Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Booze and support the MUSD Schools 12/20

What could be better than free booze and some munchies?  Great Art and a chance to help the MUSD schools bring (keep?) art in the class rooms for the elementary schools.  Members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) have donated art for a silent auction that night.  The proceeds will go to help MAFA continue its funding of art programs in the schools and community.  

It should be a fun evening.  Very relaxed a half dozen artists showing their work, including me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MPD on the street - Neighborhood Watch in Action

Around 4:38 Shane calls and lets me know a guy was at his door saying he was selling magazines.  The guy had none of the usual accroutrement one would see with a door-to-door magazine.  Shane recalled the post here a few weeks back about the Robo-dial message from MUSD.  He ask's the guy where is his "sellers permit" issued by the city.  The guy says he has none, Shane tells him no thanks and warns him "You probably should leave as this street is pretty tight and you won't get much further without MPD being called".

Shane calls me.  He tells me he saw the guy last heading to Robertos and leave. While we are talking I see him going to Rob and Julies.  I tell him to call MPD and let him know I saw him there looking in the windows.  I asked him to let MPD know to talk to me as well as I saw him look into the window over at Rob's and Julies then move towards the Cohen's front door.  At that point my view of him was blocked by trees.
Shane calls MPD and calls me back.  He tells me MPD will send someone.  About that time he tells me he see's the guy had made it around to the Birkholz.  It was my turn to call MPD with the new info so Shane could watch.

As I was talking with MPD dispatch the first squad car arrived.  While I was on the line they had me relay what I saw.  Then 2 more squad cars arrived.  By 5 the first of the cars left,  a few minutes later the remaining cars left.  

I don't know what the guy was up to.  I do he was given a field interview by MPD per the information from dispatch while I was on the phone with them.  We do know he wasn't around after MPD left.  Thanks for the fast response MPD.

It pays to share with each other, watch and report as we see strange stuff.  If anything when these field interviews are conducted on our calls they do know we are watching and will call MPD to report unusual activity.  

As we noted the other day here, report what you see.  Lock it up to prevent the crimes of opportunity that happen in the area.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

City Manager Report addresses crime prevention

If you haven't taken the time to visit the city managers weekly recap you should.  The reading is tedious and editorial in nature, kind of like a lot of blogs: shameless self-promotion, but good bits can be found.  From the report this week an interesting comment on controlling crime through neighborhood awareness and reporting it to the police and sharing with each other.  

"One of the best ways to combat residential burglaries is to have “eyes on the street” – to keep neighbors engaged and vigilant, to be aware of suspicious cars and people on the block, and to guard against “crimes of opportunity”. Especially with this last point, it is important to notify to the Police Department of even minor incidents. This helps police track crime trends and find clues. For example, a car owner might leave their doors unlocked and notice the next morning that the tray of small change has been emptied and CD’s are gone. Many times, victims of this type of crime will blame themselves rather than notify the police (“It wasn’t that much money and, besides, I left the door unlocked.”) But it is precisely this type of crime report that helps us understand if there is a problem on that street, and the magnitude of the problem (for example, is it simply kids doing stupid things or has the neighbor’s trouble-bound son or daughter just gotten out of jail?). Make no mistake; this kind of activity can happen anywhere in our town. And it is important that we don’t get scared or rattled, but rather that we get involved.

Thus, I strongly encourage folks to take up the Community Policing Bureau’s offer to establish/reinvigorate a local Neighborhood Watch program. It can be as structured or as casual as folks might desire, and it is a great way to get to know the people on your street."

If you see something going on let Renee and I know, we'll publish it here.  If dire enough Renee will do a mass email as well to make sure the word is out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

North Primrose Blogs notes increased area burglary

Hey all, it stands to reason we go shopping and the bad guys visit us or rifle through our cars looking for goodies for gift giving as well.

Home burglary in particular are on the upswing in Monrovia.  North Primrose blog notes conversations with MPD regard some specifics up on Scenic and Canyon.  The latter is too close to home so pay heed.  Read their two posts HERE and HERE.

In short lock your house.  Lock your car and don't leave anything of the car like GPS, iPods to tempt a thief.

I for one would like to seem some robo-dials on crime in the area just like the one we recently had regarding the coyote attack on the bicyclist.

Happy Holidays are here.  Who will have the most over the top Display this year?  Seems we have two really consistent ones...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coyote Attacks, Lions and Monrovia Neighborhood Watch

I just ran a post on LA Metblogs regarding the robo-dial message we got from MPD on the coyote attack.  I have to give hats off to MPD for that message and alerting us to the hazard this poses to all of us, but the little ones and pets on the street.  

Mountain Lions continue to be a problem in the area as well.  Two have been killed in as many months.  Early September was one in Monrovia and the other was a few days ago in Arcadia. All very unnerving, especially so when you realize we have a large open field abutting the neighbors on the north end of the street.  If you see predators prowling call MPD immediately.

