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Monrovia Schools Suspends More Students

Monrovia schools apparently has one of the highest suspension rates in the state.

Comment: Uhhh ... okay. But is that a bad thing? I like the idea that disruptive students are temporarily chucked out so other students can learn. If other districts aren't suspending enough disruptive students, so much the worse for them. Good work, Monrovia schools!

- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovia Assemblymen Running for Higher Offices

Two men who represented Monrovia in the California Assembly are now running for higher office.

Former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represented part of Monrovia, is running for the State Senate, and would apparently challenge Monrovia's current State Senator, Carol Liu.

And, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represented the other part of Monrovia, before redistricting, is running for Governor.

- Brad Haugaard

Watch an Artist at Work at Monrovia Gallery

Scott Dienhart

Watch artist Scott Dienhart at work during "Summer Sundays with Scott" at Segil Fine Art at 110 West Lime, on the south side of Library Park.  He'll be working on a painting at the gallery every Sunday during the summer from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cool refreshments, too. 

Lunch at Tburger

Lunch at Tburger, on Foothill a half block east of Magnolia. A friend recommended the chicken tostada salad ($7.99), so I got that and an iced tea ($1.89). Good recommendation for when you are seriously hungry. 
- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Back-to-School Drive

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center is rounding up back-to-school supplies for needy children in the area. If you'd like to contribute, here's a list of the stuff the center needs:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia: City of Beer? Eagle Rock Brewery May Join Other Brewers in Coming to Town

Eagle Rock Brewery ( ), and other local microbreweries, are interested in moving to Monrovia.

At its July 2 meeting, the "Successor Agency" to the former Redevelopment Agency (which was killed by the state government) and which is just the city council wearing a different hat, will consider leasing agency-owned buildings on Myrtle, just south of the freeway, to Los Angeles-based Eagle Rock Brewery to use for beer storage and a tasting room open to the public.

And there are other brewers interested in the city. The staff report (here: ) says, "Several microbrewers have inquired about the feasibility of opening their businesses in Monrovia, and recently the planning commission has approved two separate Conditional Use Permits to allow for microbreweries."

The report says family-owned Eagle Rock "is dedicated to the production of artisanal beers. Today, Eagle Rock Brewery products are served in more than 700 locations throughout Southern California, and the Brewery's expansion efforts are targeting Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Eagle Rock has been a leader in the local craft beer industry, a growing market locally and nationwide. Over the past few years, 'craft beers' manufactured in microbreweries have become increasingly popular throughout the United States. Typically, these operations are solely dedicated to the production of specialty beers primarily intended for local or regional consumption. Additionally, the number of microbreweries that offer their product for on-site and off-site consumption is increasing steadily."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Free Fourth of July Fireworks Show

Entertainment will begin at 3 p.m. with a D.J. followed by a live band, Stone Soul, playing from 7 to - 8:30 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will last approximately 20 minutes.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Tudor Revival House Gets Historic Status

Monrovia Tudor Revival house at 201 Acacia Avenue given historic landmark status.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Fourth of July Fireworks Tip: Don't!

The Monrovia Police Department says fireworks are illegal in Monrovia, so don't use them here (besides, the show at Library Park is too awesome to miss), but, the department adds, if you are in an area that for-sure allows fireworks, here are some more tips ...

- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at high temperatures - hot enough to melt some metals.

- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

- Brad Haugaard

Music Man Production Coming to Monrovia

A professional production of The Music Man will be presented at the Louise K. Taylor Performing Arts Center (aka the Monrovia High auditorium) on July 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and on July 20 at 2 and 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and children age 12 and younger.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and for seniors age 65 and older. VIP tickets, center section, rows 2 through 6 are available for $35. Rush tickets in the first row are $10 and will be sold on a first come first served basis before each performance.

Patrick Garcia, director of performing arts for the Monrovia School District, said this is a professional production, being produced with a hired creative team, with financial help by the music-oriented Boone Foundation. Garcia hopes to put on two or three professional productions each year. For tickets, call 800 838-3006 or get 'em here:

- Brad Haugaard

Motorcyclist Hits SUV at 100 MPH

Motorcyclist seriously hurt after slamming into SUV.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Schools Superintendent: Official Announcement

On Wednesday, June 26th, the Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Katherine Thorossian as Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Thorossian will begin her duties on Monday July 1st.

Dr. Thorossian is currently serving as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Glendale Unified School District. She has served in this position since July 2008. Prior to that she was the Principal of Glendale High School from 2005-2008. From 1995 to 2005, Dr. Thorossian served as an Assistant Principal and Counselor at Diamond Bar High School in the Walnut Valley Unified School District. She also taught English in grades 9-12 at Diamond Bar High School from 1986 to 1995.

Dr. Thorossian earned her Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Southern California in 2009. She also earned a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from California State University Los Angeles in 1986 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University California Los Angeles in 1984. She also completed the Association of California School Administrators' Superintendent's Academy in 2009.

Some of her honors include the Davidian Mariamian Educational Foundation Educator of the Year in January 2012 and the Glendale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations Honorary Service Award in January 2011. In 2009 She was awarded the Armenian-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles Women in Business Excellence award.

Dr. Thorossian is an active member of the Association of California School Administrators. She has also served as a YMCA Board Member, and is affiliated with the Sunrise Rotary International of Glendale, the Glendale Healthy Kids Board, and the Glendale Adventist Hospital Civic Advisory Board.

Source: Monrovia School District press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Theft from Unlocked Car; Purse Stealing; Burglary; Motorcycle Crash, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 24-26. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 510 service events, resulting in 92 investigations.  
Theft From a Vehicle
June 24 at 1:37 p.m., a theft from a vehicle in the 1000 block of Oakleaf was reported to police.  The victim parked her car in front of her house the previous night.  When she returned to her vehicle the next afternoon, she noticed the glove compartment was open.  A small amount of currency and miscellaneous items were taken.  The victim had left the vehicle unlocked.  The investigation is continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
June 25 at 1:00 p.m., a female subject was attempting to deliver documents to a business in the 800 block of West Foothill.  She walked from her car to the front of the business and left her purse in the car.  She found the business was locked.  A male subject who had just exited his vehicle told her she could deliver her package to the rear of the business, as the backdoor was open.  The woman went to the back of the building and found it was locked, also.  
When she returned to the front of the business, she saw the male subject with her purse in his hand.  He casually got into his car with the purse.  She confronted him at his car demanding her purse.  The subject started his car and drove away.  The suspect is described as a male White in his thirties, driving a silver Mitsubishi with Carmax paper plates.  The investigation is continuing.
Residential Burglary
June 25 at 6:21 p.m., police were dispatched to a residential burglary that occurred in the 1200 block of South Alta Vista.  The victim came home from work and found the apartment had been broken into.  Officers responded and cleared the apartment.  No suspects were located and the investigation is continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
June 25 at 6:38 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 500 block of Parkrose.  The victim parked his car in his driveway and believes he locked it with the alarm remote, but was unsure.  He went inside his home for the evening.  When he went to his car the next morning, he noticed some paperwork had been moved, but didn't think anything of it and drove to work.  On his way to work, he noticed other items were missing from the vehicle.  He called police and notified them of the burglary.  When he returned home that evening, police responded and searched the vehicle for evidence.  Investigation continuing.
Injury Traffic Collision
June 26 at 7:47, police responded to a traffic collision involving a bicyclist and a vehicle.  The bicyclist was riding west on Royal Oaks, approaching Bradbury, when he was struck by a motorist who was turning left onto Bradbury.  The motorist told the officer he could not see the bicyclist due to sun in his eyes.  The bicyclist appeared to have minor injuries, but was taken to a hospital for exam as a precaution.  The driver of the vehicle was cited for failing to clear the intersection before turning.
Injury Traffic Collision
June 26 at 11:49 p.m., an injury traffic collision involving a motorcycle was reported near the intersection of Peck and Live Oak.  An Arcadia police officer was northbound on Peck, south of Clark.  As he approached the intersection, a motorcycle quickly shot out of Clark to northbound Peck.  The motorcycle continued to accelerate to a high rate of speed.  As the officer caught up to the motorcycle and started to turn on his lights, the motorcycle locked up, began to skid, and hit an SUV.  The motorcyclist was thrown from his motorcycle and hit the street.  Monrovia police officers responded to the scene as the accident occurred in the City of Monrovia.  The subject was taken to a hospital with head injuries.  Investigation continuing.   

