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Monrovia Flash Flood Threat Downgraded Slightly

The National Weather Service has officially put Monrovia on a flash flood watch, downgraded from a flash flood warning.  Mandatory evacuations are still in place within the Madison Fire neighborhoods:

Highland Place north of Hillcrest Blvd
Scenic Drive, btw Highland and Heather Heights
Lotone
Heather Heights north of Scenic Drive
Avocado Place
Hillcrest Blvd, 600 Block
Crescent Drive, 700, 800, 900 Block

Power is still out for 967 residents north of Hillcrest Blvd.  Southern California Edison is estimating that the power will be restored by 8p.m. tonight.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are still expected Saturday mid-morning.

The Monrovia Emergency Operations Center will remain in place overnight, and residents can call (626) 932-5550 to report any emergencies or request assistance.

Pets can be evacuated overnight at a mobile pet evacuation center at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Avenue, which will also be open overnight for evacuees.  Dogs can also be taken to Wonder Dog Ranch, 220 Taylor Street, Monrovia, CA.

For residents who do evacuate, discount rates at the Doubletree and Courtyard Hotels’ for Monrovia residents and their small pets will be issued.  Doubletree has offered $99 room rates to evacuees and will waive the pet fee for pets under 35lbs.  To reserve call: (626)357-1900. Courtyard by Marriott has offered $109 room rates, which includes breakfast, to evacuees (pets allowed on extenuating, case by case basis).  To reserve call: (626)357-5211.

Source: Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Most Monrovians Ignore Evacuation Order

Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan reports that most residents in the mandatory evacuation area have decided not to leave their homes. He said the city cannot force them to leave but strongly advises it.
 
However, those who decline to leave their homes are being asked to sign a waiver, and their addresses are being noted on a map in case rescue operations are necessary, Donovan said.

Monrovia Public Information Officer Alexis Bakofsky said there are still storm cells on the way, until about 5:30 PM,. The intensity should die down over the night, she said, but the rain may pick up again tomorrow, Saturday, at about the same intensity.
 
-Brad Haugaard

Lunch at JB Burgers


Lunch yesterday at JB Burgers at Myrtle and Olive. Got a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a Coke. A bit over $6 total.

- Brad Haugaard

Emergency Declared in Monrovia

Water and mud flow through Highland debris basin (City photo).

Monrovia' Emergency Operations Center in action. 

Monrovia has declared a state of emergency for the streets below the Madison fire burned area, according to Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan. 

Donovan said the area below the burned-off hills is experiencing mud flow and a swimming pool at a Highland Place house is now half full of mud. 

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said the police department is going through the area helping people evacuate, and Donovan added that firefighters are placing additional sandbags on Highland Place. Monrovia police are being joined by fellow officers from other departments, including Irwindale and Covina.

Donovan said heavy rains are expected to continue, on and off, until about 8 p.m. this evening.

Lutz commended the city staff, saying that their "great planning is proving fruitful."

UPDATE: Power is out in the 1200 block of Norumbega. Donovan said it will probably remain out until about 8 a.m. tomorrow.

UPDATE: if you heard a helicopter loitering over the foothills, it was probably a Channel 2 News helicopter, according to Alexis Bakofsky, city public information officer.

UPDATE: Pasadena Humane Society reports that evacuated Monrovia pets can be boarded at its shelter at 361 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105 at no charge.

UPDATE: The Pasadena Humane Society is also setting up a mobile pet shelter at the Monrovia community center, on Palm, across from the library.

UPDATE: The city reports that the power went off briefly at the Monrovia Community Center, but is back on now.

UPDATE: The city has received a report that the power is out on Myrtle Avenue north of Hillcrest. UPDATE-UPDATE: City Public Information Officer Alexis Bakofsky reports that 967 customers above Hillcrest are affected. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Issues Mandatory Evacuation Order for Foothill Streets

The City of Monrovia is issuing mandatory evacuations for the following streets because the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for the foothill areas:

- Highland Place north of Hillcrest Blvd
- Scenic
- Lotone
- Heather Heights north of Scenic
- Avocado Place
- Hillcrest Blvd, 600 block
- Crescent Drive, 900 block

Residents are advised to gather important documents, pets, medicine and leave with all members of the household.  An evacuation center is in place at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Avenue.

More: http://goo.gl/ojt4ak

- Brad Haugaard

History of Monrovia's Pottenger Sanatorium

A bit of history from the Library about Francis Marion Pottenger and the Pottenger Sanatorium, a tuberculosis treatment center once located in north Monrovia. http://goo.gl/R69QZy

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Canyon Park Closed | Wildcats Host Drum Meet

~ The City of Monrovia reports that Monrovia Canyon Park is through tomorrow, Saturday, March 1.

~ The Marching Wildcats are scheduled to host the Southern California Percussion Alliance tomorrow at the Monrovia High Event Center, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Monrovia's Winter Drum Line will compete. http://goo.gl/nVBaaf

- Brad Haugaard

Cell Phone Tower for North Monrovia?

Discussion is "very preliminary" about the possibility of a cell phone tower near the Ridgeside reservoir (which I think is at the point where North Canyon Blvd. meets Oakglade Drive) in north Monrovia. The city says it has received several queries from residents about the possibility, but no commitments have been made, no applications received, and if it goes forward, it will require a public hearing. Details: http://goo.gl/AbjQW1

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Prepares for Flash Flood


Here is where the water will come down, at the top of Highland Place.

City officials held a press conference at the top of a Highland Place lined with K-Rail and with residents piling sandbags along their driveways to outline its preparations for the expected deluge tomorrow, Friday.

Interim City Manager Francis Delach said the heavy rain is expected to start about 3 a.m. tomorrow and may dump six inches of rain on the area within a 24-hour period. He said the barrier you see above is capable of holding back 15,000 cubic yards of debris, or the equivalent of 2,500 dump truck loads.

He said Monrovia is coordinating with other foothill cities and the county, is adding extra firefighters, has prepared police, has put all public works employees on call for tomorrow (if they are not already on duty), is working with volunteers who own businesses with heavy equipment, is opening the Community Center (on Palm across from the Library) as an evacuation center with cots, and has arranged discount rates at the Doubletree and Courtyard Hotels (details: http://goo.gl/oDiQ86 ) for Monrovia residents and their small pets in case they have to evacuate.

Some helpful info: http://goo.gl/oDiQ86

UPDATE: I understand some Monrovians have been getting robo-calls warning of flooding and telling where to get sandbags.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Theft; Burglary; Meth; Lying to a Cop; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for February 24-26. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 411 service events, During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 411 service events, resulting in 81 investigations.

Petty Theft From an Unlocked Vehicle
February 25 at 1:22 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Norumbega regarding a theft from an unlocked vehicle. The victim parked her car earlier in the evening and the property was returned to the owner. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
February 25 at 5:00 a.m., police responded to a burglary that just occurred in the 900 block of Norumbega. The resident heard a banging noise around his attached garage. He attempted to turn on the lights in the house, but his power had been shut off. He went outside and saw his garage door was open and three subjects wearing all dark clothing ran out of his garage and fled. The resident immediately called 911. Officers arrived and searched for the suspects, but did not locate them. The lock on the garage door had been cut, but appears nothing was taken. The power had been shut off at the outside electrical panel. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
February 25 at 8:13 p.m., a driver called police to report a silver Honda had collided into two vehicles on the 210 Freeway and had exited at Mountain, the driver was possibly DUI. An officer arrived and detained the driver of the silver Honda, who was determined to be intoxicated. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence. The California Highway Patrol was notified regarding the collision on the freeway.

Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales – Suspects Arrested
February 26 at 9:49 a.m., an employee from a business in the 300 block of West Huntington felt uneasy when two male subjects that were acting suspiciously entered the store and began to shop around. One of the subjects left the store and stood outside and the other approached the counter. The employee alerted a customer to call police. As officers arrived, both subjects were outside the business and began walking toward a vehicle and were detained. During the investigation, officers learned that the vehicle had been due back to a rental company two days prior. They called the rental company, and the rental company stated that they wanted the vehicle returned and would send an employee. During a search of the vehicle, officers found methamphetamine inside a cigarette box in the vehicle. The suspects were arrested.

Give False Identification to a Peace Officer / Warrant Arrest / Possession of Stolen Property – Suspect Arrested
February 26 at 6:19 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for a vehicle code violation at Palm and Mayflower. The passenger of the vehicle gave a false name to avoid being arrested for a no-bail warrant, but eventually gave her correct name and was arrested. She was also found to be in possession of a stolen credit card, which was added to her charges. The suspect had her 15-month-old son with her at the time. No family could be located, so the child was taken into protective custody.

Assemblyman Holden Speaking to Monrovia Democrats Tonight

Assemblyman Chris Holden tweets that he will be speaking at the Foothill Community Democrats meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at The Peach Cafe in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Bills Introduced by Monrovia's State Senator and Assemblyman

Here is a list of bills introduced this year into the State Senate by Senator Carol Liu, and into the State Assembly by Assemblyman Chris Holden, both of whom represent Monrovia.

