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City Manager's Update: February 20, 2019

Post Date:02/20/2019 12:00 PM

Hello everyone!

In an effort to provide an update of important news and notes from this last week, the following report has been prepared.  As always, please feel free to let me know if you have a question about any of the items contained in this update – I can be reached via email at ochi@ci.monrovia.ca.us!

And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!

Best regards,
Oliver

 


 

Quote of the Week 

The giving of love is an education in itself.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

 


 

Council Member Crudgington Update – All 21 Lymph Nodes Removed During Surgery Were Identified As Cancer Free!!!

As you may recall, Council Member Gloria Crudgington has been sharing with the community details related to her current fight against oral cancer.  We were delighted to be able to share last week that the early stage tumor that was detected in her tongue was removed by doctors at the City of Hope on February 7, and that the entire operation was a complete success.  After the operation, Council Member Crudgington was recovering well enough that the doctors released her to return home on Saturday, February 9. 

As a quick update as to her recovery progress, this week also brought some terrific news that we had to share.  This past week, Council Member Crudgington has had a number of post-op appointments at the City of Hope today, and of particular note, we learned that all 21 lymph nodes that were removed during her surgery came back as being 100% cancer free!  In addition, she is continuing to recover well from her operation, and I can happily report that the liquid food diet she is on has not been putting a damper her good spirits!

Council Member Crudgington wanted everyone to know that she is feeling the love and prayers that have been sent her way as she continues on the road to recovery, and that she appreciates so very much how Monrovia has been there for her during this difficult time!

 


 

Schaefer Ambulance – Which Is Under Contract With LA County To Provide Ambulance Transport Services For Monrovia – Is Going Out Of Business

I wanted to make everyone aware of a rapidly evolving situation with Schaefer Ambulance (Schaefer), which is the entity that is currently under contract with LA County to provide ambulance transport services here in Monrovia.  For a variety of reasons, during the past few months, Fire Chief Brad Dover and I have been concerned with the operations at Schaefer.  Then, last Friday, we received word that the ambulance company is going out of business.  Of note, the information about their pending closure did not come from the company, but rather, from contacts that our staff has cultivated through the years.  Those contacts provided us a copy of the letter, included below.

 

Schaefer, Ambulance

 

Based on the contents of the letter, it appears that the company will be closing effective April 15, 2019. In addition, based on discussions with our field contacts at Schaefer, the employees appear to have been told that the Monrovia operation will be closing at the end of February 2019.

Upon receiving word of this situation on Friday, we connected with representatives at LA County to discuss the matter.  Of course, our primary concern at this point relates to the continued provision of ambulance services for our community.  To that end, we did receive assurances from LA County that Care Ambulance, which is under contract with LA County to provide ambulance services for several communities surrounding Monrovia, will be able to step in on an interim basis and assume transportation services for Monrovia.  There are several logistical and operational issues that will have to be worked out in the event this transition occurs as rapidly as it appears that it will, but we are confident that we can get those details coordinated in such a manner so as not to have any public disruption of our ambulance services.

In addition, given this overall situation, we also wanted to share some general details with everyone regarding how ambulance services are regulated.  The overall framework for managing ambulance transportation is established by both the State and each county.  Based on State regulations, some local cities (like Arcadia) have the right to perform ambulance services in-house.  For all other areas that do not have that legal right, Los Angeles County has established nine (9) Exclusive Operating Areas (EOAs) throughout the County, and once per decade, the County will coordinate a bid process to allow private firms the chance to compete for providing ambulance services in those areas.  Of note, Monrovia has been carved out as its own ambulance service area (EOA 2), and a map highlighting each ambulance transportation service area is included below for reference:

 

Ambulance Operating Map

 

Again, this is situation with Schaefer has only recently developed, and we are working here at the City to ensure that any transition is seamless, with no impact on service delivery for Monrovia.  In the coming weeks, as more information becomes available, we will be certain to share additional information about this matter.

 


 

City Awarded A $500k Planning Grant From SCAG To Conduct Additional Research / Analysis Related To Our GoMonrovia Program

We’re excited to be able to share that last week, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) formally notified the City that they are awarded us a $500,000 grant through the Future Communities Pilot Program.  Our grant proposal, which was designed to evaluate alternative strategies to optimize our GoMonrovia mobility program, was awarded the maximum grant award amount through the Future Communities program (at $500,000).

