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Upcoming Monrovia-San Dimas Game / Fun Run Signs Up

Cats vs San Dimas ~ Speculation about the upcoming Wildcats-San Dimas football game. and
Fountain to the Falls ~ We mentioned this "fun-run" already, but here's a picture from Canyon Park of one of the signs to direct runners/walkers/loafers on their way to the falls.
- Brad Haugaard

Metro Station Development / Photo Contest

Development Rendering ~ Early architect's rendering of proposed Monrovia Metro area development.
Interactive Map ~ Data and a cool interactive map of extended Metro rail line. (Click on "Interactive Map").
Photo Contest ~ If you're a photographer, you might want to enter the My Monrovia contest. Theme is "Let's Celebrate." Details here (PDF):
- Brad Haugaard

Chess Boxes / Parade / Trains

I'd never noticed these decorated utility boxes at the library before. Right next to some chess tables.

Parade ~ Monrovia Holiday Parade - "Tinsel, Trees & Teddy Bears” - this Thursday at 7 p.m. Featuring thousands of local youngsters - and Santa! Also, Library Park Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m., just before the parade.

Train Station ~ History of old Monrovia Train station.
- Brad Haugaard

New Restaurant

Nikki C's, a new restaurant, coming to Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Wildcats Beat Schurr :-)

The final score for Friday night's football game was Monrovia 21, Schurr 7.

Monrovia victory sets up rematch with San Dimas. and

- Brad Haugaard

Black Friday in Monrovia

Kohl's looked busy but not insane from the parking lot, but inside the line to the check-out was crazy. It must have been 200 people long, winding throughout the store. I hope this is the start of a great retail season. We could use it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Holiday Events: Toy Drive, Etc.

You're barely done with the turkey and more holiday events coming up.

Today the Family Festival Street Fair will have a holiday theme, and there will be a "Stuff the Trolley Toy Drive" tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus carolers and special merchant events, all along Myrtle Avenue.

But there's lots more stuff. See this nice list from the city (PDF):
- Brad Haugaard

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! (Tree on N. Magnolia Ave.)

Also ...

Football ~ A tidbit of Monrovia and Schurr football history.

Sinclair ~ History of the Upton Sinclair house.
- Brad Haugaard

Go Away Bear!

I snapped this picture of a bear rummaging around in our backyard (on Hillcrest in Monrovia) just a few minutes ago. I found that forcefully saying "Go away bear!" from beside the illusory safety of a door that can quickly be shut was most effective.

- Brad Haugaard

Turkeys for All!

People heeded the call for turkeys for Foothill Unity Center's Thanksgiving food distribution program. From the Center's Facebook page: "Turkeys by the dozens flew in under the wire, and by the time our clients started lining up for our Thanksgiving Distribution, we had a bird for every family. We can't thank you enough!"

- Brad Haugaard

Burglaries, Thefts and a Fire

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 18-23. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last six day period, the Police Department handled 448 service events, resulting in 88 investigations. Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:

Vehicle Burglary
November 18 at 8:04 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 800 block of West Duarte regarding a vehicle burglary. The victim reported his vehicle was broken into during the night. The driver side door was pried open and the stereo and two CD cases containing about 20 CD's were taken.

Grand Theft
November 18 at 9:38 a.m., an officer went to a business in the 3300 block of South Peck to investigate a grand theft. He arrived and was told that sets of aluminum rims were stolen from the property some time during the night.

Residential Burglary - Suspects Arrested
November 18 at 1148 a.m., a caller reported two females were taking a large screen television from her neighbor's house. The suspects drove off in a black Infiniti. The caller reported a license plate number, but the DMV check did not return to an Infinity. Variations of the license number were checked and a match on a 1994 Infinity out of the City of Pacoima was made. The Los Angeles Police Department was called and provided with the crime information. The officer requested they drive by the residence to check for the vehicle. The Los Angeles Police Department later called the officer and advised they had the vehicle detained with two female adults and two child occupants. A large screen television and a computer were found inside the vehicle. The officer responded to Pacoima and arrested the two female suspects, recovered the property, and impounded the vehicle. The children were released to family members.

Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
November 18 at 12:39 p.m., an officer was flagged down regarding a suspicious vehicle in the area of Colorado and Gladys. The vehicle was located by officers and stopped. The female driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Structure Fire
November 20 at 12:36 a.m., dispatch received several calls reporting a structure fire at an apartment complex in the 700 block of West Foothill. When officers arrived they determined that no persons or animals were inside. Smoke filled the entire complex. Monrovia and Arcadia Fire Departments responded, along with two Arcadia police officers to help with traffic control, while Monrovia officers made sure everyone in the building was safe.

Grand Theft - Suspect Arrested
November 20 at 2:01 p.m., an officer took a grand theft report from a victim that had just realized her jewelry was missing from her home. She had not looked for her jewel for months. Recently, she went to the place were she hid her jewelry box and found the contents gone. There was only one person that had been at her home in the past several months, a relative. The officer confronted the suspect and he admitted to the theft. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Commercial Burglary - Suspect Arrested
November 20 at 2:57 p.m., a business in the 100 block of West Foothill reported a shoplifter in the store. An adult female suspect had been seen previously taking baby formula, using a bag to conceal it and leaving the store without paying. Employees saw the suspect enter the store carrying the same bag she used in the prior burglaries. They called police and an officer responded. The suspect was stopped by the officer, but did not possess identification. She was taken into custody and interviewed. The suspect was identified on surveillance video tape of the burglaries. She was charged with three counts of burglary.