Bills introduced this year by State Senator Carol Liu (D):

- SB 827 would extend a law governing how LA County sends out notices indicating deeds, quitclaim deeds, or deeds of trust have been recorded. ( http://goo.gl/Y86bpF ) Comment: LA County can't figure out how to do this by itself?

- SB 833 would authorize a program so prisoners may voluntarily stay in the pokey up to another 16 hours after their release time so they can be discharged to a treatment center or during daytime hours. http://goo.gl/EGvfoA

- SB 914 would allow mobility-impaired seniors or dependent adults to have a representative speak for them in small claims court. http://goo.gl/WcrtOi

- SB 977 would make "technical, nonsubstantive changes" changes to law regarding dependency court court for minors. http://goo.gl/jby9ol

- SB 999 would make "technical, nonsubstantive changes" to the CalFresh Employment and Training Program. http://goo.gl/KWQfPD

- SB 1009 would authorize the Secretary of State to decide whether to keep or throw out state records, using "professional archival practices." http://goo.gl/EZhfHh

- SB 1023 would provide assistance for foster children in community colleges. http://goo.gl/33kT1t

- SB 1055 would "provide funding for the expansion and renovation of existing school health centers." http://goo.gl/9IjyLW

- SB 1060. If the state has enough money, this bill would require school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and the state special schools to provide programs of professional growth for teachers, administrators, and paraprofessional educators or other classified employees involved in the direct instruction of pupils. http://goo.gl/d2N17l

- SB 1093. "This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that requires regional centers to provide services in a culturally and linguistically competent manner..." http://goo.gl/2IoIGZ

- SB 1105 would make it easier for students to register to vote. http://goo.gl/xjGi6j

- SB 1123 would require "the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop standards for the implementation of quality programs." ( http://goo.gl/60keLo ) Comment: The state has to TELL the superintendent to develop standards?

- SB 1143 would add requirements for school districts offering independent study: http://goo.gl/2MmfP2


Bills introduced this year by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D):

- AB 1066 would "state the intent of the Legislature to promote infrastructure development." http://goo.gl/fi4gcA

- AB 1239 would make nonsubstantive changes to a law regarding state contracts with "sweatshops." http://goo.gl/pF2VAG

- AB 1451 would make changes to rules governing high school students taking classes at community colleges. http://goo.gl/IouPLu

- AB 1526 would extend to 2018 a wiretapping law that requires the Attorney General to submit an annual report to the Legislature, the Judicial Council, and the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts regarding these interceptions ( http://goo.gl/5wt9YQ ). Comment: Well ... okay, but just to 2018? How about until, like, uh, forever? What happens in 2018 that makes it okay for law enforcement to start spying on people without oversight?

- AB 1543 would require employers contemplating mass layoffs or relocations to also notify the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development along with the other agencies that must already be notified ( http://goo.gl/pZKvi6 ). Comment: Ya know, if the point of this is to give the state time to try to persuade companies not to move to Texas, wouldn't it be easier just to make the state more business-friendly?

- AB 1551 would prohibit someone from using a licensed engineer's documents without the consent of the licensed engineer. http://goo.gl/0BJB5e

- AB 1557 would add to the board of governors of the California Community Colleges board one voting student member who is a member or former member of the armed forces of the United States ( http://goo.gl/gz2dQo ). Comment: As a former armed forces member, I gotta say this sounds like an utterly unnecessary proposal.

- AB 1566 would increase penalties for stealing kitchen grease. http://goo.gl/EvWlPx

- AB 1586 would require state agencies handing out contracts to give priority to "qualified" applicants "who are receiving or have exhausted entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits, veterans of the Armed Forces or the National Guard, on parole or were formerly convicted of a crime for which time was served in state prison, and residents of a targeted employment area." ( http://goo.gl/6OPxYM ) Comment: I appreciate the desire to help these folks, but doesn't this virtually ensure that the state ends up hiring merely "qualified" applicants when it could be hiring highly qualified applicants?

- AB 1672 would require school districts send truancy information, broken down by gender, ethnicity, etc., to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. http://goo.gl/nlVXtL

- AB 1747 says, "It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to prevent human trafficking and prostitution in massage therapy establishments." http://goo.gl/6tUiQe

- AB 1753. Life is too short to try to untangle this. Something about regional centers and something called "vendorization." http://goo.gl/MrJouu

- AB 1767 would increase penalties for dumping junk in the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. http://goo.gl/b5yN1L

- AB 1912 would promote President Barack Obama in California history books. http://goo.gl/ZcghXf

- AB 1921 would make some records of companies doing business with the state open to public inspection, and would require such companies to maintain these records. http://goo.gl/nRuAtS

-AB 1940 would establish a pilot grant program overseen by the State Department of Education to award grants to cover the costs associated with high schools establishing or expanding its advanced placement curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. http://goo.gl/AIgXco

- AB 1941 would expand the board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 14 to 16 members. http://goo.gl/Z5PqLZ

- AJR 33 "would urge the United States Department of Defense to include the names of the 74 fallen sailors of the Destroyer U.S.S. Frank E. Evans (DD 754) on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial." http://goo.gl/q0IJR1

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council Agenda | Everlert Launches Forensic Division

~ At its March 3 meeting (agenda: http://goo.gl/95CFEP ), the Monrovia City Council will recognize Canyon Park Volunteer of the Year Doug Elson and will consider drafting a letter opposing a House of Representatives bill that "would have legislators take a form of a pledge that would potentially restrict their votes on future legislation consistent with the political agenda of an outside national organization. Such efforts undermine the democratic process and representative government, because legislators lose the opportunity to make an informed decision about the specific impacts of legislation." http://goo.gl/EtYe2l

~ Everlert, Inc., of Monrovia, is launching a new Forensic and Security division to represent its line of forensic and security x-ray scanning equipment. http://goo.gl/nB8olj

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Easter Egg Hunt; Fountain to Falls Run; Older American Nominee

~ Easter Egg hunt, Saturday, April 19, at 10 a.m. at Recreation Park.

~ 2014 "Fountain to the Falls" 7 Mile Run/Walk and Health & Fitness Expo, May 10.

~ Nominate an older (over 60) Monrovian for "2014 Older American of the Year Award."

Details on all three: http://goo.gl/Voq00B

- Brad Haugaard

Cafe X20 Replacing Mediterranean Grill


The Mediterranean Grill on Foothill is now gone. It is being replaced by Cafe X20.  Not open yet. I understand it is also Mediterranean-style food.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Flash Flood Watch Below Madison Fire Area: Friday Especially Dangerous; Prepare to Evacuate

Monrovia residents living in the Madison Fire area (north of Hillcrest Blvd between Madison Avenue and Alta Vista Avenue) are advised that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that there are two storms headed toward Monrovia with the potential to deliver heavy rain and dangerous mud flows.

The first storm will begin late Wednesday night from around Midnight to 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning.  This storm is anticipated to be slow moving, with ½” to 1” of rain expected with no thunderstorms.

The second storm is a larger event that may precipitate mudslides.  Heavy rain is expected after 3:00 - 4:00 a.m. Friday morning through Saturday.  This is projected to be a fast moving storm which will likely bring thunderstorms, unstable air masses and heavy downpours.  The heaviest accumulation of rain will come between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. possibly totaling up to 3”-5” rainfall by Saturday afternoon in the foothills.

A NOAA Flash Flood watch will remain in effect from Thursday, February 27 to Saturday, March 1 in all burn areas from Glendora to Monrovia.  Residents can expect ¾” to 1” rainfall per hour periodically during the second storm, well above debris flow model forecasts.  The City strongly advises affected residents to keep informed and be prepared to evacuate if evacuations are ordered.

“This will be the most significant rain event we have seen since the Madison Fire in April 2013,” said Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan.  “Fortunately we have prepared in the event that we have mud or debris flows.  We are asking that all residents living within the burn area stay vigilant by taking actions now to prepare for this storm.  We will continue to update residents.  Monrovia and LA County Public Works personnel will also be on scene to assist in mitigating potentially damaging mud or debris flows.”

Residents are directed to remove vehicles, trash bins, and any other obstructions from the public streets.  Vehicles left in the rights-of-way may be subject to tow. Gravel and sand bags are available at Fire Station 101, 141 E Lemon Avenue, Monrovia, CA.  Residents may fill gravel bags at 839 Crescent Drive in Monrovia, and at the intersection of Highland Place and Scenic Drive.  Please bring eye protection, gloves, and a shovel to scoop gravel into the bags.  Sand is available at Recreation Park, in the parking lot adjacent to the Skate Park on E. Olive Avenue.

Evacuations are not required at this time, but residents are encouraged to stay updated with Nixle or the City’s website should an evacuation become necessary.  To subscribe to Nixle, text 91016 to 888777 or log on to www.nixle.com to sign up for emergency email and text alerts.

