Saturday, December 12, 2009

Roofing Scam in Monrovia

Cyrus Kemp who runs the Monrovia City Watch blog advised he was interviewed by KCAL/KCBS. He is a Neighborhood watch captain. He got calls from his neighbors regarding calls from a "city employee" regarding need to do roof inspections. Its a scam. Full story on the Monrovia City Watch blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Early AM Prowlers again. Stuff stolen. 11/14-15

Dear All,
It seems as if your local hoodlums are back going through cars. Last night my car was rifled through and so was a neighbor on the other side of the circle. The people who went through the cars just took some loose change as far as I can tell and the same with the other neighbor.
These people are very bold as my home has many lights on each night but they still went down the driveway. Everybody be sure to lock up your cars and doors. The police also said to keep your garage closed as there has been some things missing from people in other neighborhoods garages.
As we move into the holiday season we may see crime on the rise, so lets all keep an eye out for each other.
Stay locked up and safe!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Celebrate the Arts this weekend in Libary Park

In keeping with yearly tradition for the October Arts Festival in Monrovia, the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts announces Rouzanna Berberian as the featured artist!
Rouzanna Berberian grew up in Armenia, a place rich in culture, art and architecture where she studied radio engineering. When her parents immigrated to the United States, she continued her studies at Pasadena City College and changed her major from Engineering to art as soon as she took her first drawing class at the encouragement of her husband. Her instructor, artist and educator Jim Morphesis inspired her by telling her just what she needed to hear at the time, "Don't ever believe anyone who tells you, that you can't be an artist". That statement stayed with her and she went on to win awards and scholarships. She received her undergraduate degree in Art Education and Studio Art from California State University and teaching credential from Point Loma Nazarene University. Mrs. Berberian currently teaches art at South Pasadena High School and is actively involved in the fundraising activities for Monrovia Association of Fine Arts. Her website is

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts celebrates its 46th annual arts festival “Celebrate the Arts - Where Culture Unites” in Old Town Monrovia on Sat. & Sun., October 10th and 11th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Monrovia Library Park, 321 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, CA.

The October Fine Arts Festival in Monrovia is one of the longest running fine art festivals in Southern California. This year MAFA is expanding the event in collaboration with another art group – Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts and will present live entertainment and additional art venues throughout Old Town on both days. The Nuvein Foundation has scheduled poetry readings as well as a self-publishing panel, a comic panel on storyboarding presented by Ralph Navarro and cartoonists presenting ‘live draws’, plus a drumming workshop presented by Vivek Babtiwale. In the Concrete Stage, Incendio will be performing on Saturday and the Lancer Jazz Band will perform on Sunday. Events featured by MAFA artists throughout the weekend will include local and regional fine artists displaying, selling and demonstrating their artwork such as painting, collage, ceramics, photography, jewelry, sculpture, etc. Hands-on art experiences for children, adults and family friendly activities will be available as well as Student Art Displays and a Silent Auction. The San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival will be a part of the festivities and live entertainment on multi-stage settings are scheduled throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. Food booths as well as representatives from local and non-profit organizations will also have booths to educate the public about their special programs. This event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

MAFA's art events not only promote local and regional artists, but also support arts education in public and private schools. In recent years, when budget cuts adversely affected schools, MAFA’s donations of more than $50,000 have supported art education in after-school and in-school programs. MAFA has also funded schoolteachers through mini-grants in Monrovia, Sierra Madre, Duarte and Arcadia. Other local organizations supported by MAFA are Foothill Unity Center, Boys and Girls club of Monrovia and YMCA.
The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts is an all-volunteer organization with goals to enhance the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of the children through art education. The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more info, please call (626) 802-7873 or visit the website

Ps...come see me in space 62 showing my art and yammering away, Frank

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Who is Henkels & McCoy?

