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Burlington Store to Open this Fall in Huntington Oaks Shopping Center


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

~ A Burlington store (aka Burlington Coat Factory) is planning to open in the former Toys R' Us space in the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center this fall. Interior and exterior improvements are being now being made to the 40,411 square foot space, which is one of the largest spaces in the center.

~  Monrovia Fire & Rescue spent five days in Ashland, Oregon, to assist with the Bootleg Fire but have now been redeployed to the Dixie Fire in Plumas County, California. All costs associated with the deployments are fully reimbursed to the city.

~ The city has broken ground on EV charging stations in Old Town. Four Level 2 charging stations will be installed at the public parking lot along the 100 block of East Lemon. Construction is expected to last from Monday, July 26 through Tuesday, August 3.

~ Monrovia Community Garden, at 303 W. Colorado, is accepting applications to rent garden beds. Beds cost $60 per year and are open to Monrovia residents and families with children enrolled in MUSD. Download an application (https://is.gd/lQvcDp) and submit it by Sept. 10. Scholarships are available to those who qualify. The program will run from October 2021-October 2022. For more information contact the Garden Director at  info@monroviacommunitygarden.org.

- Brad Haugaard

Weekly Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 34 More Cases, No More Deaths

Coronavirus cases from LA Department of Public Health as of 8 p.m., 07/21/2021. Changes since 07/13/2021.

City of Monrovia: 3,272 cases (up 34), 79 deaths (unchanged)
Unincorporated Monrovia: 380 cases (up 3), no deaths

- Brad Haugaard

Natural History Museum Entomologist Studies Insects Around the World - and in Bug-Rich Monrovia

Monrovian Brian V. Brown, Curator of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, took the picture above with a special microscope-camera. Several similar pictures, also by Brown, appeared in an April, 2021 National Geographic article describing his and other entomologists' work studying flies in the treetops of the Amazon rainforest. (The link is here, but you need a subscription to read it.)

In addition to studying insects in tropical regions, Brown has also been part of a project to study urban insects of Los Angeles. The BioSCAN project, he writes, "has uncovered surprising new knowledge about species living in local backyards," especially including Monrovia.


Brown said he has been studying insects since he was a child and stayed interested even into his teenage years, when so many abandon their interest in the topic - though he admits that he toyed with the idea of playing in a heavy metal band - but by college he was solidly back in the entomology camp.

Monrovia, he said, has a wide variety of insects, because it, and other foothills communities, are so near the mountains, where insects abound. Of the roughly 100  species of phorid flies (his specialty) found in the Los Angeles area, he said, about 90 occur in his own backyard in North Monrovia, including many that were new to science. His backyard is the most species-rich habitat that they have examined, and he even found a couple of varieties of flies that he's only seen in Florida and South and Central America previously. Before this project began, he said, scientists estimated there were about 3-4,000 species of insects in the LA area; but the study has raised the estimate to about 20,000.

The much higher estimate, he said, is because while bigger bugs have pretty much been accounted for, the flies he works with are in the itty-bitty range - 2 millimeters long and smaller. These smaller insects, he said, are "still a frontier everywhere." The world’s smallest fly was described by Brown several years ago and is only 0.4 mm long. He named it Megapropodiphora arnoldi after former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, based on its greatly enlarged forelegs.

Brown is a native of Toronto, Canada, did his undergraduate and masters work at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Under the tutelage of Steve Marshall he began studying the fly family Phoridae. In 1990, he obtained his doctorate at the University of Alberta in Canada, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and University of Maryland. In 1993 he took up his current position in Los Angeles.

He said when he heard he got the job he called his wife, who was watching the Rodney King riots, so ..., he said, there were some mixed feelings about moving to the LA area.

But they did, initially renting in Burbank then buying a home in Monrovia in 1996. They like Monrovia's small town feeling.

Brown has also written two books, numerous scientific papers, and has conducted research in many parts of the world, but especially tropical rainforests. There, he studies phorid flies, especially parasitic species known as ant decapitating flies and bee killing flies. He is also interested in fossil phorid flies in amber, integrating them into phylogenetic knowledge based on morphology and molecular characters. Most recently, he led a National Science Foundation funded effort to completely inventory the Diptera (true fly) fauna of the mid-elevation tropical forest in Costa Rica.