Residents are advised that there will be no trash pickup for neighborhoods impacted by K-Rail on Friday, February 28.  Trash will instead be picked up on Monday, March 3.  Those who need to move cars are asked to park them at the former Albertson’s parking lot on East Huntington Drive.

For residents who do evacuate, discount rates at the Doubletree and Courtyard Hotels for Monrovia residents and their small pets will be offered.  Doubletree has offered $99 room rates to evacuees and will waive the pet fee for pets under 35lbs.  To reserve call: (626)357-1900. Courtyard by Marriott has offered $109 room rates, which includes breakfast, to evacuees (pets allowed on extenuating, case by case basis).  To reserve call: (626)357-5211.  Should mandatory evacuations take place, the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm Avenue, will also serve as a shelter.

The Monrovia Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will be activated at Level 1 beginning 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Residents may call the main City phone line (626) 932-5550 with questions or check the city website at www.cityofmonrovia.org for updates.

Source: City press release

- Brad Haugaard

Video of Monrovia State of City Speech

Video of Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz's State of the City speech has been uploaded, if you'd like to watch it: http://goo.gl/68CuQQ

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Market Grill in Top 100

Monrovia's Market Grill makes the top 100 restaurants in the United States list, on Yelp.com. Number 75 to be exact. Good restaurant! http://goo.gl/Fl3nFR
- Brad Haugaard

Winning Monrovia Robotics Team Needs Support

Brian Johnson writes:

"The Monrovia High robotics program needs the Community's help! Our team "The Kings And Queens" was the top team out of a field of the best 48 teams in Southern California at the Los Angeles FTC Robotics Regional Tournament on Saturday 2/22 and earned a spot in the Western U.S. FTC Championship Tournament to be held in Sacramento on Mar 20-22.

"The cost to send the Kings And Queens to the Sacramento tournament is over $3000 for the entry fee, travel costs, needed parts for the robot, and materials to build a team display booth. We need your donations and business sponsorships to make this happen. Business owners - for a donation of $500 we will prominently feature your company's logo and information on our honored supporters board in our display area, and for a donation of $1000 we will also place your company logo right on the robot for everyone to see. If you would like to be a sponsor or make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Tom Dobson at MHS at 626-471-2800 x7243. If you want to support the team and don't need a tax receipt, please donate to our "Go Fund Me" campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/75ehc4. The girls have been amazing ambassadors for Monrovia at tournaments throughout Southern California and Nevada demonstrating everything that is good and special about our wonderful little city. Help them continue to represent us to the Western U.S., and hopefully to the World."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Warning: Watch Out for Flash Floods!

City of Monrovia warns residents living in the Madison Fire area (north of Hillcrest between Madison Avenue and Alta Vista Avenue), to watch out for flash floods: http://goo.gl/uDlwsR

- Brad Haugaard

Did You Lose a Tortoise? | Monrovia Librarian

 ~ Jen Havens has this tortoise, found at Mayflower and Foothill, about to go into Foothill traffic. Call or text 673-7978 if you are the owners. UPDATE: Happy ending. The tortoise was reunited with his family.

~ A brief history of a Monrovia librarian: http://goo.gl/0igiS2

- Brad Haugaard

Diamond Bar over Monrovia :-( | 100% Rain

~ Diamond Bar over Monrovia in soccer. http://goo.gl/6cwHg7

~ Wow! Chance of rain Friday is 100%, and 70% on Thursday and Saturday. http://goo.gl/QnmsD9

- Brad Haugaard

Rainstorm Power Safety Tips from Edison

With the approaching rainstorm, Southern California Edison has some tips on power-related safety issues that may occur because of the storm. http://goo.gl/RyTorH

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Roundup

Household hazardous waste and e-waste roundup on Saturday, March 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Myrtle Avenue Park and Ride Lot at the corner of South Myrtle and Pomona Avenue. Details: http://goo.gl/hGA0We

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church Renting Krikorian Theater for New Movie

The Monrovia church, Fellowship Monrovia, is renting out the Krikorian Theater for an exclusive showing of the new movie, The Son of God, on Feb. 27. http://goo.gl/lDDHQS

- Brad Haugaard

Foothill Unity Center: New President is Monrovia Mayor; Honorees

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, on the board of Foothill Unity Center, has been selected as the new president of the board, according to a Facebook posting by the Center.

Also, at its Fabulous '50s Golden Plate Awards benefit on April 24, Foothill Unity Center will honor ...

- Cynthia Kurtz, president and chief executive officer, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
- Colleen McEvoy, longtime Center supporter.
- Simplicity Bank
-  Jewish Federation of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, Temple Beth David, Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, Weizmann Day School

Tickets to the event at The Trinity Ballroom in Pasadena are $150 per person. There will be a showing of classic cars, silent and live auctions, and oldies music. Center is seeking sponsorships and items for auctions. For information: www.foothillunitycenter.org.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company: Peanut Butter Pretzel Monopoly? | Fundraiser for Reading

~ Does Monrovia-based Trader Joe's have a monopoly on peanut butter pretzels? http://goo.gl/ezQInL

~ Monrovia Reads is having a fundraiser March 13, 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel. Details: http://goo.gl/XzMyFr

- Brad Haugaard

Crutchfield New Monrovia Football Coach? | Holden: Make Obama Prominent in State Textbooks

~ Star-News sports writer Fred Robledo wonders in a Twitter posting, whether "former Duarte coach Wardell Crutchfield be the next head football coach at Monrovia? Rumor is that he's interested."

~ Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a bill, AB 1912, called the "President Barack Obama Curriculum Act," that a Holden press release says "would be the first step toward acknowledging President Obama's legacy for generations to come." Specifically, the bill "would encourage the State Board of Education to provide academic curriculum on the election of President Obama and its historical impact of overcoming our nation's past and educating children to embrace diversity." The bill: http://goo.gl/b069hw

- Brad Haugaard

Drought and Dymondia

We're having a drought in California, and if you go up into Monrovia Canyon Park, you will find evidence of it. The stream at the bottom of the park continues to flow, though it is a bit low, but if you take the trail up to White Saddle, all three of the higher streams are bone dry. You can see one of the streams in the top half of the photo.

Anyway, with water conservation in mind, I planted a couple flats of a plant called Dymondia in a corner of our yard a few months ago as an experiment. You can see in the bottom half of the picture that it is starting to grow together. It's a ground cover that  drinks very little water, stays close to the ground, and never needs mowing. We'll see how it works. Dymondia: http://goo.gl/Czi4cv

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Threats Against Girlfriend; Swipe and Return; Assault with Toy Truck; Thefts from Vehicles; Etc.

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

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Grand Theft Auto – Suspects Arrested
February 20 at 3:40 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the 300 block of Genoa when he located a stolen vehicle. The stolen vehicle went westbound on Genoa and the occupants exited the truck and ran. They ran south between two apartment buildings. An officer located the suspects in a parking garage and ordered them to stop, but they decided to run. Both were detained in the rear of the building and arrested.

Theft From a Vehicle
February 20 at 12:23 p.m., police received a call reporting a theft from a vehicle in the 200 block of North Encinitas. The victim had miscellaneous clothing items stolen from two of his cars. Both vehicles had been left unlocked in the driveway. The investigation is continuing.

Criminal Threats – Suspect Arrested
February 20 at 9:43 p.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 400 block of West Foothill regarding a family disturbance. The male suspect was intoxicated and forced entry into his girlfriend's bedroom, threatening to harm her. The suspect left several voice messages threatening to kill the victim. The suspect was arrested for Criminal Threats and taken into custody, where he was held pending his court appearance.

Petty Theft - Suspect Arrested 
February 21 at 4:31 p.m., loss prevention from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called police to report a suspect making a fraudulent return. The suspect entered the store, selected an item, and then went to the return desk and returned the item for cash without paying for the item. The loss prevention officer observed the suspect making the fraudulent return and waited until the transaction was completed. The suspect then went to the jewelry department. Officers arrived and the suspect was arrested.

Theft From a Vehicle
February 21 at 5:32 p.m., the victim of a theft from her vehicle came into the police department to report the crime. The incident occurred in the 500 block of East Lime sometime overnight. The vehicle was left unlocked and the victim’s wallet and passport were stolen from the center console. Charges had already been made on her credit cards. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
February 22 at 7:21 a.m., police dispatch received a call reporting a vehicle with front end collision damage heading east on Duarte from 4th Street. Officers arrived and located the vehicle. After investigation, the male driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested. The driver could not recall what he had collided into to cause the damage to his vehicle. An area check was conducted, but no signs of a collision were located.

Thefts From Vehicles / Vehicle Burglary
February 22 in the early morning, three thefts from a vehicle and one vehicle burglary were reported to police. The incidents occurred in the 800 block of Crescent, the 800 block of West Foothill, and the 600 block of East Lemon. In three of the incidents the vehicles were left unlocked and in one a window was smashed to gain entry. In all four incidents valuables were taken that were left in the vehicles.