They have been hired by SCE to survey our power lines and poles. They are checking each pole to make sure they can handle the weight load from new powerlines that will be installed. These new lines will be carrying 16,000 volts as opposed to the 6,000 volt line currently supplying the street.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Things are quiet - thankfully

But when things get quiet crime wise I start getting asked all sorts of non-neighborhood watch type questions. Most revolve around code enforcement. I can answer basic questions but my best advice is talk to the person direct rather than ask me to get involved.

The city web has some terrific information regarding code enforcement and what is or isn't permitted. The link to the page is HERE. You can always call 626/932-5504 and ask for code enforcement to answer your specific questions. If your complaint bothers you enough you may make an anonymous complaint to the city regarding the problem. (That should be the last resort if talking with the neighbor doesn't work).

In answer to the most common questions I have been asked of late here is direct from the city web a list of items not permitted by code that has so many around here concerned.

Common Neighborhood Code Violations
All of the problems listed below are contributors to the decline of residential neighborhoods. Not only are conditions of this type unsightly, but they could present a health or fire hazard.

Code violations can exist in any neighborhood. Usually these conditions have not been corrected because a property owner is unaware he/she is in violation of a code. We hope that the following information will help you to understand commonly cited violations of the City's Municipal Code.

  • Unsightly conditions on private property, including overgrown weeds, trash, junk, debris, discarded or unused furniture, and trash cans stored in public view.
  • Housing deterioration as a result of lack of maintenance: including broken windows, lack of paint, etc.
  • Trash cans must be stored out of public view except when placed out for pick-up. No trash containers should be placed for collection until after sunset on the day prior to collection and must be removed by sunset on the day of collection.
  • Illegal garage conversions, and any building construction and alterations without a permit is not allowed in the City. Storage of materials, other than customary household materials in a residential neighborhood.
  • Nuisances dangerous to children, such as abandoned refrigerators, broken equipment and unprotected or hazardous pools and bodies of water.
  • Front yard parking: Front yard parking and the parking of inoperable vehicles in public view is prohibited. Also, remember that your vehicle should not extend over a public sidewalk when parked. Parking on front yard or lawn areas is prohibited by the Monrovia Municipal Code. A parking citation can be issued for violations of this code. Inoperable vehicles: Inoperable or dismantled vehicles may not be stored or parked in public view on a residential zoned lot.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At least 2 Cars "rifled" through Sunday 4/12

Ron up at the top of his street had his Lexus entered and rifled through Sunday night.  All that was taken was some small change from the center console. 

Our Focus was entered as well.  Nothing taken (nothing ever in the car including small change).  What was odd that got my attention was the fuse panel cover was off.

Both Kathleen and Ron swear the cars were locked when they parked them.  Locked via the remote controls.  Pays to double check the lock with a quick tug on the door handle to make sure.

As it happened at night we have no idea what time it could have happened.  We were lucky nothing taken.   Next time around one of us may not be so lucky.   

Interesting, it does coincide with the timing of a year ago when we had a rash of car burglary on the street that prompted the rekindling of Neighborhood Watch.

Be watchful and if you see anything unusual report it right away.


Friday, April 10, 2009

That nice lady taking notes on the street...

... she's with the Census Bureau.  You'll see a her walking around the neighborhood today and the next few days with a note pad taking diligent notes.  She's verifying addresses to make sure we all get counted.

She actually spotted our game room and needed to verify it wasn't a separate address.  No probs here, but I can imagine the problems in other areas where illegal duplex's have been set up.  Such fun.

At least she gets to have lots of fresh air and great exercise in the process!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Clarence Shaw, council candidate Sunday 3/29

Clarence Shaw will be holding a meet and greet Sunday 3PM at the Coffee Bean at Myrtle and Foothill.

This is an excellent chance to talk with him about his experience and how it would make him a great Councilman to represent all Monrovians.  It will be relaxed townhall sort of meeting where you can find out his thoughts on unifying the community (not just North of Foothill),  gang control, crime, high density development and whatever else you want to know his position on.

