened the folded note and realized it was a robbery note.  The suspect in this bank robbery is suspected of a series of other robberies in the San Gabriel Valley.  A similar vehicle and suspect description was obtained in the series, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation dubbed the suspect the "Haggler Bandit."  Information was obtained and the suspect was identified.
On October 23, 2012, the series of robberies was presented to the District Attorney's Office by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Majors Team.  An arrest warrant for seven felony counts of robbery was filed against the suspect, including the Monrovia bank robbery, with a bail amount set at $415,000.00.  The suspect was located and arrested in Memphis Tennessee.  He was extradited back to California and interviewed by Pasadena Police Department Detectives.  He confessed to the series of robberies and now awaits trial.

Blockage on East Foothill Until 5 p.m. Today

The center lanes of East Foothill Blvd will be blocked from Mountain to Shamrock Ave both directions until 5p.m today to repair water utilities. Signs will be posted- please drive safely around work crews.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Staar Surgical: Revenue Is Up

Monrovia's Staar Surgical reports fourth quarter earnings for 2012 up one percent over fourth quarter 2011.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council Candidates Forum March 14

There will be a Monrovia City Council candidate forum at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 in the Council Chambers at the Monrovia City Hall. If you watch on KGEM, you can submit questions by calling 932-5550. The candidates are: Alexander Blacburn, Robert Parry, and Larry Spicer.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor Calls for Budget Compromise

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz calls for a budget compromise in Washington.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Wants South Pasadena Freeway-Path Houses Sold

Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill allowing CalTrans to sell houses in South Pasadena, originally in the path of the proposed 710 freeway. She says this is okay because, "In the last decade attention has shifted to the construction of a tunnel, rather than a surface route."

- Brad Haugaard

More Parking at Aztec | City Council Race

~ The old shed comes down to make way for more parking at the Aztec Hotel.

~ On the City Council race front, former State Senator Dick Mountjoy to be Robert Parry's  Campaign Chairman, and Mayor Mary Ann Lutz is hosting an event for candidates Larry Spicer and Alex Blackburn.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Busting Up a Church; Beer Bottle vs. Rear Window; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 21-24. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Outside Assist - La Verne Police Department Felony Pursuit / Traffic Collision - Suspect Arrested
February 22 at 1:54 p.m., the La Verne Police Department was in pursuit of a suspect who had just robbed a bank in their city.  The suspect exited the freeway and was driving west on Live Oak.  He attempted to turn north on Myrtle at a high rate of speed and lost control of his rental car, colliding into a big rig truck in the 3000 block of South Myrtle.  The driver of the truck was not injured.  The suspect attempted to flee the scene, but was apprehended by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies who were in the area.  He was taken into custody by La Verne Police Department and then taken to a hospital.  Monrovia Police Department documented the traffic collision.  
Fight in Progress
February 22 at 1:55 p.m., a fight in progress was reported at a park in the 700 block of East Lemon Avenue.  The caller reported approximately 7 male teenage subjects fighting in the park near the baseball field.  Officers arrived and detained three of the subjects.  The subjects claimed they had been jumped by six male gang members who had fled in a grey or black BMW.  There were no injuries and no named suspects.  One of the subjects detained claimed he was a gang member, but his two brothers denied any gang involvement.  The three subjects did not desire prosecution.  They were identified and released.
Foot Pursuit / Suspended Drivers License / No Identification - Suspect Arrested
February 22 at 8:21 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle in the 100 block of South Shamrock for a vehicle code violation.  When the vehicle stopped, the rear seat passenger fled from the vehicle and ran through several backyards.  A perimeter was set up and officers searched for the suspect, but he was not found.  The female driver and front seat passenger refused to identify the person who fled.  The driver did not have identification and was driving on a suspended driver's license.  She was arrested and the vehicle was stored.
Road Rage / Throwing a Substance at a Vehicle - Suspect Arrested
February 23 at 9:50 p.m., officers were dispatched to an incident of road rage in the 900 block of South Fifth involving two motorists.  The suspect motorist threw a 32 ounce beer bottle through the back window of the victim's vehicle while it was in motion.  The suspect was located and arrested.  No one was injured. 
Assault - Suspects Arrested
February 24 at 2:00 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of South Myrtle regarding a battery investigation.  The involved parties had been drinking at a pub and eventually went outside and began fighting.  The investigation revealed that three male suspects punched and kicked one male victim, who had to be taken to a hospital for his injuries.  The victim sustained moderate facial injuries.  The three suspects were positively identified by witnesses and were arrested and taken into custody. 
Residential Burglary / Theft From a Vehicle
February 24 at 7:51 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 700 block of South Fifth.  The victim reported that unknown suspects entered his garage through the unlocked pedestrian door and entered his unlocked vehicle, which was parked inside the garage.  The suspects then took the victim's remote to the garage door from the vehicle.
Several hours later, the victim heard his garage door opening.  He went outside and saw two male subjects near the front of his house.  The two subjects immediately ran and the victim chased them to the 800 block of West Olive, where he lost sight of them.  Officers were dispatched and conducted a search of the area, but did not find the subjects.  Investigation continuing.
72-Hour Mental Evaluation
February 24 at 11:05 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 200 block of South Encinitas regarding suspicious circumstances.  When the officers arrived, they found a male subject inside of a church, destroying the interior by breaking furniture and smashing windows.  The subject was detained and determined to be suffering from mental illness.  He was taken to a mental health care facility, where he will be held for 72-hour mental evaluation.