Theft From a Vehicle
February 23 at 9:30 a.m., police received a call reporting a theft from a vehicle in the 900 block of West Huntington. The victim parked his vehicle in a hotel parking lot and secured it. He returned to his vehicle the following morning and found the back seats missing. The lift gate rear window had not been locked. The investigation is continuing.

Domestic Battery – Suspect Arrested
February 23 at 10:10 p.m., officers responded to the 600 block of West Duarte Road regarding a report of domestic violence. The female suspect and male victim have been living together for many years and have two children together. The suspect threw a toy truck at the victim, bit him, pushed and slapped him, and then broke a glass picture frame over his head. She was arrested for domestic battery and taken into custody.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Methamphetamine - Suspect Arrested
February 24 at 2:30 a.m., a male subject called police to report his girlfriend had just left the residence and was on her way to Foothill and Grand. He told police that she was pregnant and was under the influence of heroin. An officer located and detained the female subject at Grand and Foothill. She was determined not to be under the influence of drugs and said she was trying to get away from the male suspect. While the officer was talking to the female, the male suspect arrived. His actions indicated and officers determined him to be under the influence of drugs. He was arrested. He told the officer he was bringing the female subject's methamphetamine to her. He was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, which was added to his charges.

Monrovia High School Robotics Team Wins Highest Honor at Los Angeles Regional Tournament




Five young women from Monrovia High School and their rhinestone-encrusted robot won the Inspire Award, the highest honor given at the Los Angeles FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Regional Championship Tournament held at Monrovia this past Saturday. Along with six other teams from cities ranging from Santa Barbara to San Diego, they advance to compete with top teams from eleven western states, Alaska and Hawaii in McClellan, CA, near Sacramento on March 20-22, 2014 at the West Super-Regional FTC Championship.

These five junior class women – the “Kings and Queens” team – designed and built their own 18 by 18 inch robot from Tetrix parts, plexiglass, and machined aluminum to compete with alliances of robots on a 12 by 12 foot field. They stand out not just for their driving, design prowess, and their robot’s ability to raise a flag and pull itself up on a bar. Heads turn as they drive their purple robot “Your Highness” while wearing their signature costumes of purple-velvet-and gold-embroidered renaissance dresses. They also spread the word of robotics design as they share their robot adventures with elementary and middle-school students around Monrovia.

Engineer and computer programming judges from major regional companies chose the team from among a field of the top 48 FTC robotics teams from throughout Southern California as the "role-model" team for their on-field success, teamwork, inspiration to others, representation of the First Robotics program to their school and community, and embodiment of "Gracious Professionalism," the core value of the FIRST program.

This win is the first Regional champion from Monrovia High School in its four-year-old FTC robotics program, supported by company sponsors and members of the community and led by physics teacher Tom Dobson. Monrovia High School advanced four teams to the Los Angeles Regional Championship, which drew winners from eight qualifier competitions from Los Angeles out to the High Desert. This high school FTC after-school program is one of many opportunities supporting STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in conjunction with Monrovia’s Math and Science Academy. A second of Monrovia High's four FTC Robotics teams, "Team R.E.D.,” won an alternate spot for the Super-Regional tournament.

Winning teams in the West Super-Regional Competition will advance to the international championships in St. Louis, MO on April 23-26, 2014. The Monrovia High School FTC robotics program welcomes tax-deductible donations and company sponsorships to help cover the cost of traveling to Sacramento and hopefully on to St. Louis.

Source: Press release

- Brad Haugaard

History of Former Monrovia Library | Water Wise Gardening

~ Interested in water wise gardening? The Monrovia Library has some books to recommend: http://goo.gl/1SIvmY

~ A bit of history about the former Monrovia Library. http://goo.gl/ph1gZl

- Brad Haugaard

High Chance of Rain in Monrovia Starting This Wednesday

Rain coming up for Monrovia. 10% chance on Wednesday, 30% Thursday, 90% Friday, 70% Saturday, then 20% Sunday through Tuesday and 10% Wednesday ( http://goo.gl/s8UaLX ). And National Weather Service says ( http://goo.gl/5nz0fY ), "A dramatic change in the weather is expected the second half of the week as a couple of winter storms are forecast to move across southwestern California. These two storms will bring significant rainfall...high elevation snow and gusty winds." Opinion: Well, good! We can use it.

- Brad Haugaard

Upton Sinclair in Monrovia

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Upton Sinclair, who wrote the novel, "The Jungle," lived in Monrovia for a while. Here's a bit about him and his house from the Monrovia Library: http://goo.gl/TlLXUe

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Enrollment a Bit Down, But Up Nicely for Kindergarten; Computer Equipment; Honors

At its Feb. 26 meeting (agenda: http://goo.gl/d1ued0 ) the Monrovia School Board will do this stuff ...

~ Receive a report indicating that enrollment has slipped slightly since 2009, however: "kindergarten enrollment (including Transition Kindergaten) is at its highest level since 2000-01. This could portend well for district enrollment trends in the future." http://goo.gl/4TyCge

~ Consider buying computer equipment so the district can administer the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for less than $1 million, to be paid for by one-time state funds. http://goo.gl/VMpbhu

~ Join with the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce to recognize these Employees of the Month for outstanding service: Jan Marlia, School Office Manager, Clifton Middle School; Tomeika Carter, Teacher, Clifton Middle School; Felicia Richardson, Clerical Assistant III, Monrovia High School; Sandra Duff, Teacher, Monrovia High School. Also, the board will honor Monrovia High School student Kevin Lee, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, and Roy Lamb, the Monrovia School District's 2014 Golden Apple Recipient. And, it will recognize the Monrovia/Duarte Black Alumni Association for coordinating Black History Month Activities following the theme of "The Civil Rights Movement in America".

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Miyachi at Science Expo

Monrovia's Miyachi America Corporation, a manufacturer of welding, marking and micro machining equipment and systems, will be participating in the Monrovia High School Math & Science Academy Science Expo tomorrow, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Monrovia High School Science Building quad. The event is free and fun for all ages! Miyachi will demonstrate its laser marking systems, and distributing unique giveaways.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Gem City Grill


Lunch at Gem City Grill yesterday. It's mostly a bar, and not at all elegant, but they do serve food. On the north side of Olive just east of Myrtle. Got a Steakburger ($5.25) and a beer ($4.50 if I remember correctly). Very friendly, attentive service (the kind of place where they call you "Sweetie") and the burger was fat and filling and tasty. I liked it!

- Bead Haugaard

Robot Competition | Monrovia Moms Club Sale

~ Monrovia High hosts robotics competition, Saturday, Feb. 22. http://goo.gl/wMw7kG

~ Monrovia Moms Club sale, Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 a.m., 137 N Primrose Ave. http://goo.gl/fRTo4B

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Novel T's Book Club | Julian Fisher Park Open House

~ The Novel T's Book Club meets at the Monrovia Public Library every 4th Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. to discuss literary works selected by the members, fiction and non-fiction. February 25 discussion will feature "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarity. March, Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca," April is "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout. Refreshments will be served based on the theme of the book. http://goo.gl/2qjCIR

~ There will be an open house at Julian Fisher Park to view renderings of the park's playground equipment and learn about proposed playground construction timelines. Southeast corner of S. California Ave. and E. Chestnut Ave., Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 - 11:30 a.m. http://goo.gl/r2azZY

- Brad Haugaard

Raise Money For Cancer Society at Monrovia's Peach Cafe

Help raise money for American Cancer Society by having breakfast or lunch at the Peach Cafe on Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. It is on Colorado just west of Ivy. Details: http://goo.gl/meOGDR

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Mother vs. Son; Assault Over Sleeping Bag; Fight Over Colliding Mirrors; Firefighter Cop

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for February 17-19. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 381 service events, resulting in 83 investigations.

Vehicle Burglaries
February 17 in the early afternoon, two vehicle burglaries and one theft from a vehicle were reported to police. The incidents occurred in the 200 block of Valle Vista, the 300 block of Valle Vista, and the 200 block of North Grand Avenue. Miscellaneous items that were left in the vehicles were taken. One of the vehicles had been left unlocked, and in one of the incidents a window was shattered to enter the vehicle. The investigations are continuing.

Possession of Methamphetamine – Suspect Arrested
February 17 at 7:40 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the 600 block of South Mountain when he saw a suspicious adult male subject at Olive and Mountain. He contacted the subject, who consented to a pat down search for weapons or drugs. During the search, the officer found one small baggie of methamphetamine. The subject was arrested and taken into custody.

Assault – Suspect Arrested
February 18 at 6:30 p.m., a male subject called police to report he had just been assaulted. He told officers he was sitting in his car when he was approached by a former roommate who accused him of stealing a sleeping bag and then challenged him to fight. When the victim refused to fight, the suspect pushed him and ripped the victim's necklace from his neck and threw it on the ground. As the victim bent over to pick up the necklace, the suspect kicked the victim in the face, causing his mouth to bleed. The victim spit blood at the suspect and the suspect fled. The victim called police.

