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Former Monrovian Leslie Van Houten Again Denied Parole

Former former Monrovia High School cheerleader and homecoming princess, Leslie Van Houten, was again denied parole - this time by Governor Gavin Newsom - for her part in the Charles Manson murders.

- Brad Haugaard

I Only Wish!

This is rather funny.

According to the website, Zoominfo, has an annual revenue of $3.2 million.

I wish! I think MonroviaNow made about $50 last year (Thanks for advertising Monrovia Historic Preservation Group! Hope it did well for you.)

Also, it says MonroviaNow has 16 employees.

Uh, no. Just me. Owner and chief bottle washer.

And it thinks we're based at 2033 E. Washington Blvd. in Pasadena (the address of St. James Church).

Nooo. I'm still in Monrovia. No idea where that came from.

Also, it appears the website believes Thomas Montes, who was recently appointed Monrovia Schools' new School Resource Officer, is somehow affiliated with MonroviaNow.

No again. He has no connection with MonroviaNow except for being the subject of a story.

I guess I should be flattered.

- Brad Haugaard

Report on Monrovia Music Fest

Here is a photo report on the 2019 Monrovia Music Fest by Gem City Images.

- Brad Haugaard

New Features on MonroviaNow

Well, I finally got around to adding a feature to MonroviaNow that I should have added long ago. At the top of the webpage you can now click on either "Schools" or "Police" to see the latest stories on either of these topics. So far I have added stories from 2019. Hopefully I'll get around to 2018 soon.
- Brad Haugaard

Sidewalk CPR - Learn to Save a Life

Need a Piano? Get One and Benefit Monrovia Historic Preservation Group

Monrovia Historic Preservation Group is selling a baby grand piano with its bench for $2,000. All proceeds benefit the group.

- Brad Haugaard

Council to Vote on Putting Sales Tax on November Ballot

At its Tuesday, June 4, meeting (agenda: the Monrovia City Council will consider calling a special election on November 5, 2019 to ask Monrovians to pass a .75% city sales tax to prevent the county or state from grabbing the money.

The idea is that by increasing sales tax to the maximum level permitted by the state, that would make any new sales taxes passed by the county or state irrelevant in Monrovia.

The wording on the ballot measure would be as shown above.

The main uses for the tax money would be:
  • To upgrade the Community Center.
  • Achieve a AAA credit rating (meaning cheaper money if the city has to borrow).
  • Give money back to residents.
  • Capital and infrastructure improvements
  • "Community Priorities," meaning affordable housing, youth programs, crossing guards, etc.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church to Become Laser Tag Arena

This Friday a Monrovia church is going to turn its “whole auditorium into a giant laser tag arena” as part of a free event for high school students. From 6:30-10 p.m. The event will be held at Hope Unlimited Church (1900 Walker Ave., a block south of Duarte and a block east of Myrtle). 

- Brad Haugaard 

Comment: Let's Not Overlook the Trades at Monrovia Schools

Recently I commented on some new tech-related courses at Monrovia High, saying, "Well, this is good, but it doesn't give me much confidence that there is any follow-through on the discussion before the election about science and tech not being for everybody. How about adding some classes for the trades: auto mechanics, electricians, etc.?"

Well, I got a response from a member of the district saying, if I may paraphrase, that the new Advanced Graphic Design, Web Development, and Game Development classes ARE trades because by taking them students can get good jobs without going on to college.

Okay, I suppose this is an acceptable definition of the "trades," but it was not what I was thinking about. Nor, do I imagine, is it what other people think about when they think of the trades. What I was thinking about was the traditional get-your-hands-dirty kind of jobs.

So why do I - who spent a career at tech companies - think the traditional trades are so important?

Well, suppose you are a computer graphic designer, web developer, or game developer. Who is your competition? I'll tell you who - Every other designer or developer in the whole big, wide, hungry world! Any job that can be done digitally can be done pretty much anywhere.

I know this because I've lived in the midst of it. I've watched programmers go from making well over $100,000 a year to being laid off. A nearby tech company I know recently laid off about a hundred programmers. At the same time the company is hiring programmers overseas.

So, these jobs are very easy to outsource to India or Ukraine, but also everybody and his brother's cat is being taught computer tech. I just saw an article called: "Coding for kindergarten." The concepts and tools for programming are being made simpler and simpler, which means more and more competition, even locally.