Monrovia Schools Get New Superintendent from Glendale

New Monrovia Schools Superintendent is Katherine Thorossian, currently an assistant superintendent at Glendale Unified ( ) and Deborah Collins is retiring ( ).

Here is a list of current responsibilities I found for her at Glendale Unified.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wilderness Preserve Finally Opens - Sort Of

The Sleepy Hollow access point to the Monrovia Wilderness Preserve, though unmarked, is now open (I'll tell you how to get there in a moment), but City Manager Laurie Lile said our recent forest fire means the Highland Place access point is still closed. She writes:

"Since we exchanged emails a few months ago, the situation has changed with the Highland Access.  Because of the fire damage and potential debris in the area, that area is closed indefinitely until we can assess the situation and make the area safe for public access.

"The Sleepy Hollow access point is already open and accessible.  Installation of the entry signage was delayed; however we estimate that will be completed by mid to late August. So far, this location has very few visitors except for people from the surrounding neighborhoods. As word spreads, the number of visitors will increase. However, because there is no parking provided at this access point and the signs are still under construction, we have not provided wide-spread notification that the Sleepy Hollow access point is now open.  

"As previously indicated, I do not have estimated dates for opening the access points at Ridgeside and Cloverleaf."

Finding the Sleepy Hollow access point is a bit tricky. I saw no sign that says "Sleepy Hollow," and while the city website says it is "west of Starlit Lane" on Norumbega, which it is, I did not see a sign when I drove by for Starlit Lane. Perhaps the best way to show where it is is with a map:

View Sleepy Hollow Trailhead in a larger map

- Brad Haugaard

Bicyclist Hit on Royal Oaks | Earnings Down, Stock Up | Shop Chico's for Monrovia's Unity Center

~ Bicyclist hit on Royal Oaks. Minor injuries.

~ AeroVironment lost money but its stock is up. Why? Because analysts were expecting it to lose more, so in a funny way, it is good news.

~ Shop at Chico's in Santa Anita Westfield Mall this Friday, June 28, from noon to 4 p.m., and the store will donate 10% of your total purchase to Foothill Unity Center. But you gotta mention Foothill Unity Center at the register.

- Brad Haugaard

Toasty Hot! | Evaluating Monrovia City Manager, Attorney

~ The National Weather Service has predicted it is going to be toasty hot - maybe over 100 - later this week and into next week. Monrovia will provide a cooling station at the Community Center, 119 West Palm. Details here:

~ The Monrovia City Council will evaluate the City Manager and City Attorney at a special closed meeting this Thursday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Reports Loss

The Wall Street Journal reports Monrovia's AeroVironment had a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of four cents per share:

LA Times adds that revenue was down 51 percent in the company's fourth quarter:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Disappointed in Supreme Court Decision

A statement by Assemblyman Chris Holden:

"I am disappointed by today's Supreme Court Decision to invalidate the formula used to assess states' and counties' application of the 1985 Voting Rights Act. The Court focused its decision on the fact that the "racial gap in turnout" had been reduced in states subject to oversight since the 1980's.

I believe this is evidence that the Voting Rights Act has been working as intended and should have been left alone. The court's dissent noted that 700 state and local voting changes were rejected by the Department of Justice between 1982 and 2006-strong evidence that the coverage formula and federal oversight has averted minority voter suppression of various forms.

I certainly believe that the future of the Voting Rights Act is at risk. I call on Congress to set aside partisan difference and come together to redraft the coverage formula to restore this important piece of Civil Rights Legislation."

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library: More Computer Users Than Book Readers

Went to the adult section of the Monrovia Library this afternoon and took a flash count - 33 people using computers and 11 with a book, magazine or newspaper. And that 11 would have been even lower if it wasn't for students studying textbooks. I wonder where libraries are going.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Offers Dog Poop Disposal as an Advertising Opportunity

The City of Monrovia's Recreation Division has an advertising opportunity for local businesses - sponsor a dog-poop disposal-bag dispenser box. $425 to sponsor a "Mutt Mitt" box for one year. Details (bottom of page):

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Driving Under the Influence; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 20-23. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol / Drugs – Suspect Arrested
June 20 at 11:27 p.m., police received a call from a citizen reporting a possible drunk driver in the area of Myrtle and Foothill.  Officers responded and observed the driver swerving on the roadway and conducted a traffic stop.  Through investigation, officers determined the driver was under the influence; the driver was suspected of being under the influence of both alcohol and prescription medication.  She was arrested and taken into custody.

Unlicensed Driver / Possession of a Dangerous Weapon / Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Vehicle / Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
June 21 at 8:52 p.m., an officer on patrol in the area of California and Monrovista conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a vehicle code violation and discovered the driver was unlicensed.  As he was conducting an inventory search to store the vehicle, he located a baton, a loaded semi-automatic pistol under the driver's seat, and a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine.  The driver was subsequently arrested for the above listed charges.

Drones Spread from Military to Civilian Use

An article on drones in general and Monrovia-based AeroVironment in particular.

- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: Monrovia, Please Don't Ban Plastic Bags

A Monrovia woman is planning to ask the City Council during its July 2 meeting to impose a ban on plastic bags in the city, according to a posting in the system.

Opinion: I really hope the Monrovia City Council does NOT do this. Why? 1. Because I don't think it is any of the city's concern if a business wants to use plastic bags and I don't like the current wave of governmental butting in to people's lives. 2. I have heard complaints by people who shop in Pasadena about its ban. If they are out and want to buy some stuff and they forgot to bring their tote-bag, tough, or they have to buy a bag. 3. There are health concerns with banning plastic bags because the alternative, re-usable bags, may spread disease. From a study of San Francisco's ban: "There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria, especially coliform bacteria such as E. coli."

- Brad Haugaard

Do We Have a Monrovia Schools Superintendent Candidate?

The Monrovia Board of Education will hold a special, closed meeting this Monday, June 24 ( ), to discuss contract provisions for a new superintendent. After the closed session the board will publicly announce what it did in the closed session. Comment: Hmmm. Just guessing, but I wonder if the board has a candidate now and will make that person a contract offer in the closed meeting.

- Brad Haugaard

Layoffs at Monrovia Schools, Compensation for Teachers, Rules for Students, The Budget

At its Wednesday, June 26 meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia School Board will consider, among other things ...

~ Laying off 10 part time classified employees (equivalent to 6.66 full timers) for lack of work ( ), and hiring one new full time person in food services ( ).

~ A compensation package for Monrovia teachers. Basically, it appears the teachers will get a boost in their health/welfare plan, but nothing else. For 13-14, 4.67%, for 14-15, 4.46%, for 15-16, 4.27%.

~ A board policy for student conduct. A couple interesting items: no laser pointers except for instructional purposes, and no using electronics in class.

~ A board policy on nondiscrimination and harassment ( ). Comment: I've always been wary of these things going overboard and essentially outlawing free speech and criminalizing disagreement, but this policy seems to limit violations to "severe" problems. Still, I would like to see a line that says something like, "Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to prohibit non-threatening discussion or disagreement."

~ The 2013-14 budget.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Gets Prison for Bomb Threat

Monrovian Gerardo Cortez, 25, sentenced to 16 months in prison for making bomb threat in Pasadena.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Hon Sushi

Lunch at Hon Sushi in the Pavilions center. Got the $10.50 Lunch Box Special with chicken teriyaki and spicy tuna roll, and an iced tea ($1.50). Plus tax and tip. Comes with miso soup. Friendly service and nice food.

