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Small Business Saturday in Monrovia

ABC video of Small Business Saturday along Myrtle Avenue.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovian Named Sheriff's Honor Recruit

Deputy Bryan Cramer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a resident of Monrovia, was named the Honor Recruit for Sheriff's Academy graduating class.

- Brad Haugaard

Paraclete Defeats Monrovia :-(

Paraclete defeats Monrovia 22 to 21.

- Brad Haugaard

Newly Discovered Photo of Monrovia's Founder

Monrovia founder William Monroe and wife Mary Jane in 1929. He died at the age of 94 in 1935. This and other photos recently came to light from the descendants of Monroe's son, G. O. Monroe. (Photo and information courtesy of Monrovia Historic Preservation Group.)

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Museum Preparing Military Exhibit

Mark Still, curator of the Monrovia Historical Museum, writes in the latest newsletter of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group that he is building a military exhibit, to be unveiled in spring of 2014. He has discovered that 6,690 Monrovia men and women served in World War II. A few were: Monrovian Bettie Mae Scott, who test-flew military planes and bombers; Tuskegee Airman, Leroy "Buster" Criss, who flew "red-tailed planes" in the war; and Frank Morimoto, a Monrovian of Japanese descent, who served in the famous 442nd Regiment while the soldiers' relatives were incarcerated in relocation camps.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Popeyes

Lunch at Popeyes. They just remodeled this place, so I thought I'd give it a try. Looks a lot nicer inside and out. Got the spicy three-piece boneless combo with dipping sauce for $7.62. Fine for fast food. 

- Brad Haugaard

Help Stuff a Monrovia Fire Engine Today

Today until 4 p.m. Monrovia firefighters need your help to "Stuff the Engine!" A fire truck is parked in front of the Krikorian Theater and the firefighters are collecting new unwrapped toys and sporting goods for a child who would otherwise go without a gift this holiday season. "Join the Monrovia Fire Department and ABC 7 and enjoy the festivities in Old Town Monrovia while contributing to make a child's Christmas more enjoyable!"

Source: City of Monrovia Facebook posting

- Brad Haugaard

Rain in Monrovia? | Restaurant Line-Up | AeroVironment Flies!

~ Thirty percent chance of rain today. There were already some sprinkles on my car when I woke up this morning.

~ Gem City Images has discovered the fourth business to occupy the four business spots that have replaced the old Acapulco Restaurant. It appears to be a place called Menchies Frozen Yogurt. So the line-up is: Panera Bread, Menchies, SmashBurger, and Chipotle.

~ Monrovia's AeroVironment, though it lost money in its last report, has had its stock jump up 11 percent because it did a lot better than expected.

- Brad Haugaard

Happy Thanksgiving! | White Christmas Video | Student Music Video | Black Friday

~ Happy Thanksgiving! Just a 20 percent chance of rain today:

~ Video preview of the professional performance of White Christmas coming up at the Louise Taylor Performing Arts Center (aka high school auditorium):

~ Video of Monrovia Schools' all school music program with all grades and ages. At Monrovia High.

~ Old Town merchants planning their own Black Friday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center - Best Charity

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center reports that readers of Beacon Media News (that's the Monrovia Weekly and others) voted the Unity Center the "Best Charity" in its 2013 Readers' Choice Poll.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Impose Labor Contract on Firefighters; Station Square; Honor Servicemen

At its Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia City Council will consider imposing its "Last, Best and Final Offer" on the city firefighters. It would require that firefighers "pay an additional 3% of the employee cost (9%) of the Public Employees' Retirement Benefit, which will eliminate the Employer Paid Member Contribution (EPMC) benefit. The MFA will now be paying the full 9% employee cost of their retirement benefit." Without the requirement, the staff report says, "the City's budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year would not be balanced." Details:

Before the main meeting, at 7 p.m., the Council will honor Monrovians serving in the military: Christopher Rosedale, Private Second Class, United States Army; Anthony Daniel Exposito, Second Lieutenant, United States Army; Blake Darby, Seaman Apprentice, United States Navy; Nicholas Espinosa, Seaman Apprentice, United States Navy; Calvin Ray Pratt, Jr., Petty Officer First Class, United States Navy.

At 5:30 p.m., also before the main meeting, the council will hold a study session to consider the "Station Square Public Improvements Concept Design."

- Brad Haugaard

Christmas Music in the Monrovia Library

Classical Holiday Sounds in the Monrovia Library Lobby, featuring the Sterling Flute Choir Saturday, Dec. 7, 3-4 p.m. Free, just walk in.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line to Azusa About Half Done

The Gold Line between Pasadena and Azusa is almost half done. The Construction Authority reports that: "Most bridge structures and at-grade crossings have been completed or are nearing completion, and light rail track will soon be laid along the corridor. Work is underway at four of the six stations, and ... the [Monrovia] Operations Campus is also moving along on schedule. Light rail track is being installed, and nearly all of the OCS (overhead catenary system) pole foundations for the future system to power the trains are now ready."

Source: Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Mayflower Avenue Opens this Evening

Doing the finishing touches on Mayflower/Duarte intersection.

This evening, Nov. 27, at 6 p.m., Mayflower Avenue will fully reopen to through-traffic at the railroad crossing located between Evergreen Avenue and Duarte Road. The sidewalks will also reopen, and the pedestrian shuttle service will no longer be available.

Source: Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's AeroVironment: Profits Down, Stock Up

Monrovia's AeroVironment second-quarter profits dropped 81% (Ouch!) but in after-hours trading the stock is up. Why? Because it beat expectations.

- Brad Haugaard

Watch Out! Monrovia Police Watching for Drunk Drivers During Thanksgiving Holiday

Officers from the Monrovia Police Department's DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department's ongoing traffic safety campaign. DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy during the Thanksgiving Holiday in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

"This is a zero tolerance crackdown so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'," said Sergeant Daniel Verna.

In California, this deadly crime led to 774 deaths in 2011 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. DUI can impact the economy in addition to the pain and suffering of those immediately affected. Conservatively, a fatality has a $1.4 million impact, an injury has a $70,000 impact, and a crash that only damages property averages nearly $9000.

"California's roadways are much safer today than they were just a few years ago. The Monrovia Police Department will be keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness so that we can continue saving lives and prevent injuries," said Sergeant Verna.

Funding for this program comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Report Drunk Drivers, Call 911!

Source: City of Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Myrtle Avenue Christmas Decorations Up

Myrtle Avenue is now all decked out for Christmas. And it's not even Thanksgiving yet. 

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Restaurants Close to Opening

I stopped by the old Acapulco restaurant site on Huntington, where three new restaurants are set to open. A worker said the SmashBurger is set to open on Dec. 6. Panera Bread looks finished and has an "opening soon" sign out. Chipotle looks like it's getting close but there is still a little bit of work to do.

- Brad Haugaard

Catch the Bus to Watch Monrovia vs. Paraclete | Work at Old Blockbuster?

~ If you'd like to go watch Monrovia High take on Paraclete this Friday, but don't want to drive to Lancaster, Monrovia School Board member Alex Zucco suggests the "Wildcat Rooter Bus." For $8, she writes, "you can hop on the Wildcat Rooter Bus and have MHS do the driving. Email Mr. McGinnis ( by Weds., 11/27 at 4pm. Kids must be accompanied by adult -- see you in the high desert!"

~ A correspondent writes that there is remodeling going on at the old Blockbuster building at the corner of Foothill and Stedman. I'll see if I can find out what's happening there.

