Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 4, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 7


The City of Monrovia’s Neighborhood Services is in the business of connecting people and building community. 
In an increasingly digital age, it becomes a challenge to connect to those next door or down the street. Without 
creating neighborhood associations that increase even more fees to residents, Neighborhood Services has been 
highlighting an online social networking site called 

Started in 2010 and based out of California, is a private social network for your neighborhood. Like 
Facebook, but for neighborhoods. It allows you and your neighbors, and only you and your neighbors, to talk 
online about issues affecting your street, your block or small geographical area you consider your neighborhood. 
The great parts are that the service is free and if you forget to log on every day, comments, questions and updates 
are sent right to your email.

People are using Nextdoor to: 

• Find a new home for an outgrown bike 

• Track down a trustworthy babysitter 

• Quickly get the word out about a break-in 

• Find out who does the best paint job in town 

• Organize a garage sale 

• Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog 

• Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name. 

To date, Monrovia has launched seven neighborhoods, with seven more in the pilot phase. “We started promoting because we saw the value in connecting people online for the day-to-day things that come up in 
a neighborhood. Not only do you get a better picture of where you live, but even if you aren’t able to be outside 
in the neighborhood, you can still communicate with your neighbors,” said Neighborhood Services Specialist 
Heather Greer.

Monrovia’s largest online neighborhood to date has 47 members and affectionately calls themselves the Monrovia 
Bears. The Wildrose neighborhood, which has 15 members, was the first to get started almost 6 months ago. “I 
have used Nextdoor to welcome new neighbors, give away my couch and post information to keep our neighborhood 
looking good,” said Heather Greer, also a member of the Wildrose neighborhood. The founder of the Little 
Italy neighborhood, Christine Voyvodich, has gotten 21 of her neighbors to sign up, “I’ve got my whole neighborhood 
on Nextdoor, and they love it- even those I doubted would sign up. It’s been very successful.”

Other online Monrovia neighborhoods include: Julian Fisher, Tree Streets, East Colorado, Sprouts, Mary Knoll, 
Monrovista/Hurstview, South Madison, Grand Avenue, Mayflower, Alamitas and 5th Avenue. Nancy Matthews of 
the Monrovia Bears said, “I’m a person who values face-to-face interaction so I was surprised to find that a website 
that actually helped me encourage relationships with people right nextdoor!”

If you are curious to find out more, Monrovia Neighborhood Services invites you to their annual Neighborhood 
Conference next Saturday, August 11 at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm Avenue. Starting 
at 10a.m., the Conference gives participants a chance to participate in free classes, meet City leaders and Staff, 
receive a free lunch and raffle prizes, and learn how to get more involved in the community to create the neighborhood 
you want.

Conference classes include: Monrovia Moving Forward, Making an Impact using Social Media, Unity in Diversity, 
Developing Leadership, Citizen Engagement, History of Monrovia, Developmental Assets for Kids, Code Enforcement, 
Social Services Panel, Disaster Preparedness, Government 101, and the Power of Presentation. Speakers 
come from across the region and serve as experts in their fields.

Contact Neighborhood Services at (626) 932-5563 or email to get more involved.


Claudia Heller of Duarte was among those honored for her dedication, 
compassion and outstanding contributions to the People of the 32nd District 
by Congresswoman Judy Chu at her 3rd Annual DiverCities Awards Ceremony 
held July 28 at the University of the West in Rosemead.

 Heller was presented with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for 
her “selfless commitment to the community” through her years of volunteerism. 
Heller is the longtime president of the Duarte Historical Society and Duarte 
Historical Museum, where she also serves as a docent. She is also a member and 
past president of the Duarte Woman’s Club, writes a bi-monthly column about 
the Duarte community in the Star Weekly of the Pasadena Star News. She shares 
her love of nature and travel with the community through semi-annual bird 
walks along the San Gabriel River and volunteers her expertise to the Duarte 
Senior Center by hosting tours to interesting historical locales.

 This was the second award this year for Heller who was honored in May 
by the Duarte Senior Center as the 2012 Volunteer of the Year, and subsequently 
recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her dedication 
and commitment to the City of Duarte and the Duarte Senior Center.