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia's Meringue Bakery Anniversary

Meringue Bakery and Cafe (110 E. Colorado) fifth anniversary party on June 23, 1 p.m. Potato balls and sangria, and a free slice of Cuban cake. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

23 New Youth Leaders for Monrovia

Monrovia Area Partnership Graduates 23 New Youth Leaders. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

All-Day Session on Becoming Involved in Monrovia

The free Fourth Annual MAP Neighborhood Conference will be held Aug. 10. A full day of 23 conference classes on how to get to know your neighbors, become more involved and meet great people. Classes include Mayor's Bus Tour of the City, becoming active as a neighborhood organizer, preventing bullying, and the heart of great leadership. Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Details in flyer here:

Video and registration here:

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus Trustee Accused of Nepotism

Accusations of nepotism against Citrus College trustee Ed Ortell. Citrus College servers the Monrovia area.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Hit and Run Suspect Turns Self In, Busting Car Window for an Empty Box, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 17-19. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 537 service events, resulting in 91 investigations.

Vehicle Burglaries

On June 17, several vehicles were burglarized during daytime hours. In all of the burglary incidents, the suspect(s) smashed a window on the vehicle to steal property that was left inside. The burglaries occurred in the 100 block of McKinley, 500 block of West Palm, and three vehicles in 1100 block of Sesmas. It is unknown if these burglaries are related.
During the burglary on McKinley, a neighbor observed the crime. The suspect smashed the left rear passenger window, reached in and stole an empty neoprene headphone case. The suspect then fled in his vehicle south on McKinley, out of sight. The suspect in that incident is described as a male White in his twenties, 5'8" tall, 170 pounds, short blond hair, wearing a light colored T-shirt and baggy shorts. The suspect vehicle is described as a newer model, 2-door, import-type vehicle, possibly a Honda or similar make. The investigations are continuing.


June 17 at 7:24 a.m., a burglary was reported at a construction site in the 1600 block of South California. Suspect(s) forced open two metal storage boxes. The suspect(s) unhooked the transmission linkage on a truck parked in front of the boxes, moved the truck, and then removed a very large roll of copper wiring with a value of over $10,000. They cut the wiring into smaller pieces to remove it more easily. A pry tool was used to enter the boxes, as the locks were in place. Chainsaws and other tools were stolen, also. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft

June 18 at 2:36 a.m., a grand theft was reported in the 100 block of California Street. The victim is doing construction at a church. At 10:00 p.m., he took his tools and material from his truck and pulled down the sliding door, but did not lock it. When he returned to his truck at approximately 2:30 a.m. and lifted the door, he noticed several large spools of copper wire were missing. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft

June 18 at 10:18 a.m., police responded to the report of a grand theft in the 800 block of West Walnut. The suspect(s) took tools from the victim's backyard and the bed of his truck. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary

June 18 at 3:14 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 1300 block of South Fifth. The residents left around noon and returned home three hours later to find their home had been ransacked. The suspect(s) used the rear door to enter the house. The only known loss was cash. The investigation is continuing.

Distracted Driving / Suspended Driver's License / Warrant – Suspect Arrested

June 18 at 3:39 p.m., an officer observed a driver talking on her cell phone while driving and stopped her. Through investigation, he determined she had a suspended driver's license and had prior knowledge that her license was suspended. She had numerous failures to appear for court and an outstanding warrant. Her boyfriend is the registered owner of the vehicle, and he told the officer he knew she had a suspended license. The female driver was arrested, the registered owner of the car was cited, and the vehicle was stored.

Warrant for Hit & Run Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

June 19 at 4:29 p.m., a male suspect wanted for felony hit & run by the Monrovia Police Department walked into the police lobby and turned himself in to police; He was arrested.
The hit and run incident occurred on June 14 at 3:41 p.m. A red pickup truck was southbound on Mayflower and turned into the path of a vehicle that was pushed onto the front yard of a residence on Diamond. The suspect vehicle fled the scene of the accident, west on Diamond to Los Robles, where the driver and passenger abandoned the vehicle. As the driver and passenger were fleeing from the vehicle, a witness took their picture with a cell phone. Officers recognized the passenger from the photo and went to the passenger's residence. The driver was identified and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Detective Bureau Case Follow-Up: Felony Vandalism Charges Filed

On May 28, a subject who has been arrested multiple times for vandalism, assault, and other crimes was arrested again for felony vandalism at a business in the 600 block of West Huntington for destroying property. After evaluating the suspect's progressive behavior and the police department's extensive history with him, the District Attorney was compelled to file the charge of felony vandalism again

- Brad Haugaard

Valley Cities Say: Finish Gold Line

Foothill cities want Azusa-to-Claremont segment of the Gold Line completed.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Senator's Forum: Insurance in an Era of Climate Change

On Friday, June 28, State Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, will host a public forum titled "Insurance in an Era of Climate Change" with keynote speaker Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner. From 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. Pasadena. Register here:

Panelists will discuss the latest climate information, its impact on California homeowners insurance in high-risk areas, and how insurers, policymakers, and consumers can identify the best methods to resist the impacts of climate change.

Forum speakers include:

- Susanne Moser, Ph.D., Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting in Santa Cruz.

- Anthony L. Westerling, associate professor in the School of Engineering at the University of California, Merced.

- Stephen Bushnell, product director at Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

- Andrew Logan, director of Ceres' Oil & Gas and Insurance Programs.

Source: Liu press release

- Brad Haugaard

What's Up With the Aztec Hotel?

It appears there has been a management change on the Aztec Hotel refurbishing project.

I had heard the new Mayan Bar and Grill at the Aztec Hotel would open a while ago, but then things seemed to come to a halt. The restaurant manager announced on Facebook that he had been let go, and city Planning Division Manager Craig Jimenez tells me that the company refurbishing the building has hired a new general manager for the project. He adds that the city hasn't heard much lately but there does seem to be some progress as, "A building permit was issued to construct a new wall along the north property line and building and mechanical plans for the public restrooms have been submitted into plan check."

- Brad Haugaard

Highest Sales Tax Revenue Ever for Monrovia | Goodbye Animal Control? | Counselors for Oklahoma

~ Monrovia City spokeswoman Jennifer McClain writes on Twitter that the city Finance Department "reports highest sales tax revenue generated ever last year" at $9.44 million.

~ Monrovia Police could eliminate its animal control division.

~ Monrovia-based World Vision will provide counselors and play therapists to work with child survivors of last month's deadly tornados in Oklahoma.

- Brad Haugaard

Does Patch Face a 'Do-or-Die" Year?

Financial news provider, Bloomberg, reports that AOL's Patch local news websites, which would include Monrovia Patch, may face a "a do-or-die year in 2013," and if it has a chance to succeed it may require sharp cuts and dramatic income increases. Patch has shown revenue increases, but will it be enough?

Comment: I wish you well, Patch. AOL is the only company doing large-scale local news, something the country needs. And besides, what fun is it playing baseball if there isn't another team for me to play against.

- Brad Haugaard

Eat a Steak for Monrovia's Unity Center

Tonight (June 18), Clearman's North Woods Inn, at Huntington and Rosemead, will contribute 10% of its total sales from 5 to 9 p.m. to Foothill Unity Center. Enjoy a steak and take a bite out of hunger for local families in need.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman's First Bill Becomes Law

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, reports on Facebook that Governor Jerry Brown has signed Holden's first bill (AB72 ), a housekeeping measure that provides that those elected to water districts will take office at noon on the first Friday in December following their election. Opinion: Good!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board to Meet With Search Firm About Superintendent Search

The Monrovia Board of Education will hold a closed meeting (agenda: )this Wednesday, June 19, to discuss a new superintendent with the headhunter company that is helping it out, Education Leadership Services ( ).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Pooping on Classroom Floor; Cellphone Photo Helps ID Suspect; Etc.

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

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Indecent Exposure

June 13 at 8:14 a.m., a female subject reported an incident of indecent exposure that occurred in the 800 block of West Foothill. The female victim was approached by a male suspect who asked for directions to a location in Arcadia and then exposed himself to her. The female went back to her residence and called police.

