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Monrovia Wins Third Consecutive Football Title :-)

Monrovia came back strong after trailing 7-0 at the end of the first half, quickly scoring in the third quarter and then leading for the rest of the game. Final score: 23 to 7 over Paraclete.

Full story:

- Brad Haugaard

Power Outage Hits Monrovia

A power outage has hit approximately 933 Monrovia electricity users, according to Southern California Edison. SCE says it does not know the reason for the outage and hopes to have the problem fixed by 10 p.m. today.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council Member Wants to Hop Up Nightlife | School Board Switches Hats | Prop 30 Helps Citrus | Volunteer at Unity Center

~ At its Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. meeting, the Monrovia City Council will hear a plan by Councilmember Becky Shevlin to crank up nightlife in Old Town. She brought the idea back from a League of California Cities conference. It's called "Wednesdays in Old Town," it will start on Wednesday, January 9 and occur each Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. between Lime and Olive avenues and will include as many as three live musical entertainers throughout the program area. It will have a sidewalk sale format with no street closures. Myrtle Avenue businesses will be able to sell stuff on the sidewalk. This, and other Council agenda items, here:

~ At its Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m. meeting, the Monrovia School Board will elect new officers and assign duties for the next year. Details here:

~ Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, reports that 165 endangered course sections will be restored since Proposition 30 has passed. In a press release the college says that passage of the proposition prevents $3.5 million in cuts and will enable "students to complete their educational goals in a timelier manner."

~ Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center distributed 1,300 Thanksgiving food boxes and during the upcoming Christmas season is planning to distribute to more than 1,500 families. If you'd like to help, adult volunteers are needed on December 16, money is welcome, you could host a food or toy drive or donate frozen turkeys. For details contact Raina Martinez, 358-3486 or

- Brad Haugaard

School Board Member's Volunteer Project | Paraclete Tonight! | More Rain | Unity Fundraiser | Old Railway Ties

~ Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco asks for support for her GRACE Project. She writes on Facebook, "MUSD has many homeless families and the GRACE Project helps get basic needs to Monrovia school children without a permanent home." The project flyer says, "It's simple. Go to your school's office and request a family's needs list. Collect your items and drop them off at the school's GRACE Project donation box." Interested? Contact Jill Skultin at the District Office at or 626-471-2031

Comment: Cool, Alex! Good for you for taking the initiative.

~ Tough challenge for Monrovia football tonight against Paraclete.

~ Good chance of rain through Monday.

~ Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center will have a benefit featuring Mercy and the Merkettes (plus silent auction, raffle, door prizes, and food) on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at The Lodge in Sierra Madre, at 33 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Bring cash, check, or an unwrapped gift for a child. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

~ Gold Line construction folks are removing old railway ties in Monrovia to prepare for putting in new railway ties.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School District on Hook for High-Cost Loan

Monrovia school bond means the district will have to repay five times the amount borrowed.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at BigShrimps

It's a rainy soup kinda day so went to BigShrimps (just east of Myrtle on Colorado) to get a cup of lobster bisque. Got that with the salmon lunch special and an iced tea for $13.87. No picture of the cup of soup but it was round. Very good, as always.

- Brad Haugaard

Miracle on Myrtle

Miracle on Myrtle, at Monrovia's Library Park on Dec. 23, 5 p.m. The church, Fellowship Monrovia (which meets at the Community Center), is sponsoring live musical performances, and the world premiere of "Miracle on Myrtle," a new animation by Fellowship Productions. The church says it wants this to be an annual tradition.

- Brad Haugaard

Handel's Messiah Concert | Holiday Events | Rain? | What's Your Zoning?

~ Handel's Messiah Christmas Concert at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church, Friday Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Free but an offering is welcomed. Details:

~ More holiday events: Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Library Park, Thursday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.; "All that Glitters is Gold" Holiday Parade, along Myrtle in Old Town, Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m.

~ Fifty percent chance of rain tomorrow, Friday.

~ Now you can see how your property is zoned. Go to the city's Zoning page ( ) and click on Zoning Map (or just click here: ). Then click on the grid number containing your property. Your property will be color-coded. What does the color mean? Zoom way in on the previous map to read the key. OPINION: Very cool but the color key is hard to find and hard to read. Should be more prominent.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Chewing Narcotics Baggies; Man Tries to Stop Police Entering House, Arrested; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 26-28. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 405 service events, resulting in 58 investigations. 
Under the Influence of Narcotics / Vandalism / Burglary / False Imprisonment - Suspect Arrested
November 26 at 9:34 p.m., police were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of East Los Angeles.  A female resident reported her adult son was under the influence of narcotics so she wouldn't allow him into her home.  The son broke a window on the home with a shovel and fled on foot.  He went into the backyard of a residence across the street.  He broke a window and gained entry into the home, where he was confronted by a woman who lived there.  The suspect restrained the woman by grabbing both of her arms.  When she tried to pull free, the suspect tightened his grip and told her she wasn't going anywhere.  Another female heard the commotion and began to scream at the suspect, who then fled.  He was detained by officers a short distance away, and was arrested without further incident.
Possession of Narcotics for Sale / Destruction of Evidence - Suspect Arrested
November 27 at 12:10 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting a suspicious vehicle in the 600 block of East Colorado.  Officers responded and saw the vehicle leaving the area and stopped it.  While one officer was speaking to the male driver, another officer saw the female passenger conceal something in the seat.  The female subject was ordered out of the vehicle and the officers noticed she was chewing something and told her to spit it out.  She spit out several plastic baggies with narcotic residue in them.  Another baggie containing methamphetamine was found in the seat where she attempted to conceal it.  The female suspect was arrested and taken into custody for possession of narcotics for sale and destruction of evidence.
Resisting and Obstructing a Peace Officer - Suspect Arrested
November 28 at 5:15 p.m., a family disturbance was reported in the 400 block of Genoa.  The reporting party said they could hear children crying and screaming.  When officers arrived and asked to see the children, a male resident blocked the doorway and told the officers to leave.  The officers explained to the male suspect the reason why they were there and the need to see that the children were okay, but the male suspect continued to forcibly prevent the officers from entering the residence.  He was taken into custody and charged with resisting and delaying an investigation.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-Up
The Special Enforcement Team obtained a search warrant for a gang member in El Monte who had weapons.  The Foothills Special Enforcement Team served the search warrant and two subjects were arrested; the primary suspect was charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a shotgun.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Looking for Man Who Tried to Lure Girl Into Car

Monrovia Police Department press release:

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, at approximately 8:10 a.m., a 15-year-old high school student was walking to school in the 500-600 block of West Olive when she was approached by a male white suspect driving a white, four-door, pickup truck, unknown size. The suspect asked the student to get into his vehicle, but the student refused, stating she did not know him. He drove forward and turned onto the 600 block of Monterey, parking along the curb. He waited for the student to approach. As the student approached the vehicle again, the driver offered the student $200 to get into his vehicle. The student refused, and the suspect left the area. The student notified school officials as soon as she arrived at school.

It is unknown if this is related to the incident which occurred on November 8, but detectives are investigating and are coordinating their investigation with school officials. Suspect Description: male, white, 30-35 years old, unknown height, thin build, black shaggy hair -
medium length, wearing black framed prescription glasses. The victim could not describe the suspect's clothing.

Suspect Vehicle Description: older model, white, four-door, pickup truck.

- Brad Haugaard

Plans for the Aztec Hotel | Profile of Football Player, Ainsworth | Rain | Santa Breakfasts | Molestation Trial | Art Show

~ The new owner's plans for the Aztec Hotel.

~ Profile of Monrovia High football player Ge Vontray Ainsworth.

~ Forty percent chance of showers today and tomorrow, dropping to 30 percent on Saturday:

~ Schedule of Santa breakfasts and lunches at various Old Town restaurants. Food and toys for kids.

~ Attorney for Monrovian accused of molesting children says attacks would have been "physically impossible."

~ Tenth Annual Holiday Small Works Show Dec. 1-29 at Segil Fine Art Gallery, 110 West Lime.

- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Closures During Finishing Details of Bridge Construction

There will be at least two full closures of the 210 eastbound through December 8, between 10 p.m. and 1 p.m. the following day. No particular days have been identified. Crews will be finishing off the Gold Line bridge, adding guard rail, adding the concrete "reeds" on the basket towers, planting, and adding a concrete slab next to the south end of the bridge.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Band and Color Guard Do Well in Competition

The Monrovia High Marching Wildcats Band & Color Guard took second place at the Savanna Field Tournament last weekend, winning second place in Auxiliary and Drum Line and third place in Open Class Percussion. Also, they qualified as finalists in the SCSBOA 2A Field Championships at Ramona High School in Riverside this Saturday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblyman Thinking of Running for Governor

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is still an assemblyman but is winding up his representation of Monrovia due to the change of district lines, is thinking of running for governor.