A final note.  Monrovia City Watch is a good source of information, and editorial regarding City Government.  To better assist all of us in monitoring crime and knowing what to watch for he has started a sub-page appropriately named "Monrovia Neighborhood Watch".  If you see a crime and and want it reported let him or me know. If you wish to remain anonymous your privacy will be respected.  

So far what has been reported shows that daytime home burglaries are continuing.  The problem with wildlife in the neighborhoods is a bit more than local news sources have reported as well.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Door-to-Door Fund Raising Scam Alert

For those of you who don't have kids in MUSD you missed a robo-dialed message from Dr. Taylor, MUSD Superintendent that we received a few minutes ago.

"Dear MUSD Families,
We have been made aware that groups of youths are going door-to-door identifying themselves as members of the MHS ROP selling subscriptions to the LA Times as a fund raiser.

It is False.  They youth are not MHS Students.  They are not associated with MHS or MHS ROP. MHS ROP has no such fund raiser in progress.

If someone knocks on your door trying to sell you a subscription turn them away.  Immediately call Monrovia PD and alert them.

Thank You,
Dr Louise Taylor"


Monday, October 27, 2008

Garden exchange anyone?

Back east it isn't uncommon to have neighborhood garden exchanges.  How it worked was as various plants, bulbs and perrenials in particular overcrowded a garden the excess was passed out to anyone in the neighborhood who wanted them.  Better than them going to waste either by dying off due to overcrowding or into the landfill when they were thinned.

I have about 5 dozen callalilly rhizomes (bulbs to some) at the moment looking for a new home.  I have mostly the scarlet red ones right now.  The yellow will follow over the coming weekend.  If you want them speak up in the comments or stop by.

Calla Lily's do best with morning sun and afternoon shade.  They like regular water during the summer, but once established do well with light watering and tolerate drying out of the soil between waterings.  Other than than feeding once in early spring is all they need for blooms all year.  They do best at the back of a garden or against a wall as they will grow 4-7 feet tall!

Sometime in November I will have some traditional Iris up for grabs.  These are even easier than calla's to grow and naturalize in the gardens really well.  When they are ready I will drop you all a note here.

If anyone else has plants they are dividing out just drop me a note and I'll share it with the neighborhood.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Be safe burglary's continue in the area

Monrovia and Arcadia share a lot in common in terms of crime and crime patterns.  Arcadia POA has a blog that continually gives updates on crime on the area.  APOA Blog also has a wealth of information that affects us as we run about driving on errands, getting kids to school as well as staying safe at home.  I met Sgt Tom LeVeque of APD who runs the APOA blog last spring when he arranged a ride-along with APD.  Nice guy, knowledgeable and certainly had plenty of information on how the two communities are so similar when it comes to crimes of opportunity.

In light of the continued day time home burglary's in the area take time to read APOA's Blog on Staying Safe at Home.

Auto burglary's continue.  In the area where Arcadia and Monrovia abut a Monrovia man was recently arrested attempting an auto burglary.  

If you want to stay on top of crime trends as well as general safety info bookmark or subscribe to the Arcadia Police Officers Association Blog.

Until then, be aware, watch, report and lock up while staying safe!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Celebrate the Arts is coming 10/11&12

Celebrate the Arts is the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts(MAFA) single biggest event of the year. This is MAFA's 45th Celebrate the Arts event! It will be held in the Community Center and its parking lot on Palm Avenue this year as the usual venue, Library Park is undergoing its huge building and renovations.

MAFA supports art and art education in the community. MAFA supports the art program in the Village After School Program. With that support fully 10% of the elementary school kids in the community get some art education. (Art education was cut from the program years ago and MAFA stepped in where they could).

Industrious principals like Stacey Ayers over at Wild Rose Elementary sought to find ways to bring art classes and a dedicated art teacher to the school. She contacted MAFA and we gave them direct grants as well as assisted in their fund raising efforts.

This is only one way that MAFA helps bring Art to the community. The other way is through working with local businesses to help them open gallery's in their stores using MAFA artists. Focus One Credit Union, Monrovia Coffee Company, CA Wine and Cheese and "Art at the Aztec" are examples of MAFA artists being showcased in local businesses.

Other times MAFA is contacted by businesses to help them establish gallery's. The Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery and the Route 66 Gallery at the Aztec are examples of that partnership with local businesses.

All of this needs help and financial support from the community. Please attend the FREE shows during the Day Saturday and Sunday October 11&12. There will be 65 artists representing a variety of fine art mediums. There will be silent auction items available for your bidding as well. The silent auction is composed of fine art donated by the participating artists and the proceeds to fund the events and grant programs supported by MAFA.

Also...a little disclosure, I am a MAFA board member. It is pretty strange seeing my name all over as this years "featured artist" but the group chose to give me the honor which I am humbled by.

See you at the show!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Caution at night - recent event in Duarte

Stacey Birkholz dropped an email to a few of us. So every one is aware here is what she wrote tonight.