Of note, the Future Communities grant program is intended to fund pilot projects that reduce vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and Monrovia was one of only eight municipal jurisdictions to receive funding.  As the attached program overview chart from SCAG illustrates, the other award recipients were much larger agencies, and included the County of San Bernardino, and the cities of Los Angeles, Ontario, Anaheim, Riverside, Glendale, and Cerritos.

Given this grant award, the City has been allocated funding to institute two primary programs, including:

  1. An employer transportation subsidy program, which will be focused on trying to reduce single-passenger vehicle trips by leveraging the GoMonrovia public transit program.
  2. Provide funding to hire specialists that will further analyze GoMonrovia program data in an effort to determine if there are ways to further reduce VMTs and GHGs by instituting infrastructure upgrades, pricing model shifts,and other programmatic adjustments.

We are excited about this grant award, and will be certain to keep everyone informed as to our progress executing the provisions of this grant program during the next several months.

 


 

In 2018, Monrovia Experienced A 7.3% Increase In Part I Crimes When Compared Against The Prior Year In 2017

Recently, staff was able to complete our review of crime rates in Monrovia during calendar year 2018, and the results indicated that Part 1 crimes continues to increase.  When compared with 2017, Monrovia experienced a total increase of 7.3% in our Part I crimes in 2018.

Of note, we saw an increase in both violent Part 1 crimes (3.0%) and non-violent Part 1 crimes (7.6%), and in addition, when we compare our 2018 crime numbers against calendar year 2015 (which is the year in which we recorded our historic low crime rate), Monrovia has seen a 31.2% increase in Part I crimes.

Digging a bit deeper into the numbers, an overview of the public safety issues we experienced last year includes the following details:

  • In 2018, Monrovia experienced a total of 984 Part 1 crimes, whereas in 2017, we had 917 Part 1 crimes 
    • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) designates the most major crimes that plague society in the United States as Part 1 crimes
    • There are eight (8) Part 1 crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft, and arson.
  • The 7.3% increase in crime in 2018 means that Monrovia had 67 more victims of crime last year than the prior year in 2017.
  • The most significant increase in criminal activity were: 
    • We saw increases in aggravated assaults, burglary, and larceny: 
      • 5 more aggravated assaults in 2018 than in the prior year in 2017, a 19.2% increase
      • 1 more burglary in 2018 than in the prior year 2017, a 0.8% increase
      • 78 more larceny incidents in 2018 than in the prior year in 2017, a 12.1% increase
    • We did see decreases in murder, rape, grand theft auto, and arson
      • 1 fewer murder incident in 2018 than in the prior year 2017, a 33.3% decrease
      • 2 fewer rape incidents in 2018 than in the prior year in 2017, a 16.7% decrease
      • 13 fewer grand theft auto incidents in 2018 than in the prior year in 2017, a 15.7% decrease
      • 1 fewer arson incidents in 2018 than in the prior year 2017, a 50% decrease

A complete overview listing of our Part I crime activity in Monrovia from 2015 - 2018 is included above for your reference.

 

2019 Crime Table

As we examine these numbers, it is important to keep in mind that similar and greater increases in Part I crimes are being seen throughout Los Angeles County and in the State of California.  Law enforcement personnel have attributed these significant increases in criminal activity to the impact of State legislation that has been approved during the past few years, including AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57.  Collectively, those three measures have impacted our law enforcement efforts in the following manner:

 

  • Early release from prison of tens of thousands of criminals from throughout California, the majority of whom are from LA County
  • Changes in State law that have made any shoplifting, theft, forgery, or fraud - where the value of the crime does not exceed $950 - a misdemeanor
  • The personal use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, have all been reclassified in California as misdemeanors

For Monrovia specifically, during the past several decades, the City engaged a number of important initiatives to reduce criminal activity, including implementation of a gang injunction and expansion of our overall Community Activist Policing bureau programs.  Those efforts and initiatives made a real impact, as we saw crime trends decrease significantly over time.

However, given the changes in State law and the associated impacts on crime here locally in Monrovia, staff has been engaged in various strategies to address the real impacts of increased crime.  To that end, we have helped coordinate and lead the development of a Statewide response to crime increases through the establishment of the Taking Back Our Community coalition.  The coalition seeks to advocate for and support common sense changes to California’s criminal justice system, and additional information can be found on our website.

 


 

Monrovia Fire Department Experiences A 2.2% Increase In Calls For Service In 2018, As The City Is Now Responding To 599 More Calls For Service Each Year Than In 2014

On the other end of the public safety spectrum related to fire and rescue responses, the Monrovia Fire Department continues to see increased service level demands, with increased calls for service.  When we compare our actual calls for service in 2018 (4,364 total calls) against 2017 levels (4,270 total calls), we had a 2.2% increase, with 94 more response incidents.

