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Monrovia School Board Member Riding His Bike from Here to Miami | Animal Control Truck

~ Monrovia School Board member Rob Hammond is planning to ride his bike from Monrovia to Miami, more than 3,600 miles, and Rotary Club is working with him to raise money to feed hungry kids. Also, Councilman Tom Adams and Rotary are trying to find drivers for the support vehicle. Contact him if you'd like to volunteer. You might try this email:

~ Monrovia's animal control truck - from when Monrovia did animal control - has been relocated to Monrovia Canyon Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Oto-Oto Izakaya Japonaise Restaurant

Lunch yesterday at Oto-Oto Izakaya Japonaise restaurant, in the shopping center at Fifth and Huntington. Very elegant atmosphere. Got a lunch special called Yakitori Bowl Set ($12.95) with chicken wings, sausage, tsukune, negima, shishita peppers and shiitake mushroom with rice on the bottom. Also, miso soup and hot tea included in the price. Plus tax and tip. Very fresh and very tasty.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Robot Teams Qualify | Tom Sawyer Tonight and Tomorrow

~ More Monrovia High robotic teams qualify for regional competition:

~ The musical, Tom Sawyer, tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at the Louise K. Taylor Performing Arts Center at Monrovia High.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: For Super Bowl, 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'

Monrovia Police Department will be conducting special DUI roving saturation patrols during the Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, February 2nd, 2014.

"This is a zero tolerance crackdown, so drive sober or get pulled over," said Sergeant Daniel Verna.

Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have resulted in 33 injury crashes harming 45 of our friends and neighbors in Monrovia. A DUI can impact the economy in addition to the pain and suffering of those immediately affected. Conservatively, a fatality has a $1.4 million impact, an injury $70,000, and a crash that only damages property averages nearly $9,000. A DUI and drug-impaired arrest can costs up to $10,000 or even more for the first offense, including time in jail, the loss or your driver's license and higher insurance rates.

In California, this deadly crime led to 802 deaths in 2013 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Alcohol and drug-impaired deaths still make up the largest category of overall vehicle fatalities with 29% of all deaths being caused by a drunk driver.

Monrovia Police reminds everyone that they can assist in preventing this crime from ever occurring. If you are planning a gathering or celebration with alcohol included, or if you are out on the town, plan ahead and designate a non-drinking sober driver. The Monrovia Police Department will be keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness so that we can continue saving lives. Specially trained officers will be stopping suspected drunk or drug impaired drivers and conducting field sobriety tests.

These enforcement efforts are funded by a grant from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Remember, everyone is encouraged to help keep our roadways safe; Report Drunk Drivers - Call 911!

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

A Sad Tale: Losing Three Monrovia Oak Trees

The Monrovia Community Development Department reports that several people called police recently to report three old oak trees at a home on North Mountain Avenue were being removed. It turned out all three of the trees were diseased and a certified arborist had recommended they be removed. The owner checked with the city first and the city's arborist agreed that they should go, so sadly, the trees were removed.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Market Grill is Four | Man Arrested at Library

~ Monrovia's Market Grill is four years old. (In the market at the corner of Colorado and Shamrock).

~ If you happened to see police at the Library this afternoon, Monrovia Police report that a person was spotted who had an arrest warrant outstanding, and, well, he was arrested.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Patch News Website Loses Its Editor

Along with hundreds of other editorial personnel at the Patch family of news websites, Melanie Johnson, who has been covering Monrovia for Monrovia Patch, has been laid off. In a "Thanks and Goodbye!" letter on the site, she thanks the community and writes: "I am posting to let you know that Patch was recently purchased by a company who has decided to do some restructuring. As a result, the local editor positions have been eliminated, including mine."

Comment: I regret this. I never believed in the Patch business model, but I've always appreciated the bold experiment in local journalism, and Patch always kept me on my toes. I felt good when I beat Patch and bad when Patch beat me. It was exciting. Best wishes, Melanie!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Monrovian Arrested in Caltech Burglary Case; Trying to Sell Someone Else's Car, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 27-29. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 359 service events, resulting in 77 investigations.

Grand Opening of Pasadena Humane Society’s New Facility
On January 30, 2014, Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Councilmember Larry Spicer attended the grand opening of Pasadena Humane Society's new facility.  The City of Monrovia has contracted with the Pasadena Humane Society for animal control services beginning January 1, 2014.  The new facility has greatly increased parking facilities and state of the art medical facilities to provide additional services to Monrovia residents.  There is a pet store located on the campus along with facilities to provide training for pets and their owners.   The Monrovia Police Department encourages Monrovia residents to visit the new facility and take advantage of the services they provide.  Residents are also encouraged to consider adopting one of the many wonderful animals available for adoption there.  You can find out more at

Grand Theft / Conspiracy to Commit a Crime – Suspect Arrested
On January 29 at 2:05 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of West Colorado regarding a possible robbery in progress.  The victim a long time resident of Monrovia was approached by a male suspect who talked the victim into matching his funds and making a donation to a charity. The suspect had two other suspects help convince the victim to take $9,000.00 from his bank account. The money was taken out and the suspects were able to switch the bags where the monies were. Two of the suspects that had the money jumped into their lay-off vehicle and fled, leaving the 3rd suspect behind. He was detained by the victim’s son in law. The suspect was charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Brandishing a Weapon
On January 29 at 7:53 p.m., a mother and her daughter were in a shopping center parking lot in the 600 block of West Huntington, when an angry female began yelling at them from her vehicle over an apparent parking issue.  The suspect brandished a knife toward the victims and began yelling at them, then drove away quickly out of the parking lot out of sight.  Investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto / Possession of Burglary Tools – Suspects Arrested
On January 29 at 11:14 p.m., an officer observed a silver Honda Civic traveling west on Olive, commit a vehicle code violation.  A computer check revealed the vehicle had been a reported stolen in the city of El Monte, where it had been parked for sale.  The officer waited for assistance and the vehicle was stopped.  The male driver admitted that he knew the vehicle was stolen.  The female passenger was in possession of burglary tools.  Both occupants were arrested and the vehicle was released to its owner.  The driver was charged with grand theft auto, and the passenger was charged with possession of burglary tools.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-up:

Possession of Methamphetamine / Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia / Suspended Driver’s License - Suspects Arrested and Cited
On January 23, Special Enforcement Officers stopped a suspicious vehicle parked in the north end where a residential alarm had gone off.  The passenger was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a smoking pipe.  The driver was cited for driving on a suspended driver’s license and his vehicle was stored.

Possession of Narcotics / Probation Violation – Suspect Arrested
On January 28, officers from West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force (WSGVACTF) assigned to monitor the early release population (AB 109) conducted probation compliance checks in Monrovia. A recent check resulted in the apprehension of one suspect who attempted to hide narcotics from the officers. Charges for violation of probation and felony possession of narcotics will be filed with the District Attorney.

AB109 Compliance Team arrests Monrovia Probationer for Suspected Burglary at Cal Tech
Members of the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force (WSGVACTF) located and arrested a burglary suspect earlier today after an approximate 2-hour search. Team members were conducting an unrelated probation investigation in Pasadena when Caltech Security personnel notified Pasadena PD of an auto burglary in progress in the 1100 block of Blanche St.  The WSGVACTF members were in the area of Caltech and responded to assist on the call.  The suspect fled from Caltech Security and hid inside the large, 4-building apartment complex.  Pasadena PD officers contained the area while the WSGVACTF conducted a sweep of the complex.  The suspect was eventually found hiding in a 3rd floor laundry chute. The suspect maneuvered his way to the lower floor at the direction of officers and was taken into custody.  Joseph A. Naylor, 34-year-old resident of Monrovia, was arrested and booked at the Pasadena City Jail on a felony burglary charge with his bail set at $50,000.00.  Naylor is currently on probation for property related crime and is believed to be an AB 109 early release subject.  The West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force is based out of the Arcadia Police Department and the primary focus of the team is AB 109 compliance. The team is led by a Pasadena PD Sergeant and has assigned Detectives from Arcadia PD, El Monte PD, Monrovia PD, Monterey Park PD, Pasadena PD, and South Pasadena PD. Other participating agencies include the Alhambra PD, Montebello PD, and San Gabriel PD. Costs associated for the team are offset by contributions from the State for an AB 109 enforcement program approved in the State budget.