Video: The Three Bears

More bears in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Appointed to State Education Boards

Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has been appointed to three state education boards that oversee school construction, instructional quality and school building finance.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Open Houses

Tues, Mar. 19: 6:00 p.m. - Canyon Oaks High School / Mountain Park School
Wed, Mar. 20: 6:30 p.m. - Monrovia High School
Thurs, Mar. 21: 5:30 p.m. - Clifton Middle School
Thurs, Mar. 21: 5:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Santa Fe Middle School
Thurs, Mar. 28: 6:00 p.m. - Canyon Early Learning Center
Tues, April 9: 6:30 p.m. - Mayflower Elementary School
Tues, May 21: 6:30 p.m. - Bradoaks Elementary School


- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board Lectures State; Suggests 'Revisiting' Prop 13

At its Feb. 27, 7 p.m. meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia School Board will consider sending a message ( ) to the California state government:

- Stop cutting school budgets.
- Protect school funding for the future. "[R]evisit Proposition 13 and the property tax arena."
- Make sure there are no big gaps between students who get lots of money and others who don't get enough.
- Pay for the stuff you make the school districts do.
- Pay the money you owe to the districts on time.
- Make sure districts know how much money they will get before they have to decide on staffing.
- Give districts a reprieve on testing scores while they are transitioning from the old tests to the new ones.

Opinion: Fat chance, but I would love to see taxing authority returned to local school districts rather than having the districts dependent on whims of the state. I like decisions to be local, and when the state takes over financial control, the local school districts become increasingly like puppets whose strings are jerked in Sacramento and Washington D.C.

- Brad Haugaard

Parry Kicks Off Monrovia Council Race | Youth Leadership Summit | Suspect vs Cement Truck

~ Write-in Monrovia City Council candidate, Robert Parry, will kick off his campaign with a reception at 8 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 23) at Rudy's Restaurant in Old Town. Parry writes, "I anticipate making major announcements about endorsements and supporters."

~ The third annual Monrovia/Duarte Youth Leadership Summit. Details:

~ A suspect in a La Verne robbery smashed into a cement truck in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Los Guerros

Lunch at Los Guerros, near the corner of Magnolia and Huntington. Got a carnitas taco and chili relleno combo ($9.95) with iced tea and some made-at-the-table guacamole. Good! Lots of crisp chips to keep you busy as you wait for your food. $30.80 total for two of us. Very good food, and lots of it, and very pleasant service.

- Brad Haugaard

Canada Cops Buy Monrovia Drone | Drug and Sex Offenders in STATE Prison

~ Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police is buying a little Qube drone from Monrovia's AeroVironment.

~ Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill that would require criminals convicted of some drug and sex crimes to serve their time in state prison rather than local jails.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Five Year Plan - The Top Priorities

Here are Monrovia's six priorities for the next five years, selected by the City Council after suggestions from the community.

LONG-TERM FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY Continue to demonstrate long-term fiscal responsibility by balancing the budget through revenue generation, wise use of available funds, building adequate resources and leveraging volunteer support; ensuring expenses are carefully considered and kept in line with revenues.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Strengthen Monrovia's economy and tax base through economic development efforts that include proactively retaining and attracting businsses, streamlining permit and plan check processes, and enhancing customer service and a business-friendly reputation.

INFRASTRUCTURE & FACILITY MAINTENANCE Catch up to the extent feasible on the deferred maintenance of City facilities and infrastructure, and develop a program for long-term, ongoing maintenance that includes a system for establishing priorities among projects and maintenance services.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION Maintain our commitment to historical stewardship by preserving historic homes, structures, sites, and districts with sensitivity to neighborhood context.

PUBLIC SAFETY Provide a high level of public safety services through adequate staffing, high-quality personnel, up-to-date technology, and planning in both fire and police departments to assure resources are strategically invested in the highest priority areas.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP Maintain our commitment to environmental stewardship by improving our energy efficiency, water and air quality, parks and open space, and our urban-wildland interface.

Source: Monrovia City Newsletter, This Week in Monrovia

- Brad Haugaard

New Art Display | Legislators Legislate | Hong Kong Market

Arrangement with Walnuts and Oranges

~ Paintings by Amanda Fish at Segil Fine Arts, March 2-30, 110 West Lime Ave.

~ Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill that defines "fair market value" in sales of unneeded homes by state agencies to mean, "as is."

~ Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill that looks as if it is designed to prevent people from performing architectural services if they are not architects.

~ Pictures of the grand opening of Hong Kong Supermarket, on Duarte Road.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Hazardous Waste Roundup March 2

There will be a Household Hazardous Waste and e-waste roundup at the Park and Ride Lot, Myrtle at Pomona Avenues, on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Window Route Doesn't Work Second Time

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 18-20. - Brad Haugaard]

Note: I excluded the explosion on Chestnut as it duplicates a previous post.

Attempted Burglary

February 19 at 3:48 a.m., officers responded to a burglary alarm at an elementary school in the 900 block of East Lemon Avenue. They found an open window in the administration building. The same window was the point of entry for a burglary that occurred the previous night at the school. The suspect did not gain entry this time. The investigation is continuing.

Underground Explosion in Monrovia Closes West Chestnut Ave.

An underground explosion of a utility main prompted the evacuation of businesses and a street closure on West Chestnut Avenue between Fifth Avenue to Monterrey Avenue this morning.

The Monrovia Fire Department received a call at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday morning of steam coming out of a four-foot opening on the street. World Vision, at 800 W. Chestnut Avenue, was temporarily evacuated, and the street.

No residential units were evacuated, and the freeway remained open.

Southern California Edison arrived on scene at 8:45 a.m. and determined that electrical wiring in the vault exploded. Edison isolated the circuit at 9 a.m., and allowed occupants back to their businesses.

The street closure on West Chestnut between Fifth Avenue to Monterey Avenue will remain in effect until further notice. Commuters and residents are asked to take alternative routes to avoid back-up.

