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Monrovia Cops Wait on Tables for Tips for Charity

Monrovia Police Department's Tip-A-Cop event will take place on May 2, 2013, from 5-9:30 p.m. at the Monrovia Claim Jumper Restaurant ( ). Help support the Special Olympics by having Monrovia Police Officers wait on you. All tips are tax deductible and will be used to support sports training, gear and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More about Tip-A-Cop and Special Olympics Southern California:

- Brad Haugaard

Holden Disappointed in Fate of His Prison Bill

Assemblymember Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, said he was disappointed that his prison bill was shot down. His statement:

"I was extremely disappointed today that my effort to improve care for seriously mentally ill offenders was defeated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

"I think it's important to understand that under prison realignment the continuity and quality of mental health treatment for Mentally Disordered Offenders is jeopardized when these individuals are forced to transfer from State care to County care which often lacks the resources to treat these patients," said Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena).

"I believe this is an important issue that needs to be addressed in order to maintain both patient care and the safety of our communities. I will continue to work with Los Angeles County Probation and Mental Health officials and will take the bill up again," concluded Holden.

Jerry Powers, Chief Probation Officer, Los Angeles County added: "While I am very disappointed with the outcome of the vote today, I appreciate the work of Assembly Member Holden for recognizing and understanding the problem and stepping up to address this issue. I was also encouraged by and appreciated the support of Assembly Member Holly Mitchell and believe that we must make progress on this issue to improve public safety not only for Los Angeles County but all counties throughout the State."

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia Celebrates 125 Years

First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia is celebrating its 125th birthday with a night of music and worship and a hamburger bar-b-cue starting at 6 p.m. on May 18, and then on Sunday, May 19, with a fiesta after the church service, with a "bounce house" and $5 taco bar.

- Brad Haugaard

Military No Longer Wants AeroVironment's Global Observer Drone

After funding its development, Pentagon no longer wants to buy the huge Global Observer hydrogen powered drone built by Monrovia's AeroVironment.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Football Gets 'Big Boost'

Kurt Scoby's arrival gives Monrovia Football "a big boost."

- Brad Haugaard

AeroVironment Drones Look for Drug Smugglers at Sea

Drones made by Monrovia's AeroVironment look for drug smugglers in the Caribbean.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Careful Where You Train for Paintball, Careful About Flipping Off Cops While Crossing Against Light, DUIs, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 25-28. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Suspicious Person
April 25 at 5:30 p.m., an officer was dispatched to a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle on the report of a male subject in black clothes, a ski mask, a hat and knee pads; the subject was running in front of the library with what appeared to be some type of firearm.  Upon arrival, police found a male subject, wearing paintball attire and carrying an Airsoft gun.  He told police he was training for an upcoming paintball event.  The subject was informed of the fear he had caused to citizens in the park and was advised to choose a more appropriate place to train for his event.
Hit & Run Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence
April 25 at 6:23 p.m., police responded to a traffic collision in the area of Mayflower and Colorado.  An adult female subject was driving west on Colorado and struck a vehicle as she turned north onto Mayflower.  The driver failed to stop and continued north on Mayflower.  She then attempted to turn west onto Linwood and drove through a chain-link fence, coming to rest in the front yard of a Monrovia residence.  Officers arrived and determined the driver had been driving while under the influence of alcohol. 
The driver was uncooperative and refused to submit to any sobriety or chemical tests.  She was transported to a hospital as a precaution, where she continued to be uncooperative with hospital staff, so the extent of her injuries could not be determined; no visible injuries could be seen.  The report will be completed and a verified complaint will be filed. 
Residential Burglary
April 25 at 11:14 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 400 block of East Greystone.  The victim left her residence at 6:00 p.m. and returned at 11:10 p.m.  She entered her residence and noticed the three bedrooms had been ransacked.  The suspect(s) made entry through an unlocked living room window.  The loss appears to be cash and jewelry.  The investigation is continuing.
Alarm Activation / Burglary
April 27 at 6:35 a.m., officers responded to an alarm activation at an elementary school in the 200 block of Jasmine Avenue.  The officers found an open window and could see inside the room; it did not appear to be ransacked.  The interior of the school was checked, but no suspect(s) were located.  A night janitor arrived on scene and said it did not appear that anything had been taken, but a request will be made to school officials to verify any possible loss.  Investigation continuing.      
Warrant – Suspect Arrested
April 27 at 10:25 p.m., an officer was traveling south on Myrtle and observed an adult female pedestrian crossing Myrtle, at Olive, against the red light.  The officer honked his horn to get the subject out of the intersection.  She looked toward the officer and made an obscene hand gesture.  She appeared surprised when the emergency lights were activated, and she later stated she was unaware that the vehicle was a police vehicle.  She was stopped once she crossed the street.  A computer check revealed she had an outstanding, felony no-bail warrant; she was arrested for the warrant.
Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
April 28 at 1:41 a.m., an officer on patrol in the area of Myrtle and Central noticed a vehicle facing north on Myrtle, preparing to turn west onto Central.  There was loud music emitting from the vehicle.  The light turned green, and as the driver was making the turn, he struck the concrete center median.  The driver was stopped.  As the officer approached, he detected an odor of alcohol.  The driver was determined to be under the influence and was arrested for DUI.
Warrant – Suspect Arrested
April 28 at 7:12 a.m., an officer saw a transient male subject who he recognized as the suspect in a child annoying case he had investigated several months prior.  The suspect had been annoying a teenage resident of Monrovia.  He also knew the subject is a sex registrant from Florida.  A computer check revealed the subject had a warrant for his arrest regarding that same case.  The officer arrested the subject and he was taken into custody.
Marijuana / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
April 28 at 4:46 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting a subject in the 300 block of Genoa smoking marijuana on the street.  Officers arrived, located the suspect, and as they began to investigate further, the male subject ran from them.  A short foot pursuit ensued, but the suspect was quickly apprehended and arrested for obstructing and delaying officers, as well as for the original violation of possessing marijuana.

Fire Danger | Veggies at Monrovia's Library Park | Book Sale

~ Elevated fire danger in the area. Warm and dry.

~ The May "Produce in the Park" veggie exchange will take place May 4, 9-11 a.m. near the Mark Twain sculpture in Library Park.

~ Plan ahead. Friends of the Monrovia Library book sale in the Community Room and outside in Library Park on May 17 and 18 from noon to 5 p.m. Plus, $2-a-bag sale Saturday from 4-5 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Opinion: Should Government Pay for Restaurant Meals?

Opinion: I just saw this "We Accept EBT" (Electronic Benefit Transfer, aka "food stamps") sign on the Weinerschnitzel fast-food restaurant on Huntington (there's one on the Church's Chicken across the street as well). This seems just totally wrong to me. I can understand the government helping people buy healthy food so they can prepare meals for their families, but should the government really be paying people to eat in restaurants, particularly fast-food restaurants? Am I missing something?

- Brad Haugaard

Slideshow of Houses on Monrovia Old Homes Tour

Here is a slideshow of the six houses that will be on the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group's 2013 Old Homes Tour, on May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council to Reorganize, Hear Reports on Fire and Water Main Break

At a special Monrovia City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. (agenda: ), the council will reorganize. Councilman Joe Garcia will say a few words and step down and newly-elected officers will take the oath of office. The one new face will be Alexander Blackburn.

The only other business will be a report on the status of the emergency response to the California Avenue water main break and to the Madison fire.

- Brad Haugaard

No Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Monrovia This Year

On its Facebook page, the Monrovia Cinco de Mayo Association announced: "The 2013 Monrovia Cinco de Mayo event has been CANCELLED! This is an official notice and there is NO reschedule date. Thanks for your interest!!"

According to Jennifer McLain, at the Monrovia City Hall, the city's involvement in last year's event was limited to issuing street closures. She said she does not know why this year's event was cancelled, but "What I do know is that at the March 13 MOTAB [Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board] meeting, Rudy Castrellon announced his resignation from the Cinco de Mayo Association.

Castrellon was president of the association and very involved with previous Monrovia Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

- Brad Haugaard

T Phillips for Lunch

Went to T Phillips for lunch, at Myrtle and Colorado. Got the T Burger with the homemade potato chips and a Spaten beer. Nice sitting in the outside patio on a pleasant day. Burger ($10) and beer ($6) were good, as always. (Plus tax and tip.)

