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Monrovia Police: Did Car Accelerate On Its Own, Causing Crash? Hoodie Suspects Escape; Etc.


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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 362 service events, resulting in 64 investigations.

Vehicle Burglary
November 27 at 6:44 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 300 block of Lincoln. The victim parked the vehicle in their complex carport. When they returned to the vehicle, they found the rear driver-side door ajar and the trunk open. There were no signs of forced entry. A watch was taken from the glove box. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 27 at 12:37 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 600 block of Parkrose regarding a burglary. The resident’s son found the front door ajar and contacted police. It appears the suspect attempted to break the sliding glass door, but did not succeed. The suspect then kicked in a rear door to gain entry. The home was ransacked, so the resident was unable to determine what was taken. The investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
November 28 at 12:16 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting a man down in the 100 block of W. Cypress. Officers responded to the location and found a male adult subject lying on the ground. The subject was determined to be too intoxicated to care for himself and he was arrested for public intoxication. He was held for a sobering period.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
November 28 at 10:33 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business in the 3300 block of S. Peck Road. The business was contacted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department because they had impounded the vehicle as abandoned. It is unknown how the vehicle was taken off the lot. The vehicle was recovered and the investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 28 at 2:03 p.m., a driver turned into a driveway in the 300 block of W. Duarte Road to turn around, and as he was turning in, accelerated through a brick wall onto the property. The driver complained of pain. He stated that the vehicle, a Toyota Camry, had accelerated on its own through the wall. A parked vehicle on the other side of the wall sustained minor damage.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
November 29 at 12:16 a.m., police dispatch received a call reporting a man down in the 100 block of W. Cypress. Officers responded to the location and contacted a male adult who was too intoxicated to care for himself. The subject was arrested for public intoxication. He was held for detoxification.

Attempt Burglary
November 29 at 10:14 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of E. Greystone on the report of an alarm activation. They arrived at the location and saw the screens had been taken off the rear windows and someone had tampered with the rear door. It did not appear the suspects were able to gain entry. The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Burglary
November 29 at 11:10 p.m., a resident in the 200 block of E. Cherry called police and reported that two male suspects attempted to enter her home through a window. They were described as male adults wearing hoodies. They did not make entry and fled in a dark, possibly green, vehicle. Officers responded and searched the area, but were not able to locate the vehicle or suspects. The investigation is continuing. 

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Shooting Deer in Monrovia


A Duarte man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to shooting a deer with an arrow in north Monrovia. https://goo.gl/39PAiF

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Plans to Help Residents With Home Security


Monrovia Mayor Tom Adams commented today on social media that the city plans to help residents with home security systems, although exactly what type of assistance that will entail he did not specify. He wrote that, “The program was approved by the council about 2 months ago, stay tuned for the information on how to take advantage of this.”

- Brad Haugaard 

Auditions for 'She Loves Me' Dec. 17-19


Auditions for The JFed Players' Spring 2018 production of She Loves Me, will be held on December 17, 18, and 19, with performances in late April - early May.

She Loves Me takes place in Budapest in the 1930s, and focuses on two employees of a perfume shop, Georg and Amalia, who bicker constantly with each other at work, unaware that they are each other's secret pen pal.

She Loves Me is based on the 1937 play Parfumerie by the Hungarian playwright Miklós László, which also inspired the motion pictures, The Little Shop Around the Corner and You've Got Mail. A collaboration between composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick, She Loves Me immediately preceded their smash hit, Fiddler on the Roof.

Audition dates and times:

  • Sunday, December 17, 2-4 p.m.
  • Monday, December 18, 7-9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 19, 7-9 p.m.

All auditions will be held at the Jewish Federation, 114A Lime Ave., in Monrovia.

Performances will be in April and May at the Clarke Center in Arcadia.

For more information contact the Jewish Federation at 445-0810.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Girl Selling Doggy Treats for Children's Hospital


Monrovia girl, Hannah IIer, plans to raise $5,000 for Children’s Hospital by selling her homemade rawhide and peanut butter doggy treats. Available on Saturday Dec. 16 from 9-11 am at 710 Oakdale Ave., in Monrovia. https://goo.gl/NdXYz5

- Brad Haugaard

Lower Interest Rate for Monrovia Bond; Christmas Tree Lighting, Parade; Santa Touring Times


In his weekly report, City Manager Olive Chi reports that ...

~ The bond-rating agency, S&P, has this past week assigned Monrovia's proposed $115 million bond (to cover unfunded retirement costs) a rating of AA-, its fourth highest rating, giving the bond a "High Grade" rating, meaning Monrovia can borrow money at a lower interest rate. Also, the city as a whole has been assigned an AA rating, S&P's third highest rating.

Chi said, "This is a terrific accomplishment for the City, and our entire community should be proud of the achievement!  It wasn't that long ago that securities from the City were considered lower medium grade investments in the BBB- to BBB+ range."

Here is S&P's rating report for Monrovia: https://goo.gl/XEYZML

~ On Thursday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m., the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held in Library Park, followed by the Holiday Parade at 7 p.m. The parade will travel north on Myrtle from Chestnut to Palm.

~  Santa will tour Monrovia in a fire engine, accompanied by other city vehicles. Here's the schedule:

  • Monday, Dec. 18, south of Huntington, west of Myrtle.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19,  east of Myrtle and north of Foothill.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20, west of Myrtle and south of Foothill to Huntington.
  • Friday, Dec. 22, west of Myrtle Avenue and north of Foothill.

For more information, please contact the Police Department at 256-8000.

~ You should be getting the Monrovia Today winter brochure in your mailbox on November 30, but if you'd like an early peek: https://goo.gl/WdsFkn

~ This Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 29 and 30, concrete panels on Foothill at Acacia and Melrose that were removed during the recent sewer improvements will be replaced. Foothill will be reduced to one lane in eac direction while the concrete is placed and cures.

~ In the next few weeks the city will be installing at Kiwanis Park at Grand Avenue fencing, lighting, tables, bike racks, trash cans, benches, better watering, a Christmas tree, and a new Samson Bear, which has been ordered by the Kiwanis Club and is being painted.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Noted in Capitol Weekly Newspaper


The newspaper, Capitol Weekly, which covers California government, has taken note of Monrovia's efforts to avoid bankruptcy from unfunded retirement costs.  https://goo.gl/ByH3fH

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Drunk Crashes Into Cemetery; Gun Robbery; Red-Light Runner Crashes; Cell Phones Stolen; Lots More


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 20-26. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
November 20 at 12:06 a.m., a domestic violence incident was reported at a business in the 600 block of S. Myrtle. A female subject who works at location reported that she was pushed by and ex-boyfriend. When he pushed her, she fell into a bookcase, which left a mark on her back. The male suspect was arrested and taken into custody for domestic violence.

Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 21 at 1:56 a.m., a traffic collision was reported at Duarte and Walker. A vehicle was traveling eastbound on Duarte Road at a high rate of speed and failed to negotiate the curve. The vehicle hit the curb and crashed through the fence at the cemetery. The driver was the sole occupant and was uninjured. The investigation revealed she was too intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely and she was arrested for driving under the influence.