Residential Burglary
November 23 at 12:38 a.m., an officer responded to a residence in the 300 block of South Canyon on the report of a burglary. The victim left his house to go to dinner and when he returned, he found his house had been burglarized. No force was used to enter the home; however, a room inside that was locked had a hole punched through it to gain access. Investigation continuing.

Kiwanis / Strategy / Turkey / AeroVironment

Kiwanis Help ~ Monrovia Kiwanis help out at Foothill Unity Center's Thanksgiving food distribution.

Cat Strategy ~ Thoughts on Monrovia Wildcat football strategy.

Non-Tasty Turkey ~ Not the tastiest turkey, but surely one of the prettiest.

AeroVironment Award ~ CEO of San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership on AeroVironment award.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Street Decorations

Nice lighted-ball decorations along Myrtle Avenue.

- Brad Haugaard

Small Biz / Schurr Game / Rail Yard / Native Heritage

Small Business Saturday ~ Monrovia businesses are participating in a national movement to encourage shoppers to shop at local small businesses. This year, November 27th is the first Small Business Saturday.
Wildcats vs. Schurr ~ Thoughts on the 11/26 Monrovia-Schurr football game. and
Gold Line Maintenance Yard ~ Formerly dubious Monrovia residents near the proposed Gold Line maintenance yard now are more open to the idea.
Native Heritage ~ There will be stories, songs, a craft and film honoring Native American Heritage Month today, Nov. 23, 6:30 – 8 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Free for everyone
- Brad Haugaard

Ochoa / Fountain to Falls / Water Use Down / Credit Cards

Ochoa Staying in Monrovia ~ City Manager Scott Ochoa says in his weekly report that he is not planning to leave Monrovia. He said he missed the last City Council meeting "to facilitate a facet of the City's ongoing professional development efforts." That, he said, also let Mark Alvarado get a bit of experience as acting City Manager. "No," Ochoa writes, "I am not leaving Monrovia - and I am reasonably sure that the Council does not desire such a transition."
Signs for Race ~ The "Fountain to the Falls" fun/run race planned for Monrovia Day 2011 will be enhanced by signs along the trail in Monrovia Canyon Park put up by Jeffrey Ramos as his Eagle Scout Candidate project. The walking/jogging/hiking route, by the way, goes north on Myrtle from the Library Park fountain to Hillcrest, east to Canyon Boulevard, north to the entrance of the Park and from there to the trail that leads to the falls.
Water Usage Down ~ According to the City Manager's weekly report, "Water consumption is 42 million gallons, a decrease of 10% compared to reported water usage at this time last year." Interesting. Well, it has been a bit rainy.

Credit Card Use Down ~ Monrovia-based Green Dot says 69% of consumers will not use a credit card for Christmas gifts.
- Brad Haugaard

Thankfulness / CIF Champs? / Movies

Thankful ~ Members of Monrovia First Presbyterian Church tell what they are thankful for.

MHS 'Will Win' ~ Star-News columnist Miguel Melendez is getting mighty confident: "Monrovia High School will win the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship."

History ~ Old Monrovia movie company failed because didn't pay its taxes.

- Brad Haugaard

Rubber Duck Dunk

Rubber duckies at the start of today's YMCA Rubber Duck Dunk fundraiser event.
- Brad Haugaard

Thanksgiving / Leadership

Thanksgiving for Kids ~ This afternoon, Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m., the library will have stories, songs, crafts and a film about the holiday of thanks, turkey, and football! In the Library's Story Room.  For information, call 626-256-8256.
Leadership Camp ~ The Rotary Club of Monrovia has sent five 8th graders to leadership camp this weekend.  Two from Clifton Middle School and three from Santa Fe Middle School.
- Brad Haugaard

Football: Monrovia 42, Gladstone 3 :-)

In the opening playoff game for the CIF Championship the Wildcats walked over Gladstone.

Game pix:

From Star-News comments: "Congrats to those Monrovia guys, It was like a blur."

- Brad Haugaard

Enter Your Home in Decorating Contest

If you are planning to decorate your house for the holidays, you might want to enter the City of Monrovia's Holiday Home Decorating Contest. Applications due Dec. 10; judging Dec. 13. See attached images.

- Brad Haugaard

A Mayors' Workshop

Local mayors gather to discuss common issues.

By Mayor Mary Ann Lutz

Information and information sharing is critically important to an elected official.  Finding out what works well in some cities – and what doesn’t, and why – helps communities like Monrovia identify new solutions and opportunities.  To that end, earlier this year I had an idea to pull together a group of Mayors from our region. 

The vision was to have a Mayor’s workshop with our Congressmen David Dreier.  A working meeting whereby each Mayor from the 26th Congressional District could sit across from the Congressman and conduct an honest discussion of the challenges facing our communities and how they relate to the Federal Government. 

Our City staff and I spent the better part of the summer planning, scheduling and rescheduling this workshop; coordinating with Mayors, the Congressman’s office, and reviewing potential topics for the meeting.

The vision became a reality at the Monrovia Public Library Community Room, on November 1, 2010.   Even though this was the day before the mid-term elections, the Congressman and thirteen Mayors of the seventeen cities in the District embarked on this challenging discussion.

During the two hour session, we divided the discussion into four main topics: Transportation and Transit, Job Creation, Public Safety, and Water and Open Space.  Ultimately, we covered a wide range of important topics that affect our individual cities, in addition to the region, the state, and in some cases, the nation.