Source: Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Beer Making in Monrovia

Microbreweries interested in starting up in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Frost Again | Microsoft Gives to World Vision

~ Frost warning tonight for Monrovia and foothills area.

~ Microsoft employees gave $105 million to charities in 2012, including to Monrovia-based World Vision. (World Vision also has an office in Washington.)

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council Candidate Websites

Websites for the three candidates for the Monrovia City Council.

- Brad Haugaard

Liu: Electronic Library Lending

Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill to have the state library delivery system be an electronic "intranet" instead, and open it to schools. Comment: I approve of computerizing things, but how do you deliver a paper book by intranet?

- Brad Haugaard

Miss LA, Monet Bagneris of Monrovia, Completes Her Term

2012 Miss Los Angeles County, Monet Bagneris of Monrovia, completes her service.

- Brad Haugaard

Grading for Monrovia Gold Line Yard Done

Mass grading is now complete for the 24-acre, $160 million Gold Line Operations Campus in Monrovia. FTC crews are now focused on utility relocation and foundation work on the main building. Utility relocation on streets surrounding the campus is also on-going.

Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Drone Firefighter

Monrovia's AeroVironment is now selling one of it's little drones as a firefighting tool.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Stealing Valentine Gifts, Grand Theft Auto, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 14-17. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Commercial Burglary - Suspects Arrested

February 14 at 11:20 a.m., police responded to a business in the 700 block of East Huntington regarding a burglary. Three subjects, two male and one female, entered the store and went to the makeup isle. The female handed items to one of the males and he stuffed the merchandise into his pockets, while the other male acted as a lookout. The three fled the store without paying and were stopped outside by loss prevention. The suspects refused to return the items and fled in a grey vehicle. They were quickly located and stopped by officers and were still in possession of the merchandise.

The male suspect who had hid merchandise in his pockets was also in possession of a demagnetizing tool for removing store security tags. Additional makeup items stolen from another store were found in the vehicle, along with a list of makeup Valentine's Day gifts to take for friends. The suspects had some cash on them, but not enough to pay for the items they had taken.

Grand Theft Auto

February 14 at 6:21 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of Sunset Street. The vehicle is a black, 4-door, 2007 Acura TL. The vehicle was taken sometime between 10:00 p.m. on February 13 and 5:05 a.m. on February 14. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence / Hit & Run Traffic Collision / Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested

February 16 at 2:13 a.m., a vehicle was involved in a hit and run traffic collision on Foothill and Poinsettia. The victims of the hit and run were able to stop the suspect in the 200 block of Norumbega. A fight ensued and residents called police. Officers arrived and the suspect driver was identified and determined to be intoxicated. He was arrested and taken into custody. During the booking process, he was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance. He was charged with the above listed offenses.

Armed Robbery

February 17 at 8:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to an armed robbery that occurred at a business in the 700 block of East Huntington. A male suspect entered the fast food business with a handgun concealed in a plastic bag. The suspect pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded money. The clerk gave the suspect a small amount of cash and the suspect fled the location.

The Foothill Air Support Team helicopter, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputies, and officers from Arcadia and Sierra Madre Police Departments assisted in the search for the suspect, but he was not located. The gun was not seen by the clerk, but a witness confirmed the suspect was in possession of a black handgun. The suspect is described as a male White, early 20's, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt draped over his head, and a black mask covering his face. Investigation continuing.


February 18 at 1:01 a.m., officers responded to a burglary alarm at an elementary school in the 900 block of East Lemon Avenue. When they arrived, they found an electrical panel cover partially removed and an open bathroom window, leading into the administration office. Officers gained access into the building and discovered footprints on the bathroom counter top, consistent with someone entering through the open bathroom window. Officers searched inside the office, but did not locate any suspects. The alarm company could not locate a responsible person to respond to the location. Nothing appeared to be disturbed inside of the office. The officer will follow up with school personnel to determine if anything was stolen. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

February 18 at 3:05 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 100 block of Oaks Avenue. The vehicle owner was at home asleep when he heard the sound of screeching tires in front of his residence. He looked outside and saw his vehicle being driven away westbound on Oaks and out of view. The victim said his vehicle was left parked and secured in his driveway, but he had a hidden spare ignition key attached to the vehicle. The vehicle is a gold, 2005, Toyota Tacoma pickup. The investigation is continuing.

Liu Introduces Bond Bill for School Facilities

~ Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bond bill that would provide an unspecified amount of money for schools, kindergarten through university level, "to construct and modernize education facilities." It would have to be approved by voters.

- Brad Haugaard

Blackburn City Council Campaign Kickoff Tonight

Campaign kickoff tonight for Alex Blackburn, running for Monrovia City Council.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Bears | Robbery | Rain | Presidents' Day

~ KTLA video of bears and a mountain lion in Monrovia ( ). Comment: KTLA says we are "on edge" about that. Maybe, but my impression is that we're getting a bit too casual about bears in our backyards. I'm afraid a bear is going to be surprised and feel trapped and hurt someone while trying to escape.

~ Robbery at Monrovia Wienerschnitzel.

~ Ten percent chance of rain today, 70 percent tomorrow, and 30 percent Wednesday.

~ Monrovia city offices are closed today. Presidents' Day.

- Brad Haugaard

Hong Kong Supermarket Open

Monrovia's Hong Kong Supermarket, on Duarte Road, is now open.

- Brad Haugaard

Parry to Run for Monrovia Council | Star Gaze | Older American Award | $79 Million House? | Rain?

~ Robert Parry announces a write-in campaign for Monrovia City Council. Now it's a horse race!

~ Take a glance through a telescope. Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will be hanging out (usually at southeast corner of Library Park) this Saturday evening.