Vandalism
November 21 at 9:13 a.m., a vandalism incident was reported in the 100 block of E. Olive. The victim reported a window had been smashed at the location. Surveillance video showed a suspect wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt throwing something at the window. The suspect then looked inside the location, but did not make entry. The item thrown at the window was found to be an empty glass vodka bottle. The investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 21 at 1:37 p.m., a traffic collision was reported at Shamrock and Huntington. A driver was traveling west on Huntington, approaching Shamrock, and failed to stop for the red light. The driver broadsided a vehicle that was traveling south on Shamrock with a green light. The driver that ran the red light had a complaint of pain and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Commercial Burglary
November 21 at 2:29 p.m., a commercial burglary was reported at a construction site in the 1600 block of S. Shamrock. An employee at the site realized there had been a theft at the location and called police. Unknown suspects entered the site and removed a lockbox which contained a key to a trailer and a building at the site. The suspects entered the trailer and took power tools. They also entered the building, but there was nothing to take inside. The investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 21 at 4:39 p.m., an officer on patrol in the 1700 block of California observed a traffic collision at the intersection of California and Evergreen. A driver was traveling east on Evergreen and ran a red light at California. The vehicle was broadsided by a vehicle that was traveling south on California and had a green light. The driver of the vehicle traveling on California complained of neck pain and was taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Commercial Burglary / Grand Theft
November 22 at 7:07 p.m., two male African American suspects entered a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington and used bolt cutters to remove several cell phones from a display. The suspects fled to a waiting vehicle, which then left the area. The vehicle was described as an older model, black Mercedes Benz. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 22 at 8:11 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 400 block of Kirkwood. The victim returned to his home and discovered it had been ransacked. Officers responded and cleared the residence. The investigation revealed the suspects entered the location by breaking through a set of doors to the rear. The investigation is continuing.

Robbery
November 22 at 8:35 p.m., a robbery incident was reported in the 500 block of Fano. The male victim was sitting in his vehicle waiting for a friend. The friend arrived and sat in the vehicle with the victim. A third person approached with a handgun and threatened to kill the victim while the friend took the victim's phone and backpack. The two suspects then fled on foot. The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Burglary
November 22 at 9:03 p.m., officers responded to an alarm activation at a residence in the 700 block of Ridgeside. The officers arrived and found a back window had been broken. It does not appear that the suspects made entry to the home. The investigation is continuing.

Indecent Exposure – Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 3:02 a.m., a caller reported a male subject that was exposing himself inside the lobby of a hotel in the 900 block of S. Fifth Avenue. Officers arrived and detained the suspect inside the lobby. Video surveillance showed the suspect exposing himself near the front lobby counter. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody for indecent exposure.

Attempt Burglary
November 24 at 6:06 a.m., an attempt burglary was reported at a residence in the 100 block of Montana. The victim heard their living room window break. When she went out to check, she saw an arm reaching in the window. The suspect then fled in an unknown direction. Officers responded and searched the area, but the suspect was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
November 24 at 10:36 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 900 block of Sierra Blanca. The vehicle is a silver, 1996 Honda Accord. All keys are accounted for and the investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 24 at 1:05 p.m., a burglary was reported at a residence in the 400 block of Granite Avenue. Unknown suspects stole a remote for the garage in September, but the homeowner did not report the theft at the time. The suspects returned at a later date and stole tools that had been left in the garage by the homeowner. There were no signs of forced entry to the garage. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Forgery / Fraud / Parole Hold – Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 1:26 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of S. Lincoln regarding drug activity going on in a vehicle. Four subjects were contacted at the scene. The investigation revealed one of the subjects was on parole and in possession of a controlled substance, an altered credit card and a fraudulent out-of-state identification card. He also had keys to two rental vehicles which were rented using another person's name. He was arrested, the vehicles were stored and a parole hold was obtained. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto Recovered
November 24 at 4:21 p.m., an officer responded to the report of a vehicle parked in the 300 block of Bella Vista with the windows down and the keys on the driver’s seat. The investigation revealed the vehicle was an unreported stolen vehicle out of Rosemead. The vehicle was recovered.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 8:07 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 500 block of Huntington regarding a theft in progress. The suspect was detained in the parking lot. The suspect was positively identified by store security and was arrested for shoplifting.

Warrant / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 25 at 3:15 a.m., an officer contacted a suspicious subject that was loitering outside a closed business in the 3300 block of Peck Road. A computer check revealed he had a warrant for his arrest and during a search, he was found to have methamphetamine in his wallet. He was arrested for the warrant and possession of a controlled substance.

Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
November 25 at 3:22 a.m., a citizen called police and reported a suspicious vehicle parked near their residence that was occupied by two subjects. The vehicle was parked near the intersection of El Nido and Hillcrest. An officer arrived and one of the suspects fled. The officer told the suspect to stop, but he continued to run. He was detained moments later by two other responding officers. The suspect was arrested for resisting and delaying an officer.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
November 26 at 2:14 a.m., an officer responded to the 100 block of E. Olive regarding a person possibly in distress. The officer arrived and contacted a subject that was extremely intoxicated and unable to care for his own safety. He was arrested for being drunk and public.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 26 at 7:17 p.m., a shoplifting incident in progress was reported at a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington. The suspect exited the store and fled from store security. Officers arrived in the shopping center parking lot and detained the suspect. The suspect was arrested for shoplifting. 

View the Moon Tonight


Get a close-up view of the moon tonight (weather permitting) with the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers In Library Park at the corner of Myrtle and Lime Streets. The telescopes should be set up by roughly 7 p.m. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Lunch at LeRoy’s




Lunch at LeRoy’s, on the north side of Huntington just west of Mayflower. Got the Hobo sandwich for $8.95 and an iced tea for $2.50. I’d always though of LeRoy’s as a breakfast place but no, great lunches, too. The sandwich was excellent and I could barely finish it. 


- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Police: Three-Car Smash-Up; She Breaks a Water Main and Drives Off; Roll-Over Crash at Mayflower and Lime; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 16-19. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 16 at 10:54 a.m., an elderly female driver was pulling out of a parking lot onto eastbound Huntington and failed to yield to traffic coming off the 210 Freeway offramp. She collided into three vehicles. She complained of pain to her shoulder from her seat belt. A DMV re-examination form was completed for the driver.

Vehicle Burglary
November 16 at 6:29 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 700 block of S. Myrtle. The victim’s car had been parked in the parking structure for two days. When he returned to his vehicle, he discovered the window had been broken and electronic items that had been left in the vehicle were missing. The investigation is ongoing.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
November 17 at 1:41 p.m., a suspicious vehicle was reported in the 800 block of W. Chestnut. The vehicle was parked in a red zone for several days with a flat tire and it had paper plates on it. Officers responded and conducted a computer check of the VIN number, which revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen out of San Dimas. The vehicle was recovered.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 17 at 4:35 p.m., a shoplifting incident was reported at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The suspect entered the store, took a circular saw from a display and walked out of the store without paying for it. He was detained by loss prevention personnel. A private person's arrest was completed and the suspect was taken into custody for the theft.

Shoplifting / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 17 at 8:07 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington regarding a shoplifting incident in progress. The suspect fled and ran through the parking lot. An officer arrived and the suspect was detained on Huntington. A computer check of the suspect revealed an outstanding warrant. The suspect was arrested for shoplifting and the warrant.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision
November 18 at 11:31 a.m., a hit and run traffic collision was reported in the 400 block of S. Myrtle. The female suspect parked her vehicle in the rear lot of a business. Another driver double parked behind the suspect’s vehicle. As the suspect was backing out and was trying not to hit the vehicle that blocked her in, she ended up colliding into the building, striking a water main. Water started shooting out into the parking lot. The suspect then fled the scene in her vehicle at a high rate of speed.

Witnesses obtained a license plate number from the vehicle. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was called to assist in locating the registered owner at their residence, however, they were unable to locate the owner at the location. The investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 18 at 1:29 p.m., a traffic collision involving injuries was reported at Mayflower and Lime. A driver was traveling west on Lime, stopped at the stop sign at Mayflower and entered the intersection, failing to yield to oncoming traffic. The vehicle collided into another vehicle and rolled over in the intersection. Three subjects involved were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for minor to moderate injuries.