This trend has continued for several years, and in fact, when compared against service request levels in 2014 (when we had 3,765 calls for service), we have seen a 15.9% increase in fire and rescue service demand, which equates to 599 additional service delivery requests annually.  A chart outlining our total service demand volume during the past five years is included above for your reference.

 

2019 Fire Response

 

The increase in calls for service during the past several years did result in a redeployment of our fire department staffing in 2018, as we updated our operating structure at Fire Station 102.  The updated deployment strategy was made in response to the consistent service demand increase we have seen of late.  Historically, the Fire Department traditionally responded to somewhere around 3,000 – 3,500 calls for service per year, and our operation had always been designed to respond to that level of demand.  However, in the past five years, we have seen a consistent increase in the need for our fire & rescue services. 

Staff is currently analyzing all of the data collected from the past year in greater detail, and based on everything that we have seen, we do anticipate that 2019 will continue the trend of seeing a higher level of calls for service.  Furthermore, here at the City, we’re in the process of developing a more robust reporting process to share additional fire department operational data on a regular basis, and we anticipate an initial presentation of that data in the next few weeks.

 


 

GoMonrovia Program Changes – Lime Will Be Ceasing Its Pedal-Bike Operations By March 15, 2019, City Assessing Other Bike-Share Provider Options 

During the past few months, staff has been in discussions with Lime about their continued operation of a bikeshare program in Monrovia.  Those discussions foreshadowed the possibility that Lime would discontinue their bikeshare program, and this past week, the City received confirmation of some unfortunate news.

Lime, which has been engaged in the micro-mobility revolution during the past year, notified Monrovia that they will no longer be operating their bikeshare program.  Given the way that micro-mobility has evolved of late, Lime is intending to focus solely on their scooter business, and outside of some very limited circumstances, they will no longer be providing pedal-bike services moving ahead.

Based on our discussions with Lime, all of the bikes that they are operating in Monrovia will be removed by March 15, and in addition, anyone who has a remaining balance in their Lime account will be able to request a refund of their monies through Lime customer service.

During the next few weeks, Lime will be winding down its bicycle operations and removing those lime green bikes from our community.  In the meantime, we did want to let everyone know that the City is already exploring different bikeshare options to replace Lime as our partner.  Of note, there are two promising avenues that we are currently exploring.

First, Lyft is working to develop their own micro-mobility platform, complete with shared bicycles.  To that end, we have discussed expanding our partnership with Lyft to include bikes in our community.

In addition, Monrovia is also eligible to participate in the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) e-bike-share program.  The SGVCOG recently went through the RFP process and is intending to award a contract to Gotcha Mobility, LLC.  City staff will be evaluating this option moving ahead.

Staff has also researched other potential options for offering a bike-share program in our community, and in the coming months, and will be sure to keep everyone posted as the situation develops.

 


 

Assemblymember Holden To Hold Wildfire Town Hall on Thursday, February 21, From 5:00 - 7:30 P.M., At Pasadena High School Gymnasium

Please join Assemblymember Holden at the Wildfire Town Hall on Thursday, February 21, from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m., at the Pasadena High School Gymnasium (2925 East Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, 91107).

We live in an area that is beautiful yet prone to wildfires, which poses a risk to our property and well-being. Sadly, we've witnessed catastrophic wildfires that have ravaged the state these past few years. Experts in wildfire prevention will be in the San Gabriel Valley to discuss:

  • How residents can protect their homes from wildfires
  • What wildfire protection measures the utilities are implementing
  • How the State of California is preparing for and responding to catastrophic wildfires

Assemblymember Holden will be joined by Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (AD-43), Blanca Rubio (AD-48), and Ed Chau (AD-49) and Senator Anthony Portantino (SD-25) to ask questions and facilitate an in-depth conversation around wildfire prevention.

The event is open to the public. For more information, or to RSVP, please visit Assemblymember Holden's website or call (626) 351-1917.

 

Wildfire Town Hall

 


 

 

City Set To Have The Freeway Underpasses In Town Cleaned On February 25!

Have you ever driven under one of the I-210 Freeway underpasses in Monrovia and thought… wow, it’s really dirty down here?!?  Well, we’ve had that same thought here at the City, and on February 25, we will be working to do something about it!