The main themes of the wide-ranging discussion were:

* The inability to return to the former process of using appropriations earmarks to secure federal funding for local projects.  That said, the Congressman indicated that the massive transit/transportation appropriation “SAFETEA-LU” must and will move forward;

* The priority that the Gold Line Foothill Extension and Alameda Corridor East (ACE) have been among Congressman Dreier’s key projects.  The Congressman will use every effort to close funding gaps for these hugely important projects;

* The harsh reality that some programs – even popular endeavors like the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants, – may be sacrificed in order to help rein in federal spending.  However, the Congressman was very interested in hearing from the Mayors about the effectiveness of the COPS program; and

* The need to preserve and protect wildland areas and water resources in our region.  Congressman Dreier discussed at length his Wilderness Preservation Initiative, as well as the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act.

In summary, this workshop provided an excellent forum to have an open and direct dialogue with our Congressman, David Dreier. 

The Mayors are grateful for the time the Congressman took away from his busy schedule – on the day before Election Day, no less.  I am just as appreciative to the Mayors for their time and invaluable perspective.  

The continued vision: that these beneficial workshops continue as we all strive to move our communities, and the nation forward.

Boxing Champ / Win CIF? / Need Turkeys / Lawsuit

Boxing Champ ~ Monrovia guidance counselor wins world boxing title.
Football Prediction ~ Monrovia High will win the CIF Mid-Valley Division championship.
Turkey SOS ~ Foothill Unity Center needs turkeys!
Burglary Arrests ~ Sisters arrested on burglary charges.
Firefighter's Lawsuit ~ A bit more on the lawsuit filed against Monrovia by Fire Captain Dave Rapp.
- Brad Haugaard

Lining Up for Harry Potter

Library fountain at night, looking towards the Monrovia Krikorian theater. A little closer, people lined up for the midnight showing of the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Brad Haugaard

Rubber Duck Dunk / Old-Tech at Schools

Dunk a Duck ~ Santa Anita Family Y is having a Rubber Duck Dunk to support its Youth & Government Program this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Y. Adopt a duck for $5 for a chance to win more than 20 prizes.

Old Computers ~ Monrovia schools make do with old-tech.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Report - Nov. 11 - 17

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 11-17. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 495 service events, resulting in 102 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:
Domestic Violence - Suspects Arrested
November 14 at 6:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 900 block of South Ivy regarding a domestic violence incident in progress.  Through investigation, it was determined that the ex-husband of the victim and his new girlfriend arrived at the ex-wife's house to return their children.  The ex-wife became angry and yelled obscenities at her ex-husband.  The ex-husband exited his vehicle and threw his ex-wife to the ground and punched and kicked her.  The new girlfriend also exited the vehicle and punched the ex-wife.  Family members intervened and broke up the fight.  The ex-wife sustained visible injuries to her face and body.  The officers arrested the ex-husband for domestic violence and the new girlfriend was arrested for battery.
Mental Evaluation
November 14 at 8:12 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 1600 block of Pilgrim regarding an attempt suicide.  The subject had a knife and had cut his wrists and arms.  When Officers arrived, the subject had fled the location on foot.  Containment of the area was set up and a helicopter was requested to assist in the search.  The subject was located and a foot pursuit ensued.  The subject was still holding the knife, but tossed it and attempted to jump over a residential wall to get away.  The officer maintained a safe distance from the subject and deployed his taser, which had an immediate affect.  The subject was apprehended without further incident.  The subject was taken to a hospital to be treated for his self-inflicted injuries, which were determined to be superficial.   He was held for a 72-hour mental evaluation.
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested     
November 16 at 9:43 p.m., an officer observed a driver turn east off of Canyon into the westbound lanes of Huntington.  The driver saw the officer and appeared to hesitate, stopping in the middle of the lanes.  The officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for driving the wrong way on a divided highway.  The officer determined that the driver was driving under the influence.  The driver was arrested.  The driver's blood alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit. 
Grand Theft Auto
November 17 at 12:23 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Norumbega regarding a stolen vehicle.  The victim was visiting in the area and came out to find her tan, 2001 Dodge Durango missing from in front of the home.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
November 17 at 12:31 a.m., an officer responded to a business in the 800 block of West Huntington.  An employee came out from work and discovered his white, 1990 Honda Accord had been stolen.  Investigation continuing.

Alleys of Monrovia

Quite a few classic old vehicles (and other stuff) in the back alleys of Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

McCarthy UCLA Offer / AeroVironment / Decorated Tree / Miss Monrovia

McCarthy ~ Wildcat football player Ellis McCarthy has been offered a scholarship to play for UCLA.

Electric Charging ~ Monrovia's AeroVironment is teaming up with NRG Energy, Inc. to build the first privately-funded, comprehensive electric vehicle charging ecosystem, which will be located in the Houston area.

Decorations ~ Library Park tree gets its Christmas clothes.

Miss Monrovia ~ Briana DeCoster will compete in the Miss California Pageant.

- Brad Haugaard

Diver / Sergeant / Council / MAP / Wilderness / Another Monrovia

Diver ~ University of Michigan signs Monrovian Emily Boyd to diving team.

Sergeant Cleared ~ Monrovia police sergeant cleared of abuse allegations.

City Council ~ The latest Monrovia City Council video is online.

MAP Grads ~ Pix of the Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) grads:

Wilderness ~ Details on the new wilderness plan

The Other Monrovia ~ Our namesake, Monrovia, Liberia, has its own unique form of news media.

- Brad Haugaard

Mid-Valley Champs? / Track Ready? / Pipe Corral

PREDICTION ~ Monrovia will be Mid-Valley Division champion.

TRACK WILL BE READY FOR GAME ~ Monrovia High's new track should be ready in time for Wildcats' first CIF game, against Gladstone.

PIPE CORRAL ~ There is not much left of the old cabin on the Ben Overturf trail, but this pipe corral has stood the test of time.