Officers responded to the suspect's home, but he wasn't at the location. The suspect walked into the police department lobby and turned himself in a few hours later. He admitted to the crime and said he was attempting to instigate a fight with the victim. He said he only fled to wash the blood off his face. The suspect was arrested.

Child Abuse – Suspect Arrested
February 18 at 9:00 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 200 block of West Lemon regarding a family fight between a mother and her 14-year-old son. The mother was intoxicated and was yelling at her son for no apparent reason. She pushed him to the ground, punched him in the face several times, and scratched his body with her fingernails. The 14-year-old boy did not fight back, but covered his face in defense. Officers were called to the scene and the mother was arrested for child abuse. The boy was released to his father, who does not live with the mother.

Assault Report
February 19 at 7:49 a.m., two female subjects were dropping off their kids at school in the 200 block of Jasmine. They were driving on Jasmine in opposing lanes and their mirrors collided. The drivers exited their vehicles and began arguing. One of the females pushed the other and a fight ensued. Another parent saw the fight and separated them. One of the subjects went to the police station to report the assault; the other called from the scene, and then came to the station, as well. One of the females was pregnant and complained of pain, so she was taken to a hospital. A verified complaint will be filed with the District Attorney’s office on both parties.

Structure Fire
February 19 at 9:49 p.m., a female resident in the 100 block of South Mayflower called 9-1-1 because her apartment's kitchen had caught on fire. An officer arrived at the location. The female said no one was inside, but the officer entered the apartment with his patrol car's fire extinguisher in order to confirm the home had been completely evacuated. After confirming no one was inside, he could see the flames rising from the kitchen stove. He sprayed the flames with his extinguisher and the fire was quickly put out, preventing it from spreading throughout the home and into other apartments in the complex.

Drones from Monrovia's AeroVironment to Scan the Arctic

Monrovia's AeroVironment gets FAA approval to use its drones for commercial applications in the Arctic. Oil and gas exploration. http://goo.gl/MJ5FQj

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia MOMMA?

Writing in The Weekly Star newspaper, Monrovia columnist Charlotte Shamadan quips that with the proliferation of governmental acronyms (POTUS, SCOTUS, FLOTUS, for example) Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz should have one. She proposes MOMMA - Mayor Of Monrovia Mary Ann.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Seagulls

To dissuade seagulls that are munching lunch scraps and dropping seagull bombs, Monrovia High is urging students to throw their left-over lunches away and is caution-taping off areas that have been left particularly messy. A school notice says: "Have some pride in where you eat and put your trash in the nearest trash can, which is certainly fewer than 15 feet away from you. Let's help the seagulls get back to the sea where they belong." http://goo.gl/9MTcP3

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Flea Market | Youth Summit

~ Flea Market at Monrovia's Wonder Dog Ranch, Sunday, Feb. 23, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 220 Taylor Street, two blocks south of Duarte Road on the east side of the 2000 block of South Myrtle. Part of the proceeds will benefit Foothill Unity Center Pet Food Bank.

~ Monrovia/Duarte Youth Summit. http://goo.gl/YuDiQP

- Brad Haugaard

Make Your Garden California Friendly | New Monrovia Condos at Ivy and Olive

~ Learn 6 ways to make your garden California friendly, Friday, Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m. at the Upper Water District board room - 602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B, Monrovia. Limited to 50 people. Email Ruby@usgvmwd.org or call (626) 443-2297 to attend. http://goo.gl/7NifO4

~ Artistic evening photo of the new condos at the corner of Ivy and Olive. http://goo.gl/tSSCxl

- Brad Haugaard

Fundraiser for Monrovia's Unity Center | A Bit of Wind?

~ Foothill Unity Center fundraiser, Thursday, Feb. 27, 3-9 p.m. Foothill Unity Center Auxiliary will receive ten percent of all dining proceeds. Paco's Mexican Restaurant, 200 E. Foothill, Arcadia.

~ Possibility of wind up to 14 miles per hour tomorrow (Wednesday). http://goo.gl/FHx2Y9

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Domestic Violence; Fraudulent Travelers Checks; Etc.

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

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Warrant - Suspect Arrested
February 13 at 12:37 p.m., an officer observed a subject at a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle who he knew had an outstanding warrant out of Arcadia Police Department for domestic violence. He detained and arrested the suspect for the warrant.

Attempt Burglary
February 14 at 3:37 p.m., the principal of a learning center in the 1000 block of South Canyon reported that someone attempted to break in on February 12. She said a security camera shows a subject removing a window screen. Apparently the alarm went off and the suspect fled. The investigation is continuing.

Battery / Mental Evaluation - Suspect Arrested
February 14 at 5:23 p.m., a woman and her husband were walking northbound on Mauna Loa from Foothill when a mentally ill female subject began to chase them and attempted to hit the woman. Another female subject attempted to tell the mentally ill woman that her dogs had gotten out and she punched this female. Police responded and took the woman to a hospital, where she was held for mental evaluation. The female subject who was punched called police to press battery charges against the subject.

Fraudulent Use of Travelers Checks - Suspects Arrested
February 14 at 5:29 p.m., a loss prevention officer from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called police to report a fraud in progress. Two females and one male subject were attempting to use fraudulent traveler's checks to make a purchase in the store. The same subjects reportedly used fraudulent traveler's checks at the Ontario branch of the same store at 12:00 p.m. that same day. They were now at the Monrovia store attempting to commit the same crime. Officers arrived and detained the three suspects as they were exiting the store. All three suspects were arrested and taken into custody for fraudulent use of traveler's checks.

Domestic Violence - Suspect Arrested
February 14 at 7:05 p.m., a male and female who are homeless were sitting on a bench in the park in the 300 block of South Myrtle. The male and female have been living together for eight years. The male suspect punched the female victim in the head and knocked her unconscious. Police responded and the suspect was arrested for domestic violence. The suspect is confined to a wheelchair, has a medical condition, and could not be housed at the Monrovia jail. He was taken to the Los Angeles County jail for housing. A computer check revealed the suspect is the restrained party in a domestic violence restraining order and the victim is the protected person.

Vehicle Burglary
February 15 at 8:24 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 300 block of South Violet Avenue. The victim reported that his vehicle was broken into and a backpack containing an iPad, iPod and other miscellaneous items was taken. The investigation is continuing.

Felony Vandalism
February 15 at 1:11 p.m., the victim parked his vehicle at a hotel in the 700 block of West Huntington at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. He went to his vehicle at 1:00 p.m. the next day and saw the rear passenger side door had been kicked in. Writing had been scratched into the paint and the right front fender area was damaged. The victim is from Nevada and had no idea how the damaged occurred. The investigation is continuing.

Domestic Violence - Suspect Arrested
February 15 at 2:53 p.m., police responded to the report of a male and female pushing each other in front of a residence in the 800 block of Alta Street. Officers arrived and separated the subjects, who are boyfriend and girlfriend. The subjects recently moved from Colorado to Monrovia and have been staying at her mother's house. They were involved in an argument and the male suspect choked the mother first and then the girlfriend. The suspect had a cut on this hand from breaking a mirror. Monrovia Fire Department paramedics responded and treated him for the injury. He was then arrested and taken into custody.

Girl Scouts and Monrovia VFW Retire Flags

The VFW recently had a flag retirement ceremony with a standing-room-only crowd. VFW spokesman Robert Parry reports that the Girl Scouts prepared more than 350 flags for burning over two days, but we only got through about 75. The Post will handle the the remnants.  Girl Scout Vienna Smith-Murillo, a Gold Award candidate and Freshman at Mayfield School, organized the event with VFW help.

- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: The Metro - Nice Trains, Lousy Ticket Machines

The Metro is coming to Monrovia soon, so to get a preview my wife and I decided to take the Metro into LA and have lunch at Phillipe's, so we got on at the Sierra Madre Villa station. I love trains and this one was clean and nice and the ride was pleasant, but the automatic ticket machine was - in my grandmother's colorful vocabulary - a disgrace to the hooty owls. It is the most baffling, confusing, frustrating ticket machine I have EVER had the misfortune to encounter. Even multi-language ticket machines in Europe are a breeze to use in comparison. And while we stood there confounded three other people expressed their confusion as well. And the five of us were the only ones there! 100% confusion.

So, can you Metro people please find some decent ticket machines before you install them in the Monrovia station?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Author Publishes Outer Space Cowboy Book

Hard-working Monrovia author (right) with his editorial assistant (left).

Slow news day, so I'll mention that a Monrovia author (me) has just published a little Kindle novella on Amazon called The Outlander. It's a lightweight, old-fashioned western with a bit of adventure and a bit of romance. All that, and it takes place on another planet. For 99 cents you won't go broke.