- Brad Haugaard

Drones Watch Bunnies | Monrovia Wildflower Tour | Girl Scouts Collect Food | Portantino Honored

~ Raven drones from Monrovia's AeroVironent are being used to keep an eye on little bunny rabbits (See mini-bunny picture at bottom of page).

~ Guided wildflower tour of Monrovia hills tomorrow, April 27, 8:30-11 a.m. at Monrovia Canyon Park lower parking lot. Learn why some flowers only appear in certain areas, while others will only appear after a fire. Wear comfortable shoes, bring snacks and water. Register with Community Services at 256-8246. $10 per person.

~ The Girl Scouts and Ralphs Supermarkets will be collecting food for Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center tomorrow, April 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For information on how to help, call Raina Martinez or Diane Ortiz at 358-3486.

~ Former State Assemblymember, Anthony Portantino, who represented Monrovia, has received the Marge Wyatt Advocacy Award "for his longtime support of children and families."

- Brad Haugaard

Contemporary-Style Monrovia Church Growing Rapidly

Monrovia's new church, Fellowship Monrovia, got a lengthy write-up in the paper version of the Star-News this morning (I can't find it on line or I'd just link to it). A few blurbs from the article:

- Pastor Albert Tate: "We don't look the same, and we don't vote the same, but we are united as one in the gospel."

- Tate: "If you come and never make a disciple, never reach out to the poor, never share the gospel in the community, we aren't accomplishing our vision."

- The church is known for "dynamic contemporary music and preaching that is relevant and applicable to everyday life."

- The church is developing a network of "intergenerational and multiethnic Life Groups" where people "can be known, cared for, and unleashed to serve others."

- At last Sunday's service, the Monrovia High School auditorium (where the church meets at 9 and 11 a.m.) was "nearly filled."

- Brad Haugaard

Maryknoll Fundraiser | New Member of Board for Monrovia's AeroVironment

~ Spring Flowers Luncheon/Card party to be held on Tuesday May, 14, 2013 at the Maryknoll Center, 300 Norumbega Drive. Card players may come at 10 a.m. Luncheon at 12 noon. Cost is $15 per person. For reservations call 358-1825. Funds raised are for the betterment of the Maryknoll Sisters and their Monrovia residence.

~ Stephen F. Page has been appointed to the board of directors of AeroVironment. Page most recently served on the corporate boards and audit committees of Lowe's Companies, Inc., PACCAR, Inc., and Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc., where he was lead director, and on the board of trustees at Loyola Marymount University.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Prevention, Fire Fighters, and Monrovia's Older American

'This Week in Monrovia' newsletter, featuring fire prevention tips, a tribute to firefighters, and congratulations to Cajsa Larsson, Monrovia's Older American of the Year.

- Brad Haugaard

Aerial Photo of Monrovia Gold Line Yard

An aerial photo of the under-construction 24-acre Gold Line maintenance yard. They're working on underground utilities and foundation work.

- Brad Haugaard

Arrest in Monrovia Burglary | Battle of Bands

~ Baldwin Park man arrested in connection with Monrovia burglary.

~ Battle of the Bands at Monrovia High.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Theft of VehicleSeats, Burglary, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 22-24. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.

Residential Burglary

April 22 at 10:21 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 200 block of Poinsettia. The victim left for work at about 8:00 a.m. When she returned home at 10:00 p.m., she found a rear window open. She went to the police station and reported it. Officers were dispatched to the location and cleared the home. No suspects were located. Unknown suspect(s) entered the home and took jewelry and other miscellaneous property. Investigation continuing.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested

April 23 at 1:07 p.m., an officer on patrol stopped a subject on a bicycle in the 400 block of West Duarte Road for a vehicle code violation. A computer check on the subject revealed the he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The subject was arrested and taken into custody.

Vehicle Burglary

April 23 at 2:05 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported at a hotel in the 900 block of West Huntington. The vehicle was broken into between 8:00 p.m. the previous night and 8:00 a.m. that morning. The third row seat was stolen from the vehicle. There was no sign of forced entry on the locked vehicle. The investigation is continuing.


April 24 at 4:53 p.m., police were dispatched to the 700 block of Anita regarding a burglary that had just occurred. The victim walked outside and saw a 30-year-old, male Hispanic subject inside his vehicle. The vehicle was parked inside his attached garage and was unlocked. The victim yelled at the suspect, who ran from the house. The home owner chased the suspect as the police were called, but he lost sight of him. Police apprehended the suspect at Mayflower and Diamond. The suspect was positively identified by the victim and was arrested for burglary. The suspect had an outstanding no-bail warrant for drugs and burglary.

Monrovia Church Goes Live Online

Monrovia's New Beginnings Family Church (Peck Road at Longden Ave.) is now broadcasting its services live online:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire 100% Contained

On Twitter, the City of Monrovia says: "Chief Donovan has announced, The Madison Fire is now at 100% containment."

- Brad Haugaard

No Tweeting in Class, Monrovia High!

This went out today in the Monrovia High ASB's "Daily Announcements" newsletter:

"Here's the harsh. . . but true facts wildcats! There is no texting, Instagram, Selfees, tweeting, updating your Facebook page, or online gaming..... In plain English, if you have your phone out during instruction time, security will pick it up, and your parents will get a chance to visit 111 and they have a right to check out all of your posts."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Board Wants to Know: What Do You Want in a Superintendent?

Dear staff, parents, and community:

As you may be aware, the board of education has selected an executive search firm to assist with the superintendent search process. As part of this process, the board believes it is important to obtain input from staff, parents, and community.

The board would like to invite you to participate in providing your views on the specific experience, leadership skills and abilities desired in a new superintendent.

There are three options for input:

1) An online survey - available on the district homepage or by clicking the link below:

- English Survey:

- Spanish Survey:

2) A written survey - available at the district office and any school site;

Note: all surveys must be completed and submitted by April 30th.

3) Or, if you feel you have further information that needs to be shared in person with the search firm advisors, you can call now to select a time for an appointment on either Monday, April 29 or Tuesday, April 30.

For further information, or to set an appointment to meet with the search firm advisors, please call Kristin Mariconda at (626) 47i-2010.

Thank you, and we look forward to your input.

Kristin K. Mariconda

Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent

Source: Monrovia School District email

- Brad Haugaard

Disease Prevention Through Diet - Film at Monrovia High

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m., there will be a showing of the 90-minute documentary movie, Forks Over Knives - about how nutrition can prevent heart disease and other problems - at the Monrovia High School Auditorium. John Tanner, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Tanner Research in Monrovia, will introduce the film. Tanner suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest three years ago. Since then, he has studied the causes of heart disease and "found that heart disease can be completely avoided through a proper diet, and that cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and about 30 other diseases can be reduced, avoided, or reversed by this same diet." The program will end with food tasting in the lobby "to show how delicious truly healthy food can be."

- Brad Haugaard

22 Days to Register for Fountain to Falls Race

The City of Monrovia would like to remind you that there are 22 days left to register for Fountain to the Falls, a seven mile round-trip run/walk from the fountain in Library Park to the waterfall in Canyon Park. Registration at through May 16. Race starts at 7 a.m. Registration is $35/person and includes a t-shirt. Awards for top three finishers in each age category. For more information call the Community Center at 256-8246.

- Brad Haugaard

Firefighters Watch for Flare-Ups in Monrovia Fire

Firefighters keeping an eye out for flare-ups. Active firefighting has ceased.

- Brad Haugaard

Kids Book Celebration at Library Park

Book celebration for kids at Monrovia Library bandshell, Saturday, April 27, 1-3 p.m. Bilingual storytelling, Chinese dance. Free book to first 100 families. Free. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Was Monrovia Fire a Preview?

Was Monrovia fire first in a bad fire season?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Looking for Fire Photos

The City of Monrovia is looking for any photos taken of the Madison Fire as a way to say "Thank You" to all the first responders who sprang to action over the weekend to protect the hillside. Email your photos to, with the subject line "Madison Fire Photo," along with your name. Then see the photos displayed at the MFD Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 11, from 7-11 a.m. at Station 101, 141 E Lemon Ave. (And, by the way, there are lots of great photos at the link.)

- Brad Haugaard

More than 400 Homes Were Threatened During Monrovia Fire

"At the height of the incident, over 400 homes were directly threatened by the fire, and due to the hardwork of Monrovia Firefighters and mutual aid partners from across Southern California, no homes were damaged or destroyed," Monrovia Fire Chief Christopher Donovan said.

