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Curfew 6 p.m. Tonight for Monrovia and the Rest of LA County


A curfew goes into effect at 6 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Monday morning for Monrovia and all LA County.

City Manager Dylan Feik writes that residents should only leave their homes for medical care or to go to an essential job.

He writes:

"Over the weekend, we have all witnessed protests taking place throughout the nation. However, as of late, the protests turned destructive. To ensure the safety of our community, the Los Angeles County has proclaimed the existence of a local emergency due to civil unrest."

and ...

"Part of the reason why this Order is being issued is because amongst the peaceful protest, there is organized looting. Although everyone has the right to peacefully gather, we have gotten to the point where lives and properties are in imminent danger."

Here's the order: https://is.gd/oaHJ8D

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 162, Up 5, No New Deaths

Today's Coronavirus cases from LA Deptartment of Public Health:


Monrovia: 162 cases (up 5), 19 deaths (unchanged).


Unincorporated Monrovia: 21 cases (up 1).


Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).


Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 16 deaths (unchanged).


Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  26 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).


- Brad Haugaard

Route 66 Videos And Monrovia

The Women of the Mother Road, a project compiling information about the people involved along Route 66 during its early days, has two videos about Monrovia.

The first features Councilmember Larry Spicer sharing his family’s story of moving from the South to Monrovia and then traveling back to see family in the days when the legacy of segregation still made travel uncomfortable and dangerous for African Americans. 


... And, Keiko Sakatani shares her family's story from the days when her grandmother arrived in 1918 as a picture bride from Japan to the family’s odyssey during WWII when they were forced to leave their strawberry farm and were sent to an internment camp. 



- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 157, Up 3 - No New Deaths

Today's Coronavirus cases from LA Deptartment of Public Health:


Monrovia: 157 cases (up 3), 19 deaths (unchanged).


Unincorporated Monrovia: 20 cases (unchanged).


Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).


Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 16 deaths (unchanged).


Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  26 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).


- Brad Haugaard

New Tomato-Growing Contest Starts Sunday

A new organization in town called Grow Monrovia is sponsoring a tomato-growing contest as its first  community event to encourage residents to grow their own food, according to Michele Brooke, posting on the Nextdoor social media system.

The contest starts May 31 (this Sunday). You can pick up an heirloom tomato seedling, a growing guide, and information on the average weight for the tomato variety you receive, from 8-10 a.m. at 731 Valley View, in Monrovia, while supplies last. (Coronavirus rules apply.)

Adults and children may participate. There is a limit of two seedlings per household, and you must be present to receive a seedling, donated by the Huntington Library.

On July 12 Grow Monrovia will pick five winners, based on the weight (relative to the average weight of the variety received).

The five winners will get a garden kit with five easy-to-grow, long-lasting, and productive vegetables and an easy-to-follow growing guide.

- Brad Haugaard

Restaurants, Barbershops Can Open - And Aztec Hotel, Too

In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Dylan Feik reports: 

~ Restaurants may now open for in-person dining. Barbershops and hair salons may also open. Of course, all the Coronavirus rules apply.

~  Monrovia's Aztec Hotel plans to reopen as a hotel in the next several months. The Planning Commission approved the opening plan at its May 27 meeting. The Aztec, which is designated a National Historic Landmark and a Monrovia Local Historic Landmark, has not operated since approximately 2011. 

~  This coming week the freeway underpass at Mountain Avenue will be pressure washed and then get fresh coat of paint.

~ No need to wait for another e-waste event, the Public Works Yard (600 S. Mountain Avenue) has a place to discard the stuff. For questions call the Public Works Department at 932-5575.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Salutes Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Valedictorian Kate Tadeo will attend Columbia University to study neuroscience and behavior. Salutatorian Jessica Lee will attend UC Berkeley to study environmental engineering.

For their strong academic achievement, perseverance, and dedication to pursuing their goals, Monrovia High School seniors Kate Tadeo and Jessica Lee have been named the Class of 2020’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

“It is with great pleasure that we celebrate Monrovia’s top scholars, who have displayed the hard work, dedication, and wisdom we admire in our student and academic leaders,” Monrovia Board President Rob Hammond said. “Kate and Jessica are wonderful people with great hearts and bright futures.”

Tadeo earned a 4.74 GPA and will attend Columbia University to study neuroscience and behavior, with plans to become an anesthesiologist. Tadeo has been designated a John W. Kluge Scholar through the Columbia Undergraduate Scholar Program.

Tadeo completed 15 Advanced Placement (AP) classes, as well as several courses at Citrus College as part of Monrovia’s dual-enrollment Early College Program. Tadeo is a graduate of Monrovia’s Math and Science Academy (MASA) and a member of the National Honors Society and California Scholarship Federation (CSF).

“It feels very good to have all of the hard work pay off,” Tadeo said. “There were so many nights, especially in my junior year, when I stayed up all night long studying for my AP classes. But I am so happy to be going to Columbia. I’m ready for my next step.”

Tadeo’s best memories of school include four years on the cross-country team, which helped her to relax, and serving as vice president of Monrovia’s Interact Club, where she performed community service in partnership with Rotary International, including the annual “Santa Clothes” event for Foothill Unity Center K-8 students.

“Every December, we would take them on $250 shopping sprees at Kohl’s,” Tadeo said. “We would go into the store with the kids and help them pick out clothes. It was a chance for them to choose their wardrobe with someone closer to their age. They were so happy. It was adorable.” 

“Kate and Jessica represent the best of Monrovia Unified: academic excellence, school spirit, community activism, and integrity. As is often the case with our students,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “I am inspired by their enthusiasm and optimism.”

Lee earned a 4.56 GPA, has completed 13 AP and six Honors classes and will attend UC Berkeley to study environmental engineering. Lee is a MASA graduate, is a member of the Mandarin Honors Society and CSF and served as captain of the Monrovia girls varsity tennis team.

“My love for the environment actually comes from cars. When I discovered Tesla electric cars, I became interested in technology and developing products that are environmentally friendly and benefit humanity.” Lee said. “I even brainstormed and developed self-watering pots, of which I made over 300, to donate to my local nursing homes. This way the community could enjoy nature indoors with ease. I’d love to become an entrepreneur one day.”

Lee is part of a Toastmasters Gavel Public Speaking Club, which hosts youth workshops that help elementary school students with public speaking, offering tips on eye contact and body language. The group, which consists of high school student leaders across Southern California, has raised money for the United Way HomeWalk, a 5k to end homelessness in Los Angeles, and has an annual holiday tradition of singing carols and performing skits at area nursing homes.

“Senior year has been my favorite year. It’s been very relaxing,” Lee said. “I’ve really enjoyed being with my friends and not worrying about college submissions. There were many new places in Monrovia that we would go to. That’s my favorite memory of school.”