Fraud Suspects Identified 
In September, a fraud case was assigned to a Detective regarding a victim who had purchased a car on Craig’s List using “money packs”. The car was determined to belong to another person and was not actually for sale. The thieves took the money and disappeared. The suspects were determined to be from the state of Georgia. The detective assigned the case contacted a detective in the jurisdiction of Georgia and they provided assistance on the case. The suspects were identified and were known to have a history of similar crimes. A case was generated in Georgia and the two suspects, a male and a female, are now wanted in Georgia. This case is a great example of collaborative effort by two hard working detectives who work at opposite ends of our country.

AeroVironment Introduces New Car Charger | Holden Introduces Grease Bill | First Presbyterian Switching Denominations

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment has a new palm-sized electric car charging product that reduces costs, requires no installation and operates on either 120 or 240 volts.

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has introduced AB 1566 to combat the growing incidences of kitchen grease theft, which is stolen to make biodiesel to fuel cars and trucks. His bill would increase the penalties for companies which do not keep proper records to help identify thieves. Source: Holden press release

~ First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia has announced on its website that it is "requesting to transfer our affiliation to ECO: The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians." It has been part of the Presbyterian Church, USA.

- Brad Haugaard

Rain Today? | Senior Scammed | Fellowship Monrovia Birthday Video | STAAR Gets New Board Member

~ There's a 30 percent chance of rain today and 20 percent tomorrow.

~ Monrovia senior tricked out of $9,500.

~ A video recap of Fellowship Monrovia for its second birthday ( ). Also, I understand that the church is opening a branch church in Ecuador as part of an effort to combat human trafficking.

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical, which makes implantable lenses for the eye, has appointed Kathryn Tunstall to its Board of Directors. Tunstall has nearly 40 years of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

- Brad Haugaard

Booklet Published About Monrovia Hillside Preserve

New booklet published about Monrovia's Hillside Wilderness Preserve.

- Brad Haugaard

City Council: New Monrovia City Manager?

At its Feb. 4 meeting, the Monrovia City Council will consider in closed session this item: "Public Employee Appointment Pursuant to Government Code §54957: City Manager[.]" Sounds like the council may have a new city manager.

During the open part of its meeting, the council will ...

~ Proclaim February as "Black History Month" and honor former mayor, councilmember, city clerk, and city treasurer Patricia Ostrye on her 90th birthday.

~ Hear the annual report by Police Chief Jim Hunt on Operation Safe Neighborhoods Anti-Gang Injunction.

- Brad Haugaard

Hundreds of Patch Employees Laid Off

No word on how it will affect the Monrovia Patch news website yet, but according to a report on the journalism web site,, "hundreds" and possibly "two-thirds" of Patch editorial staff have been laid off ( ).

According to a report by Fox Business News, only about 50 journalists remain to handle the 900 Patch websites.

- Brad Haugaard

Seminar at Monrovia Library on Getting Funding Through Kickstarter

If you want to be a filmmaker, have an idea for a great invention, or need help starting a business, you might want to consider the funding website, KickStarter. There is a seminar at the Monrovia Library Community Room Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on how to use it.

- Brad Haugaard

Fog In the Valley this Morning?

The National Weather Service warns of "dense fog" this morning until 9 a.m. in the San Gabriel Valley. Maybe, though I didn't see any fog when I went out this morning.

- Brad Haugaard

Drone Made by Monrovia's AeroVironment in Action in Persian Gulf

Video by Stars and Stripes (military newspaper) showing the Puma drone, made by Monrovia's AeroVironment, in action in the Persian Gulf.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Latest Historic Landmark House

The Monrovia Historic Preservation Group's newsletter highlights this house, the latest to receive historic landmark status. It is a 3,000+ squaree foot Spanish Colonial Revival home on a 40,000+ square foot lot at 505 N. Alta Vista Ave., built in 1926.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assemblyman Wants Vets to Help Run Community Colleges

Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, is proposing legislation to give veterans a stronger voice in college leadership. AB 1557 increases the number of voting members on the Board of Governors at the California Community College system by adding two new members - both reserved for veterans.

Source: Holden press release

Comment: I'm a veteran who attended college after serving and I'm baffled by this. Do grocery stores also need veterans on their boards to help returning vets? How about city planning departments? A solution in search of a problem.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Police Blow Up Old Japanese Mortar Round; Honking and Light-Flashing Under the Influence; Stealing Copper

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 23-26. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Grand Theft – Suspects Arrested
January 23 at 9:54 a.m., a resident from the 300 block of Genoa called police to report someone had cut his copper pipes and stolen his backflow valve.  An officer responding to the location observed a suspicious vehicle on Magnolia with two male subjects in it.  He could see copper pipe sticking out of the bed of the truck.  He pulled over and ran the license plate as the vehicle passed him.  The registration was expired.  He stopped the vehicle for the expired registration at Evergreen and Myrtle.

The officer approached the vehicle and observed freshly cut copper pipes, valves, and cutting tools in the bed of the truck.  The passenger admitted to cutting the pipes and taking the valves at two locations and said the driver took pipes from two other locations.  The suspects were arrested and taken into custody for grand theft and conspiracy.  The officer located the three additional victims, two were businesses in the 400 block of West Huntington, and the third victim was located in the 1100 block of South Magnolia.

Receiving and Disposal of Mortar Munition
January 23 at 2:50 p.m., an elderly male subject was helping his 92-year-old female neighbor clean up her garage.  He found a Japanese mortar munition in a cigar box and brought it to the police station.  The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Arson and Explosive Team was requested.  They responded and safely transported the mortar to a park in the 600 block of South Shamrock, where they dug a hole in the ground and safely detonated it, rendering it safe.  

Grand Theft
January 23 at 3:12 p.m., a theft was reported in the 300 block of North Primrose.  The victim called to report his gardening equipment stolen out of the bed of his truck.  The victim saw an older, white Jeep Cherokee occupied by two subjects pull up next to his truck 15-20 minutes before he discovered the theft, but is not sure they were involved in the theft.  The investigation is continuing.

January 23 at 4:16 p.m., a male subject called police and reported he had been robbed at a fast food restaurant in the 700 block of East Huntington.  The suspect approached the victim and asked for money, while pointing a gun at him.  The victim gave the suspect his money.  The suspect is described as a male Hispanic with a shaved head, black shirt, black pants and black shoes, wearing a stocking over his face.  The victim reported that a second suspect was involved.  The second suspect is described as a male Hispanic with a mustache, wearing a white shirt and blue pants.  Both suspects are in their 30’s.  The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Robbery
January 23 at 9:05 p.m., police responded to the report of an attempt robbery.  A 12-year-old male was skateboarding in the 200 block of West Colorado when he was approached by the suspect.  The suspect asked the victim if he could look at his skateboard.  The victim, initially, thought he knew the suspect.  As he approached, he realized he did not know the suspect, and the victim refused to let the suspect have the skateboard.  The suspect took out a knife and demanded the skateboard.  The victim struck the suspect with the skateboard and ran home.  His mother called the police.  Patrol officers searched the area, along with the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter, but were unable to locate a suspect.  The investigation is continuing.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sales – Suspect Arrested
January 24 at 7:15 p.m., police responded to the 900 block of West Huntington on the report of an assault.  The suspect was reportedly sitting in his car in the parking lot with his vehicle door open and the victim was parked next to him.  The victim asked the suspect to close his door so his passenger could get in the car.  After helping his passenger get in, the victim passed the door again and the suspect, intentionally, opened the door, striking the victim.  The victim told the suspect he was going to call the police.