Based on feedback from various sources, the City has made plans to conduct a comprehensive cleaning of all freeway underpasses in Monrovia, starting on February 25.  This work will include the I-210 underpass at Mountain, Shamrock, California, Myrtle, Magnolia, Mayflower, Monterey, and Huntington.

We anticipate that it will take between 3 – 4 nights to complete the work, and in an effort to work around daily traffic, the City’s contractor will begin work each evening at 10:00 p.m.  We also anticipate that the cleaning efforts will be completed by 6:00 a.m. the following day.

 


 

Monrovia Renewal Is Coming To The North Section!

This week, the City’s contractor, Sully-Miller Contracting Company, will be performing inspection work for sewer repairs, sewer point repairs, water service line replacement, and concrete work throughout various locations in the project area.  Please note that prior to work, Sully-Miller will be posting ‘No-Parking’ signs and circulating notices to residents in the affected areas. Residents will receive additional notice forty-eight hours prior to work beginning.

The North Section includes all areas located north of, and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Grand Avenue, and Greystone Avenue. The overall North Section improvements of Monrovia Renewal are significant, and includes the following scope of work:

  • Roadway improvements to over 2,300,000 square feet of roadway
  • Concrete replacement for 9,000 sq. ft. of sidewalk and 27,000 linear ft. of curb and gutter replacement
  • Sewer improvements and repairs
  • Replacing more than 5,250 linear feet of water pipeline
  • Replacing approximately 175 water service lines
  • Repairs and enhancements to the Oakglade Reservoir, including sealing the tank to protect against potential leaks, and updating the tank’s pipelines, valves, roof, and overall site condition.

All necessary water, sewer, and concrete work - curb, gutters, and driveway approaches will be completed.

 

Monrovia Renewal North Section Map

 

For more information on what work will be happening on your street and general inquiries about the Monrovia Renewal project, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team. In addition, you can visit the Monrovia Renewal webpage for all the latest project news and updates.

 


 

Monrovia Renewal South Area Street Improvements – Week Of February 18

This week, Sequel Contractors will complete pavement patching and restoration on sections of street that were opened for utility work. These activities should last a couple of weeks (depending on weather). In the coming weeks, Sequel will complete work on streets receiving a full reconstruct by placing the second (and final) layer of asphalt.

 

South Area Street Improvements Overview Rev. 12-20-18

 

Construction Notices

We will do our best to minimize the impacts on residents and business. Construction notices will be delivered to all residents and businesses in the impacted area(s) prior to work taking place. The notices will outline the work taking place, a schedule overview, and information on associated impacts, such as parking restrictions and driveway access:

  1. Initial Notice – This notice will be distributed approximately one week prior to work commencing.
  2. Two Day Notice – A final notice will be provided two days before the activity begins to serve as a reminder of the upcoming work and associated impacts.

In addition, parking notices will be posted in the areas where parking will be impacted. During these activities, there will be intermittent road closures and parking restrictions. Streets and driveways may be inaccessible for intermittent periods during the day but will be accessible every night.

We appreciate your patience and support while we work to execute these improvements throughout our community! If you have any questions about the Monrovia Renewal Project, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or monroviarenewal@ci.monrovia.ca.us. We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and we appreciate your patience through this process!


 

Water & Sewer Rate Adjustment Went Into Effect January 1, New Rates Appearing On Recently Printed February Bills

Based on the currently approved schedule, rate adjustments were instituted on January 1, which included the following changes:

  • Sewer Rates
    • For the typical single-family residential sewer customer, the sewer rate will increase by $0.24 / month, to $9.29 / month (currently at $9.05 / month)
  • Water Rates
    • For the typical single-family residential water customer, the water rate will increase by $7.57 / month, to $65.28 / month (currently at $57.71 / month)
    • Please note – the water rate adjustment is being instituted to fund the regional Watermaster plan to purchase and import water into our aquifer.

Although the rate adjustments took place at the beginning of the year, residents will see the changes on their February 2019 utility bill. For more information, visit us online.

Rate Adjustment Insert

 


 

The Development Review Committee Has Set A New Meeting Time, Moving From 2 PM To 4 PM Every Other Wednesday! 

At a Special Meeting of the Monrovia Development Review Committee (DRC) this past week, the Committee members unanimously voted to change their regular meeting time from 2:00 p.m. every other Wednesday to 4:00 p.m. every other Wednesday. The purpose of the time change is to better accommodate our applicants’ schedules and ensure a quorum of the Committee members.  You can learn more about the Monrovia DRC, access DRC Meeting Agendas, and download an official copy of the new DRC Meeting Schedule on our website.