~ Nominate a sixty-plus year old Monrovian for Monrovia's Older American Award. Send to by April 1 (no joke).

~ A reader mentions that next door in Bradbury there is a home selling for $78.8 million. Is that all? Better get two of them to stock up. Anybody know anything about this house? Lots of cool pictures here:

~ Chance of rain by Tuesday.

- Brad Haugaard

Holden Appointment and Bills

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has been appointed to the governing board of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Source: Holden press release

~ Also, Holden has introduced three new bills, including:

- One to define "environmental lead contamination" in lead poisoning law.

- One to do away with the required independent audit to determine how much money the state can require rental car companies to collect from customers to help pay for various airport construction projects.

- One to redefine "minority business enterprise" to mean companies that are majority-owned by minorities OR are controlled on a daily basis by minorities, rather than companies that are majority-owned by minorities AND are controlled on a daily basis by minorities.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Monrovia Pizza Company

Had lunch at Monrovia Pizza Co., at Mayflower and Duarte. Got the $5 combo (tax included), with a pepperoni pizza, drink and salad. Great price and very nice pizza.

- Brad Haugaard

Critical Monrovia Well-Pump Failed, Must be Fixed; Big Bucks from Feds | Second Lowest Bidder

At its Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will consider ...

- spending $90,939 to repair Well No. 6, which supplies a lot of Monrovia's water. It failed on Jan. 14; the pump shaft snapped and damaged the motor and pump. The staff report says that "repairing and reinstating it is imperative to the water system operations."

- accepting a $906,765 grant fund from Homeland Security for the Fire Department.

- selecting the second lowest bidder (because of the quality of its work) to produce the Monrovia Today magazine. That would be Printing Control, which would get $12,337 per issue.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library Staffer Dies | Brewery Delayed | More Liquor | Class Cancelled | Liu Welfare Bill

~ Staff members at the Monrovia Library are mourning the loss of colleague, Jeff Lambert, who assisted at the reference desk.

~ An application to put a microbrewery at 130 East Walnut Ave. has been withdrawn by the applicant, but the Monrovia Planning Staff is working with the brewmaster to find a suitable location in town.

~ Mimi's, Oto Oto Japanese restaurant, and the upcoming Smashburger restaurant (at the old Acapulco site) have all asked for city permission to sell more types of alcohol.

~ The Union 76 service station at Myrtle and Pomona is going to get a face lift, with an expanded convenience store and a repair facility.

~ The Saturday class at the Library on how to make money with your computer has been cancelled.

~ Monrovia's State Senator, Carol Liu, has introduced a bill that would exclude second graders from the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program ( ). Liu has also introduced a bill ( ) loosening the welfare-to-work provisions of CalWORKs for additional classes of pregnant women.

Monrovia Police: Graffiti, Stolen Cars

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 11-13. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 381 service events, resulting in 63 investigations.


February 12 at 4:06 a.m., an officer on patrol discovered several locations vandalized with graffiti. The graffiti was found in the 2000-2100 blocks of South Myrtle, 200 block of East Duarte and the 200 block of Kruse. The crimes occurred between 1:30 and 4:00 a.m. The suspect(s) used black spray paint to write the graffiti. Investigation continuing.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered

February 12 at 10:04 p.m., police received a call reporting a suspicious vehicle parked in the 600 block of Maryanna Lane. Two male subjects were seen walking away from the car. The vehicle, a 2004 BMW, was found to be a reported stolen vehicle. The vehicle identification number indicated this vehicle was one of 13 stolen from a dealer in Brea on February 7. The vehicle had a license plate on it that was stolen from a vehicle in Glendale. The suspects are described as two male African American's, 20-30 years old, approximately 6'0" tall, medium to large build. Brea Police Department was notified of the recovery.

Grand Theft Auto

February 14 at 5:09 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of South Sunset. The vehicle was parked in the victim's driveway and was taken sometime between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. The vehicle is a black, 2007 Acura TL. The investigation is continuing.

Mayflower PTA Provides 30 Computers | Help MHS Students Talk to Space

~ Monrovia's Mayflower School PTA buys the school 30 new computers.

~ Help Monrovia High students talk to astronauts - in space.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Wins 6-Year Accreditation | Napolitano Introduces Mental Health in Schools Bill

~ Monrovia School Board member, Alex Zucco, reports on Facebook that the Monrovia High community is "celebrating a 6-year WASC accreditation." WASC is the "Western Association of Schools & Colleges."

~ Representative Grace F. Napolitano, who represents most of Monrovia in Congress, has introduced H.R. 628, the Mental Health in Schools Act, to fund on-site school-based mental health services for youth.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Youth of the Year | Holden Pharmacy Bill

~ Monrovia Boys & Girls Club names its Youth of the Year.

~ Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has submitted a bill (AB 299) that would prohibit any pharmacy - in-state or out-of-state - from requiring recipients to either a) get their meds by mail or, b) not get them by mail. Comment: Not sure why this is necessary.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Senator Proposes Extension of Education Funding

State Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has proposed a bill to extend specialized state funding for schools for five years, from the 2015-16 fiscal year through the 2019-20 fiscal year.

- Brad Haugaard

Big Lawsuit Against Monrovia Settled | Class: Make Money on Your Computer

~ Big lawsuit against city by developer of property around Gold Line settled.

~ Saturday, Feb. 16, 1-4 p.m. in the Library. Seminar. Learn how to make money with your computer. 120 businesses you can run from your computer. Free.

