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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

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 108, Up 1; 3 More Deaths at Monrovia Gardens

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

Monrovia: 108 cases (up 1 from yesterday), 9 deaths (unchanged - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 15 cases (unchanged)

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

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 64 (unchanged), 9 deaths (up three from yesterday)

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  18 cases (unchanged) and 1 death (unchanged).

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Roomy Swipes Credit Cards; Stolen Vehicles; Drunk Driving; Etc.

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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 314 service events, resulting in 43 investigations.

Non-Injury Traffic Collision
May 7 at 10:09 a.m., two motorists collided at the intersection of California and Huntington. Officers responded and found one vehicle had rolled over, but no one was injured. After investigation and speaking with witnesses, the driver found at fault was issued a citation.

Grand Theft Auto
May 7 at 10:18 a.m., a resident in the 600 block of W. Lime walked outside her home and discovered her car was missing from where she had parked it the night before on the street. Officers responded and searched the area for the vehicle, but did not located it. It was entered into the Law Enforcement Stolen Vehicle System. This investigation is continuing.

Violation of Domestic Violence Restraining Order – Suspect Arrested
May 7 at 11:42 a.m., callers reported a male and female yelling at one another in the 400 block of W. Lime. Officers responded and found the two subjects, who they recognized from previous contacts. An investigation revealed the female subject was violating her domestic violence restraining order. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Theft of Bicycle
May 8 at 8:46 p.m., a theft of a bicycle was reported in the 1400 block of Alamitas. The victim reported his bicycle was taken from his front door sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. The bicycle was left unsecured. The investigation is continuing.

Stolen Motorcycle Recovered
May 9 at 8:23 p.m., officers were providing extra patrol in the 1100 block of E. Huntington when they came upon a motorcycle which had been reported stolen late last year. The victim was notified and the motorcycle was recovered.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
May 9 at 8:42 p.m., a caller reported a vehicle had hit a curb in the 400 block of W. Chestnut and almost struck a parked vehicle. Officers responded and located the vehicle and found the occupant asleep behind the wheel. An investigation revealed the driver had driven under the influence of alcohol. The witness identified the vehicle as the one she saw hit the curb and almost hit another vehicle. The driver was arrested for DUI and held for a sobering period.

Warrant / Unlicensed Driver – Suspect Arrested
May 9 at 9:59 p.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a vehicle code violation near the intersection of California and Huntington. Investigation revealed the driver had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was unlicensed. The suspect was arrested.

Robbery – Suspect Arrested
May 11 at 8:26 a.m., a caller reported a robbery that just occurred in the 800 block of W. Huntington. A male suspect hit a female acquaintance in the head and knocked her down. The suspect took the victim's purse and fled. Officers located the suspect and pursued him on foot. The suspect was ultimately taken into custody and arrested.

Grand Theft Auto
May 11 at 6:40 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the area of Los Angeles and Myrtle. The victim reported his vehicle had been taken sometime after 10:30 a.m. It was later returned by the suspect. This investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision – Suspect Arrested
May 11 at 6:41 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of California and Duarte regarding a motorhome being hit by a vehicle. No one was injured, but one of the drivers was found to be intoxicated. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for DUI and held for a sobering period.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
May 12 at 7:56 a.m., a resident reported that someone collided into their fence in the 700 block of Monterey. The suspect vehicle license plate was still at the location. An area check was conducted and the suspect vehicle was found parked in the vicinity. This investigation continuing.

Theft
May 12 at 9:06 a.m., a resident in the 900 block of E. Royal Oaks called police to report his roommate took his credit cards and fled from the residence. Officers arrived and conducted an area check, but the suspect was not located. This investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
May 12 at 1:28 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 900 block of El Dorado. The victim called to report his truck was just taken and described the suspect as a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. Officers arrived and conducted a check of the area, but the vehicle was not located. This investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
May 12 at 6:26 p.m., police dispatch received a call reporting a subject causing a disturbance in the area of Ivy and Lemon. Officers arrived and discovered the subject was intoxicated and unable to care for his own safety. He was arrested for public intoxication and held for a sobering period.

Grand Theft Auto
May 13 at 6:28 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 100 block of W. Duarte. The victim parked her vehicle and left it. When she returned to it after approximately 45 minutes, the vehicle was missing. Officers arrived and checked the area, but the vehicle was not located. This investigation is continuing.

Theft
May 13 at 8:20 p.m., a theft was reported in the 600 block of Norumbega. The victim called police to report his catalytic converter had been stolen from his vehicle sometime between May 8 and May 12. The vehicle had been parked in his carport. This investigation is continuing.

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 107, Up 12

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

Monrovia: 107 cases (up 12 from yesterday), 9 deaths as of yesterday but county database is being fussy today - https://is.gd/bmKPBb).

Unincorporated Monrovia: 15 cases (same as yesterday)

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

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center: 64 (same as yesterday), 6 deaths (unchanged from yesterday)

Monrovia Memorial Hospital:  18 cases (up two from yesterday) and one death.

- Brad Haugaard

City and Chamber of Commerce Thinking About How to Help Restaurants and Other Businesses

In reference to the idea expressed here of closing Myrtle for additional restaurant seating when restaurants are allowed to open again, Craig Jimenez, Monrovia's Director of Community Development, writes:
Clearly, there are a lot of us on the same wavelength! Just to let you know that City staff has already been mulling the idea of providing additional opportunities for restaurants and other businesses when the time is right…not only on Myrtle, but throughout Monrovia. I know that that the folks at the Chamber are talking about this too.
While we’re still bound by the County and state orders, we’re all looking forward to a time when we can support all of our business community to the fullest.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School District Student Information System Hacked

On April 27, Monrovia School District was informed by Aeries, the company that provides the district's student information system, that information for some of the districts the company serves might have been breached.

Possible compromised information is: parent and student login information, residents' physical addresses, email addresses, and password hashes. [Password hashes, by the way, won't let you log into an account. They're passwords, but they've basically been turned into hash. - Brad]

All accounts have been locked and Aeries will be sending out a password reset to students and parents.

The district is asking people to login as soon as possible to reset their passwords. For help, call (626) 471-2064.

- Brad Haugaard