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Ideas on Improving Monrovia Education? Here's Your Opportunity to Share

Monrovia Schools will hold meetings for input on its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) on Feb. 24, from 7-8:30 p.m., and Feb. 25, from 6-7:30 p.m. Both meetings in the Board Room of the District office at 325 E. Huntington. Spanish translation provided. And what's an LCAP? The California Department of Education says "The LCAP is a tool for local educational agencies to set goals, plan actions, and leverage resources to meet those goals to improve student outcomes."

- Brad Haugaard

January Update from Monrovia School Superintendent

It has been a very productive start to the new year, and it was a delight to witness our students return to school after the holiday break, eager to get back to learning.

We started the month celebrating Monrovia High School’s academic pathways and campus life during the annual Open House Showcase. Our high school students shared their excitement about their classes and activities while our future Wildcats and parents learned all about what Monrovia High has to offer.

During the showcase, club life, elective classes, student leadership, and extracurricular activities were well represented, and our students and faculty did a wonderful job detailing a diverse array of campus aspects.

At the middle school level, our Clifton Middle School Hippie Bots robotics team jumped into the spotlight after it was asked to compete in a robotics competition in Vic, Spain. The Hippie Bots will be the sole representative of the U.S. in next month’s contest. It is truly impressive to see the Hippie Bots advance to this level and we wish them luck in the competition, which includes some high school teams.

At Santa Fe Computer Science Magnet School, the District’s college-going culture is being emphasized with the opening of a Paxton Patterson Lab, which will offer our students a hands-on instruction connected with career technical education (CTE) pathways. The lab will help students build skills in problem solving, teamwork, creativity, and responsibility.

At Bradoaks Elementary School, students are diving into a strong science curriculum. On Jan. 24, the school hosted its first-ever Science Day. Parents were invited to take part in science-related activities with their children and learn more about the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

On Jan. 28, Monrovia Unified celebrated 100 days of school. At Monroe Elementary, students, teachers, and staff dressed up as if they were 100 years old and our students’ grandparents were invited to visit classrooms and participate in a special 100 days of learning activity.

Monroe Elementary students enjoyed stashing away mementos into a time capsule that will be placed in the library until it is opened in 2030.

Dr. Katherine Thorossian, Superintendent

Learn Basics of Drawing, Feb. 15 at Library

Learn the basics of drawing, Feb. 15, Saturday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Library's Community Room. For ages 16 and older. In this 2-hour workshop, artist Chris Allec will teach tips and tricks to take your drawings and sketches to new heights. For new and experienced artists. All materials are provided. Register:

- Brad Haugaard

Mayoral and City Council Candidate Forums This Week and Next

Mayoral Candidate Forum, this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6-8 p.m. in the Monrovia City Hall Council Chambers.

City Council Candidate Forum, Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Monrovia City Hall Council Chambers.

Both forums are sponsored by the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters.

For questions call 358-1159.

To submit a question for the candidates, call 932-5550.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library - Not So Many Books :-(

Kind of sad to see the library with so many empty shelves. Even when they’re not totally empty (above), they’re pretty thin (below). But I guess the world is going electronic. And I guess it’s as much my fault as anyone else’s. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Learn Bead Fusion at the Library, Feb. 13

Create your own designs with iron melting beads. Keep for yourself or make a Valentine gift. For more information, email or call 256-8269. Feb 13, Thursday, 3-4:30 p.m. in the Library's Story Room.

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at T Phillips

Dinner at T Phillips, at the southwest corner of Myrtle and Colorado. Got the Buffalo Chicken Salad for $14 And a beer for $4.50.  Very good salad and great, prompt service. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Public Works Yard Accepting E-Waste

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia City Council Plans Zoning Change to Allow 436-Unit Apartment

At its next meeting (agenda: the Monrovia City Council will consider changing the zoning of a 9.6 acre area near the train station to allow the development of a 436-unit, five-story apartment complex and a seven story (eight level) parking structure with 798 stalls.

The property is a full city block, bounded by West Evergreen Avenue to the north, the Gold Line Light Rail tracks to the south, South Magnolia Avenue to the east, and South Mayflower Avenue to the west.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Hits Skateboarder; Expensive Perfumes Stolen; Gardener Punched After Avocado Argument; Etc.

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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 376 service events, resulting in 65 investigations.