On Facebook, he writes:

"I have decided to open an exploratory committee to run for Governor of California because there's nobody out there fighting for us."

"Businesses are fleeing -- entire generation of Californians are leaving California to find a better life."

"What I believe in is grass roots ... one of the best ways that I can build support is travel the state, go from town to town, talk to business leaders, talk to community leaders, talk to individuals at their doorstep, at a rally ... do a lot of listening. A lot of times people have solutions that politicians never thought of that will actually work; there's a lot of common sense out there. The Founders trusted the people."

OPINION: Well, he ain't gonna win, but he'll add some spice to the contest.

- Brad Haugaard

Sports Reporter Favors 'Cats | Closing Arguments in Trial of Monrovian Accused of Molesting

~ In the upcoming championship game with Paraclete, Star-News sports reporter Steve Ramirez favors Monrovia. He says, "I like the ‘Cats."

~ Closing arguments in molestation trial of Monrovian who taught in Duarte schools.  More: Teacher depicted as pedophile.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police Department on 'SWAT Team of the Year'

A Foothill-cities SWAT team, including the Monrovia Police Department, has been named SWAT Team of the Year. Here's the press release:

On Monday, November 27, 2012, the California Association of Tactical Officers (C.A.T.O.) selected the Foothills Special Enforcement Team (FSET) as "SWAT Team of the Year" for the State of California. FSET was founded in 2004 as one of the first regional SWAT programs in Los Angeles County. FSET has shown multiple agencies can work cooperatively as a team for the benefit of all the participating communities. FSET is in the eighth year of successful operation and in 2012, was comprised of police personnel from the cities of Glendora, Irwindale, La Verne, Monrovia and San Marino.

FSET has grown from three founding agencies to five agencies contributing personnel and resources to create one of the largest tactical units in Los Angeles County. The Foothills Special Enforcement Team trains twice each month and handles an average of one high-risk mission per month. The team's abilities have allowed its tactical officers to respond efficiently to complex problems. FSET includes a crisis negotiation team and a sniper team to assist tactical team operators on critical incidents. The combined resources of the five agencies allows for a larger, well prepared and better equipped team than each agency could field by themselves.

The purpose of a SWAT team is to have highly trained and well-equipped officers available to respond to the most dangerous situations. These highly trained team members help provide greater safety for our community members, the police officers responding to the call and for the suspects themselves. The following are examples of three incidents FSET has responded to over the last year:

- In December of 2011, FSET responded to an active shooter incident at the Southern California Edison facility in Irwindale. FSET personnel conducted a tactical searchfor injured persons and located a victim who was losing a great deal of blood from a gunshot wound. The victim survived, due to the rapid response of the team and the immediate medical care provided.

- In June of 2012, FSET responded to a call in the City of Monrovia of a convicted felon with weapons at a residence, threatening to shoot the police. FSET crisis negotiators attempted for hours to get the suspect to give up peaceably. Eventually, the team used tear gas in the residence and the suspect surrendered, unharmed.

- In March of 2012, FSET served a high-risk search warrant in the City of Baldwin Park. The suspect was barricaded inside the residence. The team deployed tear gas and the suspect surrendered, unharmed. Four firearms, ammunition, a ballistic vest, black hoods and drugs were located.

These types of incidents underscore the need for a highly trained, well-equipped tactical team like FSET. By working together collaboratively and sharing resources, these five cities have been able to create a well organized, more efficient team at a lesser expense to the individual agency than they could ever have done working independently. The cities of Glendora, Irwindale, La Verne, Monrovia and San Marino thank the California Tactical Officers Association for recognizing the outstanding work of the Foothills Special Enforcement Team by presenting them with the "SWAT Team of the Year Award."

- Brad Haugaard

If God Used Twitter | Monrovia Holiday Events | Holiday Sounds | Baseball Fundraiser

~ First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia will have a series of Christmas sermons entitled, #HowChristmasMightHaveBeenIfGodUsedTwitter. Hark, I Bring You Good Tweets of Great Joy!

~ Holiday events in Monrovia. Christmas tree lighting, holiday parade, home decorating, Santa tours:

~ Classical holiday sounds at the Monrovia Library, Dec. 8, 1-3 p.m. Le Petit Duo, violinist Paul Stein, and the Sterling Flute Choir. Free.

~ Monrovia Youth Baseball League will have a fundraiser Dec. 1 and 2 at the California Pizza Kitchen parking lot at 110 S. California Ave., in West Covina. 20% of your check will go to the league. Info: (626) 814-4400. You need to print out this flyer:

- Brad Haugaard

Plan Monrovia - What Should the City's Priorities be in the Next Five Years?

The City of Monrovia would like residents thoughts about what its priorities should be over the next five years. Here is the press release, and ways to comment at the bottom.

Monrovia, CA – The City of Monrovia is pleased to announce the launch of Plan Monrovia, a strategic planning process that engages and solicits community feedback to build a roadmap for Monrovia for the next five years.  Using a new comprehensive community engagement website, developed by MindMixer, citizens can engage, communicate and collaborate with city leaders and other residents on future planning for the city.  
Plan Monrovia is about understanding and voicing the highest priorities for the community and developing City services that meet those needs.
Along the way, the Plan Monrovia website will be used as an online tool to generate new ideas and feedback from citizens to help the city prioritize projects. The goal is to obtain widespread input because as the city moves forward, leaders want to know what is important to every citizen in Monrovia. 
Feedback from the engagement website will be used by the city manager and other planners in order to create a roadmap for Monrovia’s programs and services for the next five years. 
While Monrovia’s budget is structurally balanced, since 2008, the City has seen a 17% reduction in staffing positions, a $2 million cut of expenditures to some of the city’s key programs.  Sales tax revenues have been down 25% and property taxes remain flat.  This means that the city must prioritize the programs and services it provides and take a new look at what Monrovia could be doing. 
“We are looking to the community to help answer the question, ‘What are the most important things the City should focus on over the next five years,’” said City Manager Laurie Lile.  “Like most cities in California, our resources are more limited now, which means we may not be able to provide all of the services we used to or perhaps not in the exact same way. The purpose of this process is to engage our residents, businesses, students, and all Monrovians in discussion about how City resources should be allocated to the community.” 
Plan Monrovia gives contributors a chance to share new ideas, second others’ ideas, expand upon existing ideas and give feedback on initiatives, working with the city on a variety of topics online anytime, anywhere. 
The discussion will start with topics like these, and branch off from there based on contributor input: 
• What are your priorities for Monrovia?
• For every $1,000 of city funds, how would you divvy up the money? 
Plan Monrovia measures and tracks participation, identifying the most interested citizens and most compelling topics. MindMixer’s tools make it easy for administrations to communicate back with citizens, and they deliver measurable results and invaluable insights for the city. 
“Monrovia is committed to making this process transparent and interactive.  We are listening and eager to hear your thoughts and ideas,” says Mayor Mary Ann Lutz.  “I hope everyone in our community gets involved in this process, and I encourage all Monrovians to sign on to  All of the ideas and community voices expressed go into how the City Council makes decisions about programs and services in our upcoming 2013-2015 budget.” 
Nick Bowden, CEO of MindMixer, says, “Our tools go beyond just technology. Our mission is to build community contributors. Ideas, voices and perspectives are shared to facilitate deeper and better conversations that yield actionable insights and a stronger community.” 
As part of its service, MindMixer consults and collaborates with clients to identify issues that are critical to stakeholders in order to update topics and content for their websites.
Apart from the, the City of Monrovia is offering a myriad of high and low tech ways for Monrovians to get involved and discuss what they value about Monrovia:

“What are the most important things the City should focus on over the next five years?” 
Community Workshops
December 11, 2012
Tuesday, 7-9pm
Monrovia Community Center
119 W Palm Ave, Monrovia, CA

January 12, 2013
Saturday, 9-11am
Calvary Chapel Monrovia
123 W Pomona Ave, Monrovia, CA

Email us

Call us
(626) 932-5555 x1402

Text in your answers
(626) 219-0845
(text messaging rates apply)