- Brad Haugaard

Holden Bill Would Prohibit Mail-Only Pharmacy Drug Agreements

Assemblymember Chris Holden's bill to ensure consumers have a choice in their pharmacy health plans has been overwhelmingly approved (7 to 2) in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protections Committee. Holden represents Monrovia.

AB 299 follows reports earlier this year that health insurer Anthem Blue Cross was going to require thousands of its California patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV/AIDS to buy prescription drugs from a mail order pharmacy. Anthem has since backed off while they reevaluate the requirement. But Assemblymember Holden felt it was important to go ahead with the legislation to ensure consumers have a choice.

"We want to make sure that people who take specialty drugs are not being discriminated against," said Assemblymember Holden. "Forcing patients to use mail-order pharmacies could create a difficult situation for many patients with severe illnesses. Seniors especially feel comfortable with their local pharmacies because they are part of the community. If you want to order by mail, fine, but consumers should have a choice to buy local."

AB 299 would prohibit any mail-order pharmacy from entering into an agreement with an insurance plan or disability insurer that requires the use of a mail-order pharmacy for drugs or requires the patient to opt-out of the requirement.

"We were pleased to learn of the successful passage of AB 299 today in the Assembly Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee, and we applaud Assembly Member Holden for his leadership on this issue," said Jon R. Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacists Association. "The Committee's action today was a significant victory for patients and protecting consumer choice in pharmacy benefits."

AB 299 is heard in the Assembly Health Committee next week.

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

737 Airplane Spoilers - Built in Monrovia

Did you know airplanes have spoilers? Did you know they are manufactured right here in Monrovia, and Ducommun Inc. will be making the spoilers for the Boeing 737?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Using Fake Passport to Steal; Meth in a Lexus; Bear Leaves House Through Closed Window; Driving While Phoning While Drunk; Dog Dies, Woman Lives; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 18-21. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Possession of a Counterfeited Seal / Burglary – Suspect Arrested
On April 18 at 10:53 a.m., officers responded to a bank in the 200 block of South Myrtle regarding a fraud report.  A male Asian suspect had obtained a fraudulent Chinese passport in another person's name.  He then accessed that person's checking account, deposited a fraudulent check into the account and withdrew $500 cash from the ATM.  After withdrawing the money, he entered the bank and attempted to withdraw more cash from this account that did not belong to him. 
The bank recognized the man as a wanted suspect from other incidents that have occurred all over Southern California, the last one in Sierra Madre.  They immediately called police, who responded and apprehended the suspect.  The account holder did not know the suspect.  Both the bank and the account holder desired prosecution.  The Chinese Consulate was notified, as well.  The suspect was arrested for possession of a counterfeited seal and burglary.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Possession of Burglary Tools / Warrants – Suspects Arrested
April 18 at 2:11 p.m., officers were in the area of Monrovia Canyon when they observed two suspicious male subjects driving a white Lexus.  They followed the vehicle and it was stopped in the 800 block of West Foothill.  Through investigation, the driver was determined to be in possession of two methamphetamine pipes and burglary tools.  The passenger had two outstanding warrants for his arrest; both warrants are for possession of stolen property.  The bail amount on one of the warrants was $100,000 and the other was a no-bail warrant.  Both subjects were arrested and taken into custody. 
Cell Phone Violation / Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
On April 18 at 7:30 p.m., an officer stopped a distracted driver who was taking on her cell phone while driving in the 100 block of Stedman Place.  His investigation revealed the driver was lost and looking for a friend's house.  The driver was also determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.
Grand Theft Auto
On April 19 at 6:43 a.m., a resident in the 600 block of Royal Oaks went outside his house and discovered his vehicle had been stolen.  The vehicle is a white, 1999, Ford E-150 Van.  He last saw his vehicle at 8:30 p.m. the night before.  The investigation is continuing.
Injury Traffic Collision – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
On April 19 at 12:53 p.m., a female subject ran out into traffic in the 400 block of South Fifth Avenue, chasing after her dog that was off leash.  The dog was struck by a vehicle traveling 25-30 miles per hour and the female was sideswiped, causing visible injuries to her right leg.  The female subject was taken to a hospital and her dog to an animal hospital.  The female sustained abrasions only, but unfortunately, her dog did not survive its injuries.
Mental Evaluation
On April 19 at 8:15 p.m., a subject was taken to a hospital for medical issues and a 72-hour hold for mental evaluation.  The subject managed to escape from the hospital and a local search conducted by Arcadia Police Department met with no results.  After being notified by the hospital that the person had escaped, investigation revealed the suspect had an ex-girlfriend that lived at a residence in the 300 block of West Palm in Monrovia.  Officers went to the location and located the subject there.  He had kicked the door to the residence open to enter it.  He was taken back into custody and taken back to a hospital for treatment.
Bear Incident
On April 21 at 7:04 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of North Mayflower regarding a bear problem.  The homeowner went outside and left the rear sliding door open.  Two bears went into the house through the open screen door and wandered around the interior of the home.  When the homeowner went back into the house, she encountered an adult female bear and her cub.  The bears exited the residence, breaking out through a glass front window.  They headed north, back up into the hills.

Monrovia Firefighters Pancake Breakfast

Monrovia Firefighters (with Knights of Columbus) Annual Pancake Breakfast, May 11, 7-11 a.m. at Station 101, 141 E. Lemon Ave. Also, bouncy house, face painting, balloons and children getting the chance to dress up like a firefighter. Tickets are $5 and free to kids under 3 years old. All proceeds go towards a local charity. Questions? Contact Anthony Gallegos at 256-8102. (Opinion: Would probably be nice to support this to say thanks for their great job with the fire.)

- Brad Haugaard

Canyon Park Closed Today

'Thanks' on Fire-Endangered House | 85% Contained

~ A "thank you" to Monrovia firefighters on the side of a hillside house:

~ Fire 85% contained.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church Moves to Church Building | Tea for Literacy

~ On May 5 Monrovia's Restored Life Fellowship church will move from its current location at Wild Rose School and hold its first service at its new home on Palm in the old First Christian Church building across from Library Park. According to a church Facebook posting, church members have been cleaning and painting the new building before moving in. Church member Bob Gollihugh said the church is leasing, not buying, so the building is still for sale. However, he said, it is not empty; about 16 groups use it regularly.

~ Tea in the garden fundraiser at Library Park on April 28, 1-3 p.m., to raise money to teach adults to read. Music, tea, sandwiches, desserts. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Updates

I am closing out this fire log. It appears the danger has mostly passed. Any new incidents I will report in new postings.

~ Sunday 6:39 a.m. City reported late last night that fire is 50% contained, no damaged or destroyed structures, one heat-related incident with a firefighter, that was treated on scene and is doing well. "Personnel has been downgraded to 20 fire engines, 6 hand crews. Air support remains available if needed. At the peak of Madison fire, there were 220 fire fighters fighting the blaze. All incident command will now go through the Emergency Operations Center at Monrovia City Hall. 'There is no imminent danger. Some flames are still burning, primarily off of Lotone and Heather Heights,' said Fire Chief Chris Donovan.

~ I think I will call it a night after I make two more observations: 1. I am totally impressed with the professionalism and inter-departmental cooperation that has been on display today. The Monrovia government, fire and police, and the county and other assisting agencies seem to have done a great job. 2. This should make us all write a list of what we should grab if we have to evacuate suddenly. I had to think about that today, and I realized it would have been much better if I had already thought about it. G'night.

~ EVACUATION LIFTED: "Mandatory evacuation orders are being lifted for all neighborhoods EXCEPT Hidden Valley, Alta Vista, Briar Cliff and Highland. Residents may return to their homes, effective immediately. Residents in the Alta Vista, Briar Cliff, Hidden Valley and Highland neighborhoods can continue to seek support at the Red Cross shelter at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Avenue, Monrovia, CA." City of Monrovia Facebook posting

~ Video interview with Monrovia Fire Chief Donovan. He estimates full containment by tomorrow evening. He said a shelter is open but nobody is using it. Night operations will be focused on cutting containment lines.

~ Fire slowing. LA Times reports: "City spokeswoman Jennifer McLain said the fire appears to have died down somewhat, and Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan 'is very comfortable with the situation.'"

~ 8:20 Barely a breath of wind outside. The helicopters have stopped, perhaps because it is too dark.

~ I can't see a spot of smoke or a glimmer of orange on the hillsides, but police cars with flashing lights are blocking northbound roads where they intersect Hillcrest.

~ Raw footage of the fire from earlier today on KGEM.