- Brad Haugaard

Filing for Monrovia Write-In Candidates Begins

If you want to run for the Monrovia City Council as a write-in candidate, filing period started today.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Sleeping in the Playground with Stolen Items, Burglary, Threats, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 7-10. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Residential Burglary
February 7 at 4:03 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2600 block of Rochelle regarding a burglary.  The residents left their home and locked all the doors and windows when they left.  When they returned the next day on February 7 at about 4 p.m., they discovered the rear sliding glass door had been pried open and the house had been ransacked.  The property loss was unknown.  The suspect left a metal pry tool inside the home, which was most likely used to pry open the sliding door.  The investigation is continuing.
Trespassing / Possession of Stolen Property - Suspect Arrested
February 8 at 7:46 a.m., police responded to an elementary school in the 900 block of East Lemon regarding a transient subject possibly sleeping in a covered playground slide.  Officers responded, but the subject had already left the area.  Officers located the subject nearby, but he ran when he saw them.  He was quickly apprehended and found to be in possession of recently stolen property.  A short time later, school staff reported additional discarded property they had found on the school grounds.  The property was recovered and found to be stolen.  Based on the time and proximity to the known original location of the suspect, the additional property will be investigated as associated to the arrested suspect. 
Outside Assist - State Parole / Wanted Fugitive Parolee - Suspect Arrested
February 8 at 1:27 p.m., a state parole agent called to report he had located a subject wanted for failure to register for many years as a sex registrant.  The suspect had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest for $160,000 bail.  The suspect was detained by the parole agent and then arrested by an assisting Monrovia officer.  He was booked for the warrant and transferred to the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Criminal Threats - Suspect Arrested
February 9 at 11:31 a.m., police received a call reporting a family disturbance in the 300 block of Genoa Street.  The incident involved a male adult subject who was threatening his uncle.  Officers responded and detained the suspect.  He admitted he was mad at his uncle because of something his uncle did when he was younger.  He stated to his uncle that he was going to kill him.  The suspect was verbally abusive toward the officers, but did not physically resist them.  He was taken into custody without further incident.    
Criminal Threats / Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
February 9 at 5:02 p.m., a resident called police to report a subject trespassing on an abandoned property in the 700 block of South Shamrock Avenue.  When the resident confronted the subject and asked him to leave the property, the subject began to threaten him.  The resident told the subject he was going to call the police, and the subject threatened to come back and kill him.  Police arrived and detained the suspect.  He was found to be in possession of narcotic paraphernalia.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Monrovia Y Fundraiser Tonight

Fundraiser today for Santa Anita Family YMCA (the Monrovia Y) at Jake's Roadhouse, 622 S. Myrtle, from 4-9 p.m. Dine in or take out. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Y.

- Brad Haugaard

This Car Wash

A recent post ( ) mentioned that a Del Taco restaurant may go in next to a planned new car wash on Huntington. A couple readers asked, "What car wash?" Fair question. Thanks to Planning Division Manager Craig Jimenez for enlightening us:

"Last September, the Planning Commission approved a CUP [Conditional Use Permit] to build a new automated car wash, which will be located on the western portion of the vacant lot in the 900 block of East Huntington Drive. Here's a link to the staff report:

"Since the signal/intersection (into the Target center) is shared with the City of Duarte, the coordination related to the intersection improvements have taken a little longer than anticipated. However, they should begin construction in this spring."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Liu Introduces a Variety of Mostly-Education Bills

I have been remiss in following the bills introduced by Monrovia's Senator, Carol Liu. Here they are:

~ SB 116. "The Personal Income Tax Law allows taxpayers, until January 1, 2014, to designate on their tax returns that a specified amount in excess of their tax liability be contributed to the Emergency Food Assistance Program. This bill would extend the operation of these provisions until January 1, 2019."

~ SB 174 specifies the types of adult education that can receive State education funds.

~ SB 177 would require that children in foster care who are shifted around by law be immediately deemed to have met residency requirements for school extracurricular activities.

~ As best I can figure out, SB 188 would allow counties to set up "conservation camps" for prisoners, like those operated by the state.

~ SB 192 would "require child care resource and referral programs" to "provide information about certain child care services" to families that qualify.

~ SB 195 would require the Governor's Office of Planning and Research to set goals for state colleges and universities.

~ SB 201 would tax school textbook publishers and manufacturers for the cost of the the State Board of Education adopting a basic curriculum for "language arts and English language development" for K-8 California schools.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Whistler | Medical Records

~ An old Huell Howser video has popped up on YouTube. It's of champion whistler, Carole Anne Kaufman, of Monrovia.

~ A new bill by Monrovia's assemblyman, Chris Holden, would allow a representative of a patient to have the same access to the patient's medical records as the actual patient ( ).

- Brad Haugaard

Frosty Night

Frost warning for the whole county tonight, which means bring in or protect any sensitive plants, and of course, let the dog and cat in.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Employees May Get Pay Restored

At its next meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia School Board will consider approving an employee contract for the 2013-14 fiscal year. All three of its bargaining units - teachers, support, and administrative - would get ...

- A 3% salary increase, which is a reinstatement of an earlier pay cut.

- A 2.78% increase in benefits.

- Five more instructional days per year, from 175 back up to 180.

Total cost will be $1,118,621.

The cost increase for the 2013-14 year will come out of reserves (though the district will not drop below its 3% legal reserve minimum) and for subsequent years it will be paid for from "Existing reserves and future cost reductions as necessary."

Comment: Hmmm. I'm happy for everybody's pay to be restored, but dipping into reserves for a continuing expense seems a bit dicey in the long term. But maybe I'm missing something.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at King Hao Chinese Restaurant

Had lunch at King Hao Chinese Restaurant, formerly Shanghai Dumpling, in the Certified Market center, at Foothill and May. Got the Sizzling Plate Beef for $8.95 and a cup of tea. It came with egg flower soup and ... kimchi? It was good.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Goals Meeting | Marshmallow Shooters | Valentine Stories

~ City of Monrovia goal-setting workshop for Plan Monrovia, which will influence the city's strategic plan and 2013-2015 budget. Feb. 9, 8:30 a.m. for refreshments, 9 a.m. start time, at the Police Department at Lime and Ivy.