Blurb: If his father's life wasn't at stake, TirĂ³n was the last planet in the galaxy Cyrus would have visited. It was like Arizona in 1875, and he had miles to ride along a dusty trail with a killer behind him and right ahead a beautiful young woman with a very short fuse...

Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I8VRJAC

- Brad Haugaard


Progress on Xpress Car Wash and Del Taco in East Monrovia

Construction seems to be proceeding nicely on the Xpress Car Wash (top) and the Del Taco (bottom) next to each other on Huntington at the east end of Monrovia, across from Target. Does it seem they're making fast food restaurants a lot bigger these days?

-Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia Subway

A new Subway sandwich shop has opened at the Rite Aiid shopping center at the corner of Huntington and Magnolia. The grand opening was just this weekend. Thanks to Brad Hori for the tip.

- Brad Haugaard

Parry: Woman Hurt, Homeless Man Arrested

Former Monrovia City Council candidate, Robert Parry, writes on Facebook: "I just saw one lady taken to the hospital and one guy arrested at the library park. He is one of the regulars among the homeless group."

Parry has been pushing the city to do something about homeless people congregating in Library Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Columnist Lauds Monrovia Hillside Preserve Booklet

San Gabriel Valley Tribune columnist Steve Scauzillo writes approvingly of a new booklet describing the Monrovia Hillside Preserve: http://goo.gl/HXjg8p . (Oh, by the way, here is a link to the booklet: http://goo.gl/EDFK08 )

- Brad Haugaard

Games for Kids at Monrovia Library

Board, video, and computer games at the Monrovia Public Library Community Room tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 15, 7-9 p.m. For grades 6-12 only.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Caffe Opera

Lunch at Caffe Opera, at the corner of Myrtle and Lime. Elegant. Got the Atlantic Salmon ($15) and a beer ($4.25). Meal comes with delicious, fresh bread.  The salmon was very good, too. Had bread pudding ($7) for desert - very good!

- Brad Haugaard

New Restaurant: Distillery-Theme with Copper, Wood | Arroyo Coach Declines Monrovia

~ The Community Development Department reports that the planned Copper Still Grill, where Sam's Mediterranean Kabob used to be, will be "reminiscent of days gone by; rustic, distillery-themed with interior decor treatments of wood and copper throughout." http://goo.gl/TEKwY8

~ Arroyo High School head coach Jim Singiser has reportedly been approached to be considered as Monrovia's head coach, but declined. http://goo.gl/CR9LMs

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Crimes; Suspect on Flyer Arrested

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for February 10–12. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 358 service events, resulting in 66 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Recovered

February 10 at 9:23 a.m., a parking control officer noticed a vehicle parked in a no parking zone in the 100 block of West Central Avenue. The officer determined the registered owner lived at an address nearby and the owner was contacted. The owner said they last saw their vehicle in their driveway. It was determined that the vehicle had been stolen and left a few blocks away. A police officer responded to take a report. The investigation is continuing.

Wanted Person / Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Suspect Arrested

February 10 at 10:47 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the 200 block of North Grand Avenue when he saw a male subject who he recognized from a wanted persons flyer. He detained the suspect and confirmed it was the person from the flyer. The suspect was wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, a crime that occurred on February 7 in the 300 block of South Myrtle Avenue. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Vehicle Burglary

February 11 at 6:03 a.m., police responded to the report of a vehicle burglary. A resident in the 500 block of West Duarte parked her vehicle in the carport area of her apartment complex in the evening. At approximately 4:40 a.m., she heard her car alarm activate. She looked out her window and saw a tan Honda Accord parked next to her vehicle that drove away with its lights blacked out. The victim saw three male Hispanics in the vehicle. The loss consisted of two jackets, the vehicle manual and service records. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto / Vehicle Recovered

February 11 at 7:06 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 700 block of South Myrtle. The resident parked his vehicle in front of his residence in the evening and at 7:00 a.m. noticed it was missing. The vehicle was entered into the stolen vehicle system and the LoJack system was activated. Officers received a hit and located the vehicle in the 200 block of Stedman. There appeared to be no loss from the vehicle and there was no sign of forced entry. It was discovered during the investigation that the victim had left the valet key in the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

New Monrovia Pizzeria Opens Tomorrow


Flamzz (I think it's pronounced "flames") is opening tomorrow, Friday. It seems to be a gourmet build-your-own pizza place. It's at the corner of Colorado and Ivy.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Tax Revenue Up ... Kinda; Robotics Team; City Newsletter

At its Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda: http://goo.gl/Tk4Q4x ), the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Review the city's budget. A snip: "Overall revenue projections ... show an increase in both sales and property taxes. At this time, Staff still anticipates positive growth in both areas, but sales tax revenue will be a little less than first anticipated." Details: http://goo.gl/y8WX7k

~ Honor the Monrovia High School Robotics Teams for awards it received at the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Qualifying Tournaments.

~ Consider having The Sauce Creative Services produce the Monrovia Today newsletter for $11,198.05 per publication during 2014. http://goo.gl/Hv3LnU

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Creating 'Diaper Bank'

According to its latest newsletter, Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center wants to create a "Diaper Bank," with diapers and wipes for infants. Email Raina Martinez at raina@foothillunitycenter.org if you'd like to help coordinate the project.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wendy's Now Open


The remodeled Wendy's, in the Pavilions shopping area at Foothill and Myrtle, is now open. It looks pretty good. Inside is sort of a video fireplace and free wi-fi. 

-Brad Haugaard

Pictures of All 129 Monrovia Historic Landmarks | Monrovia Police Explorers Bring Home Trophy

~ The Monrovia Community Development Department has compiled a set of photographs of each of the city's 129 Historic Landmarks. Here they all are: http://goo.gl/QGW8OI

~ Last month, Monrovia Police Explorer Post 132 participated in a competition of police skills in Chandler, Arizona, and did well, bringing home a trophy. http://goo.gl/CjNSQn

- Brad Haugaard

Old Tract Map of Monrovia

A cool old tract map of Monrovia from 1887, along with a bit of Monrovia history. Foothill Boulevard used to be called White Oak. Who knew? (Okay, okay, I know. Steve Baker knew.) http://goo.gl/Z30lwr

- Brad Haugaard

Invitation to Join Valley Newcomers Club

The Newcomers and Friends of San Gabriel Valley club invites new residents in the San Gabriel Valley to join its March events, which include a "meet and greet" coffee in Arcadia on March 5 at 10 a.m. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to attend. Also, on March 26, Newcomers is hosting a tour to Hollywood.

Other club activities include a book club, Bunco, Bridge, Mah jongg, Pinochle, Scrabble, golf, hiking, movie goers, wine tasting, travel, luncheons, tours and more. Details: sgvnewcomers@yahoo.com or http://www.sgvnewcomers.com

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Extension to Azusa Half Done

Aerial view of Monrovia maintenance yard, looking east.

The 11.5-mile Gold Line Pasadena-to-Azusa extension is now half done, and Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian said, "We have stayed on-schedule and on-budget since we began work in 2010."

The Construction Authority anticipates having the Monrovia maintenance yard, which will accommodate 84 light rail vehicles, done by March 2015, and the remainder of the project turned over to Metro in September 2015 for testing and pre-revenue service.

- Brad Haugaard

Full Text of Monrovia Mayor Lutz' State of the City Speech

Full text of Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz' State of the City speech at the Krikorian Theater last night:

INTRODUCTION

Good evening, and thank you for being here as we take a look at the State of our City in 2014.

I want to first and foremost thank the rest of the City Council: Mayor Pro Tem Becky Shevlin, and Councilmembers Tom Adams, Alexander Blackburn and Larry Spicer, City Clerk Alice Atkins, and City Treasurer Steve Baker.

These are extraordinary individuals who have devoted their time to helping Monrovia families.

Like everyone here tonight, they are committed to making Monrovia great and investing in our future. They are dedicated servants and I am proud to serve with them on Team Monrovia.

Thank you School Board members for being here tonight... What an incredible impact you have on our youth.

Members of the Planning Commission, Community Services Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Old Town Advisory Board, Library Board, Teen Advisory Board, and Youth Commission, thank you for your service.

And thank you to Corey, my husband of 34 years, for being here tonight.

There are those here in this auditorium who volunteer countless hours to Monrovia. Our service clubs: I see Kiwanians, Rotarians, Knights of Columbus, Quota Club, and MAP Neighborhood Leaders here. Without a second thought, you give of your time. You give your money. You give of yourself. Thank you for the support you so gracefully offer.

I see students, teachers, and our School District staff here tonight.

With passion, you have chosen to put your energy in Monrovia’s future, our youth.

As I look at the future of the City, I feel comforted knowing they are well-trained, well-coached, well-educated, and well-looked after.

I look out and see many of our local business owners and entrepreneurs. You chose Monrovia. You see the potential and the importance of being here. We thank you and support you. We want to help you grow your business, create more employment, and build upon the investment you have already made.