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter
City of Monrovia,
@MonroviaCA, #PlanMonrovia

Monrovia Police: Backflow Valve Swiped, Fighting Over Child, Electronics And Car Stolen, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 20-25. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the highlighted issues and events for November 20-25.
Theft From a Vehicle
November 21 at 2:13 a.m., police dispatch received an alarm activation from a car dealership in the 1400 block of South Shamrock.  Officers responded and detained a male suspect at the location without incident.  The suspect stole CD's and coins from a vehicle that had been left at the dealership for repairs.  Investigation continuing.
Theft of a City Backflow Valve
November 21 at 10:30 a.m., a City backflow valve was reported stolen from the 300 block of West Cypress.  The theft occurred sometime during the night.  Investigation continuing. 
Criminal Threats / Battery on a Peace Officer / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer - Suspect Arrested
November 21 at 3:00 p.m., officers responded to a report of criminal threats in the 800 block of Alta Street.  The suspect was sitting on a car that belonged to the female victim's son.  When the victim asked the suspect to leave, he threatened to kill the victim and then tried to force his way into the victim's house.  Officers arrived and detained the suspect.  Once the suspect was told he was being arrested, he began to fight with the officers and attempted to run from them.  The suspect was taken into custody and arrested for the above listed charges.
Grand Theft Auto
November 21 at 4:15 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 400 block of East Huntington.  The vehicle is a white, 1999 Honda Civic.  Investigation continuing.
Fire Assist
November 23 at 2:22 p.m., police dispatch received a call reporting a possible structure fire.  When officers arrived, they found a wooden fence on fire as a result of a resident cooking a turkey in a deep fryer.  Apparently, oil spilled over and caught a portion of the fence on fire.  A neighbor then decided to protect his side of the fence with a garden hose, which made the situation worse.  Monrovia Fire Department personnel responded and managed to put the fire out, limiting the damage to about 15 feet of fence, only. 
Child Endangerment / Domestic Battery / Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
November 24 at 9:29 p.m., officers were on patrol in the area of Shamrock and Huntington when they saw a female exit a vehicle and take a child out of the backseat of the vehicle.  The male driver then exited the vehicle, approached the female, and began trying to take the child from her, pushing her.  Officers detained them and learned they had left a party due to an argument, which continued as they were driving home.  The female said she did not want the child witnessing them arguing so she took the child out of the car.  The driver of the vehicle was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested for the above listed charges. 
Domestic Battery - Suspect Arrested
November 25 at 2:20 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of East Lime Avenue regarding a boyfriend and girlfriend fighting.  Officers arrived and determined the male subject was intoxicated.  He and his girlfriend got into an argument and he hit his girlfriend in the head with his fist, causing a large bump.  The male suspect was arrested for domestic battery.
Residential Burglary / Grand Theft Auto
November 25 at 8:37 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 1100 block of Sesmas Street.  The residents were away from their home for a day and returned to find all of their electronics missing, which included two big screen TV's, DVD players and a PlayStation. The suspect also took a set of car keys and stole the victim's Nissan Maxima.  The suspect(s) cut the screen on a back window that leads into a bedroom.  The window had been left unlocked.  It appears the suspects exited through the front door.  The investigation is continuing.

Holiday Books and Media at Friends of Library Bookstore

The Friends of the Monrovia Library Bookstore will begin selling holiday books and media Monday, Nov. 26. The childrens' books apparently are very quick to go. The Friends bookstore is right in the front door of the Library.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Wins, In Title Game | Fried Fence

~ Monrovia Wildcats win over Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, 42-31. Will face Paraclete in next Friday's title game.

~ Fried fence for Thanksgiving.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football: 'First Real Challenge' | Gourmet Hot Dogs Coming | Library Closed

~ Monrovia football gets its "first real challenge" tonight.

~ S'Links Gourmet Hot Dogs coming to Monrovia next year. At Myrtle and Olive.

~ Library will be closed until Monday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Happy Thanksgiving, Monrovia!

There's lots to be thankful for, including just living in Monrovia, which I think is a great town!

- Brad Haugaard

Will Monrovia Councilman Joe Garcia Retire?

Will Monrovia Councilman Joe Garcia retire at the end of his current term?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Five-Year Plan Tool | City Commissions to Discuss Plan | Antonovich

~ Monrovia is inviting residents to use the tools at to indicate what they believe the priorities of the city should be. "Your ideas and the ideas of your neighbors will add to the planning process, as part of the city's five-year plan."

~ There will be a joint meeting of the city's various commissions at the Library to discuss strategic planning for the city on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.

~ The City Council will hold a special meeting at the Library with Supervisor Michael Antonovich on Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. to discuss items of interest to both the city and county. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Happy Thanksgiving from Monrovia's Mayor

On her Facebook page, Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz writes:

"Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Let us not forget the original Thanksgiving first celebrated in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared a fall harvest. This is the basis of our country, everybody working together to harvest and everyone sharing in the celebration! God Bless Amercia!"

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia 12-Year-Old Gathers Gifts for Poor Children Around the World

Grayson with the gifts he has collected for poor children around the world.

Twelve-Year-Old Monrovian Grayson Wade has collected donations and packed 128 shoe-boxes with gifts for needy kids around the world.

His mother writes ...

"Grayson first became aware of Operation Christmas Child when he was a Cub Scout and his group each packed a box.  Last year he set a goal to pack 50 boxes and ended up packing 64.  This year he set a goal of 75 and ended up with 130.  For several months he collected donations from family, friends, and local businesses.  Carmine's Restaurant in Arcadia also allowed him to have donation boxes at their counters this year and last.

"This past Sunday was the big drop-off day for the packed shoeboxes. Arcadia Presbytarian Church is a major drop-off and collection point for our area.  Grayson arranged for his Boy Scout patrol to spend the afternoon assisting with the collection.

"Samaritan's Purse is a great organization that has many different charitable programs, and this year they're delivering the 100 millionth shoebox as part of their annual Operation Christmas Child program.

"Grayson is turning 13 in December and is in the 7th grade at St. Rita's Catholic School in Sierra Madre.  His Boy Scout troop is Arcadia Troop 111."

COMMENT: Congratulations, Grayson. Well done!

- Brad Haugaard

Cookie Exchange for Multiple Sclerosis

Cookie Exchange for Multiple Sclerosis, Dec. 8 at United Methodist Church, 140 East Palm (downstairs). Bring six dozen cookies, take home five dozen and the rest go to MS Group of San Gabriel Valley. More than 100 raffle prizes; all proceeds to MS. For info, contact Janie Duncan (626)358-8157 or Source: Becky Shevlin

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Looking Good in Semifinals | Democrats to Select Representatives

~ Monrovia looking good for football semifinal.

~ Plan Ahead: 41st Assembly District Democrats will meet Jan. 13 at the Teamsters Local 572 (518 W. Duarte Rd., Monrovia) to select 12 people to represent the 41st at the 2013 and 2014 State Conventions. To participate you gotta be a citizen, Democrat, registered, and living in the 41st. Details (Facebook):

- Brad Haugaard

World Vision Evacuates Threatened African City

As rebels threaten the safety of the city, Monrovia-based Christian relief organization, World Vision, has evacuated staff from the eastern city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its program activities in Goma have been suspended.

- Brad Haugaard

Mexican Restaurant Proposed for Monrovia's Aztec Hotel | Santa

~ A new Mexican restaurant is being proposed for the Aztec Hotel in the location previously occupied by the Brass Elephant.