 


 

Monrovia’s Very Own Bob Bartlett Memorial Recognized As One Of The Top 19 Best Architectural And Site-Specific Mosaics In The World By The Mosaic Arts International

This past week, the City learned that the 18th annual Mosaic Arts International Exhibition Series selected the Bob Bartlett Memorial as one of only 19 architectural and site-specific mosaics from around the world to be recognized.  This means that renderings of the mosaic art-work located in Station Square will be on display in Nashville, TN, from January 26 – May 19 as part of a special exhibits containing mosaic works from across the globe.

The segment that the Bob Bartlett Memorial was recognized in was juried by Kim Emerson, Award Winning Public Artist and Founder of the San Diego Mosaic School, San Diego, California, USA.  Furthermore, the 19 installations selected will be represented at the Nashville Public Library Art Gallery through print and digital images, video, and a collection of ephemera provided by the artists.  Materials on display will including drawings, sketchbooks, materials samples and tools that will provide visitors a unique perspective into the process of creating a large-scale mosaic work.  The exhibition features the works of 19 artists from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil.  For more information on the full 2019 Mosaic Arts International Exhibition Series, visit their website.

 

Bartlett MosiacBartlett Mosiac 2

 

 


 

Foothill Unity Center Set To Host A Reception For Betty Sandford On February 21, From 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

This past week, the City learned that the Foothill Unity Center will be hosting a reception for Betty Sandford, on Thursday, February 21, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Foothill Unity Center facility at 790 West Chestnut Avenue.  The event will be open to the public, and the reception will be geared towards honoring and celebrating the contributions that Betty made to the local Monrovia community.

 


 

Celebrate Black History Month With The Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association At Their Annual Black History Luncheon!

We invited you to celebrate Black History Month all February long! The Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association is hosting their Annual Black History Luncheon on Saturday, February 23, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Monrovia Community Center. Tickets are $20 and available for purchase at Simply Divine Salon, located at 319 W. Huntington Drive, in Monrovia. For additional information, please see the flyer below or visit their Facebook events’ page.

 

MDBAA February Schedule

 


 

 

Monrovia Evaluating Potential Sales Tax Measure In 2019 In An Effort To Counter Planned LA County Tax Increases

At Monrovia’s State of the City Address held last week, Mayor Adams announced that the City would be considering a local sales tax measure in Monrovia this year.  Now with any proposed tax increase, there’s always the question of why.  Because certainly, the overall tax burden in California is high, and government should not unnecessarily impose new taxes without sufficient justification.  So to that end, the question of why Monrovia would be considering a sales tax increase is certainly fair and deserves a thorough explanation.

The City is contemplating the possibility of placing a sales tax measure on the ballot in 2019 for voter consideration because of current taxation trends in LA County.  Because did you know that today, in LA County, we now have the highest base sales tax rate in California?

Yes, that’s right.  At 9.5%, we now have the highest sales tax rate in the State.  Higher than in the Silicon Valley.  Higher than in San Francisco.  Higher than anywhere in California.

And given the high sales tax level we’re currently paying here in LA County, we are in fact pushing up close to the local sales tax limit! Because with LA County’s current base sales tax rate at 9.5%, the vagaries of State law means there is only 0.75% of available sales tax capacity remaining.

You may be asking how we got here in LA County, to a point where we have the highest sales tax rate in the State.  The answer is fairly simple – you see, since 2004, LA County has been able to eventually pass EVERY single tax measure that they’ve put forth to county voters.  Even when LA County has needed 2/3 voter approval, they get it.

Tax Burden Chart

And when LA County passes a sales tax measure, the funding doesn’t come to us here in Monrovia.  Instead, we end up paying WAY more than we get back.  In fact, on average, we get only 10 cents back of every sales tax dollar we contribute to the County, and there are several instances when we get back even less than that.

Take for example 2017’s Measure H quarter-cent sales tax to fund services and help prevent homelessness.  The tax will raise about $355 million per year across the County, and Monrovia contributes around $2.6 million per year towards the measure.  Despite contributing millions, Monrovia has only received $30,000 from the County – or about 1% of what we’ve paid into the overall program.  And to add salt to the wound, cities that have received tens of millions of dollars from Measure H for homeless services – cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach – have not paid a single penny into the Measure H fund.

Now the reason that cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach don’t pay the Measure H sales tax is because those communities approved measures to keep their funds local and away from LA County.  There’s a cap to how much sales tax rates can be raised in any city, and once you reach that cap, LA County can’t impose any additional sales tax increases, even if the increase is approved across the county.