"That would explain the helicopters....

I heard today from my neighbor that her friend's sister was attacked in the parking lot of the Target in Duarte. She was walking to her car the other night - and she had parked by Denny's. Someone hit her in the back. When she turned around, he hit her in the face, splitting her lip and knocking loose some of her teeth. Then he took her purse. A witness ran to the Sheriff's substation, and it took them quite awhile to come out.

So, this is not a message to not shop at Target, but to park close; look around you; try to go during daylight; and at night, ask a security guard or Target employee to walk you out. Better to feel silly by asking, than to have your teeth knocked out - or worse. We all have children who need us."

Monday, August 25, 2008

A comment from our neighbors on Canyon

I'll try to avoid the snarky comments. But having worked with LAPD as a Neighborhood Watch co-captain in the Valley years ago we were given monthly crime stats for our reporting district. It showed "pins" for the various types of crime, date and approximate time it took place in our little area. It even gave us descriptions of the suspects where it was known. All in the name of giving us what we needed to keep crime down in our little corner of LA.

I really wish MPD took the same position on informing all of us as to what is going on. It would certainly be easier for us to understand the severity and be involved in finding the solution to controlling it.

This comment was on one of the recent posts on this blog. It enumerates crimes taking place in the condos that are on Canyon and the bottom of our street. Seems we have had quite a bit bigger auto burglary spree around here than we thought.

The specific comment:
My name is Tom and I am the President of the Canyonwood Homeowners Association townhome complex. Most of our units are on N. Canyon Blvd., but we have two units at 147 Poinsettia Ave. My neighbor here on N. Canyon Blvd. reports that her car was broken in to early last Thursday morning, August 14, 2008. She had a purse and a car stereo stolen. Her car was unlocked just like one of your neighbor's cars that got broken in to on Friday, August 15th. The thieves walk up the street at around 3 AM and pull on door handles. If they find anything unlocked, they will steal whatever they can find."

When they have their blog up and running I will link to it. I'll suggest as well what other blogs they link to keep up on what is happening crime wise in the community.

Until then. Lock your doors. Set your alarms. Just simple steps that will keep the casual thief wandering around looking for an easy hit from making you his next target.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Auto Burglary on our street

We are not alone or insulated from the burglary problem in the community. This email from Renee on the latest on our street.

'Upsetting news that another one of our neighbors cars was broken in to while the car was in the driveway. This took place yesterday mid street where the street widens. The cars were left unlocked, however the culprits are bold as one car was in the persons driveway.

This recent break in tells me that we all need to be on the watch and that who ever is committing these crimes are looking for easy opportunity.

Please remember to lock your vehicles and all doors of your homes, even if you are at home in order to keep family and your property safe.

Have a Safe Weekend!

I have spoken with officers on different forces and understand our primary problem is we are complacent with security. We need to remember to lock doors and close windows. We need to watch and report what is out of the ordinary.

Compounding the problem is the bad guys know we are easy targets of opportunity. They share with each other what communities are easy targets, easy in and out to freeways with little traffic. We are a community that even San Bernardino prisoners know is easy and tell their pals in the jail.

Simple precautions will prevent most of our problems. Ignoring it and dropping our guard makes us the next victim. Unsettling, but welcome to life in the city.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NE Monrovia daytime burglary continue.

From the Monrovia City Watch blog. He posted his block captains warning to the neighbors on his blog. This is one of several daytime home burglary's to take place in the NE part of town.

Hi everyone,

It’s serious Neighborhood Watch time!! There has been yet another burglary, this time on Monday, August 11th, at the gray house right before the tree at the top of Norumbega, belonging to Don, the trumpet player who has a Corvette. It happened between 4 and 5 in the afternoon. The suspect was an older white male who stole a computer system and some other stuff.

Suspect on the loose! Secure your homes! Be aware and report any suspicious cars or suspicious characters coming door to door who ring doorbells to see whose home. If your neighbors are not on this list, get their emails and forward it to me so we can alert others of ongoing suspicious activities.

As we've said in the past, be alert and report anyone who doesn't belong here, especially if they are where one would not expect a casual visitor to be! Then let Frank and Renee know so we can get the word out to everyone.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Burglary's in NE Monrovia Continue

I spotted this gem to the residents up on Norumbega from their Neighborhood watch that was posted on Monrovia City Watch:

There was a burglary at 1010 Norumbega this afternoon 8/7/08. The burglars jimmied the front door and got in. Not sure at this time what was taken.

There was also another burglary in the 1100 block a few weeks ago in a house just before the 4 houses that form the cul de sac. A college-aged kid heard some noises in the middle of the night, went downstairs and surprised a burglar in progress, who then ran away.

It’s a very timely reminder to report any suspicious people you see on our street! Call the police at 256-8000!


You should read the full Monrovia City Watch post for their take on the situation.