Grand Theft From an Unlocked Vehicle
January 23 at 10:07 a.m., a resident in the 700 block of W. Lemon called police to report a theft from her vehicle. Sometime between 2:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., someone entered her unlocked vehicle and took her wallet, which contained U.S. currency and two cashier's checks. Investigation continuing.

January 23 at 10:58 a.m., a resident in the 300 block of W. Colorado called police to report a battery incident. She said was involved in a physical altercation with another female adult. The reporting party suffered minor injuries, but declined to be treated by Monrovia paramedics. The other female fled the scene prior to officers arriving. Investigation continuing.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
January 23 at 11:54 a.m., an employee from a business in the 3000 block of S. Peck called police to report the business had purchased a vehicle they now believed to be stolen. An officer responded and confirmed the vehicle was, in fact, reported stolen. The business had already sold various parts off the vehicle before discovering it was stolen. The vehicle was recovered and the investigation is continuing.

January 24 at 7:15 a.m., a vandalism incident was reported in the 300 block of Jasmine. A resident called to report that sometime between January 22 and January 24, the driver-side front window of his vehicle was shattered. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Warrant / Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
January 24 at 12:24 p.m., an officer was patrolling the 500 block of W. Huntington when he saw a subject he knew had outstanding warrants for his arrest. The officer detained the subject and confirmed the warrants. The subject was arrested for the warrants, and a search incident to arrest revealed the subject was also in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Battery – Suspect Arrested
January 24 at 12:40 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Melrose regarding a battery incident. A male subject called police and reported he had been punched in the face. The victim is a gardener for a resident in the area. The resident accused him of stealing her avocados. The victim said he threw the avocados away because a rodent had eaten a portion of them. A friend of the resident overheard the conversation, approached the victim and punched him in the face. The victim desired a citizen's arrest and the suspect was arrested.

Injury Traffic Collision
January 24 at 1:09 p.m., a traffic collision was reported at the intersection of Primrose and Huntington. A motorist was traveling south on Primrose and entered the intersection without yielding to oncoming traffic, colliding into a motorist traveling east on Huntington. One of the drivers complained of pain to her neck and was treated at the scene by Monrovia Paramedics. The party at fault was issued a citation.

Residential Burglary
January 24 at 9:28 p.m., police dispatch received a call from and alarm company reporting an alarm activation at a residence in the 700 block of Valley View. Officers responded and discovered the rear, sliding glass door had been shattered and the front door was open. Additional officers arrived, and the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter responded to the area to assist. A check of the interior revealed the suspects had gone through some drawers in the upstairs master bedroom, but no suspects were located. The victim was notified and the investigation is continuing.

Warrant / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
January 25 at 3:54 a.m., a resident in the 100 block of W. Colorado called police to report he could smell marijuana, but he was not sure where it was coming from. He thought possibly the top of a parking structure. Officers responded and located a male subject inside a vehicle at the top of the parking structure. A computer check revealed the subject had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The subject was arrested for the warrant, and a search incident to arrest revealed methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

January 25 at 9:27 a.m., a vandalism incident was reported in the 200 block of W. Palm. The victim reported that sometime during the night or early morning hours, someone threw a rock through his front bedroom window. Investigation continuing.

Warrant / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
January 25 at 9:31 a.m., a resident in the 500 block of Norumbega called police to report a suspicious subject in the area. The resident said he appeared to be casing the neighborhood. Officers arrived and located the subject, and a computer check revealed he had multiple warrants for his arrest. He was arrested for the warrants, and a search incident to arrest revealed the subject was in possession of a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine.

Grand Theft
January 25 at 12:40 p.m., an employee from a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington called police to report a large amount of high-end perfumes had been stolen from the store the previous day. An officer was dispatched to take a report and the investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft From Unlocked Vehicle
January 26 at 8:52 a.m., a resident walked outside his home in the 100 block of N. Ivy and found his unlocked vehicle had been ransacked and items were stolen. This investigation is continuing.

Suspicious Person / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
January 26 at 10:29 a.m., a caller reported a suspicious female subject banging on the glass window to the historical train station in the 1600 block of S. Primrose. Officers responded and found she had not caused any damage. A computer check revealed she had four warrants for her arrest. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
January 26 at 5:01 p.m., a resident in the 100 block of N. Alta Vista found minor damage to their vehicle that was parked on the street. Officers responded and determined the parked vehicle had been hit by another vehicle, which failed to stop. This investigation is continuing.