~ Santa Claus arrives in Old Town Monrovia at 10 a.m. this Friday. Live music and candy canes.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Davien Graham's Story, Sleeping Driver, Intoxicated Driver, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 15-19. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Gang Violence Reduction - A Success Story
On Sunday, November 18, 2012, the Los Angeles Times ran a two-part article in the local section about a young man, Davien Graham [Video here: ], who in 2008 was the victim of a gang shooting in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County adjacent to Monrovia.  He was the victim of gang violence between two gangs that operated in the City of Monrovia and the unincorporated county areas adjacent to Monrovia and Duarte.  The article recounted his experience of being the victim of gang violence and of the subsequent trial where he testified against the suspect.  Davien showed strong character throughout his ordeal as he moved forward with his life and assisted Sheriff's investigators with the investigation and prosecution of the case.  The suspect, a Monrovia Nuevo Varrio gang member, was convicted of attempted murder earlier this year.
The article includes video and an interactive map about all of the violence that occurred in the region from 2006 to 2008.  The author talks about Davien's ordeal and the great strides he has made in his life, but leaves the reader with no understanding of the concerted efforts the community has made to reduce gang violence in this area. 
I would like to take this opportunity to inform the residents of Monrovia, Duarte and the surrounding unincorporated areas about the tremendous strides this area has made in reducing gang violence in this region.  These changes were accomplished through the cooperative efforts of the community members, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Monrovia Police Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and city leaders from Monrovia, Duarte and the County of Los Angeles.  The collaborative efforts of everyone in our community have resulted in unprecedented reductions in gang violence in our area.  From 2008 to 2011, we have seen a 64% decrease in gang crime in the City of Monrovia.  The unincorporated county areas of Monrovia and Duarte have also seen significant reductions in gang crime.
In 2007, gang violence had escalated between three gangs that operated in the unincorporated areas around Monrovia and Duarte, the City of Duarte and the City of Monrovia.  Two of the gangs are primarily Hispanic: Duarte Eastside and Monrovia Nuevo Varrio.  The third gang is primarily an African-American gang, the DuRoc Crips.  The violence was primarily between the DuRoc Crips and the two Hispanic gangs.  In an effort to confront this increase in violence, the community members from all three jurisdictions came together in an unprecedented collaborative effort to reduce gang violence and stop the gangs from recruiting more children into their ranks.
We came up with a three-part strategy to reduce the gang violence that included prevention, intervention and suppression.  The Monrovia Police Department came up with an innovative crime suppression strategy to immediately stop the violence.  In collaboration with 18 of our surrounding San Gabriel Valley police agencies, we were able to provide extensive gang enforcement in the area.  These 18 agencies each provided officers to this region over a period of several months, while investigators worked diligently to get these violent gang members in custody.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provided additional gang units to work the area and the California Highway Patrol provided a team of 18 officers to provide extra patrol in the area, as well.
All of these resources working together as a Monrovia/Duarte Gang Task Force were able to immediately stop the gang violence.  In the first 18 months, the task force was able to take over 40 violent gang members out of our community and successfully prosecute them for their crimes. 
The City of Monrovia and the County of Los Angeles, with the help of Supervisor Michael Antonovich, worked together to obtain a civil gang injunction against the Monrovia Nuevo Varrio and DuRoc Crip gangs.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office was instrumental in helping us obtain the gang injunction and trained Monrovia police officers and sheriff's deputies in the enforcement of the injunction.  This gang injunction has been a significant tool to help reduce gang violence in the City of Monrovia and the unincorporated county areas.
Prior to the increase in violence, community members from Monrovia who lived in the affected areas had become local neighborhood leaders as part of a new program called the Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP).  MAP leaders were instrumental in their neighborhoods to bring neighbors together, working on solutions to help stem the violence.  They went door-to-door in their neighborhoods talking to residents to dispel any rumors and providing them facts about crimes that were occurring.  They were also a big part of the organization of several peace rallies that occurred in Duarte and Monrovia.
Community church leaders were also instrumental in reducing fear and violence.  They hosted several community meetings to provide information to our citizens about resources available to individuals who would like to get out of the gang lifestyle and information on the gang injunction.  Community leaders from the City of Duarte and the City of Monrovia came together and created the Community Mediation Team (CMT).  The CMT met regularly to discuss strategies to reduce the violence, dispel rumors and bring all the resources of the community together to help at-risk youth.
Supervisor Antonovitch was instrumental in having this area designated as one of four trial sites for Los Angeles County's gang violence reduction efforts.  This program resulted in a number of prevention and intervention programs and resources being dedicated to our community.  Many meetings were held to obtain feedback from the residents on ways to reduce gang violence and prevent youth in our community from joining gangs.  All of the resources available to our community were identified through these meetings.  A Los Angeles County probation officer was assigned to work as a coordinator for our area.  This officer was also instrumental in obtaining funding for additional prevention programs.
The Monrovia Police Department created three innovative programs aimed at intervening in the lives of at-risk youth and preventing youth from going down the wrong path.  One program called the Chaplains for At-Risk Youth (CARY), utilized Monrovia Police Department chaplains to help families of children who were at risk of joining a gang.  When police officers would encounter or identify a child who was at risk, they would give this information to a police chaplain, who would then contact the child and their parents.  Many times the parents were unaware of their child's at-risk behavior.  However, chaplains were able to direct parents to resources in the community for counseling, substance abuse, after school care and tutoring.  Many families welcomed the help from the chaplain, where they may not have been so open to help from a police officer.  Another program we created in collaboration with the Monrovia Unified School District is the Monrovia Anti-Gang Intervention Committee (MAGIC).  MAGIC consisted of school counselors, police chaplains and gang officers.  This committee identifies at-risk youth in the schools and works collaboratively to provide resources to the families of these at-risk youth.  The third program is called the Formative Years Project.  The Formative Years Project is a parenting program aimed at parents and children in the first through third grade-children still young enough to listen to advice from parents, teachers and police officers.  Police officers provide training for the parents and the children to keep them safe and help prevent them from going down the wrong path.  Teens from local youth groups and school leadership groups help mentor these young children and work with officers as positive role models for these kids.
In our community, these three innovative programs have been instrumental in preventing kids from joining gangs and they continue to help us to intervene with kids who we identify that are at risk.  In 2010, the Monrovia Police Department won an international community policing award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for these programs.  In 2011, the Monrovia Police Department won the James Q. Wilson Award from the California Regional Community Policing Institute for our Project Safe Neighborhoods, which included these intervention programs and our gang task force efforts.
Two summer programs to provide activities for youth at parks in the affected areas were created.  In the unincorporated county area of Pamela Park, the County of Los Angeles provided the Parks After Dark program.  This program was instrumental in providing a safe place for youth to come together with positive activities on weekend evenings.  In the City of Monrovia, a YMCA program offered positive activities for youth in Library Park on Friday evenings.  The County of Los Angeles also funded the Y-Life Project, which is a gang violence reduction initiative.  Intervention workers receive formalized training to work with youth probationers and local gang members to help them find jobs, get education, receive substance abuse counseling and direct them to resources helping them get away from a gang lifestyle.
These are just some of the many programs that are available in our community that have helped reduce gang violence and provide positive alternatives to joining a gang.  The collaborative efforts of everyone in our community have resulted in unprecedented reductions in gang violence in our area. 
These results could not have been realized without the collaborative efforts of everyone in this community, particularly of people like Davien Graham who stood up and did the right thing, helping law enforcement and prosecutors prevent gang members from victimizing others in our community.
Domestic Violence Warrant Arrest - Suspect Arrested
November 15 at 11:30 a.m., officers went to a residence in the 600 block of South Primrose to serve a domestic violence warrant.  When they arrived, the suspect was located and identified.  While officers were attempting to arrest the suspect outside of his residence, the suspect tried to get away from officers by running and jumping a fence.  A brief struggle ensued, but the suspect was taken into custody.  As a result of the struggle, the suspect and officers sustained minor injuries.
Residential Burglary
November 18 at 6:02 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of Monterey.  Upon arrival, they found the suspect(s) had entered the residence through the window of a backdoor and ransacked the home.  A family member who responded did not know what had been taken.  The owner was away at the time of the burglary.  Investigation continuing.
Injury Traffic Collision
November 18 at 7:52 p.m., police responded to an injury traffic accident in the 400 block of East Colorado.  A driver fell asleep at the wheel and struck a parked vehicle, which then pushed two other cars into each other.  The driver complained of pain to the wrist, but declined medical treatment after being examined by Monrovia Fire Department paramedics. 
Injury Traffic Collision
November 19 at 2:17 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 1500 block of California regarding an injury traffic accident.  A driver fell asleep while driving home from work and he struck a tree.  The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment. 
Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision
November 19 at 4:49 a.m., a driver collided with a parked vehicle in the 200 block of Magnolia.  Officers responded and conducted a DUI investigation.  The suspect was arrested for driving under the influence.  Investigation continuing.
Ex-Felon With a Firearm
November 19 at 9:44 p.m., a witness called police to report seeing a man stash something in the bushes along a driveway in the 800 block of West Duarte Road.  The man returned a few minutes later and was detained by officers.  A loaded pistol was found in the bushes; the suspect was arrested for ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Car Show Visits Monrovia | Food Distribution | Girl Scout Bake Sale

~ Video: The show, My Classic Car, comes to Monrovia "to have a peek at some vintage Mopar muscle cars at the legendary Pomona drags."