As victim walked to the rear of the suspect's vehicle to take a picture of the suspect's license plate, the suspect backed up and struck the victim, knocking him to the ground.  The suspect fled, but was located by police and arrested.  During the inventory search, prior to towing the vehicle, a large quantity of methamphetamine, several hundred pills and a scale were found in the vehicle.  The suspect was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance for sales.

Vehicle Pursuit / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
January 24 at 8:10 p.m., an officer on patrol saw a vehicle following at an unsafe distance to the vehicle next to him at Highway Esplande and Huntington.  The suspect was honking the horn and flashing its lights at the other vehicle.  When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the suspect fled and drove to the 1200 block of Alta Vista and into a carport area.  The officer went in pursuit of the vehicle.  The suspect was taken into custody and arrested.  The suspect was determined to be driving under the influence.

Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Recovery
January 25 at 7:50 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain.  The victim parked and locked his 1996 Nissan truck in the parking lot, and when he returned the truck, it was gone.  During this report, the officers recovered a stolen vehicle from the same parking lot.  The vehicle had been stolen from Baldwin Park.  This vehicle was the same type as the one just stolen.  The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
January 26 at 8:04 a.m., an officer on patrol in the 300 block of West Lemon was flagged down by the victim of a grand theft auto.  The victim reported his vehicle had been stolen sometime overnight.  It had been parked and secured in the alley behind the residence.  There were no signs of forced entry.  The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
January 26 at 11:11 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 400 block of East Duarte Road.  The victim parked and secured his vehicle the evening before.  When he returned the next morning, he saw the vehicle had a broken window and had been burglarized.  The investigation is continuing.

More On Pro Wrestling in Monrovia

On Saturday Feb. 1, Quintessential Pro Wrestling presents Well Worth the Wait at the Monrovia Masonic Center (204 West Foothill Blvd.). Bell time is 8 p.m., with tickets ($20) at the door.

The promotion, which launched in Monrovia last year, aims to present the best independent pro wrestling in America in intimate venues at an affordable rate. "We feel like we have a tremendous opportunity to give back to the wrestling community, and grow the business in Southern California" says promoter, Alan Denkenson; a Las Vegas resident with strong ties to the area. "We have an incredible card, featuring many unique match-ups, which should reward life-long passionate fans, while also introducing new or unfamiliar viewers to the best parts of the business. There's something for everyone, and we're here to create something special".

Denkenson's comments aren't unfounded. The show features former WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick, renowned TNA alumni Joey Ryan, former Ring of Honor Champion Kevin Steen, current Ring Of Honor Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly, and Cheerleader Melissa; recently ranked as the best female wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

"We want to show people that the most exciting wrestling in the world isn't found on the USA Network on Monday nights at 6 p.. It's found in auditoriums, high school gyms and legion halls, as young, hungry athletes establish their names, build a fanbase and live their passion", says QPW spokesman Andy Roy. "Many of the current WWE superstars like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, the Shield, and even John Cena, came up performing on independent shows in small venues in Southern California. This is a chance for people to see the next generation of stars before the rest of the world".

Additional information can be found on Twitter (@QProWrestling) and at The promotion will also be hosting an "Eat and Greet" with its wrestlers before the show. Details on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Quintessential Pro Wrestling press release

- Brad Haugaard

Clifton Band Car Wash/Bake Sale

The Clifton Middle School Band Boosters is having a car wash/bake sale fundraiser for the school's Band and Spirit Marchers Saturday Feb. 1, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. At Walgreens on Foothill Blvd. 
- Brad Haugaard

New Hiking Trail at Monrovia Canyon Park

If you are a hiker, Monrovia Canyon Park has a new hiking trail. If you follow the trail from behind the ranger station that goes toward the waterfall, there is a turn-off to the left. Taking it leads you to a lookout with a bench and a beautiful view of the valley. 
- Brad Haugaard

Car Attacker Gets Beaten Up by Victim

60-year-old beats up 44-year-old man in Monrovia parking lot after younger man hits him with a car.

- Brad Haugaard

Night Hikes in Monrovia Canyon Park | Cheaper Ad

~ Hike through Monrovia Canyon Park at night with a ranger. Details:

~ Price of the second ad space on the left on MonroviaNow has now dropped below $100, to $90. It'll drop another $20 tomorrow if nobody takes it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Candidates

On Thursday, Feb. 6, three local Youth of the Year candidates will be recognized by the Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills for their outstanding contributions to their community, and one will be named the 2014 Youth of the Year.

This year’s local honorees include Donye Neal, a senior at Canyon Oaks High School, Samantha Rodarte, and Margarita Sandoval, both seniors at Monrovia High School.

The Youth of the Year program recognizes club members who, with the help of their Club, have met obstacles head-on and, despite the odds, have given back to their Club and community. Youth of the Year winners demonstrate service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Our local Youth of the Year winner receives a $500 scholarship and goes on to compete at the county level.

John Wilson, Executive Director, said: “Our judges had a difficult task in selecting a winner, and I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision.”

BGCF also honors individuals and business that have been instrumental in the Club’s success. This year, BGCF will be recognizing Panda Express with its “Community Partner of the Year” award for its continued commitment to the BGCF with ongoing professional guidance and support in addition to its sponsorship of the annual holiday party.

BGCF is also honoring “Volunteer of the Year,” Denise Weaver, and “Employee of the Year,” Hayley Vasquez.

To make a reservation to attend the Youth of the Year awards ceremony on February 6 at the DoubleTree, please email Amanda Navar, Director of Development, at

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus Competing for Aspen Prize | Monrovia/Duarte Youth Summit

~ Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, is one of 150 community colleges out of more than 1,000 across the nation, to be selected for a chance to compete for the $1 million 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which spotlights "community colleges that deliver exceptional student completion outcomes."

~ The Fourth Annual Monrovia/Duarte Youth Summit will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Monrovia High. Activities are designed to connect youth with career professionals, higher education and internship opportunities and dynamic leaders. Registration at the Community Centerat 119 West Palm. For more information call the Department of Community Services at 256-8246.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Market Grill

 Lunch at Market Grill, in the little market at the corner of Shamrock and Colorado, where it dead ends at Recreation Park. Got The Mad Dog ($6.45) with a special pork-chili stew as the side, plus a small drink for $1.50. Plus tax. Always busy here. Wow! The stew, just a side dish, was both a lot and delicious. The dog was great, too. I like the grilled bun, plus bacon, green chili, grilled onion, and spicy ketchup.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Whacks Robber with Skateboard | World Vision to Work with HarvestPlus | Nutrition

~ Monrovia teen whacks knife-wielding robber with skateboard.

~ Monrovia-based World Vision, reports from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it and HarvestPlus have "signed a memorandum of understanding at the World Economic ForumExternal Link in Davos, making a commitment to work together to improve nutrition for hundreds of millions of people around the world who suffer from hidden hunger."

~ Nutrition Science Workshop, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, Tanner Research, 825 S. Myrtle. To sign up, call 471-9718.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Elder Abuse - Threatening Police with Ice Pick; Swiping Cable Box Batteries; $100 for Reporting Graffiti

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 20-22. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 349 service events, resulting in 77 investigations.

Commercial Burglary – Suspect Arrested
January 20 at 2:04 p.m., loss prevention personnel from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called police to advise they had a male suspect in custody for theft.  Officers arrived and discovered the subject had no identification and would not provide his name.  He was arrested for the theft and for establishing his identity.  At the police department he provided a name and was eventually identified and found to be on parole.

Petty Theft / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
January 20 at 8:13 p.m., loss prevention from a business in the 1600 block of South Mountain called police to report a subject had taken merchandise and left the store without paying for it.  The same subject was seen in the parking lot looking into vehicles.  Officers responded and detained the subject.  The male subject attempted to discard an item as the officers were detaining him.  The object was found to be a Garmin GPS device.