Our awareness and dilgence is needed to keep our street safe. If you see something report it. If you see unusual cars just left on the street, ask anyone if they know who it belongs too, and if it isn't identified call the police and report it as a potential abandoned auto.

Whenver you see something or are a victim yourself let Renee or Frank know so they can post here and make sure everyone is aware of what to look out for.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Home Burglary's in North Monrovia

Monrovia City Watch reports that yesterday MPD with an assist from APD rounded up and arrested 3 residential burglars up on eastern Norumbega Drive. Full story on that blog.

Interesting point made in the post is that during tough economic times burglarys increase. The need to be aware and report anything out of the ordinary is always important.

We've already seen a rash of auto burglary in the street earlier this year, take the precautions to lock up your house AND windows to secure them as well.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Street lights put to rest

From an email earlier sent to mailing list:
Dear All,

It seems that we do not have a majority vote to move forward with additional street lights for our block, so we will put this to rest.

Stay Safe,
Just a reminder as Lee and others noted you can do your own security lighting cheaply with motion detector lights for increased lighting around your home in areas you have a concern.
The best defense still is to simply lock and secure your cars and home at night as our burglary's last spring were due to unlocked cars.
As always, report suspicious activity when you see it to MPD and let your neighbors know what you saw. That will do more to slow down and prevent problems.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Theft Alert - ATM Debit Card Fraud

From the North Primrose Alliance blog. Several of their neighbors have been hit. Be alert. Monitor your accounts and report any suspicious activity.

We put this in an email the other day, but based on a conversation with MPD want to reiterate: If you think you might have had an unauthorized withdrawl with your ATM card, please contact the police immediately.

Apparrently there is a ring of thieves who have used technology-based methods to steal credit card and PIN data. They have been hitting customers who use the Pavillions ATM.

As you may know, one of our Primrose area neighbors was among the victims. Also, a friend of ours from the VFW was victimized at the Ralphs in Arcadia. When he went to report the crime, there were five other victims in line! He lost $600!

Word from MPD is to be careful when using ATMs, and look carefully at the machine before you use it. If anything looks awry, don't do it!

Frank & Renee

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Streetlight information - neighbor input needed.

The subject of increased street lighting came up in our first Neighborhood Watch Meeting and again in a comment on a blog post here. A little confusion arose from whether we are on the City light grid or that of Edison. I did get it confirmed and with the help of Councilman Tom Adams got some answers to help with our decision process.

Not only would locations be a concern if new poles need to be put in to get additional lights up on the street, but we would need to bear the cost as well. How much depends on how much needs to be done to increase the lighting. The information courtesy of Mr Adams from our email conversations:

If a neighborhood is requesting street lights there are a few things we need to know if they are in the Edison service area or the City's service area we do have a Street light map indicating the service areas and we would need at least 67 % of that block to agree to the new lights.

If they are in Edison's service area and there are existing telephone poles on the street side it is just a matter of requesting new lights from Edison and it should take about three months to install. Edison would charge the City the monthly service charge of about $12.00 per light. If there are no telephone poles it may take 6 months or so.

If there in the City's service area it would cost approximately $7,000 per light, we would set up an assessment district to cover the installation cost.

The third option could be to install solar street lights for about $8 to $10 thousand dollars per light remember there would be No monthly electrical cost. Again these are all hypothetical scenarios; there are other options and cost associated with this type of request.
If you think enough of your neighbors are interested we can drill this down to some factual numbers.

I told Mr Adams that we'd get an answer back to him next week. The costs will be born by us.

The street lights will brighten up the area and make it more difficult for the petty prowlers scoping out the neighborhood after dark which could help prevent the rash of auto burglary we experienced last spring, and the tagging only a couple of months ago.

The negative side that has been mentioned is that it will diminish the more rural feeling of the street.

The question put forth is do we want hard information to explore this further? If so once we get hard numbers we'd have to put forth a petition or similar document with 67% approval of the homeowners on the street.

Please let Frank and Renee know by early next week your thoughts so we can let Mr Adams know our decision.

Finally...a big thanks to Mr Adams in his help in getting this going for us.

Frank & Renee

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The hawk chicks are out hunting

2 hawks, 1 mom and 1 babe

Both of the Hawk chicks are out of the nest and learning to hunt. So far it has been small lizards.

The parents left the remnants of a parrot in the Zgonc bird bath to soften. As in years past before the chicks learn to hunt bigger prey the parents make a kill and let it soften someplace before delivering it to the chicks to pick apart and eat. So much for our native species getting pushed out of the neighborhood.

So far the chicks hunting routine seems to be centered in the Zgonc to Chan yards. The entire family is out fairly each morning. The parents seem to spend a lot of time in the pines on Canyone watching the chicks learn to fly etc., on our street. The entire clan gets together later afternoon at Roberto's house. Sometime around dusk they return to their nest.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Baby Hawks are out of the nest today.

The big discovery this morning is that the pair of nesting Hawks that have visited us the last 7 years has 2 chicks again this year. Also this morning the first of the chicks made it first tentative flight out and was in the corner of my gardens. The father was near the nest watching us. The mother was swooping about hunting and watching as well.