Domestic Battery / Violation of Restraining Order – Suspect Arrested
January 27 at 9:30 a.m., a resident in the 800 block of Encino called police to report her ex-boyfriend was at her home in violation of a restraining order. He had initiated an argument with her and then battered her. Officers arrived and, after investigation, arrested the suspect for violating the restraining order and domestic battery.

Injury Hit & Run Traffic Collision
January 27 at 1:55 p.m., an officer was on patrol in the 100 block of N. Mayflower when she saw a skateboarder limping along the sidewalk. The officer stopped to see if he needed assistance. The subject said he was skateboarding and a car hit him, causing him to fall. He said the car then fled the area. Paramedics transported him to a nearby hospital for minor injuries. This investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
January 28 at 8:25 a.m., a traffic collision was reported in the 100 block of W. Colorado. A caller reported a motorist had just collided with a pedestrian. Officers responded and took a report. The involved pedestrian was not seriously injured.

January 29 at 2:32 p.m., a resident in the 300 block of S. California called police to report an assault incident. She said a family member was visiting her home when he became angry. He began to strangle her and then pushed her into a metal railing, causing visible injuries. A couple neighbors saw what was happening and came to the victim’s rescue. The suspect fled the area. Officers searched the area, but were not able to locate him. This investigation is continuing.

Missing Person Located
January 29 at 4:02 p.m., an elderly man was reported missing in the 200 block of S. Myrtle. He was in the car with his wife, when she went into a bank for about 15 minutes, leaving him in the car. When she returned, he was gone. She worried he was lost because he suffers from memory loss, so she called police. Officers immediately searched the area and located missing subject nearby. He was returned to his wife.

Coronavirus Notice: Don't Send Sick Children to School

Dear Monrovia Unified Community,

On Jan. 21, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the first case of the new coronavirus found in the United States and, since then, two cases have been confirmed in California. Reports confirm that the two known California patients are receiving treatment in the hospital.

Though the CDC has labeled the virus low risk, our district nurse immediately contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for any additional information they could provide. Their recommendation, which we have since shared with all staff members, is to watch for symptoms which include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

According to the LA County Department of Public Health, "there is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required.”

The LA County of Public Health is working alongside the CDC, ensuring travelers who recently visited Wuhan, China and who are experiencing a fever or respiratory illness symptoms are tested for the virus and receive care. The CDC advises those traveling to China avoid contact with sick people, to avoid animals, animal markets, and to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If you have recently visited Wuhan City, it is recommended you contact a healthcare provider and receive care if you become ill within 14 days of your return. While there is no cure for the virus, healthcare providers can treat the symptoms and minimize the transmission.

While attendance is important for student success, our priority is health and safety. As always, we advise parents to not send their children to school if they are sick. This ensures your child is able to get the proper care and rest they need and protects the health and wellness of our students and staff.

We will continue monitoring the situation and provide updates should any new information come to light.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit: U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention: and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Book Club Discussions at the Library

Enjoy reading? The Novel Ts Book Club meets at the Library on the fourth Tuesday of every month, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Library Community Room, for a book discussion. Here's what's coming up:

January 28 - To The Lighthouse by Virginia Wolf
February 25 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
March 24 - There There by Tommy Orange
April 28 -  The Winter of our Discontent by John Steinbeck

- Brad Haugaard

Khufu: Statuesque Beauty and No Barking - Just Snorting

Khufu was named after an Egyptian pharaoh, and you can see why – she’s got the statuesque beauty of a sphinx! She’s such a sweetie, and loves when people sit on the floor and talk to her. And although she loves walks, she’d be happy to be your couch potato buddy. The cutest thing about her might be that she doesn’t really bark, but she makes adorable snorting sounds. If Khufu sounds like the perfect dog, it’s because she is!

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

Monrovia High Open House Showcases Various Student Pathways

Monrovia High School hosted its annual Open House while showcasing scholastic academies, career technical education (CTE) pathways, visual and performing arts programs and extracurricular activities on Jan. 15, giving Monrovia Unified students and their parents a comprehensive overview of what it means to be a Wildcat.

"If you have a passion, we are here to help you connect to it," Principal Kirk McGinnis said. "You will always be a Cougar or a Cub, but when you come to Monrovia High, we are all Wildcats. We all work together to succeed."

Families spoke with teacher and student representatives from Monrovia's Math and Science, Humanities and Digital Arts academies, Theater Arts Conservatory, Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Advanced Placement and eight CTE programs.

Club life, elective classes, student leadership and extracurricular activities were well represented, with students and faculty detailing a diverse array of campus life - including robotics, dual immersion, Renaissance leadership and band.