UPDATE: Planning Division Manager Craig Jimenez responds: "An interior demo permit was recently issued, so that’s what was probably observed.  I believe that the owner is preparing the space to help facilitate future leasing.  City staff has fielded a considerable number of inquiries about the space  from various businesses, but to date, I don’t know that a lease has been signed.  What I do know is that the City has not received any applications for business license yet.  Stay tuned."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia City Hall Closed | Health Care Help

~ Monrovia City Hall will be closed for Thanksgiving and Friday.

~ Covered California seminar at the Monrovia Library, Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to noon, including application process review, and, in segment two, sign-ups (limited to 20). To register, call or stop by the Library Adult Reference desk by Dec. 6. Phone is 256-8274.

- Brad Haugaard

How to Dedicate a Monrovia Park Bench

Want to dedicate a Monrovia park bench or table to a loved one? Here's how:

- Brad Haugaard

Car Accident in Monrovia

Picture of a car accident yesterday in front of the McDonalds at Huntington and Mayflower.

- Brad Haugaard

Christmas Performances in Monrovia

~ A professional performance of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., Dec. 7 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Taylor Performing Arts Center (aka Monrovia High Auditorium). Details:

~ "Winter Portrait" will be performed by San Gabriel Valley Choral Company Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church at Myrtle and Foothill. "A festive, musical collection of seasonal favorites and choral gems including music by Sweelinck, Rutter, Balser, and Baker. With a holiday sing-along and special guest brass quintet, The Oakwood Brass Conspiracy, it's a musical portrait to stir up your holiday cheer." Advance tickets ($15 for gneral admission, $10 for seniors 65+ and for students, $5 for children under 12) at or by calling 253-7248. At the door: $20 for gneral admission, $12 for seniors 65+ and for students, $5 for children under 12.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Football - No Worries About Lancaster Cold | Food Distribution

~ The Monrovia High football team is not worried about playing in the cold against Paraclete, this Friday at 7 p.m. in Lancaster.

~ Some 1,500 low-income families got a Thanksgiving food box with a meat and the makings for a traditional dinner from Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center. The food was distributed at the Arboretum today.

- Brad Haugaard

Is Duarte a Devil's Island for Jesuits?

Okay, this isn't about Monrovia, but it's right next door. I stumbled upon an article about the decline of the Jesuit order within the Catholic church, and came upon a curious comment about how conservative Jesuits are being exiled to "an obscure Catholic hospital" in Duarte. (I assume this refers to Santa Teresita Hospital.) Here's the quote: "Duarte, California, is becoming the Devil's Island for Jesuits who don't conform to the order's liberal regime."

- Brad Haugaard

Handel's Messiah at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church

Handel's Messiah - and other Christmas choral pieces - will be performed on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Monrovia Presbyterian Church (Myrtle and Foothill) by more than 60 voices coached by Dr. Peter J. Green - Chair of the Visual & Performing Arts Division and Professor of Music at Glendale Community College - The choir will be accompanied by harpsichord, organ, small orchestra and soloists. There will be child care and a reception with food afterward in the church basement and a free-will offering to support future Christmas and Easter concerts.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Kicking Out Car Windows - From the Inside; Strong Arm Robbery; Drunk Driving; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 21-24. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

No-Bail Felony Warrant - Suspect Arrested
November 21 at 12:38 p.m., a resident in the 500 block of South Magnolia called police and reported a male subject in their alley who they knew had a warrant for his arrest.  Officers arrived, detained the subject, and a computer check revealed the subject did have an outstanding, no-bail felony warrant for his arrest for a past drug offense that he failed to answer to in court.  He was arrested and taken into custody.

Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
November 22 at 12:55 a.m., officers stopped a vehicle for committing several traffic violations. When officers contacted the female driver, they noticed that she exhibited signs of intoxication. Through investigation, she was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order / Felony Vandalism - Suspect Arrested
November 22 at 9:41 p.m., officers responded to Almond and Shamrock regarding an altercation between a male and a female subject.  When officers arrived, it was determined the subjects involved were boyfriend and girlfriend.  The female subject was trying to get the male subject out of her vehicle.  He was refusing to get out and began kicking the doors and windows from inside the vehicle, vandalizing the car.  The female has a Domestic Violence Protective Order against the male.  The male subject was arrested for felony vandalism and for violating the Domestic Violence Protective Order.

Driving Under the Influence - Suspect Arrested
November 23 at 9:40 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Duarte Road and California when he saw a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed heading east on Duarte through the posted 25 miles per hour Metrolink construction zone.  He saw the vehicle swerve off the road, passing vehicles on the right, and then it turned south on Shamrock.  The vehicle was stopped and the officer could smell a strong odor of alcohol.  He conducted field sobriety tests and determined the driver was driving under the influence.  A computer check revealed the driver's license was currently suspended for DUI.  The driver was arrested.

Strong Arm Robbery - One Suspect Arrested
November 23 at 6:02 p.m., a male victim called police and reported he had just been robbed in the 400 block of East Duarte Road.  The victim was walking to work on Duarte Road with his headphones on when two male subjects passed by him.  After they passed, the two subjects ran back up behind the victim and grabbed him.  They pushed him into a parking lot, where one suspect held him, while the other suspect took his cell phone and wallet from his pockets.  The suspect took cash from the wallet, threw it on the ground, and then both suspects ran west on Duarte Road.  A description of the suspects was broadcast, and an officer in the area detained two subjects at California and Duarte that matched the description.  The victim was able to positively identify one of the suspects and he was arrested.

Driving Under the Influence / Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Suspect Arrested
November 23 at 11:18 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle on Live Oak, just west of Myrtle.  Through investigation, the male driver was determined to be under the influence of drugs and was arrested.  A vehicle search revealed several syringes and a baggie containing a powdery white substance, later determined to be methamphetamine.  He was arrested for the above listed charges.

Felony Driving Under the Influence Traffic Collision / Public Intoxication - Suspects Arrested
November 24 at 2:17 a.m., officers responded to the area of Hillcrest and Madison on the report of a traffic collision.  They arrived and saw a front fender on the street and a vehicle with two female occupants that had collided into a parked vehicle.  The driver was taken to a hospital, but refused medical treatment.  The passenger was slightly hurt, scraped knees and forehead, but also refused medical treatment from paramedics.  The driver was arrested for felony driving under the influence traffic collision. The passenger was arrested for public intoxication.

Monrovia Police Urges You to Buckle Up for Holiday Driving

During Thanksgiving time Monrovia Police Department reminds travelers to buckle up.

"The risk of being involved in a serious or deadly car crash increases when the number of cars on the road increases, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year," said Police Traffic Sergeant Daniel Verna. "So we want to remind everyone that your seat belts can save your life – and those you are traveling with."

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011. Research shows that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

Such a simple step can save a life, but too many lives are being lost because some have still not gotten the message. During the 2011 Thanksgiving period, 249 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Fifty percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. California witnessed 24 passenger vehicle occupants killed that same year, with 10 of those found to have died without using their safety restraints.

In 2011, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. In California, 27 percent of the 1,597 vehicle occupants were killed while not using their occupant restraints; a total of 434 deaths.
Nationally in 2011, 62 percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in nighttime crashes were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 43 percent during the daytime hours.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Sailor Helps With Philippines Relief

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 24, 2013) Yeoman 3rd Class Dakota Hillman of West Minister, Md. and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kelly Southwick of Monrovia, Calif., assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), load supplies onto the ship during a vertical replenishment. Germantown and USS Ashland (LSD 48) along with embarked Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11, Naval Beach Unit 7 and elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are in The Leyte Gulf in The Republic of the Philippines in support of Operation Damayan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tony DeFilippo/Released)

Source: Navy press release

- Brad Haugaard

Video of Monrovia Prayer Breakfast | Shop Monrovia

~ Video of the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast is now on-line: . The main speaker, Albert Tate, of Fellowship Monrovia, begins here:

~ Monrovia City Council names December as "Shop Monrovia" Month.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia In Semifinals with 41-6 Victory :-)

Monrovia advances to the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs with last night's 41-6 victory over Montebello.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Mimi's

Lunch at Mimi's. Got the bouillabaisse ($13.59) and a hot tea ($2.49). Plus tax and tip. With the cool weather and clouds, it seemed like a soupy kind of day.

- Brad Haugaard

Ann Roy - 102 Year Birthday

Department of Community Services Friendly Crafters group celebrated Ms. Ann Roy's birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 20.  Ms. Roy turned 102 years old on Wednesday, November 13.  A group of 20 fellow Crafters celebrated this special day with her, enjoyed cake, sang Happy Birthday and wished her well on this very special birthday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Residents: Decorate Your K-Rail! And Houses, Too

There is a new contest category for the Monrovia Holiday Home Decorating Contest: Best Decorated K-Rail (That's those ugly concrete flood-control wall things around where the fire burned off. They need some decorating.)

Applications for the contest are available at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 West Palm Avenue, or on the City’s website at Judging will take place Monday, Dec. 16.  Award winners will be recognized during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 17, at City Hall in Council Chambers.

The 13 judging categories are:
• Best Still Display
• Best Outdoor Display
• Best Decorated Outdoor Tree
• Best Window Display
• Holiday Spirit Award
• Most Effective Use of Lighting a house
• Toyland Award
• Children’s Choice Award
• Best Neighborhood Effort
• Snowman Award
• Judges Award
• Best Decorated K-Rail
• Tim McKeehan “Best of Season” Award

For more information, call the Department of Community Services at 256-8246.


- Brad Haugaard

Update on E. Coli Outbreak | World Vision Opens Safe Space for Philippine Children

~ Update on E. coli outbreak suspected of coming from salads and wraps sold by Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's is based in Monrovia.

~ World Vision opened on Wednesday its first dedicated 'safe space' for 400 children affected by Typhoon Haiyan. World Vision's international office is based in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center Needs Donations For Holidays | First Presbyterian Collects for Philippines

~ Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center is seeking donations of food, funds and volunteer time for its holiday season distributions. Funds may be donated online at Food and checks may be dropped off weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 415 W. Chestnut Ave. Call 358-3486 for information.

~ First Presbyterian Church Monrovia (Myrtle and Foothill) is collecting for Philippines relief through Presbyterian Mission Agency:

- Brad Haugaard

Community Services Director April Soash Retiring after 32 years in Monrovia

On Saturday, November 30, 2013, Monrovia Community Services Director April Soash retires from public service. Ms. Soash has served the majority of her career in the City of Monrovia, rising from a Recreation Supervisor in 1981, to Community Services Division Manager in 1990, Assistant Director in 1994 and finally to Director of the Community Services Department in 1996. Her official last working day is Friday, November 22.

Throughout her career, Ms. Soash has overseen the annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting in Library Park, the annual Spring Egg Hunt, Summer Concerts in the park, Halloween events and Canyon Park's Haunted Hikes, Summer Extravaganza, literacy and cultural programs at the Library, and the former Monrovia Soap Box Derby. She directed City rentals, contract classes, outdoor education programs, youth sports, shelters for emergencies, and published the quarterly Community Services brochure.

Over the past 32 years, she has served nine City Managers, five Mayors, and eighteen City Councilmembers, worked with four City Clerks, five City Treasurers, and seven City Attorneys, and attended over 776 City Council and Community Services Commission Meetings.

Ms. Soash has a Recreation Administration degree from Pepperdine University and has used that knowledge to its fullest extent in Monrovia. Her legacy can be seen in the new Public Library, the Wilderness Preserve, the Mary Wilcox Youth Center, and the Monrovia Skate Park.

Soash said, "So much of what I have done in Monrovia involves family. I met my husband here and raised my children here. I have loved the opportunities the City has brought me, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve Monrovia. I am excited to now focus my free time on my family."

Source: City of Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Two Hours in the Dressing Room; Cell Phone Grabbing; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 18-20. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 468 service events, resulting in 88 investigations.

November 18 at 3:40 p.m., a robbery occurred in the 1100 block of South Myrtle.  The victim was walking south on Myrtle with his cell phone in his hand and his head down.  The suspect walked past the victim, grabbed the victim’s phone out of his hand and ran north on Myrtle.  The victim chased after the suspect, but when the suspect verbally threatened to beat him up, he stopped.  The suspect is described as an African American male, 20 to 30 years old, short hair cut, a goatee, approximately 6 feet tall, average build, wearing a green hooded sweatshirt with yellow writing and possibly matching green sweat pants.  Investigation continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
November 19 at 3:40 a.m., dispatch received a call reporting a subject having difficulty parking a vehicle on the street in the 500 block of East Walnut.  The caller stated that the person possibly struck a parked vehicle and drove up on the curb.  The driver got out of the vehicle and walked away.  

When officers arrived, they saw the parked vehicle with recent collision damage.  There were no other vehicles in the area that appeared to have damage caused by this vehicle.  As officers were taking pictures of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle exited his residence.  The subject had a laceration over his left eye.  The subject started cursing at officers and displayed signs of intoxication.  There were no witnesses that could identify the suspect as the driver, and the vehicle was legally parked.  Officers took pictures of the vehicle and the suspect was arrested for being drunk in public.

Burglary / Possession of Burglary Tools / Grand Theft – Suspect Arrested
November 19 at 10:46 p.m., a female subject entered a business in the 500 block of West Huntington and selected several items of clothing and merchandise.  She entered the changing room, where she stayed for two hours.  When she exited the changing room, loss prevention personnel discovered several metal clothing sensors cut into pieces.  The suspect exited the store and walked to a fast food restaurant, where she entered the bathroom.  Officers arrived and when the suspect exited the bathroom, she was detained.  The wire cutters used to cut off the metal sensors were found in the bathroom, and the suspect was in possession of the stolen property.  The suspect was arrested.

Residential Burglary
November 20 at 6:58 p.m., police dispatch received a call from an alarm company reporting that the residential burglary alarm had activated at a residence in the 300 block of North Madison Avenue.  Officers responded and discovered a shattered rear sliding-glass door.  A search team entered and cleared the residence; no suspects were located inside.  The homeowner was contacted and indicated he was out of town. The investigation is continuing.

Pasadena Star-News Introduces a Pay Wall

The Pasadena Star-News, the daily newspaper that serves Monrovia, has decided to introduce what is commonly known as a "pay wall" for its online edition, meaning that you can't access all of it - or more than a set number of articles - without paying. Paper newspaper subscribers will get it without further cost. Star-News President and Publisher Ron Hasse announced the move in today's newspaper.

Opinion: This is a risky move. Some newspapers have had success with it, but I suspect the successful ones are publications that publish critical and unique information that is not easily available elsewhere. Best wishes, Star-News!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Church to Provide Two Prayer Breakfast Speakers; Plans to Open Sister Church in Ecuador

Fellowship Monrovia church will provide speakers at not one, but two local Mayors Prayer Breakfasts. Albert Tate, senior pastor, will speak at the Monrovia breakfast (Nov. 22), and Michael Fields, associate pastor, will speak at the Duarte breakfast (Nov. 27).

Also, the church hopes to open a sister church in Ecuador, and plans to expand locally to serve Duarte and Los Angeles areas.

Source: The Weekly Star, Nov. 21.

- Brad Haugaard

Rain Causes Small Monrovia Power Outage | Toy Drive for Philippines

~ A small power outage in Monrovia this morning. Southern California Edison said it affected 23 customers and was caused by equipment damaged by rain. The crew is completing repairs.