 Congresswoman Chu’s DiverCities Awards recognizes the diverse 
leadership and volunteerism in the cities that make up the 32nd District. It 
presents an opportunity to recognize the San Gabriel Valley’s diverse business, 
cultural and philanthropic communities. 



When Duarte Kiwanis Club President, Tina Carey, initially scheduled a July Program with Jimmy Weldon 
speaking on the topic of “Why I Love America”, she never dreamed how coincidence would play a part in the 
meeting. Kiwanian, Lois Gaston, contacted Tina to share that a young man from her church, Joseph Spicer, had 
been honored with a trip to the White House to meet President Obama and could he attend the meeting and share 
his experience. Of course the answer was “yes”.

It turns out, Joseph is a participant in the Big Brothers Program and he had nominated his Big Brother, Mike 
Trueblood of La Canada, as Big Brother of the Year. Mike was selected as this year’s honoree – out of 266,000 Big 
Brothers! Part of the honor was a trip to the White House and the opportunity to meet with the President.

Mike and Joseph shared their experience with Big Brothers – Mike has been Joseph’s Big Brother for the past 5 
years – and encouraged others to consider volunteering. It turns out there are over 400 boys and girls waiting for 
Big Brothers and Sisters in the local areas. Mike also shared a special gift they each got from President Obama 
– a box of White House M&M’s. As Mike shared, he feels the M&M stands for Mentoring and Money – keys to 
continuing a great Big Brothers Organization.

The club was then enthralled with Speaker Jimmy Weldon as he shared “Why We Love America” – The Creation 
of Our Sacred Document, The Constitution. Jimmy is an engaging speaker who inspired each of the attendees. 
Jimmy is also the voice of Webster Webfoot and Yakee Doodle from the old Yogi Bear cartoons.

The Duarte Kiwanis Club has lunch meetings the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month at Westminster 
Gardens. For further information on speaking or joining the club, contact Dr. Diane Hernandez at drdiane@ 


Highlighted Activity for the Weekdays of July 30 - August 1, 2012


During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 513 
service events, resulting in 82 investigations. To see a complete listing 
of crimes reported, go to
ca/monrovia for crime mapping. For Police Department news and 
information, visit our website at
government/departments/police-department-homepage and follow 
us on Twitter for police notifications.


Theft From a Vehicle / Residential Burglary

July 30 at 1:34 a.m., a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 800 
block of Alta Vista. The suspect(s) entered the victim's unlocked vehicle, 
which was parked in her driveway, and removed the garage door 
opener. The suspect(s) then activated the remote to access the victim's 
garage door. A vacuum and a storage bin with miscellaneous clothing 
were missing from the garage. Investigation continuing. 


July 30 at 4:23 p.m., an officer responded to a business in the 1300 
block of South Myrtle regarding the report of vandalism. Unknown 
suspect(s) etched graffiti into the glass window of the business. Investigation 

Theft From Vehicles

July 30 at 7:20 a.m. and 1:32 p.m., two petty thefts from vehicles were 
reported in the same area: the 500 to 600 blocks of West Palm. Both 
vehicles were either unlocked or had the window slightly open. In 
both cases, women's purses that were left in the vehicles were taken. 
The purses contained small amounts of US currency and debit/credit 
cards. One of the stolen purses was later reported as found property at 
Violet and Foothill. Investigation continuing.


Warrant / Resisting and Delaying a Peace Officer - Suspect Arrested

July 30 at 8:15 p.m., officers responded to the report of an intoxicated 
subject in the 900 block of Genoa. When the officer arrived in the area, 
the suspect fled on foot, running through yards. The suspect was identified 
and it was learned he had a felony warrant for his arrest. After a 
lengthy search with the suspect eluding officers by climbing fences and 
running yard-to-yard, the Foothill Air Support Team helicopter was 
summoned and was able to locate the suspect hiding. When he realized 
the helicopter had found him, the suspect tried to run again, but 
he was detained by officers and arrested without further incident. The 
suspect was held for the warrant and resisting arrest.