Officers responded and conducted an area check, but could not find the suspect. The suspect is described as a clean-cut, male Hispanic, approximately 20 years old, short curly black hair, clean shaven, 5'9" tall, medium build, wearing a gray sweater and blue jeans. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrest

June 13 at 3:45 p.m., an officer on patrol observed a vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 200 block of West Colorado with a door open into traffic. A male subject was walking to and from the vehicle, back and forth. The officer recognized the subject and knew he had an outstanding warrant for possession cocaine out of Pasadena Police Department. The officer detained the suspect and arrested him for the warrant.

Hit and Run Felony Traffic Collision

June 14 at 3:41 p.m., a red pickup truck was southbound on Mayflower, turning east on Evergreen, when the driver suddenly turned west onto Diamond, instead. He turned into the path of a vehicle and was pushed onto the front yard of a residence on Diamond. One of the vehicles hit a pole that fell on the victim's vehicle. The suspect vehicle fled west on Diamond to Los Robles, where the driver and passenger abandoned it.

As the driver and passenger were fleeing from the vehicle, a witness took their picture with a cell phone. The officers recognized the passenger from the photo and went to the passenger's residence. The driver was identified, and his passport and personal papers were found in the truck. The driver was entered into the wanted persons system. The investigation is continuing.

Petty Theft

June 14 at 9:23 p.m., a vendor at the Monrovia Street Fair was working in the 600 block of South Myrtle and was tearing down her sales location. She looked up and saw a male suspect running away with her cash bag, where she put the night sales receipts and money. She screamed, and several subjects who had just exited the theater chased the suspect, but were unable to catch him. They saw the suspect drop the money bag and they picked it up. The money was returned to the vendor. Officers responded, but the victim refused to prosecute since her money had been recovered.

Burglary – Suspect Arrested

June 14 at 10:47 p.m., officers responded to an alarm call at a preschool in the 1000 block of South Canyon. They arrived and checked the area. The Foothill Air Support helicopter responded and located a vehicle parked near the school. Officers checked the vehicle and detained a subject who claimed he was there trying to sleep. A computer check revealed the subject had a felony warrant for his arrest. A responsible party for the school arrived and officers continued to check the school.

During their search, they located an unsecured second grade classroom. They checked the classroom and found someone had made entry and defecated on the floor. There was a rubber floor mat missing, which was located outside the classroom with a footprint on it. Officers checked the footprint against the shoes worn by the subject they had detained, and the print matched. Further investigation led to the suspects arrest for burglary.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested

June 15 at 11:15 a.m., police were dispatched to a hit and run traffic collision at the corner of Primrose and Palm. A female driver hit the stop sign at the southwest corner and drove to her residence a few houses down. She was positively identified by a witness, and when officers went to her house, they discovered she was under the influence of alcohol. The suspect was arrested.

Criminal Threats – Suspect Arrested

June 15 at 2:35 p.m., officers responded to the 800 block of West Olive regarding a family disturbance. They spoke to the suspect's mother, who told them he had threatened to kill her with a knife. The suspect was inside the house with his girlfriend. After some negotiation, the suspect allowed the officers inside the residence. The suspect was arrested for criminal threats and brought to the Monrovia Police Department jail.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – Suspect Arrested

June 16 at 2:49 a.m., an officer observed a vehicle traveling east on Huntington at California, swerving in the lane. She conducted a traffic stop and noticed the driver appeared to be under the influence. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for driving under the influence.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision

June 16 at 4:00 a.m., a driver was traveling south on Myrtle at Duarte Road when he collided into a building after knocking an Edison pole down. It appears the driver lost control after approaching the railroad tracks. The driver exited the vehicle. When a witness approached and asked if he needed the police, he said no and fled on foot. Police responded, but the driver was not located. The witness described the driver as a male Hispanic with spiked hair, suffering from a facial wound. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant Arrest

June 16 at 11:59 a.m., an officer was returning from El Monte Police Department and was at Peck & Bayse when he stopped a male subject on a bicycle for a vehicle code violation. A computer check revealed the subject had an outstanding warrant out of El Monte for domestic violence. The officer also located a methamphetamine pipe in the subject's pocket. The suspect was arrested.

Panera Bread Joining Restaurant Row

Panera Bread, Smashburger and Chipotle will replace the now-torn-down Acapulco restaurant on Huntington.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Needs Help For Back-to-School Project | Firefighters Over Police

~ Foothill Unity Center will be providing back-to-school uniforms, shoes, socks underwear, backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, and even dental and vision screenings to about 1,800 children. $80 will equip one child but any amount is appreciated. Donate here:

~ Fire Department over Police in Battle of the Badges basketball.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Train Maintenance Yard Pictures

Some pictures of the new Gold Line maintenance yard in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council: Web Site, Budget, Assessments, Appointees

At its June 18 meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia City Council will consider, among other things ...

- switching to a new company to build its website after a Monrovia firm was unable to complete the site. The new deal will cost the city $22,600. Aha Consulting, Inc. of Lake Oswego, Oregon, "is one of the leading providers of web-based open source solutions for local government agencies.

- a budget for fiscal years 2013-15.

- public comments on the proposed Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Citywide Lighting and Landscaping Maintenance District assessment. Actually looks like its a few bucks lower than before.

- public comments on the proposed Fiscal Year 2013-2014 City of Monrovia Park Maintenance District assessment. This one's up a whisker, though.

- a list of people for various boards.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Cafe Mundial

Lunch at Cafe Mundial, next to the Boxx Jewelry clock on Myrtle. Got the fillet mignon pizza for $16 and an iced tea for $2.15, plus tax and tip. There were cheaper pizzas for $13. Very tender beef. Good.

- Brad Haugaard

The Biggest Fig Tree in Monrovia

Perhaps you think the magnificent Morton Bay Fig tree in Library Park is the biggest in town. Good guess, but no cigar. According to the latest newsletter of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group, the biggest is at the home of Michael and Janene Khanchalian, at the corner of Hillcrest and Melrose. Their tree is a "magnificent example of how large this type of tree can grow (not to mention the voluminous number of leaves it sheds daily!)."

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Pitcher Burkholder is Player of the Year

The Pasadena Star-News Player of the Year is Monrovia Pitcher Chris Burkholder.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision: $500 Million for Development Projects

World Vision, a Monrovia-based Christian humanitarian organization, hopes to raise $500 million by the end of 2015 to help 10 million people with the development of clean water projects; fighting diseases, like malaria; providing loans so families can get a hand out of poverty; protecting children from trafficking; and support and partnering with local churches.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Construction Authority vs. Metro

According to Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian, the Metro Gold Line Construction Authority board of directors has "unanimously voted to oppose Metro's proposed Amendment to the updated Measure R Expenditure Plan." Why? Because it ignores the updated cost for the Gold Line (Pasadena to Claremont) and "continues to evade the legislative mandate to complete the project to Claremont."

Source: Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Sponsors Trip to Texas

Monrovia's Community Services Department is offering a San Antonio, Texas trip. Tour includes visits to the San Antonio River, Bandera, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard and Paseo del Rio. You'll also enjoy the Fiesta de las Luminarias as you stroll along the San Antonio River, guided by more than 2,500 luminaries. Trip is Dec. 5-9, 2013. The $2,049 cost per person includes airfare, 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners, and all tours and transportation. For additional information, please contact the Department of Community Services at (626) 256-8246.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Cars Unlocked, Not Smart; Weapon Waver; Yet More Bears