~ 7:58 p.m. Twitter reporter "E. SGV Scanner," who reports on police scanner traffic, says: "Resident alleges most of the 300 block of N Highland is w/o power. Edison reportedly shut it off due to the fire, PD said."  Also E. SGV Scanner says police from Covina, Sierra Madre, Claremont, El Monte "and probably more" are aiding Monrovia.

~ 7:33 p.m. I can't see a spot of smoke from my house but helicopters still going back and forth. As long as there's light, I guess. Sounds like good progress.

~ "The Pasadena Firefighter injured earlier in the day was able to be treated on scene and is doing fine." From City website.

~ "The concern for tonight is downwind draft, which is typical for foothill areas," said Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan. "I am comfortable with the situation and the lack of wind." From City website.

~ City of Monrovia "will discuss in the next hours lifting evacuations," according to a city Twitter post. Well, too early to relax, but that sounds like good news.

~ A great set of pro (make that "awesome") photos of the fire at the Star-News:

~ The brush on the hillsides is dry and 55 to 100 years old and is in difficult terrain, Monrovia spokeswoman Jennifer McLain said. She added that "this has been a topography and fuel-driven fire."

~ Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned a strike team and a helicopter to the Monrovia fire.

~ KTLA reporter Christina Pascucci writes on Twitter that the chief (Monrovia Chief, I'd guess) said humidity may go up tonight, which should help. Also, as mentioned below, concern about gusts.

~ Wonder Dog Ranch, of Monrovia, is offering to board your pet if you are an evacuee. Here is its website:

~ City of Monrovia reports fire has now burned 170 acres and 10% contained.

~ Six second looping video I just shot of a helicopter returning from dropping water.

~ ABC7 reports that winds are pushing the fire to the north, but the winds tend to shift with sundown and that could be a problem. Particular area of concern: Highland Place.

~ Pasadena Humane Society is offering evacuees free boarding for their pets. Call 626.792.7151.

~ Wind apparently from south to north, blowing away from the main part of town, but there are homes up in the hills.

~ 5:28 Live video from the air.

~ 5:04 - VOLUNTARY EVACUATION: Just got an automated call from Monrovia FD saying the department recommends evacuating for residents east of Fifth, west of Bradbury and north of Hillcrest. (I had Foothill instead of Hillcrest earlier. I think we mis-heard it since a neighbor was very sure it said "north of Hillcrest.")

~ MORE MANDATORY EVACUATIONS: Mandatory Evacuations have expanded to include the following neighborhoods: Crescent, El Nido, Highland from Foothill, Franklin, Scenic 400-500 blocks, Cloverleaf, Lotone, Hidden Valley, Ridgeside, Briar Cliff, Golden Hills, and everything west of Canyon Park North of Scenic.

~ "If you haven't already, be sure to check with the elderly in your neighborhood to make sure they are aware of the situation and have an evacuation plan if necessary." City Facebook post

~ ABC7 Eyewitness News says the fire has consumed 150 acres and is 10 percent contained.

~ 4:36. Random remembrance and reminder to self to be careful: Long ago I wrote a story for the Star-News and led with a quote from a fire captain who said that if the winds continued to die down a fire above Duarte would be contained with no damage to structures. That night the wind kicked up and 80 homes burned down.

~ 4:20 It could be my imagination, but the smoke seems more dissipated. But that is a very distant and amateur observation. Don't give it much credence.

~ Several folks on Twitter have reported a bear on the fire line. Smokey?

~ 3:42 Fire Department says no structures "directly threatened" right now.

~ 3:39 Star-News reporter says: "Fire at 90 acres, 10 percent contained. 60 engines, 5 helicopters, 2 airplanes, 2 dozers and 6 hand crews are working the blaze."

~ Map of mandatory evacuation area.

~ Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan is asking for a mandatory evacuation of homes on Heather Heights, Alta Vista, Melrose, Magnolia, Hidden Valley, Mesa Circle, Sky Way, and Patrician Way.

 3:25 Monrovia Police closing streets north of Foothill Blvd, Lincoln to Myrtle to thru traffic. Residents can still get to/from homes. City report on Twitter

- 3:09 Hills above Monrovia haven't burned in years. No lack of fuel.

- 3:07 Occasional gusts have started. Not good.

- 3:06 Flames easily visible from various points along Hillcrest.

~ 2:56. Airplanes are dropping the red flame retardant now.

~ 2:45. One report says fire has consumed more than 18 acres now.

~  2:44 p.m. From my vantage point it appears the fire is pretty big and is heading down the east slope of the hills toward Hidden Valley (just off the top end of Alta Vista).

~ Police recommend hillside residents living west of Myrtle evacuate their homes as a precaution.

~ KGEM reports on Twitter that evacuation center has been set up at the Community Center.

~ LA County Fire Department reports it is assisting with Monrovia Fire. Including an air rescue unit, if needed.

~ ABC News says no structures threatened yet.

~ City of Monrovia reports "Local fire agencies are going door-to-door to notify residents. The US Forest Service and Los Angeles County are also assisting."

- Brad Haugaard

View of the Monrovia Fire

Here's a view of the brushfire from the corner of Scenic and Canyon, looking west.

Update: from CBS:

- Brad Haugaard

Fire in Monrovia Hills

It looks like a brush fire in the mountains in northwest Monrovia. Firefighting helicopters reloading at the helipad just below Monrovia Canyon Park.

Bear 'Bluff' Attack in Monrovia

Monrovian Albert Vergara, on the "Monrovia Bears" (upper Monrovia) group reported a close encounter with a bear. He wrote:

"My wife found herself between a bear and her cub!! definitely not a favorable place to find yourself. The mother bear became agitated and did what we hope was just a 'BLUFF CHARGE,' right in the middle of Mayflower, one house above Hillcrest. An unknown gentleman in a car saw what was happening and drove his car between the bear and my wife! The man blared his horn which helped to retreat the bear."

Comment: Like I've said, these critters are getting bolder and bolder.

- Brad Haugaard

League of California Cities Promotes Monrovia

Monrovia gets a nice write-up at the League of California Cities website for its work in making the city more attractive to residents, tourists and business.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Repeat Loiterer-in-Park; Burglary; Drug Paraphernalia

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 15-17. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 414 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.
Residential Burglary
April 15 at 2:46 p.m., a residential burglary was reported in the 800 block of South Mayflower.  The resident left her residence at 7:30 a.m. and returned home at 2:46 p.m. to discover the front door wide open.  A rear window was smashed and property was taken.  The investigation is continuing.
Violation of Court Order – Suspect Arrested
April 17 at 5:11 p.m., a known subject with a restraining order that prevents him from loitering at Library Park was observed in the park by an officer on patrol.  He was detained; the restraining order was confirmed, and he was arrested for the violation.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
April 17 at 11:23 p.m., an officer contacted a suspicious subject in the area of Montana and Primrose.  The subject consented to a search of his person, and during the search, the officer located a syringe in his possession.  He was arrested and cited out in the field for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lunch at Something Healthy

Lunch at Something Healthy, on Shamrock just a smidge north of Huntington. Got the Caribbean Jerk Chicken Panini ($7.45 including tax) and an ice tea. This is always a pleasant place for lunch and the panini was fine.

- Brad Haugaard

UPDATE: Monrovia Water Line Break

The City of Monrovia reports:

"There has been a main line water break on California at Duarte Rd. Some neighborhoods are experiencing low to zero water pressure due to this break. Currently, most calls are coming in south of Huntington between Magnolia and Shamrock. Crews are responding and assessing the situation. We do not have an estimated time of when water will be restored. We will update you on the situation as information becomes available."

UPDATE: The city reports that "water has been restored to most affected areas."

- Brad Haugaard

Water Efficient Landscaping Class in Monrovia

Free water-efficient landscape class, "Sustainable Gardening for the Home," 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, May 4. 602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B (enter through back of building). For reservations call 443-2297. More classes in El Monte:

- Brad Haugaard

Brush Clearance Time for Monrovians North of Hillcrest

If you live north of Hillcrest you will be getting a letter from the Monrovia Fire Department on brush clearance.  The annual brush inspection program will begin May 1 with initial inspections in the very high fire hazard zone. They'll continue through June. For details click here:

Source: This Week in Monrovia newsletter

- Brad Haugaard

Happy Birthday Fig Tree

This Saturday, Saturday, April 20, from 2-3 p.m., the City of Monrovia will celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the largest Moreton Bay Fig trees in California, the one in Library Park. The celebration is free. Come listen to stories, make a craft and enjoy a birthday snack in the shade of the majestic tree branches.  Don't forget a blanket or chair.