But suppose instead that you are a plumber, welder, or auto mechanic - someone who has to be physically at a location. Who is your competition? Probably nobody outside of maybe a 20-mile radius. You are NOT competing against the whole world. And when I talk to people in the trades they complain that they can't get enough workers.

So while I don't want to demean tech jobs, and I think, in particular, that the robotics teams in the Monrovia schools are really great, I think we are giving the trades - in the traditional sense - very short shrift, and I think in fairness to our students who do not want to go on to college that we should offer them training in skills that cannot be done in India or the Ukraine for a quarter of the cost they can be done here.

Rant concluded.

Update: Oh yeah, I wanted to add this joke:

Man gets a bill from his plumber.

Man: "$150 an hour! I'm a lawyer and even I don't make that much."

Plumber: "Yeah, I didn't make that much when I was a lawyer either."

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Jake’s Roadhouse

Dinner at Jake’s Roadhouse. Got the Smoked Sausage for $13.95 and a small beer for $5.25. Very good and filling. Had to take some home. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Former Monrovia High Teacher Honored by Citrus College

Citrus College has awarded former Monrovia High teacher Sal Medina the honorary title of Distinguished Alumni for 2019, one of two people to receive the honor.

Medina graduated from Citrus in 1995, went on to the University of La Verne where he earned his bachelor's degree in political science (1998) and master's degree in education (2000), then accpeted a position as a political science teacher at Monrovia High School, where he was known for his engaging style and ability to motivate students. In addition to teaching, he coached the girls' volleyball team and served as adviser to the Key Club.

In 2007 he launched his own business: Packing House Wines. In its first year, Packing House Wines was recognized as the Claremont Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year." Since then, it has developed from a small boutique to a full-sized wine bar and restaurant located in the Claremont Packing House.

Source: Citrus College press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Instructor Featured on Radio

Monrovia Unified School District's Director of Performing Arts, Patrick Garcia, was featured on California School News Radio.

Garcia discusses Monrovia Days, a three-day civic celebration that highlighted the district’s visual and performing arts programs. Listen on iTunes.

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Is Hartford, Connecticut, Interested in Monrovia's Idlewild House?

The Hartford Courant - the newspaper for Hartford, Connecticut - apparently finds Monrovia real estate an interesting topic. This story in the Courant is about Monrovia's Idlewild house:

Actually, my guess is that because Monrovia Nursery (home office in Azusa) has a nursery in Hartford County, Connecticut, the newspaper's computer picked up the story and ran with it simply because the word "Monrovia" appeared in it. Computers gone goofy.

- Brad Haugaard

ABC7 Reports on Monrovia Eagle Scout John Maines

ABC7 News recently reported on Monrovia Eagle Scout John Maines, whose Eagle Scout project was raising money for an instrument rack for the violins and the violas for the music program at Monrovia High. Also, Maines recently wrote a suicide awareness PSA that was rated best PSA on this topic in all of California.

- Brad Haugaard

Problems at the Monrovia Weekly

According to an article in the Monrovia Weekly, the paper has undertaken a transformation that "involved consolidating our news and information resources and devoting more space to regional news, albeit at the risk of scaling back our local coverage."

But apparently Monrovians were not wild about the change. The article continues: "[I]t has become abundantly clear that you want and need LOCAL Monrovia news each week in our newspapers. And you want it NOW." So the paper is planning a community forum (no date set yet) "to discuss these very issues."

- Brad Haugaard

Study Session on What to Do About Development and Traffic in Monrovia

Monrovia is growing and what do we do about the resulting traffic? There will be a Special Joint Study Session of the Monrovia City Council and the Monrovia Planning Commission to discuss development trends and proposed traffic mitigation plans on Monday, June 3 at 6 p.m. in the Monrovia Public Library's Community Room.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Drugs and Alcohol and Shoplifting; Thefts from Cars; and So Forth

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for May 23-29. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 417 service events, resulting in 98 investigations.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
On May 23 at 4:20 p.m., a possible drunk driver was reported in the 200 block of E. Greystone. The vehicle was observed driving on the wrong side of the road. Officers responded to the area and located the vehicle. The driver was contacted and he displayed symptoms of being under the influence. The driver was arrested for DUI.