Tadeo and Lee are continuing family traditions. Tadeo’s brother, Kemyl, and Lee’s brother, Kevin were Monrovia High valedictorians.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Kate and Jessica since they arrived at Monrovia High and am so proud of them for all of the work they have accomplished here,” Principal Kirk McGinnis said. “It has been a struggle for our seniors this year, but Kate and Jessica have come through it all as true leaders, with confidence and compassion. Congratulations to the Monrovia High Class of 2020.”

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Uncrowded Canyon Park


Lower lot (top), upper lot (bottom)

Here are the two main parking lots at Canyon Park today (Friday) at about 11:15 a.m. Not crowded at all but I’m not sure if that’s because of the restrictions, the cloudy weather, or it just being a work day. It never has been crowded on weekdays. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Fellowship Church Will Stay Online for Now, But It's Still Growing

Monrovia's large Fellowship Church, which met at Monrovia High prior to the virus infestation, will continue to meet exclusively online for now "for the continued health and safety of our cities, communities, and church family."

A letter from the church adds that...

"In our eight years as a church we have never counseled more people, cared for more needs, engaged more people during services, or received more LifeGroup sign ups than we have in the last three months.

"Because of our growth, beginning June 13 and 14 we will be adding two weekly services to our lineup. For our early birds and those on the East Coast, we’re adding a 7 a.m. PST service on Sunday mornings, as well as another evening option on Sundays at 5 p.m. PST."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Principal Outlines Drive-Through Graduation Process


The driving path for Monrovia High's drive-through graduation ceremony.


Monrovia High Principal Kirk McGinnis outlines in this letter the rules high school graduates and their families will need to follow for the drive-through ceremony:


First: Each graduate needs to sign up for your time slot by going to the sign up genius link: Graduation Call Time Sign up. This allows you to select a time that works for your family. There are 10 call times in 30 minute intervals. You will be able to show up at any time within that 30 minute window. We will have you check in as you arrive. The first call time begins at 2:30 (but the first graduate will be walking across the stage at 3:00). Once you select your call time, I would write that time and group number down somewhere special!

Second: The following items are all connected to the safety of everyone involved: students, families, and staff. In reading the direction from LA County regarding the safety guidelines, and considering the space we have in the interior of our campus, we need to absolutely adhere to the following:
  • One family sized car per graduate. (No motorhomes, limousines, etc). The car cannot be a convertible or a golf cart. This would also prohibit any one from riding in the back of a pick up.
  • If members in the car will be rolling down any windows, all members inside the vehicle need to be wearing a face covering.
  • Family members, guests, visitors (not in the vehicle) will not be allowed to enter the facility. They will need to watch the ceremony on the live streamed link (coming soon).
  • Only the graduate will be allowed to exit the vehicle at the designated time, and after walking across the stage and receiving their diploma will need to enter the same vehicle at the designated loading area. MHS Staff will be on site to direct you to these areas.
  • Please no honking of your car horns, or use of air horns during the ceremony as we will be recording the event live and no one wants their child's time of celebration to be overshadowed.
  • Your attention to these guidelines is essential and should you not comply, we will need to cancel our event. NO ONE wants that to happen.
Third: Each graduate will receive a complimentary face mask. It is white with our school logo and "Class of 2020" on one side in green. It is pretty cool. We will give you your face mask on Thursday 5/28 at Senior Check out. A separate Senior Check Out email will be coming shortly.

Here is a map that will help show you where the graduation processional car parade will take place. You will notice that the entrance is the staff parking lot on Madison and you will exit onto Colorado Blvd. Graduation Map

There will be more details coming. The first thing we need is for you to sign up for your time slot!

Thank you all,
Mr. McGinnis

City to Prefer Native Trees for Parks, City-Owned Areas


Native trees like these will be preferred in city plantings.

At its next meeting the Monrovia City Council will consider ...

~ Adding more native trees to the types of trees the city plants in parks and public places (It has more than 8,000), and making the natives the preferred choice. See list above. Also some trees will be removed from the approved list: Evergreen Pear, Holly Oak and American Sweet Gum (Liquidambar). https://is.gd/76qOkp

~ A housekeeping measure to issue dog licenses on a rolling basis rather than annually. So, for example, Oct. 10, 2020 to Oct. 10, 2021 rather than Oct. 10, or Feb. 14, or July 7 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020.  https://is.gd/KBJH5V

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Flasher on Duarte Road; Trespassers in Wash Re-Arrested; Driver Gives Cyclist Thumbs Up After Hitting Him; Crash on Blind Curve; and More ...

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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 315 service events, resulting in 54 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto
May 21 at 7:08 a.m., a resident in the 300 block of E. Walnut called to report his 2007, Chevrolet work truck was parked on the street and had been stolen sometime overnight. The vehicle was entered into Stolen Vehicle System. Investigation continuing.

Indecent Exposure
May 22 at 9:04 a.m., a Monrovia resident called police to report an incident of indecent exposure. She was on a walk in the 400 block of W. Duarte, near Magnolia, when a male subject yelled to get her attention and then exposed himself. The woman ran home and called the police. Officers searched the area for the suspect, but were unable to locate him. The suspect is described as a male Hispanic in his 30’s, 5’5”, thin build, with a shaved head and large tattoo on his arm. This investigation is continuing.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
May 22 at 9:11 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 800 block of S. California when he saw a subject he recognized. The subject was consensually contacted and found to be in possession of a pipe that had been used for smoking methamphetamine. The subject was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Residential Burglary
May 22 at 9:51 a.m., the owner of a residence in the 200 block of S. Primrose arrived home and discovered his residence had been burglarized while he was gone. He then called police. Officers arrived and located the point of entry into the home. It is unknown if anything was taken. This investigation is continuing.

Trespassing – Six Suspects Arrested
May 22 at 10:09 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 400 block of W. Duarte when he saw several subjects in the city owned wash underneath the Metro Rail Bridge. All of the subjects had previously been warned and arrested for trespassing. The officer contacted the six subjects and all were arrested for trespassing.

Vandalism
May 23 at 3:56 p.m., a resident in the 600 block of W. Olive called police to report a tire on his vehicle had just been slashed by a male Asian suspect, 30-40 years old, wearing black pants, a black hooded sweatshirt, and a black mask. A similar report was made by another resident in the area. Investigation continuing.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
May 23 at 7:09 p.m., a bicyclist was traveling north on Myrtle, crossing the street at Walnut, when a vehicle failed to stop at the stop sign at Walnut and struck the bicyclist. The driver gave the bicyclist a thumbs up sign and continued driving. The bicyclist sustained minor injuries. Investigation continuing.

Shots Fired
May 24 at 2:11 a.m., police dispatch received calls regarding shots fired and people seen running in the 800 block S. Mayflower. As officers arrived on scene, two subjects were seen running into a house in the 900 block of S. Mayflower. Officers made contact with the subjects inside the house, and the interior of the residence was checked for anyone needing medical assistance, but everyone checked out fine. Officers canvassed the area and located 16 spent casings throughout the 400 block of W. Chestnut. No injured subjects or suspects were located. The investigation is continuing.