Source: This Week in Monrovia newsletter (picture, too)

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Earthquake Emergency Drill - This is Just a Drill

Monrovia Fire Station 2 was taken over by bloodied victims, fire fighters and CERT responders today during an Emergency Disaster Drill from 10 a.m. to noon. The disaster drill is one of two that the City does every year. The scenario presented was an earthquake which resulted in the damage to a reservoir and a buckled apartment building. At Fire Station 2, these “victims” – who were volunteers – walked out of the building screaming “what happened to my face,” CERT volunteers raced to respond to people inside the building, and fire fighters carried out people who were tasked with being deceased. The intention of the drill is to simulate a real life scenario.

Source: Jennifer McLain, City of Monrovia (Thanks, Jennifer)

- Brad Haugaard

Harassment Lawsuit vs. Monrovia Schools | Monrovia Track and Field

~ Lawsuit against Monrovia Schools by counselor who claims sexual harassment and retaliation.

~ Pictures of Monrovia vs. South Pasadena track and field competition.

- Brad Haugaard

Assemblymember Holden's Buy-California Food Bill Passes Hurdle

The Assembly Agriculture Committee today heard testimony on Assemblymember Chris Holden's legislation to ensure that California fruit, nuts, livestock and vegetables are given priority when it comes to state purchasing. Holden represents Monrovia.

Under Holden's AB 199 Choose California Act, state agencies would be required to give California agriculture producers priority when purchasing food products if the price is within 5% of the lowest out-of-state competitor. School districts would have to purchase California grown products as long as they aren't more expensive than out-of-state products.

"AB 199 uses the state's purchasing power to bolster California's Agri-business and that means more jobs and more revenue and that's good for California's bottom line," said Assemblymember Holden. "This bill is a win-win for everyone. The public institutions get a locally-grown product, we're helping create opportunities for our farmers and a new appreciation for local food helps stimulate the economy."

"California Citrus Mutual is excited to support this legislation as it puts before our young people and population the wonderful bounty we produce in California. To have this focus is a win for agriculture and a win for our state." Joel Nelsen, President, California Citrus Mutual

The Agriculture Committee voted unanimously (7 to 0) in favor of AB 199. Earlier in the session the measure was approved by the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. It now moves to Assembly Appropriations for fiscal consideration.

Source: Holden press release

Opinion: That the Agriculture Committee likes this awful bill is small surprise, but the bill is still bad. First the state makes life miserable for businesses, then when powerful, politically-connected businesses such as film and agriculture complain, then the state attempts to alleviate the damage it has caused by making things even more costly and more complex, in this case, by increasing the cost of state government by requiring state agencies pay more for food. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper for the state to just stop tormenting businesses in the first place?

- Brad Haugaard

Garcia Farewell Dinner | Moby Dick | Citrus Tops

~ Tomorrow, Thursday, April 18, farewell dinner for city Council member Joe Garcia, DoubleTree by Hilton, 924 W. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, $50 per person No Host Bar; Social 6:30 pm; Dinner and Program. 7:30 pm; information/reservations call (626)932-5555x1400

~ Tomorrow through Saturday, Monrovia High Spring Musical "Moby Dick", at the Louise Taylor Performing Arts Theater at Monrovia High. $7 tickets at the door; 7 p.m. each night.

~ Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, has been named one of the top 50 community colleges for Hispanics.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Day Promotional Video

Promotional video - featuring Old Town businesses - for Monrovia Day, Saturday, May 18 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Williams Will Run for Monrovia School Board

Terrance Williams announces he will run for Monrovia School Board.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church to Treat 700 Clifton Students to Floats

As part of its Caring for Clifton Middle School program, Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church will be serving free ice cream floats to more than 700 Clifton students at lunchtime on April 30, according to a Facebook posting by the church.

- Brad Haugaard

M for Murder Fundraiser at Monrovia Restaurant

"M is for Murder," a mystery play to support Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center, will be held at the Monrovian Restaurant at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Runners All Safe

Monrovia runners in Boston Marathon all safe.

- Brad Haugaard

Near-Fatal Cardiac Arrest Leads Monrovian to Research Food

The founder of Monrovia's Tanner Research is now focusing on "the science of eating healthy." Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Get Ready for Fountain to the Falls Race

Want to participate in - or help - the Fountain to the Falls race this May 18? Here's how:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Company, Xencor, Signs Deal with Australian Company

Monrovia's Xencor has signed a deal with Australia's CSL to give CSL "access to Xencor's Xtend technology to optimize the performance of CSL's monoclonal antibodies."

- Brad Haugaard

Disaster Prep in Monrovia

Staff and trained emergency volunteers will get first-hand experience on how to respond to earthquake damage resulting in a failed reservoir and buckling apartment building from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday during an emergency response drill lead by the Monrovia Fire Department.

These staged drills - which occur once a year - prepare the City for a real disaster. Residents can expect to see fire fighters, police and City Hall staff responding during this exercise with the same level of intensity as if this were real, fire officials said.

The drills will involve nearly 70 people, made up of City Hall employees, volunteers, and Community Emergency Response Training participants. There will be two separate scenarios:

1) Response to a damaged reservoir to the point where it is gushing out water and impacting homes, and

2) A 3-story apartment building has begun to buckle and in it contains 10-15 people.

Activities will take place at the Emergency Operations Center at 140 E. Lime Avenue and Station 2 at 2055 S. Myrtle Avenue, which also contains an apartment training facility.

The exercises simulate responses that would result in the activation of the Emergency Operations Center. The last time the Emergency Operations Center was activated was during the Foothill Windstorm on Dec. 1, 2011. During that response, staff, volunteers and elected officials each contributed to the various types of responses that were needed to remove debris, provide electricity and continually provide the public with up-to-date information.

Source: City of Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Locating Boston Marathon Runners

Monrovia Patch is attempting to locate people who know about Monrovia runners who were in the Boston Marathon. Can you help?

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: 16-Foot Trailer Swiped; Drugs; Burglary; Bicyclist with Two Bikes? Suspicious

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 11-14. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Grand Theft - Utility Trailer
On April 11 at 7:23 a.m., dispatch received a call of a stolen utility trailer in the 1800 block of Santa Fe Place.  The utility trailer is 16 feet long, black in color with a tarp on it and the words "Bay City Electric."  The investigation is continuing.
Attempt Burglary Commercial – Suspect Arrested
On April 11 at 10:31 a.m., dispatch received a call regarding a burglary that occurred in the 700 block of East Huntington.  A male suspect walked in and immediately filled a shopping cart with more than $250 worth of products.  The suspect walked past open registers and was heading toward the door when several store employees, not aware of his activity, walked to the exit area. He abandoned his cart due to the appearance of the employees just prior to exiting the door. The subject only had $5.00 on him and no other means to pay for the merchandise.  The subject was detained by an officer outside the store and arrested for attempt burglary.
Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
On April 11 at 11:18 p.m., an officer was driving in the 300 block of West Foothill when he observed three subjects walking in the area of several closed businesses.  All subjects were contacted and a female suspect was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance and in possession of drug paraphernalia.  The female suspect was arrested and taken into custody.
Possession of Smoking Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
On April 12 at 1:55 a.m., an officer observed a male suspect wearing gloves and a hooded sweat shirt with what appeared to be an eye hole cut out of the hood, in the 300 block of Sombrero.  The suspect was contacted and found to be in possession of a pipe for smoking methamphetamine. The suspect was arrested.  There was no evidence that the suspect had committed any other crime.  
Warrant - Suspect Arrested
On April 12 at 12:33 a.m., dispatch received a call from a resident in the 200 block of Madeline, who observed a male suspect with one bicycle and leave a short time later with two bicycles. Thinking he had possibly stolen the second bicycle, the police were called. The officers observed the suspect walking in the 400 block of South Mountain and then go quickly behind a vacant house. The suspect was located and the bikes were determined to not be stolen.  The suspect had an outstanding warrant and was arrested.
Gang Injunction – Suspect Arrested
April 12 at 6:09 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Montana regarding suspicious subjects looking through vehicles.  Upon contacting the subjects, the officer found one suspect to be in possession of marijuana in violation of Monrovia's gang injunction.  The suspect was arrested for violation of court order and possession of marijuana.
Possession of Marijuana / Transporting Marijuana / Possession of Concentrated Cannabis - Suspect Arrested
On April 12 at 8:35 p.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop in the 200 block of West Central.  Upon contacting the driver, the vehicle smelled of marijuana.  Further investigation found a large quantity of marijuana in the vehicle. The suspect said he was delivering marijuana to co-op clients.  The suspect was arrested for possession, sales and transportation of marijuana.  The marijuana and money were seized.  Investigation continuing.
Gang Injunction – Suspect Arrested
On April 14 at 1:45 a.m., an officer observed a vehicle leaving the area in the 300 block of South Myrtle.  The driver failed to stop for a stop sign was driving without headlights and speeding. The driver is a gang member who has been served with the gang injunction. The driver was arrested for the traffic violations, possession of marijuana and violation of Monrovia's gang injunction.