See you there!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meet Council Candidate Clarence Shaw 3/21

Saturday 3/21/09 6PM is your chance to meet City Council Candidate Clarence Shaw.

The ladies at Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery are hosting a meet and greet with him.   Those of us with kids in MUSD know what a great guy he is.  This is everyone elses chance to meet him, ask questions and find out if he is the kind of leader you want to see on City Council.

Regardless of your candidate don't forget to Vote on April 14,  2009.  You know my motto, if you don't vote you can't crab about the results and the direction the city takes.  

Friday, February 27, 2009

Last night yielded an arrest.

Most of you saw MPD on the street in action.  Most know what happened straight away directly from me.  

I'll try to be brief.  I came home last evening around 8:15PM.  Kari was with me.  As we pulled into the drive a young hispanic kid came out from the side yard near one of the cars under a cover.  He walked quickly onto the street through Dan's yard.

Kari and I knew something was amiss as he was no where near the front door, it was certainly not the time of day one would expect to see a "door-to-door" solicitor.  I had her run in to check with those who were home if anyone rang the bell or was at the front door in the last few minutes.  The answer was no.

I remained in the car and watched him.  As soon as I knew he had not been at the front door I called MPD cell watch as he was trespassing and prowling.  

I watched him go up Dan's side yard as well on the other side of his suburban.  Then he looked and saw me watching then he went back towards the street.  I could see that he did not go to Paul and Jill's front door.  The motion detector light on Jay's house went on and I could then see the kid moving quickly from the rear side yard from Paul and Jill's house.  He started back down the street.  

As he got near us I asked him what he was doing on my property.  His response "I'm with MHS BSO and we are doing a fund raiser".  

I asked Kari if she knew him from MHS, she said no.  She asked for his MHS I.D. he said he didn't go to MHS.

By then I had MPD CELL Watch on the line and was explaining what was going on.  The last thing I asked for was his Monrovia Solicitors permit.  He called his "boss" who told him "get the hell out of there" loud enough for me to hear.

I asked him to "please sit at the curb and wait for MPD" he opted not to.  I asked him again to please sit on the curb and wait for MPD or I would press charges for trespass.  He refused and pushed me to leave.  AT that point Kari was on MPD.

I spoke loudly a couple of more times for him to please stop and wait for the police.  He refused and said to be quiet as he knew I was trying to alert the neighbors and it wouldn't work.  It did work as several of you came out to witness and one as far as to assist if needed.

His boss arrived and when he got in the van another neighbor blocked him with her truck just as MPD arrived to block them in the rear.

Long story short is if you see people where they don't belong call MPD and let them do the stopping and questioning.  (I was chastised for telling him to stop more than once as my efforts to keep him for leaving could have ended badly if they had a weapon.)

A side bar to all of this is that Rob wanted additional information and officer Thompson, who was ever the best in the situation, had to cut him short so he could talk to me in private.  What we learned is that our call was only one of several calls for unwanted, aggressive "solicitors" in town that were stacking up in a line on his screen.  The likelihood that they all worked for the same "boss" was good and they needed to finish this call and move to the next.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

MPD issues Coyote Warning in Robo-dial

For those of you who don't have a local number on a land line you missed out on an important "robo-dial" recorded message from Monrovia PD this afternoon, Saturday 1/31 around noon.
The gist, and pardon the paraphrase;

" Good afternoon, this is a Public Safety Announcement from the Monrovia Police Department.  Monrovia Animal Control has identified 2 coyotes that have lost their natural fear of humans.  They are found around the Grand Avenue Park and wander several blocks in all directions.

Monrovia Police Department asks that you watch your surroundings at all time.  MPD asks that you watch your small children and animals at all times when they are outdoors.

