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Regular Schedule for City Hall on Monday | Business Friendly Video | Will State Get Rid of Self-Checkout?

~ Monrovia Police Department reports that the City Hall should be back to operating on a regular schedule on Dec. 5, this Monday.
~ Here is the video that was played at the awards ceremony when Monrovia won its Most Business Friendly City award.
~ Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, says self-serve checkout systems at supermarkets are probably doomed because the state is trying - because of union pressure - to legislate them out of existence. He said these efforts are particularly aimed at non-union Fresh and Easy markets.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Y Reopens Saturday

On its Facebook page, the Santa Anita Family YMCA reports that its power is now back on and it will reopen tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 3) at 7 a.m.
- Brad Haugaard

The Power of the Wind

I think this tree (at Encinitas and Hillcrest) is the biggest one I've seen that has come down. It blocked the street and pulled down power lines as well.
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Rudy's Mexican Food

Got the Burrito Colorado. Nice and mild and generously filled with meat and beans. The restaurant was really hopping. I think a lot of people have been going out to eat since the power is still off so many places.
- Brad Haugaard

Details on Monrovia Cleanup Efforts

Some clean-up stats from Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, from a press conference this morning:

- 5,138 Monrovia customers remain without power, down from 13,000 yesterday. So Cal Edison has been working around the clock.

- The city has lost about 252 trees, up from yesterday's estimate of 150.

- 31 cars have been reported damaged, up from 16 reported yesterday.

- 23 fences reported damaged, up from six yesterday.

- Still unclear on the extent of telephone and cable problems.

- New date for Holiday Parade still undecided, but the city has a tentative date of Dec. 7.

- There is still debris in the roads. Watch out.

But there have been no arrests, nobody taken to the hospital because of the storm, and no buildings "red tagged" (meaning they may not be occupied.)

Also, Lutz said that while City Hall staff may not be doing their regular jobs, they are on duty, and City Hall is sorta-open, if you need to pay a water bill you can do so at the front desk.

If you need help, call the city at (626) 932-5550.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Roll-Out Bins for Branches

Monrovia has a number of big roll-out bins (like in the picture) set out around town for residents to dispose of branches and other green waste, but not palm fronds, which mess up the branch grinders. Just set palm fronds next to the street; the city will have them collected.

The bins are at:

240 W. Foothill Blvd.

800 block of W. Foothill Blvd.

204 E. Foothill Blvd.

1300 S. California (2 bins)

148 W. Duarte Road (2 bins), in front of Santa Fe Middle School.

Monrovia vs Covina in Football | Murder Trial

~ Monrovia faces No. 1 Covina tonight.
~ More on Monrovia murder trial. The drug GHB.
- Brad Haugaard

Overview of Windstorm from City of Monrovia

Public buildings and facilities will be up and running by Friday morning, however schools, Canyon Park and all wilderness access will remain closed.

High winds that swept across Monrovia and Southern California on Thursday resulted in a Local and County State of Emergency due to the damage, including fallen trees, downed power lines and the closure of some public facilities.

On Thursday night, nearly 13,000 Monrovia households were among the 211,500 Southern California Edison customers still without power since Wednesday night. Edison officials asked for patience as crews worked to restore power for customers, though they have advised Monrovia residents that power would not return until Friday, possibly longer.

Internet and cable service had also been down, though it was expected to be restored by midnight Thursday. Winds hit speeds of up to 100 miles per hour in some parts of Monrovia on Wednesday, but the National Weather Service forecasted winds of just 25 miles per hour Thursday night.

In response to the damage, City of Monrovia Public Works, Police and Fire crews have been working around the clock. As of 8 p.m., city officials received nearly 470 calls for service, including 150 fallen trees, 16 damaged cars, 7 buildings with structural damage, and six damaged fences.

On late Thursday, Police advised residents to be cautious when driving. Much of the City was still blacked out as of 8:30 p.m. As of 8:30pm, traffic signals on Huntington Drive, Highway Esplanade, and Duarte Road east of Myrtle are working and power was restored to the City Yard. Residents are urged to steer clear from downed power lines. Fire officials also encouraged residents to have enough food and water to last for 72 hours, and to practice safety at home by avoiding heating the house with gas stoves, barbecues or the oven.

Closures in place for Friday include: Monrovia Unified School District Schools, City Hall, the Library, the Community Center, Canyon Park, and all wilderness areas.
- Brad Haugaard (city press release)

Downed Power Line

Things you must particularly never touch, or approach - power lines on the ground. This one on Hillcrest.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD Says: Charge Your Cell Phones | MHS Band Wins Competition | Gold Line Says Nice Things about Monrovia

~ Monrovia PD reports on Twitter that Southern California Edison has brought in crews from Arizona to help out. Also, the police suggest that if you do have power, use it to charge cell phones just in case power goes out later.

~ The Monrovia High School band placed first in the Savanna Field Competition last week.

~ The Gold Line construction folks say nice things about Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Judge Rules State Assembly Needs to Make Its Records Public; Victory for Portantino

A lawsuit that sprang from a fight between Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, and Assembly leadership has resulted in a tentative ruling that the Assembly must publicly release members' budgets and other legislative documents. The court said keeping them hidden violates the Open Records Act. Portantino had challenged the Assembly to make its records open.