Gas Leak
May 24 at 7:13 a.m., officers responded to a business in the 400 block of S. Myrtle regarding an alarm activation. When Officers arrived, they could smell natural gas emitting from the location. The Monrovia Fire Department was notified. The area was evacuated and the Gas Company responded. The gas supply to the business was shut off and the source of the leak was being investigated by the Gas Company. No injuries reported.

Grand Theft
May 24 at 1:35 p.m., a resident in the 400 block of E. Foothill called to report someone had stolen the catalytic converter from his Honda Element sometime during the night. Investigation continuing.

Attempt Grand Theft Auto
May 25 at 9:26 a.m., a resident in the 100 block of W. Cypress called to report that sometime during the night someone tried to steal her vehicle. She noticed her ignition had been tampered with. Investigation continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
May 25 at 2:05 p.m., two motorists were traveling toward each other in the 600 block of Norumbega. They were at a blind curve when they collided into one another and their airbags deployed. One driver sustained an injury to the arm from the airbag and the other driver complained of pain to the head and neck. The drivers were treated at the scene by Monrovia Paramedics.

Residential Burglary
May 26 at 3:00 p.m., a resident in the 200 block of W. Colorado called police to report her residence had been burglarized. She locked and left her residence at 11:30 a.m. to go shopping. When she returned, she discovered her garage door had been forced open. A check of the residence revealed the only loss was 40 rolls of toilet paper. Investigation continuing.

Violation of a Court Order
May 26 at 3:35 p.m., a resident in the 300 block of Oakcliff called police to report a family member had come to the location that was not allowed per a valid restraining order. The subject said he disobeyed the order, but indicated he went to the location to retrieve his vehicle. The subject was advised regarding the court order, and a verified complaint will be completed and forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office.

Mail Theft
May 26 at 10:58 p.m., a resident in the 1800 block of S. Encino called police to report two suspects driving a U-Haul that were taking mail from mailboxes. Officers arrived and located the vehicle still in the area. When the suspects saw the officer, they took off at a high rate of speed. The vehicle abruptly stopped on First, north of Fano in Arcadia, where the suspects fled on foot.

Arcadia Police Department and the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter responded to assist with containment and a search of the area, but the suspects were not found. The U-Haul van was found to be an unreported stolen from Chatsworth U-Haul. There were several pieces of stolen mail from Arcadia and Monrovia in the vehicle. One of the suspects left their personal identification in the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
May 27 at 11:33 a.m., a resident in the 900 block of W. Hillcrest called police to report that someone had stolen her Honda CRV sometime during the night. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
May 27 at 12:43 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The victim parked his vehicle in the parking lot and went inside the business. When he returned, his Ford F250 was gone. Officers searched the area and located the vehicle to the rear of a business in Duarte. The vehicle was missing the catalytic converter and a toolbox from the bed of the truck. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft
May 27 at 1:51 p.m., an employee from a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington called police to report four male suspects entered the business and grabbed various phones and watches, and then left without paying for the merchandise. Officers responded, but the suspects were not located. The investigation is continuing.

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: Still 154, But Another Death

Today's Coronavirus cases from LA Deptartment of Public Health:

Monrovia: 154 cases (up 2), 19 deaths (up 1).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 20 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 16 deaths (up 1).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  26 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Will Stay Closed Through Fall Semester

Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, is extending its campus closure and will continue to provide remote/online instruction and student support services through both the summer 2020 session and the fall 2020 semester.

This decision was made for the safety and well-being of Citrus College students and employees, as well as the broader community, and it follows the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's current "Safer at Home" order.

While the physical college campus will remain closed during this time, the college has created a new Owl Success Hub webpage where students can learn how to transition to remote studies, access mental health resources and schedule counseling appointments. Library services and additional student support services and resources are also available. To access the Owl Success Hub, visit www.citruscollege.edu/stdntsrv/counsel/owlsuccesshub.

"I commend the entire college community for their perseverance and dedication to supporting students during these challenging times," said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College. "Citrus College will continue to rely on guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to determine when it is safe to reopen."

Summer session registration is currently open, and instruction begins June 22. Fall semester registration begins July 6, and instruction begins Aug. 24.

For more information, visit the college's COVID-19 webpage at www.citruscollege.edu/covid19.

Source: Citrus College press release

- Brad Haugaard

Drive-Through Graduation Ceremony On for June 3

Monrovia High School seniors will turn their tassels and celebrate their many achievements during a drive-thru graduation ceremony at Monrovia High on June 3.

The graduation plan, approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the City of Monrovia, adheres to all of social distancing and public health guidelines established for Los Angeles County.

“Ensuring our seniors receive the recognition they deserve is vital to Monrovia Unified School District and Monrovia High School,” Board of Education President Rob Hammond said. “With the advocacy of the Board of Education, Monrovia High leadership, our community, and Supervisor Kathryn Barger, I am happy to say that our seniors will have a memorable graduation ceremony on June 3.”

Monrovia High School’s Class of 2020 spoke up about their graduation desires during a virtual town hall meeting that included seniors and Monrovia High administrators, and also filled out a senior survey expressing their wishes for a graduation ceremony.

On May 8, Monrovia High School Principal Kirk McGinnis shared the news about a drive-thru graduation ceremony with students, detailing the step-by-step plan to keep students and their families safe during the celebration.

The District, after finalizing the graduation plan with Monrovia High School, received news from the Department of Public Health stating that graduation drive-thru ceremonies were prohibited in Los Angeles County.

Realizing the effect this decision would have on its students and school community, Hammond, Board Vice President Bryan Wong, Board Clerk Maritza Travanti, Member Selene Lockerbie, and Member Ed Gililland, worked with Monrovia High School to submit their graduation plan and advocate for the Class of 2020.

On May 22, Los Angeles County announced that drive-thru graduations would be allowed if all public health guidelines were met.

“We are truly grateful for the commitment our entire community has shown to our graduating class,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “I’d like to thank our Board of Education for their strong leadership, Supervisor Kathryn Barger for her partnership, Principal McGinnis and the entire Monrovia High School team, the City of Monrovia, and our community for their dedication and work to give our students the graduation they deserve.”

Monrovia High School will set up a graduation stage on June 3 and invite students to walk the stage as their families watch from the safety of their vehicles. While practicing safe social distancing, Monrovia High School seniors will exit their vehicles, walk on stage, and receive their diplomas.

Monrovia High’s video production team will create a video component of the graduation ceremony. Senior portraits will be displayed on a screen as graduates walk across the stage. The ceremony will also be live-streamed, allowing community members to tune in from the comfort of their homes.

To ensure safety, each student will be assigned a call time to arrive with their family for the celebration.