In fact, across LA County, 19 of the 88 cities have reached the maximum sales tax rate of 10.25%, and another 9 cities have increased their sales tax rate to 10%.  Those cities that have reached the 10.25% cap do not pay for additional LA County taxes, but are still able to receive the funds collected.  Like in the Measure H homeless tax example noted above, cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach, who had previously reached 10.25%, have access to the new taxes generated, despite not paying a single cent into the fund.

Now given all that information, here’s what the City is concerned about, and here’s why we’re seriously considering a sales tax measure in 2019.

LA County is looking to go back out to the voters to ask for additional sales tax increases in 2020 and 2022.  We know that LA County is laying the groundwork for an AQMD sales tax measure, and we’ve also heard that the County is looking at an additional sales tax increase for more money for homeless support services.  And based on the County’s track record, it is more than likely that they’ll get both sales tax measures approved.

And if history is any guide, what that means is Monrovia will end up paying a lot, and we’ll only get back around 10% of the amount we contribute.

Unless, that is, we do something in Monrovia to protect our resources and keep our money local.

Monrovia has the opportunity to get ahead of this situation by approving a local sales tax measure.  Based on LA County’s track record, it’s only a matter of time before they eat up the last 0.75% of local sales tax capacity remaining.  And because that is the case, the question we’ll have to answer as a community isn’t whether or not Monrovians want to pay more in sales tax.

Instead, the real question we need to address is whether we want to send our money to the County for their use, or if we want to keep those funds here in our City under our own local control.

Here at the City, we are incredibly sensitive to the fact that no one wants to pay more taxes, with the tax burden already being so high here in California.  But we also know that LA County is planning these tax increase proposals soon, and the opportunity to keep our money local will not remain an option for too much longer.

Given this set of facts, the City will be exploring the option of putting a sales tax measure on the ballot for our residents to consider in 2019.  And during the next few months, we will be working to engage the community as we coordinate multiple outreach initiatives to learn more about this topic and see if a local sales tax measure could be a viable solution for Monrovia.

Throughout the process, you have our commitment that we will be sharing as much information about this matter as we have available.

 


 

Monrovia Awarded A $55k Literacy Grant From The California Library Literacy Services Program!

We wanted to share some terrific news with everyone! This past week, we found out that the City was awarded a $55,000 grant from the California Library Literacy Services Program to implement strategies and programming to help low-literate adults in the community.  Our literacy program at the Monrovia Public Library has been making a real difference in the lives of those – just check out some of the terrific stories that we’ve captured in this video.

 

Literacy Project, Literacy Services

 

The additional grant funding will go a long way towards supporting the overall adult literacy programs we offer here in Monrovia, and for additional details about those initiatives, please visit our Library’s website.

A copy of the grant approval letter has been included below for your reference, kudos to Carey Vance, our Library Manager, and her entire team, on this terrific accomplishment!

 

Literacy GrantLiteracy Grant

 

 


 

Sign Up For “Read Across Monrovia” Returning March 7 At 8:00 – 9:00 A.M.

Monrovia Reads is back again and we are looking for volunteers to sign-up!  As you may know, Read Across Monrovia places individuals at Monrovia schools to read to children from grades Pre-K to 5th grade!  Read Across Monrovia will take place on Thursday, March 7, from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.  If you are interested, please fill out the attached registration form and return to Joanne Spring at joannespring13@gmail.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Joanne via email or at (626) 358-1952!

 

Monrovia Reads

 


 

 

Speaking Of Monrovia Reads… Don’t Forget To Attend The Annual Monrovia Reads Fundraiser, “So All May Read,” On March 7 At 6:30 P.M. At The Doubletree Hotel

There is no doubt that Monrovia Reads is one of the premier nonprofit agencies in Monrovia, and we wanted to encourage everyone to make plans to attend the annual Monrovia Reads fundraiser, So All May Read.  The event is scheduled to take place on March 7 at 6:030 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel (924 West Huntington Drive).  Of note, Stephanie Cox will be honored at the event with the Literacy Legacy Award for her Little Free Library Project.  Additional details can be found in the flyer below.