"Monrovia's Open House is a way to make our new students feel welcome, meet their new classmates, and lessen the anxiety of beginning high school," Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. "It also gives our high school students a chance to show their leadership skills by promoting the classes and activities that resonate with them."

Monrovia junior Marc Altamirano pitched the perks of enrolling in French class and joining the French club, which includes celebrating the French Epiphany - the date of the Three Kings - and eating traditional French pastries such as Galette des Rois.

"French class is really fun; I highly recommend it," Altamirano said. "The focus is on comprehension and immersion. We listen to a lot of French music and watch French New Wave cinema. Each week we come in and try to describe our weekend entirely in French."

The Open House was the first step in preparing incoming freshmen for high school. On Jan. 16-17, MHS reps traveled to Clifton and Santa Fe middle schools to make program presentations. A campus tour for all eighth-graders is scheduled for Feb. 4. Fall registration begins July 15 and new freshman orientations will be held Aug. 10

"The Monrovia High Open House is a community event, and it's not unusual to see MHS alumni here with their children, talking with their former teachers and just as excited as their kids," Board of Education Vice President Bryan Wong said. "Our mission is to provide equity and opportunity to every student and encourage them to find the academic path that will help them to become lifelong learners."

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Diplomat

Dinner at The Diplomat, on the north side of Lemon just east of Myrtle. Got the Chicken Fattoush Salad for $14 and a beer for $5. Excellent!

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Police: Helicopter Assists in Arresting Two Following Pursuit and Crash; Police Pursue, Arrest Car-Theft Suspect; Jewelry Burglarized from Myrtle Store; Vehicle Burglar Drives Caddy

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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 382 service events, resulting in 72 investigations.

Petty Theft From a Vehicle
January 16 at 9:30 a.m., a petty theft was reported in the 800 block of W. Duarte. The victim called police to report items were stolen from their unlocked vehicle sometime during the night. The victim’s wallet and garage remote control were taken. Investigation continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
January 16 at 11:58 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 800 block of W. Foothill. There was video surveillance that showed a white Cadillac Escalade pulled up next to the victim’s parked vehicle and a passenger exited and smashed two of the vehicle windows. Two iPads were stolen from inside the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Warrant / Violation of Restraining Order – Suspect Arrested
January 17 at 12:21 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Mayflower and Fano when he saw two subjects he recognized from prior contacts. A computer check revealed one of the subjects had two outstanding warrants. There was also a restraining order protecting the other subject from the subject with the warrants. The subject was arrested and taken into custody for the warrants and violating the restraining order.

Injury Traffic Collision
January 17 at 7:08 a.m., a caller reported an injury traffic collision near the intersection of Duarte and Myrtle. A motorist was stopped at the railroad tracks, facing south, and another motorist rear-ended the stopped vehicle. One of the drivers complained of pain and was treated at the scene by Monrovia Paramedics.

Grand Theft Auto / Pursuit – Suspect Arrested
January 17 at 8:44 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 1800 block of S. Myrtle, when he was notified of a stolen vehicle in the area. The officer located the vehicle traveling north on Myrtle and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not yield. A pursuit ensued until the vehicle went down a dead-end driveway and had to stop. A high-risk felony stop was conducted, and the solo occupant was arrested for grand theft auto and taken into custody.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
January 18 at 2:52 p.m., an employee from a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington called to report a female subject had concealed merchandise in her purse and exited the store without purchasing the items. She was detained by loss prevention and the property was recovered. Officers arrived, conducted an investigation and the female was arrested for shoplifting.

Injury Traffic Collision
January 18 at 4:09 p.m., a motorist was traveling north on Peck, approaching Longden, and another vehicle was traveling west on Longden, approaching Peck. The motorist traveling north failed to stop at the stop sign and collided into the other motorist. One of the drivers complained of pain to his leg and was transported to a local hospital. The driver at fault was issued a citation for the traffic violation.

Drug Activity / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Cited
January 18 at 7:34 p.m., a resident in the 2600 block of California called to report a male and female subject that were possibly selling drugs from a parked vehicle. They reported people were approaching the vehicle and it appeared drug transactions were being made. Officers arrived and located the male and female. The female had syringes on her person and in her belongings. She also had other drug paraphernalia in her possession. The male didn't have any contraband. The female was issued a citation to appear in court on the charges.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
January 19 at 12:51 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Lime and Myrtle when he saw a male subject lying on the sidewalk. The officers checked the subject’s well-being and discovered he was too intoxicated to care for his own safety. He was arrested for public intoxication and held for a sobering period.