Monrovian Hikes Kilimanjaro at Age 60

Monrovian celebrates her 60th birthday with a hike to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

- Brad Haugaard

Apartment Planned for South Fifth in Monrovia

150-unit apartment building planned for South Fifth Avenue in Monrovia, just south of Huntington Drive.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Arrested for Peeping Under Woman's Skirt

Monrovia man arrested after using camera to sneak-peak under woman's skirt.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets Less Government Work | Rain Today? | Newcomers

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment hurting with less government work and hopes to diversify.

~ Twenty percent chance of rain today.

~ The women's club, Newcomers and Friends of San Gabriel Valley, is having a free Meet-and-Greet Coffee on Wednesday, May 1, 10 a.m. to noon, at a member's home in Sierra Madre. The club is for women who are new to the area, or have had changes in their lives, or are looking for fun and interesting daytime activities and making new friends. For more information, please visit

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Xylem Salon and Spa Helping Raise Money for Clean Water

In 2013 the botanical beauty brand, Aveda, is committed to raising $5 million for clean water. Monrovia's Xylem Salon and Spa, in Old Town, is supporting the effort along with thousands of other Aveda locations around the world. Xylem will participate in a global 24-hour cut-a-thon on Earth Day, April 22, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition to raising money for clean water, Aveda salons will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most money raised for a charity by haircuts in a 24-hour period.

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Drones Help Clear Blast Area at Vandenberg

Raven drones, made by Monrovia's AeroVironment, are now being used to scout the rocket launch zone around Vandenberg Air Force Base to make sure nobody is in the area of the blast.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Baseball Scores 4-3 Win Over La Canada :-)

Monrovia over La Canada in baseball.

- Brad Haugaard

New Monrovia High AP Class | Auditor's Report

At its April 17 meeting (agenda here: ) the Monrovia School Board will consider, among other things ...

~ Adding an AP class at the high school called "Human Geography," to "introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth's surface." It'll cost about $21,000 for books and materials.

~ Receiving an auditor's report on the use of Measure M bond funds. Report here:

- Brad Haugaard

Spooky Monrovia Library Scavenger Hunt

Spooky Scavenger Hunt, Saturday April 6, 7-9 p.m. at the Library. For 6th-12th graders. Sponsored by Friends of the Monrovia Public Library. Follow clues to discover hidden treasures in the Library at night. The fastest team wins a prize.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Mediterranean Garden Grill

Had lunch at the Mediterranean Garden Grill, on Foothill near Melrose, a few blocks west of Myrtle. Got chicken schawarma from the lunch menu for $9.99 and a tarragon soda for $2.50 (plus tax and tip). Schawarma was very tasty and tarragon soda was different and I really liked it.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Clifton Middle School is Distinguished

Clifton Middle School becomes 'California Distinguished School.'

- Brad Haugaard

Fake Monrovia Disaster | Kids and Parents Storytime

~ The Monrovia Fire Department is leading an emergency response drill from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 18. The drill will involve nearly 70 people, made up of City Hall employees and CERT volunteers. The drill will simulate an earthquake that results in a damaged reservoir. Activities will take place at Station 1, Station 2 and at an apartment located at 2055 S. Myrtle Avenue. This event is staged (not real). These drills prepare the City in the event of a real disaster. For more info call the Fire Department at 256-8181.

~ 123 Play with Me Storytime for parents and kids 0-4 at the Library on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Features "one-on-one" time with children and helping children get ready to read through playing, singing, talking, writing, and reading. Adult participation required. Call 256-8274 for more information.

Source: City's This Week in Monrovia newsletter.

- Brad Haugaard

Two Hillside Trails Should Be Open in Mid-June

At a briefing about a month ago I asked Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile when the trails in the Hillside area would be open to the public. She said one trail would open in about a month. Since it has been a bit over a month, thought I'd get an update. Here is her response ...

"Although when we last spoke, I thought things would move more rapidly, we are now looking at opening both the Sleepy Hollow and Highland Access points in mid-June.  On Tuesday evening, the Community Services Commission approved the design for the entry signage, with a few minor changes, and the contractor is now approved to manufacture the signs.  The gates, trash receptacles, and mutt mitt dispensers have already been constructed and are ready for installation.  They will be installed with the signage prior to officially opening the access points.  I do not have any updates on the time frames for opening the Ridgeside and Cloverleaf accesses at this time."

- Brad Haugaard

Yet Another Monrovia Bear

A bear in our yard (on Hillcrest) at 1 p.m. today. Bolder and bolder these critters.

Monrovia Mayor Named Woman of Distinction

Judy Chu, who represents the top edge of Monrovia in Congress, named Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz as one of her Women of Distinction.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Thief Steals Catalytic Converters; Big Burglary Bust

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 8-10. - Brad Haugaard]
During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 469 service events, resulting in 65 investigations.
Grand Theft From a Vehicle
April 10, overnight, three victims had their catalytic converters stolen off their vehicles.  The incidents occurred in the 600 block of West Olive, 500 block of West Maple and the 400 block of West Lime.  The investigation is continuing.
Detective Bureau Case Follow-Up
March 26, an officer responded to and conducted a burglary investigation at a business in the 100 block of West Walnut, Antiques of Fairoaks.  Sellers rent cases from the business owner to display and sell their products.  Suspect(s) broke into the location overnight and stole merchandise from the cases.  Four victims were identified.
One of the victims found and identified some of her property being sold on eBay and contacted police.  She recognized not only the items, but also the description of the items she had written on the tags.  Through investigation, detectives found information on the seller, and the investigation led to an address in Tujunga. 
A search warrant for the location in Tujunga was written and served on April 10 at 5:30 a.m.  The property/residence in Tujunga was extremely large, so Monrovia detectives requested assistance from the West San Gabriel Valley Burglary Task Force, Pasadena Police Department and Glendale Police Department SWAT Teams.  The search warrant was executed without incident.  The objective of the search warrant was met and the victim's property was recovered from the residence.
This case is a great example of multi-agency cooperation and teamwork.

Monrovia's Unity Center Helped Almost 5,000 | Passing Tournament | Being on Ballot Helps

~ In its newsletter, Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center reports that it helped 4,699 low-income and homeless families in 2012.

~ Monrovia to participate in passing tournament.

~ Daily News observes that Monrovia election shows that the results favor who are on the ballot rather than write-ins.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian - No Contest in Fake Bomb Reports

Monrovian pleads no contest to charge of making false bomb report.

- Brad Haugaard

Study Session on Finding a New Monrovia Superintendent

The Monrovia School Board will hold an open study session at 6 p.m. April 15 on the superintendent search process at the district office.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Mayan Bar and Grill Gets Sign

The new restaurant at the Aztec Hotel should be opening soon. The sign has been posted and according to Facebook posts, the restaurant is inviting friends to test its foods.

Monrovia's AeroVironment Gets $13.8 Million from Army

Monrovia's AeroVironment gets $13.8 million from the Army for Raven drone work.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Vintage and Collectible Sale and Auction

Vintage and Collectible Yard Sale and Silent Auction for Monrovia Historical Museum, this Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.-noon, 742 E. Lemon Ave. Pre-1969 items such as crystal, lamps, porcelain dinnerware, sterling silver, nambe, silver plate items, vintage clothing, etc. Free admission and parking. For info call Pam Barkas 599-8187.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Election: Blackburn and Spicer Win

With the results of today's election in, the two new Monrovia City Council members are ...

- Alexander Blackburn.

- Larry Spicer (who served as Clarence Shaw's fill-in while Shaw was on active military service).

Write-in candidate Robert Parry fell short but pretty strong considering he was write-in.

Final vote, Blackburn 1691, Parry 983, Spicer 1504.