And I see our own City employees here tonight. You have been asked to take on more, expand beyond your reach, and have done so adeptly and humbly. We thank you for your service to Monrovia.

Over the past several years, Monrovia has endured many obstacles.

The economy, the State, Mother Nature, unlucky circumstance, and the winds of change have swept through our City. And yet here we are, as strong as ever before.

With the loss of Redevelopment, we refocused our energies on Economic Development.

With the turnover in Staff, we came together as Team Monrovia does, to focus on efficiencies, conducting a City-wide organizational study.

With budget constraints, we began budget study sessions to get a complete financial picture in order to move forward.

And with an eye on services, we focused our efforts strategically in Plan Monrovia.

We are a forward thinking community.

Last year we asked you what the City should focus on over the next five years.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Plan Monrovia is a joint vision from the Community and the Council to decide which efforts would maximize our future success.

Overwhelmingly your response was a focus on Economic Development, and we as a Council couldn’t agree more.

Let’s focus on business.

Let’s focus on jobs and job development.

The City of Monrovia provides services to the community based on sales and property tax revenue. Sales tax revenue accounts for 30% of our general fund. The better our businesses do, the more our community thrives.

Our Chamber is here tonight, including newly elected Chamber President Jennifer Stone, and can we take a second and give all of our Chamber members a round of applause?

Every quarter the Chamber hosts a small business seminar, and each month they not only personally welcome every new business to town, but provide opportunities for businesses to get together and network.

They continually encourage us to shop local, and have increased much of our business to business transactions.

Local business is so important. I have personally visited businesses to check in... see what they need and how we can help.

We want to be a partner in your success, and good relationships and open communication make that happen.

3Our mission is to strengthen Monrovia’s economy and tax base by proactively retaining and attracting businesses in Old Town... around the Gold Line Station Square... and along Huntington Drive.

We are proud to provide streamlined permitting and plan check processing.

Monrovia welcomed 216 new businesses in 2013, and 15 last month alone.

This includes great new developments like: the Panera, Chipotle, Smashburger at their location on Huntington Drive; the Del Taco and Car Wash soon to open near Mountain Avenue; and last year we welcomed our very first microbrewery to town.

There are many reasons that businesses choose Monrovia. Businesses here have employees who live in our beautiful Old Town district and walk to work. Others bring in international clients to stay at our hotels and dine in our great restaurants. Mt. Sierra designers will one day ride the Gold Line into town and spend their days on a brand new campus.

Old Town provides such an alluring shopping and dining experience with destination retailers and business services. I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Old Town merchants for their hard work in creating such a unique destination.

But our businesses are not the only ones helping spur economic development efforts.

Our schools become feeder organizations for these businesses, building a pool of innovative, hard-working and entrepreneurial-minded employees. The Monrovia Adult School, ROP, and Mt. Sierra College are providing curriculums and training that directly correlate to skills our local businesses are looking to hire.

Our Monrovia Public Library provides valuable services and training for job seekers. For these and many other reasons, we are one of LA Counties’ Most Business Friendly cities, and we want to keep it that way.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
In order to retain all of our great amenities, Economic Development cannot be our only focus. You also said a main focus for the City of Monrovia should be our environment. I agree.

In 2011, I became a proud owner of an electric vehicle. I bought the car from a local dealership, and contracted for the installation of a charging station from a local high-tech company, AeroVironment, who made charging stations long before they were cool.

It’s much easier to go green when the local infrastructure and businesses support it. And we are proud to say that our business community is behind this commitment as well.

Parks

The Monrovia community expressed the ultimate commitment to the environment 14 years ago when we passed a bond measure to protect our hillsides, creating a preserve that would keep it free from development and open for us all to enjoy.

After a long wait, the first two trails in the Wilderness Preserve opened last year. This weekend you can make a trip up to our hillside and enjoy what you have spent years proudly earning.

Julian Fisher Park is well underway for improvements... after receiving a quarter million dollar grant to replace the playground equipment thanks to LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

Thanks to hardworking staff and volunteers, our Haunted Hikes in Canyon Park came back after a 5-year hiatus, spookier than ever.

Canyon Park was named one of the top 10 places to see in LA by KPCC.

Plus, thanks to a tip from Penny Katz, a local resident, look for replacement play equipment at Grand Avenue park, acquired at significant savings by our Public Works Department.

Energy Efficiency

I am proud to announce that Monrovia is the 5 th participating City in Los Angeles County to receive a Gold Level award for energy efficiency from the ...San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments... and Southern California Edison.

Since 2010, the City’s Green team has been steadfastly looking for ways to be more efficient. Through their creative efforts, we have reduced our energy output by over 10%, saving 1.3 million kilowatt hours of energy from City facilities. That is enough to power 191 homes for one year... saving the city about $33,000 in annual energy costs.

Our lighted traffic signals are now equipped with photocells. The HVAC units at the Community Center are more efficient. We have made upgrades to three of our water well pumps and water booster pumps. Not to mention that we have an accumulated energy savings of $195,000 for the City since 2006... and taken in $28,000 in incentives this last year.

This year our Old Town will be equipped with all new LED lighting. We started last year, and so far over 400 of the 750 bulbs have already been replaced. Through this project we make huge strides towards reaching Platinum status in energy efficiency, just the second city in LA County to get there.

We have always been a leader in our region.

Water & Stormwater

Just weeks ago, the Governor declared a State of Emergency... asking for cities to conserve water. Monrovia is conserving. Our Water for Life programs and 20% reduction by 2020 goals are already in place.

During this time of drought, we will do even more to conserve, because we approach it as a team.

Just look at our approach to stormwater.

The stormwater permit as it stands is a seemingly insurmountable unfunded mandated put upon us by the State. It is not the only unfunded mandate, but it is the most expensive we have seen in some time.

I want you to know that I have teamed up with our representatives in Sacramento and DC, and other Mayors across the country. We are leading the way to ensure that when these decisions are made, more than just policy is taken into consideration, but also the fiscal impact these policies have on a community.

We do not disagree with the spirit of the stormwater permit, it is important to protect our water sources, our rivers, spreading grounds and oceans. And we are moving forward to achieve that. Soon the City will have a Green Street Policy and Development Standards that will increase water infiltration and stop trash and other material from going downstream.

More than ever, it is so important that we realize we are not operating on our own, and focus on partnership.

This year we graduated 13 new MAP Neighborhood Leaders and 24 Youth Leaders.

Hundreds came to our annual neighborhood conference, proving that so many of our residents have seen the value of contributing to our City, through partnership. The National Day of volunteering, Make a Difference Day, is a partnership between many of our City’s service organizations and hundreds of residents willing to sacrifice a Saturday morning to help those less fortunate.

The third annual New Years’ Eve Event was a partnership of our Old Town Merchants, and the result is a fantastic, fun and safe event to ring in the New Year.

Same goes for the Taste of Old Town, sponsored by Kiwanis, and Healthy Kids Day, sponsored by the YMCA.

Our Oversight Board is a partnership of the City, County, and Schools to ensure that we properly unwind from Redevelopment.

FIRE DEPARTMENT
This year I am so happy to announce another great partnership, with the City of Arcadia.

Two years ago, our Fire Department, with the Los Angeles County Fire Chiefs Association, sought to build a state of the art training facility right here in Monrovia. This is one of the most active fire seasons we have seen in a long time, a reason why it is so important that all of our staff are properly trained. It is my pleasure to announce that construction of the training facility at Station 102 is currently underway.

Utilizing multiple scenario training rooms, the training tower will be open to agencies all over LA County. With a cutting-edge virtual conference center, Monrovia will be able to cross train with other Fire Departments without ever leaving the City.

All of this is made possible at no cost to Monrovia thanks to several different grant sources and the City of Arcadia. Arcadia Fire Chief Kurt Norwood is here tonight and I would like to say thank you for all of your support.

Madison Fire

In May of last year, the Madison Fire hit our hillsides, and while it wasn’t the biggest fire of the season, we are certainly feeling the impact. The Madison Fire spread to 125 acres over two days and took over 200 firefighters from multiple agencies to quell. It spread quickly, over difficult terrain. Thanks to low wind and the rapid response from our Fire Department, not one resident, home, or structure was harmed.

The fire burned everything along the hillside, and without vegetation, the area has become susceptible to mudslides. Thanks to mutual aid efforts from LA County Public Works, we were able to put in mitigation efforts to ensure that even after the fire, no residents, homes, or structures are harmed.

For those of you who do not know or live up near these neighborhoods... there is now over 5,000 feet of K-Rail surrounding homes near the fire to mitigate effects of potential mudslides.

I would like to address the residents living in the Madison Fire area: Thank you.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding. K-Rail is not an easy thing to live with, we know that, and are working on ways to speed up the seeding process so you can get your neighborhood back.

