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Aldi, TJ Maxx, Homegoods Will Likely Open at Old Albertson's Center; Worley Parsons Consolidates to Monrovia; Etc.

In his weekly report ( https://goo.gl/jZWx5D ), City Manager Oliver Chi reports (among other things) that ...

~ Aldi Supermarket and TJ Maxx / Homegoods are tentatively set to locate in the former Albertson's Shopping Center. The Development Review Committee formally approved a facade remodel for the shopping center, which is being rebranded and renamed to be called, "Monrovia Landing." The Michael's store will move over next to O'Reilly Auto Parts.

~ Worley Parsons, the international engineering firm, will close its Arcadia facilities and move everybody to its Monrovia offices at 181 West Huntington. This means 300-400 more people who will work, dine, and shop while in town.

~ Starting Dec. 5, roadwork here:
Cherry Avenue - from Alta Vista to Myrtle
Chestnut Avenue - from Monterey to Myrtle
Cypress Avenue - from Alta Vista to Myrtle
Highway Esplanade - from Huntington to Chestnut
King Street - from Monterey to Mayflower
Maple Avenue - from Mayflower to Primrose
Montana Street - from Magnolia to Myrtle
Olive Avenue - from Mayflower to the western end of the cul-de-sac
Primrose Avenue - from Huntington to Central
Walnut Avenue - from Mayflower to Myrtle

~ This Friday, Dec. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m., as part of the street fair, there will be free family portraits at Charlie's House in Old Town (430  S. Myrtle Ave.).

- Brad Haugaard

Walking Tour Of Old Monrovia

Monrovia Historic Preservation Group will conduct a walking tour of downtown Monrovia on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. The tour lasts about two hours, and participants will walk eight blocks. $5 per person. Reservations not necessary, just meet at the SE corner of Palm and Myrtle Avenues.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Craigslist Carjacking; Fire at Apartment Complex; Tossing Firearms; Lost in the Mountains; Screwdriver Burglar; Drunk in Public; Explosives Warrant; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 21-27. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Recovered Stolen Vehicle
November 21 at 11:02 a.m., an officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 100 block of W. Cypress. After clearing the stop, he noticed a parked vehicle partially blocking traffic. He ran a computer check of the license plate, which revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen. The vehicle was recovered.

Residential Burglary
November 21 at 12:28 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 100 block of N. Alta Vista. An officer was dispatched to the location. The victim had been away from the home for a short time, and when they returned, they found the inside of their home had been ransacked and items were missing. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 21 at 1:09 p.m., officers responded to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of E. Huntington regarding a burglary in progress. A resident heard glass break outside his front door. He walked outside and saw a male suspect with a screwdriver, and then observed that his neighbor’s front window was broken. The suspect attempted to run, but dropped the screwdriver. The suspect stopped, picked up the screwdriver and then threatened the witness with the screwdriver. He then fled north through the complex. The suspect was described as a tall, thin male Black, wearing all white clothing and a backwards baseball cap. He had tattoos on his upper right forearm. An extensive search was conducted with assistance from local agencies and the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter, but the suspect was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspects Arrested
November 21 at 7:29 p.m., officers were dispatched on the report of two intoxicated subjects in a business parking lot in the 500 block of Duarte Road. The two subjects were entering a vehicle. The officers detained the subjects and determined they were extremely intoxicated and unable to care for themselves. The subjects were arrested for being drunk in public. They were taken into custody and held for a sobering period. Their vehicle was stored.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspects Arrested
November 21 at 10:51 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington regarding two female adults that were intoxicated and trying to leave in a vehicle. Witnesses told the officers that one of the females had entered the vehicle and had driven it closer to the front doors so her friend could get in the vehicle. After investigation, one suspect was arrested for driving under the influence and the other for being drunk in public. Both subjects were held for a sobering period. The vehicle was stored.

Vehicle Burglary
November 22 at 1:00 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the 500 block of E. Walnut regarding a vehicle burglary. The victim parked and locked the vehicle on the street. An unknown suspect forced open the rear tool crib on the truck bed and stole roofing tools. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspects Arrested
November 22 at 2:29 p.m., officers were extra patrolling a hotel in the 700 block of W. Huntington when they saw a known gang member and his girlfriend. A computer check revealed the male subject had a traffic warrant out of El Monte and the female had an explosives warrant out of San Bernardino. The female subject was in possession of postal arrow keys for mailboxes, checks, identification cards and fraudulent credit cards. Both suspects were arrested and turned over to federal postal investigators.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 22 at 11:52 p.m., an officer contacted a male adult subject camping at a business in the 100 block of E. Maple. A computer check of the subject revealed a warrant for his arrest. The subject was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 1:48 a.m., a single vehicle traffic collision was reported at Mountain and Evergreen by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, who were on scene. A vehicle had crashed into a traffic signal. Monrovia officers responded and conducted an investigation. It was determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and there was an outstanding warrant for the driver's arrest for a previous DUI. He was arrested without incident.

Structure Fire
November 24 at 2:28 a.m., dispatch received calls regarding a structure fire at an apartment complex in the 100 block of N. Canyon. Officers arrived and found an adult male still inside the location, attempting to fight the fire. The subject refused to leave and had suffered severe burns. Officers were able to get him out of the home, but the subject had to be restrained to keep him from going back into the building. He was taken to a hospital with serious burn injuries. Two additional families were displaced from their units, as well. The American Red Cross responded to assist the residents.

Commercial Burglary
November 24 at 2:35 a.m., an alarm activation was reported at a business in the 900 block of W. Huntington. A burglary was confirmed. The suspect smashed a front door window to gain entry to the location. The investigation is continuing.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 1:08 p.m., a witness saw a vehicle collide into a parked vehicle in the 100 block of W. Lemon Avenue. The driver of the vehicle continued driving east and then south on Primrose. Officers responded and conducted an area search. The vehicle was located in an alley in the 100 block of W. Lemon. The driver was also located. The vehicle was towed and the driver received a citation to appear in court on the hit and run charges.

Vehicle Burglary
November 24 at 9:45 a.m., officers responded to the report of a vehicle burglary in the 400 block of W. Lemon. The victim parked his vehicle in front of the location the evening before and secured the vehicle. He returned in the morning and saw one of the windows to his vehicle was shattered. Items were missing from the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Firearm Violation – Suspect Arrested
November 25 at 10:16 p.m., an officer observed a vehicle run a stop sign at Mayflower and Evergreen. He attempted to stop the vehicle in the area of Fano and Alamitas. As the vehicle made a left turn onto Alamitas, a passenger tossed an item from the open window into the front yard of a residence. The vehicle came to a stop and two passengers fled the vehicle on foot. The driver was detained and the investigation revealed a loaded firearm behind the driver’s seat. The item tossed out of the window was found to be an additional loaded firearm. The suspect was arrested for the firearm violation. An extensive search was conducted for the passengers of the vehicle, but they were not located. The driver was found to be a convicted felon. He was arrested and held pending his court date. The investigation is continuing.

Missing Person
November 25 at 11:26 p.m., a female subject called police to report her husband and seven-year-old son were lost on a trail above Monrovia. She said her husband and son left at 12:00 p.m. to take a mountain bike ride from Mount Baldy into Monrovia on one of the mountain trails. She became concerned after several hours when they did not return. She received a text message at 9:50 p.m. from her husband, stating the ride was much longer than anticipated and he was attempting to locate the trail exit into Monrovia. Police made contact with the subject and by using his flashlight, the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter was able to locate the victims on the top of the Monrovia ridge and they gave police a GPS location. The Los Angeles County Search and Rescue unit was requested and they responded and safely rescued the victims.