- Brad Haugaard

Counting Ballots for the Monrovia City Council

The Vote by Mail ballots have Larry Spicer and Alexander Blackburn in the lead, but no regular ballots yet.

Power Outage Affects 22 Monrovia Customers

An unexpected power outage is affecting 22 Southern California Edison power customers in Monrovia. SCE says the problem, "Lines Down," caused by "Foreign Object in Equipment," should be fixed by 10 p.m. tomorrow, April 10.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Assemblymember Legislation to Help Start-ups In State

Assemblymember Chris Holden (who represents Monrovia) hopes to expand on the state's iHub innovation network with a new plan to create economic opportunities for start-up companies. It's part of his legislation (AB 250) that was overwhelmingly approved with bi-partisan support today in the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee.

AB 250 would allow emerging technology companies an opportunity to partner with the state to demonstrate new innovative technologies on underutilized state properties.

"We want to put the state in a position to cultivate and incubate young companies that are developing new technologies," explained Assemblymember Holden. "Our goal is to foster greater collaboration between innovators and investment opportunities within the state."

There are three parts to AB 250:

- Establishes the California Innovation Hub (iHub) Program into law.

- Authorizes the Director of the Department of General Services to authorize the use of vacant or underused state property for full-scale demonstration programs to benefit start-up technology companies,

- And creates the iHub Accelerator Fund in the state treasury to accept private sector funding to operate the program.

AB 250 will expand the development of iHubs across California and develop more economic opportunities for start-up companies throughout the state. They are anchored by at least one major university or research center which provides access to new inventions and cutting edge thinking.

Source: Holden press release

- Brad Haugaard

New Video of 210 Gold Line Bridge

"Teaser" video of new 210 Gold Line freeway bridge.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Election Today

Election day is today, Tuesday, in Monrovia. If you have any clue what is going on, get out and vote! Your polling place is on your sample ballot. If you forgot, it is here:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's STAAR Surgical Expects Q1 Growth of 16% Over Q1 2012

Monrovia's STAAR Surgical Company, which makes replacement eye lenses, today announced that first quarter revenue is expected to be approximately $18 million, which would represent approximately 16% growth over the first quarter of last year.

- Brad Haugaard

Congresswoman Napolitano Visits Monrovia

According the a Facebook posting by the City of Monrovia, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, who represents Monrovia, "toured Monrovia neighborhoods and key projects on Thursday, including the construction of the Gold Line, Sherman Avenue, the High Tech Corridor and Old Town Monrovia."

She also stopped in at Monrovia Bakery to congratulate the owners, who are retiring, on their 42 years running the store.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Video Team Wins First Place in State

The Monrovia High Video Team has taken first place in California.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Accident on Huntington

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 4-7. - Brad Haugaard]
Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.
Traffic Collision
April 4 at 2:17 p.m., a traffic collision was reported in the 700 block of East Huntington.  A vehicle was exiting a business parking lot and the driver failed to yield to a vehicle traveling west on Huntington, striking the rear of that vehicle.  That vehicle was then pushed into the raised center divider and it struck a concrete light pole, knocking the pole over.  No one was injured and the driver who failed to yield was issued a citation for the traffic violation. 

Monrovia Police Looking for Texting Drivers

As part of April's Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Monrovia Police Department will be actively ticketing those texting or operating hand-held cell phones while driving in the month of April. Drivers who break the law and place themselves and others in danger will be cited with no warnings. The current minimum ticket cost is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279. Last April, over 57,000 tickets were issued statewide for texting and hand-held cell use. There were nearly 450,000 convictions in 2012. Whether it's a ticket or a collision, as the campaign theme states, "It's not worth it!"

Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk. In recent years, hundreds have been killed and thousands seriously injured in California as a result of collisions that involved at least one driver who was distracted. Nationally, an estimated 3,331 died in 2011. As a result, law enforcement across the state, including the Monrovia Police Department, are increasingly cracking down on cell phone use and texting. This April will see over 225 local agencies, plus the CHP, conducting zero tolerance enforcements.

"We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn't stop some people from continuing to do it," said Monrovia Police Department Sergeant Daniel Verna. "This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road."

Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver's reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver.

Studies also show that there is no difference in the risks between hands-free and hand-held cell phone conversations, both of which can result in "inattention blindness," which occurs when the brain isn't seeing what is clearly visible because the drivers' focus is on the phone conversation and not on the road. When over one third of your brain's functioning that should be on your driving moves over to cell phone talking, you can become a cell phone "zombie."

To avoid a distracted driving ticket or crash, Monrovia Police Department offers drivers the following tips:

- Turn off your phone and/or put it out of reach while driving.

- Include in your outgoing message that you can't answer while you are driving.

- Don't call or text anyone when you think they may be driving.

Strong Winds in Monrovia Today? | Pro Wrestling | Runaway and Homeless Youth Month

~ Strong and gusty northwest to north winds today, peaking this afternoon and diminishing tonight.

~ Pro wrestling poster. For April 19 in Monrovia.

~ State Senator Carol Liu, who represents Monrovia, has introduced a measure to designate November 2013 as California Runaway and Homeless Youth Month, to "recognize the need for individuals, schools, communities, businesses, local governments, and the state to take action on behalf of runaway and homeless youth in California."

- Brad Haugaard

Friday Fireworks | Monrovia 6, Covina 0 in Softball

~ Those fireworks you heard Friday night were apparently a NASCAR race at Irwindale.

~ Monrovia over Covina in softball.

- Brad Haugaard

Small Power Outage Reported in Monrovia

Southern California Edison reports that 13 Monrovia homes are without power. Problem is "equipment problems" and SCE is completing repairs and hopes to have everything up by 9 p.m. today.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Loteria

Lunch Tuesday at Loteria (formerly Enrique's Mexican Cuisine) at Colorado and Ivy. Tacos were 99 cents on the "Taco Tuesday" menu, so I got five little cochinita pibil (pork) tacos and a $2 iced tea. Very tasty.

- Brad Haugaard

Feature on Pitcher Adrienne Guerra | Endorsements

~ Feature on Monrovia High softball pitcher Adrienne Guerra.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune endorses Spicer, Blackburn.

- Brad Haugaard

Prepare to Vote, Monrovia!

Election Day is Tuesday, April 9. Polling places will be open 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. Your polling place is on your sample ballot, but if you lost it, look here: .

Vote by Mail ballots may be dropped off at City Hall anytime before 8 p.m. on Election Day, or before 8 p.m. at any precinct on Election Day. 

When the polls close, ballots will be counted at City Hall, which will be open to the public.  Or, watch on KGEM, at the city  website ( ) or right here on MonroviaNow.

Questions about the election? Call the City Clerk at 932-5505.

Source: This Week in Monrovia newsletter -

- Brad Haugaard

Condos Planned for Corner of Olive and Ivy

Here are pictures of the condos planned for the corner of Olive and Ivy.

- Brad Haugaard

Will Bridge Graffiti Force Freeway Closure?

Cleaning graffiti from new Gold Line freeway bridge may require freeway closure.

- Brad Haugaard

Car vs. Lamp Post

Car knocks over lamp post on Huntington.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Bridge Comes Down

Monrovia bridge gets torn down to make way for Gold Line.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Softball to Championship Round

The Monrovia High softball team advances to championship round.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Cold Case Murder Suspect Convicted, Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for April 1-3. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 482 service events, resulting in 88 investigations.

Commercial Burglary

On April 1 at 1:00 p.m., dispatch received a call regarding a theft that occurred in the 500 block of West Huntington. A male suspect entered the business and selected merchandise and walked into the dressing room. The suspect then cut security sensors off the merchandise and concealed them on his person. The suspect was seen exiting the business and getting into the driver's side of a vehicle. Further investigation led to a residence in Covina, where the vehicle was located and the stolen property was recovered. Suspect is still outstanding. Investigation continuing.

Vandalism –Suspect Arrested

On April 1 at 10:22 p.m., officers responded to the rear parking lot in the 100 block of South Myrtle regarding a male subject vandalizing a dumpster. Officers arrived and detained a subject that fit the description. The officer contacted the witness and conducted a field show up. The witness positively identified the subject and the subject was arrested for misdemeanor vandalism.

Mental Evaluation

On April 2 at 6:33 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of South Peck Road regarding a male subject trying to hurt himself. The male subject was detained and taken to a hospital, where he was placed on a 72 hour hold for mental evaluation.