You may see Brown and his wife walking their dogs in North Monrovia. If so, say hi.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Blowing Through Red Lights; Stolen Vehicles; Fatal Crash; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for July 15 – July 21. - Brad Haugaard]


During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 342 service events, resulting in 47 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto / Recovery
July 15 at 6:56 a.m., officers responded to the 1800 block of S. Peck regarding the theft of a vehicle. After an initial investigation, the vehicle was entered into the DMV Stolen Vehicle System. Later in the day, an officer was dispatched to a call of a suspicious vehicle that appeared to be abandoned. The officer discovered the vehicle in question was the stolen vehicle from earlier. The vehicle was recovered. This investigation is continuing.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
July 17 at 8:45 a.m., a caller reported a male and female were arguing at a business in the 200 block of W. Huntington. Officers arrived and located the couple. After an extensive investigation it was determined the female was the primary aggressor. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Vehicle Burglary
July 17 at 10:07 a.m., a resident in the 1100 block of Sesmas called to report her vehicle was broken into. Officers responded and determined that personal property had been taken from the vehicle. The suspect(s) had gained entry by shattering two of the vehicle’s windows. This investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
July 17 at 11:37 a.m., a caller reported his vehicle was taken from a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain while he was shopping. Officers responded and collected evidence at the scene. The vehicle was entered into the DMV Stolen Vehicle System. This investigation is continuing.

Fatal Traffic Collision
July 18 at 6:51 a.m., officers and fire personnel responded to the 500 block of N. Magnolia regarding a solo traffic collision. An investigation revealed the vehicle had been driving approximately 100 mph in a designated 25 mph zone. The vehicle struck a curb before overturning and catching fire. The driver did not survive the collision. No other persons were injured. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
July 18 at 8:55 a.m., a resident in the 400 block of Genoa walked outside her home and discovered her vehicle had been stolen. Officers searched the area, but could not locate her car. The vehicle was entered into the DMV Stolen Vehicle System. This investigation is continuing.

Non-Injury Traffic Collision / Hit and Run
July 18 at 11:26 a.m., a resident in the 100 block of N. Grand discovered someone had crashed into his vehicle sometime during the night, then fled the area. The vehicle had been parked on the street in front of the resident's home. This investigation is continuing.

Reckless Driving – Suspect Arrested
July 19 at 2:30 a.m., an officer was patrolling in the area of Monterey and Walnut when he observed a vehicle driving through stop signs at a high rate of speed. The officer tried to catch up to the vehicle as it continued to drive through red signals and stop signs. The officer conducted a traffic stop on Myrtle and Pomona. The driver was arrested for reckless driving and was taken to the Monrovia Police Department jail for booking.

Unlicensed Driver / False Information to a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
July 19 at 8:23 a.m., an officer was patrolling the 400 block of W. Foothill when he saw a motorist commit a vehicle code violation. He stopped the driver, who did not have any form of identification. An investigation revealed there was no license issued for the name provided by the driver. The officer arrested the subject in order to fingerprint and identify him. He was transported to the Monrovia PD Jail for booking. After fingerprinting, it was revealed the driver had given a false name. He was additionally charged with providing false information to a peace officer.

Vandalism – Suspect Arrested
July 19 at 2:49 p.m., a caller reported a male subject spray painting graffiti on the loading dock walls and doors of a business in the 100 block of W. Foothill. Officers responded and made contact with a subject in the area matching the description given. Witnesses positively identified him as the suspect. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Shoplifting
July 19 at 3:01 p.m., employees of a hardware store in the 1600 block of S. Mountain reported a male subject had just fled the store with merchandise he did not pay for. Officers searched the area for the suspect, but could not locate him. Officers located the stolen merchandise in the parking lot and returned it to the store. This investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
July 20 at 2:07 p.m., an employee of a gas station in the 1600 block of S. Myrtle reported a male subject had just stolen alcohol from their store. Officers searched the area for the suspect and located him drinking the alcohol at Station Square Park, less than a block away from the store. The suspect was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Dinner at The Monrovian

Dinner at The Monrovian, at the northeast corner of Myrtle and Colorado. Got the Avocado Toast for $10.50, the Simple Salad for $4, and a beer for $7.50. Lots of avocado and the salad was indeed “simple,” but also generous. Really good!

- Brad Haugaard 

Parking Enforcement Resumes in Monrovia

Beginning on Friday, Aug. 6, the Monrovia Police Department will resume parking enforcement for Timed Parking. Please pay attention to all posted signs when choosing your next parking spot, especially noting the time allocated for parking.

 The City has ample free parking, including on-street parking, ten designated public parking lots, and two public parking garages in Old Town. View a full list of parking locations in Old Town Monrovia here: https://is.gd/H6a2ie

If you have any questions, contact the Parking Enforcement Office at 256-8083.