As the officers were detaining the suspect, a customer of the business approached the officers and said someone had entered his unlocked vehicle and took his Garmin GPS.  The victim saw the Garmin device the suspect had discarded and said it belonged to him.  The suspect admitted he had stolen the GPS and it was returned to the victim.  The suspect was also found to have an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  He was arrested and taken into custody.

Elder Abuse / Criminal Threats / Barricaded Suspect – Suspect Arrested
On January 21 at 1:13 a.m., a 71-year-old female called police for help because her mentally ill, 51-year-old son had physically abused her the day before, causing injuries, and he was currently yelling, incoherently, and banging on the walls of their home.  She was afraid he was going to hurt her or himself.  When officers arrived, the male subject barricaded himself inside his bedroom, blocking the door.  Officers could see him through his bedroom window, pacing back and forth, holding a large ice pick, and he had a knife holstered to his belt.  The subject yelled at officers and told them to enter the bedroom so he could kill them with the ice pick.  He also said he had a gun in the bedroom and was going to shoot the officers.  The subject has a prior history of physical violence, physical violence toward officers, and weapons violations, so the regional Foothills Special Enforcement Team was requested to assist in apprehending him.

The Foothill Special Enforcement Team responded to the location.  The suspect tried to exit a bedroom window to accost officers outside and was quickly taken into custody by Special Enforcement Team officers.  No one was injured in the incident and the suspect was arrested.

Vehicle Burglary
January 21 at 6:50 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 700 block of East Huntington Drive.  The victim parked and went into a business at the location.  When she returned to her vehicle, she found the passenger window shattered and her purse and cell phone were missing.  The items were visible from outside of the locked vehicle.  The investigation is continuing.

Theft of Batteries From Cable Relay Boxes
January 21, in the afternoon, two cable service providers called police to report their cable relay boxes had been broken into and the batteries had been taken.  The thefts occurred in the 300 block of East Walnut and the 100 block of E. Greystone.  The investigation is continuing.  The Monrovia Police Department is seeking the public's help and requesting that anyone who sees any suspicious persons or activity near this type of cable relay box in your neighborhoods please call police and report it right away.

Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer / Warrants – Suspects Arrested
January 21 at 4:50 p.m., police received a call reporting a subject with an outstanding warrant for his arrest was in the area of Fifth and Huntington.  The caller provided a vehicle description and the location of the suspect.  Officers responded and located the vehicle.  The suspect was seen at a nearby business and fled on foot when he saw the officers.  An officer went in foot pursuit of the suspect, who fled across Huntington drive through four lanes of traffic.  As officers attempted to detain him, the suspect resisted, but was eventually taken into custody without further incident.  The suspect’s girlfriend was located in the same parking lot and was also found to have an outstanding no-bail warrant for her arrest.  Both suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

Vandalism / Graffiti in Progress – Suspect Arrested & Graffiti Bounty Rewarded
On January 22 at 2:48 a.m., a caller reported a female subject spray painting something on a wall.  Police responded and located the suspect and the spray paint can.  The suspect had sprayed graffiti on the wall.  The suspect was positively identified.  She was arrested and taken into custody.  The caller was given the $100 Graffiti Bounty cash reward for reporting the graffiti, which led to the arrest of the suspect.

Science Fair at Citrus College

On Saturday, Feb. 8, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Campus Center, the Citrus College Research in Science and Engineering team will hold a Science and Technology Day event to support its research and future outreach efforts. Citruss serves Monrovia. The fundraiser is a day of creative thinking, activities and bonding with college physics students while learning about rocketry, catapults and miniature go-karts. There will also be a raffle and egg drop competition. For registration information, call 626-914-8763 or email

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wins $25,000 Grant

Monrovia Mayor, Mary Ann Lutz, reports on Facebook that the city has won a "$25,000 grant for our colaborative healthy eating recreation programs from the American Beverage Association [at the] US Conference of Mayors."

- Brad Haugaard

Chinese Students Visit Monrovia School | MHS Over South Pas. | 33rd Anniversary

~ 40 Chinese elementary school students visit Monrovia's Immaculate Conception School.

~ Monrovia High Boy's Soccer defeats South Pas.

~ Monrovia's General Heating & Air Conditioning celebrates 33 years in business.

- Brad Haugaard

Route 66 Curio Shop Opens in Aztec Hotel

A new curio shop, "Get your Kicks On Route 66" has opened at the Aztec Hotel. It sells Aztec Hotel Souvenirs, Aztec/Mayan Cultural items, greeting cards, Route 66 curios, vintage items, curiosities, collectibles and gifts. To reflect the connection the hotel has to its past Hollywood travelers, the shop also has a selection of celebrity-themed items featuring Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Bettie Page, The Wizard Of Oz, Betty Boop and other TV, Music and movie pop culture icons.

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Lung Association Gives Monrovia an F

The American Lung Association has awarded Monrovia an F for its efforts to reduce smoking ( ).

Comment: Well, good for Monrovia! I believe smoking is just as unhealthy as the ALA says it is, and I believe restrictions on smoking in enclosed public places are a very good idea, but things have gone too far. Smokers are chased away from public places, often including open parks, and there are even moves to prevent them from smoking in their own homes. Isn't dying early enough punishment? Must they also be treated as pariahs?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Relay for Life Kick Off Tonight

Kick off event for the ninth annual Relay For Life of Monrovia, an American Cancer Society fundraiser, will be held upstairs tonight at the Krikorian Theater, from 5:30-7 p.m. The event raises funds for patient advocacy, treatments, research, programs and more. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus Selects New College Administrator

Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, has selected an administrator with more than 16 years of experience in community college finance as the school's next VP of finance and administrative services. Claudette Dain - a certified public accountant and longtime financial administrator in the North Orange County Community College District - will replace Carol R. Horton, who recently retired from her post after 18 years of service. Dain will begin her duties on Feb. 3.

Source: Citrus College press release

- Brad Haugaard

Dawn in Monrovia

It looks like a beautiful day in Monrovia. Too bad, we could use some rain.

– Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Events for Black History Month

- Saturday, Feb. 1. 5-8 p.m. Free movie, "The Butler" at the Mary Wilcox Center, 848 East Olive. Bring a chair. Food/snacks available for purchase.

- Saturday, Feb. 15. 2:30-4 p.m. Celebration of the arts "Through the Eyes of the Movement" at Monrovia High Professional Development Center, 845 W. Colorado Blvd.

- Sunday, Feb. 23. Luncheon and Program, "The Civil Rights Movement in America"; Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm; 3-6 p.m. Luncheon 3-4 p.m.; program 4-5 p.m. reception 5-6 p.m. Adults $10, Children 3-10 years, $5.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia City Manager by Mid February? | Peeing in the Park | Drought

From tonight's Monrovia City Council Meeting ...

~ The Monrovia City Council should be able to pick a new city manager by mid-February, according to Interim City Manager Fran DeLach. He said there is a pool of 94 applicants for the position, including "very strong A caliber" candidates.

~ Former City Council candidate Robert Perry said he complained about homeless people in Library Park several months ago but the city has done nothing about it. Most recently, he said, he and his wife saw a man urinating on a tree in Library Park and drinking beer. With a library full of kids, he said, it is only a matter of time before "something tragic happens." Interim City Manager Fran DeLach said police are doing all they legally can do; Shevlin said she'd like a staff report on the issue; Councilman Alexander Blackburn said he'd like to see a community committee come up with recommendations and a budget for the problem; and Councilman Larry Spicer said kids being harassed at the park is "just a part of life" and "they [the homeless] can't just be pushed out of the park - they're human." He said fixing the problem will take time.

~ City Councilwoman Becky Shevlin asked for a report from city staff on how the drought affects Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Myrtle Closed Near Duarte | Youth Leadership | Boston Terrier | Prison for McFarland

~ Picture of Myrtle, now closed near Duarte Road.

~ Monrovia's Youth Leadership Academy will begin in March. For details:

~ You missing a Boston terrier?

~ Monrovian Kelvin Bernard McFarland, 43, sentenced to prison.