“We know that our graduating class lost many senior activities because of the need for remote instruction,” McGinnis said. “With the commitment of all those involved, Monrovia High School’s Class of 2020 will have a graduation to remember. I look forward to celebrating each and every one of them on June 3.”

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch from Nano Cafe


Lunch from Nano Cafe, at the northeast corner of Magnolia and Duarte Road. Though it was lunch I felt breakfasty so I got the California Omelet for $12.99 plus $1 to switch out hash browns for fresh fruit. Definitely got my money’s worth with the fruit and the smell of the biscuit tantalized me until I got home. Everything was great! https://www.nanocafemonrovia.com/

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 154 - Up 2

Today's Coronavirus cases from LA Deptartment of Public Health:

Monrovia: 154 cases (up 2), 18 deaths (up 1).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 20 cases (up 1).

Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 15 deaths (up 1).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  25 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Calvary Chapel Monrovia Also Opening for Services Sunday

Monrovia's Calvary Chapel, like Hope Unlimited Church, is also opening for services this Sunday, with limitations:

There will be three Sunday Services at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Attendance is by reservation only and you must reserve each week: https://is.gd/zFW2tb

Other limitations:
  • There will not be any children's ministry now therefore we are limiting entrance to ages 12 years and above.
  • Due to the high risk of our seniors we are limiting to under 65 year olds.
  • All who are attending must wear a mask.
  • Practice social distancing, no handshaking or hugging.
  • Enter in main lobby, exit out patio or door on Myrtle.
  • If you are sick or who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 please stay home and watch online. 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 152, up 4; No New Deaths

Coronavirus cases today, from LA County Department of Public Health:

Monrovia: 152 cases (up 4 from Saturday), 17 deaths (unchanged).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 19 cases (up 2).

Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 14 deaths (unchanged).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Coronavirus Induced Deficit Will Cause Huge Cuts for Monrovia Schools - Others

As a result of the coronavirus Monrovia School District faces cuts that are going to "clobber" school staff and will make the financial troubles the district faced in 2008 "look like a cakewalk," and 2008, School Board President Rob Hammond said, "was really bad."

In an interview Hammond predicted the state will have a "monster deficit" because of its coronavirus expenditures, and since school districts get almost all their money from the state, that means "huge budget cuts" for the Monrovia School District.

Because of the virus the State of California "has been throwing out money with both hands," but, unlike the federal government, he said, "the state can't print money" to pay its bills, so that means cuts.

A 10 percent hit, he said, would be $6 million for the school district, "but what if it's bigger? It's going to clobber people."

"No one knows how bad the cuts will be, but it's going to be bad."

It is not, of course, just the school district that is going to have problems, but the City of Monrovia, and "everything that relies on money from the state" is going to be hurting, Hammond said.

In this weird situation, and to meet the letter of the law, the school district plans to pass what Hammond calls a "fantasy budget." He said the LA County Office of Education told the districts to just pass something, anything, to meet the requirement of the law, and then start cutting.

Jumping Through Hoops

And it's not just money that's a problem. The district also has to dance to whatever are the latest legal requirements, or even to off-the-cuff remarks by people in authority.

For instance, as you probably know, the district, after thinking it had met the health requirements for a drive-through graduation ceremony at Monrovia High, the LA County Department of Public Health vetoed the plan (though that decision was later reversed) at, as Hammond put it "the eleventh hour."

But also, Hammond said, in a news conference Governor Gavin Newsom commented that school would start in July. That was news to the school districts and, he said, "it had a huge ripple effect," not only upsetting parents, teachers and administrators, but causing 10 days work by district staff trying to figure out how to meet that requirement. And now the idea is dead.

"So much work goes into adjusting for plans that never occur."

"I've never seen anything like this. These ideas should be vetted." "We get these thought-bombings at least once a week."

Hammond said the direction the district gets from the California Department of Education is "UN-clear."

Fuzzy Planning

Despite this environment, the Board still needs to plan, and here are a few things it is thinking about, although these things, Hammond said, are "not written on stone, they're written on ice ... on a hot summer day."

  • Postponing the start of school to around August 19, then taking a break from around Thanksgiving to early January, the idea being to have school closed during the flu season.
  • Extend the school year.
  • Modify the daily schedule to allow for 6-foot separation. This might mean staggered arrival and dismissal times for students. Perhaps some days students stay home and participate electronically.
  • And kindergarten, whatever it ends up looking like, "won't look like what it has looked like before."

And just a few things that are more or less firm:

  • The drive-through graduation will be held, as planned.
  • Then, as soon as teachers remove their supplies from their rooms, the district is going to give its campuses a "deep cleaning" and institute a more stringent cleaning program that will be continued into the future. "Our priority is to be extremely clean," Hammond said.
  • There will be six-week summer school for credit recovery and enrichment. Sign up, he said.

- Brad Haugaard

Canyon Park Is Open

Canyon Park is open. Reservations required unless you’re just passing through on your way to Camp Trask or beyond. 

This guy greeted me today a little bit above the bridge above the ranger station. He was coming up and I was going down. I don’t think he had a reservation and he certainly had no face mask. So where’s a ranger when you need one?

- Brad Haugaard 

Katza Pooh Is a ... Katza Pooh? - Yes, Katza Pooh! ... Is a Quiet, Proper Lady

Katzah Pooh is a quiet and proper lady who would love a friend to hang out with! This thirteen-year-old senior gal doesn’t ask for much – just some chin scratches, a nice comfy spot to nap next to her human, and a window to watch the world go by. Her foster mom says Katza Pooh is very sweet and easy to love, and with those beautiful green eyes, who could disagree?

The adoption fee for cats is $90. All cat adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org and fill out an online adoption application. Adoptions are by appointment only.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church to Reopen for In-Person Services Next Sunday

Monrovia's Hope Unlimited Church (1900 Walker Ave., a block east of Myrtle and a block south of Duarte Road) is the first one I'm aware of that has announced it is resuming in-person worship services.

While it will continue its streaming services, the first in-person service will be on May 31, and according to an announcement by the church, this will be a "slow, safe" process following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control.

Service times are being rescheduled, spread out so staff has time to sanitize between services (9 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for Spanish service), families will be seated six feet apart so it will take more time for people to be seated so they are being asked to arrive 20 minutes early, masks are required, and no children's ministry at this time. Because seating is limited, reservations are required. If you want to attend, here's the reservation page: https://hopeuc.com/la/worship-in-person/

REQUEST: If anyone knows of other Monrovia churches that are reopening, please send me info - preferably a link.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 148, up 6; No More Deaths

Coronavirus cases today, from LA County Department of Public Health:

Monrovia: 148 cases (up 6 from Saturday), 17 deaths (unchanged).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 8 cases (up 6), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 14 deaths (unchanged).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Painted Rocks on Hillcrest

Reader Rick Wentzel noticed someone trying to spread a little joy with these painted rocks on Hillcrest between Myrtle and Canyon.