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

Fifth Neighborhood Treasure Unveiling August 7 - Airman Leroy Criss

Neighborhood Treasure unveiling and block party celebration for Tuskegee Airman, Leroy "Buster" Criss at the corner of Maple and Ivy Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Criss is the fifth Neighborhood Treasure honoree. There will be an art unveiling and a block party celebration to follow. The event is free and open to the public. For questions email map@ci.monrovia.ca.us or call 932-5525. https://is.gd/F9PNby

- Brad Haugaard

Free Back-To-School Backpacks


The Eta Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will give away backpacks to local school children at Assemblymember Chris Holden's 41st Assembly District Office at 600 N. Rosemead Blvd. in Pasadena on Saturday, July 31, from 9 - 11 a.m. RSVP here: https://is.gd/OWdX5z

- Brad Haugaard

Energetic Penelope Loves Her Doggy Pool


Penelope is an energetic dog who loves being outside and splashing around in her doggy pool! This beautiful dog is one year old and would do best in active home that can provide her with lots of fun and enrichment. Penelope is specifically looking for a home where she can be cared for in the safety of an enclosed yard with ample food, water, shelter, and love. If you can provide Penelope with a safe outdoor home and all the attention and care she needs, she may be the ideal dog for you!

The adoption fee for dogs is $150. 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 and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

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

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Superintendent Reports On His First Two Weeks

My first two weeks serving as your superintendent have been fantastic! I have truly enjoyed visiting each of our schools, meeting students, teachers and staff, community members, and attending community events.


Our summer programs have gone extremely well, and it has been great seeing our students have fun while learning. Thanks to our teachers, staff, and partners at the Boys and Girls Club, for working hard to make these programs possible. As we move closer to the official start of the school year on Wednesday, August 18, I want to share some information about some important topics that we are working to address.

 
AB 104: Retention, Grade Changes, and Exemptions
Assembly Bill 104, now law, creates a range of options to accommodate K-12 students who struggled during the 2020-21 academic year when distance learning disrupted classroom routines. These include allowing students to retake their grade level under certain circumstances and the ability for high school students to change letter grades to “pass” or “no pass.” High school juniors and seniors in 2020-2021 not on track for graduation, may also be exempt from certain graduation requirements or have the option to complete coursework through credit recovery, a fifth year of high school, or other means.
 
Independent Study
Governor Newsom recently signed legislation requiring districts to offer independent study as an educational option for parents who prefer this kind of learning model or who are uncomfortable with sending their students back to school due to concerns about COVID-19. Mountain Park School continues to serve MUSD students and families who are interested in an independent study program.
 
Updated COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines for Schools
The California Department of Public Health recently released its latest guidelines for COVID-19 prevention in schools. Some key takeaways from the new guidelines are: 1) masks do not need to be worn outside, 2) students must wear masks when indoors, 3) adults must wear masks indoors with students regardless of vaccination status, and 4) previous physical distancing requirements have been removed. Throughout the pandemic, MUSD has always followed public health guidelines and will continue to do so.
 
Chromebooks for Students
We are also finalizing plans to ensure that every student in grades TK-12 has a Chromebook for the start of the school year that can be used both at school and at home. Integrating Chromebooks into our classrooms presents an opportunity for us to continue to personalize and accelerate learning. Providing access to Chromebooks also allows for learning to continue beyond classroom walls.
 
At the July 28 meeting of the Board of Education at 7:00 pm, additional information about all these topics will be shared. For information about how to watch the meeting, please click here.
 
Wishing you all a safe and great summer,
 
 
Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent - Monrovia Unified School District

A Moment in Monrovia History: Real Estate Office in 1887

Monroe & Pile Real Estate Office January 1, 1887. See full details here. From the Myron Hotchkiss collection.

For more historic photos and papers, see the Monrovia Historical Society’s complete Legacy Project collection here. Learn more about the Monrovia Historical Society here.

- Brad Haugaard

Police Report on Fatal Crash on Magnolia

Monrovia Police press release on fatal crash at the north end of Magnolia Ave.:

"On Sunday, July 18, at 6:51 a.m., a male adult motorist was traveling alone, north in the 400 – 500 blocks of N. Magnolia. According to witnesses the driver was traveling approximately 100 MPH. The posted speed limit is 25 MPH. The vehicle struck a curb, then overturned and caught fire. The driver did not survive the collision. No other persons were injured from this collision. The Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) from Arcadia PD responded to assist with the investigation. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Investigators also responded. The investigation will determine if other associated factors were present other than speed."