- Brad Haugaard

Pro Wrestling Coming to Monrovia

Quintessential Pro Wrestling is hosting Well Worth The Wait at the Monrovia Masonic Center on Saturday Feb. 1st at 8 p.m. $20 at the door.

According to Quintessential spokesman Andy Roy, "A number of these wrestlers (Brian Kendrick and Brian Cage) have former ties to the WWE, Joey Ryan is a TNA alumni, and Kevin Steen and Kyle O’Reilly are staples of Ring of Honor (and are regarded as two of the biggest names in independent professional wrestling). In other words, this should be an exceptional show and very entertaining for any past, present or future wrestling fans."

Source: Quintessential Pro Wrestling press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Vehicle Rollover; Rubber Ducky of Meth; Woman Stabbed; Grand Theft Batteries; Etc.

 [Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 16-19. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Injury Traffic Collision
January 16 at 8:23 a.m., an injury traffic collision involving a vehicle rollover was reported in the 600 block of East Foothill.  Officers arrived and determined two vehicles were involved. The first vehicle was headed southbound on Poppy and the second was headed westbound on Foothill.  The first vehicle did not stop for the stop sign and broadsided the second vehicle, causing it to spin, roll onto one side, and then right itself.  The two drivers were taken to a hospital for minor injuries.

Criminal Threats – Suspect Arrested
January 16 at 11:50 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 800 block of El Dorado regarding a family disturbance.  When they arrived, they learned two brothers were involved in a fight inside their apartment.  The suspect armed himself with three knives from the kitchen and threatened to kill his brother.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Vehicle Fire
January 17 at 3:27 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 300 block of Highland Place along with Monrovia Fire Department personnel regarding a vehicle fire.  Upon the officer’s arrived, the fire had been extinguished by the owner of the vehicle.  It appeared that electrical wires touching the exhaust had caused the fire.

Residential Burglary
January 17 at 4:14 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 200 block of North Madison.  The resident secured the home prior to leaving her house at 7:00 a.m.that morning.  She returned around 4:00 p.m. and found the backdoor had been kicked open and someone had attempted to pry open the sliding door.  The home was ransacked, so the loss will be reported after the resident takes inventory of the home.  The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
January 18 at 11:28 a.m., police received a call reporting a male subject possibly urinating or defecating in a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle.  Officers arrived and detained three subjects.  The caller also reported seeing the subject discard something by a tree.  Officers checked the area by the tree and located a methamphetamine pipe and a small rubber duck that contained methamphetamine that the suspect had discarded.  The suspect was arrested for the above listed charges.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon – Suspect Arrested
January 18 at 9:59 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 500 block of South Alta Vista regarding the welfare check of a male subject who was possibly stabbed.  The victim had reportedly been stabbed by his girlfriend at her residence in Monrovia.  The caller, who was in Pasadena, did not have an address, but identified the subjects and police were able to locate an address for the girlfriend.  The victim had called his friend in Pasadena and told him he had been stabbed by his girlfriend.  

Officers located the victim and suspect at the girlfriend’s residence in the 500 block of South Alta Vista.  The victim had been stabbed three times in the abdomen, had slash marks on his arms and chest, and a puncture wound on his back.  The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of his wounds, which do not appear to be life threatening.  The suspect and victim were both uncooperative with officers and gave conflicting information.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Commercial Burglary – Suspects Arrested
January 19 at 5:23 p.m., police received a call from loss prevention personnel at a store in the 500 block of West Huntington reporting a female subject preparing to leave the store with merchandise without paying.  The suspect left the store and walked to a nearby business.  The loss prevention officer followed the suspect and saw her conceal merchandise from that store.  The loss prevention officer also saw the suspect make contact with two subjects in a vehicle in the parking lot, which he reported to police with a description of the vehicle.

Officers arrived, located the vehicle and detained two suspects. The officers then heard the security alarm of the second store go off, indicating someone had gone out the emergency doors to the south of the store.  They located the female suspect in the service alley and she was detained.  All subjects were arrested for burglary.

Grand Theft
January 19 at 6:40 p.m., a suspicious white van was reported in front of a residence in the 300 block of East Walnut.  The driver of the van was seen tampering with the electrical box for the residence.  The electrical box contained six backup batteries for the cable and telephone service.  The suspect left in the van prior to the officer’s arrival.  The officer determined the suspect bent back the sheet metal on the box and removed all six batteries.  The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
January 20 at 12:15 a.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 900 block of East Lemon.  The victim arrived home and discovered his house had been burglarized.  The suspect used a patio chair to stand on and gain access through a small bathroom window.  The suspect took jewelry, money, and then exited through the sliding door.  The investigation is continuing.

New Ad Position Open on MonroviaNow

The second ad space on the left (the red block in the illustration, not to scale) is now for sale. It is 300 pixels tall and 160 wide and is sold on a per-month basis beginning in February with a three month minimum and a 12-month maximum, payable in advance. The ad is text unless you have an image you would like to use.
To price the ad, I'm using a reverse auction. Jan. 21 it was $150 per month (again, three-month minimum, so $450 up front). If it doesn't sell, tomorrow I'll lower the price by $20 per month ($390 total), and so on daily until it sells or gets too cheap for me to bother. The price will appear on the ad itself.

For reference, in December MonroviaNow had 17,956 page views and for this month I guesstimate it will have 18,263 page views.
Interested? Send me an email:
- Brad Haugaard

Mayan Grill Area for Lease | Bone Marrow Drive | Digital Marketing | Band Fundraiser

~ The never-opened Mayan Grill in the Aztec Hotel is now available for leasing. Details: . Thanks to Gem City Images for the tip:

~ Monrovia bone marrow drive successful.

~ Monrovia business seminar: Digital Marketing Do's and Dont's, Feb. 6. Details:

~ Wildcats band and color guard fundraiser Saturday, January 25 at Walgreens on Foothill (next to Ralph's), 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Suggested donation $6 for cars $8 for trucks and SUVs.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Halfway Mark in Police Bike Ride | South African Flag

~ Monrovia marked the halfway point in Sunday's Chino police bike ride for fallen officers.

~ South African flag on display at City Hall for the month. Honoring Nelson Mandela.

- Brad Haugaard

Myrtle Ave. Closing for Four Months | Tom Sawyer Musical

~ Myrtle Closes near Duarte Road for most of the day starting today and Sunday, and then it is closed full time for four months starting Monday. Details:

~ The Broadway musical, Tom Sawyer, presented by Monrovia's Centre Stage, at the Louise Taylor Performing Arts Center (aka Monrovia High auditorium) Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1, 2. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Pizza Place - Flamzz; And Loteria Moving to Myrtle

Flamzz Stone Fire Pizza to replace Loteria Cantina at corner of Colorado and Ivy. Loteria moving to Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

Ramen & Yakitori Restaurant Coming to Monrovia

A new restaurant, Ramen & Yakitori, is coming to Monrovia. It's in the old Oh My Goddard Gallery on the east side of Myrtle, a half block north of Olive.

Update: Got a report in that it should open Feb. 5.

-Brad Haugaard

New Bike Shop on Myrtle

Empire Bikes, a new bicycle shop on Myrtle specializing in Giant and Intense bikes is now open. Just north of Olive on the west side.

-Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Jake's Roadhouse

Lunch at Jake's Roadhouse. Got a Polish sausage sandwich ($9.45) and an iced tea ($1.59). Plus tax and tip. Nice. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Canyon Park Featured on KPCC | School Board Honors Maddox

~ Monrovia Canyon Park was recently featured on KPCC as a place to take out-of-towners when they come to visit. You gotta scroll down a bit:

~ Video of Monrovia School Board honoring Coach Ryan Maddox for a good season.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: BMW Stolen, Partly Stripped; Drugs; Theft; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 13-15. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 373 service events, resulting in 89 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Recovered
January 13 at 6:17 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 400 block of East Greystone.  The victim parked her vehicle, a 2006 BMW, in front of her residence in the evening.  When she returned to her vehicle the following morning, she discovered the vehicle was missing and called police.   Later that day, El Monte Police Department advised that they had recovered the vehicle in their city.  The vehicle was partially stripped.  The investigation is continuing.