If the schedule follows the last few years in about 4 weeks the chicks will be hunting on their own with the parents leaving a week or so later.

With 4 hawks hunting we should some good action in the next few weeks. It is always interesting to watch them learn to hunt. The feeding, well that is only for the strong stomachs. Any guesses how soon we see them yank a parrot or raven out of the sky and feed?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Taggers punk our neighborhood

Sadly our neighbors closer to Foothill got tagged in the wee hours Saturday morning. MPD was called and assured the owner of the worst hit property the city would be by to remove it. (If the city can't clean it up soon we will. Frank, Mike and Joey visited with her and let her know we would clean it up for her if the city lets this go too much further). We may not be a "map" neighborhood but we deserve to be graffiti free as well!

Renee has a call into MPD to talk with the officer who took the report. She will find out if possible if we know which gang did it and what to watch for in the future to help prevent future incidents.

Karen who used to live on the street was by with Adrian on Sunday. As a little refresher she works for MUSD as a child psyche and is involved with at risk kids in our schools. She saw the graffiti and let Renee know that it was not a Monrovia gang. We don't know which gang it is, and we don't know if we should be reassured by it being "outsiders" or not.

As always if you see something going on call it in. If you see some up here that shouldn't be and they are some place where an outsider shouldn't be, call 911 as well. MPD needs our help to keep crime off our street.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


I am sure that you all received the Monrovia Police Department Watch Cap Newsletter last week. In case you did not I thought I would re-cap some of the highlights as part of our neighborhood watch ongoing updates.

The Chief of Police Roger Johnson urges Monrovia residents to act in the concept of community policing. He stresses that the police cannot eliminate the gang influences alone and the community as a whole needs to step up. Johnson states “It will require the collaborative work of government, law enforcement, business, schools, faith based organizations, and community members to be successful in eliminating gangs in our neighborhoods”.

The newsletter goes on to talk about graffiti. There are different types of graffiti, the taggers who believe they are creating art and the gang members who use graffiti to mark their territory or neighborhood in a city. The city of Monrovia removes or paints over all graffiti once it is discovered. If it is gang related it is photographed and passed to the Special Enforcement Team who helps identify the gangs and members. In addition the information is shared with local police agencies to raise awareness.

For those of you who did not write it all down at our neighborhood watch meeting the newsletter outlined the three common gangs we deal with in Monrovia:
· Monrovia Nuevo Vario- Hispanic Gang
· Duarte Eastside- Hispanic Gang
· Duroc Crips- Black Gang

All gangs spell trouble; please contact the police if you see any graffiti or tagging marked in our neighborhood with:
· The gang names, initials or symbol
· Nicknames of members
· Threats to rival gangs

The police suggest forming a neighborhood watch (already done!) to keep this type of activity out of our city. They remind us that criminals love darkness, (which our street is really dark at night), and whenever possible keep areas lighted to discourage criminal activity.
I hope this update is helpful if you did not get the newsletter.
Keep it safe,
Renee (and frank who pasted this in from her email)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How did we sleep through this one folks?

This was in this weeks City Manager Report. I had gotten a tip regarding the officer injury and posted it on the FCBlog. My tipster didn't tell me however that it took place right under our noses and slept through it all.

"Possession of a Dangerous Weapon. On May 22 at 1:41 a.m., Officers contacted a male subject who was riding a motorized scooter on the wrong side of the street in the 200 block of Poinsettia. The subject advised the officers that he had a knife in his possession. The officers removed the knife and saw that it was a home made dagger, which possession of is a violation of 12020(a)PC.

The suspect was arrested and transported to the Monrovia Police Department jail for booking. He refused to allow the officers to remove his shoes and jewelry during the booking process. He then became combative when the officers attempted to remove the items from the suspect. During the altercation, one officer sustained a fractured right hand. The suspect was treated by the paramedics for minor scratches and complaint of pain to his neck and checked out at the hospital."

I had heard one of our neighbors was involved from a source in the District Court downtown. Shane did some digging and found some information regarding the incident at LASD.Org under the inmate locator tab. In fact one of our neighbors with a long criminal history has been arrested in the incident released from jail late 5/27/08. (Name being withheld pending final disposition of his case).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Enjoy the Holiday!

A little something dedicated to Monrovians who have given their life in for our country. Courtesy of Cyrus Kemp at Monrovia City Watch.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

strange stuff...when you see it call MPD

I got this email and am sharing with all of you. When you see stuff like this call MPD asap. They will respond and certainly those who don't belong here snooping will stop when they know MPD will show up and at least conduct a field interview.