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 10-12. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 487 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.
Theft From Unlocked Vehicles
June 11 at 1:19 a.m., police responded to the 300 block of East Hillcrest regarding suspects tampering with parked cars.  The caller observed two suspects in the area.  Officers responded and checked the area, but the suspects were not located.  Three vehicles in the area were found ransacked; all three vehicles had been left unlocked.  The suspects entered the unlocked vehicles and stole miscellaneous change and personal items.  Investigation continuing.
Bear Incident
June 11 at 12:37 p.m., a very large female brown bear broke out a window air-conditioner at a residence in the 800 block of Ridgeside Drive.  The female bear and her two cubs entered the home through the opening and ate cat food that was inside the house.  They made a large mess and exited out the same window.  
Officers arrived on scene and attempted to use beanbag rounds to persuade the bear back into the foothills, but unfortunately, her cubs had been startled and had run up a tree.  The mother took up a position to guard her cubs at the base of the tree.  Monrovia's Animal Control Officer and Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens were called in to assist to help ensure the bear incident was resolved without harm to anyone.  Fish and Wildlife wardens asked officers to leave the area so the cubs would come down.  Eventually the cubs came down and the mother bear and cubs returned back up into the foothills without further incident.
Weapons Offense
June 11 at 9:24 p.m., a black Toyota Yaris pulled up next to the victim at Primrose and Olive.  One of the occupants brandished a handgun toward the victim.  The victim called police and followed the vehicle.  The victim was able to get the license plate number of the suspect vehicle.  Officers responded to the area, but were not able to locate the car.  An officer contacted the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and requested they drive by the residence of the registered owner.  The Investigation is continuing.
Driving Under the Influence / Hit and Run Collision – Suspect Arrested
June 11 at 11:18 p.m., a witness followed a drunk driver from Mountain and the 210 Freeway and called police.  The driver hit a parked car and a water main on mountain, just north of Foothill.    The driver left the car unattended on Mountain, just south of Foothill.  Officers were able to track down the driver and determined he was driving under the influence; he was arrested for the above listed charges. 
Grand Theft Auto
June 12 at 8:34 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 3300 block of South Peck Road.  The victim parked and secured his vehicle, a red, 1989, Nissan pickup truck, in a parking stall.  When he returned to the vehicle, it was gone.  The vehicle was entered into the stolen vehicle system.

Driver Hits Hydrant in Monrovia

Driver hits hydrant, gets arrested:

- Brad Haugaard

Vacation Bible School at Monrovia's First Presbyterian

Vacation Bible School for children at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church. Sign-up deadline is this Friday, June 14. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

City Likes New Monrovia Development | Bears 1 Catfood 0 | Personal Branding

~ City thinks new residential development at 212-216 West Olive Avenue fits the neighborhood.

~ Monrovia bears chow down on catfood.

~ Steps to Personal Branding workshop, June 19, 10:30-1:30 p.m. at the Library. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Band and Color Guard Fundraiser | Fourth | Concerts | Electronics Recycling

~ Car wash fundraiser for Monrovia High Band and Color Guard at Walgreens, 253 E. Foothill Blvd., June 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Suggested donation is $5 for cars and $8 for trucks and SUVs. All proceeds benefit the Monrovia High School Wildcat Marching Band and Color Guard program.

~ Flyer for the Monrovia Fourth of July fireworks show.

~ Listing of Monrovia summer concerts. Each Sunday evening, 7-8:30 at the Library Bandshell, starting July 7. First up - on July 7 - the Basix, top 40 hits.

~ Electronic waste recycling, corner of Myrtle and Pomona (street just south of the freeway), July 27, 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblymember's 'Put It On the Internet' Bill Goes to Senate

Assemblymember Chris Holden's legislation to make the Small Business Loan Guarantee program more accessible and user friendly has been approved in the Senate Government Organization Committee. Holden represents Monrovia.

AB 201 requires the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to maintain an Internet website that would include information on the program's loan guarantees, direct lending, surety bond guarantees, and disaster loans.

Since February 2011, over $143 million financial loans were issued, of which about $47 million was covered by Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.

Since 2004, more than 52 loans worth approximately $8.5 million dollars have been guaranteed in the 41st Assembly District.

AB 201 now goes to Senate Appropriations for fiscal consideration.

Source: Holden press release

Comment: Sounds like a good bill, but how pathetic is it that it requires the involvement of the Assembly, Senate and Governor to get a state program to put its information on the Internet?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Cite Man With Fake Gun

Monrovia Police cite man for having fake pistol.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Reads Chili Bowl

3rd Annual Monrovia Reads "Chili Bowl" at Monrovia Tennis Club, 158 N. Sunset Place. Tickets $100 per person. Proceeds help Monrovia Reads.

- Brad Haugaard

'Advanced Meters' Coming to Monrovia and San Gabriel Valley

Southern California Gas will be installing "Advanced Meters" in the San Gabriel Valley during the second half of this year. The meters transmit your gas usage to the company daily so a guy doesn't have to come around and read the meter. It also lets you go on line and monitor your usage. and

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Needs Razors, Toothpaste, Etc.

Foothill Unity Center writes on Facebook: "SOS! We're low on items for the hygiene kits we give to our homeless clients: disposable razors, travel size toothpaste, soap, lotion and conditioner, toothbrushes and/or small combs or brushes. If you can donate any of these, we'd really appreciate it! Just drop them off at our Monrovia Center. Thanks so much."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Caught By a Shoe Print; Busting Into Self-Storage Units; Etc

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 6-9. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Gang Injunction Violation – Suspect Arrested

June 6 at 10:03 p.m., disturbing subjects were reported blocking a driveway in the 500 block of East Olive, near an alley. An officer arrived and saw three subjects at the end of the alley, but by the time she reached the end of the alley, the subjects were gone. She looked around and saw a female subject trying to hide behind a fence. An assisting officer arrived on seen and they contacted the female subject, who immediately became argumentative with officers.

As the officers were trying to talk to the female, a male subject appeared and walked towards the officers, yelling at them to stay away from his girlfriend. The male subject continued to yell, irately, at the officers, and an additional police unit was requested. The assisting officer arrived and recognized the male subject as a known gang member who had been served with the gang injunction order. He was arrested and charged for the violation of the court order.

Robbery – Cell Phone

June 7 at 9:05 p.m., a female victim and her friend were walking south on Monterey, under the 210 Freeway, when a male suspect approached. The female had just finished sending a text message from her cell phone. The suspect forcibly grabbed the cell phone out of her hand and ran to an awaiting vehicle, described as a gray, newer model, four-door Nissan Altima. The vehicle fled west on Huntington, towards the freeway. The loss was a black, iPhone 4 cell phone.

The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, approximately 25 years of age, 5'05", 140 pounds, thin build, no facial hair, last seen wearing a baseball cap, black tank top and black cargo shorts. Officers searched the area and surrounding agencies were notified of the robbery, but the suspect was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Weapons Offense / Suspicious Circumstances

June 8 at 12:12 a.m., police responded to the report of 15 subjects arguing in the street in front of a residence in the 800 block of West Walnut; one of the subjects was reportedly displaying a firearm. Officers responded and detained numerous subjects. The officers conducted interviews that indicated a subject who had fled before officers arrived had a firearm, but no one claimed to be a victim of a crime. The subjects and their vehicles were searched, but no firearm was located. The subjects were identified and allowed to leave. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence / Hit & Run Traffic Collision / Outside Assist - Irwindale Police Department – Suspect Arrested

June 8 at 12:53 a.m., a Monrovia citizen volunteer was parked in a parking lot at Royal Oaks and Mountain when he heard a dragging sound. He looked up and saw a vehicle traveling north on Mountain with sparks emitting from the vehicle. He requested officers, who arrived as the vehicle was stopping in front of a residence on Oakdale. The officers interviewed the driver, who was found to be intoxicated, and discovered the driver had collided with a vehicle in the City of Irwindale.

Irwindale Police Department was contacted and verified they had a hit and run traffic collision in their city. Several citizens saw the collision and followed the vehicle to Monrovia, but lost sight of it. Irwindale officers responded and arrested the suspect.

Driving Under the Influence / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested

June 8 at 2:33 a.m., an officer on patrol saw a vehicle traveling south on Peck Road at a high rate of speed. He conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the driver. Through investigation, the driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested. During an inventory search of the vehicle, a small plastic baggie was found in the driver's door, containing a white powdery substance, which later tested positive for cocaine. Possession of a controlled substance was added to the charges.