~ The Monrovia High Filipino club is hosting a toy drive to donate to needy children in the Philippines. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Assemblyman Chris Holden Visits Monrovia's Canyon Oaks School

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who represents Monrovia, posts on Facebook: "Had a great time speaking with the high school students at Canyon Oaks School in Monrovia today."

Comment: Canyon Oaks is truly an amazing school. I did a story on its amazingness some years ago, which you can read here:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center: Its Client Base Has Tripled in Five Years

In a fundraising letter, Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center notes that its "client base has more than tripled over the last five years," while "donations and grant funding remain significantly down. Our small staff has been stretched as far as it can go." The center is "the primary provider of food, case management/crisis help, and access to health care resources for 11 San Gabriel Valley communities." If you would like to donate money, you can do so here:

- Brad Haugaard

Is This Your Beagle?

Jen Havens is trying to find the owner of this female beagle found running around close to Foothill and Primrose. "She appears to be an unspayed adult (maybe 5 years old?). Not microchipped and no collar. If you have any idea where she belongs, text or call 626-673-7978."

Update: Jen writes: "Brad, thank you so much for posting on Monrovia Now! We think we found her owner because of your post :-)"

- Brad Haugaard

See's Candies Opens on Huntington Drive in Monrovia

A new See's Candies store has opened in the Huntington Oaks shopping center on Huntington Drive just in time for the holidays. Brad Hori writes that it is "conveniently sandwiched between Lindora  and Kirkland's Home." (Thanks, Brad!)

- Brad Haugaard

Rainy Days in Monrovia? | Home Gets Historic Status | Most Expensive Home

~ Good chance of rain during the next few days. 20% today, 60% tomorrow (Thursday), 30% Friday and 40% Saturday.

~ Home at 505 N. Alta Vista Ave. getting historic status.

~ Home listed for sale at almost $2 million, at 921 East Greystone. Looks like the most expensive home currently for sale in town.

- Brad Haugaard

Gravel Bags Available to Protect From Flooding

Gravel bags are now available to Monrovia residents impacted by the Madison Fire. Call the Public Works Department at 932-5575 to request gravel bags, which will be delivered upon request, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. After hours, on weekends and during holidays, bags may be picked up at Fire Station 101 (141 E. Lemon Avenue).

Residents will need to fill the bags with gravel, which will be available at two locations within the neighborhoods affected by the fire. Residents should bring eye protection, gloves and a shovel to scoop gravel into the bags. Gravel is available at 443 Highland Place and 839 Crescent Drive in Monrovia.

For more information, please contact the City of Monrovia Public Works Department at (626) 932-5575.

Source: City press release

- Brad Haugaard

Three New Monrovia Restaurants Coming on Huntington

New restaurants (at old Acapulco site) nearing completion: Panera Bread, SmashBurger and Chipotle.

- Brad Haugaard

Thoughts on Monrovia vs. Montebello | Xencor Delays IPO

~ The San Gabriel Valley Tribune sports writer Aram Tolegian gives his thoughts on the upcoming Monrovia vs. Montebello game.

~ Monrovia based Xencor, a biotech firm, was planning to go public, but has delayed its initial public offering, citing poor market conditions.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Attacking Grandma; Counterfeiting; Throwing Rocks at Car; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 14-17. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Hit and Run Traffic Collision – Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
November 14, 2013, at approximately 8:13 p.m., the Monrovia Police Department received a phone call reporting that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Alta Vista and Cypress, and the suspect vehicle had fled the scene.

When officers arrived on scene, they located the victim and a witness.  The witness reported that a vehicle traveling west on Cypress Avenue made a left turn onto Alta Vista and failed to stop for the posted stop sign.  The driver of the vehicle lost control and made a wide left turn, drifting into the parking lane, where it struck a male adult who had been standing near a parked vehicle and was walking back to the sidewalk.  The victim was struck below the waist and fell onto the hood of the suspect vehicle.  The suspect abruptly stopped the vehicle at the west curb, ejecting the victim from the hood of the vehicle and onto the west sidewalk of Alta Vista.  The suspect put the vehicle in reverse and then sped away south on Alta Vista, out of sight.  The victim sustained minor lacerations to his upper and lower body, and his right ankle was fractured from the impact of the vehicle.

The suspect is described as a female Hispanic or African American in her mid-to-late 30s, and the vehicle is described as a newer-model, small-to-midsized, white, SUV-style vehicle.  The investigation is currently ongoing.  Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Monrovia Police Department Watch Commander.

Elder Abuse – Suspect Arrested
November 15 at 1:15 p.m., a 72-year-old female subject called police to report she was assaulted by her 22-year-old grandson.  He has been staying with her for the past 3 months.  The victim reported that she was choked and slapped by her grandson; she sustained visible injuries.  The grandson was arrested and an emergency protective order was issued for the victim.

Grand Theft Auto
November 15 at 5:07 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 1500 block of South Mayflower.  The victim parked and secured the vehicle in front of the location at 5:00 a.m.  The victim noticed his vehicle was missing at 4:30 p.m.  The vehicle is a grey, four-door, 1991 Honda Accord.  The investigation is continuing.

Driving Under the Influence / Traffic Collision
November 15 at 7:13 p.m., a witness observed a vehicle run a red light at Foothill and Magnolia.  The witness followed the vehicle and phoned the police reporting a possible drunk driver.  Officers responded and located the vehicle near Mountain and Huntington.  The officers observed the driver swerving, straddling lanes of traffic, and then the driver abruptly sped up to pass a vehicle.  An officer activated their lights, but the driver did not respond.  After approximately 50 yards with the lights on, the officer activated the siren.  The suspect then abruptly moved to the curb.  His vehicle went over the curb and struck a tree.  The driver was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Forgery / Counterfeiting / Burglary – Suspect Arrested
November 15 at 8:48 p.m., loss prevention personnel from a business in the 500 block of West Huntington called to report an adult female trying to pass counterfeit currency inside their store.  Officers responded, but the female had exited the store and ran when confronted by loss prevention.  Officers arrived, located the female and detained her.  Washed currency, counterfeit currency, and ink used to make currency were found in the suspect’s purse.  She was arrested and taken into custody.  The Secret Service was contacted and the investigation is continuing.

Injury Traffic Collision
November 15 at 11:42 p.m., a solo vehicle traffic collision occurred when a vehicle traveling west on Huntington Drive attempted to make a left turn onto Mountain Avenue and lost control.  The vehicle struck the curb on the west side of Mountain Avenue and flipped multiple times.  All four occupants sustained minor injuries; three of them were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Commercial Burglary – Suspect Arrested
November 16 at 5:30 p.m., a business in the 700 block of East Huntington called police to report a known subject who stole merchandise from their store.  When confronted outside the store, he returned the merchandise to employees and then ran.  Officers located and detained the suspect nearby.  The suspect was arrested and charged with burglary.

Grand Theft Auto – Suspect Arrested
November 16 at 10:02 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Norumbega and Greystone when he passed a suspicious vehicle occupied by a male and female parked on the street in the 600 block of East Greystone.  After confirming that the vehicle had been reported stolen to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Temple Station, the officer immediately turned his car around, at which time he saw the occupants quickly exiting the vehicle.  The officer was able to detain both suspects until assistance arrived.  The male driver admitted to stealing the car, and was in possession of shaved keys.   The female was not aware the vehicle had been stolen.  The male suspect was arrested and the vehicle was returned to its owner.

Possession of Burglary Tools – Suspect Arrested
November 17 at 2:27 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 700 block of Greystone regarding a suspicious person in the neighbor’s yard.  An officer arrived and detained the subject.  The subject stated he had gone into the yard to rewrap his foot. The subject was found to be in possession of a folding knife that included a window punch, a screwdriver, and a sparkplug tip.  He was arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools.