- Brad Haugaard

Turkey / Maggie Clark

SPARE TURKEY? ~ Foothill Unity Center of Monrovia is distributing Thanksgiving food boxes to an unprecedented 1,400 low-income families next week and is still short 300 turkeys. "If you can donate a fresh or frozen bird, or a gift card for one, we'd be grateful if you could drop it off by 5 p.m. Friday at our Monrovia HQ, 415 W. Chestnut. (Feeling extra-sweet? We also need pies!)"


MAYFLOWER TEACHER HONORED ~ Teacher Maggie Clark honored posthumously.

- Brad Haugaard

Gardening / Dates

Monrovia-specific gardening tips.

History: Monrovia Date Packing.

- Brad Haugaard

Football: Wildcats to Face Gladstone

In the CIF playoffs, Monrovia High faces Gladstone.

- Brad Haugaard

Football: Wildcats Rio Hondo Champs :-)

Wildcats take league championship with strong win over La CaƱada.

- Brad Haugaard

Kidnapping Arrest / Volleyball Loss

Monrovia man arrested in kidnapping case.
Wildcat volleyball team loses to La Reina.
- Brad Haugaard

Veterans Day

Veterans Day ceremony at Library Park. I'm a Cold War vet, so if you are planning a war I can recommend that as the best kind.
- Brad Haugaard

ReNEWabottle / Schools to Charge Rent / Nick Bueno

RECYCLED BOTTLE ~ Naked Juice, of Monrovia, is introducing a 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottle for its fruit and vegetable juices. The company is calling it the "reNEWabottle" and estimates it will reduce new plastic consumption by 7.4 million pounds per year.

RENTAL FEE ~ The Monrovia Unified School District plans to charge organizations for using its facilities.

NICK BUENO ~ A profile of Monrovia High School quarterback star Nick Bueno.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Loses to Cerritos / Runner in Jennerstown / MHS Salutes Vets / Council Agenda

CERRITOS MOST BUSINESS FRIENDLY ~ Cerritos has been named the most business friendly city in LA County with a population under 60,000, beating out Monrovia, which was also a finalist. The award was given by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
RUNNER IN JENNERSTOWN ~ Monrovia lonnng-distance runner, 56-year-old John Radich, has passed through Jennerstown, Pennsylvania, in his quest to run from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He hopes to cool his feet in the Atlantic later this month.
MONROVIA HIGH SALUTES VETS ~ California National Guard Captain Robert Parry raised a flag flown in Afghanistan over Monrovia High School.
COUNCIL AGENDA ONLINE ~ The agenda for the November 16 City Council meeting is now online. You can see it here:
One item on the agenda that caught my eye was a proposal to spend $8.3 million to make improvements to parks throughout Monrovia. I was amazed how much things cost. For example, at Canyon Park, for "Nature Center fencing and display repairs" and "Entry station exterior renovation," it would cost $150,000. Wow! However, it seems unlikely the renovations will proceed in the near future because the report indicates that: "Presently, there is insufficient funding to complete these projects...."
- Brad Haugaard

Church Team Back from Mexico Orphanage

A team from First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia has returned safely from San Juan Bosco Orphanage in Tecate, Mexico, where team members painted the medical clinic, played with the children, gave the orphanage $700 and delivered several months worth of toiletries and cleaning supplies.
- Brad Haugaard

Antonovich Warns of 'Rocky Future'

Michael Antonovich, the Los Angeles County Supervisor who represents Monrovia and much of the San Gabriel Valley, is warning that local governments may be in for serious trouble. On Twitter he writes this series of posts:
"California's projected deficit has ballooned to $25.4 billion -- a direct result of budget being built on a house of cards.
"This deficit will severely impact every county, city and school district in the state.
"We are all in for a rocky future -- especially if the state expects the federal gov't to come to its rescue by just printing money
"The State and all local gov'ts will be forced to review all labor agreements and commit to provide only funded mandated programs"
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Report - Nov. 4-9

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 4-9. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last six day period, the Police Department handled 433 service events, resulting in 85 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:

Vehicle Burglary
November 4 at 9:55 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 300 block of West Central on a vehicle burglary report.  The victim, a perfume distributor, told the officer that someone had broken into his vehicle overnight and had stolen his perfume supply from his vehicle.  The suspect smashed a rear window of the vehicle to gain entry.  The victim's vehicle was parked in his complex.

Grand Theft Auto
November 4 at 10:56 a.m., an officer responded to the 100 block of North Fifth regarding a stolen vehicle.  The victim reported his 2005, green, Ford truck was stolen during the night.  The victim has accounted for all sets of keys.

Attempt Burglary
November 4 at 2:56 p.m., an officer went to the 300 block of West Duarte regarding an attempt burglary.  The reporting party told the officer that someone had entered the laundry room and tried to break into the coin operated washers.  It appears the suspect used some type of flat screwdriver or pry bar in their attempt.  There was no loss other than the damage to the coin receptacles.

October 5 at 7:50 a.m., an officer went to the 200 block of West Lemon on a burglary call.  The victim told the officer she secured her garage at 10:30 p.m. and went in the house.  She returned to the garage the next morning and saw the side door damaged.  She looked around and discovered some miscellaneous items missing from her garage.

Grand Theft
October 5 at 2:19 p.m., an officer responded to the 300 block of North Bradoaks regarding a grand theft.  The victim reported that he had three mini collectible firearms in a wooden display box stolen from his house last month.  He believes they were taken by a person who came to the house to work on his cable television.

Vehicle Burglary
November 5 at 10:45 p.m., a female subject parked and secured her vehicle in a parking lot across from a bar in the 300 block of West Foothill.  At approximately 2:30 a.m., the victim returned to her vehicle and discovered her right rear window was smashed and two purses had been taken from inside the vehicle.

