Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 16, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:6

Mountain View News Saturday, December 16, 2017 


By Joan Schmidt

Recently, fellow Town Council Member Linda 
Sells and I attended a special City meeting at 
the Arcadia Library; speakers included Mayor 
Peter Amundson, Police Chief Bob Guthrie, 
City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, and Assistant 
City Manager/Development Services Director, 
Jason Kruckeberg. This third special meeting was 
most informative, but why didn’t more residents 

Before the Meeting, I picked up a Hand-out, 
“City of Arcadia: Citywide Historic Resources 
Survey”. It had the fourteen “Frequently Asked 
Questions” and informative answers. Among 
the questions were “What is a historic resources 
survey”, “What are the requirements to form 
a historic district”, and “What is the Mills Act 
Abatement Program”. PLEASE visit the City 
website, go to the Search Engine, type in “Historic 
Preservation” and click on “Frequently Asked 
Questions” to view this EXCELLENT source of 

Mayor Amundson welcomed the attendees, “I 
am privileged to serve my hometown: I was born 
at Methodist Hospital and grew up in the City…I 
want to unite the City and keep Arcadia great…I 
want to create trust in the City…No one has done 
more for the City than former Mayor/ Council 
Member Mickey Segal…It is a great place to 
raise children…one of the safest places, a great 
place for Seniors and most recently voted the 
most “Business Friendly City” in LA County…
People come from all over the world to live in 
Arcadia…December 4, 2011-great windstorm, 
lost thousands of trees, our pro-active Staff had 
power restored quickly and the City was cleaned 
up by Christmas…Arcadia is fiscally responsible, 
provides great services…Fires Department is 
CLASS I Rating; Police Department second 
to none…I meet with the Police Chief every 
month…Arcadia focuses on education…great 
school district. 

Police Chief Bob Guthrie has been Chief since 
2011. He’s worked at the Department since he was 
18, almost thirty years! He spoke of challenges 
caused by AB 109 and Props 47 and 57. There 
was a terrible spike in residential burglaries in 
2005-2016-53%! But the Chief told us that the 
City Council has been VERY SUPPORTIVE and 
has provided funding when it was requested to 

combat this issue. Chief Guthrie also revealed 
burglaries have been greatly reduced and he 
attributes that to saturating areas with increased 
patrols. He has reminded people if you “See 
something, say something”. He mentioned that 
people who commit the robberies are NOT 
from Arcadia, but from other cities, even other 
counties! He also talked of the city subsidy of 
the “Ring Program” and the great GPS Package 
Tracking Program and its success.

Assistant City Manager/ Development Services 
Director Jason Kruckeberg tackled the “Historic 
Preservation” issue. Among his topics were the 
City survey, requirements to form a historic 
district (need 75% of residents to want it), a single 
designated historic property, and what the Mills 
Act is, (It allows local governments to enter Mills 
Act contracts with owners of historic property-
they actively restore and maintain their historic 
property while possibly receiving tax relief. 
Visit California Office of Historic Preservation 
website to learn more.) Currently there are 188189 
structures in Arcadia that meet the criteria 
of Historic Ordinance. Mr. Kruckeberg told us, 
“There are still a lot of questions/concerns… this 
going on since 2015… over one hundred attended 
previous meetings; there have been many 
concerns; we need more information ...there is 
fear and confusion… the City is cognizant of 

City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto reiterated 
info about Historic Preservation, the Mills Act 
and Historic Ordinances; he also addressed 
residents’ questions/concerns as did Chief 
Guthrie, Mr. Kruckeberg and the Mayor.

A few residents were very passionate with 
heated, not-so-nice comments. But Mayor 
Amunsdson answered them directly and 
explained how and why the City Council voted 
against the circular drive. The Mayor’s goal is for 
the City to be transparent. He wants residents to 
be aware of what is going on.

I have limited space, so I must end this. There 
was A LOT more. Please visit the City websites 
and attend the next meeting. Several residents 
were able to speak and tell their concerns. 
Mayor Amundson, and the other three officials 
answered all the questions and the Police Chief 
stayed longer to further discuss an issue with a 
resident. WELL DONE, Arcadia! 

For the period of Sunday, December 3rd, through Saturday,
December 9th, the Police Department responded to 893 callsfor service, of which 125 required formal investigations. Thefollowing is a summary report of the major incidents handled bythe Department during this period. 