Providing False Information to a Police Officer / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
January 20 at 7:56 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Mountain and Lime when she saw a motorist commit a traffic violation. The officer stopped the motorist for the traffic violation. The driver did not have any form of identification and there was no DMV record of him having a driver’s license. He was arrested and taken into custody in order to obtain his identify. He was eventually identified by his fingerprints. It was then discovered he had provided false information to the officer and had four outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Commercial Burglary
January 21 at 1:58 a.m., officers responded to a business in the 500 block of S. Myrtle on an alarm activation and found the front window to the business was shattered. An interior check was conducted, but no one was found inside. A review of the video surveillance showed two suspects wearing dark clothing and hoodies shattered the front window to gain entry. One suspect entered the store, while the second suspect waited outside as a lookout. The suspect took gold jewelry and diamond rings from the display cases. The suspects were inside the store for 60 seconds. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
January 22 at 6:51 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 900 block of S. Fifth. The victim reported his vehicle was parked in a hotel parking lot and sometime during the night, his vehicle was taken. The vehicle was entered into the computer system as stolen and the investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
January 22 at 8:21 a.m., an employee from a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain called to report a male subject entered the business, concealed items on his person and exited the store without paying for the items. He was detained by employees and was cooperative. An officer arrived and conducted an investigation. The suspect was issued a citation to appear in court on the charges. The items were recovered and returned to the store.

Grand Theft Auto – Suspects Arrested
January 22 at 5:57 p.m., an officer was patrolling the 1800 block of S. Myrtle when he received a stolen vehicle alert from his vehicle’s monitoring device. The officer stopped the vehicle and performed a felony high-risk stop. A female passenger exited the vehicle and ran. The vehicle then sped off, attempting to evade officers and crashed into a building in the 200 block of W. Foothill. At that time, the male driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The Foothill Air Support Team helicopter assisted and was able to locate the suspect. Officers set up a perimeter, and both the driver and passenger were located and taken into custody. The suspects were arrested for grand theft auto, felony evading, and felony hit and run.

Troubles at Burgerim

Once upon a time Monrovia was going to get two Burgerim hamburger restaurants. I'm not aware that either has opened. The company has been having very serious problems. Here's a quote from an article in Restaurant Business titled "The Burgerim Disaster":

"Burgerim was once one of the hottest, fastest-growing brands in the U.S. Then its founder left the country, leaving behind a wreckage of unpaid workers, bankrupt franchisees and others struggling to make it work."


- Brad Haugaard

KABC Report On Monrovia's Hippie Bots Robotics Team as It Prepares for International Competition in Spain

This is the KABC report on Clifton Middle School's Hippie Bots robotics team, which is heading to Spain as the only team from the United States invited to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Barcelona Championship.

- Brad Haugaard

Mayoral Candidate Grollnek Endorses Mayoral Candidate Taylor

Stephen Grollnek is running for mayor of Monrovia in a three-way contest with incumbent Tom Adams and challenger Melissa Taylor. But what's weird is that he has lawn signs for Melissa Taylor (also running for mayor) in his front yard, and none for himself.


Grollnek told me that he was thinking of running for mayor but found out that if he was the only challenger that the city would have to pay 80-some thousand dollars for an election.

So at first he decided not to run, but then he heard that Melissa Taylor had filed to run, so the election was on regardless.

So he decided to run.

Then he met Taylor, found that they agreed "on everything except global warming," and decided she would make a good mayor.

So why not drop out?

He said at this point he can't get his name off the ballot, and besides he wants to be at the Feb. 5 candidates forum so he can publicly come out in favor of Taylor at that time.

(Note: With 10 comments on the Monrovia Now blog or MonroviaNow's Facebook page, I think I've met the requirement to publish this. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, it really doesn't matter.) 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company Getting Into Cannabis Distribution Business

Monrovia-based Sugarmade, Inc., is getting into the cannabis delivery business and moving away from hydroponics for cannabis cultivation.

It's newly redesigned web site says, "Enjoy California's Newest Premium Cannabis Delivery Service."

Sugarmade CEO Jimmy Chan said, "We see significantly larger opportunities in the California cannabis distribution arena and have entered into advanced talks to make a strategic move into this area."

The company's stock dropped today and closed at less than a penny per share.

- Brad Haugaard