On May 23 at 6:21 p.m., a shoplifting incident was reported at a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington. A male suspect selected various items and exited the store without making any attempt to pay for the merchandise. The suspect dropped three of the four items prior to leaving the scene. Officer’s arrived, but were unable to locate the suspect. This investigation is continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
On May 23 at 7:32 p.m., officers witnessed a subject illegally dumping trash from her vehicle in the area of W. Central and Mayflower. They initiated a traffic stop and discovered the subject also had a warrant for her arrest. She was arrested per the authority of the warrant.

Drunk in Public – Suspect Arrested
On May 23 at 9:13 p.m., officers responded to the area of Madison and Colorado regarding a subject who was possibly intoxicated. The subject was located and found to be too intoxicated to care for his own safety. He was arrested and held for a sobering period.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspects Arrested
On May 23 at 10:33 p.m., officers made contact with a male and female subject at a business in the 700 block of W. Huntington. The subjects consented to a search of their persons. The female was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and the male subject was in possession of controlled substances. The male subject also had an outstanding warrant. Both subjects were arrested and taken into custody.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
On May 23 at 11:40 p.m., an officer saw a male subject using the electricity from a business in the 700 block of W Huntington. The subject was contacted and the officer began an investigation. The subject was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision
On May 24 at 12:08 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of S. Shamrock regarding two parked vehicles that were struck by a third vehicle. Officers conducted an area check and located the suspect vehicle. No driver was found in the vehicle, but the registered owner was contacted. This investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
On May 24 at 1:27 a.m., officers made contact with a male subject at the rear of a closed business in the 700 block of E. Huntington. He was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The subject was arrested.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
May 24 at 1:33 p.m., an employee of a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain called police to report a male subject was being detained inside their store for shoplifting. Officers arrived and, after an investigation was conducted, the subject was arrested and taken into custody. The stolen property was returned to the store.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
May 24 at 5:49 p.m., a resident in the 200 block of Stedman called police to report a suspicious female subject walking on his street and behaving strangely. Officers arrived and contacted the subject, who immediately dropped a bag of methamphetamine on the ground. The officers determined the subject was under the influence of methamphetamine. She was arrested and held for a sobering period.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
On May 24 at 9:43 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Elfwood regarding a suspicious vehicle. The caller said a person in the vehicle knocked on her door and then fled when she answered. Officers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. A computer check of the subjects in the vehicle revealed the male passenger had a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Theft From a Vehicle
May 25 at 1:41 p.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported at a business parking lot in the 700 block of E. Huntington. The victim had parked in the lot and went into the gym. When he returned to his vehicle, he discovered someone had entered his unlocked vehicle and stole his wallet, which contained several credit cards and his driver's license. This investigation is continuing.

Theft From a Vehicle
May 25 at 1:49 p.m., a resident in the 700 block of Genoa walked outside her home to her vehicle and found that someone had entered it and took vehicle documents. Her AAA card and two pairs of sunglasses were stolen. The vehicle was not locked. This investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
May 25 at 10:09 p.m., officers responded to a complaint of an intoxicated subject near the area of Walnut and Monterey. The subject was located and found to be on parole and in possession of a controlled substance. The subject was arrested and taken into custody.

Residential Burglary
May 26 at 12:55 a.m., a caller reported that items were missing from his residence in the 300 block of Wildrose after returning from vacation. Officers responded and the investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
May 26 at 3:15 a.m., a caller reported an intoxicated subject near their residence in the 400 block of W. Duarte. Officers responded and found the subject in the caller’s backyard. Officers determined the subject was too intoxicated to care for himself. The subject was arrested for public intoxication and held for a sobering period.

Vehicle Burglary
May 26 at 12:50 p.m., a caller reported her vehicle was broken into while parked in the 900 block of S. Shamrock. Her purse was taken and one of her credit cards had been used at a local business. Officers responded and the investigation is ongoing.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
May 26 at 10:30 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on a bicyclist for a vehicle code violation in the area of Peck and Longden. The investigation revealed the subject was under the influence of a controlled substance. He was arrested and held for a sobering period.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
May 27 at 3:37 a.m., officers responded to the 900 block of S. Fifth regarding a male and two females smoking a controlled substance in a parked vehicle. Officers made contact with the three subjects and the investigation revealed the male subject was in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and released on a citation to appear in court on the charge.