Petty Theft - Suspect Arrested
January 13 at 10:11 a.m., loss prevention from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called police to report a theft.  A male adult subject walked into the business and selected a pair of desktop speakers and jeans.  He took the items into the dressing room and removed the tags.  The subject left the store without paying for the merchandise and fled on a bicycle.  Loss Prevention followed the suspect, called police, and waited for officers to arrive.  The officers recovered the property and arrested the suspect.

Family Disturbance / Under the Influence of Drugs - Suspect Arrested
January 13 at 6:26 p.m., officers were dispatched to a house in the 800 block of West Olive regarding a family disturbance.  When they arrived, they discovered the 28-year- old male resident was causing the disturbance.  He was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance and was in possession of methamphetamine and a smoking pipe, as well.  He was arrested and taken into custody.

Domestic Battery - Suspects Arrested
January 14 at 7:19 p.m., a male and female were reported to be fist fighting and yelling at each other in the middle of the street in the 500 block of East Cherry.  When officers arrived, they detained both subjects.  The two had been in a relationship for 15 years and it was determined they had been fighting each other equally.  A computer check revealed the female also had a no-bail warrant for her arrest.  Both suspects were arrested and held for court.

Vehicle Burglary
January 14 at 11:00 p.m., a subject staying at a local hotel in the 700 block of West Huntington went to their locked truck and discovered the left rear window shattered.  The doors were still locked, but the victim's black leather briefcase had been taken from the rear floorboard.  The victim had parked his truck earlier that night and went into the hotel.  The investigation is continuing.

An officer checked the hotel parking lot discovered a second vehicle with a shattered rear window and the doors still locked.  Officers attempted to contact the owner, but were not successful.  At 12:31 a.m., the owner contacted the police to report the vehicle burglary.  The victims said they parked their vehicle at 8:15 p.m. and then went shopping.  Three men's suits were taken from the rear hatch area of the vehicle, below the shattered window.

Outstanding Warrant / Under the Influence of Narcotics - Suspects Arrested
January 15 at 8:08 p.m., officers were dispatched on the report of subjects trespassing inside a vacant house in the 100 block of East Cypress.  When they arrived, they located a male and female subject.  The female was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest and the male was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance.  Both subjects were arrested and taken into custody.

Violation of Domestic Violence Restraining Order - Suspect Arrested
January 15 at 10:23 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle at Peck and Camino Real.  A computer check of the male driver had a domestic violence restraining order to stay away from the female who was sitting in the passenger seat.  The male was arrested for violation of the restraining order and taken into custody, where he was held until court the next morning.

No-Bail Felony Burglary Warrant - Suspect Arrested
January 16 at 1:53 a.m., an officer observed a male subject he recognized walking into a convenience store at Huntington and Mountain.  He knew a no-bail warrant had been issued for the subject for felony burglary.  The officer confirmed the outstanding warrant and waited for assisting officers to arrive.  The suspect was arrested and taken into custody without incident.

Brio Closes Retail Shop - Moves to Warehouse

Brio Electric Bikes, which was on Olive just east of Myrtle, has apparently closed it's doors. However, it is now located in a warehouse and is open by appointment only, according to its website: . Thanks to Brad Hori for the tip.

- Brad Haugaard

Glendora Fire Seen from Monrovia

There is smoke billowing into the air east of Monrovia at about 6:45 this morning. View from Pavilions parking lot.

Update: People on Twitter say it is at Colby Ridge located above Glendora.

Update 2: A Star-News editor writes that homes are endangered.

Update 3: Glendora schools closed. ABC report: 

Update 4: Three people in custody.

Update 5: the city of Monrovia has sent two firetrucks to help with the fire.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Albertsons Supermarket Closing

The Monrovia Planning Department reports that the Albertsons supermarket on East Huntington will be closing in February. Details: . A web search suggests that Albertsons is closing a lot of stores.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire (and Rescue) Department to Get New Logo

Proposed new logo. Comment: I like it! Classy.

At its next meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia City Council will consider adopting this new logo for the Fire Department.

In his report ( ) Fire Chief Christopher Donovan writes that the Fire Department also performs rescues, and the new logo emphasizes that.

- Brad Haugaard

AOL Mostly Sells Its Patch News Websites

A company called Hale Global is taking over the Patch family of news websites. Monrovia has a Patch website. AOL will keep a minority ownership. Hale specializes in turning around online media companies.

- Brad Haugaard

Panera Bread Holds Its Official Grand Opening

Panera Bread has been open for a while, but held its official grand opening today. Lots of city and Chamber if Commerce folks showed up. The company is going to be donating to Foothill Unity Center. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assembly Member Introduces Bill to Let More High School Students Take College Courses

Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has introduced AB 1451, which would expand opportunities for high school students to enroll in community college courses. It would also encourage students who need help passing the California High School Exit Exam and students who traditionally do not attend college. Details:

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Assemblyman Introduces Tax Hike Bill

Monrovia's assemblyman, Chris Holden, has introduced a bill into the legislature that could increase the taxes on employers in enterprise zones who do not pay their "qualified" employees over $2,000 a month. Because it is a tax increase, it will require a two-thirds vote.

- Brad Haugaard

Historic House No. 1 Goes on Sale in Monrovia

Real estate broker, Century 21 Adams & Barnes, notes that the house designated "Historic Landmark #1" is going on sale in Monrovia tomorrow. If I'm not mistaken, this house is at the corner of Primrose and Oaks. Here it is.

- Brad Haugaard

Holden Bill on Mentally Ill Gets Bipartisan Support | Holocaust Survivor at Monrovia VFW

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden's measure to prevent last-minute dumping of seriously mentally ill inmates on county streets, passed its first committee test today. This measure passed with unanimous bipartisan support out of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. Holden represents Monrovia. AB 1065 provides county probation departments with more time to identify, and plan for more intensive treatment and supervision of released offenders who were formerly classified as a mentally disordered offender.

~ Holocaust survivor to speak at Monrovia VFW Post.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Restaurant: Copper Still Grill to Replace Sam's Kabob Room

A new restaurant called the Copper Still Grill will be going in at 608-610 S. Myrtle, the site of the former Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room. At its next meeting the Monrovia Planning Commission was going to consider granting a conditional use permit for the restaurant to serve alcohol, but the floor plan isn't ready, so the item is being continued until the February 12 meeting. Sounds like a micro-brewery kinda place.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Drugs and Alcohol and Burglary Tools

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 9-12. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.  To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to the City of Monrovia website and click on the crime mapping link.  Sign up to follow us on Twitter for police notifications.

Possession of Burglary Tools – Suspect Arrested
January 9 at 8:20 p.m., dispatch received a call of a suspicious person on a curb in the corner of Beechworth and Prospect, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.  This area was subject to an attempt hot prowl burglary the week prior.  The suspicious person was located and found with components to a slide hammer in his pocket and gloves in his sock.  A slide hammer is a mechanic’s tool commonly use in vehicle burglaries.  The suspect was arrested for possession of burglary tools.

Drunk in Public – Suspects Arrested
January 9 at 11:30 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of South Myrtle regarding the report of two intoxicated subjects.  The two subjects were located.  Officers determined them to be drunk in public and they were arrested and taken into custody.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
January 12 at 1:19 p.m., an officer was checking an area known for drug activity in the 600 block of West Lemon when he observed two subjects walking, nearby.  He recognized one of the subjects as an active gang member.  The officer stopped and spoke with both subjects.  The officer determined that one of the subjects was displaying symptoms of being under the influence of drugs.  The subject was arrested and taken into custody.

View from the Top of Newly Opened Clamshell Road

I went up to the top of the newly-opened Clamshell Road and took this video. It pans from the east, looking back towards the entryway off of Ridgeside Drive, then looks to the west, where the road descends towards the not-yet-open Cloverleaf entry point. It is a nice bike ride or hike.

Here is how to get there:

- Brad Haugaard

Hazardous Waste Pick-Up

Once a year Monrovians can get a household hazardous waste pick-up, according to Monrovia's Recycle News newsletter. They'll come get paint, batteries, TVs, old medicine and other stuff. Up to two 30-gallon trash bags and up to 10 items of e-waste. Call WM Curbside at 1-800-449-7587 to schedule a pick-up and for details.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board: Objecting to Erosion of Local Control; Congrats to Coach Maddox and Football Team; Etc.

At its Jan. 15 board meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia Board of Education will ...

- Consider sending a letter to the State Board of Education objecting to a proposed expansion of state control of local education. It is worded rather diplomatically, but I think that is the thrust of it.

- Congratulate the Monrovia High School Varsity Wildcat Football Team and its coaching staff, including Varsity Head Coach Ryan Maddox "as he expands his professional capacity at Monrovia High School."

- Receive an auditor's report for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

- Hear a report on technology in the district.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Weather Watch in Monrovia Area

National Weather Service has the San Gabriel Valley and a bunch of LA County on Fire Weather Watch. "Moderate Santa Ana winds" and "extremely low humidity."

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Claim Jumper

Lunch at Claim Jumper on Huntington. Got a Widow Maker Burger for $12.99, a cup of potato cheese soup ($4.99) and an iced tea ($2.89). Plus tax and tip. Very pleasant atmosphere and ... yikes! that's one huge burger! And after I ate the soup! It had everything, including bacon, avocado and a fried onion ring. Really great but more than I bargained for.

- Brad Haugaard

Get Ready for Four-Month Closure of Myrtle Near Duarte Road

Detour map.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 20, Myrtle Avenue at the railroad crossing will be closed to through-traffic for approximately four months to allow crews to construct grade crossing improvements.

To prepare the street for the long-term closure, the Myrtle Ave/Duarte Rd Intersection will be closed nightly on Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, January 19, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday morning, January 20, Duarte Road will re-open to through-traffic; while Myrtle Ave will remain closed for four months at the railroad crossing (just north of Duarte Road).

Detour routes will be in place and signage will be posted to guide motorists and trucks (see above). Pedestrians will be provided a crossing area on one side of Myrtle Ave throughout this construction work.

Source: Metro Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Reseeding Monrovia Hillsides from the Air

Monrovia may try aerial reseeding to replant the burned-off hillsides above Monrovia, according to Interim City Manager Fran Delach. He said the project would need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Until native plants are back growing in the area, there is a danger of non-native plants getting a foothold in the unoccupied area, according to Senior Park Ranger Hector Inzunza.

Source: Interview with Delach and Inzunza

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Businessman Running for Congress

Monrovia businessman Jack Orswell plans to run against Judy Chu for the 27th Congressional District seat, which includes the top edge of Monrovia, roughly from Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone north.

- Brad Haugaard

Craftsman Style Home to be Built at Canyon and Foothill

Elevation of planned home.

The Monrovia Planning Department reports that the weedy lot at the southeast corner of Canyon and Foothill is going to be replaced with a two story craftsman-style house, inspired by the nearby homes. The city's Community Development Department blog says: "Kudos to the architect, we think he did a nice job and got the details right." Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: Monrovia City Government Has Dawdled with the Hillside Wilderness Preserve

The old and new gates at Clamshell Trail. Finally some progress.

They say that when you criticize someone, you should say nice things about them first, so, since I am about to slam the Monrovia city government, let me say some nice things first.

We have an amazing Old Town; that the city was able to fit an awesome theater into Old Town while actually enhancing Old Town's character is a triumph. Having lived through a serious earthquake and an insane windstorm, I've been very impressed with the city's handling of disaster response. The events the city helps coordinate, such as the Christmas parade and tree lighting, the amazing Fourth of July fireworks display, the Friday-night Farmers Market, and now a New Year's Eve party, all seem to to be very well done. The city's attitude toward business seems far more positive than other cities I know, some of which seem to regard businesses as pariahs. And, as best I can tell, the city has responded to the fiscal challenges facing California cities by pretty much getting its expenditures under control, even when it has hurt. Good things.

Now for the criticism.

Somewhere around 14 years ago residents on the upper edge of Monrovia were concerned about a plan to build homes in the foothills above their homes, so the city responded by passing a bond and getting money from the state to purchase the land as a preserve that people could hike about in.

But then, for well over a decade, the trails didn't open. So, the day after Christmas last year, thinking that more than enough time had elapsed, I sent a letter to all the city council members and the city manager saying I was about to write this article. Here, verbatim, are the points I made:

- It is somewhere around 14 years now since Monrovia passed a bond measure to purchase the hillside property and nothing has been done to provide the access that was promised to the voters who passed the bond measure, or to the State of California, from which the city obtained money on the condition that the city would provide access to the area.

- The people of Monrovia have been taxed to pay for this bond for well over a decade, but the service they were promised when they voted on the measure has not been provided.

- I am aware that there were, and are, lawsuits hindering the opening of the trails, but my impression is that solving these suits is a low priority. I do not get the impression that the city is exerting much effort in this regard, despite "opening of the hillside area" scoring rather high in the recent community survey.

- The main reason for that impression is that whenever I ask about progress, my council-member contact needs to check for me. If it was a matter of discussion and regular updates among the leadership of the city, it seems unlikely such checking would be necessary.

- Further, communications with the public regarding the lawsuits and progress on opening the trails is extremely poor. What little communication has occurred seems to be mostly in response to my questioning. Also, the previous city web site had a page that gave some rudimentary information about progress, but after being first posted it did not seem to be further maintained, and I can no longer even find that limited information on the new city website.

- Whenever I have asked - and I have asked five or six times over the last few years - I have always been given vague estimates in the range of a three to six months regarding when the trails will open - but those estimates never seem to come about.

- The one trail I was told was "sort of" open is on Norumbega. I explored it and it's not a trail at all. It looks like an overgrown driveway leading about 100 yards up to a graded lot that was never built on.

- If a private company in Monrovia were to sign people up and bill them regularly for a service that the company did not provide within a reasonable time, I suspect the Monrovia City Council would rightly be furious. And if the company said that lawsuits were preventing it from providing the service, I doubt you would be appeased. I suspect you would at minimum demand regular updates, progress reports, and that you would say that their being sued did not give them the right to continue charging people for a service the company was not providing. I really don't see any substantial difference between such a company and what is happening with the city.

I received responses to this letter from Mayor Mary Ann Lutz - who invited me to meet with herself and Interim City Manager Fran Delach - and from every council member except Alexander Blackburn.

Here is some of the feedback:

Councilman Tom Adams: "I couldn't agree more. I have complained for years about this and it seems to be the normal governmental red tape. In my opinion, it has been open from the beginning. I know plenty of folks who go there and no one stops them. Perhaps a part of your article would be to explain to people how to get there?"

Fair enough, here's how to get there: A map of all the trailheads and their status ( ) and an article:

Larry Spicer: "I understand your frustration about the wilderness plan. All I can say is once the holidays are over this issue will be taken to City Manager so we can move forward with some type of timeline that can be followed. I know you have heard this before but I will do my best to help move this forward along with my colleagues, My wife and I also cast a vote for the purchase and would like to have access to my investment!"

Becky Shevlin: "I know that you are tired of hearing the same responses; I can definitely understand your frustration; I think many of us are frustrated with the pace of the progress or lack thereof."

In another email, Shevlin told me the trailhead on Ridgeside Drive had been opened. I went to check on Jan. 1 and found a trail sign and a "Mutt Mitts" dispenser (for plastic bags to pick up after your dog) had been installed, but there was still a locked gate with a "Road Closed" sign. I was unimpressed, but a few days later she said she had just been there and insisted it was open, so on Jan. 6 I checked again. This time I found a new gate, combining a vehicle gate and pedestrian gate, had been installed. Hooray!