~ Marshmallow Shooters, Saturday Feb. 9, 7-9 p.m. at the Library. Use physics to catapult marshmallows into the sky. For 6th-12th graders only.

~ Valentine stories, Saturday Feb. 9, 2-3 p.m. at the Library. Favorite Valentine stories, songs, crafts and film. Snacks. Ages 4 years through 5th grade.

- Brad Haugaard

Details of Proposed Settlement Between Monrovia and Developer

At a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will consider a proposal to end some lawsuits against the city related to development around the Gold Line.

The proposed agreement is a bit of a monster, but here it is if you want to look ( ), however, the main points seem to be that Samuelson & Fetter, LLC, will ...

- Get to buy a chunk of land near the new rail station for $2,780,000.

- Get $510,000 from the city, of which $110,000 will go to pay city development fees.

- Be reimbursed by the city for its environmental insurance costs on the land.

- Get street improvements from the city on the streets around the property.

- Brad Haugaard

Mexican Restaurant at Monrovia's Aztec Hotel Open in a Month? | Holden's Innovation Bill

~ When will the new Mexican restaurant at the Aztec Hotel open? On Facebook, the Aztec folks say: "So how does St. Patricks day sound??? I cannot think of a better day to crack a few." That's tentative, though.

~ Monrovia's Assemblyman, Chris Holden, has introduced a bill (AB 250) to create a "California Innovation Hub Program." The program - which is authorized to use underused state properties - will create "iHubs" to assist innovative start-up businesses.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Suspects Arrested in $2,000 of Graffiti Damage

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Feb. 4-6. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.

Vandalism - Suspects Arrested

February 4 at 10:08 a.m., staff from Monrovia High School reported that they had two students detained for vandalism. The high school has had an increase in graffiti on campus recently, so the staff and security had been on alert. One of the security officers noticed a student with graffiti on his pants and escorted him to the office. In the office, security located over 30 markers in the student's backpack.

Officers arrived and during the interview, the student admitted to tagging numerous places throughout the City of Monrovia with another student. Officers researched the monikers in previous graffiti vandalism incidents that have occurred in the City. They discovered nearly $2,000 in graffiti damage had been reported with the monikers the students use. The students were arrested and later released to parents on citations to appear in court.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Looking for this Woman

Suspect: Female Hispanic, approximately 5'5", 180 lbs., stocky build, medium complexion, long brown shiny hair past the shoulders, wearing unknown color dress pants, thin white blouse and a thin grey sweater, and spoke with a Spanish accent.

Suspect Vehicle: Early 2000, dark grey, BMW, possibly 323I model, 2DR, tint on all windows, black and white paper rear plate that read "Discount" NFD. The vehicle is described as not taken care of.

On January 31, 2013, at approximately 2:24 p.m., the victims interrupted a residential burglary at a residence in the 100 block of Norumbega Avenue in the City of Monrovia. The victims' residence backs up to an alley. The suspect vehicle was seen parked in the alley behind the victims' detached garage. The female suspect was standing next to the suspect vehicle holding the victims' back gate open. One of the victims confronted the female suspect. The female suspect got nervous and got into the driver's seat of the suspect vehicle and fled through the alley. The victims found their safe on a dolly next to the gate, where the female suspect was standing. The victims then discovered their home had been burglarized.

The suspect may have had accomplices. The victims said they saw the same suspect vehicle with a male driver, NFD, driving through the neighborhood. The safe was located on the second floor of the residence; it would be difficult for one person to bring it down and load it onto a dolly.

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Package Deal | Cold Snap | Hong Kong Market

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment is offering a new package deal: buy an electric or hybrid car and get an AeroVironment car charger as part of the package.

~ The weather people guesstimate temperatures will be below 70 degrees until next Wednesday ( ). Cold front arriving from Alaska ( ).

~ Progress on completing Hong Kong Supermarket, on Duarte Road.

- Brad Haugaard

Healthy Smoothie Store in Monrovia

New Liberty Nutrition, a healthy smoothie store, has opened on Lemon Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Antonovich Helps Secure $250,000 Park Grant for Monrovia

Monrovia press release on $250k county grant to fix up Julian Fisher Park:

A 1.8 acre park that had its aging and vandalized playground equipment removed more than two years ago will finally get some of the funding it needs.

On Tuesday, Councilwoman Becky Shevlin announced that Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich awarded a $250,000 grant to the City of Monrovia for the refurbishment of Julian Fisher Park, at Almond and California Avenues. The money is coming from Safe Neighborhoods Parks Propositions of 1992 and 1996, commonly referred to as Proposition A/Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. It is expected to be received by the City in three months.

It has not yet been determined what exactly the money will be used for in refurbishing the park, "but we are extremely excited and thankful to have the funds and look forward to putting it to good use in the near future," Councilwoman Shevlin said.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said she is grateful to both Supervisor Antonovich and Councilwoman Shevlin for working together to secure these funds for a park that has been on the forefront of many community members' minds.

"We have heard from residents for several years now that they want to see improvements at Julian Fisher Park," Mayor Lutz said. "It is refreshing to be able to say to the community that not only have we been listening, but we finally have some funding to make a change."

The Julian Fisher improvements and equipment upgrades have been on the City Council's approved Parks Capital Projects list for many years, but as an unfunded project. The playground equipment alone has a $350,000 price tag. Adding restrooms and upgrading the basketball courts, water fountains, gazebos and picnic benches are also on the improvement list but are still unfunded.