Theft by Deception

August 1 at 6:06 p.m., a dark-colored Chevy Trailblazer parked in front 
of the office door of a car dealership in the 800 block of East Central. 
A man exited the passenger door, the driver was never seen, and entered 
the cashier's office. He asked the cashier if she could give him a 
$100 bill for two $50 dollar bills. He handed her two $50 dollar bills 
and she gave him the $100. It appears that he had secreted a $10 bill 
in his palm. He quickly palmed the $100 bill and held up the $10 bill, 
shouting at the cashier that she only gave him ten dollars. The cashier 
became nervous and took the $10 bill, while giving him another $100 
bill. The suspect then left in the waiting vehicle. The suspect is described 
as a male Black, approximately 40 year old, 6'1", 200 pounds, 
black hair, wearing a blue hat, blue jersey with the number 23 on it, and 
blue shorts. The investigation is continuing.


Assault - Suspect Arrested

August 1 at 10:36 p.m., an assault was reported in the 900 block of West 
Colorado. The male victim's female friend was intoxicated and angry. 
She hit him several times with a metal skillet. He suffered lacerations, a 
broken finger, and pain on his head. She was arrested without incident.


Detective Bureau Case Follow-up


Home Invasion Robbery 

On July 15, 2012, a home invasion robbery occurred in the City of 
Monrovia. Police are seeking help from the public in identifying the 
suspect. A composite sketch of the possible suspect is available on 
the Police Department website Wanted Flyers section at http://www. 

OPINION: by Joan Schmidt

Shame on Phil Reyes and 
his Dissenting Vote

 I have known Phil Reyes for 
close to twenty years. He has done 
a lot for Duarte communities. Years 
ago, he and Reyna Diaz participated 
in a campaign to register voters in the 
unincorporated Duarte area. Phil had 
been involved with LULAC over the 
years, and they award scholarships and 
do a lot for youths. At the July 17th 
Duarte City Council Meeting, Lois 
Gaston had accolades for Phil and a 
recent youth project.

 However, at the July 31st Duarte 
City Council Meeting, he missed the 
boat. He was the lone dissenting vote 
against declaring a fiscal emergency 
that would necessitate a measure on 
the November 6 ballot that would add 
up to a half percent sales tax increase in 
Duarte. The vote had to be unanimous 
for the measure to go on the ballot.

 Phil’s reasoning was that he felt 
the city’s fiscal situation was not a dire 
one. He also said the city needed to be 
more aggressive in bringing in jobs and 
creating economic development. Then 
there would be no need for a sales-tax 

 At the meeting, he actually said, 
“I don’t trust my colleagues or the city 
manager. That’s the way I feel. I’m sorry, 
and I’m voting no on this thing.”

 I understand how Phil is against 
raising taxes, however this measure 
wasn’t raising the taxes, but giving the 
voters the option to do so.

 Mr. George, the City Manager, 
said a sales-tax measure would permit 
the city to “proactively respond to 
this perfect storm” that Duarte and 
many other cities are facing with the 
dissolution of the Cities’ Development 
Agencies. Mr. George went further and 
explained that Duarte has also dealt 
with $3.6 million in state take-aways 
since 2008.

 If the sales tax was increased 
by one-quarter to one-half percent, 
it would increase from $1 million to 
$2 million annually what goes to city 

 Currently, Duarte will lose its 
Special Assignment Deputy in January, 
and park restroom cleaning will be 
reduced to twice a week.

 Mayor Fasana had said, “It’s no 
secret that there has been division” on 
the council and a lack of trust among 
some council members. But he thought 
the council members would recognize 
a common need to address revenue 
shortcomings. Unfortunately, that did 
not happen.

 I admire Mr. Reyes, but I felt 
what Council Members Margaret 
Finlay and Tzeitel Paras-Caracci said 
would have been the better choice. They 
felt the voters should have been given 
the opportunity to determine what 
happens in their city’s future. The voters 
could choose whether or not to vote for 
the increase in the sales tax.

 I live in Monrovia, but I shop 
Duarte. There’s Walmart, Ralph’s, 
Target, Best Buy and Staples. Several 
times, I have engaged in conversation 
with other customers at Walmart, and 
they travel DISTANCES to get the better 
food prices. Walmart’s pharmacy also 
provides prescriptions at a good rate. I 
cannot imagine anyone not agreeing to 
a slight rise in sales tax, especially if it 
means keeping a Special Assignment 

 I am very sorry for the City of 
Duarte and its residents. They should 
have been given an option over whether 
or not to raise the sales tax.