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 142, up 5 - No New Deaths

Coronavirus cases today, from LA County Department of Public Health:

Monrovia: 142 cases (up 5 from yesterday), 17 deaths (unchanged).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 14 deaths (unchanged).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Planning for Distance Learning Even After the Virus

At its next meeting (https://is.gd/GEKoQ8) the Monrovia Board of Education will consider ...

~ Distance learning even during non-virus times. The staff report (here: https://is.gd/uhl9Ap) says, "The Governing Board recognizes that distance learning can be a viable alternative instructional strategy that supports student achievement of academic goals. Distance learning opportunities may be offered to students participating in independent study, credit recovery courses, enrichment courses, or other courses identified by the Superintendent or designee." https://is.gd/nGSHkk

~ Spending more than a half million dollars - $581,493, to be exact - on 1,725 Chromebook computers and the network software to manage them. https://is.gd/DSDI20

~ A resolution asking "our Congressional delegation, inclusive of our United States Senators and House of Representatives, and the Governor of California to advocate for additional federal funding to prioritize stable public school funding." https://is.gd/jjTs7O

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Drive-Through Graduation is Back On

County Supervisor Supervisor Kathryn Barger has announced that the county has changed its mind - Monrovia's drive-through Graduation ceremony will be permitted, according to the Monrovia Weekly: https://is.gd/hQB6sX

School Board President Rob Hammond writes on Facebook:
Last Friday when we learned about this issue the Monrovia Unified Board of Education contacted our elected representative, County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger, to help solve this problem. The School Board also reached out to the parents of our students to advocate for our graduation.
Today I am pleased to report the collective voices of our community have been heard and on June 3, 2020 the graduation plan presented by MHS will proceed.
I would like to thank our students and parents for their help, as well as the City of Monrovia, MPD, MFD, the staff at MHS and MUSD District Office. In particular I would like to thank Supervisor Kathryn Barger for her help and guidance.
We will look forward to graduation day June 3, 2020.

- Brad Haugaard

Coronavirus Count: 137 - 6 More

Coronavirus cases today, from LA County Department of Public Health:

Monrovia: 137 cases (up 6 from yesterday), 17 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 14 deaths (unchanged).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

The Circuits of Monrovia; Memorial Will be Removed; Partial Myrtle Closure

There are 31 SCE circuits - with names - that cover Monrovia. Here they are.

In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Dylan Feik reports:

~  Southern California Edison's 2020 Reliability Report for Monrovia is available here: https://is.gd/mCkpxK .

~  A small memorial at the corner of California Avenue and Duarte Road to pay honor and respect to victims of a tragedy that occurred there on April 15 poses a safety concern as it lies in the crosswalk area and glass candles have broken, so the City will remove it. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends so deeply affected by this tragedy."

~ Due to construction Myrtle between Walnut and Chestnut will be closed to southbound vehicular traffic - and northbound traffic should expect delays - this coming Tuesday (May 16) through May 28, and again on June 3. Closures from  7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Watch Virtual Monrovia Days

Here is the full video (about an hour and 40 minutes) of the Virtual Monrovia Days celebration:


- Brad Haugaard

Coronavirus Count: 131 - Up 3

Coronavirus cases today from LA County Department of Public Health:

Monrovia: 131 cases (up 3 from yesterday), 17 deaths (up 2 - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 14 deaths (up 1).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Department Has Free Bike Helmets

The Monrovia Police Department is participating in National Bicycle Safety Month by giving away FREE child bicycle helmets to Monrovia residents. We have small, medium and large helmets for children in red, white and blue, as well as black.

The helmets were donated by the Duarte & Monrovia Elks Lodge, whose goal, like that of MPD, is to protect children. If you would like a free helmet for your child, come to the Monrovia Police Department and contact Motorcycle Officer James Ruano or Traffic Lieutenant Daniel Verna on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday, during the day.

Remember to wear a protective mask when coming to the police station to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Knife Robbery; Stripper Arrested; Trespassers in Wash Arrested; Too Drunk for Sobriety Test; and Lots More

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for May 14-20. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 321 service events, resulting in 43 investigations.

Theft
May 14 at 3:52 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of E. Walnut called police to report his catalytic converter had been stolen from his truck. Officers responded and conducted an investigation. The investigation is continuing.

Robbery
May 14 at 4:35 a.m., a customer of a business in the 400 block of W. Foothill called police to report a suspect had stolen his wallet and cell phone. The victim attempted to follow the suspect, but the suspect pulled out a knife and threatened the victim. Officers responded and checked the area, but the suspect had fled. This investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
May 14 at 8:54 a.m., a male subject entered a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain and shoplifted several items. He was confronted by store loss prevention and dropped the property before fleeing on foot. Officers located the suspect nearby and arrested him. He was issued a citation to appear in court on the charges.

Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
May 14 at 11:25 a.m., a caller reported a male subject removing his clothing while sitting on a bench in the 200 block of W. Foothill. When officers arrived, the subject fled the location, but he was quickly located on Linwood and was found to be on probation. He was arrested.

Commercial Burglary
May 14 at 5:46 p.m., a commercial burglary was reported in the 2100 block of S. Myrtle. The victim reported her storage unit at the location was broken into by someone. Officers responded and conducted an investigation. This investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
May 14 at 9:53 p.m., officers responded to a gas station in the 1500 block of S. Myrtle regarding a disturbing subject. Investigation revealed the subject had a warrant for her arrest. She was arrested per the authority of the warrant.

Attempted Burglary
May 15 at 6:23 a.m., officers responded to an alarm at a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington. Upon arrival, they found a window to the front had been damaged, but not shattered enough to make entry. Security camera footage showed three suspects attempting to break the window. This investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
May 15 at 7:17 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 200 block of E. Olive. The vehicle was burglarized sometime during the night. Officers arrived and found both rear windows had been smashed and several power tools were stolen. This investigation is continuing.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
May 15 at 7:25 p.m., a female subject called police to report she had located a vehicle in the 700 block of W. Walnut that had been stolen from her. Her vehicle was stolen out of Paramount and the suspect, her ex-boyfriend, was already in custody. Officers confirmed the vehicle had been stolen and released the vehicle to the owner.

Theft – Suspect Arrested
May 16 at 12:34 a.m., officers were conducting extra patrol in the 900 block of W. Duarte when they contacted a male subject acting suspiciously. As they spoke with the male subject, an employee from a business advised the officers that the suspect had stolen merchandise from the store. The suspect admitted to stealing the merchandise. He was arrested for the theft.

Trespassing – Suspects Arrested
May 16 at 7:56 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 400 block of W. Duarte when he saw several subjects in the wash area in violation of posted no-trespassing signs. All the subjects were previously warned by officers not to trespass in the wash. All subjects were arrested and issued citations.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
May 16 at 1:54 p.m., a resident in the 800 block of W. Duarte reported her husband had battered her, causing visible injuries to her head. Officers and paramedics responded and the victim was treated for her injuries. After the investigation was completed, the suspect was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
May 16 at 5:11 p.m., a caller reported a female motorist was stopped in traffic and slumped over in the driver's seat at the intersection of Magnolia and Huntington. Officers and paramedics responded. The subject was contacted and found to be heavily intoxicated. She was too intoxicated to perform field sobriety tests. She was arrested for DUI and held for a sobering period.

Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
May 16 at 9:24 p.m., officers witnessed a subject fail to stop at the stop sign at Fifth and Chestnut. They were able to catch up to the vehicle and a traffic stop was initiated. The subject fled from the vehicle and hid underneath a truck parked in the 900 block of W. Olive. The subject ultimately came out from underneath the truck and was arrested for resisting and delaying a peace officer.

Attempt Grand Theft Auto
May 17 at 8:00 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 800 block of S. Alta Vista when he saw a vehicle that appeared to have been burglarized with the door lock broken. He stopped and looked inside the vehicle and found wires hanging from the ignition. The owner was located and reported the ignition system and door lock were not damaged when he parked the vehicle. It appears as if the suspect attempted to steal the vehicle, but was not successful. This investigation is continuing.

Attempt Grand Theft Auto
May 18 at 9:29 a.m., an officer responded to the 100 block of E. Chestnut regarding a vehicle burglary investigation. A preliminary investigation revealed the suspect punched the driver's door lock to gain access into the victim's vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, the suspect tampered with the ignition in attempt to start the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. The suspect was seen getting into a four door sedan, possibly a KIA Optima, before fleeing the area. The investigation is ongoing.

Mail Theft
May 18 at 1:03 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of W. Foothill regarding a male suspect that was seen stealing a package from the front of a home. Officers arrived in the area but were unsuccessful in locating the suspect. This investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
May 18 at 4:30 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain regarding a male suspect detained by loss prevention officers for stealing a toolbox and tools. The suspect was positively identified and arrested for shoplifting.

Theft
May 18 at 6:23 p.m., an officer took a theft report of a catalytic converter over the phone. The theft occurred in the 300 block of E. Olive. This investigation is continuing.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
May 18 at 10:48 p.m., the Monrovia Fire Department called police to report a disturbing subject attempting to enter the fire station in the 100 block of E. Lemon. The subject tried leaving on his bicycle by going up the stairs between the fire station and parking area. Officers made contact with the subject, who was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested.

Injury Traffic Collision
May 19 at 4:22 p.m., a vehicle traveling west at the intersection of California and Lemon failed to yield to a vehicle traveling north. One of the parties suffered a contusion on his head, but did not wish to be taken to a hospital.

Injury Traffic Collision
May 20 at 7:08 a.m., two vehicles collided in the intersection of California and Huntington after one of the vehicles failed to stop for the red traffic signal. Officers responded and issued a citation to the party at fault.

Counterfeit Money
May 20 at 10:32 a.m., a customer at a business in the 3000 block of S. Peck tried to pay for merchandise using counterfeit $20 dollar bills. Officers responded and detained the subject. It was determined that the subject did not know the bills were counterfeit. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
May 20 at 11:12 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 100 block of Mauna Loa. The victim reported that his vehicle and attached trailer with a wave runner on it were taken sometime during the night. Officers responded and checked the area, but were unable to locate the missing vehicles. This investigation is continuing.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision
May 20 at 4:51 p.m., two vehicles were traveling south on Mountain near Evergreen. One of the drivers rear ended the vehicle stopped in front of him, then reversed and fled the scene. No injuries were reported. Officers responded and checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle. This investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting
May 20 at 6:23 p.m., a suspect entered a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain and took several items without paying for them. The suspect pushed a cart with the items across the parking lot, but abandoned the cart when he saw loss prevention officers chasing after him. All the stolen items were recovered. This investigation is continuing

Lunch from Peach Cafe

Lunch today from Peach Cafe, on the north side of Colorado just west of Ivy. I got the Chicken Pesto Salad with a side of cornbread for $11. Very tasty and it looked good even in a box. https://www.thepeachcafe.com/

- Brad Haugaard 

Mark Twain Safe


Reader Anna Marie Hetman writes:

“My husband, who shall remain nameless, made sure Mark Twain is safe. Later he noticed people stopping to have their picture taken with him.”

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirrus Count: 128 - Up 2

Monrovia Coronavirus cases today from LA County Department of Public Health (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) :

Monrovia: 128 cases (up 2 from yesterday), 15 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), 1 death (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (unchanged), 13 deaths (unchanged).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  24 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools' Video Contribution to Virtual Monrovia Days

Here is Monrovia School District's video contribution to Virtual Monrovia Days:



- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 126

LA County Department of Public Health reports (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) Monrovia Coronavirus cases today:

Monrovia: 126 cases (up 3 from yesterday), 15 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), 1 death (up 1).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 74 (up 6 since several days ago), 13 deaths (up 3).

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  23 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

COMMENT: I have to think that the County is recording cases at Monrovia assisted living facilities separately from cases elsewhere in Monrovia since there are 16 deaths at these Monrovia facilities but only 15 deaths listed for Monrovia, which otherwise doesn't make sense. If that is the case, there is actually a total of 225 cases in Monrovia (242 including unincorporated Monrovia), and 32 deaths.

- Brad Haugaard

No Weekend or Waterfall Access When Canyon Park Opens

Although Canyon Park opens on May 26, the waterfall, the most popular destination, will remain closed. City Manager Dylan Feik writes: "For the time being, the popular Waterfall Trail will remain closed. This trail is narrow and incredibly popular, making it incredibly difficult to ensure safe, social distancing when using the trail."

Also, the park will be closed on its most popular days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. So it will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

It Will NOT Cost $5 to Visit Canyon Park - Just to Park

City Manager Dylan Feik writes:

"The City mistakenly reported that ALL park visitors must pay a $5 parking fee. This fee is a parking fee only and is charged to those parking at the park, not everyone using the park. This was a mistake and I am sorry for the confusion caused as we prepare for the park opening on Tuesday, May 26th.

- Brad Haugaard

Lucy'd Like to Be Yours ... But Don't Check Out Early

After her last three owners passed away, 11-year-old Lucy ended up at the shelter. Understandably, Lucy has some anxiety from losing three of her people, so she needs someone who’s willing to be patient with her, help her work through her anxiety, and give her stability. Lucy is a happy, affectionate dog who loves cuddling and being near her favorite people. She'd be a wonderful buddy for someone who works from home or enjoys a quiet weekend reading books on the couch. She just needs someone to take a chance on her!

The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org and fill out an online adoption application. Adoptions are by appointment only.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard


$5 Reservations Available to Canyon Park; Free and No Reservation for Trask and Beyond

Monrovia is now accepting online reservations to visit Canyon Park. It opens next Tuesday, May 26. The number of visitors is limited to 70, regardless of whether you drive, bike, or hike in, and an entry parking fee of $5 is required.