 

2019 Monrovia Reads Fundraiser

 


 

 

New GoMonrovia Fares Now In Effect: $1.00 / Shared Ride, $0.50 / Shared Rides To/From Old Town Or The Gold Line Station, And $3.50 / Lyft Ride

A modest $0.50 increase for most Lyft rides through the GoMonrovia program is now in effect, as outlined below:

  • Maintain fares at $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station
  • Institute $0.50 price increase per ride for all other GoMonrovia service area locations effective February 2019, as follows:
    • $1.00 Shared Ride
    • $3.50 Classic Ride

Those applying the GOMONROVIA code to their phone for the very first time will get default access to the $1.00 / Shared ride option until the first of the following month, when they will get access to all three pricing options. Users who would like access to the $0.50 Old Town/Gold Line Shared ride option and $3.50 / Classic ride sooner can email the City for assistance or call (626) 256-8234. The email should include your Lyft account information (phone number or email address). The pricing options can be applied to your account within 1-2 business days.

A full overview of the proposed changes can be found online at the City’s website.

GoMonrovia Pricing Changes Effective February 1 2019

 


 

 

Monrovia Dial-A-Ride – ADA Transition Occurring Through Month Of February, Registration Will Be Mandatory Beginning March 1

Speaking of GoMonrovia, I wanted to let everyone know that we are pressing forward and making good progress on the transition of our dial-a-ride vans to a closed ADA system, where riders will have to get pre-registered in order to access the vans.  Of course, all ambulatory, non-ADA customers have the option of utilizing Lyft for their public transportation needs.

Based on our progress to date, starting in February, the City will be requiring that individuals be pre-registered with the City in order to use our ADA vans.  That pre-registration process requires that passengers provide proof of their ADA needs through simple certifications (doctor certification, DMV notice, or other proof of ADA need).  We plan on utilizing February as a transitional period, though, and no customer will be turned away from service during the month.  However, as we hit March 1, we will be mandating that advance certifications be obtained prior to dispatching our ADA vans for passenger pick-up.

To register for these services, please fill out the short, one-page application and sign the accompanying waiver.  You can find the application on the City’s website in English or in Spanish.

Monrovia Transit Changes Effective February 1 2019Monrovia Transit Changes Effective February 2019 Flyer in Spanish

 

 


 

Have A Drought Tolerant Yard And Want To Show It Off? Apply Now For The New City Sustainable Landscaping Recognition Award!

During the past few months, the City has been looking for ways to promote water conservation through the development of sustainable landscaping gardens.  To help promote the initiative, staff has developed a sustainable landscape recognition award, whereby program winners will be recognized by the City and receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill!

Help promote water conservation by showcasing sustainable landscaping!  Through this new program, residential water customers of the City of Monrovia may enter their sustainable landscape for a chance to be recognized by the City.  Applicants may also nominate a neighbor's sustainable landscape.

In addition to being recognized by the City, winners will receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill!  To enter in this program:

  • Applicants must be a City of Monrovia residential water utility customer.
  • The drought-tolerant area should be in the front yard visible from the street.
  • No more than 50% of your landscape should be turf.
  • No more than 30% of your landscape should be non-permeable, such as concrete.

Apply Now
Complete an application online or alternatively, feel free to fill out and return a paper application.

For more information about this new program, water conservation, and how you can help, please contact (626) 303-6601.

 


 

Cold Weather Winter Homeless Shelter Schedule For The East San Gabriel Valley

As developed by the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition, winter shelters will be available beginning December 1, 2018, and will remain active in various parts of the San Gabriel Valley through March 1, 2019. The City has distributed the schedule to key members of our team to ensure that those who are in need of help and services have access to the information.  Visit the Coalition online to learn more or contact the Emergency Assistance Center at (626) 333-7204.

 


 

Congresswoman Napolitano’s Route 66 Centennial Commission Act Legislation Passes The House!

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 66, the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act, a bill coauthored by our very own Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32), along with Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL-13).  H.R. 66 creates a Commission to recommend improvements and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66, which will happen in 2026.

The measure passed the House of Representatives with large bipartisan support by a vote of 399 to 22.  Of particular note, Route 66 is an integral part of the San Gabriel Valley’s culture and economy and runs through the cities of La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora, Azusa, Duarte, and of course, Monrovia.  Throughout the region, Route 66 typically follows Foothill Boulevard and Huntington Drive.  For additional information about this particular matter, please click on the following link.

Route 66 Commission Act

 

 


 

Take This Brief Survey To Help Guide Efforts To Improve The Lives Of People Living With Dementia In Monrovia

Over the past several months, members of the Monrovia Providers Group have been working tirelessly to create a “Dementia Friendly Monrovia.” This is an official designation under Dementia Friendly America, whose aim is to help improve the quality of life for those living with dementia, as well as improve their interactions with business owners and other community groups by providing education and training on recognizing the signs of dementia.