Spousal Battery - Suspect Arrested     
November 5 at 10:57 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the area of Fig and Ivy regarding a suspicious person.  Upon arrival, the officer contacted a male subject who was standing in the intersection.  His mouth was bleeding.  The subject's wife was located west of the intersection.
The investigation revealed that the couple was driving westbound on the 210 Freeway, approaching the Myrtle off-ramp, when they got into a fight.  As they exited the freeway, the wife jumped out of the vehicle and ran to the corner of Central and Ivy.  The husband also exited the vehicle, chased her on foot and became physical with her.  Approximately four to five citizens came out of a house to help the wife.  One of the citizens punched the husband in the mouth and knocked him to the ground.  All of the citizens returned to their home without further incident.  The wife did not have visible injuries.  The husband was arrested for spousal battery. 

Warrants / Possession of Marijuana - Suspect Arrested
November 6 at 7:15 p.m., an officer observed a speeding motorist in the area of Myrtle and Live Oak.  He was attempting to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle when the driver immediately stopped and let out a passenger, who fled on foot.  The driver then continued on in the vehicle for a short distance, but then yielded at Live Oak and Tenth. The officer detained the driver at gunpoint until assisting officers from Monrovia and Arcadia Police Departments arrived.  A subsequent investigation revealed the driver had outstanding warrants and a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.  The driver was also found to be a convicted child molester.  He was arrested and taken into custody.  The passenger was not apprehended and his identity is unknown.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon - Suspect Arrested
November 7 at 1:35 a.m., officers responded to a bar in the 300 block of South Myrtle regarding a fight in progress.  Upon arrival, officers located a victim with a head injury.  Witnesses provided a description of the suspect and the suspect vehicle, which was last seen southbound on Myrtle.  The Foothill Air Support helicopter was monitoring the police frequency and responded to the area.  The helicopter located the suspect vehicle entering the 210 Freeway, eastbound.  Monrovia police units were able to catch up to the vehicle and officers conducted a high-risk stop on Azusa Avenue, south of the freeway.  Officers from Azusa and Irwindale Police Departments arrived to assist and the suspect was taken into custody.  The suspect had kicked the victim in the head when he was lying on the ground.  The victim positively identified the suspect and he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.   

Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
November 8 at 9:23 p.m., officers were patrolling a park in the 400 block of North Grand when they observed seven subjects near the base of some stairs.  They contacted the group and had additional officers respond.  While questioning one subject, the officers noted that he appeared to have something in his mouth.  Officers discovered he was attempting to conceal a baggie containing six foil-wrapped tabs of LSD.  The officers were able to recover the evidence without incident and the subject was arrested. 

Wanted Burglary Suspect Apprehended
Monrovia detectives issued a wanted person warrant for a burglary suspect.  The suspect is also the subject of recent allegations of drug sales near Monrovia schools.  On November 9 at approximately 1:30 a.m., an officer on patrol observed the wanted burglary suspect in the 300 block of Norumbega and was able to detain and arrest him.

Volleyball - Monrovia 3, Paloma Valley 0 :-)

VOLLEYBALL ~ Monrovia won its first playoff game against Paloma Valley 3-0.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Department / Restaurant / Fun-Run / Less Gang Crime

A few items of interest from City Manager Scott Ochoa's weekly report:
BATTLE TO CONTROL FIRE DEPARTMENT? ~ City Manager Scott Ochoa said he believes a lawsuit by the president of the Monrovia Firefighters' Association is, in his opinion, "about control over the Fire Department. Folks have tried to make it about safety (remember the fracas over the grant-funded regional procurement of firefighter breathing apparatus?), but couldn't; they've tried to make it about ethics (the aborted D.A. investigation), but couldn't. This is about control and change in organizational culture. Thus, with apologies to the community for the ignominy of having this power-play play out in public, all I can offer is that sometimes these situations simply need to work themselves out."
JAPANESE RESTAURANT ~ Oto Oto, an authentic, upscale Japanese restaurant will open at the northeast corner of Huntington Drive and Fifth Avenue. He said that Oto Oto's parent corporation, Ramla Ltd., owns and operates more than 150 restaurants in Japan, and this Monrovia location represents their first venture into California and the U.S.
FOUNTAIN TO FALLS ~ The Community Services Department is preparing a "Fountain to the Falls" run for the 2011 Monrovia Days celebration. The run will begin at the Library Park Fountain, follow a more than 3.5-mile route up to the Canyon Park Falls, and then return to the park. Community and non-profit groups can use the fun-run as a fundraising vehicle. Contact the Community Services Department for more details.
LESS CRIME ~ Operation Safe Neighborhoods, a city-county gang effort, has "identified and served due process on a number of local gang members, while at the same time we are noting that long-time gang members appear to be avoiding Monrovia or, at least, trying to be inconspicuous - that is, not breaking the law. Either way is fine by us. Serious (Part I) crime continues to be down in Monrovia during this quarter."
- Brad Haugaard

Hillsides / Green Dot / Cats / School Arts / Cheap Shopping

PICNIC AREAS ~ Monrovia hillside areas may get more visitor amenities such as picnic areas and parking.
STOCK OFFERING ~ Monrovia's Green Dot corporation plans to launch $100 million public stock offering.
FERAL CATS ~ Animal shelter reports overpopulation of feral cats, so neuter your kitties.

ART PROGRAM ~ After-school arts program at Plymouth School.

CHEAP SHOPPING ~ Monrovia's has suggestions for cheap holiday shopping.

- Brad Haugaard

Events: Veterans / History / Prayer / Santa

VETS DAY ~ Nov. 11. This Thursday is the Monrovia Veterans Day Ceremony held at Monrovia Library Park at 11 a.m.

NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY ~ Nov. 13. Monrovia Public Library will celebrate National Native American History Month and the rich traditions of the first Californians with the Costanoan-Rumsen-Carmel People. There will be dancing, drumming, storytelling and history. At the Library bandshell from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. No reservations necessary. For more information call 626-256-8274 and ask for Adult Services Reference. (Monrovia Library, 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia).

MAYOR'S PRAYER BREAKFAST ~ Nov. 19. The annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. on November 19 at the Doubletree Hotel at 924 Huntington Drive. Dr. John Mastrogiovanni of the Jesus is Lord Christian Center will speak on "Our Family, Our Community." It is a buffet breakfast. Cost is $25. RSVP by November 15 to the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce: 358-1159.

SANTA ~ Santa's getting ready to join us in Old Town Monrovia starting the Friday after Thanksgiving! Lots of free family fun for everyone.

- Brad Haugaard

Recall / Runner / Mayor / Volunteers

TRADER JOE RECALL ~ Monrovia's Trader Joe markets is recalling Cilantro Dressing, Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette dressing, Cilantro Pecan Dip and Spicy Thai Pasta Salad. Possibly salmonella in the cilantro.
RUNNER REACHES PITTSBURGH ~ Monrovia runner John Radich is getting close to his goal of running across the country. He is now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
HISTORY ~ Second Monrovia mayor was also governor of New Mexico.
HELP FOR THANKSGIVING ~ For Thanksgiving, the Foothill Unity Center of Monrovia needs food, volunteers, and adopters to make local kids' gift wishes come true. Email
- Brad Haugaard

Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations are going up. Whatever happened to poor old Thanksgiving?

- Brad Haugaard

Football: Wildcats 48, South Pas 7 :-)

Monrovia keeps rolling.



- Brad Haugaard

School Policies and Hate

At its meeting this coming Wednesday, the Monrovia School Board will consider adopting revisions to its Pupil Personnel Services Board Policies, including the following:
- Tobacco use
- Positive school climate (no bullying, etc.)
- Asthma management
- Child abuse prevention and reporting
- Suicide prevention and intervention
- School health services
- Hate motivated behavior
Opinion: The one item here that gives me the heebie jeebies is "Hate motivated behavior." While I sympathize with the motivation behind this item, I think it should be pulled and reworded because it appears that half the school population would be guilty within a week of setting foot on campus. Further, it seems to outlaw students' First Amendment right of free speech.
Specifically, it outlaws "discriminatory behavior or statements that degrade an individual on the basis of his/her actual or perceived race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, sex, sexual orientation, physical/mental attributes, or religious beliefs or practices."
So ...
~ If there is a class that includes students of European descent and an instructor criticizes European immigrants' treatment of Native Americans, has the teacher made a discriminatory statement against those students' race, ethnicity, culture or heritage? Should that instructor be disciplined?
~ If a student tells Christian students that he dislikes the Christian church for its stand on homosexuality, will that student be disciplined for a discriminatory statement against those students' religious beliefs?
~ And if a Christian student tells a homosexual student that homosexuality is wrong, is that student going to be disciplined for a discriminatory statement against someone of a particular sexual orientation?
I could go on, but I really think the object is to encourage a POLITE exchange of ideas, not to prevent ideas from being exchanged.
- Brad Haugaard

More Students Going than Coming

Well, this is a bit concerning. It looks from this graph as if more students want to transfer OUT of Monrovia schools then want to transfer IN. This is a topic at Wednesday's School Board meeting (Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m.).

Here is the item:

Here is the full meeting agenda:
- Brad Haugaard

Where in Monrovia?

Kind of a slow news day (except remember the Kiwanis Club Magic Show at Clifton Middle School at 7 p.m. - doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $10; call 358-8988. There may be some tickets for sale at the door), so ... Where was I? Oh yeah, slow news day so far, so here's one of my amateurish paintings. Can anyone guess where this is in Monrovia? Hint: somewhere north of Huntington Drive.
- Brad Haugaard

Oak-Killing Bug / Etc.

~ Oak-killing bug may spread here from San Diego County,

~ AeroVironment receives customer service award.

~ Off-duty Monrovia Police lieutenant spots stolen vehicle.

~ Boutique at First Lutheran Church, Nov. 6, 2010  8 a.m. - 1 p.m., 1323 So. Magnolia Ave. Monrovia. Baby blankets, accent blankets, tied quilts, aprons,  gift items, greeting cards, and Christmas items.

- Brad Haugaard

Refrigerator Bear and Burglaries

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for October 28 to November 3. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven day period, the Police Department handled 536 service events, resulting in 81 investigations.  Following are the last week's highlighted issues and events:

Residential Burglary
October 29 at 1:42 p.m., an officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Beechworth Avenue on the report of a burglary.  The victim left his garage door open.  The suspect took gardening equipment from inside and then fled the area.   

Bear Incident
October 30 at 3:12 a.m., an officer responded to the 1000 block of Norumbega regarding a bear incident.  The bear had entered the detached garage of a residence and forced entry into a refrigerator.  The bear took meat out of the refrigerator and left the location.

Grand Theft Auto Recovery - Suspect Arrested
October 31 at 4:39 a.m., an officer was patrolling in the 500 block of Sherman when he observed a suspicious vehicle occupied by two subjects.  The officer ran the vehicle's license plate and discovered it was reported stolen out of San Dimas.  The officer arrested the person in the driver's seat and completed an identification card on the passenger.  It was later determined the suspect had rented the vehicle and did not return it as agreed upon.  The owner then reported it stolen.