Commercial Burglary
November 26 at 3:36 a.m., the Monrovia Fire Department responded to a smoke detector activation at a business in the 900 block of W. Huntington. When they arrived, they found the glass entry door had been smashed. Officers responded, searched the interior and determined a burglary had occurred. The suspects forced entry into the business by smashing the front door and made their way to a back office, where the suspects smashed open a safe and stole cash. The investigation is continuing.

Felony Hit & Run Traffic Collision
November 26 at 7:13 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting a hit and run traffic collision in the area of Myrtle and Colorado. A vehicle hit a pedestrian who was walking in the crosswalk and fled the scene. Monrovia paramedics arrived on scene and provided medical treatment for the pedestrian. The pedestrian complained of pain to her left shoulder and right hip, and was taken to a local hospital for her injuries. An extensive search was conducted for the suspect vehicle, but it was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Carjacking / Robbery
November 27 at 3:25 p.m., a carjacking/robbery was reported in the area of Royal Oaks and Bradbury. The victim met with the suspect, a male white adult, to sell a computer tablet he had listed on Craigslist. The victim did not want to meet the buyer at his residence, so they agreed to meet at Royal Oaks and Bradbury. The victim requested the buyer email him a photo of himself so he would know who to look for and the buyer sent one.

The victim met the suspect at the location and they got into the victim’s vehicle to complete the sale of the tablet. While in the vehicle, the suspect sprayed the victim in the face with pepper spray. The suspect grabbed the victim and attempted to keep him inside the vehicle, but the victim managed to get out of the car. The suspect then climbed into the driver’s seat and drove off in the victim’s car, a white, 2014 Ford Mustang. The vehicle the suspect arrived in, a yellow Ford Focus, was driven off at the same time. The victim then walked back to his residence and phoned police. Officers arrived and conducted an area search, but the suspect was not located. The victim's vehicle was entered into the law enforcement stolen vehicle database. The photo the victim received was of the suspect who committed the crime. The investigation is continuing.

Sow House Becomes Craft Hill


The Sow House restaurant (at the corner of Myrtle and Lime) has changed its name to Craft Hill and changed its menu, which you can see here: https://goo.gl/QfqCT7

Comment: Probably a good thing. It wasn't clear whether it was "sow" as in "sow seeds" or "sow" as in "oink."

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Fire Fighters Collect Toys

 
Monrovia fire fighters are in front of the Krikorian theater on Myrtle today collecting toys for the Spark of Love toy drive, which collects Christmas toys for needy children and teens. 

- Brad Haugaard 

'Annie' at Monrovia Church Dec. 8-11


A stage production of "Annie," by Monrovia's Center Stage, will be held at the International Full Gospel Fellowship church (at the corner of Palm and Primrose) on Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 8, 9, 10, and 11. Showtimes and tickets: https://goo.gl/rDa1UK

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Las Marias

 
Had lunch today at Las Marias, a little restaurant in the 7-Eleven strip mall on Foothill. I got two carnitas tacos and a regular size iced tea for $9.24, including tax. Very fresh and tasty and the staff was friendly.

- Brad Haugaard 

Ceramic Sale to Benefit Monrovia Adult School


Monrovia Adult School's Wheelhouse Ceramics is having its holiday sale on Friday, Dec. 2, from 6-9 p.m., and on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m,-4 p.m. at 1833 Santa Fe Place (behind AAMCO and Troy's Burgers). Cash or check only. Wheelhouse Ceremics is a non-profit group and proceeds help fund the studio.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Safety Tips Seminar

The Monrovia Police Department will host a holiday safety tips event titled, "Don't Let the Grinch Ruin Christmas" on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 7 to 8 p.m., in the Library Community Room.

This past year, the City of Monrovia has seen an approximate 25 percent increase in crime activity, a situation which law enforcement personnel have attributed to new laws that have been adopted in California.  Those laws include AB 109 and Proposition 47, as well as the recently approved Proposition 57, which will result in an estimated 10,000 incarcerated individuals who will be released from prison during the next few months.

With the increase in crime activities, safety is a high priority for all residents.  Join us as representatives from the Monrovia Police Department address public safety issues, answer questions and concerns, and provide information on ways to stay safe during this holiday season.  

For more information about this event, please contact the Monrovia Police Department at 256-8000.

Source: Monrovia Police Department press release

- Brad Haugaard

Sunny Thanksgiving; Rainy Saturday?

It should be sunny for Thanksgiving and Friday, but then hopefully some rain. 80% chance on Saturday and 40% chance on Sunday. https://goo.gl/0qMTb8

- Brad Haugaard

Crime Up 20% in Monrovia; 10% Off Emergency Supplies; Signs and Seating on Myrtle; Christmas Light Swap; For Vets in Hospitals

In his weekly report ( https://goo.gl/qeE0y1 ), City Manager Oliver Chi reports that ...

~ Crime is up about 20 percent in Monrovia compared to last year, so the police department will hold a safety seminar Thursday, Dec. 8, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Library. The department says part of the problem is new laws (AB 109 and Proposition 47). Also, newly approved Prop 57 means "an additional 10,000 incarcerated individuals will be released from prison during the next few months, which could further negatively impact crime rates."

~ Monrovia has worked a deal with a couple online emergency-supply stores to help Monrovians with emergency preparations. You can get 10% off on emergency preparedness supplies at Super Gen Products ( http://www.supergenproducts.com - enter promo code MONROVIA at checkout), and at SOS Survival Products ( http://www.sosproducts.com - enter promo code HC02591M at checkout).

~ The city is concerned about outdoor displays, signs, banners, and restaurant seating in Old Town, and will be "working with businesses to ensure that all necessary City reviews and permits have been satisfied."

~ The city and Metro believe they can work out an arrangement by February or March for non-transit parking at the Monrovia Gold Line station during low-traffic times.

~ You can swap incandescent Christmas light strings for new LED light strings on Dec. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Friday Night Family Street Fair. You must be a SCE customer (bring a bill), with valid ID. The strands you turn in must have at least 50 lights. While supplies last.

~ The Library's Veterans Resource Center is collecting new items for veterans in hospitals: White Socks for both men and women; adult coloring books; colored pencils; crayons; markers; board and card games for adults. A donation box is in the library lobby. For information contact Mabel Cross at 256-9294, or mcross@ci.monrovia.ca.us.



Monrovian Collects 1,009 Christmas Gifts for Children Around the World



Sixteen year old Monrovian, Grayson Wade, has been supporting Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child for seven years since being introduced to it as a Cub Scout.  Monday he delivered 1,009 shoebox gifts to the relay center in Arcadia.  From there the shoeboxes are transferred to a collection center in Orange County.  Once processed, they will ship all over the world to children in need.

Grayson's shoeboxes contain school supplies, hygiene items, toys, puzzles, art supplies, games, stuffed animals, musical instruments, clothing, etc.  In addition to the items he places in the shoeboxes, he includes $7 per box for shipping costs, so he needed to raise a substantial amount of money.  Grayson launched an aggressive door to door campaign to raise money for the boxes he packed at home.  Monrovians not only donated money, but also items for sewing kits, toys, stuffed animals, games, as well as packed shoeboxes.  He appealed to Monrovia Rotary Club and Monrovia Kiwanis Club.  Local stores, A Snail's Pace, Payless and Marshall's, saved empty shoeboxes for Grayson.  Also supporting his efforts were kids from scout troops and student clubs from several local high schools, including his own, Bosco Tech.