Vehicle Burglary
November 18 at 5:49 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 1200 block of N. Canyon. The victim parked their vehicle and went hiking in Canyon Park. When they returned approximately four hours later, they found their wallet containing credit cards and cash had been taken from their car. The victim's credit card was used at a business in Monrovia and then in Pasadena. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspects Arrested
November 18 at 10:59 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle in the 100 block of W. Walnut for vehicle code violations. After investigation, the passenger was arrested for warrants and the driver was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 19 at 2:06 a.m., an officer stopped a subject riding a bike without lighting equipment during darkness. After further investigation, the rider was cited in the field for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 19 at 2:43 a.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for vehicle code violations in the area of California and Euclid. The driver was found to be too impaired to drive a motor vehicle safely. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for driving under the influence. The vehicle was stored.

Citrus College Again Named a 'Military Friendly School'


Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, has been named a 2018 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse magazines.

This is the college's eighth consecutive appearance on the Military Friendly Schools list, which honors the top 15 percent of the nation's colleges, universities and trade schools that have demonstrated a commitment to embracing military students by providing them with the resources needed to ensure success.

Source: Citrus press release

- Brad Haugaard

Homes for the Homeless; Virtual Tours of City Facilities; Washing Sidewalks


In his weekly report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O), City Manager Oliver Chi reports ...

~ The Monrovia Homeless Outreach Team has rounded up permanent housing for seven of our homeless population. They are required to enroll in a program to teach job training, and rehabilitation / mental health care.

~ Monrovia was recently awarded $30,000 to address homelessness. L.A. County and the United Way developed the grant program, that allows a maximum award of $30,000 for cities the size of Monrovia.

~ Wander around in more city facilities using Google 360. See the  Monrovia Community Center (https://goo.gl/42SPuv), Canyon Park Cabin (https://goo.gl/KSgmWj), and the Monrovia Historical Museum (https://goo.gl/18VzDo), although this one looks like just a patio and clicking "Monrovia Historical Museum" in the image takes you to Florida. Especially helpful if you'd like to rent a facility. You can check it out easily.

~ The City has scheduled pressure washing Old Town sidewalks during the next few weeks. Preparation for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

- Brad Haugaard

Beauty and the Beast at Monrovia High



The Broadway musical, Beauty and the Beast, at the Taylor Performing Arts Center (Monrovia High auditorium) on Nov. 30-Dec. 3. Details and tickets: https://goo.gl/bKyofp

- Brad Haugaard

Wheelhouse Ceramics Sale Dec. 1 & 2


Wheelhouse Ceramics (Monrovia Adult Education) will have its Holiday Ceramic Sale Friday Dec.1, 6 p.m.-9pm and Saturday Dec 2,10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is a non-profit group and the sale helps fund the studio.  This year, 40 artists' work will be displayed to view and/or purchase.  The studio is located near the corner of Myrtle and Duarte, behind AAMCO and Troy's Donuts & Burgers and just east of Santa Fe school.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia-Based Trader Joe's Recalls Some Salads


Monrovia-based Trader Joe's is recalling its White Meat Chicken Salad, Curried White Chicken Deli Salad, and Turkey Cranberry Apple Salad because its supplier notified the company that they may contain pieces of glass or hard plastic. https://goo.gl/w3n7Qd

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council to Consider Making Another House An Historic Landmark



At its Nov. 21 meeting (agenda: https://goo.gl/Y9L2xw) the Monrovia City Council will, among other things, consider making the house at 101 East Greystone Avenue an historic landmark. https://goo.gl/3VD2dN

Update: Please see clarification in comments section.

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at T Phillips




Dinner at T Phillips, at the corner of  Colorado and Myrtle. Got the Reuben sandwich for $13 and a beer bigger than I could drink for $10.50. Very nice. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Get Your Poem Stamped in a Monrovia Sidewalk


Get your poetry stamped into a Monrovia sidewalk.

As part of Monrovia Renewal, the city will stamp Monrovia resident's original poems into newly poured sections of sidewalk.  The contest is open to all residents of Monrovia. Your poem could appear anywhere around the city.

Which poems will be selected will be determined by a contest which ends December 31, 2017. For more information, a contest application, and a poem I hope does not win the contest, click here: https://goo.gl/fRMnHz

- Brad Haugaard

Stores Within a Store for Small Business Saturday


Smitten on Paper, at 114 E Lemon, will host about 15 vendors in its store - selling a variety of items, from jewelry, stationery, and apparel to coffee and baked goods - on Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of  Small Business Saturday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Two Pedestrians Hit By Cars in Separate Incidents; Did Fire Mask Auto Theft? Check Stolen From Monrovia Post Office, Cashed; Theft; Drugs; Etc.


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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 376 service events, resulting in 64 investigations.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 13 at 8:32 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of W. Huntington regarding the report of a traffic collision. A driver was traveling westbound on Huntington when she was sideswiped by another vehicle that continued westbound and never stopped. The driver of the hit and run vehicle was reportedly swerving all over the roadway, striking the center divider several times. The suspect driver was eventually located in Arcadia. He was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and the hit and run traffic collision.

Burglary / Theft From a Vehicle – Suspect Arrested
November 13 at 9:00 a.m., an officer was dispatched to an apartment complex in the 700 block of W. Foothill regarding the report a burglary. An unknown suspect stole items from an unlocked storage space located in the carport of the complex. Items were also stolen from the bed of a truck, which was parked in the carport. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 13 at 10:25 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 200 block of Los Angeles regarding an alarm activation. Upon arrival, officers saw the two doors on the west side of the residence were kicked open. The master bedroom had been ransacked, but it is unknown what was taken. The investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 13 at 11:14 a.m., police received a call reporting a possible domestic dispute in the area of Foothill and Garfield. The male subject fled from the location in a vehicle and the female fled on foot. Officers located the male subject in the 700 block of Mountain View and the female was located by Arcadia police officers at Colorado and Fifth. The female was uncooperative and would not provide any information. The male subject had a visible injury to his face and was treated at the scene by the Monrovia Fire Department paramedics, and he refused prosecution. The male subject was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and released on a citation to appear in court on the drug charges.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 13 at 3:11 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington regarding a theft in progress. Two suspects stole electronics and fled the store without paying. Both suspects were apprehended and arrested. The property was recovered and returned to the business.

Injury Traffic Collision – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
November 13 at 3:35 p.m., an injury traffic collision was reported in the 1600 block of S. Mountain Avenue. A pedestrian was walking in a marked crosswalk when a vehicle turned onto Mountain from a parking lot and struck the pedestrian in the crosswalk. The pedestrian complained of pain on both sides of her body and had an abrasion on her right elbow. She was treated at the scene by Monrovia Fire Department paramedics.