Monrovia Police Department and the California Department of Fish and Game are working together for a resolution.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please contact the Monrovia Police Department at: 626-256-8000"

Julie and I talked about this very issue earlier this week after Joey and I had spotted a coyote on the street around 8PM.  She had learned from Laurie Cohen she had seen a coyote also on that Saturday.  Things like not leaving food out for pets, bringing the small pets indoors at night, and in particular keeping close eye on the kids when they are out is needed.

As always, share what you know with us.  We'll do the same.  Be safe all!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Some of you may have noticed three police cars out in front of our house today (Saturday, Jan 24). At approximately 11:30 A.M. a young Hispanic teen came to our door.  Like an idiot, I opened the door without first finding out who was there (got a real talking to later by Rob, speaking as both my boyfriend and attorney!)  The kid was dressed in gang type attire; long plaid shorts, LA baseball cap, oversized clothes, etc and told me that he was selling subscriptions to the Pasadena Star Telegram. He also said he was a student at Monrovia High School and that he was participating in the “BSO” program and that he would get school credits for doing this. He didn’t have any brochures or anything, just sign up forms. I asked for his business license, and he said that he didn’t have it, but I was welcome to speak to his manager, whom he said was in the area checking up on the other sales people.  I explained to him that he (and his manager) may be detained and possibly even arrested as our neighborhood watch was extremely vigilant and intolerant of solicitors. 

The young man gave me his name and offered to leave his phone number with me, and said that he would have his manager come back and show me all of the documentation. (However, when I asked him, he did not know his manager’s last name, but still insisted that this was an approved activity of the Monrovia High School).  I closed the door and was about to call the police, when his manager arrived a few minutes later and again I opened the door (I know, stupid!).  The manager confirmed the young man’s story. Interestingly enough, the manager did not seem very familiar with the young man’s name either! The “manager” showed me a completely water soaked print out of a civil code from a website that stated that he was not required to have a license since they were soliciting on the weekends and before dark.  At this point, I told him that I wanted to check with the Monrovia Police dept to legitimize this, and he agreed, Again, I went inside, closed the door and called the MPD

I explained the situation to the dispatcher, while amazingly enough, the two men waited on my front porch.  Before I was even off of the phone, three squad cars had pulled up and were in the process of interviewing the solicitors. At this point, I called Rob for back up and he came right home. 

Sergeant Coleman from MPD explained to the men that they were absolutely REQUIRED to have a business license from their company and additionally, they each were REQUIRED to have an individual personal license with a photo ID that they were REQUIRED to wear around their necks in order to solicit in the town of Monrovia. In the course of the interview, it turns out that the “Monrovia student” didn’t even live in Monrovia, but rather resides in Baldwin Park, and apparently is on suspension of some type. His “manager” supposedly works for a company called “Infinity Marketing” in Rancho Cucamonga, and claims he was unaware that he needed any kind of permits.  The police informed the two men that they would be arrested and their van confiscated if they continued to do this activity in Monrovia

Sargeant Coleman stayed a few extra minutes with us and explained that there are a number of companies out there who are dropping off carloads of these people, and that they do not tell the individual solicitors of the permit requirements, nor do they stand behind them when they are detained.  These companies do not want to pay the licensing fees, and therefore they just abandon the perps when they are busted. 

BOTTOM LINE:  DO NOT open your door to strangers, and DO NOT do business with solicitors who do not have a MONROVIA business license PLUS individual photo ID permits from the CITY of MONROVIABOTH of these things are requirements, and they should be able to display them BOTH to you. Also, if you see this activity, Sargent Coleman said to CALL THE MPD immediately.  I am so glad that I did, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about their response time and handling of this matter. 

Julie Goldstein

Julie - thanks for sharing and giving us the detailed information.  The interesting part is that we have them claiming to be an MHS student which follows with some other scams, including one we were alerted on via an MUSD robo-dial message.  Scammers are out there.  Be alert and call MPD when you have a question about their legitimacy.  fraz

Coyote on the street Friday evening 1/23

Shortly after 8PM I was coming back from the Y with Joey.  We spotted an animal, looked like a dog walking from Roberto's through Julies yard into the street.  At first we were worried it might be someones dog on the loose.  Imagine our surprise when it crossed our headlights and we saw it was a coyote.