Driving Under the Influence / Suspect Arrested
November 2 at 2:11 a.m., an officer responded to the report of a suspicious vehicle driving around the area of Bradbury and Royal Oaks.  The officer located and stopped a vehicle for traffic violations that matched the description of the vehicle.  The driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was too impaired to drive a motor vehicle safely.  The driver was arrested and taken into custody.

Robbery / Witness Intimidation / Drug Activity - Suspects Arrested
November 2 at 6:32 p.m., the victim of a strong-arm robbery that occurred on Wednesday, October 27, called police.  He reported that he just saw the two suspects, who are known gang members, on Duarte Road.  He said they were threatening and following him as he was walking down Duarte Road.  Officers responded and conducted an area search for the suspects.  They located four juveniles at an elementary school in Arcadia.  One of the juveniles was wanted for the strong arm robbery, and was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine.  He was arrested for suspicion of robbery, possession of methamphetamine and witness intimidation.   A second juvenile suspect was arrested for witness intimidation.  The third juvenile attempted to run from officers, and the forth was found to be in possession of marijuana, both were arrested.  The juvenile wanted in the robbery was booked and taken to Eastlake Juvenile Hall.  The other three were cited and later released to their parents at the station.

72-Hour Mental Evaluation
November 2 at 7:46 p.m., a caller reported to police that her neighbor appeared to be under the influence of drugs.  She stated that he was in an argument with his girlfriend and he jumped through a living room window.  She reported that a piece of glass struck the girlfriend, who was bleeding.  Officers responded and detained a known gang member that threatened to kill himself.  He was detained and taken to a hospital, where he was held for 72-hour mental evaluation.

Vehicle Burglary
October 3 at 9:08 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported at a business in the 700 block of East Huntington.  The suspect smashed the window of the car and took items that were left visible from outside the vehicle.

Vehicle Burglary     
October 3 at 10:17 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported that occurred during the evening hours of October 2.  The crime occurred in the 200 block of North Primrose.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz Honored

Frank Griffith, Corey Lutz, Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Bob Harbicht

By Karin Crehan, Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

It was my pleasure on Friday night to attend the San Gabriel Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America dinner to honor Mayor Mary Ann Lutz with the 2010 Distinguished Citizen Award.  Hosted by the San Gabriel Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America and Lucky Baldwin District Chairman and Arcadia City Council Member, Robert C. Harbicht.  This award is given to honor prominent area leaders who have a wide influence in the business and professional community, while serving as exemplary role models for our young people.  Mary Ann Lutz's contributions to the quality of life in our community and her commitment to youth and the values of Scouting make her a particularly appropriate honoree.

Speaking to a room full of community leaders you could certainly tell that Mary Ann was pleased with receiving this award, and her words clearly reflected the sentiment of Scouting, "The reason this award is so special is because of the organization that stands behind it.  I believe there is no better way to express it than by stating this: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law."  Mary Ann has a personal connection to scouting as well, her four brothers were scouts and her nephew became an Eagle Scout two years ago, and she said, "I know personally how that achievement has changed his life."  She went on to highlight the positive results of Scouting and noted some Eagle Scout projects in our community included work in Canyon Park, painting and cleaning area schools, churches and community areas.  In addition, a current project will post identifying markers for historic walking tours in our community.

Mary Ann thanked everyone for attending and encouraged them to support scouting with their time, money and spirit!

Football / City Council / STAAR Surgical / Green Dot

~ Beating Wildcats this Friday? Not easy says SoPas football coach.

~ Latest City Council meeting is on line if you'd like to watch it.

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical had a third-quarter net loss of $1.2 million, compared with a net loss of $2 million during the third quarter of 2009.

~ Monrovia's Green Dot, a financial services company, reported a strong third quarter: . UPDATE: But, LA Business Journal said it beat expectations but missed revenue expectations:

- Brad Haugaard

Most Dangerous Corner in Monrovia?

Every time I come to the corner of Alta Vista and Chestnut avenues, I'm scared. I think it is the most dangerous corner I've encountered in Monrovia and I hope city officials will give it a serious look.

The problem, it seems to me, is that it LOOKS like the north-south traffic on Alta Vista would be stopping at the corner. It seems to be one of those sleepy intersections where there would be four stop signs, but there aren't!

The north-south traffic just goes barreling through.

It is understandable that when a low-traffic street comes up against a high-traffic street that the low-traffic street will have a stop sign and the high-traffic street will not, but Alta Vista is not a high-traffic street.

Just to the west there is a four-way stop sign at Mayflower Avenue and Chestnut and just to the east there is a four-way stop at Magnolia Avenue and Chestnut, and both Mayflower and Magnolia are much higher-traffic streets than Alta Vista, yet the higher-traffic streets have four-way stops and the low-traffic Alta Vista does not.

Clearly this is not just my imagination. You can tell because the city has put up a yellow sign saying that "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" and the only reason for putting up a sign like that is because it looks as if cross traffic SHOULD stop.

So why doesn't it?

Even when you notice the yellow sign and know cross-traffic won't stop, it is scary to cross Alta Vista. For example, with a vehicle parked on the east side of Alta Vista it is almost impossible to see if a fast car is bearing down on you. Look at the series of pictures I have here, in which I pull further and further into the street and still have a hard time seeing if anything is coming down Alta Vista. Then imagine a car coming down Alta Vista at 35 miles an hour. Would you feel safe?
Here's a Google map of the corner:

As I said, I hope city officials will take a look at this and consider changing this corner to a four-way stop.