POLICE DEPARTMENT
Tonight I want to thank our Police and Fire Department for the extraordinary work that they do, along with all of the volunteers who help right alongside them.

Monrovia is a safe community. It’s a safe community because every day we have hardworking men and women ensuring that it stays that way.

9Our gang injunction is working, thanks to our SET team and officers on Patrol. In 2011, 12,000 state prisoners were released into communities in Los Angeles County. Every city has felt an impact from the prison realignment. We have work very closely with LA County, the Department of Probation, and our elected officials to make sure our streets are safe. We have made great strides through a regional effort with the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task force.

Monrovia is vigilant and proactive, and the results of those efforts are extraordinary.

We are experiencing the lowest crime rate we have seen in 30 years. Our annually reported Part 1 crime, which includes violent crime and property crime, is down 16% from last year. This is due largely to partnership and the proactive steps we have taken to address criminal issues.

Neighbors are becoming more active through the MAP program. Neighborhood Watch Captains are staying alert, calling in when they see something happen in their neighborhood. Code Enforcement inspections and Community Policing efforts are educating landlords on how to pick good tenants. The Monrovia Community Mediation Team continues to come together to address issues before they become major concerns.

All of these efforts, combined with our Patrol have made Monrovia the safest we have seen in quite some time.

Youth Employment Service

The City’s Youth Employment Service (YES) is just another way that we are tackling public safety head on.

By providing summer jobs for at-risk youth, we have successfully reduced tardiness and absenteeism rates for those in the program, and they in turn increased their GPAs.

Many of these youth have gone on to college, or successfully found jobs.

These proactive programs are key. It is so important to reach people before they reach our prison system.

The YES program is a success, and last year Monrovia won the Helen Putnam Award from the League of California Cities, receiving statewide recognition for our efforts and proactive take on youth intervention.

Technology

Safety takes a combination of the right officers and giving them the right tools. So we are focusing on technology:

• IPad technology for Fire inspections...
• Electronic hospital reporting for the Fire Department Paramedics...
• Personal video cameras and in-car computers to enhance officer safety...
• Emergency radio communications for our Park Rangers...
• Tools to maximize efficiency for officers writing reports...
• And a $250,000 grant to redo our Dispatch Center...

We’re giving the technology to our residents as well.

Nixle... the emergency text alert notification system. If you have not already signed up, please do so.

We want to keep you updated. it’s why we updated and reorganized our website. Its why we value our social media outlets, It’s why we’ve provided you free Wi-Fi at our facilities, and expanded workshops at the Library that focus on the benefits of technology. It’s why we built a City app so that you know what is going on in our community.

Let’s stay connected.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Many here tonight grew up in Monrovia, understand its history, and seek to preserve it for the next generation. It comes as no surprise to me that Historic Preservation was named as one of Monrovia’s top priorities.

We wholeheartedly commit to the preservation of our historic homes, structures, sites, and districts with sensitivity to the context in which they sit.

Right here in Library Park we celebrated the 100 th birthday last year of our Moreton Bay Fig. Historic preservation creates an investment in property improvements, increases historic tourism, and an improves property values.

GOLD LINE & STATION SQUARE
40 years ago our City was rebounding. The Age of Redevelopment saw a revitalization of Old Town, the installation of a high-tech corridor, and a focus on creating a safer, more vibrant City.

We balanced retail and development with preservation. We kept our past in mind. And moving forward, it is our responsibility to maintain that balance.

Over the next few years, Monrovia is going to once again enjoy the development of public improvements. Our redevelopment properties are poised for opportunity. Private development is taking off. But there is one thing on all of our minds: GOLD LINE.

This 11.5 mile extension of the light rail system through the San Gabriel Valley will usher in over 1 million riders through Monrovia every month. It creates accessibility to Monrovia we have never had before, and changes the landscape of our town.

But we don’t see those results right now. Right now, we are enduring the inconvenience of construction. Myrtle Avenue is closed, and soon we will see temporary closures at Mountain and Magnolia. Remember, businesses are open here and we encourage you to support them during the construction months.

These temporary constructions zones, however, will lead to long-term benefits for the City. The Metro Gold Line Operations Campus is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2015, and the line is turned over to METRO at the end of next year. In fact, just today, Gold Line announced 50% completion of the Foothill extension construction from Pasadena to Azusa.

Station Square

I see more than the 11.5 mile light rail extension, Maintenance and Operations Campus, and 344 space parking lot. I see opportunity.

Monrovia is the only City along the line with $25 million to improve the area around our station, and you better believe we are going to take full advantage of that. Station Square will bring public gathering spaces, enhanced bike routes, green streets, more street trees, public art, new residential development, and a vastly improved intersection at Myrtle and Duarte.

We will become the premiere destination along the foothills by investing in ourselves by investing in public improvements. It will all center around a very important and historic structure right in the middle of this change, the very Santa Fe Depot that tugs at our heart strings. Our commitment to historic preservation means that the area will focus not just on economic development and utilize sustainable methods, but will mirror the historic nature of the Depot and our beautiful Old Town.

INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE
Gold Line and Station Square are amazing projects. Much of what we focus on and highlight is centered on the amenities that make Monrovia stand out. But our infrastructure, our backbone, cannot be ignored. In fact, it must be placed at the forefront of our decision-making.

Our infrastructure and facilities provide Monrovia residents, business and visitors with vital comforts: Our streets, traffic signals, street lights, water lines, sewer systems, storm drains, parks, and even our own City buildings.

We use these systems every day, and we have committed to develop a program for long-term maintenance, prioritizing these systems so that you never have to worry about them.

It starts with deferred maintenance. We need to repair or replace what can no longer be patched or ignored. Next comes studies to create Capital Improvement plans to assure our infrastructure is reliable and its useful life is extended as long as possible.

This year, thanks to Federal funds we procured in 2011, the remainder of Huntington Drive will be completely repaved. I would like to welcome our new Public Works Director, Carl Hassel, who has come on board to help us bring these projects to life.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Plan Monrovia sets ambitious goals. I would have expected nothing less from this town I love. In order to ensure we meet all of these goals, Monrovia must have a sound fiscal plan.

Fiscal responsibility has always been a top priority. The good news is: Our sales tax and property taxes are up and trending towards pre-recession levels; Our business base is diverse and stable; And we have adopted a structurally balanced budget.

But we still face challenges. Over the past six months, the City Council and I have sat through multiple budget study sessions. Budgets are complicated and there are many aspects to consider. We still need to maintain adequate reserves for economic uncertainty. Right now our reserve level is at 14% of the general fund; Our goal is 20%.

We have brought in over $2 million in grant funding last year alone, but we need to be able to fund ongoing costs with ongoing revenues. I am happy to report that all of our employees are paying their full share of pension costs, but pension costs are still expected to rise.

We are four months into an organizational study that will allow us to look at where we can streamline internally and become more efficient. This means utilizing the support of volunteers, like the 370 volunteer applications we received last year. We will need to look at ways to contain our costs or generate new revenues.

CHANGE & OPPORTUNITY
The City of Monrovia has faced unprecedented change over the past few years. Every City in California has. What sets us apart is the way we have responded.

Change is difficult. It is uncomfortable. But change is what makes us great. In the winds of change comes opportunity.

We are in the process of naming a new City Manager. In the meantime, I want to thank our Interim City Manager Fran Delach who brought with him wisdom, expertise and energy into City Hall. We wish you could stay.

This year we said goodbye to our long-time Community Services Director April Soash. That kind of spirit and dedication isn’t easily replaceable, but this year we will name her successor.

Last year we processed over 1,100 building permits, up 55% from 2012. We are starting to see the result of the economic recovery this year with new developments, residential improvements, and further investment in our community.

15BMW is expanding. Miyachi Unitek is renovating a new facility at the corner of Myrtle and Duarte Road which will further improve our transit village area. The development at one of the most travelled entryways to our City at 5 th and Huntington should begin this year. And soon we will welcome new residents into Old Town at 18 new units at the corner of Ivy and Olive Avenues.

Opportunities with business attraction abound, and we are keen to attract more high-tech companies and startups to add to the intellectual capital already here. We are also investing in our health. We joined City of Hope’s Foothill Fitness Challenge, and brought the most number of participants of any foothill City.

I am so excited to tell you that just two weeks ago, Monrovia was awarded $25,000 from the US Conference of Mayors to form a partnership with the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and School District, creating Fit Together, aimed at keeping our Monrovia youth healthy and active.

As eager as I am for all of the opportunities before us, success in Monrovia is never assured. It is the result of hard work, collaboration, and daring leadership. We must all pitch in and play a role.

As we work together, it is my hope that our path forward will focus on our hopes rather than fears, on our ideas rather than our limitations, and be grounded in our creativity, passion, and desire to be better.

It is my hope that we will meet our challenges head on, and bring to life both the opportunities before us and those we haven’t even imagined yet.

That we will constantly strive to grow this place we call home- Monrovia.

Thank you Team Monrovia, and good night.