Theft From a Vehicle
May 27 at 10:55 a.m., a caller reported that his vehicle and another vehicle were entered during the night and miscellaneous property was taken. The vehicles were parked in the 400 block of Scenic Drive and were unlocked. This investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
May 28 at 7:06 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 400 block of Monrovista. The victim stated that while her vehicle was parked on the street during the night, a window had been broken and property was taken. This investigation is continuing.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
May 28 at 7:42 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 800 block of W. Huntington and saw a vehicle that appeared suspicious. A computer check revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen. The vehicle was recovered.

May 28 at 10:04 a.m., employees working at a business in the 1800 block of S. Myrtle heard their front glass window shatter. None of the employees saw what happened. This investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
May 28 at 1:01 p.m., a caller reported his vehicle was broken into in the 1800 block of Eighth Avenue and that personal property that was inside the vehicle was stolen. This investigation is continuing.

Domestic Battery
May 28 at 7:58 p.m., officers responded to a domestic disturbance between a father and son in the 400 block of Hurstview. Officers arrived, but the father had left the location. The investigation revealed the father had committed domestic battery against the mother. Officers were unable to locate the father for his statement. This investigation is continuing.

Residential Burglary
May 29 at 3:18 p.m., a caller returned home to the 200 block of Highland and discovered two male subjects inside her residence. She called police. Officers arrived, but the subjects had already fled the location in a vehicle. This investigation is continuing.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
May 29 at 9:05 p.m., officers responded to a report of shoplifting at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. They arrived and detained a female subject. She was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and had an open wound from a recent injection. She was arrested and released on a citation. Monrovia Fire Paramedics were called to treat her open wound.

Soapbox Derby May Make Comeback in Monrovia; Sidewalk CPR; Etc.

In his latest report ( City Manager Oliver Chi reports:

~ Monrovia resident Jeff Hunt is working to revive the Soapbox Derby, in partnership with  Hot Rods Forever, which coordinates an annual Monrovia car show. The event will be a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills and is planned for Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  For more information, contact Soapbox Derby, LLC, at 205-4786.

~ Sidewalk CPR Day Thursday, June 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Library Park. Learn Hands-Only CPR in just five minutes from the pros.  For more information contact Captain Chris Huson at 256-8119 or

~ The city's public works inspector, engineering technician, and senior administrative assistant will now have office hours instead of only being available by appointment. The new hours, starting Monday, June 3, are: Mondays and Thursdays - 7 to 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays - 1 to 2 p.m.

~ The City Council will hold a budget study session today, Wednesday, at 5 p.m. to review  proposed 2019/21 spending.

~  New GoMonrovia pricing begins June 1 - $2.50 shared rides, $5 classic rides, and still 50 cents to and from the Gold Line and Old Town Monrovia.

~ The fourth Neighborhoods Treasure features Japanese Americans in Monrovia. Families like the Uyedas, Tsuneishi, Asanos, Kurimiyas and others built strawberry farms, grocery stores, fruit stands, and more. The celebration and block party will be Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m. at 300 W Cypress. Art unveiling, free food, games, giveaways, city booths. RSVP here: or call the City at 932-5563.

- Brad Haugaard

Heros at Heart: Coffee with a Cop

Thursday, May 30, 10-11 a.m. at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, at the corner of Myrtle and Foothill. Meet and greet local police officers who serve the community. Proceeds from the sale of Heroes at Heart Coffee and Tea go to benefit California Peace Officers Memorial, which provides financial assistance, scholarships and support for families of fallen officers. Free coffee and tea samples, raffle entry with any Heroes at Heart purchase.

- Brad Haugaard

Sir Jamie Looking for a New Home

Sir Jamie (A475591) celebrated Memorial Day this year by attending the La Cañada Flintridge Memorial Day parade. He went with the Pasadena Humane Society’s Wiggle Waggle Waggin’ volunteers and a few other dog buddies. Despite his regal demeanor, he enjoyed the festivities. He particularly liked being petted by tons of new people who thought his wrinkly Chinese Sharpei face was adorable. Sir Jamie is a 4-year-old who was found roaming around Glendale about a month ago. He’s now at Pasadena Humane looking for a new home, with new trusting friends, so he can prove his loyalty.

The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dogs are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated before going to their new home.

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  Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard