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Books on Sale at Friends of the Monrovia Library Bookstore

Books and media with a blue dot on the spine are half-price. While some items are individually priced, regular prices range from $0.25 to $2.00.

The Friends Store is located inside the Monrovia Public Library. Store hours are Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.â€"5 p.m. and Thursdayâ€"Saturday, noonâ€"5 p.m.

Also, the Friends has launched a newly designed web site, featuring additional items sold at Amazon. Visit the online store at

- Brad Haugaard

Should Monrovia Help Former City Manager Sell House without Taking Loss?

Former Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa asks for Monrovia's help to sell his previous house without taking a loss, according to Councilman Tom Adams:

- Brad Haugaard

Newspaper Reporting Monrovia Councilman Has Criminal Record

Monrovia Weekly is reporting that Monrovia City Council member Larry Spicer has a criminal record, though it appears to be from long ago. Spicer was appointed to the Monrovia City Council to stand in for Clarence Shaw, who is on active duty with the Army.

- Brad Haugaard

Performance of Cinderella

Quite a few Monrovians are involved in a production of Cinderella, at St. James Church (2033 East Washington Blvd.) in Pasadena. It just opened and performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets at the door or write . Some pictures from the rehersal:

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Wing Stop

Lunch at Wing Stop, in Pavillions center at Foothill and Myrtle. Got a six-wing (Louisiana Rub style) special with fries and a drink for about $8.25 with tax. Greasy goodness. Filling and tasty.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator: No Transparency, No Balanced Budget, No Likelihood of Tax Passing

Video: Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, complains that Republicans are learning budget information from the newspapers before they get it from their colleagues. He also said while Sacramento has made $3 billion in cuts, it has added much more in spending. Finally, he doubts the proposed tax increase will pass since the cigarette tax failed.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia to Get Redesigned Website; Contracts with Lobbying Firm, Chamber of Commerce

At its July 3 meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will consider several one-year contract extensions, including ...

~ With Mad Haus Creative, to redesign (and host and maintain) the city's website for $21,600. The company already hosts and maintains the website. (Comment: $21,600 seems a very fair price for redesigning, hosting and maintaining the site, but it seems very high for just hosting/maintaining. Since redesign is just an occasional cost, I think I'd break this into two separate contracts, one for redesign and one for maintenance/hosting.)

~ with the Washington D.C. lobbying firm, David Turch and Associates, for $24,000.

~ With the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce (for $48,688) to help the city produce "city-wide events and marketing opportunities."

The Fourth of July in Monrovia's Library Park | Count Butterflies

~ The Fourth of July in Monrovia will feature a free concert and fireworks show in Library Park, with the 60's and 70's music of Person to Person beginning at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m. Adjoining streets will be closed. No BBQs are permitted at Library Park. Also, personal fireworks (including sparklers) are prohibited in Monrovia. Comment: It is GREAT! Come early.

~ Count butterflies in Monrovia Canyon Park for the North American Butterfly Association. Join rangers and volunteers for a hike to learn about the butterflies of the region, their role in the native ecology, and to participate in the national survey. Dress for hiking, and bring water, food and sun protection. Saturday, July 14, 8:30 a.m. â€" 2:30 p.m. $10 per participant (includes $5 parking). Maximum 20 people. Call (626) 256-8282 to get involved.

Source: City Manager's weekly email report

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Manager: State Power Grab 'Unconscionable'

Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile says the state government is grabbing too much power. In her weekly email report, she writes:

One of the budget trailer bills, AB1484, vested the State Department of Finance with an extraordinary amount of authority to withhold City’s property tax and sales tax if, in the judgment of the state, the payments required through the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies are not adequate.  Our staff is reviewing the bill’s language to better gauge the potential impact to our community; however, despite the immediate financial impact, the power that the state has created for itself to take away resources at a local level is unprecedented and unconscionable.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools Among Most Improved in San Gabriel Valley | Green Dot to Issue Its Own Prepaid Visas and Mastercards

~ According to a report in the Star-News, of San Gabriel Valley schools, Monrovia showed some of the biggest improvements, "increasing its graduation rate to 87.9 percent from 84.3 percent and lowering its dropout rate to 6.3 percent from 9.3 percent."

~ Monrovia's Green Dot will now be able to issue its own prepaid Mastercard and Visa cards through its own bank, Green Dot Bank, which used to be Bonneville Bank until Green Dot bought it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Canyon Continuation School is a 'Model'

Canyon Oaks High School is now a Model Continuation School for California, according to the latest edition of the city's Monrovia Today magazine.

The magazine says: "The school earned a perfect score from the WASC Accrediting Commission, which certifies and validates a school's quality of education."

- Brad Haugaard

Metro Board: No Money to Extend Gold Line

From Gold Line Spokesman Habib Balian:

"We are disappointed, but not surprised today after the Metro board approved the ballot initiative to extend Measure R for an additional 30-years (to 2069) with no funding for the Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont.

"There were many comments made at the meeting in support of completing the Foothill Extension to Claremont as required by Measure R.  The many who have advocated on the projects' behalf stressed that  Metro is not meeting the 2008 voter mandate; a congressional letter read during the meeting called attention specifically to provisions of the enabling legislation which "delineated the Gold Line Foothill Extension as terminating in Claremont."  Unfortunately, contrary to law,  the board did not amend the expenditure plan to include the project to Claremont.

"The project is once again grateful to Congress members Judy Chu, Adam Schiff, Grace Napolitano and Joe Baca for submitting the letter (below) to the record today that urged Metro to amend the expenditure plan and include funding for completion of the project to Claremont. Their support and dedication to the project has never been stronger. I also want to thank California Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez who continues to work on our behalf in Sacramento to amend the enabling legislation (AB1446) currently moving through the Senate.

"In addition, La Verne Councilwoman Robin Carder, former-Claremont Mayor Al Leiga (also a former Construction Authority board member), Phil Hawkey from the University of La Verne and Katie Gagnon from the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership attended the meeting today and spoke on behalf of completing the Foothill Extension to Claremont. We thank them for their dedication to the project.

"The issue now goes to the Board of Supervisors for their approval. If passed, the initiative will be on the November 2012 ballot."

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Mammogram Bill Progresses in State Senate

A bill by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, to eliminate guidelines in the insurance code that limit coverage for mammograms for younger women, was approved by the Senate Health Committee. "Instead of basing the need for mammograms only on a woman's age, AB 137 allows doctors to order diagnostic tests based on a more complete list of risk factors." Portantino says the current regulations are outdated.

Source: Portantino press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Says He Will 'Never Pay' Obama Healthcare Tax

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, reacts on Facebook to the Supreme Court ruling on the Obama healthcare plan, saying he will never pay the tax for it. He writes:
When the government can tell you what to buy in a market in which they are the biggest player, forcing you to subsidize those who made poor choices, you are no longer free. This is not about healthcare; it's about freedom. This is not about a tax or a mandate; this is about whether or not Americans will choose to live free or bow down to a tyrannical government. Obamacare is the trojan horse of... socialism. The choice confronting every American is whether you will obey this encroachment of your liberties, or throw off the yoke of servitude and nullify this unconstitutional directive. They can put a gun to my head, but I will never pay this tax, nor participate in Gov't run healthcare. What say you?
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: 50-Years-to-Life in Sex Assault, Injury, Theft, Burglary, Barricaded Suspect Incident

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 25-27. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 505 service events, resulting in 65 investigations.
Injury Traffic Collision
June 25 at 8:36 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting two vehicles involved in a traffic collision with injuries. Investigation revealed that a driver of a vehicle headed southbound on Mountain failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle when turning east onto Lemon. Both drivers received minor visible injuries, and one of the drivers was transported to a hospital due to complaint of back and neck pain. Both vehicles
sustained moderate damage. Investigation continuing.
Theft From a Vehicle
June 25 at 7:53 p.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 600 block of Parkrose. The theft occurred sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The vehicle was ransacked and a flashlight and some miscellaneous change were stolen. Investigation continuing.

Barricaded Suspect / Ex-Felon With a Firearm – Suspect Arrested
June 26 at 1:19 p.m., officers responded to the report of a suicidal subject in the 800 block of West Duarte Road. A friend of the subject called and reported the man had been drinking heavily and had stated he was going to commit suicide. He also threatened to shoot police and refused to exit the house. The Foothill Special Enforcement Team was activated to handle the barricade situation. Duarte Road was shut down and residents were evacuated.
During the investigation, it was learned that the suspect had several firearms in his residence. It was also learned that he is a convicted felon. Detectives obtained a warrant for the suspect's arrest. He continued to refuse to cooperate. Distraction devices were deployed and tear gas was utilized. The suspect surrendered at approximately 1:00 a.m. The Red Cross responded to provide aid to the residents who had been evacuated.
Vehicle Burglary
June 26 at 10:05 p.m., a window-smash vehicle burglary was reported in the 600 block of West Huntington. The burglary occurred in a business parking lot sometime between 4:30 and 10:05 p.m. An iPod was stolen from the vehicle. Investigation continuing.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-up
Sexual Assault Case – Suspect Sentenced
In February 2011, a sexual assault occurred at a residence on Alta Vista involving a relative that committed sexual assault against a family member. The suspect entered the apartment of his niece and sexually assaulted her while she was asleep on the living room floor with a female friend. The suspect had been drinking and fled before police arrived at the location. The case was assigned to detectives. Detectives filed the case with the District Attorney's Office and coordinated efforts with State Parole Agents to have the suspect tracked down. The suspect was located and arrested, and multiple charges were filed against the suspect by the District Attorney's Office. The case went to trial the week of June 18, 2012, and the suspect was found guilty of two serious felony counts of sexual assault. He was sentenced to 50 years to life.
Barricaded Suicidal Subject – Suspect Arrested
On June 26, patrol officers and detectives responded to the 800 block of West Duarte Road regarding a barricaded suicidal subject – See above June 26 incident for details. Detectives worked collaboratively with patrol officers to obtain an arrest warrant for the subject. After a lengthy standoff with police, he eventually exited his home and was taken into custody. The suspect was booked and charges will be sought against him.

Portantino's Name-Change Plan Would Cost State $150,000

A measure by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, to change the name of the state "Department of Fish and Game" to "Department of Fish and Wildlife" will cost the state $150,000.

Opinion: I don't really care about the name change, but I think it is irresponsible for the state to spend ANY more money on non-critical expenses until the state's finances are in order, which they absolutely are not, and this is about as non-critical as I can imagine. Trivial is more like it. I like Portantino, but shame on him for this. He should at least amend his proposal to implement it only when the state is in the black.

Monrovia Representatives on Budget | Music | Friends Cafe

~ Videos: Senator Bob Huff - who represents Monrovia - attacks an "irresponsible budget" that "relies upon the assumption that voters will approve a massive $47 billion tax hike" ( ). Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, doesn't like it either:

~ Windy Ridge Bluegrass Band and Kattywompus String Band (traditional folk and international music), Saturday, June 30, 7-9 p.m. 412 S. Myrtle in Old Town.

~ Monrovia Coffee Co. in Old Town is becoming Friends Cafe and holding a grand opening this weekend, June 30-July 1, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. "Ice blended coffees, smoothies, desserts."

- Brad Haugaard

No Money to Build Gold Line Past Azusa?

Gold Line Extension spokesman Habib F. Balian said the Metro board has indicated that there will be no more money to complete the rail line past Azusa, even if the Measure R sales tax passes.

He writes:

"This is extremely disappointing since the San Gabriel Valley legislators worked hard in 2008 to define the project to Claremont, and Metro staff helped sell Measure R to voters by specifying the project to Claremont in their materials."

"On several occasions of late," Habib writes, "Metro has misinterpreted our request to be included in the expenditure plan. The misconception voiced by Metro is that we are insisting on funding the remainder of the project exclusively using Measure R funds. Not true. We are simply requesting to be treated like every other under-funded Measure R project. We ask that they include the true total cost to complete the Foothill Extension to Claremont in the expenditure plan, and provide a strategy for funding project completion through a combination of federal, state and local funds - like every other project. Not special treatment, just funding commensurate with the dictates of the Measure R promises; not more, and certainly not less."

Also, good story on the issue by San Gabriel Valley Tribune writer Steve Scauzillo:

Opinion: Welll, I'm not sure I see any reason why anybody in the San Gabriel Valley should vote for Measure R.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's STAAR Surgical Has New Marketing Program | Cushman Graduates From Air Force Training

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical is launching a new online marketing program and website to market its implantable eye lenses throughout the world.

~ Monrovia High grad, Airman Jonathan R. Cushman, has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio.

- Brad Haugaard

Armed Man Barricaded in Monrovia House; Surrenders After Tear Gas

Man barricaded in house on Duarte Road.

UPDATE: Gives up after tear gas used.

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Profits Up | Monrovia School Closures Unlikely | Thoughts on Myrtle | Huff on Open Enrollment

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment reports fiscal fourth quarter profits up.

~ Monrovia School Board president Bryan Wong says although the possibility of closing schools is in the district's contingency plan, it is a remote possibility.

~ Some photos and thoughts about development along Myrtle Ave.

~ Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, tells how his open enrollment measure works. (Sounds more like something parents living outside Monrovia need to know, however).

- Brad Haugaard

Register for Free Monrovia Neighborhood Conference

The Monrovia Area Partnership is hosting the annual MAP Neighborhood Conference on Saturday, August 11th from 10am â€" 3pm at Monrovia Community Services Center.

While the MAP Neighborhood Conference is being offered free of charge, pre-registration is required and can be found online at, at the front counter of City Hall or by calling Neighborhood Services Staff at (626) 932-5563.

The MAP Neighborhood Conference will feature hands-on workshops covering material regarding community safety, programming skills, character development and ways to connect in the community.

These workshops and activities have been designed for a diverse set of participants and that's why this Neighborhood Conference is the perfect day of casual training and networking for employees, volunteers, employers, board members and all residents looking to be an effective leader.

Participants will also enjoy free breakfast and lunch, closing the day with an ice cream social and raffle prizes. During these activities, participants will have the unique opportunity to casually network with City staff, local resource representatives, community service clubs & agencies and other residents wanting to partner efforts to lead the community into a bright future.

Groups who pre-register with 10 or more participants will receive recognition at the Conference and Groups with 15 or more will receive a certificate and recognition at the following City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th.

This event only comes once a year and it’s not to be missed. Be sure to save your spot by registering early and tell your friends to do the same. Let’s keep growing together!

Source: City press release

- Brad Haugaard

'Long Gun' Measure by Monrovia Assemblymember Portantino Passes Senate Committee

A measure by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino - who represents part of Monrovia - to expand on last year's ban on openly carried handguns, has passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a vote of 4 to 2. AB 1527 would outlaw the open carry of unloaded long guns â€" such as rifles or shotguns.

Portantino writes: "Last year, we tried to craft a narrow bill to close a loophole in the hopes that gun enthusiasts would support ending this dangerous practice. Unfortunately, the open carry folks reacted by carrying rifles and other long guns, alarming the public and creating a potentially dangerous situation. As law enforcement officials tell us, it not only creates a tense situation, but wastes time and money when police have to roll out and respond to these unnecessary calls."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Area Democrats to Vote on 'Fracking'

According to its Facebook page, Monrovia's Foothill Community Democrats will vote at its Thursday meeting on whether to urge the LA City Council to ban "fracking," a new method of extracting oil from the ground.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia UPS Store Has New Location

Monrovia Chamber of Commerce reports on its Facebook page that The UPS Store, that has been in Monrovia for about twenty years, has recently relocated to a new location at 710 S. Myrtle Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Sleeping Driver Arrested, Burglary, Auto Theft

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 21-24. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Commercial Burglary
June 21 at 7:26 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a business in the 900 block of West Foothill regarding a break-in.  The business was broken into sometime during the night.  The suspect(s) pried open the rear door, which faces an alley, made entry, and stole merchandise from the business.  Investigation continuing.
Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
June 21 at 8:54 p.m., a witness called police to report a possible drunk driver who ran a stop sign at Fifth and Colorado.  The witness followed the vehicle to Monterey and Chestnut, where the driver pulled over and slumped her head against the steering wheel.  Police arrived and contacted the female driver, who was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.
Grand Theft Auto
June 22 at 10:32 a.m., a reporting party came to the police department lobby to file a grand theft auto report.  The vehicle belongs to a friend who is presently in Korea, but was having the reporting party watch the vehicle for him.  The vehicle was taken sometime between the evening of June 20 and the morning of June 22.  The vehicle is a black, 2000 Honda Civic.  Investigation continuing.

Clean Up Day in Monrovia | Dinner Theater | Art Walk

Mayor Lutz Cleans Up

~ Mayor Mary Ann Lutz thanked Council Member Becky Shevlin, Monrovia Kwainis and Rotary Clubs for sponsoring clean-up day. She writes on Facebook: "We cleaned Old Town and Recreation Park! Thank you to all that helped!"

~ Summer dinner theater featuring the Fantastick Patrick Show: comedy, juggling, face-balancing, plate-spinning and a 10-foot unicycle. June 28, 7 to 7:45 p.m. at the Library Park Bandshell. Bring dinner and a blanket or chair.

~ Summer Art Walk June 30 from 7-10 p.m. along Myrtle in Old Town. Art and live music.

Burglars Make off With Monrovia Salon's Shampoo and Conditioner

About $6,000 of hair products were stolen from Monrovia hair salon, The Long Hair Company.

- Brad Haugaard

Retirement Party for Foothill Unity Center Executive Director, Joan Whitenack

On Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the DoubleTree Hotel in Monrovia a retirement party will be held to honor and celebrate the 17 years of hard work and dedication that Joan Whitenack has given to the community as Executive Director of the Foothill Unity Center, Inc. Appointed as the Center’s Executive Director in 1995, Joan took a small, non-profit to an organization with a $3.5 million cash and in-kind budget working from of three different sites in Monrovia and Pasadena, and serving more than 12,000 unduplicated individuals from eleven different cities.

Volunteers, supporters and other friends of the Center are all invited to this event to say thank you to Joan for her long years of service and leadership to the community. For further information and reservations ($10 per person), please contact Barbara Rolf at the Center, 626.358.3486 or email her at

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Schools: Budget Woes, Labor Contract, Borrowing to Pay the Bills

Among other items at the Monrovia School Board's June 27 meeting meeting (agenda: ) are these ...

~ Here's the proposed budget for the school district. It assumes, perhaps a bit optimistically, 'flat' state funding and warns of a $2.5 million shortfall if the state tax proposal should fail.

~ In the tentative labor contract with the Monrovia school district's non-teachers, employees will get a .47 percent increase in benefits, all in healthcare, over the next three years. The district will increase its contribution from $11,959.50 to a maximum of $12,423.90.

~ The board will consider allowing the district to borrow from various district funds ( ) and from the LA County Treasurer ( ) if necessary because a certain deadbeat state government (that's my opinion, by the way) is not paying its bills on time.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Closures and Firings if Tax Measure Fails?

What will happen to Monrovia schools if the November tax measure should fail?

According to a report to be discussed at the School Board's June 27 meeting (agenda: ) the district needs to be ready for that, so the board will consider a contingency plan, which proposes these possibilities:

Since the district is paid by the state on Average Daily Attendance, the district might increase its revenue by improving attendance, adding Saturday school for (I think) students to make up missed days, and trying to attract international students.

Also, it would have to cut. Possible cuts include "school closure," letting go up to 14 employees go, reducing use of materials, energy, and transportation, cutting board meetings to once a month, eliminating contributions to "secondary" athletics, and maximizing class size.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Condo and Home Prices Up | Union Protests | Huff Protests

~ Since last year, the price of condos in Monrovia rose 14.8 percent. Single family home prices rose 7.3 percent.

~ Electrical union protests that Monrovia's Green Dot is "cheating the community" because it says the company is not hiring a company that provides healthcare and pensions for all its workers.

~ Video: A visibly annoyed Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, chews out his Senate colleagues for failing to bring Governor Jerry Brown's pension reform bill to the floor of the Senate and for excluding Republicans from budget meetings.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at B & C Teriyaki

Lunch at B & C Teriyaki at Foothill and Madison. Got the chicken curry special, which comes with a huge 32 oz drink for $6.50. Also, there's a little covered patio I'd never noticed. Food was fine but the sauce seemed more like sweet-and-sour than curry. But a nice rice bowl kinda dish.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library: Learn Social Media; Internment Camp Film

~ Learn to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 27 in the Library Community Room. Call 256-8274 to sign up. Walk-ins welcome.

~ Twenty-two minute film, Pilgrimage, Wednesday, June 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room. "Shows how the abandoned WWII internment camp for Japanese Americans has been transformed into a symbol." Discussion after.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Dave Guzman is Coach of the Year | Mosquito Spraying Next Door | Tiger's Wife

~ Monrovia's Dave Guzman named coach of the year.

~ San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District is going to be spraying for tiger mosquitoes next door in El Monte on June 22 ( ). It appears the spray area is pretty far down in El Monte.

~ Novel T's Book Club is meeting Tuesday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Library's Community Room to discuss the book, "The Tiger's Wife," by Tea Obreht. Open to the public.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Armed Robbery, Sunglass Smash and Grab, Stolen Batteries

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 18-20. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 472 service events, resulting in 86 investigations.
Commercial Burglary
June 18 at 8:06 a.m., police responded to the report of a commercial burglary in the 600 block of West Huntington.  The burglary occurred sometime between 5:00 p.m. on June 17 and 8:00 a.m. on June 18.  Suspect(s) smashed a window and took Oakley, Maui Jim and Rey Ban sunglasses from the business.  No alarm sounded.  Similar cases have been reported in Anaheim, Whittier and Montclair.  Investigation continuing.
Armed Robbery
June 16 at 8:00 p.m., an armed robbery was reported at a business in the 900 block of West Huntington.  Two suspects entered the store, produced handguns, and ordered the two employees to the floor.  While one suspect held the victims at gunpoint, the other stole cash and cell phones from the business.  The suspects were last seen northbound from the location on foot.  The suspects are described as male African-Americans, in their 20's, one with a goatee and the other had beard stubble on his face.  One suspect wore a black hooded sweatshirt, the other wore a gray one, and they both had on black pants.
Theft From a Vehicle
June 16 at 8:16 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting a theft from an unlocked vehicle in the 100 block of Stedman.  The victim parked her vehicle in her assigned space directly in front of her apartment in the evening, but left the vehicle unlocked.  When she returned to her vehicle the next morning, she noticed the vehicle had been ransacked.  The only thing missing was approximately three dollars in coins from a duffel bag that was in the vehicle.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft / Conspiracy to Commit Grand Theft - Suspects Arrested
June 19 at 11:01 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Foothill and California when he observed a silver Lincoln.  The vehicle matched the description of a suspect vehicle from a battery theft incident the previous day.  The suspects stole batteries from a cable box in the City of Monrovia.  The occupants of the vehicle, a male and female, matched a witness description of the suspects in the case.  The officer noticed that the vehicle registration was also expired.  He stopped the vehicle and contacted the suspects.  When he spoke to the driver, he observed batteries and a yellow safety vest in the vehicle.  A short time later, a call was received in dispatch regarding a theft of batteries from a cable box on California that had just occurred.  It appears the officer contacted the suspects just after they completed another crime.  The stolen batteries were recovered and confirmed stolen by cable company employees.  Both suspects were arrested and taken into custody.  The vehicle was stored as evidence.
Grand Theft Auto
June 19 at 5:05 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 300 block of East Olive.  The vehicle, a 2005, black Nissan Altima, was taken sometime between midnight the night before and 5:00 p.m.  on June 19.  Investigation continuing.   

Monrovia Takes $1 Million Hit From Loss of Redevelopment

Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile reports that this year Monrovia has taken a $1 million hit because it has had to absorb the costs associated with the loss of the City's Redevelopment Agency. But, still, the city came up with a balanced budget.

Of the state's budget process, she writes that:
It's unsettling, to say the least, that these important decisions are made in the opacity of the legislative conference room, with little to no input from the constituencies that will be most affected.  We are expending a considerable amount of staff time and energy to monitor the progress of these bills so that we can respond immediately to the actions proposed by the legislature - just as soon as those actions are revealed to anyone beyond the inner offices of the State Capitol building. ...

This balanced budget was achieved through pension cost-sharing with employees, a new two-tier retirement system and no increase in staffing.
Some more budget numbers from Lile:

Of the $31.97 million in projected General Fund revenues, the majority (58%) comes in through property tax and sales tax revenues.
The greatest expenditure from the City General Fund comes from Public Safety: 40% from Police and 29% from Fire.

General Fund personnel costs are budgeted for $22.46 million, however, in accordance with the Council priorities, total cost should not exceed 75% of net operating costs.  In order to meet long range financial targets, the City will continue to negotiate with employee groups to pick up their full the share of PERS employee pension costs by the 2013-2014 budget.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is being reduced by 21%, or $66,000, scaling back programs for safe and healthy neighborhoods.

Annual street resurfacing will continue through 2013 using Prop C funding.

After the loss of Redevelopment, the City had a net loss of $1 million.  As a result, 4 vacant positions within the City were eliminated, overhead charges to all City operations were increased by 1%, phone and computer replacement allocations were reduced, and vehicle and equipment replacement was deferred.

- Brad Haugaard

Rotary Club of Monrovia Supports Olympic Shooter Kim Rhode

Olympic shooter Kim Rhode

Rotary Club of Monrovia will be presenting Olympic athlete Kim Rhode with a donation check at its next meeting to help fund her training for this summer's Olympic games.

Rhode, a Monrovia resident, will be attending the 2012 Summer Olympics, and if she medals, she will be the first U.S. athlete in an individual sport to medal in five consecutive Olympics. Kim is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and six-time national champion in double trap. She was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Most recently she won a silver medal in skeet shooting at the 2008 Summer Games.

Source: Rotary Club press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Mayor Supports Medical Marijuana

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz joins U.S. Conference of Mayors' call to allow medical marijuana.

- Brad Haugaard

Time-Lapse Video of Concrete Pouring for Bridge | Monrovia's Merengue Bakery Turns Four | Clean Up Day | Huff Bond Measure Defeated | Winner of Goodies

~ Time-lapse images of the pouring of the concrete for the 210 Freeway bridge.

~ Merengue Bakery and Cafe at 111 E. Colorado is celebrating its fourth birthday today, the Chamber of Commerce reports.

~ Kiwanis and Rotary clean-up day this Saturday at Recreation Park, Library Park and Old Town. Details:

~ Video ( ) of Senator Bob Huff (who represents Monrovia) pushing for a measure he says would ensure bond money is properly spent. It was defeated. And Huff's written comment:

Tiger Mosquitoes Next Door to Monrovia

In next-door El Monte, the invasive Tiger Mosquitoes are back and spreading.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Chris Shevlin Receives Citrus College Alumni Achievement Award

Monrovian Chris Shevlin (right) and fellow honorees Bobby Pedroza and Cynthia Cervantes McGuire.
Christopher B. Shevlin was supposed to play basketball during his tenure at Citrus College in the early 70s, but an injury to one of his hands forced him to sit out for a year. When his coaches suggested he try officiating because he knew the game so well, accident turned into good fortune for the long-time Monrovia resident, and eventually led to a 35-year career officiating high school and college basketball.

Shevlin returned to Citrus College to receive an Alumni Achievement Award, along with fellow alumni Cynthia Cervantes McGuire of Claremont and Bobby Pedroza of Azusa, on Saturday, June 16, at the college's 96th commencement ceremony. The honoree spent many years officiating Division 1 college games and served as an NCAA official for five years, but he said he never imagined he would take part in so many memorable events, including meeting great players such as Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, members of the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball "Dream Team."
The Citrus College alumnus has also earned a stellar reputation for his service to the Monrovia community. Shevlin has been a member of the Monrovia Kiwanis Club for 19 years, earning the organization's Super Distinguished Past President designation in 1999-2000. He has also served as a board member of the Santa Anita Family YMCA (SAFYMCA) since 1996, and he was named the organization's 2010 "Humanitarian of the Year." Shevlin's list of accolades increased when the Foothill Boys and Girls Club presented him and his wife, Becky, with the "For the Love of Youth Award" earlier this year.
In addition to his experience as a basketball referee, Shevlin has worked as an account executive for Chicago Title for the past 16 years. Before becoming a professional success and a philanthropist, however, Shevlin was a student at El Monte's Arroyo High School, Class of 1970, and he attended Citrus College. After studying at Citrus College from 1970 through 1972, he transferred to California State University, Long Beach where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1976.
On accepting his award, Shevlin reminded the class of 2012: "Once an Owl always an Owl."
Source: Citrus College Press Release
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Frazier to Colorado | Spicer 'Not Bully' | Car Wash | Democrats to Hear About Local Climate Change Lobby

~ Monrovia football player George Frazier expected to play football for Colorado.

~ Councilman Larry Spicer's wife says he's not a neighborhood bully.

~ Support Monrovia High Marching Band and Color Guard. Car wash and newspaper recycling June 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Walgreens on Foothill in Arcadia. Suggested donation: $5 car, $8 truck or SUV.

~ Monrovia's Foothill Community Democrats will hear about the Pasadena/Foothills Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby - "a national organization that is working to implement a carbon fee dividend program to address climate change."

- Brad Haugaard

Ellis McCarthy Fundraiser

Fundraiser for Monrovia football star, Ellis McCarthy, as he heads off to UCLA ( ), but Star-News reporter J. Brian Charles wonders if it is legal:

- Brad Haugaard

Concrete Poured for 210 Freeway Bridge

Gold Line Extension spokesman Habib Balian writes: 

Skanska is nearing completion on the 18-hour concrete pour for the I-210 Gold Line Bridge. Since 11:00 p.m. last night (when the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway were fully closed) crews have been non-stop placing 2,100 cubic yards of concrete into the superstructure and main outrigger beam that crosses the freeway. More than 200 truckloads have accessed the site from the freeway, center median and southern shoulder to strategically place what amounts to 50 typical swimming pools of concrete.
This important activity was planned over several months and took the coordination of multiple agencies. Skanska has done an outstanding job in the design and execution of this activity that went off smoothly and will result in the architectural elements of the superstructure permanently formed on the exterior of the structure.

- Brad Haugaard

Learn About Gold Line Construction

Open House meetings on the Gold Line tomorrow (Azusa), 26th (Arcadia), and 28th (Duarte). Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Tatoo-Removal Bill Advances

The state Senate has advanced a bill authored by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (who represents part of Monrovia) which provides a new start for young women branded or tattooed by pimps. The Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously and with bi-partisan support approved Portantino’s AB 1956 today (7 to 0). The bill provides a first step in breaking the bonds of prostitution by allowing young women branded by pimps to take part in free tattoo removal programs. These women were left out of a federal program designed to offer young people the opportunity to remove gang tattoos.

"This bill helps generate a new start for young women who need to break free from the intimidating and troubling world of trafficking and prostitution," Portantino said.

Source: Portantino press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monday Night Holdup at Monrovia Cell Phone Store

Gunmen in hoodies rob Verizon store.

- Brad Haugaard

De'Shawn Ramirez Plays Friday | Fire Weather | Monrovia High Painting? | Job Fair

~ Monrovia football player, De'Shawn Ramirez, will be playing in the Hall of Fame All-Star Game on Friday.

~ Foothills fire-weather warning until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

~ Exterior painting on Monrovia High?

~ Job fair tomorrow, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Bicycle Broadsides Car, Bad Drill Bit, Burglary of Alcohol, Bike Burglary, People Leave Cars Unlocked and Their Stuff Gets Stolen - Surprise, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 14-17. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Attempt Grand Theft
On June 14 at 4:02 p.m., an attempt grand theft was reported in the 600 block of South Bradbury Avenue.  The victim parked her motorcycle on Bradbury, just North of Royal Oaks, early in the evening.  When she returned to her motorcycle the following morning, she saw someone had tried to punch the ignition with an electric drill.  Apparently, the bit broke and the suspect(s) gave up.  Investigation continuing.
Commercial Burglary - Suspects Arrested
On June 14 at 7:49 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 100 block of West Foothill regarding a commercial burglary.  The suspects where seen on store surveillance entering the business, selecting a bottle of liquor each and walking out without making any attempt to pay.  Officers conducted an area search and located both suspects and arrested them.  During the investigation, it was learned that the suspects planned their crime with the intention of selling the alcohol for cash and had no means to pay for the items.
Injury Traffic Collision - Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
On June 15 at 12:19 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 200 block of East Duarte Road regarding a traffic collision with a pedestrian injured.  A vehicle was backing up in a parking area and the driver did not see an elderly man walking behind the vehicle.  The vehicle bumped the man, which caused him to fall and injure his hip area.  Paramedics were summoned and the man was taken to a local hospital for treatment.  
Theft From a Vehicle
On June 16 at 8:53 a.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 300 block of North Canyon. The victim parked her vehicle and left it unlocked.  Suspect(s) went into her vehicle during the night and stole her property.  Investigation continuing.
Injury Traffic Collision - Vehicle vs. Bicyclist
On June 16 at 9:49 a.m., a traffic collision occurred in the 400 block of West Foothill.  A vehicle and bicycle collided at Foothill and Alta Vista.  The vehicle had stopped northbound Alta Vista at Foothill and the driver looked left and right for vehicles, but failed to notice the bicyclists coming westbound.  The driver of the vehicle went across Foothill, failing to yield to the bicyclists.  The lead bicyclist broadsided the passenger door of the vehicle.  The bicyclist sustained injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Commercial Burglary - Suspect Arrested
On June 16 at 4:15 p.m., a commercial burglary was reported at a business in the 600 block of West Huntington.  A male suspect entered the store, selected a bicycle and walked it out of the store without making any attempt to pay.  He was observed by store employees.  The employees got in their vehicle and followed the suspect, providing the suspect's direction of travel to police.  Officers arrived, detained the suspect and arrested him for burglary.  The suspect was found to be on parole.
Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision - Suspect Arrested
On June 16 at 11:42 p.m., officers responded to the 900 block of West Duarte Road regarding a traffic collision.  The driver was traveling west on Duarte Road and attempted to make a left turn onto Encino, but failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle.  The driver collided into a vehicle that was traveling east on Duarte.  Through investigation, the driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested.
Stolen Vehicle Recovered - Suspects Arrest
On June 17 at 1:27 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the 200 block of West Lime when he noticed two vehicles following each other.  The occupants were wearing hoodies and looked suspicious as the officer drove by them.  The subjects looked at the officer and began to accelerate at a high rate of speed.  The officer made a u-turn and the vehicles fled in two different directions.  The officer paralleled one of the vehicles and was able to locate it on a nearby street, where he conducted a traffic stop.  A computer check revealed the vehicle was stolen out of El Monte.  The vehicle was occupied by three juvenile suspects.  They were arrested without incident.
Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision - Suspect Arrested
On June 17 at 2:13 a.m., police received a call regarding a subject who was driving under the influence.  While backing out of an apartment complex, the driver struck three parked vehicles.  The driver tried to exchange information, but the other vehicle owners smelled an odor of alcohol on the driver and called the police.  Officers responded and after investigation, arrested the driver for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Theft From a Vehicle
On June 17 at 11:10 a.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 1000 block of Royal Oaks.  The victim parked his vehicle in the carport of his complex earlier in the evening and left it unlocked.  He returned to his vehicle the following morning and found that someone had ransacked his vehicle.  The suspect took CD's and change from the vehicle.  Investigation continuing.
Special Enforcement Team Weekly Activity
On June 16 at 7:46 p.m., Special Enforcement Team officers stopped a vehicle in the area of Standish and Tree Lane for a vehicle code violation.  The driver was found to have three outstanding warrants and was arrested and taken into custody.  The vehicle was stored.

Monrovia Youth Baseball Wins Tournament | Napolitano Approves of Obama Immigration Decision

~ Monrovia Youth Baseball League Pinto Division All-Stars has won the championship at the Charter Oak Tournament.

~ Grace Napolitano, candidate for the 32nd District, which includes Monrovia, approved of the Obama Administration's decision to halt deportations of some illegal/undocumented immigrant youth.

- Brad Haugaard

Dodger Jansen at Monrovia Store Today | Library Film

~ LA Dodger Kenley Jansen will be at the Paul's TV (in Living Spaces) today. Details:

~ Free film, Unfinished Business, about three who protested Japanese internment during WWII. Wednesday, June 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Old Grenade in Monrovia | Huff Against State Budget | Helping Animals

~ Old grenade found in Monrovia county area.

~ Video: A very unhappy Senator Bob Huff - who represents Monrovia - urges a no vote on the state budget, calling it a "fantasy world." "We should be ashamed of ourselves," he said. "We've borrowed from every fund that is not nailed down." ( ). And a written statement:

~ Monrovia MOMS Club donates to animals.

- Brad Haugaard

Concrete Pouring Begins on 210 Bridge Starting Late Monday

The bridge from the air.

According to Gold Line Extension spokesman Habib Balian, starting late Monday, 2,100 cubic yards of concrete will be placed to form the main outrigger beam and lower half of the superstructure of the 210 Freeway bridge. This will require more than 200 concrete trucks accessing the site over an 18-hour period, and a full closure of the Eastbound 210 Freeway from 11 p.m. Monday night through 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. Here are some more aerial pictures:
Source: Gold Line press release
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Criticizes President's Actions as Dictatorial

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly says on Facebook that this is his "new decal."

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, today accused President Obama of acting dictatorially in his decision not to enforce some immigration laws, and mocked the distinction - often used in the immigration debate - between the terms "illegal" and "undocumented" with a sticker, shown above.

Regarding the President, Donnelly wrote on Facebook: "I wonder what the President had for breakfast this morning that gave him the impression that he is the Dictator-in-chief instead of the elected President, whose chief job as head of the executive branch is to see to the ENFORCEMENT of the laws, not the undermining of them."
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council: Budget, Faith, and Legal Ads

At its June 19 meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will, among other things ...

~ Consider adopting the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget and Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Schedule of Fees and Charges. The actual budget info does not seem to be on line yet, but when it is, it should be here:

~ Recognize Eric Faith for his years of service to the City. "Mr. Faith served as Mayor from 1974 to 1976, as a Councilmember from 1976 through 1982, and was appointed to the Planning Commission in 1984, where he served continuously for 28 years."

~ Consider a bid from Beacon Media (Monrovia Weekly) to be the publisher for the city's legal ads at a cost of $9.50 per inch per column. "Pasadena Star News and Mountain Views newspaper did not respond." Staff recommends continuing the contract.

Comment: You will not read an editorial like this in any newsPAPER, but I think the day is coming (and should already be here) when legal ads are no longer required since a) nobody reads the newspaper anymore, b) the information can easily be put online for anybody who wants it, and c) if the state really feels there is a compelling reason to push these ads at people, then there is an increasingly strong argument that such ads should go in online media. But, frankly, why not just get rid of them?

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Zen Buffet

Lunch at Zen Buffet at the corner of Huntington and Fifth. I don't expect much from a buffet, but I thought everything was actually quite tasty. Deserts were good, too.  You can go back for more servings. A bit over $12 for lunch and an iced tea with tax, so come really hungry.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Runner to Compete in 100-Mile Mountain Run

Photo: Tom Crawford and his running buddy, Cormac.

Monrovian Thomas Crawford, who had the best time in Monrovia's Fountain to the Falls race, will be running in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run, up and down mountains - with a total of about 18,000 feet up and 23,000 feet down - from Squaw Valley to Auburn. It starts on June 23.

Tom said if he has a good day he may complete the course in about 17 hours or maybe a little under. If you'd like to track him, all the runners are wearing a GPS unit, so you can follow along at the Western States web site:

- Brad Haugaard

Free Monrovia Monday Night Movies

Free Monday Night Movies held on, uh, Mondays, from June 11-July 30. 6:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Bring your family and a pillow and a favorite stuffed friend. Fresh popcorn provided. Call the Library at 256-8274 for movie titles. (Thanks to Becky Shevlin for the tip.)

- Brad Haugaard

Farmer's Market Themed Art Show at Monrovia's Segil Fine Art

"Watermelon Wedgies" by Linda Brown

Segil Fine Art is having its Annual Summer Group Exhibit from June 23-August 18, with the theme, The Farmer's Market: From Field to Farm, Market to Table. Segil Fine Art is at 110 West Lime.
- Brad Haugaard

Trader Joe Chicken Recall | Monrovia Home Prices Rise | Senator Huff on Budget, Education

~ Trader Joe cranberry apple stuffed chicken breast recall.

~ Monrovia home prices rise over past year.

~ Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, calls the latest Sacramento budget is "about ninety percent taxes and gimmicks."

~ Video of Huff stating his opposition to anti-charter school legislation.

- Brad Haugaard

A Night at the Monrovia Library

Video of the Monrovia Library's summer reading program ( ). Also some written details (scroll down a bit):

- Brad Haugaard

Eric Faith Retiring: One of the 'Team of Three' Who Turned Monrovia Around

Planning commissioner and former Monrovia Mayor Eric Faith has retired after 38 years of service. Faith served on the City Council from 1974-84, and since then has been on the planning commission.

From the City Manager's Report:

"Eric's service to the community cannot be overstated. When he came to office as an elected official in 1974, Monrovia was suffering from a downtown that was nearly vacant. Businesses could not get out of town fast enough. Change was needed and that change came in the form of a 'team of three' who ran for City Council seats and won. Together they helped initiate the change that led to Monrovia becoming a City envied by many of the surrounding communities. In addition to Eric the 'team of three' consisted of former Mayors Bob Bartlett and Pat Ostrye."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Swiped, GPS Swiped from Cars

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 11-13. – Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 491 service events, resulting in 68 investigations.

Vehicle Burglary

June 12 at 5:12 a.m., a resident in the 200 block of South Primrose reported that someone had cut the window of his Jeep and ransacked the interior of the vehicle. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft Auto

June 12 at 6:17 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of North Myrtle. The victim parked her car in her driveway in the evening. When she went out to the vehicle in the morning at 6:00 a.m. to go to work, the car was gone. The vehicle was unlocked and a key to the car was inside the console. The vehicle was located and recovered that same day at 5:30 p.m. in the 200 block of West Colorado. Investigation continuing.

Theft From a Vehicle

June 12 at 8:13 a.m., police responded to the report of a theft from a vehicle in the 200 block of West Lemon. The victim parked his vehicle in the rear carport at his residence in the evening. The vehicle was unlocked. The victim returned to his vehicle in the morning and found his GPS missing. Investigation continuing.

Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman's Bill to Urge Feds to Fully Reimburse State for Cost of Jailing Illegal Alien Felons Fails

A bill by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, "which urged Congress and the President to fully reimburse the State for the cost of incarcerating illegal alien felons," was killed, Donnelly said "because the Democrats refused to vote." He said that the federal government only reimburses the state "pennies on the dollar" for that cost.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Needs Support for Health Services, School Supplies

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center has launched Child Health Connections to provide health, dental and vision services for the community. Health care professionals who would like to be a part of this program should contact Cathy Klose RN at (626) 359-1777.

Also, the Center needs funds (or actual school supplies) to provide back-to-school supplies for 2,000 local low-income K-12 students. Call (626) 358-3486 for details.

- Brad Haugaard

Portantino Honored for Fertility Bill

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, is being honored by "Fertility Action" for authoring AB 428, "which called on insurers to provide fertility options for patients of childbearing age who face chemotherapy. Chemo often leads to infertility. Under Portantino's proposal, patients maintain the ability to have children after treatment. Although the bill was held in the Assembly, it brought nationwide attention to the issue."

Source: Portantino press release

- Brad Haugaard

Former Books at the Monrovia Library

Pictures of some of "modified" books at the Monrovia Library.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Summer Activities Brochure | Job Fair | VBS at First Pres.

~ The brochure of Monrovia summer events is out. Youth and adult classes; library services; youth, adult and senior activities; parks info, etc. You can browse it here:

~ Job Fair, hosted by the City of Monrovia, Tuesday, June 19 from 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. For details, contact Jennifer McLain at 303-6601 or .

~ Vacation Bible School at First Presbyterian Church, June 24-28. Registration deadline is 3 pm Friday, June 15.

- Brad Haugaard

Denmark Buys Drones From Monrovia's AeroVironment

Monrovia's AeroVironment just got a $9.6 million order to supply the Danish Armed Forces with its Puma drone aircraft.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia 109th in State for Childhood Obesity

Monrovia is 109th in the state for childhood obesity, with an obesity rate of 39.8%, according to the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

- Brad Haugaard

Help Wild Rose School Raise Money for Grass and Trees

As part of its Lots2Give program, Big Lots is collecting $1-$5 donations through July 8 to help Wild Rose Elementary School get "new grass and trees planted in its Kindergarten Playground to create a clean and safe green space and prevent students from getting excessively dirty and overheated during recesses and meal times."

Also, the school could win $20,000 in Lots2Give's online video contest. Wild Rose's video was created by a group of fifth grade students. You can see it, and vote for it, here:

- Brad Haugaard

Happy 125th Birthday to Monrovia's Santa Anita YMCA!

It was founded at a public meeting held at the Pioneer Bakery at 409 S. Myrtle Avenue in 1887.  Thousands of members later, the Santa Anita Family YMCA is celebrating 125 years of service to Monrovia, Duarte, Bradbury and Arcadia at an anniversary event at 3 p.m. on June 16 at the YMCA, 501 S. Mountain Avenue in Monrovia.

“This is a historic milestone, and one that symbolizes the passionate dedication of generations of volunteers who worked to help our community thrive,” said Santa Anita Family YMCA Board President Steve Baker. “We are inviting the public to celebrate this special time with us as we honor those who have contributed to our success as we hope for another 125 years of meaningful impact.”

The Santa Anita Family YMCA, a non-profit, charitable organization, has nearly 5,000 participants and members, more than 300 volunteers and nearly 60 employees.  Over the years, the Y has stayed true to its purpose of strengthening the foundations of community by offering a wide range of programs for all ages that focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Among the youth programs are the popular basketball, volleyball and dodgeball classes and leagues, where more than 4,500 children participate each year, and swim classes, where more than 1,400 kids learn to swim each year. Adults programs such as group fitness classes see 2,200 participants each year.

But the Y does not just emphasize healthy living – it also has promotes youth and teen development through such programs as Model United Nations and Youth in Government. Social responsibility is also a critical component to the Y’s goals. In fact, in the past 12 years alone, the Santa Anita Family YMCA has provided more than $2 million to ensure that all families have access to the support and solutions that will help them to thrive.

During the anniversary event, organizers will reveal a new installation which recognizes past and present philanthropists, whose efforts continue to make a positive impact on the Y and our community.

“Over the past 125 years countless community philanthropists have invested their time and money to ensure that every child’s potential is nurtured, that the health and well-being of our community is improved and that our neighbors are supported,” said Damon Colaluca, executive director of the Santa Anita Family YMCA. “We are merely stewards of this movement. Any success that we experience today is only possible because of the efforts of those that have come before us.”

People interested in attending the June 16 event or who would like to know more about the Y can contact Cheryl Reynolds at 626-359-9244, or by email at

Source: YMCA press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Restaurant Pad for Sale | Creepy's Not Illegal

~ Only $6 million to buy an empty pad that would be great for a food court building in the Albertson's shopping center.

~ Monrovia Police report they don't have a reason to arrest a man taking pictures of girls near a Santa Fe Middle School. Creapy it may be, but not illegal.

- Brad Haugaard

Patch Reports Better Earnings and More Visitors

AOL is reporting that its Patch local news sites, including Monrovia Patch, are seeing strong revenue and traffic growth ( ), though, according to the Wall Street Journal ( ), the company apparently faces a proxy fight by investors who are critical of the cost of Patch, and skepticism by others in the financial press, such as Bloomberg ( ) and Forbes ( ). Forbes writes that while making $40 million this year is a big improvement for Patch, last year it spent about $160 million.

Opinion: Best wishes, Nathan and the rest of the Monrovia Patch crew! Hope it works. America needs good local journalism, and Patch is a noble - and hopefully successful -experiment.

Monrovia Relief Agency, World Vision, Helps Syrian Refugees

Monrovia's World Vision, a Christian relief agency, is helping Syrian refugees with hygiene kits in Bekaa, where it has been working for 10 years, "and plans to provide food vouchers and establish four Child-Friendly Spaces - safe areas where children can enjoy fun activities and learn to cope from emotional upheaval."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Senator Comments on Budget, Inaction on Education

In his newsletter, Senator Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, comments on Governor Brown's new budget proposal and that nothing has happened in education reform. He writes that ...

~ "The Governor admitted in his May Budget Revision that the deficit for the upcoming fiscal year had grown to a whopping $16 billion, while the independent Legislative Analysts' Office puts the number at 'north of $17 billion.'"

~ Five years after the release of a legislature-sponsored analysis, a report analyzing what California has done since the "Getting Down to Facts" studies has concluded that it has done, "next to nothing."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Puppet Theater for Children

Little Stage Puppet Theater, 104 E. Chestnut, for kids ages 3-9. Shows on Saturdays, June 16, 23, 30, at 11 a.m. noon and 1 p.m. Tickets $5.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Preventing a Sword Assault, Busted Bear Nose, Sexual Hit-and-Run, More Copper Thefts, Swiped Cell Phone, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 7-10. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Grand Theft
June 7 at 7:43 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a transit lot in the 1600 block of South Primrose regarding a theft of property.  The theft occurred sometime between 6:00 p.m. on May 22 and 5:00 a.m. on May 23.  Small spools of copper wire and several car batteries were taken from the lot.  Investigation continuing.
Sexual Battery
June 8 at approximately 1:19 p.m., a 17-year-old female was walking south on Magnolia at about Cypress.  She heard footsteps coming from behind her, but did not turn around.  Suddenly, she felt someone grab her buttocks and crotch area from behind.  She stopped, and the suspect ran past her on the left side.  The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, early 30's, 5 foot 7 inches tall, thick medium-length black hair, full beard, wearing a brown shirt and light blue jeans.  Investigation continuing.
Deadly Weapon With Intent to Assault - Suspect Arrested
June 8 at 7:15 p.m., officers responded to a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle regarding a suspicious person carrying a sword.  Officers detained the suspect, who was carrying a two-and-a-half-foot-long metal sword.  The suspect had been involved in an altercation with gang members at the park a week prior and had returned to the park with the sword.  The suspect was subsequently arrested for the above listed charge.
Bear Incident
June 9 at 2:00 p.m., a large bear was struck by a vehicle at Mayflower and Hillcrest.  The vehicle was not damaged, but the bear had injuries that required him to be tranquilized by Monrovia Animal Control and the Department of Fish and Game.  It was determined that the bear's injuries were minor, a broken nose and tooth, and should heal in a few days.  The bear was released back into the wilderness area above Canyon Park.
Possession of Methamphetamine / Trespassing - Suspect Arrested
June 9 at 6:22 p.m., police responded to the report of a subject entering a vacant and unlocked residence in the 1600 block of South Mayflower.  The subject was arrested for trespassing and also charged with possession of methamphetamine.
Commercial Burglary / Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
June 9 at 9:27 p.m., police responded to a business in the 500 block of West Huntington regarding a burglary.  A female suspect entered a business with a box cutter and used it to cut the tags off of merchandise.  She took several items of clothing and left without paying.  She was arrested and taken into custody. During the booking process, methamphetamine was found on her person.  The additional charge was added.
Residential Burglary
June 10 at 8:30 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 200 block of West Palm.  The victim left his residence for approximately two hours.  When he returned, he found two computers and a backpack containing papers missing from his home.  Nothing else was taken and the residence was not ransacked.  The victim said he left his front door open, but the screen was closed and he believed it was locked.  There were no signs of forced entry.  A witness saw a male Black in his mid 30's and a female Hispanic in her mid 20's in the vicinity of the apartment during the time of the burglary.  Investigation continuing.
Strong-arm Robbery
June 10 at 9:17 p.m., a robbery of a cell phone was reported at California and Maple.  The victim and two friends were eating at a fast food restaurant.  The two female suspects were at the same restaurant.  When the victim and her friends left, the female suspects left and followed behind them, east on Huntington and then north on California.  When the victim began to make a call on her cell phone, one of the female suspects ran up behind her, bumped her and grabbed the phone.  Both female suspects ran eastbound on Maple.  The victim and her friends ran after the suspects, but lost sight of them.  Investigation continuing.
Special Enforcement Team Weekly Activity
Search Warrant
On June 7, Special Enforcement Team officers assisted patrol with an investigation of a suspect who was taking pictures of juvenile females near a school.  A search warrant and consent was used to recover a camera and computer from the suspect.  The searches included a vehicle, the suspect's work and residence.  The investigation is continuing.
Unlicensed Driver / Warrant - Suspect Arrested
On June 8, the Special Enforcement Team stopped a vehicle on Longden at Live Oak.  The driver was cited for being unlicensed and a passenger was arrested for a warrant for driving under the influence.
Driving With a Suspended License / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
On July 9, a suspicious vehicle that left the 200 Block of East Cherry was stopped by the Special Enforcement Team.  The driver was arrested and cited in the field for having a suspended driver's license and possessing a rock cocaine pipe.  The vehicle was stored.

Monrovia's AeroVironment Sells Drones to Swedish Army

The Swedish Army is buying drone aircraft from Monrovia-based AeroVironment.

- Brad Haugaard

A Special Library Book Donation

Former student in a computer class at the Monrovia Library - who is paralyzed from the neck down - donates a book she wrote to the library.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Charged in Bike Robbery Incident | More on Graduation

~ Monrovian charged in robbery of bicycle.

~ More on the Monrovia High graduation.

- Brad Haugaard

Helping Find Missing Monrovia Pets

I just saw this missing-dog flyer and thought maybe I could be helpful. If you lose a pet in Monrovia, send me a little picture and a few words and I will probably post it here. I hate for pets to be lost.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School District Suing Office Depot, More Layoffs, No Raises, Budget Info

Among other topics at its June 15, 7 p.m. meeting, (agenda: ), the Monrovia School Board will ...

~ Consider hiring an attorney to sue Office Depot. Monrovia and some other local school districts are suing Office Depot for what the district terms: "fraud it committed in pricing." The attorney would be hired on a contingency basis, meaning the law firm only gets paid if it wins.

~ Consider laying off or cutting the hours of more employees. This time (if I'm reading this correctly) cutting a computer lab instructional assistant at Wild Rose Elementary from five hours a day for nine months a year to 3.75 hours a day for nine months, and cutting four preschool developmental aides at Canyon Early Learning Center from three hours daily for 12 months a year to 3 hours a day for nine months.

~ Reveal the agreement between the district and the Monrovia Teachers Association. It appears to be essentially a no-raises contract ( ). Ditto for the non-teacher employees:

~ Hear some pretty bleak - but apparently slightly better - budget numbers for Monrovia schools. The image above gives a hint.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge Construction - Freeway Closure June 18-19

Graphic showing what is happening with the bridge construction.

The Gold Line construction folks expect one closure of the eastbound 210 Freeway on Monday, June 18, from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m. on June 19. The lanes may be partially closed from 10 p.m. through 1 p.m. on the 19th.

- Brad Haugaard

Will Gold Line be a Short Line? Metro Not Providing Money to Lay Track to Claremont

The Metro is not allotting any more money to complete the Gold Line to Claremont, though it is providing more money to extend other lines, according to Habib Balian, spokesman for the Construction Authority for the Metro Gold Line.

Balian writes:

"We are extremely disappointed to see the draft updated Expenditure Plan just released by Metro. An updated expenditure plan is required by AB1446 for the proposed permanent extension of Measure R. AB1446 requires that the new Expenditure Plan include updated total cost estimates for the completion of each Measure R project (as defined in AB1446), as well as updated funding years and completion dates.
"Despite the fact that the Construction Authority submitted an expenditure plan for the project defined in Measure R ('Pasadena to Claremont'), Metro ignored both the statutory definition of the project as well as its estimated total cost of completion. In fact Metro did not adjust the total cost estimate beyond what has been assumed for the last few years.  This amount is not nearly enough to complete the voter-mandated project from Pasadena to Claremont and therefore does not meet the requirements set out in AB1446.
"As a comparison, Metro added a significant amount to the total cost estimates for a number of other projects:
· $1.65 billion was added for the I-405 Corridor
· Nearly $1 billion was added for the Westside Subway
· $500 million was added for the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor
· Just under $200 million was added for the Gold Line Eastside Extension"
Source: Press release from Habib Balian
- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Burger Basket

Lunch at Burger Basket, corner of Mayflower and Duarte. We got two hamburgers with fries with drinks for $10.34. Not an elegant place but a good burger with crisp, fresh lettuce and tomato.

- Brad Haugaard

Pictures of Monrovia Graduation; Congrats Grads!

Pictures of the commencement ceremony at Monrovia High.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Senator: Apparent Defeat of Smoking Tax Bad Omen for Governor's Proposed Tax

Video: Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who represents Monrovia, says the apparent defeat of the Prop 29 smoking tax bodes ill for Governor Jerry Brown's proposed tax vote. Also he comments on San Jose and San Diego's votes in favor of pension reform and says Republicans are not being given any input into the proposed state budget.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia to Adopt Tight But Balanced Budget | After Redevelopment | Fire Department Survey

~ If you are interested in the city's budget, the situation appears to be that money is tight but we're slowly doing a bit better, and the city plans to adopt a balanced budget on June 19. Here is a helpful slideshow ( ), and if you are a glutton for this sort of thing, here  are several useful documents:

~ So with redevelopment killed by the state, how will Monrovia compensate? In the weekly City Manager's Report, City Manager Laurie K. Lile writes: "Moving forward is the launch of the Business Visitation program, the Fill Up Old Town Campaign and increased partnerships with brokers and the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce. As we look ahead, it will be more important than ever to build and maintain relationships, continue to enhance a business attraction strategy and develop a more comprehensive job development program."

~ If you have had dealings with the Monrovia Fire Department, you may wish to take the department's short customer satisfaction survey:

- Brad Haugaard

Almost 400 Grads Tonight at Monrovia High's Wildcat Stadium

Monrovia High expects to max out Wildcat Stadium for tonight's 7 p.m. graduation ceremony. There will be almost 400 grads.

The city reports ( ) that: "43% of graduates are going to 4-year university/college (up from 34% last year in 2011); 47% going to 2-year college; 4% going to trade school; 4% going to military; 2% going to work/taking year off.

"Of those attending a 4-year college/university (165 students):

"76 (46%) going to CSU

"33 (20%) going to UC

"15 (9%) going to private California school

"39 (24%) going to out of state school (will be representing 17 states)"

- Brad Haugaard

Whitenack Retirement Party | Monrovia Florist Honored

~ Retirement party for Joan Whitenack, executive director of Foothill Unity Center, after 17 years of leadership. Party will be held June 28, 5-8 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel. $10. RSVP to Foothill Unity Center by June 20.

~ Monrovia Florist named "Small Business of the Year" by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Brazen Women Burglarize Home Depot, Stuff Swiped From Vehicles

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for June 4-6. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 479 service events, resulting in 92 investigations.
Vehicle Burglary
June 4 at 5:24 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 400 block of West Colorado.  The vehicle, a Toyota Corolla, was parked in the victim's driveway.  The victim did not remember if the vehicle was locked.  In the morning, the victim noticed money and a phone charging cord was taken.  There was no damage to the car.  Investigation continuing.
Vehicle Tampering
June 5 at 5:19 a.m., an officer responded to a hotel the 900 block of Huntington regarding vehicle tampering.  A guest at the hotel walked out to his parked vehicle and found a man inside his car.  The suspect was described as a male Hispanic, approximately 30 years old, 6 foot tall, thin build, brown hair, full beard, long single braid to the middle of his back.  The victim's vehicle was unlocked and there was no loss.
Vehicle Burglary
June 5 at 6:42 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 200 block of East Walnut.  A suspect(s) broke the driver-side window of the victims van.  They stole the victim's iPad that was left visible on the inside of the van.  The vehicle was parked in an assigned parking space in the complex.  Investigation continuing.
Theft From a Vehicle
June 5 at 7:23 p.m., a theft from an unlocked vehicle was reported.  The victim lives in the 200 block of East Lime, but he is unsure where the theft occurred.  His golf GPS was taken from his vehicle console.  Investigation continuing.
Residential Burglary
June 6 at 8:39 a.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 1000 block of Royal Oaks.  Suspect(s) entered an unlocked storage garage and stole the victim's road bikes. 
Detective Bureau Case Follow-up
The Home Depot has had several commercial burglaries occur over the last two months.  These burglaries were committed by a group of females who would enter the store carrying large empty shoulder bags.  The females would fill the bags with merchandise, one female would fill a shopping cart and then they would all proceed to walk out of the store without paying.  They did not try to conceal their actions and would confront employees if they were approached.  This was caught on surveillance video, but the females were not identified and were gone by the time police arrived. 
Detective's spoke with other agencies in the area to see if they were experiencing similar thefts and discovered Arcadia, Pasadena, and Glendale were having the same crimes occur.  All three agencies compared leads, and several arrests were made implicating a Pasadena gang and nine female gang members.  Two of the three females who were involved in the Monrovia incidents have been identified and arrested. 

Albertsons Cutting Employees, Unclear if Monrovia Affected

Albertsons will be cutting up to 2,500 employees. No indication if Monrovia store will be affected.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company Launches | Police Over Fire for Charity | Volunteering | Award for Clifton Girl

~ The company that will soon move in to the old Dogwoods Market on Foothill, Juvo Capital ( ), is today launching a new Internet company called, which is similar to the hyper-popular Pinterest, but with some twists.

~ Monrovia Police win basketball game over Monrovia Fire 29 to 24. :-| Also, the game raised $2600 to fight cancer.

~ Interested in volunteering with the City of Monrovia? Here's how:

~ Clifton girl struck by hit-and-run driver given special award.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Woman in Death Race | Ray Bradbury at Monrovia Library | Clean-Up Day | Neighborhood Conference | CPR | Clifton

~ Monrovia woman will undertake death race.

~ SciFi/fantasy author Ray Bradbury, who died Tuesday at age 91, helped to open the new Monrovia Library. A picture:

~ Monrovia Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs are sponsoring a trash-pick-up day Saturday, June 23, from 8-11 a.m. at Recreation Park. Meet at Recreation Park, Library Park or Old Town. Contact Becky Shevlin for details: 626-253-0072

~ The third annual Monrovia Area Partnership Neighborhood Conference is scheduled for Saturday, August 11. The conference incudes a day full of free workshops, continental breakfast, lunch, and ice cream. Details:

~ Tomorrow, CPR training in front of the Library:

~ As part of its partnership with Clifton Middle School, Monrovia First Presbyterian Church provided a "Caring for Clifton" meal Wednesday for the staff at the school:

- Brad Haugaard

Reinforcing Steel Installed for Gold Line Bridge | Jeopardy

~ The internal support structure for the Gold Line 210 bridge superstructure is about done. Gold Line spokesman Habib Balian reports that: "500 tons of reinforcing steel has been installed along the 584-linear-foot structure, and internal walls are now being formed to support the bridge deck. In the coming weeks, 2,100 cubic yards of concrete will be placed within this area."

~ Teacher wins again on Jeopardy.
- Brad Haugaard

Final Monrovia-Area Election Results

Final vote counts for top two candidates in each Monrovia-area election. The Democratic candidate was the winner in each case. --

~ Top two votegetters in 41st Assembly District: Chris Holden (D), 16,942 (29.6%); Donna Lowe (R), 13,272 (23.2%).

~ 25th State Senate District: Carol Liu (D), 51,105 (51.7%); Gilbert V. Gonzales (R), 42,370 (42.9%).

~ 27th Congressional District: Judy Chu (D), 40,518 (58.1%); Jack Orswell (R), 16,550 (23.7%).

~ 32nd Congressional District: Grace F. Napolitano (D), 19,764 (46.1%); David L. Miller (R), 17,947 (41.9%).

And if you are interested in the fate of outgoing Monrovia Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, he beat two opponents, taking 51.7 percent of the vote.

- Brad Haugaard

Early Returns

In very early returns it looks like ...

Chris Holden is well ahead of the pack in the 41st Assembly District with Donna Lowe a strong second and Victoria Rusnak third.

Democrat Judy Chu is way far ahead in the 27th Congressional District.

Democrat Carol Liu looks comfortably ahead in the 25th Senate District, but Gilbert V. Gonzales is making a very respectable showing.

Same in the 32nd Congressional District. Democrat Grace F. Napolitano is doing well but David L. Miller is also doing very respectably.

Again. It's still early.

Update: Although he will no longer be representing Monrovia when the winners take their seats in the Assembly, Tim Donnelly is doing very well in the 33rd Assembly District, well ahead of two other contenders.

Update: I'm going to bed. I don't see any cliffhangers, but we'll see in the morning.

- Brad Haugaard