Vehicle Burglary
November 17 at 7:09 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported to police.  The victim parked his vehicle in the public parking lot at Lemon and Myrtle in the evening.  When he returned to his vehicle in the morning, he noticed several items missing from his vehicle and called police.  The investigation is continuing.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 18 at 12:05 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Highland and Foothill when he observed a suspicious person.  The officer contacted the subject and through investigation determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine.  The officer arrested the subject for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Felony Vandalism – Suspects Arrested
November 18 at 2:23 a.m., an officer investigated a vandalism involving a vehicle that was damaged by large rocks being thrown at it.  The suspects were not known at the time of the initial investigation.

Several hours later, an officer responded to a vehicle tampering call in the area of Monterey and Huntington.  When the officer arrived, he located and detained a 14-year-old male at the scene and a second male juvenile ran from the officer.  The officer coordinated a search of the area, and the second juvenile was located and detained.

The investigation revealed the two boys were the vandalism suspects from the earlier call, and both juveniles were arrested.  Both juveniles are from the Victorville area and were joy-riding in their parent's vehicle until it ran out of gas in Monrovia.  The boys told the officer they did not know the victim, but they thought it would be fun to throw rocks at the victim's vehicle.  The juveniles were arrested and later released to their parents on citations.

New Bike Shop Opens in Monrovia

Empire Bikes, a new bicycling shop, opens on Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

Prolacta Moving from Monrovia to Industry

Prolacta - a company that provides breast milk to premature babies - is moving from Monrovia to a new, larger facility in the City of Industry. It will shut its Monrovia facility when everything is set in Industry. Source: Star-News article that does not appear to be online.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Seminar on Making Your Own TV Show

If you want to have your own TV show, you may want to attend "So You Want to Host a TV Show?" with TV and radio producer, Ron Stark, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7-9 p.m. at the KGEM TV office at 847 E. Olive in Monrovia. Seminar will cover: Name of show, type of show, developing the show, creating an audience and making a profit, target audience, promotion, marketing and advertising tactics, tracking advertiser results. KGEM number is 357-4974.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Band and Colorguard Win | Collection for Philippines | Christmas Light Exchange

~ The Monrovia High Wildcats Band and Colorguard reports on Facebook that "with the best band score in Monrovia history, the Marching Wildcats win 1st place in division 2A Band, Color Guard, and Drum Line at the Savanna Field Tournament. - at Savanna Field Tournament." Here's a Facebook video:

~ Today, First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia will collect an offering for the Philippines and the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Source: Facebook posting.

~  At the Monrovia Street Fair on Nov. 22, the San Gabriel Valley Energy Wise Partnership will offer SCE customers a new ultra-efficient light string in exchange for an old incandescent Christmas light string.  Bring your SCE bill to show eligibility.  Each qualifying customer can exchange one string of lights per household, while supplies last.

- Brad Haugaard

Old-Toy Buyers Coming to Monrovia

If you have old toys (mid 1970s or earlier) that you would like to have priced, or possibly sell, there will be a toy-collectors gathering at the Courtyard Marriott at 700 W. Huntington Drive on Nov. 20 and 21, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission and parking. Call 561 628-1990 for questions about the kinds of toys they are looking for. Source: Ad in Saturday Star-News.

- Brad Haugaard

Obamacare: What Monrovia's Congress Members Have Said About It

In light of the national discussion about the rollout of Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act), I thought I'd go back and see what our two members of Congress have had to say about it over the past few years by reviewing their press releases.

Neither Congress member representing Monrovia has issued a press release about Obamacare since the roll-out, and, interestingly, I cannot find any press releases on the topic at all from Grace Napolitano (D) - who represents most of Monrovia, south of Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone. In terms of press releases, at least, she seems to have been silent on the matter.

On the other hand, Judy Chu (D) - who represents the top slice of Monrovia - north of Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone - has had a lot to say.

On the critical side, she said she would have preferred Obamacare have "a stronger government plan with the power to better negotiate rates and help keep overall premiums down" and "I am also disappointed that under H.R. 3962, legal immigrants will still have to wait five years before being able to access Medicaid or Medicare benefits."

But Chu was mostly enthusiastic about Obamacare. Following the House passage of the bill she predicted: "I am confident that when the president signs this bill into law, and its effects begin to immediately be felt across the nation, even those who have vehemently opposed this bill will realize what hundreds of my constituents who have spoken out at town halls in my district already know: that this bill is a win-win for our seniors, for our families, for our doctors and for America.

"With today's House vote, we are just a few steps away from changing our health care system for the better and ensuring that America treats its people with the respect, dignity and compassion they deserve."

And, in another press release, she predicted that Obamacare "will provide coverage to 32 million more Americans, prevent insurance companies from discriminating against or dropping coverage for patients with catastrophic illness or preexisting conditions, and reduce the federal deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion the following 10 years."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Walks Over Sierra Canyon | Photo Winner

~ Monrovia Rolls Over Sierra Canyon, 62-10, in the first round of the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division.

~ Monrovia resident Pajitno Hadinata received an honorable mention for this travel photo:

- Brad Haugaard

Broken Ankle in Monrovia Hit-and-Run | Tiles for Monrovia Train Station

~ Monrovian suffers broken ankle in hit-and-run Thursday night.

~ Monrovia train station artist Cha-Rie Tang visited the historic Santa Fe depot this week to collect molds of old tiles from inside the building. These tile samples, along with many other samples collected by Cha-Rie from around the community, will be featured in the design of the future Gold Line station in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Free Memory Screening at Monrovia Library - Don't Forget!

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday Nov. 19, the non-profit organization Family Peace will hold a free and confidential Memory Screening in Monrovia Community Center's Iris Room in honor of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. Contact Rebecca Romero (626-256-8232) for an appointment.

- Brad Haugaard

Pavilions Center Changes Signs

The Pavilions shopping center is changing its business signs. New style on the left, old on the right.

- Brad Haugaard

Chu Introduces Bill to Overrule State Regulations on Abortion

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who represents the top edge of Monrovia (from Hillcrest/Grand/E. Greystone north), has helped introduce a bill that would overrule "restrictive regulations and laws - such as those in place in states including Texas and Wisconsin" on abortions.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Subway

Lunch at Subway, in the Pavilions shopping area. Got a six-inch club sandwich on wheat bread ($6.95) and a small iced tea ($1.50). Plus tax. Subs are always good for a quick lunch. 

- Brad Haugaard

California and Duarte Intersection Closed Tomorrow

The California Ave. and Duarte Rd. intersection will be closed tomorrow, Nov, 16, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow crews to reconfigure the traffic lanes and re-stripe the road. California Ave. south of Duarte Road will remain closed through early-February 2014.

- Brad Haugaard

Free Seminar in Monrovia on Keeping Teens Safe on Facebook

Assemblymember Chris Holden is teaming up with Facebook and Assemblymembers Ed Chau and Roger Hernández for a free seminar called, "How to Keep Teens Safe on Facebook," Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Sierra College Auditorium, 101 E. Huntington Drive, Monrovia. Facebook recently changed its privacy settings to allow teens more access. Parents, teens and community members will learn about reporting tools, new privacy settings and bullying prevention.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Quest for a Four-Peat Championship | World Vision Supplies Arrive in Cebu

~ In a relief operation by Monrovia-based World Vision, four trucks hauled 25 tons of supplies into remote villages in the hills of Tabugon Municipality, on the island of Cebu, the Philippines.

~ Tonight, Monrovia begins its quest for a four-peat championship. Playing Sierra Canyon at 7 p.m. at Monrovia High.