Thanks for sharing the email(s) so everyone can be aware of what is being observed. The message:
"Hello Frank & Renee,
I wanted to send you a piece of an e-mail that Debby & Brian Baird sent me. Thought you might want to hear about this info & maybe we can pass this on to the neighborhood watch group. I only have a few e-mails so I was hopeing you could send the descriptions of what they have seen. I highlighted their letter in red. Thanks, Stace

I have also been meaning to touch base regarding the neighborhood watch. A couple of weeks ago, I was home and could have sworn that the Fed Ex guy jiggled the door handle as he delivered a package. He was a young blond guy. Well I dismissed it and figured it was my imagination, but Michele said that you had a similar experience. Was it the same guy? Also, We have had some guys looking in vehicles lately--according to Michele and Dave--we haven't seen it but they have. Do you know if anyone else has seen anything suspicious. One occaision Dave saw a guy in a grey van get out and look in Bree's car (yesterday) and then Thursday, Michele saw a long haired guy looking in Tyler's truck, an orange tree trimmer truck was parked near him.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lot of Rumble and Roar...Classic Car Cruise returns

After being absent for a few years, Classic Car Cruise has returned to Monrovia.

For those of you who remember when Fat Burger was around on Foothill they had the guys hosting a Friday Night Cruise that was a lot of fun. More than a few from the neighborhood showed up with our classics. When Fat Burger left it moved to Fudd Ruckers, then over to Robin's then finally it sort of went.

It's back. Mark your calender for the First and Third Saturday of each month. It is being held at the Monrovia Rail Station Park and Ride lot from 4M to 8PM.

The car pictured is our own Dave Chick's AMX that has been beautifully restored. In fact he managed to get the guys from the AMX club to show up and there were 4 AMX total there this weekend. Back in the day this was a small number production car and I doubt you would have ever had that many on a dealers lot at one time. Quite the car and a remarkable piece of automotive history parked up here on Poinsettia.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Santa Anita Canyon Fire

Shane is up at the scene and called a bit ago. He reports that the fire flared up with the arrival of the sun downer winds.

I have a full report here with more detail than the major local media has at Metroblogging.LA here.

Who all remembers the last time it burned Christmas of 1999?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Petty theft/vandalism call it what you want

Very odd. In the space of maybe 30 minutes one of the "We support our Police" signs from my front yard disappeared. The holder was left, just the sign was taken. Very odd.

Coincidentally there was a tall, thin guy in his mid-twenties walking up the street when I headed off to MHS. On my way back he was walking back down the street.

He didn't live on the street. All in blue, jeans, t-shirt, ball cap. White guy, shortish dark hair pretty unremarkalbe but not someone I have seen on the street before. He was on the street between 7:40 and 8 AM.

UPDATE: I learned the person doing it is a young, middle/early high school age hispanic male on a skate board. He is a small kid and that is the most info I got. When he realized he was spotted he ditched the sign by Ron's truck up on the NW corner of the street.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wildrose recognition for a cool Dad

Wade got a little recognition for all his work over at Wild Rose Elementary yesterday.

Wade is active in the Watch D.O.G group at Wild Rose that puts Dad's and their kids on projects to make the campus a better place for kids to learn.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Win $100 iTunes card...no kidding

The guys over at FCBlog are running a contest as they have just had comment #10,000.

The contest is simple. Comment on the post with why you should win. Include a valid email address, enter only once and you are in. It runs through Friday afternoon. If you post...tell them frazgo sent you. All the details and entry at their post 10,000 Comments: Thanks!

Monrovia PD's best idea yet: messaging crime alerts

I have to give the guys over in City Hall or on MPD that put together the mass dialing messages to the community regarding crime. By now most everyone got the message today around 1:30PM about the burglary's but here goes:

"This is an informational bulletin from the Monrovia Police Department.

Recently there have been three day time home burglary’s in the northwest corner of town. They appear to have been done by the same suspect.

The suspects described as a Hispanic male and a white male in their 20’s.. They are reportedly driving a new model Black Jeep Cherokee or Commander.

If you see any suspicious persons or vehicles matching this description please call Monrovia Police at 626-256-8000.

Together we can keep our neighborhoods safe and secure."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Neighborhood Watch in Action

I got a call about 9:45 this morning from my cousin relaying that MPD were on the street and had a guy stopped where the street splits. I grabbed the camera and here is what I got:I talked with Garry who let me know that he was first alerted when his dogs were barking. He went to the corner of his drive and watching the guy. First thought the guy might have been one of those flyer distributors as he had two back packs. Then he saw the guy wasn't doing the zig-zag between houses.

As the guy went up towards the side of Roberto's house as luck would have it Monrovia Parking were making their rounds. The officer thought something was amiss and did a quick u-turn and within seconds MPD was on the street.

I arrived after the hands in the air and frisking and saw him on the curb. MPD did their question and answer thing and the guy left when MPD did. Obviously if the man were handing out fliers he would not have simply left.

Paying attention observing and reporting what makes Neighborhood Watch work. This time we were lucky to have MPD Parking on the street to thwart immediately.