UPDATE: From a press release. Portantino said, "I am ecstatic that the court has given a sound decision that will benefit democracy and the taxpayers of California. ... This is a huge victory for transparency and accountability. Although I am saddened that the Assembly would spend precious dollars fighting to keep secrets, I am heartened and encouraged that the court saw through this unwise strategy and made a right and significant ruling. ... This issue is no longer about me, but is now about making Sacramento function better by using transparency to improve decision-making and the democratic process." A public hearing on the tentative ruling is scheduled for Friday in Sacramento.

Monrovia Schools to Be Closed Friday Also

Monrovia PD reports on Twitter that the Monrovia schools will be closed tomorrow, Friday, as well.
- Brad Haugaard

State of Emergency Declared - for Monrovia and LA County

Monrovia Weekly says a state of emergency has been declared for the city. I think that practically this means the city may be able to get some clean-up money from the state, assuming the state has any money, I suppose. . And now all of LA County is in a state of emergency:

No Holiday Parade Tonight

~ No holiday parade tonight.
~ City report on effects of wind. 
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia PD: Wind Damage, DUI, Theft, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Report for November 28-30 – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, November 24-30, 2011, the Police Department handled 495 service events, resulting in 103 investigations. Following are the highlighted issues and events for weekdays listed above. To see a complete listing of crimes reported, go to for crime mapping.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

On November 28 at 10:54 p.m., officers responded to the report of a drunk driver in the area of Magnolia and Lemon. The reporting party stated that a drunk driver heading the wrong way on the street almost hit his vehicle. The reporting party was trying to detain the driver when officers arrived. The intoxicated driver had exited his vehicle and was attempting to flee. Officers detained the driver. Through investigation, the driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested and taken into custody.

Stolen Vehicle

On November 29 at 10:34 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a residence in the 600 block of West Olive. The crime occurred between 7:30 and 10:00 p.m. The vehicle was a 1996, silver Honda Civic. Investigation continuing.

Theft from Vehicles

On November 30, several residents in the 500 and 600 blocks of Sombrero called to report thefts from their vehicles that had occurred overnight. The vehicles had been left unlocked. The suspects had entered the vehicles and took miscellaneous items which had been left in the vehicles, such as purses and electronic items. Investigation continuing.


On November 30 at 8:32 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a location in the 100 block of West Palm. The reporting party showed the officer several areas that had been spray painted with graffiti some time during the night. A wrought iron door had been spray painted in white paint. Investigation continuing.

Power Outage / Wind Damage

On November 30 at 10:45 p.m., the strong winds caused a major power outage in the City of Monrovia. The initial area affected was north of Foothill and west of Violet. The Police Department became extremely busy with numerous wind-related calls for trees down, traffic hazards, wires down and/or sparking, small fires, alarms, and more power outages all over town.

- Brad Haugaard

No Tree Lighting Tonight

The Christmas tree in Library Park that was to be lit tonight was blown over by last night's storm.

Windstorm Damage in Monrovia

Pretty messy around town. Traffic lights out. Trees down. Traffic on Huntington jammed up. Here is a tree down at Mayflower and Chestnut. More here:

Christmas-y Events in Monrovia

~ Tonight, Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at Library Park, followed at 7 p.m. by the "Santa, Snowmen and Song" parade along Myrtle. UPDATE: Oops! The tree that was to be lit was blown over, so no tree lighting.

~ A nice roundup of seasonal events in Charlotte Shamadan's column in the Star-News:

~ Including (from Charlotte's column) a presentation of Handel's Messiah at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. [I love trying to sing Messiah, but was never really able to get a Handel on it.]

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Closed - Power Outage | Library English Program

~ Monrovia school are closed today because of massive power outages, School Board member Alex Zucco reports on her Facebook page. Also, the School District is reporting it on its page ("Due to wind damage and power outages all schools is cancelled today. Students and teachers please stay home today."):

~ Feature story about Monrovia Library's Conversational English program.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator Upset Over Possible Criminal Releases

Senator Bob Huff is upset that Governor Jerry Brown is going ahead with his plan to shift prisoners to county jails or put them on probation. He said there are "over 500 felony crimes which will no longer lead to prison," including ...
- Vehicular manslaughter while under the influence (not involving gross negligence) (Penal Code § 191.5(c)(2)),
- Felony child abuse (pursuant to Penal Code § 273d),
- Elder financial abuse (various subdivisions of Penal Code § 368),
- Street gang recruiting (Penal Code § 186.26),
- Assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (Penal Code § 245(a)(1),
- Hate crimes (Penal Code § 422.7),
- Practicing medicine without a license (Business and Professions Code § 2052),
- Nearly all of the drug crimes, including sales of drugs to children and manufacturing methamphetamine (various Health and Safety Code sections),
- Violations of the Gun Free School Zone Act (Penal Code § 626.9),
- Threats of harm against elected officials (Penal Code § 76),
- Insurrection (Military and Veterans Code § 455),
- Female genital mutilation (Penal Code § 273.4),
- A second violation of domestic violence protective order (Penal Code § 273.6),
- Identity theft (Penal Code § 530.5),
- Knowingly giving/selling a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing a firearm because he or she was committed to a mental institution (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8101),
- Participation in an act of lynching (Penal Code § 405b),
- Willfully and intentionally (or with reckless disregard for the risk of great bodily injury or death of any person) emitting an air contaminant that results in unreasonable risk of great bodily injury or death of any person (Health and Safety Code § 42400.3),
- Mortgage fraud (Penal Code § 532f),
- Bribing electors to vote or not vote (Elections Code § 18521).
- Brad Haugaard