Commercial Burglary / Possession of Stolen Property / Ex-Felon in Possession of a Firearm – Suspects Arrested

June 7 at 7:22 p.m., the manager of a storage facility in the 1100 block of South Fifth Avenue called to report a possible burglary. Suspicious subjects, a male and female driving a white truck, were seen leaving a storage unit. When officers arrived, the suspects were gone. The lock on the unit had been cut and the unit had been forced open, but it was unknown if there was a loss, as the unit owner could not be located. Officers searched the area, but the suspects were not located.

The next morning at 6:55 a.m., the male suspect returned to the storage facility in the white truck and police were notified. Officers responded, detained the suspect and found potential stolen property in the vehicle. Through investigation, officers learned the suspects had broken into multiple units at the facility and multiple victims had their storage units burglarized. A Search warrant was served on the storage unit and the suspect's vehicle, and a loaded firearm was found in the vehicle.

The female suspect seen the day before was found to be the registered owner of the truck. Detectives wrote a search warrant for her residence and an additional storage facility located in Arcadia. The female suspect was stopped leaving her residence and was found to be in possession of stolen property; she was arrested. The investigation is continuing.

Prowling – Suspect Arrested

June 9 at 3:24 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of West Colorado reported a prowler looking into a bedroom window. The victim was awakened when she saw a flash of light illuminating the bedroom. She looked out and saw a subject standing next to her bedroom window. There were two children asleep in the bedroom also, a 12-year-old and a 6-year-old. The resident got out of bed and alerted a family member, who called police. The suspect fled when he saw police arriving. A search was conducted, and a subject matching the suspect description was located. The suspect had left shoe prints below the window he had been looking through at the residence. A comparison was made and the shoe tread appeared similar. The suspect was arrested.

Commercial Burglary

June 9 at 11:16 a.m., a burglary was reported at a church in the 400 block of East Duarte Road. Unknown suspect(s) pried open a wrought iron front door and removed a window-mounted air-conditioning unit. The suspect(s) then pushed open an inner door and took a laptop computer. The investigation is continuing.

Mental Evaluation

June 9 at 3:15 p.m., police responded to a disturbance at residence in the 200 block of West Palm. On arrival, officers were informed that an 18-year-old male subject was irate and had knives. The mother and brother of the subject were able to escape the house, but the father was locked in a room upstairs. The subject began to threaten the officers with the knives and was yelling at everyone at the location.

After a short standoff, the father came up from behind the subject and bear hugged his son; they both fell to the floor. Officers were then able to enter the home and the subject was placed in handcuffs for his own safety. He was taken to a hospital, where he was held for mental evaluation.

Monrovia Maintenance Yard Should be Done by Early 2015

Model of the under-construction Gold Line maintenance yard, just west of Home Depot.

The Gold Line Construction Authority reports that it is on schedule to complete and turn over the new Monrovia maintenance yard to the Metro in early 2015, in time for delivery of new Metro light rail vehicles which will be delivered to the Monrovia facility for inspection and testing.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Relay for Life

Relay for Life of Monrovia, sponsored by American Cancer Society, June 22, 10 a.m. at Monrovia Recreation Park. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision: $1.2 Billion for Childhood Undernutrition

Monrovia's World Vision has committed to a $1.2 billion package of measures to combat childhood undernutrition, and is challenging governments - especially those from G8 countries - to match this commitment.

- Brad Haugaard

Helicopter Construction Above Monrovia

A helicopter delivering a bucket of concrete to a power line construction crew above Monrovia today. Scads of butterflies up there, too. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Gold Line Maintenance Yard Reaches Milestone

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority has completed all design work, nearly 30 percent of construction, and nearly all underground utility installation on the 24-acre, $265 million Gold Line Operations Campus in Monrovia. More:

- Brad Haugaard

Local Church Serves As Collection Point for Union Rescue Mission

Dominion Hilltop Ministries - at its new home at the Monrovia Community Center at 119 West Palm Ave. - is serving as a collection point for contributions to the Union Rescue Mission. Every second Sunday of the month, beginning this Sunday, the church is collecting as clothing, deodorant, soap, blankets, socks, tooth brushes, tooth paste, office supplies, cleaning supplies, diapers, feminine products and shampoo for the mission. Sunday services begin at 10:45 a.m. Doors open at 10 a.m.

For information, contact Dominion Hilltop Ministries at (855) 737-HILL. If you have items to donate and cannot deliver them to the church, call to arrange a pick-up.

- Brad Haugaard

Declining Reserves for Monrovia Schools

The Monrovia School Board will meet this coming Wednesday, June 12 (agenda: ). Among other things, it will get an update on the district budget. From the staff report it appears the standout issue is that the district faces declining "undesignated reserves" over the next three years. 2013-14: $5,400,702; 1014-15: $3,097,871; 2015-16: $231,401.

- Brad Haugaard

American Folk Music at Monrovia's First Presbyterian | Brand Your Resume

~ San Gabriel Valley Choral Company will present Tell It, a choral selection of America's folk music heritage. June 8 at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.

~ Monrovia Library workshop: Adding your brand to your resume. June 26.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Le Roys

Lunch at Le Roys on Huntington, just west of Mayflower. The place with the lion. Got a French Dip sandwich ($7.55) and iced tea ($2.15). Plus tax and tip. Big iced tea. Big, and good, clam chowder (half eaten, here). Lots of beef in the sandwich. Good. Come hungry. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Summer Reading Club

Registration for Summer Reading Club begins Monday June 10, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Monrovia Public Library, for children to teens. Read and collect prizes each week. You can register anytime between June 10 and July 27.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Personnel Honored

Officer Jose Pacheco (Medal of Valor winner) and other Monrovia police personnel honored for their service.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board About to Interview Superintendent Candidates

The Monrovia Board of Education is beginning to interview candidates to replace Superintendent Wagner. There will be a closed session of the board this Monday, June 10, at 5:45 p.m. to talk with the candidates.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Firefighters Fill Boot | Budget Study Session

~ On May 30, Monrovia Firefighters participated in the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Fill the Boot" fundraiser. Firefighters canvassed the intersection at Mayflower and Huntington from 7 a.m.-noon and raised $6,145 in five hours

~ Another city budget study session for 2013-2015. Monday, June 10, 4 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

History of Monrovia's Big M , and More, in City Magazine

The latest Monrovia Today magazine is out. 44 pages of info. You can see it here ( ) or wait for it to show up in your mailbox. Classes for children and adults and city information, including a history of the "Big M" on the mountainside above Monrovia. It was built in 1951 and is made of 25 tons of crushed rock and lined with 27 lights, which are lit to celebrate Monrovia High victories.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Meetings for Folks on the North Edge of Morovia

The Monrovia Fire Department has scheduled neighborhood meetings for each of the city's fire hazard zones, along the north edge of the city.

- Fire Zone West (from south side of Hillcrest north, from west edge of city to Mayflower): Wednesday, June 19 (tentative), 6:30-8p.m.

- Fire Zone West-Central (from north side of Hillcrest north, from Mayflower east to Myrtle): Thursday, June 20, 6:30-8p.m.

- Fire Zone East (from north side Grand and Graystone north, from the east end of Hillcrest to east city border): Sunday, June 23, 3-4:30p.m.

- Fire Zone East-Central (from north side of Hillcrest north, from Myrtle east to about Grand): Tuesday, June 25, 6:30-8p.m.

RVSP to (626) 256-8181 or email

Source: This Week in Monrovia newsletter

- Brad Haugaard

A Good Monrovia Bear | Vaccinate Your Dog

~ Great photo of a bear where it is supposed to be - in the mountains above Monrovia.

~ Vaccinate your dog in Monrovia on June 12.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Guns and Ghosts, Transients, Bringing Meth Pipe to a Theft

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 3-5. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 469 service events, resulting in 80 investigations.

Mental Evaluation

June 3 at 8:49 a.m., officers responded to a verbal dispute where an unruly older transient was confrontational and had spit on the driver of a Foothill Transit bus. The driver did not desire prosecution against the man, and he was released. Approximately 30 minutes later, another caller reported an older male transient, matching the same description of the previous subject, who had become verbally abusive and had spit on him. Officers responded and detained the man. The subject was taken to a hospital and held for mental evaluation.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested

June 3 at 10:06 a.m., an officer on patrol observed a male transient subject acting suspiciously in the area of Peck and Longden. The officer made contact with the subject and identified him. A computer check of the subject revealed he had numerous warrants for his arrest. He was arrested and picked up by Covina Police Department on their outstanding warrant.