- Brad Haugaard

Santa Coming to Monrovia: Schedule

Santa will be touring Monrovia, Dec. 16-20, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Fire Station 101. Schedule:

- Monday, Dec. 16: South of Huntington, west of Myrtle, to Fifth Ave. on the west and south city border. Also, Valley Circle.

- Tuesday, Dec. 17: East of Myrtle, north of Foothill.

- Wednesday, Dec. 18: West of Myrtle, north of Foothill.

- Thursday, Dec. 19: East of Myrtle, south of Foothill, north of Duarte Road, to east city border.

- Friday, Dec. 20: West of Myrtle, south of Foothill, north of Huntington, to Fifth Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Council: Public Hearing on Landmark Status for Alta Vista Property

At its Nov. 19 meeting (agenda: ) the Monrovia City Council will hold a public hearing about whether to grant Historic Landmark status for the property at 505 N. Alta Vista Ave.

- Brad Haugaard

Partial Opening of California and Duarte Intersection by Mid November

The northern half of the intersection of California Avenue and Duarte Road will be accessible by mid November. The whole intersection will open by early February. In other words, California Avenue will be blocked off on the south side of the intersection.

Source: Metro Gold Line Construction Authority

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Friends Fight with Knives; Drugs; Vehicle Burglaries

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

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 434 service events, resulting in 76 investigations.

Vehicle Burglary
November 11 at 9:36 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 100 block of McKinley.  Sometime during the night, the victim's locked vehicle was broken into and burglarized.  The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
November 11 at 9:48 a.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 800 block of West Foothill. During the evening, the victim's locked vehicle was broken into but nothing appeared to have been stolen.  The investigation is continuing.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
November 11 at 10:28 a.m., an officer was dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of West Palm regarding a subject possibly under the influence of drugs.  The officers contacted the subject at his home and determined he was under the influence of a controlled substance.  The subject consented to a search of his room and a small quantity of heroin was found.  The subject was arrested for possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Violation of Court Order / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer – Suspect Arrested
November 11 at 11:02 a.m., a caller reported a subject that was causing a disturbance at a business in the 100 block of West Foothill.  When the officer arrived, he saw the subject near a fast food restaurant and knew the he possibly had a restraining order against him.  Dispatch checked the subject's name and confirmed there was a restraining order against the suspect being at the shopping center.

An officer arrived and approached the subject to detain him for violating the restraining order and he immediately ran from the officer.  A foot pursuit ensued, but patrol officers apprehended the suspect about three blocks away.  The suspect was arrested for violating a court order and resisting arrest.

Stolen Vehicle
November 11 at 5:55 p.m., a motorcycle was reported stolen from the 700 block of South Myrtle.  The victim's BMW motorcycle was taken from his apartment building parking structure.  The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglaries
November 11, three vehicle burglaries were reported in the early evening hours.  The burglaries occurred in the 100 block of North Mayflower, 100 block of North Primrose, and the area of Eldorado and Fifth.

While officers were investigating the vehicle burglary in the 100 block of North Mayflower, dispatch received a call from a resident in the 400 block of Concord reporting a male subject hiding under the caller’s vehicle.  Officers responded and detained the subject.  The investigation is continuing.

Receiving Stolen Property / Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Suspects Arrested
November 12 at 11:37 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting two male subjects preparing to fight in the 400 block of East Foothill.  One of the suspects possibly had a knife.  Officers responded to the location and detained two suspects.  Through investigation, they learned the subjects were friends.  One of the subjects, the suspect, had burglarized the other one’s home, taking property from the home in the 200 block of Valle Vista.  The victim of the burglary suspected his friend.  The victim confronted the suspect with a knife at his home.  The suspect ran, taking a backpack with him; the victim chased the suspect and a fight ensued in the 400 block of East Foothill.

The suspect sustained a 4-inch cut on his upper arm.  He was found to have heroin, methamphetamine, and all of the stolen property in his backpack.  Paramedics responded to the scene and treated the suspect for his injury.  The suspect was arrested for possession of heroin, methamphetamine and possession of stolen property.  The friend/victim in this case was arrested for assaulting the suspect with a knife.  The investigation is continuing.

Monrovia Company Going Public

Monrovia based Xencor, a biotech firm, is planning to become a publicly traded company with an initial public offering. It plans to raise $75 million. It has recently increased the number of shares it is offering and has lowered the opening price.

- Brad Haugaard

Harvest Lunch Sunday at Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church

Monrovia's First Presbyterian Church will hold a potluck Harvest Lunch this Sunday (Nov. 17) after the church service, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. "Bring your favorite soup, chili, or fall dish to share." There will be a corn toss and photo booth.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Swordman Goes for Burglar | Cruise Line Helps With Philippines Relief | Elise McCarthy Plans to Play for Northridge

~ Monrovian goes after burglar with a sword.

~ Royal Caribbean Cruises has pledged to $250,000 to support World Vision's relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. World Vision's operations headquarters in in Monrovia.

~ Elise McCarthy, sister of former Monrovia defensive tackle, Ellis, has signed a letter of intent to play softball at Cal State Northridge.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Library Honors Volunteers

Monrovia Library is honoring volunteers Maria Legg and Niki Latsko for creating "order out of record-keeping chaos." They tackle special collections, are active on the Volunteer Management Team that oversees volunteer operations and recognition events. Maria also serves as a tutor for our Literacy Services Department - all this after her full-time job is done for the day. Both Niki and Maria are active in the community and attend Commission meetings, City Council meetings, and a host of events. "Thank you Niki and Maria, for making the Library your pet project."

Source: Monrovia Library Facebook post

- Brad Haugaard

Are We About to Get a New Monrovia City Manager?

It sounds as if the Monrovia City Council is ready to appoint a new city manager. It is holding a special closed-session meeting this Friday (Nov. 15) at 1:30 p.m. with this agenda item: "Public Employee Appointment Pursuant to Government Code §54957: City Manager".

UPDATE: Nope. I was waaaay too eager. It's too early in the search process.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Scout Raising Funds and Supplies for Students Around World

For the fourth year, Grayson Wade - who lives in Monrovia, goes to school in Sierra Madre, and is in an Arcadia Boy Scout Troop - is collecting money and donations and spreading awareness about Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. OCC sends shoeboxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items, toys, games and clothing to children in need throughout the world. Grayson, whose collection boxes are in various local businesses, has walked neighborhoods and spoken at Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, schools, Boy Scout troops, and has been a speaker at meetings of the Operation Christmas Child San Gabriel Valley Team. This year he is focusing on promoting youth awareness about giving to children in need.

Grayson's goal is to raise $5000 in order to pack 250 shoeboxes. In addition to raising funds, he hopes many kids will join this campaign in the future. Samaritan's Purse will be sending over 520,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Phillipines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Source: His parents

- Brad Haugaard

Video Report on Monrovia K-Rails | Police Merit Pay Okay | Thanksgiving for Kids

~ ABC video report on K-rail being installed to prevent flood damage after fire.

~ Monrovia Police can get merit pay increases now.

~ Thanksgiving Bookfeast for children 4 years old through fifth grade at the library. Nov. 23 , 2-3 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus Dental Assisting Program Gets 7-Year Accreditation

The Registered Dental Assisting Program at Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, has been accredited for another seven years by the American Dental Association. The employment rate for graduates of the program is at 85 percent and the dental student's average pass rate on the State Board Exam is 100 percent on the written exam and 93 percent on the practical exam - the state average is 80 percent.

Source: Citrus College press release

- Brad Haugaard

Robledo Predicts Monrovia Will Lose Championship

Sports reporter Fred Robledo is predicting San Dimas will beat out Monrovia for the Mid-Valley Division football championship.