Vehicle Burglary
November 14 at 9:28 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 500 block of W. Duarte Road. The suspects entered the victim's open garage and went into the victim's unlocked vehicle. The suspects stole the victim's wallet and laptop from inside the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Fraud Incident
November 14 at 9:57 a.m., a victim came into the police lobby to report a fraud incident. On October 6, the victim dropped off a check written to Southern California Edison at the post office in the drive-through mailbox. The victim later received a notice from her bank advising her that she had insufficient funds in her account. Upon checking her bank account, the victim realized the check she had made out to Southern California Edison was cashed for a much larger amount than she had written on the check. The investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting / Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 14 at 3:51 p.m., officers were dispatched to a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The suspect entered the business, selected items, and walked to the return desk. He used a fraudulent receipt in an attempt to return the selected items. The suspect then fled, but was apprehended by officers nearby in Duarte. The suspect was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Injury Traffic Collison
November 14 at 4:11 p.m., an injury traffic collision was reported in the area of Colorado and Magnolia. The driver of a vehicle was turning onto Magnolia from Colorado, when he struck a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. The pedestrian complained of pain to his left jaw and left knee. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Grand Theft Auto
November 15 at 3:24 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business in the 900 block of S. Magnolia. The victim dropped off his vehicle at the business in October. The business was destroyed in a structure fire. The victim was informed by the detective handling the case that his vehicle was not at the scene when the fire took place. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 15 at 11:50 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the 700 of E. Lemon when he contacted a subject in a park after closing hours. A computer check of the subject revealed he had a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested for the warrant and received a citation for being in the park after hours.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
November 16 at 2:43 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 400 block of W. Huntington when he observed a suspicious subject on a bicycle with his face covered. The officer contacted the subject and identified him. The subject was found to be in possession of a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Grand Theft – Suspect Arrested
November 16 at 3:41 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting a theft in progress in the 100 block of N. Mayflower. Officers responded and detained an adult, female suspect. The investigation revealed the victim met the suspect and brought the suspect to his brother's home. The suspect went into a room, took jewelry and attempted to leave the location. She was detained by the victim until officers arrived. The stolen property was recovered and the suspect was arrested. She was later released on a citation to appear in court on the charges.

Monrovia-based Trader Joe's Recalls Yogurt Dip, Tahini Sauce



Monrovia-based Trader Joe's is recalling Trader Joe's Cilantro & Chive Yogurt Dip (SKU# 78720) and Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce (SKU# 78723) because of potential listeria contamination.  https://goo.gl/wY6hy9

- Brad Haugaard

Fundraiser for Foothill Unity Center


Foothill Unity Center's fundraising Holiday Salon Concert will feature performances by  Dr. Adam R. Kendall, Dr. Samuel W. Chung and other local artists. Dr. Kendall (and his little white dog) regularly perform  at the Monrovia Farmer's Market. Dr. Chung, a medical oncologist, is also a violinist,  While studying Biology at Riverside, he was concertmaster of the University Orchestra for all four years, and was the featured soloist with the Orchestra on three occasions, performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, the Carmen Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate, and the Mendelssohn Violin concerto. The concert is at the Santa Anita Park Chandelier Room (285 West Huntington Drive in Arcadia. Free Parking through Gate 5) on  Wednesday, Dec. 6 5:30 to 7 p.m., with the concert from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 individual or $130 per couple. Purchase tickets here: https://goo.gl/XqB7p6

- Brad Haugaard

Is Monrovia's Unfunded Retirement Liability $112 Million ... Or $305 Million?


I was contacted recently by George Schirtzinger, President of Monrovia's Air Logistics Corp., and a former auditor of government agencies for the international auditing firm, Deloitte, who is concerned that even if Monrovia passes a bond to cover the $112 million shortfall in its retirement liabilities, that won't be enough - by far. His argument is that even with CalPERS (the state organization which runs most government retirement programs in the California) reducing the estimate (by fiscal year 2020-21) of what it can earn to 7 percent, that is still unrealistically high. He thinks a return of about 4 percent is more reasonable. But, he says, if CalPERS can only earn 4 percent, that means Monrovia's real unfunded retirement liability would be $305 million, rather than $112 million. (Some background: https://goo.gl/Hvp1se)

I asked City Manager Oliver Chi to comment on this assertion. As I understand his response, it is that the city expects that 7 percent probably is a bit of a high estimate but that CalPERS is expected to further lower its estimate of what it can earn to about 6 percent, which Monrovia believes is realistic.

But that's my understanding. Here is Chi's response in full (the bold face type is his):

The matter of public pensions / unfunded pension liabilities is certainly a politically charged topic with individuals and groups on both sides of the debate.  In very broad generalities, there are some who believe that public pensions are too generous and that pension benefits need to be reduced, while others maintain that there is no problem with the existing pension system as it stands.  Both sides engaged in the issue have published their own studies to further articulate and illustrate their point, and the 4% rate of return that Mr. Schirtzinger cites is relatively consistent with studies published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy, which is now utilizing a 3.250% rate of return to calculate pension related liabilities on a market basis.  Additionally, there are other entities that have published studies which assert that CalPERS can and will earn a higher rate of return than that identified on a market basis, and that the actuarial calculation of projected future pension costs is the appropriate way to outline future liabilities.

With all of that being said, the fact remains that under the current system, CalPERS pension costs and future pension liabilities are calculated based on an actuarial basis.  And one of the primary drivers of projected pension liabilities is the assumed discount rate, or rate of investment return, included in the analysis.  Over the years, CalPERS has very appropriately been reducing their assumed rate of return, and the discount rate reductions have included the following:

  • 2004 – reduced assumed rate of return from 8.25% down to 7.75%
  • 2012 – reduced assumed rate of return from 7.75% down to 7.5%
  • 2016 – reduced assumed rate of return from 7.5% down to 7.0%


Moving ahead, based on conversations I’ve had with individuals involved in the CalPERS policy making process, it seems that CalPERS will in the next few years further reduce their assumed rate of return to somewhere around 6.0%, which I believe is a realistic and appropriate decision.  Also for your reference, the actual audited financials for CalPERS illustrate that their actual earned investment rate or return (as of June 30, 2016) during the past several years is as follows:

-  CalPERS actual audited investment return performance through June 30, 2016, has been:

  • Last 3 years – 6.9%
  • Last 5 years – 6.8%
  • Last 10 years – 5.1%
  • Last 20 years – 7.0%
  • Since inception (1988) – 8.3%


As we have analyzed all of these associated factors here at the City, we continue to believe that our overall CalPERS Response (CPR) Plan makes sense and is a responsible way of addressing the City’s future unfunded pension liability.  Currently, our actuarially determined unfunded liability and other pension liabilities total around $112.4 million.  And the cost for servicing that debt load is scheduled to increase from its current level of $6.1 million / year to $11 million / year in FY 2025/26.  Additionally, the cost for paying down those pension liabilities will be assessed a roughly 7% interest rate factor.

By refinancing all of our existing unfunded pension liabilities in the current market rate environment, we reduce our annual payments by $4.3 million / year and save the City $43.2 million during the course of the next 30 year period.  This is primarily due to the fact that current market rates indicate the possibility for us to refinance our debt load at an interest rate of around 4% - 4.5%, and over a 30 year borrowing term, so long a CalPERS can earn an investment return greater than our borrowing costs, the refinancing will work in the City’s favor.

Additionally, once we do refinance all of our pension liabilities, the City’s overall CalPERS pension account will effectively be 100% fully funded.  The City recognizes that as we move ahead, it is likely that CalPERS will, at some point, accrue new pension liabilities due to future investment return losses and actuarial assumption adjustments.  While the chances of growing a large future pension liability will decrease as CalPERS reduces its assumed investment rate of return, realistically, future liabilities will almost certainly accrue.

In an effort to resolve that particular issue, the City has also established a UAL Funding Policy, which draws on lessons from the best performing public pension funds in the world.  In particular, the New York pension fund – which offers pension benefits similar to those in California – is currently 95% funded.  The way they have achieved this high funding level is by aggressively paying down any new unfunded liabilities that develop.  Our adopted UAL Funding Policy in Monrovia draws upon that experience and requires that the City explicitly disclose on an annual basis any increase / decrease in pension liabilities.  Further, the policy requires that the City develop a payoff plan for any new accrued pension liabilities that develop annually.