- Brad Haugaard

Pickup Truck Hits Wall and Burns


According to early information, A pick up truck traveling at a high rate of speed up Magnolia Avenue about 7 a.m. today ran directly into a wall at the north end of the street and exploded, sending a cloud of smoke into the air and drawing police and firefighters from Monrovia and Arcadia to the scene.

- Brad Haugaard 

View The Moon Tonight With Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers

Monrovia's Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will be letting people peek through their telescopes at about 8 p.m. today in Library Park, at the corner of Lime and Myrtle. The group reports that, "We will mainly have the Moon tonight. Venus sets shortly after sunset, and Saturn rises about 9 p.m. (although it will take some time to clear the buildings)."

- Brad Haugaard

More Study on Starbucks/Chick-fil-A Project; Dog Park And Other Issues

At its next meeting (https://is.gd/WTT8t9) the Monrovia City Council will ...

~ Likely put off until later the main item on the agenda, granting a conditional use permit to construct a Starbucks and Chick-fil-A at the current Claim Jumper site. City staff is recommending waiting until the August 3 meeting "to allow the applicant and staff to submit additional information for City Council review" and because "the applicant is also exploring options to address concerns raised at the public hearing." That main concern seems to be the fate of an old sycamore (I think it was) tree on the site. An independent arborist will report on this. https://is.gd/zdDvU6

~ Review directives (https://is.gd/wTzrW3) the council has given staff:

  • Do outreach and planning related to a dog park.
  • Request a meeting with District Attorney Gascon to discuss his Special Directives. 
  • Place rotating mayor issue on June 2022 ballot.
  • Have staff "discourage" the use of non-native palm trees on development projects.
  • Find out what happens if the main San Gabriel Valley aquifer drops further.
  • Council to resume in-person meetings on September 7.
  • Consider a plaque in council chambers to honor Pam Fitzpatrick. 

- Brad Haugaard


Artist Alley Gallery Reopens With July 25 Artist Reception at Community Center


The public is invited to a free Artist Reception on Sunday, July 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. featuring works by four MAFA artists installed on the walls of the Monrovia Community Center:

Jarrett Camp - Pointilism and stipple art

Roy Chang - Photography

Sharon Romero - Mosaic

Keith Slover - Watercolor and ink illustration

Students from Clifton Middle School's Arts Academy have also been invited to display their art.

Rivanis Baking Company will provide a delicious spread of treats and hors d'oeuvres and Wine of the Month Club has donated the adult beverages.


Reception guests will enjoy the sounds of live music from Lobo Reese, a Monrovia-based musical ensemble playing rock, surf, jazz and bossa nova gems.


From July 25 until Oct. 23, the artwork will be on display and for sale on the walls during the Center's opening hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 119 W. Palm Ave.


Coming this fall: Join us for the next Artist Reception on Oct. 24 featuring these MAFA artists' work, displayed until Jan. 30, 2022:


Melissa Ahaus - Oil and acrylic painting

Jeni Bate - Mixed media painting

Traci Loving - Mixed media art

John Parker - Graphite and ink art


Source: Press release from Monrovia Association of Fine Arts


- Brad Haugaard

Where Did Orphan Bear Cub Go?

On the Nextdoor social media website, Monrovian Kim Collins reports that an apparently orphaned bear cub is wandering around the Lincoln/Madison/5th Avenue area. 

She adds that the California Department of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed that there is room for the cub at its rehab center, but where has the critter gotten to?

Collins says that if you see the cub send a text regarding its exact location and time to Rebecca Barboza, Biologist at Fish & Game: (562) 754-9741, letting her know it's an update regarding orphaned cub in North Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia To Help Pay For Bikes, Bike Parts; Also, Weekly Bike Rider Raffles

Using the bicycle route tracking map.

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

The city has launched a new GoMonrovia website, here: https://gomonrovia.com/

... and a new program - as part of GoMonrovia - to encourage bicycle use. It is called Biking for Bucks and provides reimbursements to those who live or work in Monrovia "for purchases related to bicycle transportation and accessories." There will also be weekly raffles to encourage people to ride their bikes and share their activity on a bicycling map, shown above.

- Brad Haugaard

Teen Scene Program Is Back

- Brad Haugaard

Have Coffee With a Cop


(That's the Starbucks at the corner of Huntington and Magnolia.)

- Brad Haugaard