The Dementia Friendly Monrovia Committee has created a survey to identify Monrovia’s strengths, gaps, and priorities for action to raise awareness of dementia.  By having your insights, the group can determine ways our Monrovia community can take action to build on existing resources and to fill gaps to provide additional support. 

If you are a Monrovia resident, click here to take the 10-15 minute anonymous survey.

The survey is a product of collaboration with Azusa Pacific University, Alzheimer's Los Angeles, Blue Marble, and Dementia Friendly America. If you have any questions, please contact Nathan Kirschenbaum via email or (626) 446-8000. You can follow the group on their Facebook page.

 


 

This Week’s Happenings At The Monrovia Public Library!

The Monrovia Public Library is a special community gathering place that makes a difference in the lives of children, teens, adults, and families of all kinds.  Experience all that the Library has to offer by visiting us in person at 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, and if you have any questions, contact the Library at (626) 256-8274!

Homework Help
Pro-active Tutoring provides pre-screened tutors at no cost to library patrons. Tutors assist students from grades K to 8 in subjects such as math, language arts and reading. No registration required.

  • Every Monday and Tuesday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Library Story Room

Red Cup Challenge 2019
Calling all future engineers! Can you build a tower out of 100 red Solo cups? How high will it go? Drop by the Youth Services Area this month and take the Red Cup Challenge! Work alone or as a team and see if you can build a tower to the sky.

Conversation Groups @ Monrovia Public Library
Culture and Conversation: Practice speaking English by discussing and reading the ‘News for You’ weekly newspaper in a friendly and relaxed setting. Build confidence in your work, school, family and social life. For more information, call (626) 256-8273 or email vcastellanos@ci.monrovia.ca.us

  • Every Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Library Heritage Room

Speak Easy: Join us for round-table talking and practice speaking English in a friendly and relaxed setting. New topics weekly, including: popular culture, work and jobs, health, and more. Build confidence in your work, school, family, and social life.

Ebooks & Digital Magazines are Available 24/7
Check out an ebook or listen to an audiobook on your commute using Overdrive’s Libby app. If you have little ones, visit TumbleBooks, where you’ll find digital copies of popular picture books and chapter books for kids. We also have digital magazines from RBdigital, including some of your favorite titles like Rolling Stone, Popular Mechanics, Martha Stewart Living, Highlights, National Geographic, Newsweek, and so much more! All free with your Monrovia Library Card. Just follow the link to learn more.

read instantly Libby PRRBdigital fbTumbleBooks 2 FB

 

 


 

Keep Up-To-Date On The City’s Pending Projects By Visiting Our Development Spotlight Website!

Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a “Development Spotlight” page on our website.  This page gathers all of the major projects in one place for you to explore key development initiatives in the community, and it also provides an overview of the projects that are in the pipeline.  In 2018, the City approved the 296-unit Richman Residential Project, the 109-room Marriott TownePlace Suites Hotel Project, and the 154-unit AvalonBay Project.  As we prepare for 2019, there will be several other significant housing and mixed-use initiatives that the City will be considering.  So if you have any questions regarding the development activity happening in the City, please be sure to visit the “Development Spotlight” page on our website

 


 

Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:

 


 

Interesting Story Of The Week – Did The La Times Really Just Rank In-N-Out As Having The Worst French Fries???

Our interesting story of the week is brought to us by the Los Angeles Times, who recently completed an in-depth analysis to develop their own power rankings for the fast food french fry.  For the assessment conducted by the LA Times, they included chain restaurants that put “an emphasis on speed of service, [where] you’re not waited on at a table, and where there are at least a couple hundred locations, if not more.

Based on that criteria, the LA Times included 19 different eateries that serve french fries, and each was ranked on the metrics of taste and texture.

And what were the results after all of that work?  Well… the LA Times ranked Five Guys number 1… McDonald’s number 2… and Del Taco (yes… Del Taco… home of the crinkle cut fry) number 3.

What about that iconic Southern California chain, In-N-Out?  Well… the LA Times ranked them… dead last!

Yeah… so I’m not sure how In-N-Out fries got ranked dead last, but I suppose that’s what makes this story of the week so interesting!  I’m also thinking that our own taste test should be deployed to either verify or challenge the results of the LA Times ranking!

The chart below highlights the results of the LA Times french fry power ranking, and to read more about this controversial story, please visit the article here.

LA Times Fry Table

 


 

 

Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report

The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period February 7 – February 13, 2019, has been included for your review and reference.  During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 357 service events, resulting in 73 investigations.

A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report

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