The refinancing of our pension debt and our UAL Funding Policy – combined with our employees agreeing to shoulder a larger portion of our pension costs, a modest increase in our Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate, and establishing new Community Facility Districts on new development to pay for increased service delivery expenses – puts Monrovia on a solid financial footing moving forward into the future.

However, as we discussed at our City Council meeting last Tuesday, November 7, 2017, the scale and impact of the pending CalPERS unfunded pension liability cost increases will require a wholesale reassessment of how government works in California.  The costs are not sustainable, which is why Monrovia acted to address the issues now through adoption of our overall CPR Plan.  However, as the financial markets change and private financing interest rates increase, other agencies who are not proactively working to manage the situation now will be forced to consider significant cuts in services or the establishment of additional revenues to fund burgeoning pension debt costs.

- Brad Haugaard

How to Learn About (and Protest, if You Want) New Water Rates; Park Improvements; Why City Staff May Be Fuzzy; Train Station Almost Done; Etc.


Julian Fisher Park renovations nearing completion.

In his weekly update (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Oliver Chi reports ...

~ If you want to have your say regarding increasing water rates (cost for water is expected to increase around $37 a month by 2021-22 above what the typical residential customer pays today) the city has set up a series of 7 p.m. public meetings at the library's Community Room on Thursday, Nov. 30; Wednesday, Dec. 13; Saturday, Dec. 16; Monday, Dec. 18; Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

~ "[D]uring the week of Nov. 20, staff will be mailing public hearing notices to all affected customers detailing the proposed rate adjustment and the reasons behind the rate increases.  These notices will include a protest ballot that can be returned to the City to protest the rate adjustment.  If a majority (50% + 1) of affected customers protest the proposed rate adjustments, then the City Council will not be able to adopt the new rates.  If a majority protest does not occur, then the City Council can adopt the new rates after the public hearing on Jan. 16, 2018." If adopted the new costs would become effective as of March 8, 2018. the Historic Santa Fe Depot, which is planned to be utilized as a café / restaurant once it is fully restored. Should be done by the end of the year.

~ Major renovations at Julian Fisher Park are almost done. Most recently completed was the sports coating on the new basketball courts, as shown above. The remaining tasks, which should be completed over the next two months, include:  Gazebo improvements, landscaping, an "interpretive sign."

~ The old Santa Fe Depot, which is being set up as a restaurant space, should be fully restored by the end of the year.

~ All City staff who participate in the "No Shave November" cancer awareness event by paying $20 (all of which will be donated to charity) may forgo shaving during the entire month of November. The event is to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. As part of the event there will be an exotic car show  held on Dec. 2, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., at Library Park.

~ Kids can build a planter with California wildflowers at  the Nature Center at  Monrovia Canyon Park between 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26. For more information, call Monrovia Canyon Park at 256-8282.

~ Help Monrovia Fire Department with its "Fill the Boot" fundraising campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the corner of Mayflower Avenue and Huntington Drive. Funds go to  the Muscular Dystrophy Association and usually the event  raises between $3,000 - $5,000.

~ Join Monrovia Fire & Rescue for its Spark of Love Toy Drive on Nov. 24 and 25. Stuff the Monrovia Fire Engine with toys in front of the Studio Movie Grill (formerly the Krikorian Theater) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For questions, contact Monrovia Fire & Rescue at 256-8181.

~ The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7, beginning with the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Library Park, at 6 p.m., and then the Holiday Parade at 7 p.m. The parade will travel north on Myrtle from Chestnut to Palm. If you're interested in submitting an entry to the Parade, please return the application to the Monrovia Community Center by Wednesday, Nov. 22. For questions, contact Lisa Hansberger at 256-8246, or at lhansberger@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Police Follow a Trail of Transmission Fluid; Driver Hits Pedestrian; Vehicle Thefts; Wanted Suspects Call Attention to Themselves


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

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Grand Theft Auto
November 9 at 6:33 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 1800 block of S. Peck Road. The victim parked his vehicle on the street in front of his residence in the evening. He returned to his vehicle in the morning and found it was missing. The vehicle is a white, Chevrolet Express van. The investigation is continuing.

Vandalism
November 9 at 6:38 a.m., a vandalism incident was reported at a business in the 200 block of W. Foothill. A suspect threw a rock at the glass door of the business, causing it to shatter. There were metal bars on the door that prevented the suspect from entering the business. The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Burglary
November 9 at 12:17 p.m., an attempt burglary was reported at a business in the 100 block of W. Foothill. A suspect threw a rock at the front door, which is Plexiglas, causing it to scratch. The suspect then attempted to push the door open, but was unsuccessful. The investigation is continuing.

Attempt Grand Theft Auto
November 9 at 3:26 p.m., an officer responded to the report of an attempted grand theft auto at a business parking lot in the 3300 block of Peck Road. The victim parked her vehicle in the parking lot for approximately one hour. When she returned to her vehicle, she found the steering column was damaged and she could not put the vehicle in drive. The vehicle had to be towed. The investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
November 9 at 9:26 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle at Colorado and Magnolia for vehicle code violations. A computer check on the driver revealed he was unlicensed and had a warrant for his arrest. The driver was arrested and taken into custody for the warrant. His vehicle was stored.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
November 10 at 2:37 a.m., a resident from the 100 block of Madison called police to report a vehicle that drove up onto his lawn and over a retaining wall. The vehicle then fled south, out of view. An officer responded and followed a trail of leaking transmission fluid to the 800 block of Olive, locating the suspect vehicle, which was now unoccupied. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
November 10 at 1:30 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 3300 block of S. Peck Road. The victim parked their 2008 Mercedes to the front of the business and went inside. When they returned, they realized their vehicle had been stolen. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
November 10 at 2:37 p.m., two vehicles were reported stolen from a business in the 1400 block of S. Mountain. Unknown suspects broke into a lockbox to obtain the vehicle keys and took the vehicles. The incident occurred sometime between November 8 and 9. The investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 11 at 10:05 a.m., an officer responded to a traffic collision involving injuries at the intersection of Foothill and Canyon. A vehicle was traveling south on Canyon and made a left turn onto Foothill, striking a pedestrian that was walking in the crosswalk with a green light to walk. Multiple subjects witnessed the incident. The driver was cited and the pedestrian was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Attempt Grand Theft Auto
November 11 at 12:00 noon, an attempt grand theft auto was reported in the 800 block of W. Duarte Road. The victim parked and locked her vehicle in the carport. When she returned to her vehicle the next day, she found a broken shaved key in the ignition and someone had rummaged through the interior of the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Vandalism in Progress – Suspect Arrested
November 11 at 12:04 p.m., a suspect was reported vandalizing the wall of a business in the 200 block of E. Foothill with a sharpie marker. Officers responded and located the suspect inside a nearby business. The suspect was positively identified by a witness and a computer check revealed the suspect also had a no-bail warrant for his arrest. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Warrants / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 11 at 2:27 p.m., officers responded to Mountain and Duarte regarding a welfare check of a subject sitting on the curb with his legs in the street. Officers contacted the subject and a computer check revealed he had multiple warrants for his arrest. The subject was arrested and taken into custody. The subject was also found to be in possession of a bag of cocaine he had in his wallet.

Christmas Cantata at Monrovia First Presbyterian Church



First Presbyterian Church (at Myrtle and Foothill) will present “Let There Be Christmas,” a family Christmas cantata with choir and orchestra, by Joseph M. Martin, on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Music, sing-along carols, photos with Santa, refreshments. An offering will be taken.