Comment: Booo!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Residents Give Opinions on Train Station | Holiday Home Decorating | Blood Pressure

~ Report on meeting to get Monrovians' opinions on Gold Line station project.

~ If you'd like to enter the holiday home decorating contest, deadline to apply is Friday, December 13. Details ( ); application form ( ).

~ Blood pressure screenings for seniors 50 years and older on the second Tuesday of each month (next would be Dec. 10), from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., at the Community Center, 119 West Palm Avenue.  Call 256-8246 for details.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Machete Robbery; Meth Suspect Calls Police; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 7–10. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend's highlighted issues and events.

Commercial Burglary

November 8 at 1:40 p.m., a male suspect walked into a business in the 500 block of West Huntington and went straight to the jewelry section. He immediately began to stuff his pants with jewelry and then ran out of the store. Store security followed the suspect and called police. Officers arrived and saw the suspect riding a bicycle south on Mayflower. When the suspect saw the officers, he jumped off the bike and ran through a condominium complex and out of sight. Officers attempted to surround and contain the area, but the suspect was not located. The investigation is continuing

Petty Theft / Warrant – Suspect Arrested

November 8 at 6:55 p.m., a petty theft was reported at a business in the 500 block of West Huntington. Loss prevention personnel had detained an adult female outside the store after they observed her place several items inside her purse. She paid for a couple of items, but did not pay for the more expensive items she had concealed in her purse. Officers responded and upon further investigation, discovered the suspect also had an outstanding warrant for theft. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Methamphetamine – Suspect Arrested

November 9 at 1:07 a.m., police dispatch received a phone call from a male subject at a hotel in the 900 block of East Huntington. He stated that several armed men had broken into his hotel room and he was barricading himself in the bathroom. The subject was ranting and seemed incoherent. Officers arrived on scene and surrounded the location. They called to the subject and told him to exit the hotel room. He did not respond immediately and was acting strange, but he eventually exited the room. The subject was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Officers made a protective sweep of the hotel room and no other subjects were in the room. The officers discovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the room. The subject was arrested.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested

November 9 at 1:08 a.m., an officer observed a driver make several vehicle code violations and conducted a traffic stop. When contacting the driver, the officer suspected the subject had been drinking. After investigation, the subject was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested.

Shots Heard

November 8 at approximately 1:29 a.m., dispatch received numerous calls reporting two loud bangs, possibly shots heard, in the area of the 200 block of North Myrtle. No further information was given from any caller. At the time officers were working two separate crimes and both locations reported hearing the possible shots. An extensive area search was conducted with negative results.

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested

November 10 at 1:25 a.m., a family disturbance was reported at a residence in the 500 block of South California. Officers arrived and determined that during an argument, the male subject grabbed the female by the jacket and pushed her against the wall. No injuries occurred. The male subject was arrested for domestic violence.

Armed Robbery

November 10 at 6:04 p.m., a robbery was reported at the skate park in the 800 block of East Olive. Three male Hispanic suspects, ages 16 to 20 years old, were at the skate park when one of the suspects confronted the victim with a machete and demanded the victim's laptop computer and wallet. The suspects fled the area in a silver Honda Civic, heading southbound on Shamrock towards Huntington. Officers responded and searched the area, but the suspects were not located. The investigation is continuing.

Special Enforcement Team Activity

On November 8, while on patrol, Special Enforcement Team officers cited one subject for drinking alcohol at a park in the 300 block of South Myrtle.

- Brad Haugaard

NBA and NBPA Donate to World Vision for Philippines Relief

The National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association have joined to make a $250,000 contribution to World Vision to support relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. World Vision has its operations office in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Newspaper Apparently Drops Monday Editorial Page

The Pasadena Star-News, the daily newspaper that covers Monrovia, has apparently dropped its Monday editorial page. I thought it might just be a temporary expedient last Monday, but today, again, it is gone. The paper had earlier dropped its Saturday editorial page.

- Brad Haugaard

Cookbooks at Friends of Monrovia Library Store

The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library has acquired a large cookbook collection from a professional cook, now on sale in the Friends' Store in the library. Examples: "The Joy of Cooking," "Larousse Gastronomique," and "The Gourmet Cookbook." New selections will be added weekly through December. From one dollar up. Proceeds benefit the library. The Friends' Store is open Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday noon to 5 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Honoring Vets at Monrovia's Library Park

Celebrating Veterans Day at Library Park.
- Brad Haugaard

Local Jewish Federation Raising Money for Haiyan Victims

The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys has opened a Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund to raise money for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

If you'd like to contribute you can mail, call or drop-off contributions at the Jewish Federation (Attn: Typhoon Haiyan Relief, 550 S. Second Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006 or call 445.0810). Donate online here:

The Federation will absorb administrative costs so 100% of all donations go directly for aid. For more info call 445.0810 or email

- Brad Haugaard

E Coli Outbreak May be Linked to Trader Joe's Salads

An E Coli outbreak may be linked to Trader Joe's prepared salads: Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken, and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken. Trader Joe's is based in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Vets Day Food and Celebration

~ A whole list of restaurants offering meal deals to vets. Including lots of locals, such as: Applebee's, Chili's, Olive Garden, Starbuck's, Outback, BJ's, Denny's, California Pizza Kitchen.

~ There will be a Vets Day celebration at 11 a.m. in front of the Library.

Comment: Happy Veterans Day my fellow vets!

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Gets Top Seed for Playoffs

The Monrovia Wildcats were given the No. 1 seed in the Mid-Valley Division for the playoffs. They'll go against Sierra Canyon this Friday.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's World Vision Ships Supplies to Philippines; Plans Major Relief Effort

The first relief flight by Monrovia's World Vision - loaded with emergency supplies - will arrive in Manila, the Philippines, tomorrow, Monday. The initial shipment includes 5,000 blankets and 3,000 plastic sheets to be used to help survivors build temporary shelters.

As the death toll climbs and the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan becomes evident, World Vision is launching one of its largest relief operation in the country's history, mobilizing staff across the country to respond to nearly 400,000 people affected by the disaster. World Vision has launched a multi-million dollar fundraising appeal to help meet the needs of the response.


- Brad Haugaard

Crash on 210 in Monrovia | Monrovia History

~ Seven hurt in 210 freeway crash this morning in Monrovia.

~ In case you were curious, the Monrovia Library's Heritage Room wants you to know that Monrovia is a General Law city. Now you know. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Relief Organization Prepares for Typhoon Haiyan | Gunshots?

~ World Vision - a Christian relief agency based in Monrovia - is preparing for super typhoon Haiyan, which is expected to hit Vietnam and Laos after smashing up the Philippines. World Vision works in 56 districts in Vietnam, supporting some 71,500 children through its sponsorship program, and in Laos, it works in 24 districts, supporting more than 40,000 children.

~ Several people have reported to me (Brad) that they heard one or two loud explosions last night, about 2 a.m. Saturday, in north Monrovia. Some thought it sounded like a gunshot or perhaps a transformer exploding.

- Brad Haugaard

Aztec Hotel Owner Applies for an Extension

The Aztec Hotel owner is asking the Monrovia Planning Commission for a one-year extension that would allow a restaurant in the building - not yet operating - to serve alcohol and to have up to three live musicians. City staff recommends the request be granted. Planning Division Manager Craig Jimenez writes in the staff report: "Over the past year, some restoration work on the building has been completed, however, the focus has been on other parts of the property."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Over San Marino :-) | Vets Day in Library Park | Black Alumni Dinner-Dance

~ Monrovia wins over San Marino tonight in football, 62-21, to win Rio Hondo league title.

~ Veterans Day ceremony at Library Park, tomorrow, Nov. 9, at Library Park at 9 a.m.

~ Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association dinner-dance fundraiser Nov. 9. Details:

- Brad Haugaard

Honoring Retiring Monrovia School Board President; Salary for Behavior Intervention Specialist

At its Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6:45 p.m. meeting (agenda: ), the Monrovia Board of Education will ...

- Honor retiring Board President Chris Rich for his eight years as a member of the Board of Education.

- Consider setting the salary range for a Behavior Intervention Specialist at $6,890 to $7,554 (per month, I guess, thought it doesn't say). What's a BIS do? "Administers programs and services for behaviorially or emotionally disturbed students."

- Brad Haugaard

Help Monrovia's Centre Stage | Christmas Tree and Parade | E-Waste | Handel's Messiah

~ Monrovia's Centre Stage was recently burglarized of about $30,000 of lighting and audio equipment. If you'd like to donate to help it out, here's how:

~ Christmas tree lighting and parade, Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. in Library Park. Parade starts at 7 p.m. Comment: It's a fun small-town event.

~ E-waste recycling Dec. 7 and 8, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the corner of Pomona (the south-side freeway access road) and Myrtle. They'll take devices you can plug in, but not light bulbs, batteries and hazardous waste. More details here:

~ First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia, at Myrtle and Foothill, will present Handel's Messiah Christmas Concert on Dec. 8th at 7:30 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Honors Vets

In commemoration of Veterans Day, hundreds of students, faculty and community leaders gathered at the Citrus College campus to celebrate the men and women who have served the United States and helped preserve its freedoms at the eighth annual "Saluting Our Veterans" event on Thursday, Nov. 7.

Citrus College, which serves Monrovia, and Azusa Pacific University (APU) partnered with the cities of Glendora and Azusa to pay tribute to members of all branches of the U.S. military and celebrate the contributions they have made to preserving America's freedoms.

Source: Citrus press release

- Brad Haugaard

Laying Track at Monrovia Rail Maintenance Yard

Crews have begun installing six miles of light rail track at the $265 million Gold Line maintenance yard in Monrovia.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Sunday's Old Town Bistro

Lunch at Sunday's Old Town Bistro, on the east side of Myrtle just north of Colorado. Got the Chicken Marinara Sandwich for $8.95 and an iced tea for $1.95.  $11.88 with tax. Nicely seasoned sandwich and I left well fed. 

- Brad Haugaard

Sixth Monrovia Area Partnership Class Graduates

The sixth class of MAP (Monrovia Area Partnership) leadership academy graduates honored by the City Council.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Woman Arrested on Charges of Falsely Reporting Assault; 110 Years for Murder; Drunk Driving; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for Nov. 4-6. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 447 service events, resulting in 88 investigations.

Grand Theft Auto
November 4 at 6:15 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of East Colorado. Unknown suspect(s) took the victim's white Honda Civic from the front of his home.  The victim did not know the license plate number of the vehicle because he had just bought the car the day before. The investigation is continuing.

False Report to an Officer/ Misuse of 9-1-1 – Suspect Arrested
November 4 at 8:37 a.m., Irwindale Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a cell phone.  It was an open line, and the dispatcher could hear a female subject talking to a male subject, saying he had hurt her wrist, and then the phone went dead.  The Irwindale dispatcher called back and the female answered, whispering into the phone that the male subject was now in the shower and he had in gun in the bathroom with him.  The female stated he had hit her in the ribcage and was requesting paramedics. The subjects were at an address in the 500 block of East Colorado in Monrovia.  Irwindale advised Monrovia Police Department and officers responded and set up containment of the location.

Monrovia dispatch called the residence and the male subject answered the phone.  He was asked to step outside.  The subject complied and calmly walked outside with his hands in the air; he was detained without incident.  After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the female had made a false report to police.  She was arrested for making a false report to an officer and a false 9-1-1 call.

Driving Under the Influence / Failure to Yield – Suspect Arrested
November 5 at 7:25 p.m., an officer was on patrol near Chestnut and Fifth when he saw a vehicle driving south on Fifth with a flat tire.  The vehicle continued to Huntington and Fifth without pulling over.  The officer activated his lights and siren to get the driver to pull over, but the vehicle failed to yield and continued east on Huntington to Monterey, where the driver eventually pulled into a business parking lot.  The officer contacted the driver and determined the driver was intoxicated.  He was arrested for driving under the influence and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Burglary Suspect Arrested and Charged
In June, officers took a report of a burglary from an apartment in the 1400 block of Alta Vista.  Several female subjects were mentioned as possible suspects, but the leads on the case needed to be followed up.  In October, Officers took a report of a burglary from a business in the 500 block of Huntington and the suspect was apprehended. The handling officer found the suspect he had in custody was listed as a possible suspect in the burglary from the apartment.

A burglary detective was then assigned to assist in the investigation and was able to produce more evidence and facts confirming the suspect in custody had, in fact, committed the burglary in June.  Due to the good work of both patrol personnel and the detective, two felony counts of burglary were charged against the suspect.

Murder Suspect Sentenced to 110 Years
In October of 2004, a male subject was murdered in an alley off the 200 block of West Olive, when the suspect shot the victim with a .22 revolver in the back of the head.  No witnesses initially came forward and the crime appeared to be gang related, so few potential witnesses were willing to admit any knowledge of the incident.  The case was not solved initially and was later assigned to a special task force assigned to the gang related crimes occurring in the city at the time.  A Monrovia Police Department detective was assigned to the task force and has worked relentlessly on the case for the past four years.

After the tireless work of many from the Monrovia Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the suspect, a documented gang member, was given a 110 year sentence on October 30, 2013. The success of the prosecution relied on hard work and new developments in the processing of DNA-based evidence.

Pasadena Humane Society Taking Over Monrovia Animal Control

The City of Monrovia approved an animal control contract with the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS) at Tuesday's city council meeting. The new contract is effective January 1, 2014.

Services included in the contract include animal rescue, dog barking complaints, cruelty investigations, picking up and transporting stray animals and dog licenses. Monrovia residents will also have access to affordable spay/neuter and vaccination clinics, too.

"We are happy to partner with the City of Monrovia to provide the best care possible for its animals," says Steve McNall, president/CEO of the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. "We are looking forward to being an invaluable community resource for animals and pet owners."

Monrovia joins Arcadia, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena served by the PHS. The Pasadena Humane Society is located at 361 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena 91105. Hours of operation are Tuesdays-Fridays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays. For more information, visit

Source: Pasadena Humane Society press release

- Brad Haugaard

Intersection of California Ave. and Duarte Rd. Closed Thursday

Thursday, November 7th: 7 AM to 7 PM

Tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the intersection of California Ave. and Duarte Rd. will be closed to through-traffic to allow crews to reconfigure the traffic lanes and re-stripe the road in preparation for future grade crossing construction.

During the intersection closure, detour routes will be in place and signage will be posted to guide motorists around the construction activity.

Following the closure, Duarte will re-open to one lane of traffic in each direction and California will remain closed north of Duarte.

Source: Gold Line Construction Authority press release

- Brad Haugaard

Citrus College Dean Honored

Citrus College's interim executive dean, Dr. Martha McDonald, has been recognized by Cal State Fullerton's College of Education as a distinguished alumna. Citrus College serves Monrovia.

McDonald served in the Marine Corps, becoming the first female instructor in the Corps' Security Forces School; she earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Chapman University, and now oversees Citrus student government programs, school relations and outreach, campus safety, the student health center and veterans' programs. She helped Citrus become one of 15 colleges and universities in the nation to receive a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant from the Department of Education in 2009. In addition, the college has also been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine for four consecutive years.

Source: Citrus press release

- Brad Haugaard