Trespass / Receiving Stolen Property – Suspect Arrested

On April 2 at 10:00 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of West Huntington regarding subjects loitering near the front door of the business, possibly panhandling. They contacted a known subject that has a "No Trespass" authorization against him. A pat down search revealed he had a stolen GPS from a vehicle. The suspect was arrested for receiving stolen property and trespassing.

Detective Bureau Case Follow-up

Murder - Suspect Sentenced

On August 29, 2004, a murder occurred in the South alley of the 200 block of West Olive at approximately 12:56 p.m. Two male gang members got into a verbal altercation with one gang member shooting the other and killing him.

This case went unsolved for many years and was assigned as a cold case to Detective Levin of the Monrovia Police Department. Detective Levin has been working with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau on this case. Through hard work and investigation by Detective Levin and Sheriff's Department investigators a suspect was identified in this case.

Investigators identified witnesses to this crime and worked to build enough information and evidence to file the case with the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney's Office filed charges against the Monrovia Nuevo Varrio gang member who committed this crime.

After years of investigative work and good work by the District Attorney prosecuting this case, on April 2, 2013, the suspect was found guilty of first-degree murder along with the firearms enhancement. The suspect is facing a minimum of 50 years to life in state prison.

This case is an example of a terrific collaborative effort between Monrovia Police investigators, Sheriff's investigators, and the District Attorney's Office. Their work has resulted in the conviction of another violent gang member who victimized our community.

- Brad Haugaard

Resurfacing Olive Ave.

$723k to resurface Olive Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Holden Bill Requires Public Institutions Pay More for Food

Assemblymember Chris Holden's (He represents Monrovia) bill to help California farmers and boost the state's agricultural economy has been approved in the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, particularly relevant in light of a recent news article saying that California's dairy farmers are being wooed by other states.

"It just makes sense to put California-grown crops, livestock and dairy first," said Assemblymember Holden. "When I read that dairy farmers were being lured by other states with friendlier business climates, I knew we were on the right track with this legislation. AB 199 will ultimately help the state by promoting job growth. It will also keep California funds in the state to pay California wage earners and support California families."

Under AB 199, public institutions such as prisons, Veteran's Homes or hospitals would have to give California agricultural products priority if the price is within 5% of the lowest out-of-state competitor. School districts would be required to purchase California grown products as long as they weren't more expensive.

Noelle Cremers with the California Farm Bureau testified, "California's farmers are incredibly pleased with AB 199 requiring California institutions to purchase California agricultural products. This bill will give more Californians that opportunity to experience the amazing variety of products grown in California."

"AB 199 has not only an economic benefit, but it also promotes the health benefits of buying locally. California food growers and food manufacturers adhere to the highest health and safety standards in the country, which means buying from them is also the safest and healthiest choice," concluded Holden.

AB 199 is supported by California Farm Bureau, California Dairies, Apple Commission, Western Agricultural Processors, California Association for Recreational Fishing and California Black Chamber of Commerce.

Source: Holden press release

Comment: I find this rather annoying. First the state makes life so miserable for businesses that they want to leave, then it offers goodies to politically-connected businesses to make up for the misery, and then, to top it off, the state pays for these goodies by forcing hospitals and others to pay up to five percent more for the food they buy. This is awful!

UPDATE: On reflection,The bill is slightly better than it was originally, when - if I recall correctly - schools also had to pay the extra money. Better, but still awful.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Bakery to Have New Owners

Monrovia Bakery has been sold. Current owners retiring.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fig Tree Birthday

Little did I know that anybody knew the birthday of the huge fig tree in Library Park.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Council Will Let April 9 Election Fill Vacancy

The Monrovia City Council has decided not to replace Clarence Shaw, who resigned from the council, since the election for new council members is in just a few days, on April 9.

- Brad Haugaard

Library Book Sale May 17-18

Mark your calendar. The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Spring Sale will be held Friday, May 17 and Saturday May 18, from noon to 5 p.m., in Library Park and in the Library Community Room. The $2 a Bag Sale is Saturday from 3-5 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Monrovia Public Library.

More than 5,000 books will be for sale, 90% donated by the public. Prices for regular books and media range from 25¢ to $2. Book sellers are welcome but no scanners are permitted.

- Brad Haugaard

Pictures of Aztec Hotel

More pictures of the Aztec Hotel.

- Brad Haugaard

Pro Wrestling in Monrovia

Quintessential Pro Wrestling debut show is on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. at The Monrovia Masonic Center, 204 West Foothill Blvd. Tickets: $15 at the door.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Treasurer Steve Baker Named to Citrus Foundation Board

Monrovia City Treasurer Steve Baker has been named to the Citrus College Foundation Board of Directors.

A Monrovia resident since his early childhood, Baker attended Citrus College, where he was involved in the college’s Performing Arts Program. He was elected City Treasurer in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. Baker also serves as Monrovia’s official city historian and is currently chair of the Santa Anita YMCA Board of Directors.

“The Citrus College Foundation is very fortunate to have Steve as one of its newest members,” said Citrus College Foundation President Tom Gerfen. “He is highly respected for his fiscal expertise and civic leadership, both in Monrovia and in the San Gabriel Valley region.”

As one of the Foundation’s newest board members, Baker joins 21 directors who raise funds for scholarships and academic support programs that assist Citrus College students in their efforts to complete their college educations, enter the workforce, and transition to four-year colleges and universities.

“Steve Baker’s experience as Monrovia City Treasurer, along with his extraordinary sense of history will be a tremendous asset to the Citrus College Foundation,” commented Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College and executive director of the Foundation. “As the college approaches its Centennial in 2015, I am confident he will have a valuable role in helping the Foundation connect with both current and potential donors, as well as other members of the community.”

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Girl Thought Lost; But Not; Sex Offence; Billy Club Bust; DUI Suspect on Wrong Freeway; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for March 28-31. - Brad Haugaard] 

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Critical Missing Person – Subject Located
March 29 at 12:31 p.m., a ten-year-old female was reported missing from the Immaculate Conception Church when staff noticed the girl was not with the other children participating in an Easter Ceremony.  After an extensive search by police, the girl was located at home with her family in Duarte.  She had left the assembly area and told her parents she was not needed.  The parents did not confirm this and did not tell anyone they were leaving the event with the child.  The mother then took the child to a dentist appointment and did not return home until after the appointment; they were then located by police.     

Sex Offense
March 29 at 3:09 p.m., a female subject called police to report a sex offense she had observed.  She reported she was walking on Mountain when she went to say hello to a male subject she knew.  The male subject was in his car.  When she approached the vehicle, she saw he was masturbating.  She walked away from the car and called the police. The female subject was uncooperative with dispatch when asked about her knowledge of the subject.  Officers conducted a search of the area, but the subject was not located.  The suspect is described as a thin, male African American and the vehicle as a black sedan.    

Injury Traffic Collision
March 19 at 4:32 p.m., several vehicles collided at Foothill and Myrtle after a vehicle sped up to get through the red light.  The vehicle struck another vehicle that failed to clear the intersection prior to turning left.  Minor injuries were reported.  

Domestic Battery – Suspect Arrested
March 29 at 10:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 600 block of East Almond regarding a male and female subject fighting.  Upon arrival, officers learned the male subject had forced the female onto the front seat of a vehicle and had taken her cell phone.  The male subject was determined to be the aggressor and was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery. 

Weapons Offence / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
March 29 at 11:50 p.m., an officer contacted a male and female occupant of a vehicle parked in a remote area behind a restaurant in the 800 block of West Huntington.  The officer observed a wooden billy club in plain view on the backseat.  The male occupant said he manufactured the weapon from an old piece of furniture.  He commented that he grew up in a tough neighborhood and possessed it for his protection.  The male subject was also found to have three outstanding warrants.  He was arrested and taken into custody for the weapons offence and warrants.

Family Disturbance / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
March 29 at 12:10 a.m., officers responded to the 100 block of West Hillcrest regarding a family disturbance.  The officers determined the male subject had been drinking alcohol and had argued with family members.  He became angry and injured himself by punching out a glass window, causing lacerations to his hands.  Paramedics were requested and when they arrived, the subject yelled at them and threatened one of them by saying he could kill them.  He stood up and charged toward them.  Officers attempted to stop the subject and he fought with the officers.  The subject was arrested for delaying an investigation and resisting arrest. 

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
March 29 at 1:45 a.m., officers observed a vehicle straddling lanes on the onramp to the westbound 210 Freeway from Myrtle.  The vehicle was stopped and the driver was contacted.  She thought she was on the 710 Freeway.  Through investigation, the driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.