Brad Haugaard 

Former MHS Student Says Teacher Gave Class All Test Answers


Former Monrovia High student claims teacher gave students all the answers prior to a test.  https://goo.gl/GJkVWA

- Brad Haugaard 

Lunch at Sharkie Poke




Lunch at Sharkie Poke, on the east side of Myrtle in the Paragon building. Got the three-item (an “item” is a type of raw fish) poke for $8.99 and an iced tea for $2.25. It was served on a bed of rice with dressing and garnished with veggies and other things of your choice. Very tasty and filling. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Football Completes League Play Undefeated :-)


Monrovia football undefeated as it finishes league play. On to the playoffs! https://goo.gl/HA5fxt

- Brad Haugaard

Is There Progress on the Long-Stalled Clock Tower Building?


Things again seem to be happening at the long-stalled refurbishing of the clock tower building on the east side of Myrtle across from the library. Old Town businesswoman, Pam Fitzpatrick, said drywall has been delivered and a van from an elevator company was parked outside. https://goo.gl/mqrbuf

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Young Musicians Ensemble Musical Bake Sale



Monrovia Young Musicians Ensemble will hold a musical bake sale at the Pavilions supermarket on Sunday, Nov. 19 and Dec. 10 from 4-6 p.m. each day. MYME serves the community by sharing music and promoting awareness of the necessity to keep music alive in local schools.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Burglary Suspect Arrested Because He Made a Fuss; Four-Year-Old Wanders Streets; Shoplifting; Wallet Swiped; Bikes Stolen


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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 440 service events, resulting in 73 investigations.

Child Endangerment – Suspect Arrested
November 6 at 7:02 a.m., an officer responded to the area of Monterey and Walnut regarding a four-year-old boy wandering. The child was taken to the Monrovia Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services was notified. It was determined that the father left the boy alone in the house to take the child's mother to work. There is a domestic violence restraining order against the father. The father was arrested for child endangerment. A verified complaint was submitted to the court to file charges of child endangerment on the mother.

Theft – Suspect Arrested
November 6 at 3:55 p.m., officers on patrol saw a subject running out of a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain Avenue. Store loss prevention was following after the subject. The subject had attempted to steal merchandise from the business. Once confronted by loss prevention, the subject fled. He was located by officers and arrested for the theft.

Theft
November 6 at 7:09 p.m., an officer responded to a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain regarding a theft. Two suspects selected backpacks and shoes from the store and fled out of an emergency exit. The suspects had fled prior to officers arriving. The investigation is continuing.

Domestic Violence – Suspects Arrested
November 7 at 1:15 a.m., a couple that reside in the 800 block of W. Walnut were involved in a physical altercation. There were conflicting statements and officers were unable to establish the primary aggressor. Both subjects were arrested for domestic violence.

Traffic Collision with Injury / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 7 at 4:03 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of California and Olive regarding an injury traffic collision. One driver was traveling southbound on California and the other was traveling eastbound on Olive, where they collided in the intersection. One of the drivers was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested. The other driver complained of pain.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
November 7 at 4:57 p.m., an officer responded to a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington regarding a female suspect that stole merchandise and fled the location on foot. The officer arrived and located the female suspect in a nearby parking lot. The stolen property was recovered. The suspect was positively identified by store loss prevention and arrested for the theft.

Theft of Bicycles
November 8 at 1:29 p.m., two bicycles were reported stolen from the 1300 block of S. Alta Vista. The bicycles were stolen from the front common area of an apartment complex. The investigation is continuing.

Petty Theft / Fraud
November 8 at 2:22 p.m., a petty theft of a wallet was reported at a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington. The victim placed her backpack on the back of her chair. A witness saw a male suspect reach into the backpack and remove the wallet, while a second suspect attempted to block the witness’s view by standing up. The witness notified the manager, but when the witness and manager returned to the victim's table to inform her of the theft, the suspects were gone. The victim's debit card was later used at a business nearby. The investigation is continuing.

Burglary
November 9 at 12:06 a.m., the front glass door of a business in the 200 block of W. Foothill was reported shattered. Officers responded and confirmed a burglary had occurred. Surveillance video showed a male, white suspect with a beard, wearing a plaid jacket. The suspect broke the glass with a rock and entered the location. He searched the cash register drawers and left, taking nothing.

Approximately an hour later, officers were dispatched to a gas station in the 1500 block of S. Myrtle regarding a subject causing a disturbance. Officers arrived and recognized the subject as the suspect that committed the burglary on Foothill. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Grand Theft
November 9 at 5:50 a.m., a grand theft of a bicycle was reported in the 400 block of W. Huntington. Officers responded to the location regarding the theft and located a vehicle nearby that was leaving the area. The vehicle was stopped and the bicycle was recovered from inside. The suspect was arrested for the theft.

Veterans Day Ceremony


There will be a Veterans Day ceremony at Library Park this Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia State Senator Wants Whistleblower Protection to Apply to Legislative Staff Members


Monrovia's State Senator, Anthony Portantino, thinks some women on legislative staffs in Sacramento have legitimate complaints about abuse and intimidation and thinks whistleblower protection would help. He writes:

"Recently, the legislature has been facing legitimate complaints and serious accusations from women within and outside the capitol workforce. As the father of two daughters, spouse of a working professional and a person who has consistently helped place communities of our district in the hands of extremely talented women I continue to believe a significant barrier to just outcomes and workplace security has been the lack of whistleblower protection for legislative staff. You might be surprised to learn that although whistleblower protection is California law it does not apply to the state legislature and most importantly our staff is not protected against reprisal for shining the light on inappropriate behavior or criminal activity. I first learned of this discrepancy in 2011 and I authored a bill to extend this protection to legislative staff then and again in 2012. Both bills were killed. Upon being elected to the State Senate, I supported a third bi-partisan attempt to make this prudent change to how business is conducted in the state capitol. Everyone who works in Sacramento should have the confidence to bring complaints and observations of wrongdoing forward without fear of retribution.

"There are many good people working to figure out prudent and effective next steps to protect women in the capitol from abuse and intimidation. Immediately extending whistleblower protection is a necessary and easy first step. It is my intention to once again bring it forward in January when we return to regular legislative business."

Source: Portantino letter.

Comment: Noooo, actually it does not surprise me at all that whistleblower protection does not apply to the state legislative staff members.

- Brad Haugaard

San Gabriel Valley Choral Company Presents 'In Dulci Jubilo'


On Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m., the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company will present In Dulci Jubilo at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, 122  S. California Ave. The event will feature Michael Praetorius' 17th century piece for double choir and the singing of holiday music in Hebrew, Georgian, Spanish, and English. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at http://www.sgvccsingers.org or by sending a check payable to "SGVCC" to PO Box 2225 Monrovia, CA  91017.  They will also be available at the door.

- Brad Haugaard

Original Celtic Woman Chloë Agnew in Concert at St. Luke


"Ireland's Celtic Songbird," Chloë Agnew, a founding member of Celtic Women, will join special guest Dermot Kiernan to present Chloë's Christmas, a holiday concert, on Friday, Dec. 1, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Monrovia. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert may be ordered at ticketleap.com for $20 plus $2 handling.

Chloë Agnew appeared in the PBS special Celtic Woman at fourteen and the US response led to a debut album that remained on the Billboard World Music Chart for 81 weeks. The group's next two albums went on to hold the top three positions on the chart. Agnew was named 2012 Female Vocalist of the Year at the Irish Music Awards. The following year, she moved to Los Angeles to launch a solo career. She has toured internationally with some of America's most distinguished orchestras.

Dermot Kiernan has toured extensively with Dublin's Pro Cathedral and Christchurch Cathedral Choirs, appearing as a soloist for their recordings and concerts worldwide. In 2009, he joined The Celtic Woman Aontas Choir and toured with it across the globe. He was later named its choir leader/director. Now based in Los Angeles, he performs, directs and teaches across the country.