- Brad Haugaard

Auditions Set in December for 'Curtains' Play

Auditions for Curtains, a JFed Players Community Theatre production, will be held in mid-December with performances scheduled for mid-March. Singers, dancers, actors needed - principally young adult and up. Auditions at 7 p.m. on Sunday-Tuesday, Dec. 18-20, and Thursday, Dec. 22, at the Jewish Federation, 114A Lime Ave.. Performances will be in March at a venue in the San Gabriel Valley. More information at www.jewishsgpv.org or call the Jewish Federation of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys at 445-0810.

Set in 1959, Curtains is a musical satire of backstage murder mystery plots. The story begins when the untalented star of the musical within the musical, Robbin' Hood of the Old West, is murdered during her curtain call. The plot unfolds as Lieutenant Frank Cioffe, a police detective and musical theatre fan, arrives to solve the case and ends up saving the show and, perhaps, even finding love.

- Brad Haugaard

Christmastime Activities in Monrovia: Toy Drive; Carriage Rides; Tree Lighting and Parade; Santa Breakfasts: Santa Tours City; New Year's Eve

~ Spark of Love Toy drive on the 400 Block of Myrtle on Saturday, Nov. 26.

~ Horse-drawn carriage rides 3-6 p.m. on these Sundays: Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18. Also on Thursday evenings.

~ Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. at the corner of Myrtle and Lime on Thursday, Dec. 1, followed by Christmas parade at 7 p.m. (Parade Route is along Myrtle through Old Town.

~ Santa Claus breakfasts in Old Town: Peach Cafe Dec. 3 and 17 at 8 a.m.; Monrovian Family Restaurant Dec. 17 at 9 a.m.; Jake's Roadhouse Dec. 3 and 10 at 9:30 a.m.; Rudy's Mexican Restaurant Dec. 12 and 17 at 11 a.m.; and Myrtle Tree Cafe Dec. 10 at 10:15 a.m. Contact restaurant for reservations.

~ Santa in a fire truck tours the city. Here's his schedule:

- Monday, Dec 12: south of Huntington, west of Myrtle to Fifth. Also includes Valley Circle.

- Tuesday, Dec 13: East of Myrtle, north of Foothill.

- Wednesday, Dec 14: West of Myrtle, north of Foothill.

- Thursday, Dec. 15: East of Myrtle, south of Foothill, north of Duarte Road.

- Friday, Dec 16: West of Myrtle, south of Foothill to Huntington,  between Myrtle and Fifth

For more information, contact The Monrovia Police Department at 256-8000.

~ New Year's Eve in Old Town, with a beer and wine garden (for adults), family fun, and a midnight ball raising.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Hillside Wilderness Preserve Officially Open


Monrovia City Council members and the Community Services Commission officially and fully opened the Hillside Wilderness Preserve with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning at the Cloverleaf entry point to the preserve.

Comment: Thank you to the city officials and staff who have finally resolved this issue. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Dinner at Cafe LuMar

 
Had dinner last night at Cafe LuMar, on the south side of Colorado a half block east of Myrtle. Croatian food. I got the goulash for $17 and a Croatian beer for $6.50. It came with a little toast and spread appetizer and a tangy cabbage salad. I've eaten here several times and always been pleased and it was just as good this time. I was full but my wife got a dessert crepe. I took one bite: wonderful!
- Brad Haugaard 

Christmas Celebration Concert at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church

Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church is holding a Family Christmas Celebration with Gospel Choir and Orchestra concert on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Photos with Santa following the concert. The church is at the corner of Foothill and Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Assault on Family Member; Wallet Stolen From Kitchen; Victim Finds His Stolen Car; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 14-16. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Felony Battery – Suspect Arrested
November 14 at 10:58 a.m., dispatch received a call from a resident in the 1200 block of Sherman stating their son was currently at the residence in violation of a court order. Officers arrived and detained the son. Further investigation revealed the son was wanted by the Monrovia Police Department for felony battery for assaulting another family member. The suspect was arrested without incident.

Residential Burglary
November 14 at 7:51 p.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 200 block of W. Lemon and spoke to the victim of a residential burglary. The victim stated he had put his wallet on his kitchen table and then went to sleep. Two hours later, he woke up and discovered his wallet missing. The investigation is on-going.

Public Intoxication
November 14 8:21 p.m., an officer responded to a church in the 700 block of Shamrock regarding some items placed on their property between the buildings. The officer contacted a subject on the property that did not belong there after hours. The subject was too intoxicated to care for himself and was arrested for being drunk in public. He was taken into custody and held for a sobering period.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 15 at 10:50 a.m., a traffic collision was reported at the intersection of Shamrock and Huntington. A vehicle was driving west on Huntington and made an illegal u-turn at Shamrock. The vehicle was hit by another vehicle driving east on Huntington. When the vehicles collided, one of the vehicles went out of control and up into a gas station, where it hit a fire hydrant. Both parties were taken to a hospital for injuries.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Mail Theft / Parole Violation – Suspect Arrested
November 16 at 10:36 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 100 block of W. Cypress and noticed a suspicious subject sleeping in a parked vehicle. The officer contacted the subject and further investigation revealed the subject was on active parole and a search uncovered stolen mail and drug paraphernalia. The suspect was detained and taken into custody.

Grand Theft Auto Recovery
November 16 at 6:43 p.m., an officer responded to the report of a recovered stolen vehicle on the 1000 block of E. Huntington. The victim had reported his vehicle stolen to Temple City Sheriff’s and called the Monrovia Police Department stating he had located his vehicle.

Monrovia's AeroVironment Has New Drone for Farm, Energy, Transportation Industries | Garden Club Potluck

~ Monrovia-based AeroVironment has a new drone called Quantix out that targets the agricultural, energy and transportation markets. It is equipped with four rotors, two on the ends of a single wing, and takes off vertically. Product line manager Tom Stone said, "If you can draw a box on a screen and push a button, you can fly Quantix. You don't have to learn how to fly it, how to land it, and it'll take off automatically, plan the mission automatically, fly that mission automatically, come back and land, and you can take the data card and put it in this tablet and you can look at the results immediately."

~ The Monrovia Garden Club will hold its Annual Holiday Pot Luck on Tuesday Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church, at Myrtle and Foothill. There will be a silent auction for items donated by members. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6:30 pm.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council Officially Makes Hillside Wilderness Preserve a Park ... Well, Kinda

In what Mayor Tom Adams called a "monumental evening," the Monrovia City Council tonight approved making the Hillside Wilderness Preserve sort of a park, which, by the way, officially opens this Saturday, though it is actually open now.

It has been 16 years since Monrovia passed bonds and got grants from the State of California to buy the hillside land. One of the state requirements was that the land be open to the public, a requirement that now appears to be fulfilled.

However, it will not exactly be a park.

City Council Member Gloria Crudgington asked that the area not be declared a "park," since it is a "preserve," but that it have its own designation, so the Council - if I understand correctly - basically duplicated the chapter in the municipal code on parks to create a new chapter for the wilderness area.

Comment: A bit odd, but well, whatever. I'm just delighted that it is open, and want to thank the City Council, City Manager Oliver Chi, Public Services Director Tina Cherry and the staff members who made this happen. Excellent!