~ Photos of Foothill Unity Center's Thanksgiving food distribution.

~ Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bake sale and craft items for sale to benefit Monrovia-Duarte Girl Scouts. Handmade crafts by Girl Scouts and their families. First Baptist, 223 Encinitas, Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Shot in 2008 Discusses His Fears

Video: Man shot in 2008 in front of Monrovia church discusses his fears:

- Brad Haugaard

Bright Light in Monrovia Sky

UPDATE: Explanation to letter below, from Lori LeVeque, of the Monrovia Police Department: "[W]e have reports of a transformer blowing that evening right about that time in the area of 5th and Huntington."

I just received this email from a reader. Did anybody else see this? Let me know.

"I arrived to my home in Monrovia around 1230am [last night, I assume], stepped out of my car, and while walking to the door there was an extremely bright light which lit up the entire sky and my street. I stood with my mouth open, because wtf, and then within a few seconds it happened again. Bright enough to light the street (reflection from cloud cover, but jeez). A blueish tinted white light. It originated pretty far west of my location (Mountain/Foothill).

"I listened for some kind of sound that would indicate an explosion/firework but did not hear anything.

"Is this something that you can find out about?

"I'm a nurse, I'm not too crazy. No gods, ghosts, or aliens. Just curious. Please let me know if you hear anything! Thank you."

COMMENT: I have an email in to the police department, but in the meantime I have a guess but I'd love to know if anybody else saw it. I would say it was distant lightning since the possibility of thunderstorms was predicted, and perhaps it was regular lightning, though  the silence doesn't seem to match that.

Here is a weird extra guess: When I was hiking in the mountains many years ago I saw ball lightning ( ). It was a ball of lightning that just drifted down from the clouds and then silently fizzled out, though I guess some explode.

Monrovia 43-6 Over South El Monte :-)

Monrovia victorious over South El Monte.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's 'Small Businesses Saturday'

At Monrovia's "Small Businesses Saturday", Nov. 24, merchants will be holding sales and special events, including ...

- The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Paint 'n' Play Gallery will have an art sale featuring photographer Stephen Coleman's, "Endeavour Moves Los Angeles," featuring the arrival of the space shuttle Endevour and it’s trip through the streets of LA to Exposition Park.

- There will be an Art Walk and Reception from noon to 6 p.m. with live entertainment, refreshments and demonstrations, as well as an opportunity to purchase the works of local painters, photographers, jewelers, and sculptors. Reception at 7 p.m. at Paint 'n' Play Gallery, 418 S. Myrtle. Information: 256-4848

- "Spark of Love" Toy Drive, Nov. 24-25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donate toys and sports equipment to needy kids, 400 Block of Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Exceeds API Goal

The Monrovia High School Newspaper, The Wildcat, rejoices that the school exceeding its API goal of 800 by two points, 802. That and other reports, here:

- Brad Haugaard

Lawsuits on Monrovia Council Agenda | Burglaries

~ At its Nov. 20 meeting, the Monrovia City Council will have a lot to discuss, but most of it in private. In closed session the Council-and-former-Redevelopment-Agency will confer with its legal counsel about four lawsuits. (Closed session agenda: ). Here is the open session agenda:

~ String of Monrovia burglaries.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at the New Jack in the Box

Figured I better try the new Jack in the Box at Huntington and Magnolia. New and clean. Got a spicy chicken sandwich combo with drink and curly fries for about $7. It was fine.

- Brad Haugaard

Rain Likely Today and Weekend | Foothill Unity Center: More Needy

~ Forty percent chance of rain today, then 30 percent on Saturday and 10 percent Sunday:

~ The number of people needing help from Foothill Unity Center continues to climb. The Center expects to give out 3,000 food boxes to low-income families during holiday distributions this year.

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center reports that it has served about 10,000 people through October, including 35,454 food orders to 12,117 individuals; 2,124 health services; provided 248 emergency hotel vouchers; referred 1,873 individuals to more than 100 service providers; provided 11,898 children with back-to-school supplies; gave 1,643 families Thanksgiving boxes and 11,855 holiday food boxes, and donated toys and clothes to 2,828 children.

If you'd like to help, you can donate here:

- Brad Haugaard

Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Game at Clifton Middle School

Students can win up to $60 playing Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Dec. 4, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Monrovia's Clifton Middle School while learning about their rights and responsibilities under the law. Presented by the Deputy Public Defender and Deputy District Attorney. Teams of 3-5 can enter. Parents can come too.

- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: Please, Senator Liu, use RSS

In the process of switching over to track Monrovia's new state senator (Democrat Carol Liu) from our previous state senator (Republican Bob Huff), I noticed something strange.

To get news out quickly, I use an old but reliable system called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that is embedded in virtually every web publishing platform. It let me quickly track additions Senator Huff made to his web page and turn his comments into news, so I thought I would use the same system to track additions Senator Carol Liu makes to her web page.

Well, I can't because she isn't using RSS. Further, in poking around, it appears that only two of her 25 Democratic senatorial colleagues listed here ( ) are using it. These are Kevin de Leon and Alan Lowenthal.

This strikes me as an oversight and not intentional, but it should be corrected.

RSS lets not only me, but anybody, quickly track what their representatives have to say.

On the other side of the aisle, all 14 Republican state senators listed here ( ) have an RSS feed for their websites and all but two (Ted Gaines and Sharon Runner) have an RSS button displayed right on their home page.

I ask that in reaching toward the ideal of open government, that Senator Carol Liu and her colleagues would activate the RSS feeds on their websites.

- Brad Haugaard

Senator Huff: Prop 30 Won't Bring More Money to Classroom

State Senator Bob Huff - who represents Monrovia until Carol Liu takes over - says that "Proposition 30 will not bring in more money to school classrooms. It simply stops the governor from pulling trigger cuts and further reducing education funding. So now we are in a situation where we are around 47th in the nation in per pupil funding but also have the highest tax rates in the nation. It begs the question, how are all the other states with lower tax rates funding their schools more than California?" More here:

- Brad Haugaard

Local Jewish Federation Supports Israel

The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys has issued a press release saying, "The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys and the local Jewish community stand with Israel and supports its right to defend its citizens from the terror and continued rocket fire from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups operating in Gaza."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Injuring a Cop, Teen Not Tricked, Stealing Meat, Son Hits Mom, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 8-14. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the highlighted issues and events for November 8-14, 2012.  During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 469 service events, resulting in 90 investigations.
Battery on a Peace Officer / Parole Violation - Suspect Arrested
November 8 at 6:50 a.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 300 block of East Olive regarding a subject trespassing.  An officer located and detained a person matching the suspect's description at the corner of Olive and Myrtle.  The officer confirmed it was, in fact, the suspect, and also learned that the suspect was on active parole.  An assisting officer arrived and during a search of the suspect, a bag of illegal narcotics was found in his possession.  The suspect became uncooperative and made attempts to break free from the officers.  A brief struggle ensued, but the suspect was eventually taken into custody.  As a result of the struggle, one of the officers sustained minor injuries.  The suspect was charged with battery on a peace officer and violation of parole.
Residential Burglary
November 8 at 3:43 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 900 block of East Greystone.  The burglary occurred sometime between 7:00 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.  The point of entry appears to be an unlocked bathroom window.  The items taken were a Kindle, laptop computers, and a television.  The investigation is continuing.
Man Attempts to Lure Teen into Car
November 8, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a 14-year-old middle school student was walking home alone after attending an after school sporting event.  As the student approached the area of Canyon and Colorado, a male suspect approached her and made inquiries about schools, as if he were unfamiliar with the area.  When the student answered the suspect's questions, he told her he needed to go to the high school and was in a hurry.  The suspect asked the student to get in his car and direct him to the high school.  When the student refused, the suspect offered her $200 to get in his car and direct him to the high school, but she refused again and continued to walk away.  The student glanced back and observed the suspect enter his vehicle and drive away. 
The suspect is described as a male, Hispanic, 20-25 years old, 5-09 to 5-10, 180 to 190 pounds, black shaggy hair - medium length, brown eyes, clean shaven, with silver metal-framed prescription glasses.  The suspect was wearing a black t-shirt and khaki pants with a brown camouflage pattern stripe on the legs.  The suspect vehicle is described as a silver, late 90's model, Honda Civic, 4-door, with a bicycle rack attached to the back of the trunk.  Click on Press Release to see a sketch of the suspect.  The investigation is continuing.
Commercial Burglary - Two Suspects Arrested
November 9 at 6:24 p.m., officers responded to a business in the 700 block of East Huntington regarding a burglary.  A male and female entered a grocery store and concealed packages of meat on their person; the female suspect concealed meat in her purse.  Both suspects attempted to exit without paying.  Loss prevention attempted to stop them.  The female stopped long enough for the loss prevention agent to grab her purse, and then both the male and female fled to a waiting car, which was driven away by another male suspect.  Officers located the vehicle with the suspects.  One suspect fled, while the other two were detained by officers.  Despite an area search, the male suspect that ran was not located.  The other two suspects were arrested and taken into custody.  
The female admitted they had planned the theft and to several prior thefts from the same store.  The three subjects are suspected of several thefts of meat and alcohol in recent weeks from the location.  Both have extensive prior criminal history.
November 10 at 6:59 p.m., vandalism was reported in the area of California and Cypress.  Green spray paint was used to write graffiti on a residential wall.  Three male Black subjects were observed tagging the wall with a spray can; however, they were not located.  The investigation is continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
November 11 at 3:00 a.m., a blue, 1989 Toyota Camry was stolen by unknown suspects.  The reporting party saw the vehicle being driven away toward the City of Arcadia.  Officers made an area search, but were unable to locate the vehicle.  Investigation continuing.
Residential Burglary
November 11 at 7:29 p.m., a burglary was reported in the 200 block of North Encinitas. The victim left his home on November 9 at 9:00 p.m. in the evening and returned at 7:15 p.m. on November 11 to discover his backdoor had been broken into and items had been taken.  Four firearms, one laptop, and a tablet were taken.  The investigation is continuing.
Battery Report
November 11 at 9:14 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a hospital regarding a female victim who was battered by her adult son.  The victim stated she was punched by her son, who had recently been kicked out of a sober living home.  The son also pushed the victim's boyfriend during the attack.  The victim sustained a fractured nose.  A wanted person entry for felony battery was made into the system for the suspect.  Investigation continuing.
Attempt Burglary
November 13 at 11:09 a.m., an attempt burglary was reported in the 600 block of Laurel Lane.  Neighbors witnessed a suspect coming out of a residence on Laurel Lane.  It initially appeared that the suspect was carrying a laptop.  The suspect was chased away and the neighbors called police.  Containment was set up and the area was searched on foot and by air, with no results.  The investigation continues.  The home owner responded and determined there was no loss.
Vehicle Burglary
November 13 at 6:35 p.m., police responded to the report of a vehicle burglary that occurred in a business parking lot in the 700 block of East Huntington.  The passenger side window was smashed and a purse that was left in the vehicle was stolen.  The investigation is continuing.
Special Enforcement Team Activity
Possession of a Controlled Substance - Suspect Arrested
November 8, Special Enforcement Team officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle near the 200 block of East Cherry.  The driver and vehicle were searched, and the driver was arrested for possession of cocaine.  The vehicle was stored.

Support Monrovia's Boys & Girls Club

Support Monrovia's Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills (600 S. Shamrock) on Nov. 17, 4-8 p.m. by attending a free Festival of Trees kick-off at The Promenade at Westfield Santa Anita. Santa arrives by fire truck at 4:30 p.m., a drawing for a $500 Westfield gift card, kid activities include cookie decorating, holiday photo frame craft, color your own Hanukkah magnets, snowflake ornaments, holiday coloring books, glitter tattoo artist, wax hand making, and a balloon artist. Pasadena Symphony & POPs will provide entertainment. Plus, gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets US Patent on Hydrogen Airplane

Monrovia's AeroVironment has been granted a U.S. patent on a hydrogen powered aircraft.

- Brad Haugaard

Goodbye Message from Assemblyman Anthony Portantino

Retiring Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents part of Monrovia, writes:

Dear Friends,

For the past six years, it has been my honor to represent the diverse and unique communities that make up the best Assembly District in California. I have worked hard to expand educational opportunities, keep our communities safe and hold state government accountable. It has been a learning experience every day and I couldn't have done it without you.

I am proud to say that throughout my time in the Legislature, I had 38 bills signed into law and I remain committed to helping in any way I can. Look for me at council meetings and on the soccer field, helping to preserve our open spaces and leading the charge for affordable higher education for all Californians.

My time with the California State Assembly ends November 30, and a new chapter begins. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to represent you. My wife, Ellen and I, and our daughters Sofia and Bella feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. I want to take a moment to wish you the best and to thank you for all that you have done to make the 44th Assembly District a special place to live.

Happy holidays and warmest thoughts for a healthy and happy New Year.

Anthony Portantino

Gold Line Bridge Almost Done

Gold Line spokesman Habib Balian writes:

"The Gold Line Bridge Construction will be complete in just one month. The Construction Authority and Skanska are focusing on final bridge details including the basket reeds, barrier and retaining walls, lighting and landscaping. Overall, the bridge is coming together as envisioned and will only be enhanced by the completion of these final details....

"As mentioned previously, another significant project element is the $160 million Gold Line Operations Campus in Monrovia being built to accommodate Metro's light rail vehicle fleet. With demolition now complete at the 24-acre site and grading underway, FTC crews are focused on completing the material removal, relocating utilities, and preparing to mass grade the largest single project element of the Foothill Extension project."

- Brad Haugaard

Helping for Thanksgiving | Busy Saturday | The Baptists | Fantastic Sams

~ Foothill Unity Center Thanksgiving Packing Day, LA County Arboretum; various days. For volunteer info call Raina at (626)358-3486, or email

~ Nov. 17, Monrovia Library's Thanksgiving Book Feast for ages 4 years through 5th grade. Stories, songs, craft, film, snacks and more. 2 p.m. in the Libaray. Info: 256-8274

~ Nov. 17, Monrovia Library teen program, Hunger Games Challenge. 6th-12th graders only, come dressed as a tribute, join a district; test mental and physical skills in Hunger Games trivia and challenges. 7-9 p.m. Info: 256-8274

~ Nov. 17 and 18, Free electronic waste recycling at Monrovia Park N Ride (corner of S. Myrtle & W. Pomona Avenues) 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For more info call (909) 591-8408, visit , or call the Monrovia Chamber at (626)358-1159

~ First Baptist Church (223 South Encinitas) will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a re-dedication service on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. To RSVP or for info, call 359-4533 or

~ Second Baptist Church (925 South Shamrock) will hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner and food drive on Nov. 20, noon to 2 p.m. Info: 358-2136

~ Fantastic Sams (barber) will be opening soon at the Pavillions shopping area. I saw the "Coming Soon" sign.

Source: Thanks to Becky Shevlin for the events.

- Brad Haugaard

Editorial Supports School Decision in Cheerleader Prank

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune agrees with the Monrovia High administration and argues that the cheerleader prank went too far.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Bear on Hillcrest

This bear thing is beginning to lose its novelty. I took this on Hillcrest today, just east of Myrtle. Baby bear was just across the street so I assume this is mamma bear. As you can see, the parks folks try to chase her back into the hills. Sorry for the lousy quality. I could have moved closer but figured discretion was the better part of valor.

- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Closure Tonight

Full closure of the 210 eastbound starting with up to three lanes closed at 10 p.m. tonight, full closure at 11 p.m., and ending at 5 a.m. For the removal of bridge construction materials.

- Brad Haugaard

Residential Burglary

Police are searching now for a suspect on a residential burglary in north Monrovia, around Canyon and Ridgeside. Marked and unmarked cars and copter.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Bear vs. Pepper Spray

Video: Bear gets a blast of pepper spray.

- Brad Haugaard

Republican Congressional Candidate May Leave California

Republican David Miller -- who ran against winner Grace Napolitano to represent the 32nd Congressional District, which includes Monrovia south of Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone -- is considering leaving California. He writes in the Letters section of the Star-News that as a small businessman he is paying about 70% of his income in various taxes, which he says is too much. (Can't link to it because the letter does not appear to be on line yet.) Update - Here's the link:

- Brad Haugaard

Veterans Day at Library Park

Video of Veterans Day celebration at Library Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Sketch of Man Sought by Monrovia Police

Sketch of man accused of luring teenage girl to car.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Over Viewpoint :-)

Monrovia beats Viewpoint High (of Calabasas) 50-0 in first of playoff games.