Big Round of applause to MPD for such fast reactions.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Busy Burglars and stuff

A comment on the FCBlog post raised a few eyebrows among Monrovians:
Off topic again to inform you that four homes were burglarized in northern Monrovia Friday morning between 7:15 and 7:45.
Two on Scenic, one on Melrose and one on Highland

Just a reminder to keep your doors locked even when running off to drop kids off at school in the morning.

I'm still trying to get a call back from the city regarding the street light issue Roberto asked. No answer yet but will keep trying.

UPDATE on the local burglary: One of our neighborhood watch members informed me that a few days ago two homes were broke into on the East 200 Block of Scenic. The homes were invaded about 7:30am. The description of the vehicle was a shinny black SUV and the perpetrators were said to be Hispanic males. To my knowledge they were not caught.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Escapee's in the 'hood

If you saw a bunch of us running up to the corner by the Birkholz this morning it was for good reason. About 9AM Billy gave us a call to let us know a couple of "peahens" had showed up and were preening themselves on Ron's roof. Obviously escapees from either Arcadia or the LA Arboretum, regardless it would be interesting if they took up roost around here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Neighbors Walking for a Cure

Two of our neighbors are walking in relays in the coming weeks to raise funds to fight cancer.

Renee Chan, also our friendly Neighborhood Watch Captain is walking with Revlon and the fight for breast cancer. This is a concern near and dear to Renee. One that she has even worked with her employer to have her HR department participate in. You may support Renee with a pledge at the link HERE on the Revlon Walk/Run site.

Most everyone remembers Lori Smith who moved off the street a couple of years ago. Lori is walking as a Survivor in the American Cancer Society relay taking place here in Monrovia later this month. You may support Lori with a pledge at the link HERE on the American Cancer Society page.

Two good people working for a good cause. Nice to see a community in action.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crime, Signs and Stuff

A couple of things. It was brought up at the meeting some think the rash of burglary's last month may be connected to the construction on two of the homes. Officer Percy explained not likely. I asked one of our sergeants for a bit more detail on why likely not.

Our burglary's were late night, early morning hours when the construction workers were not present. Is it possible that one of the employees came back afterwards? Maybe, not likely. Our auto burglary were crimes of opportunity. Burglars know we are lax in the foothills with basic security like locking doors and leaving things in our cars and purposefully walk the neighborhoods at night checking for unlocked doors. (Arcadia Police whom I rode with recently echoed exactly the same thoughts).

If you see people looking around the day that should be here make note of it and report it. Same goes for night.

Officer Percy ran out of the plastic registration packets at our meeting. I picked up a few extra for anyone who wants one. Drop me a note here or stop by.

MPOA is making available to anyone who wants one a nifty "We support our police" yard sign. Drop me a note here or call me and I can arrange to have one dropped by your home for display.

Renee sent out the email last night with the neighborhood roster for anyone who wanted it. If you didn't get your copy and want one let us know.

Roberto, I'm in the process of checking with the city to find out costs (who bears them) and process of getting additional street lights on the street.

Frank & Renee

Ps...Contrary to a rumor going around I do NOT ever plan on running for office. IF you hear it quash it. I've been asked and turned it down earlier this year-frank

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

First Neighborhood Watch

41 Poinsettians met at the Chan's this evening for our first Neighborhood Watch meeting in many years. Not that we need a reason to talk, but we did need the information officer Percy had to offer in terms of the crime on our street and the community in general.

MPD Officer Percy told us that the crime we typically see is that of opportunity. At night it is people walking around and checking for unlocked cars and when they find one, the open it up and take what they want.

She advised some of the car burglary's are the result of valuables being left in the car such as a GPS, laptop, purse etc.,. This is the most common burglary in our neighborhoods and exactly what we experienced. The fix is easy, don't drop our guard and always lock are our cars and leave nothing of value in them. The thieves know neighborhoods such as ours are more relaxed on security and visit us for that reason. Simple locking of doors will prevent most of it.

Another type of auto burglary is on the upswing takes places at the local Gyms. Thieves are watching people knowing that many leave their wallets and purses in the car and only take their keys to avoid having to get lockers. Thieves watch people tuck things away and when they are in the gym, use a tool that quickly breaks the window, grab what the want and leave.

The other type of crime we experience is home burglary. This time of year when it is warmer we leave windows open. Thieves know that most of us are gone during the day at work and walk our streets looking for open windows that they can use to get into a home. Closing windows and locking doors will help prevent this.

Officer Percy stressed that whenever we see something out of the ordinary we should call. She pointed out that the 911 Operator does have a lot of questions to ask to understand the situation. She asked that we answer and understand that the officers in their patrol cars are getting real time updates on their computers while they talk. That was good to know as many were unaware that the technology was there to give officers real time notice even while the Operator was asking you questions.

Dial 911 from your home. Program your cell for 357-CELL or 357-2355 for most direct contact with MPD dispatch.