- Brad Haugaard

Donations for Animals | Down Home Holiday Show

~ The Pasadena Humane Society, which serves Monrovia, will hold #GivingPawsday to provide food, shelter and medical care to the nearly 12,000 animals taken into the shelter each year. This year's giving day will be Nov. 29. Donations can be made at pasadenahumane.org/givingpawsday or by texting PAWS to 27722. In-kind donations will also be accepted at the shelter. Items in high demand are fleece bedding, pet beds, canned cat food, towels and dog food. The full wish list can be found at pasadenahumane.org/wishlist.

~ The San Gabriel Valley Choral Company will present "Down Home Holiday Show," featuring Kids in Concert and The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Monrovia's St. Luke's Episcopal Church. For tickets: http://www.sgvccsingers.org.

- Brad Haugaard

Can Non-Riders Use Metro Parking During Off Hours? | Lions Club for Monrovia? | Holiday Home Decorating | Spark of Love | Etc.


In his weekly report ( https://goo.gl/2B7ks1 ), City Manager Oliver Chi reports ...

~ Sixty-four newly designed Blue Star Banners honoring Monrovians serving in the military were installed on Monday, Nov. 7 along Huntington Drive from Mountain Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

~ The city is working with Metro to see if they can work a deal to let non-transit users park in the Metro parking lot during low-traffic times, such as nights and weekends. Chi says "the City has received very favorable feedback that Metro would be amenable to developing such a joint use agreement.

~ Lions Club is trying to start a club here in Monrovia, and plans a meeting at the Santa Anita Family YMCA (501  S. Mountain Ave.). If the Club can find 20 people to participate, then the new club will be formed. Lions has more than 1.4 million members in approximately 47,087 clubs in more than 200 countries.  Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and serving youth.  For more information contact Manny Sanchez at (562) 708-9061, or by email at lionmanny@gmail.com.

~ If you have thoughts on how to improve the Monrovia Community Center, you might want to take this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N2LSTVN

~ Applications for the Holiday Home Decorating Contest are available at the Monrovia Community Center. Judging on Monday, Dec. 5, and award winners will be recognized during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at City Hall in Council Chambers.  For details, contact Public Services at 256-8246. Categories:

- Best Still Display
- Best Outdoor Display
- Best Decorated Outdoor Tree
- Best Window Display
- Holiday Spirit Award
- Most Effective Use of Lighting a house
- Toyland Award
- Children's Choice Award
- Best Neighborhood Effort
- Snowman Award
- Judges Award
- Tim McKeehan "Best of Season" Award

For additional information, please contact the Department of Public Services at 256-8246.

~ The Bob Bob Bartlett Memorial Mosaic Committee will meet Nov. 30 to review the final design of the artwork being prepared by Carole Choucair Queijan. This will be "a more refined version of the conceptual actual artwork." Comment: Good, that initial concept design was not as polished as it could have been.
 
~ An ABC7 news team and filmed Monrovia's firefighters, equipment, and our Fire Station as part of this year's ABC7 Spark of Love Toy Drive, which provides thousands of toys to children that are less fortunate.  Fire Engineer Moreno coordinated Monrovia's involvement in this event.

~ The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade to take place on Thursday, Dec. 1 with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. and the Holiday Parade at 7 p.m.  The parade theme is "A Historic Holiday", honoring this year's Grand Marshals, the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group. Sponsored by the Monrovia Old Town Merchants.
 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football on TV News

Monrovia Football on Channel 4 News. https://goo.gl/T02Rae

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Musicians To Perform Saturday at Pavilions

Come support Monrovia Young Musicians Ensemble, which will be in front of Pavilions supermarket promoting its Carolgrams, holding its Fall Bake Sale, and performing. This Saturday, Nov. 19, and Dec. 3 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Man Robbed in Alley; Rifles Stolen; SUV Seats Stolen; Yelling and Screaming; Kicking Vending Machine

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 10-13. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Residential Burglary
November 10 at 6:24 p.m., a resident in the 1500 block of S. Fifth Avenue called police to report she had just returned home from work and found her home had been burglarized. Although a complete list of stolen property could not be immediately compiled, two rifles were among the items stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Disturbing Subject / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
November 10 at 7:09 p.m., a disturbing subject was reported yelling and screaming in the 700 block of W. Duarte Road. Officers arrived and located a subject matching the description. A computer check revealed the subject had three outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was arrested for the warrants and taken into custody.

Loitering / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 10 at 8:28 p.m., several subjects were reported loitering in front of a business in the 700 block of W. Huntington. Officers arrived and found one of the subjects had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and taken into custody. The subject was held pending his court appearance.

Driving Under the Influence Traffic Collision / Child Endangerment – Suspect Arrested
November 10 at 8:49 p.m., a resident in the 300 block of Longford Place called police to report a vehicle had collided into her neighbors’ yards. Officers arrived and the investigation revealed the driver was extremely intoxicated and had her 16-year-old son in the vehicle at the time of the collision. The suspect was arrested for driving under the influence and child endangerment.

Juvenile Problem / Vandalism / Theft 
November 11 at 10:00 p.m., approximately ten juveniles were reported in the 100 block of W. Foothill causing a disturbance in a parking lot. Several subjects entered a laundromat and repeatedly kicked a vending machine, causing damage to where the coins are held. The suspects stole miscellaneous coins from the damaged machine and fled. The investigation is continuing.

Robbery
November 11 at 10:46 p.m., police responded to the report of a robbery in the 400 block of S. Ivy. The victim parked his vehicle on Canyon and the south alley of Lime. He walked west in the alley, heading to the downtown area to meet friends. Two suspects approached, brandished a handgun and pointed it at the victim. The suspects robbed the victim of his cell phone, wallet and miscellaneous personal property, then fled on foot. An extensive search was conducted by officers, but the suspects were not located. The suspects were described as male blacks, but additional description was difficult because their features were concealed by the hoods on their sweatshirts. The investigation is continuing.

Welfare Check / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 12 at 10:52 p.m., a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington called police stating there was a subject sleeping on their bench outside their to-go pickup area. Officers arrived and made contact with the subject. A computer check revealed the subject had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and taken into custody for the warrant.

Vehicle Burglary
November 13 at 1:19 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a business parking lot in the 700 block of W. Huntington regarding a vehicle burglary. The victim parked his SUV in the parking lot and locked it. He returned to his vehicle a short time later to discover his vehicle had been broken into and the third row seats had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspects Arrested
November 13 at 6:01 p.m., officers responded to the area of Grand and Foothill regarding possible shots heard. As they searched the area, two subjects were contacted and questioned about the possible shots heard. As the officer approached one of the subjects, he reached into his pocket and dropped items behind a brick wall. The items were found to be a glass pipe for smoking drugs and a syringe. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody. During a search of his person, a baggie of methamphetamine was found in his pocket. The other suspect was arrested for an outstanding warrant. There was no evidence of gunshots and only one call was received by police.

Theft
November 14 at 5:14 a.m., a theft was reported in the 500 block of W. Colorado. The victim called police to report that high-value parts were stolen from his motorcycle that was parked in his driveway overnight. The investigation is continuing.