Mental Evaluation

June 3 at 12:45 p.m., a subject who has had regular police contact with our department and has a history of mental health problems came to the lobby to report a theft, which was civil in nature. He told the officer that if they didn't handle the matter immediately, he would take it into his own hands and get a gun. He further stated he sees ghosts and was off his medication. He was detained and taken to a hospital, where he was held for mental evaluation.

Failure to Yield / Vehicle Pursuit – Suspect Arrested

June 4 at 1:38 a.m., an officer on patrol observed a vehicle driving away from him without their headlights on. He attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not yield. The vehicle accelerated away, and the officer followed in pursuit. After a short distance, the suspect jumped from the moving vehicle and broke his leg. The vehicle then jumped a curb and hit a parked car. The suspect was taken to a hospital. Criminal charges will be submitted to the District Attorney's Office for filing.

Petty Theft / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested

June 5 at 12:06 p.m., loss prevention personnel at a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain reported they had a suspect detained for theft. The suspect had placed items in his pockets and walked out of the store without paying. Officers arrived and the suspect was arrested for petty theft. The suspect's car was stored. The inventory search of the vehicle revealed a methamphetamine pipe which contained crystalline methamphetamine; possession of a controlled substance was added to the charges. The suspect had prior convictions for possession, making this a felony. He was charged with felony drug possession, possession of smoking paraphernalia and petty theft.

Detective Bureau Case Follow-up

On May 30, at approximately 8:00 a.m., the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force conducted a parole search at a residence in the 200 block of East Chestnut. The parolee was found to be in possession of one ounce of tar heroin that had been packaged for sales in 21 separate balloons. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale, and a parole hold was obtained.

Monrovia Senator's Bills Go to Assembly

The state Senate approved legislation by Sen. Carol Liu [who represents Monrovia] to improve funding for public schools, modernize adult education programs, and provide more revenue for local transportation improvements.

Sen. Liu has authored 11 bills that all passed the Senate by Friday (May 31, 2013),which was the deadline to approve and send to the Assembly any bills introduced in the Senate this year.

"I am pleased to receive widespread, bipartisan support for these important measures," said Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly as these bills advance."

The Legislature has until September 13 to approve any legislation introduced this year. Governor Brown has until October 13 to sign or veto legislation. All of Sen. Liu's legislation can be reviewed at Sen. Liu's bills include:

SB 69, the Senate's version of a Local Control Funding Formula that will increase per-pupil funding for California students in kindergarten through 12th Grade, especially in disadvantaged communities. The proposal improves upon a similar plan by the Governor.

SB 416, which will help Caltrans sell state-owned homes that will never be needed for a proposed extension of State Route 710 in Los Angeles, Alhambra, South Pasadena, and Pasadena. Caltrans has rented out the houses for nearly 50 years, and this bill will remove barriers to selling the properties and using revenues for transportation improvements in the area.

SB 173, which updates and streamlines funding for adult education programs. The bill establishes processes and new authorities to align student assessment policy, performance data and accountability systems, teacher qualifications, and fee policy for adult education at public schools and community colleges.

Source: Liu press release:

Comment: A bit of ambiguity here. According to the state database, Liu is the author of 21 bills, not just 11. Go here ( ), select "Senate," click "Author(s)," enter "Liu," press "Search," go to page 3 and check the count number beside the last bill.

- Brad Haugaard

Was Murderer a Monrovia High Homecoming Princess?

Was Monrovian Leslie Van Houten a homecoming princess at Monrovia High? A commenter on the Facebook page "I grew up in Monrovia, CA" says he believes she was. Van Houten has been in prison for years after being convicted for her part in the Charles Manson inspired murders in 1969. She is getting another parole hearing.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board to Honor Clifton Middle School and Lots of People

At its May 22, 7 p.m. meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia Board of Education will honor a school and scads of folks ...

~ Clifton Middle School, which has been named a 2013 California Distinguished School.

~ Regional Occupational Program Outstanding Students of 2013: Adam Anderson - Graphic Design - Silver Medal; Viviana Lopez-Arambula - Fashion Merchandising - Bronze Medal; Margarita Sandoval - Child Development - Bronze Medal; Susan Beltran - Child Development - Bronze Medal; Hayden Cedeno - Photography - Bronze Medal.

~ These SkillsUSA students. Regional and state qualifiers: Zach Carels and Erica Flores - TV-Video Productions and Tanya Orona - Child Development. Regional Bronze Medalist Vincent Rayney - Photography. Regional Gold Medalists and State Gold Medalists Scott Card and Jalen Mason - TV-Video Productions.

~ These Monrovia Unified School District employees for their outstanding service: Helen Hernandez, Library Technician I, Mayflower Elementary; Joann Wiegand-Wallace, Teacher, Mayflower Elementary; Tamille Buckell, Instructional Assistant-Computer Lab, Santa Fe Middle School; Julie Smith, Teacher, Santa Fe Middle School.

- Brad Haugaard

21 Unit Development Planned for South Magnolia

Here is a planned 21-unit Planned Unit Development (21 two-story, detached houses) for 1323 South Magnolia, recently approved by the Monrovia City Council. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Law Enforcement Torch Run Comes to Monrovia Tomorrow

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, a relay run which started in Chula Vista on May 28, will make its way to the Monrovia Police Department between 9:30-10:30 a.m. tomorrow, June 6. Monrovia Police officers will then carry the torch 4.2 miles through the City and hand it off to the Arcadia Police Department.

The event is designed to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics. The run involves more than 2,000 officers who are carrying the torch more than 500 miles, through more than 150 communities.


- Brad Haugaard

Bear Buffet Video in Monrovia

Video of a bear-buffet in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police vs Fire Basketball | Fake Gas Co. Employees | July 4! | Neighborhood Conference

~ Police vs. Fire charity basketball game, Friday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Monrovia High School gymnasium. $5. Children 12 and under are free. All proceeds donated to American Cancer Society.

~ Watch out for fake gas company employees.

~ Plan ahead. Fourth of July at Library Park, for the whole family! Concert featuring Stone Soul 7-8:30 p.m. Fireworks Show, 9 p.m. (Comment: It's awesome!)

~ Plan way ahead. Sign up for a free neighborhood conference, Saturday, August 10 at Monrovia High. All about getting involved and meeting people. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Progress on Monrovia Metro Maintenance Facility | Broken Ankle | Fine Becoming Fee

~ At the main Metro maintenance building in Monrovia crews are nearing completion on the under-car service pits and the underground utilities for the 24-acre site. Additionally, a retaining wall measuring over 870-feet in length is now under construction along the northern boundary of the property. Source: press release

Man jumps from moving car being pursued by police, breaks ankle.

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden's AB 139 was unanimously approved today in the Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill stipulates that the $500 payment imposed upon every individual who is granted probation for a crime of domestic violence is a fee, and not a fine. This clarification is important because the probationer's fee strengthens programs available for survivors and their children. Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Professional Production of The Music Man Coming to Monrovia

Tickets are now on sale for a production of The Music Man at the Louise K. Taylor Performing Arts Center (the Monrovia High auditorium). The play will be presented on July 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., and July 20 at 2 and 8 p.m. Nearly 50 actors, singers and dancers of all ages.

Though on the high school campus, Patrick Garcia, director of performing arts for the district, said this is a professional production, being produced with a hired creative team, with financial help by the music-oriented Boone Foundation. Garcia hopes to put on two or three professional productions each year. For tickets, call 800 838-3006 or get 'em here:

- Brad Haugaard

Miss Majorette is from Monrovia

Monrovia High senior Elyssa Santano is "Miss Majorette of California." Video:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Recognize Outstanding Employees

The Monrovia Police Department will be recognizing the accomplishments of four of its employees on Thursday, June 6, 2012, at 5 p.m., in the City of Monrovia Council Chambers. One recipient will be awarded the Medal of Valor, one will be recognized as the Officer of the Year, and two will be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for their exceptional work, their dedication to the Monrovia Police Department and their commitment to the community of Monrovia.