If you are going to the Trask Boy Scout Camp or beyond, you are exempt from both the fee and the reservation requirement.

Facemasks required, social distancing, some one-way loop trails, and more. See the video or click here for more details.

Hint: If you want to go on a weekend, I'd hop to it and make a reservation now. In pre-virus days it could get quite crowded on the weekends, and I suspect it'll be sold out, though the $5 entry fee will probably put a bit of a dent in the number of visitors.

Note: The city had earlier said the $5 fee would be for entry, but later made it clear it was for parking. I have changed the text here to reflect that. Also, I did not realize it will not be open weekends, so I scratched my comment about weekends.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 123, and 2 More Deaths, Total 15

LA County Department of Public Health reports (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) Monrovia Coronavirus cases today:

Monrovia: 123 cases (up 3 from yesterday), 15 deaths (up 2 - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: For some reason the county has not included this facility for a couple days. When last listed, there were 68 cases and 10 deaths.

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  22 cases (up 2) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 123

LA County Department of Public Health reports (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) Monrovia Coronavirus cases today:

Monrovia: 123 cases (up 3 from yesterday), 13 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (unchanged).

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: For some reason the county did not include this facility in its listing today. When last listed, there were 68 cases and 10 deaths.

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  20 cases (unchanged) and 2 deaths (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church Services

This is a list of online church services today in Monrovia. There are some I could not find information about or that I just missed. If you know of others, please let me know (Include a link and times of services.)

Calvary Chapel Monrovia, or on Facebook  (1307 S Myrtle) -  10 a.m.

Calvary Road Baptist Church (319 West Olive Ave) 10:45 a.m., 6 p.m.

Fellowship Monrovia (Monrovia High) - 9 and 11 a.m.

First Lutheran (1227 S Magnolia) 9 a.m.

First Presbyterian (Foothill and Myrtle) - 10 a.m.

Hope Unlimited Church (1900 Walker Ave) - 10 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:40 p.m.

IFGF (Palm and Primrose) 10:30 a.m.

Mountainside Communion Church (Colorado and Magnolia) 10 a.m.

Second Baptist Church, or on Facebook (925 S Shamrock) - 10:45 a.m.

Vineyard (223 S Encinitas Ave) - 10 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 120

LA County Department of Public Health reports (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) Monrovia Coronavirus cases today:

Monrovia: 120 cases (up 6 from yesterday), 13 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 17 cases (up 2)

Brookdale Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 68 (up 5), 10 deaths (unchanged)

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  20 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (up 1).

- Brad Haugaard

School Board President Urges Monrovians to Protest Shutting Down of Drive-Through Graduation

The LA County Department of Health decided that school districts may NOT have drive-through graduation ceremonies, such as Monrovia is planning  (see here), so School Board President Rob Hammond is encouraging Monrovians to contact County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to urge her to allow the ceremony to go on.

Hammond writes that the planned graduation "adheres to all Health Department guidelines," but at the 11th hour the department ordered that "drive-thru graduation plans are not allowed even if they meet the social distancing criteria we are all abiding by. "

"It's time," he writes, "for our community to advocate for our seniors, 8th and 5th grade promoting classes. The School Board, Superintendent, high school administrators and staff have worked tirelessly to create a safe plan which had been approved by MPD, FPD and the School Board to celebrate our graduating class in a meaningful but safe way.

"The decision [forbidding the ceremony] was made by a non-elected official without the knowledge of LA County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger.  Please let her know how you feel about this decision.  She can be contacted at (213) 974-5555 or (626)356-5407.  I personally have tweeted her @kathrynbarger."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 114

LA County Department of Public Health reports (https://is.gd/LcrzHl) Monrovia Coronavirus cases today:

Monrovia: 114 cases (up 6 from yesterday), 9 deaths (County website fussy, not sure if 9 is accurate - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 15 cases (unchanged)

Brookdale Monrovia (assisted living facility): 2 cases (unchanged).

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 63 (down 1 [Changed to a death?]), 10 deaths (up 1 from yesterday)

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  19 cases (up 1) and 2 deaths (up 1).

City Council member Becky Shevlin says the county will begin giving "recovered" stats next week. I'll report them.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Hotels Down to 10-15% Occupancy

Monrovia City staff reports that it "recently reached out to each hotel operator to understand the impacts of the Stay At Home Order on their revenues. Based on that contact, hotel occupancy rates have essentially gone from 80-90% occupancy, which is the norm for Monrovia, to 10-15% occupancy."

- Brad Haugaard

Budgeting in a Time of Coronavirus

How do you calculate a city budget in light of the Safer at Home rules?

Well, you can start with, It's not good, or, as a city staff report (https://is.gd/MXA14U) puts it, "it has unfortunately had a negative economic impact on our residents, businesses, and, ultimately, the City of Monrovia."

And, due to these "unprecedented times, there is no previous financial model to use as a guide to project the exact impact on the City's revenues."

So there's a bit of guesswork involved, and city staff guesstimates that if you do not include Measure K sales tax revenue, the city will end the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a deficit of approximately $556,000. If you add Measure K revenue in, it becomes a surplus of $244,000.

A few interesting guesstimates:

~ Regular sales tax will be down by $1.4 million.

~ But the city will get more money from Amazon and other online retailers.

~ Measure K revenue will be $800,000 instead of the expected $1,150,000.

~  Auto dealerships are now open, which will help with sales tax. Monrovia gets about 35% of its sales tax from them.

~ Hotel bed taxes (Transient Occupancy Tax) will fall $575,777 short of the expected $2,253,257.

If you're a financial geek, more here: https://is.gd/MXA14U

- Brad Haugaard

City Council to Consider Virus Relief and a Virus Budget

At its virtual meeting this coming Tuesday (agenda: https://is.gd/nnh8YH) the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Consider how to spend some relief money coming its way. See image above for the proposed plan. https://is.gd/OpFbN8

~ Evaluate (in closed session) City Manager Dylan Feik. https://is.gd/yTK701

~ Consider hiring back the police department's retiring Senior Community Services Officer "as a retired annuitant on a temporary, post-retirement, and interim basis." The officer is retiring on June 20 after 21 years with the city, but the city needs someone in that position and wants the officer to remain until a new person can be hired and trained.  https://is.gd/MNnFL6

~ Consider a new coronavirus city budget. Summary: Not considering Measure K sales tax revenue, the city will end fiscal year with a deficit of approximately $556,000. Add Measure K revenue in, and that becomes a surplus of $244,000. More on this in a separate article, commin' right up. https://is.gd/MXA14U

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Virtual Summer School Program

Here's what summer school will look like during a time of Coronavirus:

K-8 Summer Program: July 6 to July 31
Invitations for K-8 summer programs have been sent out. For additional information or questions about eligibility, contact Jennifer Kwan: jkwan@monroviaschools.net

Programs offered for K-8 students are:

  • Junior Camp Read-a-Lot: reading intervention course for grades 1-3.
  • Camp Read-a-lot: reading intervention course for grades 4-5.
  • Camp Infinity: math intervention course for grades 4-8.
  • Middle school Bridge: English language intervention for students grade 6-8


9-12 Summer Program: June 11 to July 15

Our summer program for high school students is offered in partnership with Citrus College. For enrollment and information on credit options, please contact Monrovia High School Summer School Principal Brian Ilharreguy: bilharreguy@monroviaschools.net

  • Students can take classes for credit recovery or to get ahead in units. Courses include Integrated Math I, II, and III, World History, Biology, Chemistry, and Economics.