Mosquito Report and Police Trust Meeting at Monrovia Library

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District will give an update about mosquito activity and mosquito-borne diseases in the area and the Monrovia Police Department will hold a round-table dialogue on improving trust with police. On Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the Monrovia Library Community Room. Call Ariel at 932-5563 or email atolefree@ci.monrovia.ca.us to reserve a spot. https://goo.gl/C7ODO7

- Brad Haugaard

Why There Is Restricted Parking Near Ridgeside Trail Entry Point to Hillside Wilderness Area


Ridgeside Drive just north of the entry point to the the Hillside Wilderness Area.

At its next meeting, on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m., the Monrovia City Council will likely declare the Hillside Wilderness Area an official park and kinda-sorta-ish restrict parking on Ridgeside, next to one of the main trail entrances to the area. (It will also limit parking near other entry points, but those are narrow, twisting roads and I reluctantly understand the need for limiting parking in those areas.)

As you can see in the photo above, this section of Ridgeside Drive next to the trail entrance is flat, wide, straight, long, with no homes on either side, and is even - as best I can tell - out of the line of sight of any local homes, ideal for parking. Nevertheless it is being made parking-by-permit-only. Even some residents of Ridgeside don't want this. So why do it?

I emailed and spoke by phone with City Manager Oliver Chi about this, and the reason is simple: "[T]he establishment of an on-street permit parking program," he wrote, "was a requirement that had to be fulfilled before the City could obtain the easement needed to formalize entry into the Hillside Wilderness Preserve through the Ridgeside Access Point."

In other words, if the city didn't agree to parking-by-permit-only along Ridgeside, it wouldn't have obtained an easement so it could open the gate to the Wilderness Area.

Ah.

Chi added that this "pilot program" will not be a "formal permit parking program managed by law enforcement personnel." Instead, "our initial plans are to enforce the parking restriction on a complaint basis.  If a complaint is received, a member of our Public Services Department team will be dispatched to the site and rather than issuing a ticket, we will attempt to resolve the situation by providing background information and education regarding why the pilot permit parking program was instituted."

So, you won't get a ticket for parking there, and probably nobody will complain if you park in the area just north of the entry point (the area I show in the picture above). And if somebody does complain, well, I guess you'll have to move your car a bit.

And just in case you were wondering, there has not been a problem with cars clogging Ridgeside.

Chi again: "[T]here are no significant concerns regarding the parking situation on Ridgeside Drive today.  We really have not received complaints regarding those who [are] currently parking on Ridgeside Drive to access the Hillside Wilderness Preserve through the Ridgeside Access Point.  The concern that has been raised, and what the proposed pilot permit parking program is attempting to address, is the possibility that with the trail system connecting Ridgeside to Cloverleaf now complete, the use of the Hillside Wilderness Preserve will increase."

I highly doubt this will be a problem, but I'll comment on why I think so below.

However, this is not the end of the story.

"If the parking situation does not change from current usage levels, we do plan on revisiting the matter and we will attempt to make modifications to the pilot permit parking program to ease the restrictions.  Conversely, if the parking situation deteriorates and causes a significant impact on the residential neighborhood, we will look to enhance the parking restrictions."

Since I don't think parking will be a problem... Good!

Okay, here are a few more thoughts:

1. The temporary signs that are posted now are posted all the way along Ridgecrest from Canyon Boulevard to Oakglade Drive, however the proposed parking-by-permit area as described in the staff report ( https://goo.gl/pm0gid ) proposes the area only be from Briarcliff Drive to Oakglade Drive, so the signs have been posted outside the designated area.

2. I think the permanent signs should be re-written to indicate more specifically that you won't get a ticket for parking in that area. Something like, "This provision is enforced by complaint. Those not in compliance may be asked to move their vehicles."

3. I do not believe the full opening of the Cloverleaf access point to the Hillside Wilderness Area will result in many more people parking on Ridgeside. That may seem opposite of what you would think, so let me defend my assertion.

I think the people who park at Ridgecrest will be the same people who park there now - people who just want to hike to the top of the hill and then back down to their car. Opening Cloverleaf makes no difference to this group of people since they weren't going to Cloverleaf anyway. The situation is totally unchanged for them and there is no reason their numbers would increase in any noteworthy way.

And as for those hikers who are going to hike the full trail, they'll probably get back to their car by making a loop up city streets. But in that case it doesn't really matter where they start. They could park on any street between Cloverleaf and Ridgeside and still walk the same distance. There is no particular attraction to parking on Ridgeside. If you make a loop around a circular track, it doesn't matter where you start, you are going to travel the same distance.

So, anyway, I very much hope the city will revisit this and attempt to work things out, because I really don't see that this should be a problem for anybody.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Voted Mostly for Clinton


Here's an election map from the LA Times showing most of Monrovia and surrounding area. The bluer the more Clinton-ish, the redder the more Trump-ish. https://goo.gl/wwCaHv

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia To Declare Hillside Area a Park and Restrict Parking Near Entry Points

At its next meeting ( https://goo.gl/TZEkgN ) the Monrovia City Council will, among other things, consider ...

~ Adopting the Hillside Wilderness Preserve as an "official park," which will allow the city to establish formal hours of operation and other rules. https://goo.gl/ZZnIRR

~ Implement a parking-by-permit-only program next to the Hillside Wilderness Area entry points, specifically: On Ridgeside Drive between Briarcliff Drive and Oakglade Drive; On Cloverleaf Drive between North Alta Vista Avenue and Hidden Valley Avenue; On Hidden Valley Avenue from Cloverleaf Drive to the terminus of Hidden Valley Avenue. Comment: I am not opposed to some parking restrictions, but this is very excessive. I'll have more to say about it soon. https://goo.gl/pm0gid

- Brad Haugaard

Joint Monrovia Council-School Board Meeting

There will be a joint meeting of the Monrovia City Council and Monrovia School Board at the City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss:

1. Myrtle / Duarte Intersection Traffic Update
2. Bioswale Planter Fix at Santa Fe Middle School
3. Monrovia Days 2017 Event Update
4. 4th of July Event Discussion
5. Holiday Parade Update
6. School Resources Officer Program

- Brad Haugaard

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Nov. 17

An interfaith Thanksgiving service, "The Power of Gratitude," will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 7-8 p.m. at St. Luke Episcopal Church, 122 S. California Ave. in Monrovia. Donations will be accepted for the Foothill Unity Center.

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Chang Thai Bistro

 
Had dinner last night at Chang Thai Bistro on the east side of Myrtle just north of Olive.  Got the Pad Thai ($7.95) and a beer ($4.95). This is a bad picture because I mixed up all the ingredients before I remembered I needed to take a picture. Anyway, it was very tasty ... and, when it started, pretty, too. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Jennifer Tubbs Is Monrovia Teacher of the Year

At it's Wednesday, Nov. 16, meeting (5:30 p.m.), the Monrovia Board of Education will honor Jennifer Tubbs, as the 2016 Teacher of the Year for Monrovia Unified School District.


- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Police: Man Hits Woman; Woman Hits Man; Robbed While Sitting in Car; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 7-9. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Domestic Violence / Battery – Suspect Arrested
November 7 at 6:19 p.m., a female subject came to the police station to report an incident of domestic violence. The subject and a female friend went to a residence in the 100 block of E. Central to serve her ex-boyfriend with a restraining order. When the friend approached the ex-boyfriend, he punched her in the face. He then threw a water bottle at the other female, striking her in the neck. Officers responded to the location and interviewed the suspect; he was arrested without further incident.

