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

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