This leaves two other trails to be dealt with. Or three, if you consider Sleepy Hollow (off of Norumbega) to be a trail, though I consider it a bad joke, basically a short, unpaved driveway.

The other trails start at the top of Highland Place and at the end of Cloverleaf Drive.

In my meeting with officials...

Mayor Lutz said, "Your frustration is mirrored by all of us, but we have to go through protocols." However, she said, "In the last two months things have suddenly taken off," and "we're making great strides." She attributed the delays to multiple lawsuits and the attendant difficulties in finding old property records regarding right-of-way on Cloverleaf. These legal problems had to be handled one at a time rather than in parallel, she said, because the city didn't have enough money. She said that in the last few months the city has hired a new attorney to work on the right-of-way issue.

Interim City Manager Fran Delach said he believes "the delays are behind us."

Acting Recreation Division Manager, Community Services, Kerri Zessau, said two properties on Cloverleaf are now being appraised, which could take a couple months, then offers will be made to the property owners. Using eminent domain (the right of a government to force the sale of a property for a public use) "is not even a topic of discussion." (Lutz added that the city wants to try all other approaches first.)

In conclusion, all Monrovians - from the richest to the poorest - have been paying regularly for roughly 14 years for a service they are not getting. They've been paying either directly, as property owners, or indirectly as renters. Yes, there are the legal issues, but Monrovia was one of the leaders in redevelopment, which included lots of property issues, including lawsuits, and these issues were handled much more expeditiously than this Hillsides debacle.

So, I believe the City Council should ...

- Insist that its staff provide a progress report at every city council meeting on progress getting the Cloverleaf trail open.

- Work to establish an opening date for the Highland Place trail. I understand it is closed because of the forest fire damage, but at some point the trail should be open-able. This ought to be on the City Council agenda every few months or so to review.

- Post information about the Hillside trails on the city website, just as it does for Canyon Park:

- Brad Haugaard

One-Day Closure of California/Duarte Intersection | Monrovia Assemblyman Likes Governor's Budget

~ The intersection of California Ave. and Duarte Rd. will be closed Monday, Jan. 13, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to complete the final construction at the corner.

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, writes that Governor Brown's budget means "local school districts will see increases in K-12 school funding by $2,188 per student over last year. Our community colleges, such as Pasadena City College, Citrus, and Mt. San Antonio will also see an increase in funding."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Switch to Pasadena Humane Society; iPad Robbery; Faking a Firearm; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for January 6-8. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 406 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.

Transition of Monrovia Animal Control to Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA
Effective January 1, 2014, animal control services for the City of Monrovia are now being handled by the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS).  Monrovia Police Department Staff have met with PHS Staff to familiarize them with the City and to help prepare for the transition.  The PHS has been publicizing and reaching out to Monrovia residents to inform them of the change.

Grand Theft Auto
January 6 at 12:23 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 500 block of East Olive. The victim parked her vehicle in front of her residence the night before.  When she returned to her vehicle the following day, she discovered the vehicle was missing.  The vehicle is a white, 1995 Toyota Camry.  The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
January 6 at 4:18 p.m., police dispatch received an alarm activation at the residence in the 300 block of Melrose.  When officers arrived, they discovered a rear bedroom window open with footprints at the base of the window.  It did not appear that the suspect(s) made entry, but the resident will inspect the home and notify police if a loss is discovered.  The investigation is continuing.

Warrant Arrest - Suspect Arrested
January 6 at 7:35 p.m., an officer stopped a driver at Myrtle and Lemon for committing a vehicle code violation.  A computer check revealed the driver had a warrant for his arrest with a bail set at $30,000 out of Irwindale.  The driver was arrested, booked and then released to Irwindale Police Department.

Strong-arm Robbery
January 6 at 8:23 p.m., police responded to a strong-arm robbery at the Monrovia High School gym.  During a basketball game in the gym, a male adult was attempting to charge his iPad in the lobby area of the gym.  As he was plugging it in, he was pushed by another male adult from behind, causing him to fall.  The suspect then took the iPad from the victim and ran out of the gym.  He fled in a dark colored vehicle, similar to a Honda Accord, occupied by three other male subjects.  The suspect appeared to be 18 to 20 years old, 5'10", with a thin build.  The investigation is continuing.

Altering a Firearm Replica
January 7 at 8:42 a.m., police received a call reporting a man with a gun at the cemetery in the 200 block of East Duarte.  Apparently, the suspect saw his ex-girlfriend at the cemetery with her new boyfriend.  The suspect approached the victims, who were sitting in a vehicle, and the new boyfriend began to exit the vehicle.  The suspect lifted his shirt and displayed the firearm, telling the boyfriend, "Don't think about it."  The female told the suspect they were calling the police and the suspect fled on foot.  Officers arrived as the suspect was jumping over a fence.  He was detained, but the firearm was not in his possession.  The suspect claimed he needed paramedics and was taken to a hospital.

An area check was conducted and the firearm was located.  The firearm was found to be an Airsoft replica firearm with the colored orange tip removed.  The suspect was interviewed, and he denied having the firearm with him, but admitted it did belong to him.  The officers will be submitting the report to the District Attorney's Office.

Warrant Arrest - Suspect Arrested
January 7 at 6:26 p.m., a female resident in the 200 block of North Mountain called police to report her adult son was yelling in the house and was out of control.  Officers arrived and calmed the son down.  A computer check revealed he had a warrant for his arrest with a bail set at $50,000.  Officers arrested the suspect and he was taken to Los Angeles County Jail, where he was held until his court appearance.

Residential Burglary
January 8 at 6:00 p.m., a resident in the 900 block of Norumbega called police to report his home had been burglarized.  He left for work in the morning and returned at 5:45 p.m.  Upon his return, he discovered his front door unlocked, which he remembered locking that morning.  He entered and discovered his house had been ransacked and burglarized.  The suspects had entered the home by breaking a backdoor window.  The loss was primarily jewelry.  The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
January 8 at 10:14 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 700 block of West Huntington.  The driver parked his vehicle in a hotel parking lot and went into the hotel.  At 9:30 p.m., he returned to his vehicle and discovered the window had been shattered and his empty laptop bag had been taken.  The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
January 8 at 11:04 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 900 block of West Huntington.  The driver parked his vehicle in a hotel parking lot and went inside the hotel.  When he returned to his vehicle at 10:45 p.m., he discovered his vehicle's window was shattered and his laptop bag containing his computer had been stolen.  The investigation is continuing.

Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
January 9 at 5:35 a.m., a traffic collision was reported in the 900 block of West Walnut.  Officers arrived and found that a solo male driver had crashed his vehicle into a parked car, but was not injured.  Field sobriety tests were conducted, and the male driver was determined to be intoxicated and was arrested for DUI.

One Entry Point to Monrovia's Clamshell Trail Now Officially Open

New Clamshell trail officially open. Entry point on Ridgeside Drive.

Monrovia's Lower Clamshell road, a great hiking trail, unofficially used for years by hikers and bikers, has been officially opened by the city. A new double-gate has been installed, one for vehicles (which is closed) and one for pedestrians (which is now open). The trail is part of the city's Hillside Wilderness Preserve.

The trail goes uphill at a gentle pace, then downhill for a long ways. The problem is that the gate at the bottom, at Cloverleaf Drive, is shut, which technically means that you'd have to hike all the way back to get out. But even so, the hike to the top is a nice outing.

To get there, take Canyon Blvd. north from Foothill. It runs right into Oakglade Drive. Keep on Oakglade until the top, where it makes a hairpin turn and becomes Ridgeside Drive. Park before you come to what looks like the first driveway on the right. It looks like a driveway and there is no sign indicating it is the entryway to the trail. Here it is:

The entry point on Ridgeside Drive. There is no sign.

And here is a map to this entry point to the Hillside Wilderness Preserve, and to others:

- Brad Haugaard