Special Education Extended School Year (ESY)

  • TK-8: June 8 to July 6
  • 9-12 and Adult Transition Program: June 8 to July 13

All services will be provided virtually with tele-therapy and virtual classrooms. For more information, contact Director of Special Education Jennifer Johnson: jjjohnson@monroviaschools.net

More info here: https://is.gd/N02Wi6

- Brad Haugaard

Thunderbirds Picture

The Air Force's Thunderbirds precision flying team made a salute to Methodist Hospital in a fly-by this afternoon. Gem City Images got a good picture: https://is.gd/sjgKan

- Brad Haugaard

Blood Drive at The Y; Discount Utility Programs

In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Dylan Feik reports: 

~ The coronavirus has resulted in a massive drop-off in blood donations, resulting in severe blood shortages, so Santa Anita Family YMCA is re-purposing its gym to collect blood. Blood drive Monday, May 18, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. If you are 16 or older and have not had contact with a coronavirus patient within 28 days of the event and meet other safety standards, visit RedCrossBlood.org to make an appointment. Use sponsor code: YMCAMONROVIA

~ Discount Programs for Utility Services

SoCalGas’ CARE program. If you’re unemployed or facing financial hardship, you may be eligible to save 20% on your natural gas bill.

Southern California Edison offers two programs: California Alternate Rates for Energy reduces energy bills for eligible customers by about 30%. Family Electric Rate Assistancereduces electric bills for qualified households by 18%.

The City of Monrovia provides municipal utility bill discounts for seniors, low income households and veterans.

Athens Services provides discounts for seniors. To see if you qualify and to apply for the discount,  contact Public Works at 932-5575 or pwcomments@ci.monrovia.ca.us.

- Brad Haugaard

Blackburn Named Mayor Pro Tem

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that City Council member Alex Blackburn was appointed as the Mayor Pro Tem at the last council meeting. Blackburn was elected to the City Council in 2013, and re-elected in 2017. He previously served as Mayor Pro Tem from May 2016 to April 2017. Basically this means he serves as mayor if the regular mayor, Tom Adams, is out of town or unavailable.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High In Top 13 Percent of Nation's High Schools

Monrovia High School has been ranked in the top 13 percent of schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, recognizing its student achievement and college and career readiness programs.

Monrovia High earned a score of 87.08, earning a high ranking among approximately 2,600 high schools in California. Monrovia’s score correlates to its percentile position in the 2020 Best High Schools rankings.

“This honor emphasizes the District’s commitment to establishing high expectations for all students, from kindergarten all the way up to senior year,” Monrovia Unified Board President Rob Hammond said. “We could not achieve this without the diligent contributions of our administrators, faculty, and staff.”

Monrovia High has introduced a number of innovative and award-winning instructional programs, emphasizing its commitment to rigorous and equitable curriculum that provides a pathway to success for every student.

Monrovia’s Early College program is a dual-enrollment partnership with Citrus College that allows students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously, while providing a taste of the college experience and exposure to new fields of study.

The Early College program was recognized by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) with a Golden Bell Award in 2019.

“Monrovia High continues to show excellence in education and is truly a jewel in our community,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Thank you to Principal Kirk McGinnis for providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students to grow and thrive.”

The Math and Science Academy (MASA) is a comprehensive, four-year career pathway with advanced courses in biology, chemistry, physics, rocketry and robotics. The MASA Speaker Series gives students access to professionals in math and science. MASA Mentors offer support to their classmates.

MASA was recognized in 2014 with a Golden Ribbon by the California Department of Education and by the CSBA with a Golden Bell Award in 2015.

Monrovia High School also offers programs such as Humanities Academy, which provides students with an AP-based academy focusing on literature, arts, and history; Career Technical Education pathways designed to build students’ career based skills in areas such as sports medicine, automotive technology, digital photography, video production, videogame design, and digital media; and Theater Arts Conservatory, which allows students to build acting and performing portfolios, and stage production skills.

Additionally, the school’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) class prepares students for college and is designed to build the skills and habits needed for success in college.

“Monrovia is such a tight-knit community. We have families who go back several generations who
expect nothing less than the highest-quality education for their children,” Principal Kirk McGinnis said. “I am so proud of my staff for all of the great work they do, and for the District’s enthusiastic support on behalf of all Monrovia families.”

U.S. News evaluated more than 17,000 public high schools across the country and ranked them nationally and at the state level.

Following methodology revamped in 2019, U.S. News used six ranking factors to measure academic quality, including college readiness, college curriculum, math and reading proficiency and performance, underserved student performance, and graduation rate.

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner From Shrimp House

Dinner from Shrimp House, at the corner of Live Oak and Myrtle. Got the Grilled Seafood Sampler for $17.05. Very good. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia High Plans a Drive-Through Graduation

Monrovia High students are going to be able to march across the stage to receive their graduation diploma.

Here's how it will work: Students' families will be assigned to groups, then, at assigned times, the group will drive up to an entry point, then one car at a time, they'll enter and the graduating student will get out, walk across the stage and receive the diploma.

Family gets a front-row seat (from their cars), and others can watch on the internet - it'll be live streamed.

Here's Monrovia High Principal Kirk McGinnis explaining the plan.



- Brad Haugaard

Former Monrovian Leslie Van Houten Denied Release

An appeal to be released from prison made by Leslie Van Houten, former Monrovia cheerleader and follower of murderer Charles Manson, has been denied. https://is.gd/T7LPmp

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Will Require Reservations to Visit Canyon Park - Will Open May 26


Reservations will be required to get into Monrovia Canyon Park, and it will not open May 18, but May 26.

The city had earlier said the park would open May 18, but today City Manager Dylan Feik that it will remain closed until Tuesday, May 26.

He writes:
The City of Monrovia is working hard to reopen Canyon Park. However, developing a safe, social distancing protocol is difficult considering the narrow trail widths, excessive visitors and parking challenges. The City will use a web-based reservation system whereby visitors must make an online reservation. The new reservation system helps ensure a limited number of visitors (both residents and non-residents) will have the opportunity to hike Canyon Park without worries of large crowds. We will be sharing more information on this new reservation system shortly. 
- Brad Haugaard