Sunday, December 3:

Shortly before 12:50 a.m., an officer responded to theSanta Anita Mall, 400 South Baldwin Avenue, regarding anactivation of an Arcadia Police Department GPS tracker.
Arcadia PD detectives had previously deployed decoy bicycleswith tracking devices to combat the increase in bike theftsthroughout the city. An investigation revealed a 26-year-oldmale from San Fernando was in possession of the stolen bicycleand GPS tracker. Two accomplices, a 27-year-old male fromSan Fernando and a 26-year-old female from Sylmar, were alsoarrested and transported to the Arcadia City Jail for booking.

At approximately 12:43 p.m., officers responded to abusiness in the 135 East Santa Clara Street complex regarding aspousal abuse report. The officers discovered the husband hadstruck his wife, causing visible injuries, and blocked the exitpreventing her from leaving. The suspect, a 62-year-old malefrom Arcadia, was arrested and transported to the Arcadia CityJail for booking. The victim declined medical attention. 

Monday, December 4:

Just after 6:27 a.m., officer responded to the 1000 blockof West Duarte Road regarding a vehicle burglary report.
The officer determined an unknown suspect smashed twowindows and fled with the victim’s wallet and $500.00 worth 
of Nike shoes. No suspects were seen and no witnesses werelocated. 

At approximately 11:00 a.m., an officer responded tothe Arcadia Police Department front counter regarding afraud report. The victim stated he has received more thanforty pieces of mail containing checks for “market research”
and instructions to cash them and wire the money. Theinvestigation is ongoing. 

Tuesday, December 5:

Around 12:18 a.m., an officer responded to the intersectionof Holly Avenue and Naomi Avenue regarding a suspiciouslyoccupied vehicle. The witness reported seeing three subjectsin the car wearing hooded sweatshirts. An officer contactedthe subjects and during a records check, discovered one ofthe passengers, a 20-year-old male from Los Angeles, hadan outstanding misdemeanor warrant. He was arrested andtransported to the Arcadia City Jail for booking.
\ Just before 9:02 p.m., an officer responded to the area ofDuarte Road and Baldwin Avenue regarding an injury trafficcollision between two vehicles. Upon contacting the drivers,
the officer discovered one of them, a 37-year-old male fromMonrovia, was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.
He was arrested and transported to the Arcadia City Jail forbooking. The driver of the second vehicle was evaluated by theArcadia Fire Department. The arrested driver did not sustainany injuries. 

Wednesday, December 6:

Shortly after 12:53 a.m., an officer initiated a traffic stopon a vehicle in the 1000 block of South Baldwin Avenue for 
speeding. The driver failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. Thedriver eventually stopped and fled on foot. A records checkrevealed the vehicle had been reported stolen from an Arcadia 

resident. The suspect was also in possession of burglary tools,
narcotics, and drug paraphernalia. The 25-year-old male fromMontebello was arrested and transported to the Arcadia CityJail for booking.

At about 1:39 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block ofWest Las Flores Avenue regarding a domestic violence report.
An investigation revealed six months ago, the husband threwhis wife to the floor causing bruising and a permanent scar,
and on today’s date, the husband kicked his wife. The 25-yearold 
male from Arcadia was arrested and transported to theArcadia City Jail for booking. 

Thursday, December 7:

Before 7:47 a.m., an officer initiated contact with a subjectworking on a motorcycle near the intersection of Alta VistaAvenue and Short Street. A records check of the vehicle 
revealed the motorcycle had been reported stolen to theLos Angeles County Sheriff Department – Temple Station.
During a consensual search of the suspect, the officer locateda shaved key used to start the vehicle and the officer discoveredthe suspect had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. The26-year-old male from Monrovia was arrested and transportedto the Arcadia City Jail for booking.

Around 8:58 p.m., an officer responded to REI, 214 NorthSanta Anita Avenue, regarding a theft report. The reportingparty stated sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 8:45 p.m. ontoday’s date, an unknown suspect cut the cable lock and stoletwo bicycles from the front of the store. No suspects were seenand no witnesses were located. 

1. At about 9:13 p.m., an officer responded to Aurora Beauty,
1432 South Baldwin Avenue, regarding a theft report. Thevictim stated someone stole her wallet from her desk sometime 
during business hours on today’s date. No suspects were seenand no witnesses were located. 
Friday, December 8:

Just before 1:48 p.m., an officer responded to the 100block of East Camino Real Avenue regarding an activationof an Arcadia Police Department GPS tracker. Arcadia PDdetectives had previously deployed decoy packages containingbait property and tracking devices to combat the increase inpackage thefts from residential areas. The officer discovereda 19-year-old female from Temple City and a 26-year-oldmale from El Monte had the stolen package, property, andtracking device in their vehicle. The suspects were arrested andtransported to the Arcadia City Jail for booking. 