Possession of Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 8 at 8:19 a.m., a male subject was reported smoking marijuana on a public bench in the 100 block of W. Palm. Officers arrived and located the subject. The officer asked the subject if he had any contraband on his person and the subject admitted to having methamphetamine on him. The subject was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and taken into custody.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 8 at 2:35 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a traffic collision in the 300 block of W. Huntington involving two vehicles. One of the drivers complained of pain and Monrovia Fire paramedics responded to treat the driver at the scene.

Domestic Violence Investigation – Suspect Arrested
November 8 at 7:45 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Hurstview regarding the report of a male and female subject involved in a physical altercation. The male subject had some minor injuries and the female was determined to be the primary aggressor. The female adult was arrested for domestic violence and taken into custody.

Vehicle Burglary
November 9 at 9:21 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 800 block of W. Huntington. The victim parked his vehicle and went inside a restaurant to eat. When he returned, he saw a window on his vehicle had been smashed and a backpack and Ipod had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Robbery
November 10 at 12:24 a.m., officers were dispatched to the report of a robbery in the 1700 block of Alamitas. The victims had just returned from dinner and were sitting in a vehicle at the location. They were robbed at gunpoint by three suspects. The suspects were described as three male Blacks wearing ski masks that left the area in a white SUV. The loss was two cell phones and cash. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
November 10 at 2:13 a.m., officers were checking the area of Foothill and Stedman for a suspicious subject that was seen looking into parked vehicles. A subject was located and was found to be in possession of a methamphetamine pipe and syringes. He was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Monrovia Faces St. Paul Friday

Monrovia Football faces St. Paul this Friday, coming out of a conclusive 46 - 16 victory against South Pasadena. https://goo.gl/vbP5LK

- Brad Haugaard

Art Sale to Support Monrovia's Boys & Girls Club

Artwork created by members of Monrovia's Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills Teen Center will be on display in the window of Hömage Pasadena on Holly Street in Old Pasadena Nov. 7 - Nov. 16. Hömage will host a viewing reception on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 5-7 p.m.. The reception is free and open to the public. Purchases made that evening will be 10% off and 10% will be donated to BGCF. There will also be a drawing for a gift basket valued at $250, with all proceeds benefiting BGCF. Hömage is a 2 E. Holly St., Pasadena.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Is Very Low on Water; Low-Water Medians; Native Plant Sale; Prayer Breakfast; Etc.




What a low-water Huntington Drive may look like.

In his weekly report ( https://goo.gl/erhZOw ), City Manager Oliver Chi reports that ...

~ We are REALLY low on water. He said the regional watermaster reports that the water level is at 172.2 feet, "the lowest point at which the water level has ever been measured." If it drops to 165 feet around 10% of all production wells in the Main San Gabriel Basin will be totally out of commission and the basin "will experience an estimated 30% reduction in water production capacity." Solutions? Import water, but that'll cost money, which will probably be raised as an assessment (i.e. "tax"), but Monrovia would like the tax to fall more heavily on "those who are not engaged in significant conservation efforts."

~ With the drought the city plans to replace the dry grass in the Huntington Drive medians with less thirsty plants. Above is a rendering of what that might look like.

~ There will be a Native Garden Plant Sale on Nov. 12 (this Saturday), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Library Park.  In addition, the water conservation team from Public Works Division will provide Waterwise Gardening presentations.

~ The 51st annual Monrovia Community Prayer Breakfast will take place on Friday, Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (700 West Huntington ).  Father Randy Campos from Immaculate Conception Church will speak on "Peace that Lies Within." More info from the Chamber of Commerce: 358-1159.

~ Oops. The old Alberstons shopping site has not been sold, but Chi adds that, "Based on discussions that have occurred to date, it appears that the new owners are still finalizing lease discussions with two operators, including TJ Maxx / Homegoods and Aldi (the grocery store concept)."

~ The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1 (I assume it is shortly after dark, but the report doesn't say.) The Monrovia Historic Preservation Group will serve as Grand Marshal.

- Brad Haugaard





Monrovia Police: Student Runs In Front of Car - Hit; Stolen Bike; Car vs. Ankle; Brother-Sister Fight; Camping In the Alley; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 3-6. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Grand Theft Auto
November 3 at 4:30 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a parking lot in the 1600 block of S. Myrtle Avenue. The victim parked his vehicle in the lot at 7:00 a.m. and went to work. When he returned at 4:30 p.m., he discovered his vehicle had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 3 at 5:20 p.m., an officer on patrol conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation at California and Duarte. A computer check of the driver revealed she had a felony warrant out of Monrovia for her arrest. She was arrested and taken into custody for the warrant.

Petty Theft
November 3 at 9:50 p.m., a resident in the 700 block of Montana Street called police to report the theft of his bicycle. The victim left his bicycle on the side of his yard at 8:00 p.m. and went inside his residence. At 9:00 p.m., he went back outside and noticed his bicycle was missing. The investigation is continuing.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
November 3 at 11:01 p.m., a hit and run traffic collision that occurred at Mayflower and Diamond was reported to police. A 17-year-old male subject was walking across the street when a vehicle's front fender grazed the back of his ankle. The driver of the vehicle left the scene. The minor walked home and informed his mother of the incident. The minor did not have any visible injuries, but he complained of pain to his ankle. The investigation is continuing.

Assault
November 4 at 7:40 a.m., a female resident in the 1200 block of S. Sherman called police to report she had been involved in a fight with her brother. Both subjects are adults. The argument became physical and both subjects pushed and shoved each other. The male suspect then pushed his sister to the ground, causing her to fall backwards and strike her back on a brick planter box. The suspect then went into the house and the victim followed. Inside the house, they continued to argue and fight. At one point, the male suspect bit the female victim on her shoulder through her shirt, causing injury. The suspect then left the residence on foot. Officers conducted an area search for the suspect, but he was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Traffic Collison – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
November 4 at 3:05 p.m., a student ran in front of a slow moving vehicle at a middle school in the 200 block of S. Ivy. The child was struck and went to the ground. The child was treated by Monrovia Fire Department and taken to a hospital for precautionary measures. The child had visible scrapes on his face. The child’s mother was notified. She responded to the school and went to the hospital with her son.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
November 5 at 3:50 a.m., police dispatch received a call reporting several subjects sleeping on the lawn at a location in the 200 block of E. Palm. Officers arrived and discovered five subjects sleeping on the lawn. The officers recognized one of the subjects and knew he had outstanding warrants for his arrest. The warrants were confirmed and the subject was arrested. A search of his property revealed he was in possession of methamphetamine, which was added to his charges.

Grand Theft Auto
November 5 at 7:50 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Encino. The victim parked and locked her vehicle in the guest parking for the complex at 2:00 a.m. The vehicle is a black, 1998 Honda Civic. When she returned to her vehicle in the morning, she found her vehicle was missing. Officers checked the area, but the vehicle was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
November 5 at 12:02 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of Ridgeside on the report of a vehicle burglary. The victim parked and locked his vehicle on the street at 1:45 a.m. Sometime during the night, unknown suspects entered the vehicle and gained access to the trunk. They stole miscellaneous tools and other items from the trunk of the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 5 at 6:27 p.m., police received a call reporting subjects camped out in the rear alley of a business in the 300 block of W. Huntington. Officers arrived and made contact with one male and one female camped out in the alley. The female subject was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest and was in possession of a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Disturbing Subjects / Public Intoxication / Violation of Domestic Violence Restraining Order – Suspects Arrested
November 5 at 7:30 p.m., a male and female subject were reported fighting in the park in the 300 block of S. Myrtle Avenue. Officers arrived and located the two subjects. The female subject was found to be extremely intoxicated and was arrested for being drunk in public. The male subject is listed as being the restrained person in a court ordered domestic violence restraining order and the protected person is the intoxicated female. The male subject was arrested for violating the restraining order.