There were a lot of good questions. It is nice to see the neighbors are concerned about crime in general and the dispute over wages. Officer Percy was able to pass along information regarding trends on the former. For the latter I offered up we as neighbors need to review all of the resources on the topic and appear at the City Council meetings and speak up so our opinions are heard and acted upon.

After the meeting Renee and I talked with a lot of people. This blog is open to ANYONE who wants to write and post here. Glad you like it, it can be whatever you want it to be.

Interestingly many voiced 4 other concerns that they would like to have addressed with city to make our street safer. What we need to decide is what is the highest priority and then organize everyone to approach city council for help. The 4 tossed up that need addressing, not in any particular order, but interestingly involved driving:
  • Speed - down hill in particular approaching Foothill
  • Parking on the lower portion of the street - residents from Foothill, Grand or Canyon Apts parking in the no parking zone instead of their own drives or street
  • Failure to yield where the street loops up on itself at the "T" on the 200 block.
  • People attempting to make left turns onto Foothill during morning or afternoon rush hours causing back ups. Cars, large trucks in particular on Foothill parked obstructing views hampering safe right turns onto Foothill.

Plenty to think about. Talk and think about it. Let Renee or me know what you want us to help people work on and organize.

-Frank & Renee

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meeting Reminder...Weds 3/26 7PM

Bring a lawn chair as we're going to be meeting on the Chan's front lawn at 211 for our first Neighborhood Watch Meeting. The weather has been great so the plan is to take advantage of a nice evening and enjoy the fresh air.
The meetings typically last about 1 hour and depending on our questions we should be done by 8 -8:15 PM or so.
Frank & Renee

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Early morning paramedic visit

Most everyone heard the police and EMT's arrive this morning. Around 6:20 a friend of one of our neighbors had a medical condition of some sort that prompted a 911 call. He was in some sort of distress and was taken by an ambulance to a local hospital.

Another neighbor who spoke with the paramedics advised that the man has had some serious health problems that contributed to his unusual behavior. He was not believed to have been under the influence of anything at the time. (I add this as there was already some speculation along those lines and would like to quash that concern before it becomes rumor).

Update: Both Renee and myself have spoken with Kathleen whose friend needed the urgent care this morning. Her friend has had a brain tumor and something happened, he knew he needed help and came to her. She thanked all of us for watching out for her as his behavior was out of the norm. She also reiterated that situations like this are a good reminder on why this street is a good place to live and why we need Neighborhood Watch.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

All Aboard over at 165

Yesterday while passing out the Neighborhood Watch notices to everyone...all the way down the street to Foothill, I spotted Bruce at 165 back at his open garage. What a surprise I found. A very large, very nicely done HO Scale Model railroad. Too cool, and too good not to share with the rest of LA. Which I did at Metroblogging.la.

I did the picture with my cell phone so excuse the quality. In about a month I'll be back with my good camera and get some more pics when the expansion he is starting is done!

Don't forget our Neighborhood Watch meeting is Weds 3/26, 7PM at the Chan's home at 211.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to the Poinsettia Avenue Blog

Welcome to the first post. Eventually this will be the source of the news relevant to our street.

What this blog becomes is up to everyone on the street. The more input the better. A great example of a neighborhood blog is the North Primrose Ave Residents Alliance. It illustrates nicely how a blog can be used as the clearing house for all the fun stuff as well as concerns that affect a neighborhood. A blog is a much more effective way to get a lot of news out quickly and eliminates the time needed to print and distribute fliers.

Our first and most important news bit to discuss. In the last few weeks there has been some criminal activity. It started about a month ago when my boys and I confronted someone up here who fled when we asked what he was doing up here.

Subsequent to that 4 families representing 5 cars were burglarized. Some had contents such as a GPS, Ipod or camera taken from their cars. Burglary's happen and its very easy when we drop our guard and not take basic precautions like locking doors. The concern is that we have people prowling about the street after dark which needs to be monitored and reported better.

Neighborhood Watch works and is a great way to control crime. Our first meeting is coming. Renee Chan has agreed to be our block captain. The Chan's have also opened up their home for the first meeting. Thanks Renee! I will help her as needed. There is no doubt that we can prevent these occasional prowling and thefts from escalating and bring them to a halt.

Monrovia Police Officer Percy will be present at our first meeting to explain how it all works and what we can do to help them. Past experience with Neighborhood watch is that controlling crime is a two way street. MPD will share with us what we can do to observe and report what we see as well as tell us what trends are going on so we can be extra diligent. It is a partnership and MPD will help us make it work.

Mark your Calenders:
Neighborhood Watch Meeting
Wednesday March 26, 2008
211 Poinsettia Avenue

There you go the important stuff to get this going. For this blog there is so much we can do. We can run polls and decide what additional things we want to do as a neighborhood to make things better. We can even use it as a tool to determine what issues we want to bring to City Council to improve things for all of us. You decide and let us know.

You can even write things up for us to post directly here via cut/paste. Its the neighborhood blog so what is important to you needs to be heard!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Frank & Renee