Family members of Mr. Fisher said they are elated that the park will be restored, and that it is a reminder to continue fundraising efforts to make up for the remaining funding gap.

"On behalf of the Fisher family, we are ecstatic to hear that we have received this funding," said Betty Thomas, a longtime Monrovia resident and granddaughter of Mr. Fisher.

The park is named after Julian Fisher, one of Monrovia's first African American police officers. Mr. Fisher was educated in the Monrovia schools and was the first African American male to graduate from the high school. He also played as a semi-professional baseball player for the Monrovia Merchants. Mr. Fisher was a respected member of the community and the police department, where he served for 30 years. He passed away in 1979 at the age of 82.

Mrs. Thomas said she will be announcing the receipt of the grant and the continued fundraising efforts at a Black History Month event hosted by the Monrovia-Duarte Black Alumni Association on Saturday, February 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Julian Fisher Park.

"Receiving this funding will hopefully light a fire under the community as work to continue to raise funds for this park," Thomas said. "Our main concern has been the full utilization of the park, and hopefully this funding and future fundraising will allow us to do that."

Julian Fisher is one of seven parks in the City.

"In working with our cities and town councils, developing parks and open space recreational areas is a vital part of the County's effort to improve the quality of life for our residents," Supervisor Antonovich said. "We are pleased to announce $250,000 to the City of Monrovia to refurbish Julian Fisher Park."

- Brad Haugaard

Microbrewery Coming to Monrovia | Rain Friday? | Football Players Pick Schools

~ Pacific Plate Brewing Company, Monrovia's first microbrewery, to open soon.

~ A good chance of rain on Friday.

~ Three Monrovia Wildcat football players make their college picks.

- Brad Haugaard

'Another Kid's Treasure' Store Opens

A reader notes a new business, owned by a Monrovian, that I missed. He writes:

It is called Another Kid's Treasure and it is located at 1309 S. Shamrock. It's a consignment shop and deals in clothing, gear, toys and such for babies, kids, and moms, including maternity wear. They have a website at or the store can be visited during its open hours on Wednesdays from 9:30 to noon; Thursday's from 3 to 5:30: Friday's from 11 to 2; and Saturday's from 11 to 4.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Department on an Early Call

Photo: Monrovia fire trucks make an early call this morning.

- Brad Haugaard

Will Aztec Hotel Shed Shed?

The Aztec Hotel reports on Facebook that it will ask the city's permission to remove this shed on the north side of its parking lot to provide more room for cars.

Monrovia Police: He Wasn't Really Looking for His Dog; Grand Theft Seafood; Burglars in Beemers; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Jan. 31-Feb. 3. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Commercial Burglary - Suspects Arrested

January 31 at 11:11 a.m., two juveniles, 17 and 15 years old, went into a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain. They both concealed Internet cable connectors in their waistbands and were detained by store loss prevention. They admitted their intent to enter the business and steal the items. They were arrested and taken into custody for the offense, and later released to parents.

Residential Burglary - Three Suspects Arrested

January 31, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department contacted a suspicious male subject in the area of Lemon and Ranchito and requested a Monrovia officer respond to the location. The officer responded and contacted the subject. The subject was not from the area and told the officer he was looking for his dog that had wandered away. The subject had no wants or warrants. He was identified and released. The officer had a strong suspicion the subject was lying about his activity in the area and he continued to patrol the area.

A resident contacted the officer and told him the male subject had met up with another male subject in a white shirt and they had left the area together. The officer located a subject in a white shirt who matched the description at a park in the 600 block of Shamrock. He contacted the second subject and while speaking with him, he observed a car with the windows open and keys in the ignition. The officer then left the location.

Believing the subjects were connected with the car, he and another officer watched the car from nearby. Within a short period of time, the two male subjects the officer had contacted and a third male subject ran to the car and got in. The officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle before they could leave the area.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located possible stolen property, including an Xbox and bicycle parts. While they were still searching the vehicle, a police dispatcher advised the officers that a call had been received of a home in the area with the front and rear doors open. The address of the residence matched the address on some documents found in the car the officers were searching. The three suspects were arrested for residential burglary. The suspects had forced entry through a rear door into the home located in the 1000 block of Oak Leaf and had stolen property from the residence.

Residential Burglary

January 31 at 12:39 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 300 block of North Canyon. The suspect(s) entered the home through an unlocked rear door. The loss was jewelry, camera equipment and a laptop. A male Hispanic with short hair with gel in it and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt was seen in the driveway around the time the crime occurred. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary

January 31 at 2:24 p.m., officers responded to the report of a burglary in progress in the 100 block of Norumbega. A female Hispanic in a newer, dark grey BMW with paper plates that read "Discount Auto" was seen leaving the residence. Officers arrived and searched the area, but did not locate the suspect vehicle. Through further investigation, officers learned there were at least two people in the car. Jewelry and other items were taken in the burglary. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary

January 31 at 2:34 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 100 block of North Myrtle. The suspect(s) entered the residence through an unlocked rear window. The suspect(s) gathered costume jewelry into a bag; however, it was left at the scene and no other loss was discovered. The burglary occurred sometime between 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. It appears the suspect(s) were scared off and left the location prior to taking any property. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

January 31 at 4:36 p.m., police responded to a business in the 3300 block of South Peck Road. A silver, 1992 Toyota sedan was stolen from the business lot sometime after 2:20 a.m. The vehicle had traffic collision damage to the right rear quarter panel. The investigation is continuing.


February 1 at 9:31 a.m., vandalism was reported at a business in the 900 block of South Myrtle. Suspect(s) etched graffiti into four panes of glass. No suspects were seen. The incident possibly occurred in the evening or early morning hours. Investigation continuing.