Saturday, December 9:

Shortly after 5:36 a.m., an officer responded to a residencein the 100 block of East Camino Real Avenue regardinga burglary report. The victim stated sometime during theprevious evening, unknown suspect(s) shattered a rear glassdoor, ransacked his home, and fled empty-handed. Theinvestigation is ongoing.

At approximately 6:57 p.m., an officer responded to thelobby of the Arcadia Police Department regarding a fraudreport. The victim stated unknown suspect(s) called her,
stated she owed the IRS an outstanding balance of $8,000.00,
and threatened to send her to jail if she did not settle herdebt. They demanded she stay on the phone as she wentto Best Buy and the Apple Store to purchase gift cards andprovide them with the gift card numbers. The investigationis ongoing. 


As you are likely aware by now, at 7:36 p.m. onSaturday, December 9, 2017, the City was notifiedabout a brushfire burning behind the 500 / 600 blockof Norumbega Drive. The Monrovia Fire Departmentresponded and immediately assessed the situation asa 3-alarm fire. Firefighting resources from LA Countyand the US Forest Services were dispatched and crewsstarted working to address the situation immediately.
Based on the initial assessment of the situation, a 
mandatory evacuation order was put into effect forresidents living in the 500-1000 block of NorumbegaDrive. 

In light of all that has happened of late here inSouthern California from a fire perspective, ourteam at the Monrovia Fire Department coordinateda massive regional response to the conflagration.
Throughout the year, our personnel spends time 
developing relationships with our partner agenciesin the region, and those relationships certainlyaided our efforts last night. Our partner agenciessent resources to assist in battling the blaze, and atthe height of the fire response, we had around 250firefighting personnel on scene! In addition, whilewe’re still working to get exact numbers, we also hadsomewhere around 30 pieces of firefighting apparatus(fire engines, fire trucks, etc.) on scene during ourinitial response, along with 4 firefighting helicoptersfrom LA County.

Thanks to the hard work performed by our 
firefighting personnel, coupled with favorable 
weather conditions, by 11:23 p.m., the fire was 
completely contained at around 5 acres in size. Based 
on that development, the mandatory evacuation 
order was lifted for residents of the 600-1000 block 
of Norumbega Drive, but initially remained in effect 
for the 500 block of Norumbega Drive. Eventually, 
by Sunday morning, that evacuation order was 
also lifted. We also wanted to share that you may 
have heard on the news a report that a water tank 
in Monrovia was damaged by the fire. However, 
the water tank was not an in-service facility, and 
in fact was decommissioned back in the 1950s, so 
Monrovia’s water utility was not impacted by the 
blaze this past weekend! Press releases, that the City 
issued in response to the fire, can be viewed on the 
City’s webpage. 

As we move forward, even though the fire is nowout, our firefighting crews are still addressing somehot-spot areas and doing additional clean-up work inthe Norumbega Drive area. Given that factor, we arestill monitoring public access to Norumbega Drive,
likely through tomorrow. After that point in time,
we’ll start with our demobilization efforts. 

And speaking of our demobilization efforts, wethought that everyone would be interested to knowthat we currently have more than 1,000 feet of firehose laid out in the hillside above NorumbegaDrive. That’s nearly 1/5 of a mile of fire hose that ourfirefighting personnel got into the ground to attackthe fire! Once we start demobilizing, our team willstart working to retract all of that fire hose which wasdeployed!

Also related to next steps in our fire response, wewanted to let everyone know that we have started aninvestigation into what caused the fire, and we havedeployed both fire investigators and police detectives 

to assess the overall situation. 

Given everything that happened this weekend,
all of us in Monrovia wanted send out our heartfelt 
thanks to Monrovia Fire & Rescue, the Monrovia 
Police Department, our CERT Volunteers, and thePasadena Human Society for their help with displacedanimals and evacuees’ pets.

In addition, special thanks and kudos to all ofour non-sworn City staff who stepped in to helpactivate both our Emergency Operations Center andthe evacuation center at the Monrovia CommunityCenter to ensure evacuees had a safe place to takeshelter. In particular, throughout the evening, we sawa number of folks working behind the scenes to makesure everything was well coordinated, and specialkudos and thanks goes out to the support team atboth facilities, which included: 

Jeff Warmuth 

Kerry McQueen

Israel Razo 

Brittany Mello

Lauren Vasquez

Rebecca Sandoval 

Katie Distelrath 

Jamie Bumia 

Sean Sullivan 

Paul Zampiello

Chase Buckelew 

Moving ahead, to stay up to date on the status ofemergency situations that occur in Monrovia andreceive alerts directly on your phone or via email, weencourage everyone to subscribe to Nixle Alerts bytexting 91016 to 888777. 

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