- Brad Haugaard

New Scoreboard for Monrovia High South Gym?

At its 7 p.m. Nov. 14 meeting, the Monrovia School Board will discuss getting a new scoreboard for the Monrovia High School South Gym, at a cost of $8,115.56; the use of school facilities; and other stuff. Details here:

World Vision Help Haiti | Monrovia Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade

~ Monrovia's Christian relief agency, World Vision, has responded to Hurricane Sandy's destruction in Haiti by distributing food, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, jerry cans, blankets, baby supplies, and bedding to more than 7,000 families in the capital Port-au-Prince, the island of La Gonave, and around the southern town of Les Cayes. Details:

~ Christmas tree lighting ceremony and holiday parade, Dec. 6. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Girl Refuses Lure to Ride in Car

~ Man tries to lure Monrovia girl into car.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Loteria

Lunch at Loteria, the new name for Enrique's, at Colorado and Ivy. Got the Cocinita Pibil, which I believe is a Yucatan specialty, for $14.95 plus tax and tip for food and iced tea. Pork, plantains, black beans with marinated onions and a little salad. Really good and a generous portion. I had to take some home.

- Brad Haugaard

Clifton Teacher Finalist for California Teacher of the Year

Kyle McClure, a science teacher at Monrovia's Clifton Middle School is
an LA County finalist to be California Teacher of the Year.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge: 'Largest, Single Public Art Transit Infrastructure Project' In State

The 210 Gold Line bridge, "the most distinctive bridge in Southern California," is nearing completion. It will be "the largest, single public art transit infrastructure project in California."
Anchored by two 25-foot tall concrete baskets that pay tribute to the indigenous peoples of the San Gabriel Valley and the oversize iconic roadside traditions of nearby Route 66, the Gold Line Bridge over the I-210 freeway northeast of Los Angeles, in Arcadia, will be the new Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley when it is completed next month.
- The on-time and on-budget Gold Line Bridge is the first element of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa to be completed by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

- More than 92% of the materials used to make the bridge were domestic, nearly all from local and regional sources.

- The LAEDC estimates that the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa will generate nearly 7,000 new jobs (2,600 in construction) and $1 billion in economic output for the region over its construction period (construction completion is anticipated in late 2015).

- A national artist competition led to the selection of renowned public artist Andrew Leicester to create the bridge's landmark design. The selection was made by a committee of community stakeholders from throughout the Foothill Extension's corridor, following receipt of 15 submissions by highly qualified public artists.

- Mr. Leicester's vision for the bridge drove the design and engineering process – the first time such a process has been used on Caltrans infrastructure project.

- In addition to the two large concrete baskets, the bridge's featured serpentine design on the main underbelly of the bridge simulates the patterns found on the Western Diamondback snake, metaphorically referencing the spine of the transit system.
Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Staff Testing Christmas Lights

Monrovia reports on Facebook that starting tonight city staff is testing the Old Town holiday lights and that those lights will be featured in a holiday themed T-Mobile commercial Monday night, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Automated Car Wash to Go in East Monrovia

There will be a new automated car wash going in where Angelo's Burgers used to be, at 935 East Huntington, over near Duarte, according to notes from the Monrovia Planning Commission. Plus, a number of new residential developments. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Infected City Website Should be Fixed Soon

Monrovia city spokesman Dan Bell said the problem of the city website being infected by a virus that turns the web pages into promotions for Viagra and Cialis "should be resolved shortly." No specific deadline at this point, he said, but soon.

Also, he adds, the whole site is being redesigned and will be replaced in the near future.

Previous articles:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Post Office Grow Your Business Seminar

The Monrovia Post Office will hold a free ‘Grow Your Business’ seminar about EDDM Retail, eBay shipping and other topics at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Monrovia Post Office, 225 S. Ivy Ave. To reserve a spot visit .

"Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Retail offers a reach unparalleled by any other method to build traffic and find new customers. Now the local butcher, baker and pizza pie maker can reach every mailbox on a local neighborhood delivery route with EDDM Retail using a simplified address of 'Postal Customer.'

"And for eBay sellers, USPS has simplified shipping merchandise to customers. Without leaving your home or office you can order free shipping supplies, download postage and print shipping labels, schedule a free package pick up and more."

"EDDM Retail allows businesses to mail small volumes (200 - 5,000 pieces) within an area serviced by a single Post Office at the retail counter using cash, check, or debit card. Save time on mail preparation and save cost with no bulk permit fees or mailing list needed. Businesses just need to register to utilize EDDM Retail. For additional information businesses can visit or call USPS Business Development Specialist Alexandra Uyleman at 323-586-1473.

Source: USPS press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car Left with Motor Running Driven Away, Electronics Burglaries, 3:30 A.M. With a Crowbar

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 5-7. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 469 service events, resulting in 90 investigations.
Residential Burglary
November 5 at 3:55 p.m., police responded to a residence in the 300 block of Greystone.  The resident came home and found a large quantity of items had been gathered by the suspects, but was left near the front door.  It appears the suspects were scared off and left the items behind.  A laptop computer and PS3 video game were taken.  The investigation is continuing.
Domestic Violence / False Imprisonment / Assault With a Deadly Weapon / Attempted Robbery - Suspect Arrested
November 5 at 11:06 p.m., a domestic violence incident was reported in the 400 block of Monrovista.  A 19-year-old male subject held a knife to the throat of his girlfriend as he restrained her and demanded money.  She was not injured during this crime; however, during the investigation, it was learned the suspect hit the victim in the face earlier that day in the City of El Monte, which caused an injury.  The suspect was arrested without incident.
Residential Burglary
November 6 at 5:55 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of Mountain View Avenue.  A residential burglary had occurred sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Unknown suspect(s) gained entry by climbing through a window.  An IPAD, X-Box, two Laptops, and two handguns were stolen.  The investigation is continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
November 7 at 7:51 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of East Los Angeles Street.  The victim left his vehicle running in his driveway while he was moving some equipment from his house to his car.  While he was inside the house, he heard the sound of his vehicle being driven away.  He tried to locate the vehicle with negative results.  A firearm was in the car when it was taken.  The vehicle was later recovered in the City of El Monte.  The vehicle had been set on fire and burned.  The investigation is continuing.
Vehicle Burglary
November 7 at 7:13 p.m., an officer responded to a vehicle burglary report in the 100 block of Orange Court.  The victim parked his vehicle and locked the doors at around 9:00 p.m. in the evening.  He returned to the vehicle at 8:00 a.m. in the morning and saw his vehicle had been ransacked and items were taken.  The Items taken were golf clubs, workout clothing, a watch, and sunglasses.  Investigation continuing.
Burglary / Possession of Burglary Tools - Suspect Arrested
November 8 at 3:27 a.m., an officer on patrol observed a suspicious subject in the area of 200 North Grand.  Due to the time of morning and the area having many recent burglaries, the officer stopped to talk to the subject.  During the contact, the officer found the subject was in possession of a crow bar, car stereo, and other burglary tools.  An area check was conducted for evidence of a crime and a vehicle missing a stereo was found a short distance away.  The owner of the vehicle confirmed his vehicle had been burglarized and the stereo found on the suspect detained was, in fact, the one missing from his vehicle. 

Police Officer's Gun, Badge and Car Stolen

Reserve El Monte police officer who lives in Monrovia has his car, containing gun and badge, stolen from in front of his house.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment May Have Deal with Fiat

Monrovia's AeroVironment has installed more than 10,000 residential car chargers in the US, and may get a deal with Fiat.

- Brad Haugaard

See Hacked City of Monrovia Web Pages for Yourself

I have an email in to the City of Monrovia asking about the city's hacked website, and I'll let you know what I hear back. But I'm beginning to wonder if anybody even believes me that the website actually has been hacked (earlier articles: and ). So, if you want to see the hacked pages for yourself in your browser, the easiest way is to just look at what Google found when it visited the pages. We do that by looking at Google's cache.

Again, the pages below do not appear hacked for a regular visitor to the website, just for Google, so ...

Here is one of the city's Viagra pages as it appears to you ( ) and here is the same page as Google sees it:

Here is a city Cialis page as it appears to you ( ) and here is the same page as Google sees it:

Here is a whole set of Google results with dozens of infected pages. (Roll over the almost invisible >> button to the right of each search result, then click on the "Cached" link.):

Also, you can view the pages directly by changing the user-agent on your browser to "googlebot" ( ), but I'd avoid that unless you're a techie.