- Brad Haugaard

Local Election Results

All the numbers aren't in yet, but the Los Angeles Times is calling the races for both Republican candidates, David Dreier and Tim Donnelly. So, assuming the Times is right (and it would be no surprise if it is) Dreier goes back to the House of Representatives and Donnelly and Portantino go to the State Assembly.


- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Receives $17.2 Million Order

Monrovia-based AeroVironment has received a $17.2 million order from the U.S. Army for its digital Puma All Environment (AE) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) contractor logistics support, training and accounting for contract services.


- Brad Haugaard

Abducted children / DA Investigation

~ Abducted children - who spent time in Monrovia - turned over to Texas authorities.

~ DA Investigated Monrovia fire officials.

- Brad Haugaard

Vote Today! Your Country Needs You

I saw our neighborhood cat, Clyde, at the polling area. I said, "Sorry Clyde, you can't vote, this isn't Chicago."

- Brad Haugaard

Historic Preservation: 270 N. Myrtle

In his weekly report, City Manager Scott Ochoa said the Historic Preservation Commission had an "interesting and intense meeting" about the property at 270 N. Myrtle Avenue. The commission voted 3-to-3, thus taking no action. Ochoa said:
"The property at 270 N. Myrtle Avenue was purchased by a private owner, who apparently intends to demolish the house in favor of building two new homes. Again, there are two underlying lots and the construction of two single-family homes is a permitted use. Still, the historic preservation community in Monrovia fervently desires to save the house. Thus, we may end up with the immovable object meeting the irresistible force. That said, I do hope and believe that a workable compromise is within reach. Our Planning staff is doing a great job of educating folks and problem-solving."

UPDATE: A correspondent writes to say that some members of the Commission want things both ways.

She said they want to be able to say that some pre-1940 homes are not historic and bar them from the benefits accorded to historic homes, but at the same time want to be able to prevent non-historic homes from being replaced, thereby denying all the benefits of historic status but demanding all the limitations.

She said her family attempted to get her older home designated as an historic home, but was told that it was old but not historic.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Sells Chargers / Radich runs through Ohio / Train Station / Tirah Le'au

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment got a deal to equip Nisan dealerships with battery chargers for the launch of the Nissan LEAF electric car.

~ Monrovia runner John Radich - as we noted earlier - is running across the continent to the East Coast. He is now in Ohio.

~ Nice black and white photo of Monrovia's old train station.

~ Tirah Le'au Transforms Monrovia High volleyball.

- Brad Haugaard

Discrimination Lawsuit

Firefighter files suit against the City of Monrovia claiming he was discriminated against for union activities.

- Brad Haugaard

Time Right for Monrovia Electronic Media?

In his weekly report, Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa notes MonroviaNow (this publication) and Monrovia Patch:
" and Monrovia Now, a local daily news service and quasi-community blog, respectively, have hit the ground running. While Monrovia Now posts a lot of community news and information, and invites folks to share their opinions, it is not a commercial venture., on the other hand, is a venture by AOL to fill the hole that exists in the traditional print media's coverage of community news; and, at the same time, sell advertising of local businesses and events.

"With daily newspapers still losing money and having trouble covering small-town news (no matter how many municipal scandals there seem to be), and the weeklies (such as the Monrovia Weekly) only printing true community news once a week (the second run is largely legal ads), the time may be ripe for an expansion of e-media. We shall see..."
Yes, we shall indeed see.
- Brad Haugaard

Jim Stafford Dies

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce reports that member Jim Stafford of Nethook, Inc., passed away Monday evening, October 25, 2010. "Jim was a personal friend of the chamber, helping us many times with our computers and he attended Chamber events regularly." He also worked at Maranatha High School in Pasadena.

- Brad Haugaard

Wilderness EIR Ready. Got Thoughts?

The City has prepared an environmental impact report for the Hillside Wilderness Preserve and Hillside Recreation Area (the foothills area north of town from Arcadia to Bradbury). You can get a CD copy of the report at the Monrovia City Hall, Community Center, or Library, and, I believe, it will be posted on the city website, but I can't find it yet. Anyway, once you read it you may have thoughts, so there will be a "scoping" meeting (which means you get to give your thoughts but it is not a meeting for questions) at the Community Center at 6:30 p.m. on November 17. Or you can send thoughts to

UPDATE: In his weekly report, City Manager Scott Ochoa notes that: "the City will introduce and study only those uses that can reasonably be considered under the terms of Measures A & B (i.e., no motocross, no golf courses, etc.; only hiking, biking, interpretive trails, nature centers, etc.)." However, he added that "this range of uses is considerably more intensive than what was originally approved."

 - Brad Haugaard

Nominees for Outstanding Monrovian

If you know an outstanding Monrovia resident, who has been making contributions to the community both recently and for an extended period of time, you might want to nominate him or her for the Chamber of Commerce's Iris Award, which is kind of a Citizen of the Year award. Nominations must be in by November 22. You can download the nomination form here:

- Brad Haugaard

Magic With Tigers?

The Monrovia Kiwanis is sponsoring the "Art of Imagination" magic show. I hear there may be tigers. Tickets are about gone. This Friday at Clifton Auditorium at 7 p.m. Call 358-8988 for reservations.

- Brad Haugaard

Trust and Raises

Not strictly about Monrovia, but I noticed this juxtaposition of items on the front of the Star-News website this morning and couldn't resist showing it. Methinks the two may be connected.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Girls on Magic Carpet

Hope you had a happy Halloween. I think these girls did.

- Brad Haugaard

Aztec Hotel

Article about historic Route 66 Aztec Hotel at Foothill and Magnolia.

- Brad Haugaard

Donnelly Supporters Furious at Sacramento

Assembly candidate Donnelly fears violence if no progress is made in shrinking size of government.

- Brad Haugaard