- Brad Haugaard

Mayor Tom Adams: Monrovia Faces a Serious Struggle


The Monrovia City Council tonight approved a series of measures, including a big bond measure, (see here for details: https://goo.gl/Hvp1se) to prevent the city from going bankrupt over the next few years from increases in pension costs.

Mayor Tom Adams said, “Monrovia will be okay, but, boy! it’ll be a struggle.”  But neither he or City Manager Oliver Chi was optimistic about the fate of many other cities and government agencies throughout the state, saying there will likely be “a lot of bankruptcies.”

Chi and Adams blamed the state for changes it made during the Gray Davis administration that increased costs for its CalPERS retirement program. Chi added that some cities have already been tracking and dealing with these liabilities and he proposed that Monrovia's city staff be required in the future to inform the council of any new liabilities that will - likely - come along. 

Chi is recommending buying a bond to cover the shortfall (total unfunded pension liability is $112 million) because borrowing costs are at an historic low, currently in the 4 percent range. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Alan Sanvictores Sworn in as Monrovia’s Chief of Police




Tonight, before the city council, Captain Alan Sanvictores got a promotion as he was sworn in as Monrovia’s new chief of police. He promised to do “everything in his being” to serve the city. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Pension 'Tsunami' Coming to Monrovia; Water Rates Going Up; Smart Trash Cans Installed; Etc.


Bigbelly smart trash cans.

In his weekly update (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O), City Manager Oliver Chi reports that ...

~ A "pension cost tsunami" is coming that "will impact nearly every government agency in the State in the coming years" and "will become unsustainable for Monrovia within the next few years" and will render the city "insolvent in either FY 2021/22 or FY 2022/23." He said the city's plan "will stabilize pension costs and, he said, it is his "most sincere hope and belief" that it will address the immediate and long-term financial challenges "in such a way that we can avoid devastating operational, staffing, and budgetary cuts." More detail here: https://goo.gl/Hvp1se

~ Water rate increases are coming. Based on the proposed rate increase, the typical single-family residential water customer will see a monthly water bill increase of $17.08 in Calendar Year 2018 (effective March 8, 2018) and by fiscal year the increase will be around $37 more per month than it is now.  All of these new costs are pass-through costs which will be paid to the San Gabriel Basin Watermaster and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.

~  Monrovia Fire Department will participate in the "Fill the Boot" fundraising campaign to fight muscular dystrophy on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the corner of Mayflower Avenue and Huntington Drive.

~ Six new Bigbelly solar trash compactors have been installed at Library Park and along Myrtle in Old Town. These smart  cans hold five times the capacity of a regular city trash can, they reduce the number of times staff has to empty a trash can, and can automatically notify staff when the can is filled and needs to be emptied.

~ Studio Movie Grill has begun a renovation that will include the installation of a full menu, bar, and in-theater waiters, upgrading its seats so that every patron will have a high-back recliner. To help this happen the city has issued Studio Movie Grill a permit to put up to two dumpsters on Lemon Avenue for no more than a month.

~ Applications for the Holiday Home Decorating Contest will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 20 at the Monrovia Community Center Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11 and judging will take place on Monday, Dec. 18.

~  MADIA Tech Launch will host Randy Heyler, CEO of Ondax Incorporated, who will speak on  how to build a start-up. It will focus on the laser industry, and Randy will share the lessons he learned in building the company over the last seven years. On Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at
 Tanner Research (825 S. Myrtle Ave., CA 91016). Cost: $10 if purchased by Nov. 8 at noon, Or $12 at the door. RSVP here: https://goo.gl/y2UMi5

- Brad Haugaard

Old Monrovia Train Station Taking Shape


Some nice pictures from Gem City Images showing improvements at the old Monrovia train station. https://goo.gl/y6d1M9

- Brad Haugaard

Hunter Charged With Illegally Killing Deer in Monrovia Neighborhood


A Duarte man was charged today in connection with the fatal shooting of a deer in Monrovia, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

Michael Jackson Rodriguez (dob 2/5/84) was charged in case GA102229 with one felony count of procuring and offering a false or forged instrument and one misdemeanor count each of discharge of a deadly weapon within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling, possession of wildlife taken unlawfully and shooting a bow and arrow within Monrovia.

He is expected to be arraigned Nov. 30 in Department D of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Magleby of the Environmental Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

Rodriguez is accused of fatally shooting a deer with a bow and arrow in a Monrovia neighborhood on Sept. 14. It is illegal to shoot a deer or discharge a deadly weapon within 150 yards of a home, the prosecutor said.

Two days later, Rodriguez filed false information about the incident with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

If convicted as charged, Rodriguez faces a possible maximum sentence of 3 ½ years in local custody.

The case remains under investigation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Source: LA District Attorney Press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Lots of Burglaries; Truck Stolen from Dealer; Thief Downstairs Steals Keys, Then Car; Man in Porsche Points Gun at Man; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for October 30 - November 5. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Vehicle Vandalism
October 30 at 7:41 a.m., an officer responded to the 300 block of Heliotrope regarding the report of a vehicle vandalism. The vehicle was parked in the alley and sometime during the night, the passenger side window was broken out. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. Police received a second vehicle vandalism report in the 400 block of Greystone, where another vehicle had the driver-side door window broken out sometime during the night. It appears it was shot out with a BB gun or pellet. It is unknown if these two cases are related. The investigations are continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
October 30 at 11:48 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a dealership in the 1400 block of S. Mountain. Employees arrived at work and discovered the vehicle was missing. The vehicle taken was a gray Ford F-150 truck. The investigation is continuing.

Burglary
October 30 at 5:32 p.m., officers responded to a hotel in the 900 block of S. Fifth Avenue regarding a burglary. Employees reported a male white subject, approximately 6 feet tall, large build, with a mustache, broke into the guest washing machines and stole money from them and fled. Officers conducted an area check for the suspect, but he was not located. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary / Grand Theft Auto
October 30 at 10:55 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 2100 block of S. Myrtle. The residents at the location were awakened by noises in their home and the sound of the garage door opening. They went to the garage and discovered their 2017 Toyota Camry had been stolen. The suspect gained entry to the residence by breaking a window. The suspect located the car keys in the home and took the vehicle from the garage, all while the residents were upstairs. The residents heard the suspect in the home, but each one thought it was the other making the noise. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
October 31 at 6:50 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 200 block of E. Central. The victim parked the vehicle in front of her house in the evening. When she returned to the vehicle in the morning, she discovered the window of her car had been broken out and the door was open. The only thing missing was a makeup bag from the center console. The investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
October 31 at 6:22 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 1800 block of Estrella. The resident returned home and found her bedroom window was cracked open and her sliding door was ajar. The house had been ransacked and jewelry was missing. The investigation is continuing.

Brandishing a Firearm
November 1 at 1:40 a.m., officers responded to the area of Myrtle and Huntington regarding the report of a driver brandishing a firearm at another driver. The victim stated he was driving west on Huntington and stopped at a red light at Myrtle. He saw a Porsche Cayenne SUV pull up next to him. He saw the driver's window roll down and the driver/suspect pointed a gun at the victim. The suspect was talking, but the victim did not understand what he was saying. The suspect drove north on Myrtle and west on Maple. The investigation is continuing.

Commercial Burglaries
November 2 at 4:45 a.m., officers responded to an alarm activation at a business in the 100 block of S. Myrtle. They arrived and discovered the front windows had been shattered at three separate business locations. The investigation revealed all three locations had been burglarized. The businesses were searched, but no suspects were located. The investigations are continuing.