Domestic Violence
November 5 at 11:30 p.m., a fight between a male and female subject was reported in the 500 block of W. Palm. Officers arrived and found the subjects were in a vehicle arguing. The male subject had an injury to his finger and the female subject had an injury to her hand. The officers determined the female subject was the aggressor and she was arrested for domestic violence.

A Photo Tour of Monrovia's New Hillside Wilderness Trail

Following up on yesterday's description of the new trail in Monrovia's Hillside Wilderness area (see here: https://goo.gl/sUf7BT ), I actually took the trail today. Here is a photo description of my trek from the Ridgeside entry point to the Cloverleaf entry point. Note that some of the pictures show itty-bitty trail signs. These are temporary and will be replaced with serious signs soon.

This is the Ridgeside entry point. It looks like a driveway because it is that too.

Oh no! Looks like it's closed, but it isn't. The lock threw me off. Open the gate and ride up Clamshell Road.

At the top of Clamshell the road goes to the left and the trail to the right. The road rejoins the trail later but don't take it because it crosses private property.

Take the trail until you get to this cutoff on the right. See the itty-bitty direction sign? Hopefully the official one will be bigger.

Soon you come to seriously steep switchbacks. A skilled mountain biker could handle it, but I'm not a skilled mountain biker, and I value my neck. I walked my bike down.

This is where the private road rejoins the trail. It comes in on the left and you can't see it in this picture. The old, easy road to the Cloverleaf entry point is in the left middle of the picture. The trail is the road on the right. It may be hard to see, but there is a cable blocking the way to the old road. It's the city's way of asking you to please take the road on the right.

I don't mind admitting that I got off my bike here and walked it down. After all, I wouldn't want my poor bike to get hurt.

Nice view into Arcadia.

The road on the right is what I came down. The road on the left goes to Arcadia's Wilderness Park. I'm not going to go that way today.

A nice easy stretch for a bit.

We encounter the old road to Cloverleaf again. Notice the cable, again to encourage you to stay off the old road and take the path on the right.

After some ups and steep downs we come to the Cloverleaf gate, just inside of which is this building. Notice the green post? That's a drinking fountain that also lets you fill water bottles. Cool!

Okay, here's the gate. Notice the panic bar on the pedestrian door. That'll let you get out if you are stuck inside after hours. You think you're done when you pass this? You're not.

The trail does not follow the road. Just past the gate it veers to the right. Take this route because if the gate at the end of Cloverleaf (the road on the left) happens to be closed, you'll have to backtrack and take this route anyway.

Okay, this is the Cloverleaf entry point. Can't see it? Well, its right where you see the storm drain in the curb. Just to the right of a private road, where you see the mailboxes. Hopefully it will better marked when the final signs are put in place.

And that's it. I had a great time.

- Brad Haugaard






New Art Show | More Monrovia Movie History | Band to Play at Pearl Harbor


~ Saga Fine Art (110 W. Lime) has a new show called "Intimate Spaces," featuring interiors, still life, private gardens and doorways through Dec. 2.

~ More on Monrovia's movie history. A movie parade and everything. https://goo.gl/i08sf4

~ The Monrovia School Board will consider approving a field trip for Monrovia High School Band students to travel to Honolulu to perform in the 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Mass Band, December 4-9. Also, the board will consider consider a dual-enrollment deal with Citrus College. If you are desperate to know more, click the link, but the school district has switched to putting everything in one humongous PDF file. This one is 150 pages long: Click here if you have a fast connection.

- Brad Haugaard

A Preview of Soon-to-Open Trails in Monrovia's Hillside Wilderness Preserve


I got a preview tour today with City Manager Oliver Chi and Director of Public Services Tina Cherry of the new trails in the Hillside Wilderness Area - to be officially opened on Nov. 19 - though it is now in what City Manager Oliver Chi called a "soft opening," meaning you can get in and hike or bike in the area, but it's not quite polished - a bit of trail work to be done and a fair number of signs to be posted.

Anyway, here are some observations:

- The entrance at Cloverleaf is no longer the road. Cloverleaf Drive is now gated at the point where I indicate in red. Instead, the entry point is where the green line touches the road, just about ten yards south of the gate. Also, don't confuse the green line (which is new) with the red line just a few feet away, which is a private road. (The blue spot, by the way, is an underground reservoir - you won't see any water.) After following the green trail you will encounter another gate, with a pedestrian door that you can get through during normal park hours.

- The new trail is the preferred route as it does not cross any private property, and that's the route the city would like you to take. However, the old route will remain open.

- Oops. Maybe I should have said the new trails, because just above the Cloverleaf entrance the trail splits into two, the one on the left which is very steep, with switchbacks along the trail, and the other which is relatively easier.

- When I say "relatively easier," it is because all of the new trail is quite steep. The old road is easy - you could drive it with your car. It is a casual walk. But to check out the new trail we took a Polaris Ranger, kind of a motorized mountain goat. Also, it is not just steep, but also it is steep with a lot of ups and downs, so even if you're generally hiking downhill, you'll still be hiking uphill quite a bit. But I guess half the point of going up there is to get your exercise, and you will.

- It is a bit longer. Cherry guesstimated the new trail (from Cloverleaf to Ridgeside) is about a mile longer than if you follow the old road.  About three total. The trail juts west toward Arcadia, with a great overview. Also, you can continue on over to Arcadia's Wilderness Park. At the turnoff to Wilderness Park, Cherry said the city will post a sign with the Wilderness Park hours since you wouldn't want to get over there and find you can't get through.


- If you want to take the new trail, my recommendation would be to take Clamshell road starting at the Ridgeside entry point, marked with the green dot. (Drive up Canyon to get to Ridgeside or Oakglade, which loops around into Ridgeside. The trail entry point looks like a driveway.) Hike or bike to the top of Clamshell, where there is a sign that directs you off the road and along a trail. Take the trail until you get to a cutoff trail to the right (if you get to a lookout you've gone a bit far). Take the cutoff down the steep switchbacks. At the bottom is the old road to the left and the new road to the right. Take the new road and have fun. Good Lord willing, you'll end up at Cloverleaf. Hiking boots recommended. If you're riding a bike, make sure your brakes are properly adjusted and brake cables are not frayed. Oh, bring water, too. There ain't any up there.

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Claim Jumper

 
Dinner last night at Claim Jumper, on Huntington near Arcadia. Got the Clubhouse Sandwich for $13.99 and a beer for $6.75. It was very good and lots of it. Had to take some home. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Confers Annual Awards

 
Top: Renaissance Award - (l-r) Monrovia Mayor Tom Adams, Councilmember Gloria Crudgington, ChapCare Marketing Supervisor Kevin Reed, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez representative Arturo Nevarez, Councilmember Becky Shevlin. Middle: Heart in the Arts Award - (l-r) Arturo Nevarez, Tom Adams, MAFA Board Member Christine Geltz, Becky Shevlin, Gloria Crudgington. Bottom: Featured Artists - (back row, l-r) Arturo Nevarez, Tom Adams, Gloria Crudgington, Becky Shevlin (front row, l-r) Featured Artists and MAFA Board Members Marianne and Steve McCarthy.