The Honorees are:

Medal of Valor: Officer Jose Pacheco

Distinguished Service Medal: Sergeant Daniel Verna, Officer John Donchig, Communications Operator Christal Stubbe

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Pulling Wires While Nude; Assaulting Grandma With Canned Corn; Waving Handgun While Wearing Only Underwear

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for May 27- June 2. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weeks highlighted issues and events.

Weapons Offense / Possession of Marijuana – Suspects Arrested

May 27 at 7:49 a.m., an officer observed a male and female subject coming out from behind a church in the 500 block of East Duarte Road. The church was not open for services, and the officer felt it was suspicious they were there. He contacted them, and a consent search revealed the male subject to be in possession of marijuana and the female was in possession of a large, straight-edged knife, wrapped in a towel. Both subjects were arrested. The female was later found to be in possession of marijuana, also.

Warrant / False Information to a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested

May 27 at 4:00 p.m., an officer on patrol saw two female subjects in possession of shopping carts that had been removed from their properties. He spoke to them and identified the women. One provided a false name, using the name of her sister, who lives out of state. When her true identity was revealed, it was determined she had a warrant for her arrest out of San Bernardino. She was arrested and charged for providing false information to a peace officer and for using the personal identifying information of another to avoid being identified.

Felony Vandalism / Indecent Exposure / Mental Evaluation

May 28 at 7:27 a.m., a subject known to officers to have mental health problems was pulling on electrical wires on the roof of a business in the 600 block of West Huntington and yelling obscenities. He was nude, except for a shirt. When officers arrived, he had fled the scene, but was located and detained at a mobile home complex a short distance away. He was taken to a hospital for mental evaluation. He did about $1500 in damage to the business.

Indecent Exposure – Suspect Arrested

May 28 at 3:29 p.m., a witness called police to report a male suspect masturbating as he stood behind three junior-high-aged girls, who were waiting at the bus stop at Huntington and California. The girls were unaware he was doing this behind them. Officers arrived and detained the suspect, but the girls and the reporting party had left the location. The reporting party returned, identified the suspect and was willing to be listed as a witness for prosecution. The suspect was found to have prior convictions for similar offenses, qualifying this incident as a felony. He was arrested for the felony charge and held on bail.

Residential Burglary

May 30 at 10:00 a.m., a resident in the 900 block of Crescent left her house for the day and returned home at 3:00 p.m. She didn't notice anything out of place immediately. After about an hour, she discovered a side window to the house was open, as well as the backdoor. She looked to see if anything was missing and discovered her jewelry missing from her jewelry box in her bedroom. She immediately called the police. The investigation is continuing.

Elder Abuse / Domestic Battery – Suspect Arrested

May 30 at 8:15 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of Genoa regarding a report of elder abuse and domestic battery. The 83-year-old grandmother of the suspect had a water bottle blessed by the pastor of her church and instructed her grandson, who lives with her, not to touch it. While she was cooking, the suspect grabbed the bottle of water and began drinking it. The grandmother attempted to take the bottle from the suspect and he slapped her in the face and threw an open can of corn at her, which did not hit her. The suspect then stormed out of the residence, and the grandmother locked the door and called police. While she was on the phone, the suspect grabbed a brick and threw it through the kitchen window.

Officers arrived quickly and detained the grandson. The grandmother stated she had been trying to get him out of the house because he was becoming more abusive. The suspect was arrested. The officer was able to obtain an Emergency Protective Order, and the suspect was held for bail and served in jail with the order.

Petty Theft From a Vehicle

May 31 at 8:00 a.m., officers were on patrol in the 1100 block of Carmelita when they observed a white BMW parked in a residential driveway. The officer noticed the passenger door was not closed all the way and thought it looked suspicious. Officers investigated and discovered the vehicle had been ransacked. The owner was contacted and was unaware of the incident. The vehicle had been left unlocked. The ashtray, containing money, was stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Mental Evaluation / Weapons Confiscated

June 1 at 9:11 a.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1800 block of South Mayflower. A man was reportedly standing on his porch, waving a handgun. The man was wearing only underwear. The reporting party had knowledge that the man is mentally ill. Officers arrived and saw the man seated near the garage with a holstered handgun on a table about two feet away. The man was disoriented and talking to himself. An officer yelled verbal commands to the man. He complied and was detained without incident. No one was injured. The man said he was off his medication and was hearing voices. He was taken to a hospital, where he was held for a 72-hour mental evaluation. The handgun and several other weapons were confiscated and held for safekeeping.

Petty Theft / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested

June 1 at 9:34 p.m., dispatch received a call from a business in the 100 block of West Foothill reporting a theft. A male and female had exited the store pushing shopping carts containing food, and they had not paid for the items. A few minutes later, police received a second call reporting two subjects going to the rear of a residence, pushing shopping carts. Officers responded and detained the suspects. They were arrested and, during the pat down search, one of the suspects was found to be in possession of a controlled substance.

Residential Burglary

June 2 at 3:00 p.m., a homeowner in the 1400 block of South Fifth left their house to go shopping. When they returned home at 4:00 p.m., they discovered their house had been burglarized. The backdoor was left unlocked, which is how the suspect gained entry. A laptop, an iPad mini and an unknown amount of U.S. currency in change was taken. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary

June 3 at 5:24 a.m., a resident in the 500 block of West Duarte Road reported seeing two male suspects breaking into a vehicle parked to the rear of an apartment complex. When officers arrived, the suspects were gone. A window had been shattered on the vehicle and the dashboard had been dismantled. Officers located the victim and processed the vehicle for evidence. The investigation is continuing.

Status of Bills by Monrovia's Assemblymember

Status of several bills by Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia:

The California Assembly has approved several bills by Assemblymember Chris Holden. These bills now move to the Senate for consideration. In his first legislative session, Assemblymember Holden authored measures to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, streamline programs for small businesses, and encourage state agencies to buy California first.

AB 139 - Domestic Violence Fees This measure strengthens penalties that abusers are required to pay to ensure that more funding is available to Domestic Violence Shelters. It was the first piece of legislation heard on the Assembly floor this session and was unanimously approved.

AB 143 - Military Use Tax Exemption Gives active duty military a tax break from state Use Tax on personal property purchased prior to being transferred into the state. AB 143 is supported by the State Board of Equalization and Veterans groups throughout California.

AB 199 - Choose California Act Encourages state run institutions to buy California agricultural products. Under AB 199, state agencies, public schools districts and public colleges would be encouraged to give California agriculture producers priority when purchasing food products.

AB 201 - Small Business Loan Guarantee Program This bill streamlines the program by making it accessible and user friendly by maintaining an Internet Website that would include information on programs on small business financial guarantees, direct lending and disaster loans.

AB 250 - iHUB Program Will expand the development of iHubs across California and develop more economic opportunities for start-up companies, promoting greater collaboration between innovators and venture capital investment within the state.

AB 358 - Lead Testing Kits Provides specific standards for lead hazard evaluation in public and residential buildings.

AB 358 allows California Department of Public Health to include EPA recognized tests in its lead testing programs.

AB 359 - Airport Rental Agreement Streamlines the Airport Rental Car Facility charge audit process by permitting California's airports, many of which are operated by local governments, to submit to the Legislature the same facility information contained in mandatory disclosures currently required by other regulatory agencies. This bill will remove the financial burden of duplicative audits while maintaining all existing consumer protections enacted by the Legislature.

AB 630 - Architects Prohibits a person from using an architect's work without a written contract or written assignment authorizing that use.

In addition, Assemblymember Holden's AB 72 - Municipal Water Districts - has been approved by both legislative houses and is now on Governor Brown's desk pending his signature.

Holden's AB 132 - Foreclosure Prevention Bill - will be heard June 10 in the Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee.

- Brad Haugaard