Petty Theft

February 1 at 6:05 p.m., a cashier from a business in the 400 block of West Huntington reported that a female Hispanic suspect left the store with a cart full of groceries without attempting to pay for the food. She loaded the groceries into a dark SUV and fled east on Huntington. Officers checked the area, but did not find the suspect. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

February 2 at 10:46 a.m., two commercial tractor trucks with attached trailers loaded with seafood were reported stolen from a business in the 1700 block of South Mountain. The theft occurred sometime after 10 p.m. A white vehicle could be seen in the surveillance video. Four suspects exited and walked out of view toward the trucks. The trucks were started and warmed up, and then driven out. The tractor trucks were a white, 1999 Peterbuilt and a gold, 2004 Peterbuilt. The investigation is continuing.

Armed Robbery / Attempted Carjacking - Suspect Arrested

February 2 at 5:34 a.m., officers were dispatched to a hotel in the 700 block of West Huntington regarding a robbery investigation. The victim arrived in his vehicle and parked in the hotel parking lot. As he exited his vehicle, a male suspect approached and told the victim to give him his cell phone. The suspect brandished a handgun and took the victim's cell phone and car keys. The suspect attempted to start the vehicle, but the vehicle would not start and the alarm sounded. The suspect exited and left the area on foot, northbound through the parking lot. The suspect took the victim's keys and cell phone. Officers responded and located the suspect in the area and detained him. The suspect was positively identified by the victim and was arrested and taken into custody.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman's 'Choose California' Farm Products Bill

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has released a statement about his bill that would require government institutions to buy California produce first ( reported on earlier here: ). The press release says:

Under AB 199, state-owned or state-run institutions would be required to Choose California farm products. Public institutions - such as public schools, prisons or hospitals - would have to buy agricultural products grown in California before buying from out-of-state suppliers.

"It just makes sense to put California-grown crops first," said Assemblymember Holden. "It's a win-win for everyone. The public institutions get a locally-grown product, we're helping create opportunities for our farmers and a new appreciation for local food helps stimulate the economy.

Choose California is similar to the federal Buy America Act that requires government entities to buy American. In order to get preferential treatment, state-grown products must not exceed the price of those grown out-of-state by more than 5%.  School districts must purchase California grown products first as long as they aren't more expensive than out-of-state products.

"California farmers strongly support having California government institutions purchase food grown in our state," California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said. "This bill would introduce more Californians to the amazing variety of agricultural products grown in the state and help them develop the healthy habit of seeking out nutritious, affordable California-grown foods, which will have long-term benefits to farmers and the agricultural economy."

According to the Department of Food & Agriculture, California is the number one state in agricultural output with farms and ranches earning a record $43 billion last year.
Comment: The only thing that escapes me about this is: Why is it necessary? Isn't California still an amazing agricultural powerhouse? Isn't it cheaper to ship produce from the Imperial Valley or Central Valley than from out of state? And if so, why is it necessary to force local governments to buy California produce? If for some reason it is cheaper to get produce from out of state, then this seems to be a 5% additional cost on the produce purchased by California schools. Schools aren't on a tight enough budget already?

- Brad Haugaard

Antonovich Provides Quarter of a Million for Monrovia Park

Monrovia City Council Member Becky Shevlin reports that County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has authorized $250,000 to help upgrade Monrovia's Julian Fisher Park. Shevlin said the park actually needs about a $1 million for a full upgrade, but $250,000 is a great start.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Reads Fundraiser | Black History Month

~ Monrovia Reads is having a fundraiser on Thursday, March 7, from 6-9 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Monrovia. Tickets are $50 per person. Call Diane Delmatoff for tickets: 303-6600

~ Celebrating Black History in Film, with the Pasadena Cow Girls. Feb. 9, 5-8 p.m. at Julian Fisher Memorial Park at 915 S. California Ave.

~ Also for Black History Month, "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality," Feb. 24, 2-5 p.m. at Monrovia United Methodist Church.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Organizations I Hadn't Really Heard About

Organizations I didn't really know about in Monrovia:

- The American Legion (for veterans) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Community Center.
- Tzu Chi (corner of Palm and Ivy) does relief, medical, educational and cultural projects. It has been involved in Hurricane Sandy relief.
- Moms Club of Monrovia. Playdates, excursions, park days, discussion groups, service projects and more:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Maryknoll Card Party

Maryknoll sisters in Monrovia will hold a Happy Hearts luncheon and card party on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Maryknoll Guild, Annex Building, 300 Norumbega Drive, in Monrovia. Luncheon is at noon and card players may come at 10 a.m. We play all kinds of cards: Bridge, Canasta, Rummy or Cribbage. Single card players will be matched to complete a table of four. $15 per person. Call for reservations: (626) 358-1825

- Brad Haugaard

Skunk in Monrovia to Film Commercial

Skunk Productions films American Express commercial: . Picture:

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Rubio's

Lunch at Rubio's, the Mexican restaurant next to Toys R Us in the Huntington Oaks shopping center. Got The Original Fish Taco plate for $6.49 and an iced tea for $1.69, plus tax. Nice.

- Brad Haugaard

Artsy Bridge | At the Monrovia Library | Success!

~ Gold Line bridge featured as work of art. Artsy pictures:

~ Upcoming at the Library this month ( ):
 - Feb. 5, noon to 1:30 p.m. LinkedIn for Job Seekers.
 - Feb. 9, 1-3 p.m. Native and Edible Gardens.
 - Feb. 16 1-4 p.m. Using Your Computer to Make Money.
 - Feb. 26, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Novel T's Book Club.

~ Monrovians speak on business success.

- Brad Haugaard