On Oct. 29, during its annual Celebrate the Arts Show & Chalkfest, the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts held its annual awards ceremony at the Monrovia Public Library front entrance. The ceremony featured City Councilmember and MAFA board member Becky Shevlin as emcee and included a welcome from City Manager Oliver Chi. Festival attendees, artists, friends and fans applauded as award winners received the following acknowledgments:

Renaissance Award: MAFA annually presents its Renaissance Award to an individual or organization in the community that best supports MAFA's mission. On Saturday, Mayor Tom Adams presented this year's Renaissance Award, an original metal sculpture by MAFA artist and board member Bill Hyatt, to ChapCare, represented by Kevin Reed, Marketing Supervisor. ChapCare was honored with this award due to their ongoing support of MAFA's Summer Art Walks and Celebrate the Arts events by providing not only financial assistance but staff time and material resources for children's art education activities.

Heart in the Arts Award:  The Heart in the Arts Award goes each year to a MAFA member who has demonstrated outstanding vision, leadership and accomplishment in supporting MAFA's mission. This year, MAFA President Carol Curtis presented the award to Christine Geltz, MAFA board member, membership & marketing chair and Celebrate the Arts chair. In the past year, Christine instituted the MAFA Professional Development Series for artists, stepped up MAFA's social media presence and initiated development of a new MAFA website which will include membership and organizational management functions.

Featured Artists: MAFA had named Steve and Marianne McCarthy as the 53rd Annual Celebrate the Arts Show Featured Artists last fall. Both professional photographers and longtime MAFA board members, the McCarthy's set the show theme "Art in Motion" with their specialty in vehicle and transportation photography. Steve is also the author of several books including "Road Trippin" and "The Extra Virgin Spy Club."

Recognition for each of the above awards was augmented by certificates of commendation from the City of Monrovia and local, state, and federal officials: U.S. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, State Senator Carol Liu, Assemblyman Chris Holden, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez and L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich

During the ceremony, Christine Geltz also acknowledged the support of several community sponsors who received certificates of commendation: Lisa Barrios of Paint 'n' Play Studio, Penny Arroyo of Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley, Chris Shevlin of Chicago Title and Luis Castellanos of Orchard Supply Hardware Monrovia. 

Additional community members and entities commended for their support were Pacific Plate Brewing Company (which donated all the beer for the event's beer garden), Mark Maverick (show sound system and announcer), Post Alarm Systems, Blick Art Supplies, Keith Johnson Photography, Brian Huffman Photography, Ward Auto Service, City of Monrovia Department of Community Services and the City of Monrovia.

Source: Press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Catalytic Converter Stolen; Two Pounds of Meth; Fake Checks and Fake Cash; Shoplifting; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for October 31 – November 2. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 407 service events, resulting in 76 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto
October 31 at 3:08 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 3300 block of S. Peck Road. The vehicle stolen is a 1990's Honda Civic. The investigation is continuing.

Petty Theft
November 1 at 7:45 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of East Pomona called police to report a theft. The catalytic converter was stolen off his 2005 Toyota Camry. The victim parked his vehicle in front of his residence in the evening. When he returned to his vehicle the next morning and started his car, he heard a loud and unusual engine noise coming from his vehicle. He checked and discovered the catalytic converter had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sales / Weapon Offense – Suspects Arrested
November 1 at 9:47 a.m., an officer conducted a probation compliance search on a female subject that was staying in a hotel in the 700 block of W. Huntington. A male subject was also staying in the hotel room. During the search of the room, the officers located a loaded firearm, almost two pounds of methamphetamine, a vial of PCP, over $2000 in cash, and drug sales paraphernalia. The male subject was determined to be an ex-felon who was currently out on bail for a Monrovia Police Department drug sales case. The officer arrested both subjects for possession for sales of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and several other weapon and drug related charges. Both subjects were held pending their court appearance.

Fraud / Possession of Counterfeit Currency – Suspect Arrested
November 1 at 4:54 p.m., a bank in the 500 block of S. Myrtle called police to report a fraud incident. A male suspect went into the bank and attempted to cash a fraudulent business check for $7000. Officers were dispatched to the bank and they detained the suspect. The officer arrested the suspect for attempting to pass a fraudulent check. The officer searched the suspect after arresting him and found a counterfeit $20 bill in his wallet. The suspect was also charged with possession of counterfeit currency.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 2:55 a.m., an officer on patrol contacted two suspicious subjects loitering near closed businesses in the 1800 block of Santa Fe Place. A consent search of one of the subjects revealed he was in possession of methamphetamine. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 9:00 a.m., officers were on patrol in the 100 block of W. Colorado when they observed a male and female subject in a vehicle. The officer recognized the male passenger and knew he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The officer stopped the vehicle and the male passenger fled on foot from the vehicle, leaving the female behind. The officer broadcast the information on his location and the fleeing suspect. He then contacted the female, who was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and possible stolen property. She was arrested for the charges. The male subject was not located.

Vehicle Burglary
November 2 at 9:10 a.m., officers responded to a hotel in the 900 block of W. Huntington Drive on the report of a vehicle burglary. The victim parked and secured his vehicle in the parking lot on November 1. When he returned to his vehicle the next day, he saw the rear hatch door had been pried open and the third-row seat had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto / Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 9:25 a.m., police located a stolen vehicle in the area of Myrtle and Chestnut and stopped the vehicle at Huntington and Mayflower. The driver was found to be a parolee at large. He was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Shoplifting – Suspects Arrested
November 2 at 3:25 p.m., a petty theft was reported at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain Avenue. A male and female entered the business and concealed items on their person while inside the store. They both exited the store without attempting to pay for the merchandise. Loss prevention personnel stopped and detained them. The suspects were arrested and taken into custody.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 6:39 p.m., employees at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain saw a subject exit the rear security doors of the store and throw a drill over a wall. The subject eventually exited the store, recovered the drill and walked away from the location. Officers located the suspect one block away and recovered the stolen power drill. The suspect was positively identified by the witnesses and was arrested.

Weapon Offense – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 8:48 p.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop on a male adult for traffic violations. The driver had a loaded pistol in his waistband. He stated that he was a security guard, but he did not have a permit to carry a loaded firearm. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 9:36 p.m., a possible drunk driver was reported at Myrtle and Camino Real. Officers responded and located the vehicle traveling north on Myrtle at Central. They saw the driver crash into the center divider. Monrovia Fire Department paramedics responded and the driver was taken to the hospital. After the driver was medically cleared, he was arrested for driving under the influence.

Battery
November 2 at 10:40 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of E. Cherry regarding several neighbors fighting in the alley. After interviewing the involved parties, the victim made a citizen's arrest of the suspect. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 11:38 p.m., while conducting extra patrol in the 100 block of W. Cherry, officers located a subject inside a parked car. The male adult is a known drug addict and told officers he had syringes in his possession. A search of the subject revealed baggies of methamphetamine and heroin. The suspect was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and taken into custody for the drug charges.

Driving Under the Influence / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
November 3 at 4:02 a.m., an officer on patrol in the 1500 block of S. Myrtle saw a vehicle drive off the freeway and strike the center divider as he attempted to turn onto Myrtle. The officer conducted a traffic stop. The driver was determined to be intoxicated and was arrested for DUI. The passenger would not cooperate with the officer and refused to exit the vehicle; he was arrested for resisting/delaying an investigation. The driver was arrested for DUI and unsafe turning movement. The passenger was arrested for delaying an investigation.