Commercial Burglary
November 2 at 6:43 a.m., a burglary was reported at a business in the 400 block of W. Foothill. The business was closed and had a broken glass window to the front. When officers arrived, they discovered someone had broken into the business. The cash register had been removed from the counter and was on the ground. No suspects were located and the investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
November 4 at 12:49 a.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 400 block of E. Olive. The resident returned home and saw that two laptop computers, several pieces of jewelry and two purses were missing. Officers arrived and conducted an investigation. The house was not ransacked and there were no signs of forced entry. The resident said she had made sure the residence was locked prior to leaving in the evening. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
November 4 at 2:44 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation and contacted the driver, who displayed signs of intoxication. A DUI investigation was completed and the subject was arrested, booked, and held for a sobering period.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
November 4 at 10:47 a.m., a domestic violence incident that occurred in the 700 block of W. Foothill was reported to police. The victim reported that a few days prior, her boyfriend physically attacked her. She stated that he tried to strangle her and then threatened to kill himself. He was holding a kitchen knife up against his neck. The victim had visible physical injuries. Officers responded and contacted the suspect, who had markings on his body consistent with the victim's statement of the physical altercation. The suspect was arrested for domestic violence and taken into custody. An Emergency Protective Order was issued and a firearm was removed from the residence for safekeeping. The suspect later bonded out of custody and the victim was notified.

Residential Burglary
November 4 at 3:03 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 300 block of Terrace View. Officers responded and found that a door window pane had been broken and it appears that the suspects made entry into the home. It is unknown yet if anything was taken. The electrical panel appeared to have been tampered with and the electricity had been shut off. An alarm panel inside of the residence also appeared to have been tampered with. The investigation is continuing.

Commercial Burglary
November 5 at 7:35 a.m., an officer responded to a construction site in the 700 block of E. Huntington regarding a theft of items from a trailer. Unknown suspects cut the padlock to the trailer and stole hand tools and a laptop computer. The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested
November 6 at 12:43 a.m., officers responded to the report of a traffic collision at Magnolia and Lemon. Upon arrival, they discovered a solo vehicle had hit a parked car. The female driver appeared to be extremely intoxicated and had locked herself in her vehicle. After several minutes, she unlocked the doors to her vehicle. The officers determined that she was too impaired to drive a motor vehicle safely. She was arrested for DUI and taken into custody. 

Monrovia Rotary Presents Retiring Police Chief Hunt With Its Highest Award


The Monrovia Rotary Club has presented retiring Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt with the highest award a Rotary Club can present, a Paul Harris Fellow Award, in recognition of his 27 years of service to the people of Monrovia. https://goo.gl/JYmtPL

- Brad Haugaard

City Council: Figuring Out How to Avoid Municipal Bankruptcy; Maybe a BIG Bond? Police Win Community Policing Award; Etc.


At its Nov. 7 meeting (agenda: https://goo.gl/13jymZ), the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Try to figure out how the city can avoid avoid going broke. According to this report (https://goo.gl/E8qKbe) by City Manager Oliver Chi and Buffy Bullis, Administrative Services Director, "if we do nothing, current financial modeling indicates that the costs associated with the pending CalPERS UAL repayment schedule will strain our General Fund to the point of rendering the City insolvent in either FY 2021/22 or FY 2022/23."

So, how to avoid going broke? City staff proposes:

  • Having employees increase contributions to their pension plans, saving the city about $300,000 a year.
  •  Issuing a bond to refinance the city's unfunded retirement costs.
  • Adopting a policy that (as best I can figure it out) requires city staff to annually present to the city council any unfunded liabilities, along with a proposal of how to pay them off.
  • Increasing the city's Transient Occupancy Tax (basically a tax on hotel rooms) from 10% to 12%, which should raise about $400,000 annually.
  • Creating Community Facility Districts, basically an additional tax on new residential developments. This could raise about $300,000 annually.

~ Authorize the issuance of a bond to pay off the unfunded liabilities noted in the previous item for (if my calculations are correct) $112.3 million. Actually, $12.6 million of this amount would not be additional debt since it would go to pay off an earlier bond. Comment: I find it really odd that the staff report (here: https://goo.gl/2o9sSm) recommends issuing the bond but does not give the total amount of the bond, so my calculation of $112.3 million is from the total amount of debt the report mentions.

~ Honor the Monrovia Police Department for winning the International Association of Chiefs of Police/Cisco Community Policing Award.

~ Swear in Alan Sanvictores as the new Monrovia police chief. This will happen at 6 p.m., before the regular meeting. https://goo.gl/5z1Jnf

~ Consider authorizing city staff to set a public hearing  to consider water fee adjustments for January 16, 2018. Here's a rather exhaustive (exhausting?) discussion of the issue: https://goo.gl/28yMpK

~ Consider changing the Monrovia municipal election date to March of even-numbered years beginning in 2020. This change is required by the state. https://goo.gl/14xEbG

- Brad Haugaard

Annie Van Dyke Named Monrovia Teacher of the Year


The Board of Education and the Personnel Commission will honor Annie Van Dyke as the 2017 Teacher of the Year at a special joint session at 5 p.m. on November 8 at the school district offices.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Kiku Sushi




Lunch at Kiku Sushi, at the west end of the Huntington Oaks shopping center. Decided to be adventurous and got the “Alice in Chains” roll for $15.99 and an iced tea for $2.50. I’ve no idea why the roll is called that but it has eel, avocado, cucumber, tuna, salmon and albacore.  It’s also very yummy. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Businesses Part of String of 17 Smash-and-Grab Burglaries


Four Monrovia businesses were hit by smash and grab burglaries last night, apparently part of a string of 17 such burglaries the same night. The Monrovia businesses that were victimized were: Coffee Bean, Yogurtland and Noor's Indian Cuisine - all on Myrtle near Foothill -
 were hit around 4:30 a.m. Also, Rigo's Mexican Food on Foothill Boulevard. https://goo.gl/tGsnsW

- Brad Haugaard

Construction Underway for New Unity Center Office


Foothill Unity Center reports that construction is underway at its new building - the old World Vision building -  on Chestnut. Also, it is "half way to our goal of raising $6.2 million."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia-Led Coalition Prompts Anti-Crime Proposition; Have the Bears Been Faked Out?; Car Show; Etc.


In his weekly update (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Oliver Chi reports that ...

~ The Monrovia-led "Taking Back Our Community" coalition has prompted the development of a proposition for the November 2018 election to modify problems the coalition sees in AB 109, Prop 47, and Prop 57. The initiative was introduced at a press conference in Sacramento on Monday, October 30, and Monrovia, as the lead agency for the Taking Back Our Community Coalition, was invited to participate. The proposition would: change Prop 57 by redefining certain crimes as "violent" felonies, and change Prop 47 so that on the third theft, that theft will become chargeable as a felony. Chi calls this " a terrific development." Here is a summary of what it would do: https://goo.gl/bBtE12

~ The experiment of changing trash pick-up times for residents north of Hillcrest to discourage trash bears may have worked as city staff has seen fewer reports of bear activity, however not a lot of data yet, so the city and Athens plan to continue the test through the end of the year.

~ John Foltz, a member of the City’s Monrovia Renewal Citizens’ Advisory Committee, passed away last Thursday, October 26.  He suffered a stroke and a heart attack a few weeks ago.

~ The Monrovia Police Officers' Association will host a fundraising car show (with food booths) as a fundraiser for Men's Health and Cancer Research. It will be held on Dec. 2, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., at Library Park. For questions email Seth Hermes at shermes@monrovia.laclen.org.

~ Captain Alan Sanvictores will be sworn in as the new Monrovia Chief of Police at 6 p.m., before the Nov. 7 City Council meeting.

- Brad Haugaard