We stopped and backed up to keep an eye on it as it went across the Chan's yard between their house and the pink house.  When it hit the dead end it took of running, first to the Cohen's yard and back up towards the Birkholz.  We followed it a bit but it was running hard as it went around the street across yards.  We lost sight of it after the Valentines yard.  Given the speed it was running I suspect it kept going for a while longer.  Had it gone into someones back yard we would have alerted the neighbor and animal control.

Its just a reminder the wild animal problem we have been experiencing around town the last several months.  Coyotes are looking for food.  The will eat whatever food you leave out for your pets, or worse your pet if they are small enough.  Best way to keep them from hanging around don't put food out.  Keep an eye on your small pets  when they are out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Strange door-to-door "sales"

Friday 1/16 night Stacey B had around 8-8:30 PM ring her door bell.  20ish Hispanic kid with a faux-hawk (her words) said he was selling magazines.  She said she wasn't interested.  He knocked again and was loudly begging her to please open the door.  She called MPD who responded.  She didn't ask for a call back regarding the outcome.  All we do know is that MPD responded.

Saturday  1/17 evening around 5PM a 20ish white guy, crew cut, mustache dark jeans and t's was came up to our porch.  I happened to be on the couch and heard the steps.  Our bell didn't ring.  He was looking into the house from the window.  Imagine his surprise when I just opened the door and asked if he needed help.  He said he was selling subscriptions and wanted to know what papers we get.  I asked him for his solicitation permit.  He said he didn't have one, but he knew where he could get one.  I asked him if he was aware he needed to have it on him and able to produce if we asked.  he said no.  I told him that we're serious with Neighborhood Watch and told him he's likely not going to get off the street before MPD would arrive.  He split.  MPD arrived and did their field interview.  

Point to this is strangeness is afoot.  Ask for their solicitation permit and if they don't have it ask them to leave.  

I need to let you know that a friend on Granite  Ave reported her neighbors work truck was broken into.  The window was smashed and there was an obvious tampering on the tool box.

Be alert.  Report what you see.  Make certain your house and cars are locked.  Make certain you don't leave things visible for a thief on the prowl can just grab.

One final note.  There were shootings again in the SE part of town on Sherman Ave.  The shootings is where Mr Rawlins was shot to death exactly one year ago.  The irony is that this took place during the Mayor's state of the city speech.  The larger story is currently locked over at the Star news but there is this small item here.  The frightening part is the clear racial overtones in the violence and in the topix discussion to the PSN article HERE.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weds 1/14/09 oddity

Here's how it went.  Around 10:45 there was a Dark Gray Jeep parked at the end of my driveway.  I spotted it when I went out to get Kari over at MHS.  I returned a few minutes later and it was still there.  It was an older Cherokee type.  It was full of personal stuff like blankets, clothes and some food wrappers.

The occupant was a sitting/reclining in the driver seat.  Small guy, though heavy for his size.  Hispanic maybe late 30's.  I went up and asked him if he was waiting for anyone.  He sat up and pointed towards Rob and Julie's house.  He said he worked construction and was waiting for someone and pointed to a Champion Van parked by their house.  

I went into the house from the rear with the intent to call Rob/Julie and then MPD.  In the minute it took me to walk around he was gone.

I did talk with Julie and she verified they weren't having contruction done.

I did talk with Watch Commander Cpt Lee at  MPD.  He will pass the information on to the next watch commander.  He reminded me that I should have just called MPD right away instead of trying to talk with Rob and Julie first.  My fault.  I should have called even without a plate as the could have been watching for him right then.  He's gone and no harm done this time.

Lesson learned.  Call MPD immediately.