- Brad Haugaard

Video of 210 Bridge Artist's Sketchbook | Rita's Italian Ice | Stuff the Monrovia Fire Engine

~ A short video of award-winning artist Andrew Leicester's Gold Line Bridge design sketchbook on display as part of Pasadena Art Center's "Pages" Exhibition.

~ Rita's Italian Ice (apparently popular on the East Coast) store may be coming to Monrovia area.

~ Stuff the Monrovia Fire Engine to make a child's Christmas more enjoyable. Nov. 23-24 in front of the Krikorian Theater. For details contact Firefighter Ernie Moreno, 256-8181.

- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Lane Closure | Vets Day | City Survey

~ Nov. 8, from 2 a.m. to 1 p.m. two eastbound 210 lanes will be closed for bridge crews "to remove the last remaining falsework from the freeway median."

~ On Facebook Mayor Mary Ann Lutz invites you to a Veterans Day observance at Library Park on Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m.

~ Monrovia wants your thoughts for direction in its planning, so look for a survey in your water bill, call 932-5555 x1402, text 219-0845 or e-mail , or attend a meeting. Two listed here:

- Brad Haugaard

The Local Winners

Soon serving Monrovia ...

- Judy Chu (D) [over Jack Orswell (R)] in Congress (27th District), handling the of top Monrovia, roughly from Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone north.

- Grace Napolitano (D) [over David Miller (R)] in Congress (32nd District), handling the rest of Monrovia.

- Carol Liu (D) [over Gilbert Gonzales (R)] in the State Senate.

- Chris Holden (D) [over Donna Lowe (R)] in the Assembly.

Also, Measure J passed, meaning we will continue to pay the transportation tax begun under Measure R. (Update: Oops! I stand corrected. It got a majority but not the required two-thirds.)

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Area Election Results

Results after polls close at 8 p.m.

Here are links to results for our local races:

Results for 27th District U.S. House of Representatives
Note: This is the top sliver of Monrovia, roughly from Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone north.
Jack Orswell (R) vs. Judy Chu (D):

Results for 32nd District U.S. House of Representatives
Note: This is the rest of Monrovia, roughly from Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone to the south.
David Miller (R) vs. Grace Napolitano (D):

Results for 25th State Senate District
Carol Liu (D) vs. Gilbert Gonzales (R):

Results for 41st Assembly District
Chris Holden (D) vs. Donna Lowe (R):

Results for Measure J

Results for anything else you'd like to track

- Brad Haugaard

News Photographer Finds Trouble at Polls | Election Day Giveaway | Native American History

~ Press photographer told he was not permitted to take pictures in Monrovia polling place. Poll worker backs down.

~ Election day giveaway, a beautiful photo of Monrovia at night.

~ Monrovia Historic Museum is featuring Native American Heritage this month with exhibits from the early 1900s, exhibits honoring our schools, the Pottenger Health Sanatorium, Native American and natural history artifacts from the city's 120 year history. Details: 357-9537 or (909) 297-6356. Hours: Thursday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Free.

- Brad Haugaard

Voting Day in Monrovia

Vote today! Haven't had time to vote yet but it looked pretty busy as
I drove by my polling spot. The before-work crowd.

- Brad Haugaard

A State Bowl Game for Monrovia? | Business Stats

~ Sports writer Steve Ramirez wonders if there is a state bowl game in Monrovia's future.

~ Some interesting stats about business from the latest Monrovia Today magazine:

- There are 1,300 businesses in town that create 18,000 jobs and pay $8 million in sales tax. - The top 50 employ nearly 7,400 people and pay $5.2 million in sales tax, or 65% of the sales tax. - Top three business categories (by revenue) are autos (50%), retail and grocer (36%), manufacturing (7%).

Comment: I like that Monrovia actually seems appreciative of its businesses, unlike a certain state government I could mention, which seems to want to burden and threaten them at every step.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Switchblade is 'Invention of the Year' | Donate by Text | Job Videos

~ Time magazine calls the Switchblade drone, made by Monrovia's AeroVironment, one of the best inventions of 2012.

~ Monrovia Presbyterian Church is suggesting its members donate $10 to Presbyterian Disaster Relief to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts by sending a text saying "PDA" to 20222. The church says "Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ... gives 100% of the funds to help those in need."

~ Monrovia Library adds "Soft Skills" videos to its Job and Career Center.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Xencor Has Anti-Tumor Drug | Help Hurricane Victims | Black Alumni Banquet | Fire Danger Today

~ Monrovia's Xencor and its German partner are reporting encouraging signs for its new anti-tumor drug for some types of leukemia and lymphoma.

~ Monrovia Mayor suggests a donation to help Sandy hurricane victims through the Red Cross. 1-800-HELP-NOW or .

~ Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association will honor James Mikell and William Hale, Jr. at a scholarship dinner-dance Nov. 17 at Embassy Suites in Arcadia. Call Eloise Hart at 529-5671 for ticket info.

~ Fire danger today.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Trying Out a New Shotgun, Rock vs. Truck Window, Stolen Acura

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for November 1-4. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Vehicle Vandalism
On November 2 at 5:57 a.m., a vehicle was reported vandalized in the 700 block of West Huntington.  It was determined that a rock was used to break the window of the victim's Dodge RAM truck.  The victim has no idea who would vandalize his truck as he is not from this area.  Investigation continuing.
Grand Theft Auto
On November 4 at 2:52 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of South Shamrock.  The victim parked the vehicle on the street at 11:00 p.m. in the evening and locked the doors and windows.  The victim looked outside the window at about 2:30 a.m. and saw vehicle was missing.  The vehicle stolen was a 1996 Silver Acura.  The investigation is continuing.
Unlawful Discharge of a Shotgun / Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
On November 4 at 10:01 p.m., a 45-year-old male subject was in an alley in the 200 block of West Lime and he unlawfully and intentionally fired his new shotgun in the air.  He then drove away from the scene in a blue jeep with the shotgun.  He had been visiting family in the 200 block of West Lime and was returning to Los Angeles.  Officers located and stopped the male subject a couple blocks from the scene and found the shotgun in the vehicle.  The subject was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol.  The ejected shotgun shell casing was found in the alley next to the house he had been visiting.  The suspect was arrested for negligent discharge of the weapon and for driving under the Influence of alcohol.

The Big One? | Aztec Hotel Meeting | Local Artists Work on Sale | Monrovia vs. Calabasas | Forest Service Building | Unity Needs Volunteers | Christmas Tree Lighting

~ Is the "big one" coming? Earthquake consultant April Keley told the Monrovia Coordinating Council today that it looks like "the trend line is toward a tipping point." She said in a big quake there could be a 30-foot offset to Cajon Pass with all power and water cut off. "Don't expect any help for two weeks." Only 10 percent of people have made any preparation, she said.

~ Monrovia Historic Preservation Group will have a meeting at 5 p.m. this Wednesday (Nov. 7) at the Aztec Hotel about the preservation of the hotel.

~ Art for sale from local Monrovia Association of Fine Arts artists, Nov. 24, noon to 8 p.m. at 418 S. Myrtle. Featuring Stephen Coleman's photos of spaceship Endeavor coming to Los Angeles.

~ Monrovia School Board member Ed Gililland said Monrovia is playing Viewpoint (Calabasas) in football playoffs this Friday at Monrovia.

~ Also, Gililland, retired from the Forest Service, said the new Forest Service office at Santa Anita and the freeway should be opening Dec. 11.

~ With holidays coming up, Foothill Unity Center needs help for food distributions. If you would like to help, call Raina at 358-3486 or email

~ The tree-lighting ceremony for Monrovia's new Christmas tree (at northeast corner of Library Park) will be at 6 p.m. December 6. Parade to follow at 7 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Lawn-Sign Poll

In a pre-election unscientific lawn-sign poll, I wandered around
Monrovia and looked at signs to get a feeling for how the city will
vote on the candidates. I went up and down on Magnolia and California
and wandered at north and south ends of town.

I didn't see a single candidate sign south of Duarte Road, just anti-32 signs.

I saw two Obama signs south of Huntington and north of the freeway,
but most signs for both parties were above Foothill.

Overall I saw 12 signs for Republican candidates and 10 for
Democratic candidates.

Totally unscientific.

- Brad Haugaard

Land Clearance for Monrovia Gold Line Project

The land just west of The Home Depot is being cleared for the Gold Line.

- Brad Haugaard