Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
I just found out that the city has posted a live webcam that allows anyone online to view the construction from the privacy of their own computer. Woo Hoo! It can even pan and tilt. Try it out and enjoy the view of the vast dirt plain! Check out the webcam here.
I suspect that maybe what the really want to do is keep an eye on the place to make sure no pesky teenagers get it in their heads to scale the fence and climb any trees.
Photo courtesy of the City of Monrovia's website.
Revamped Lobby for the Aztec
Friday, February 22, 2008
OPEN THREAD: Focal Points
I've often thought about what, in addition to Old Town, Monrovia could create as a focal point for visitors and local residents to enjoy. If I could choose anything, it would be a lake with walking trails around it. Land being at a premium, I don't see that happening anytime soon.
What do you think would be a nice focal point for the city? A fountain? A fantastic building? A waterslide?
Finally, a decent bar in Monrovia!
Ok, I know it's not in Old Town, but at least we now have a decent bar to hang in when the need arises. I attended the opening gala of the "new" Doubletree Hotel on Huntington Drive in Monrovia.
Even in the rain, it left a favorable impression on me as a place to come on some warm evening and sit by the pool. They have made an effort to place lots of lounge furniture both inside and out, and hopefully they will have good food. I didn't bring my camera and so can't post a picture at the moment, but will try to remember to get over there and shoot some pictures later on.
Captain Hook on Dry Land
Thursday, February 21, 2008
ANNOUNCEMENT: Monrovia VFW Post To Honor Blue Star Families
I drive by the VFW Post all the time. I don't qualify to go in, but I'm happy to help them get their information out.
Arcadia-Monrovia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2070, based in Monrovia, has announced plans to honor so-called "Blue Star Families" - the parents and siblings of service members currently in uniform.For more information- Robert C. J. Parry (310) 651-0231, firstname.lastname@example.org
The First Blue Star Dinner will be held February 29, at Post 2070 in Monrovia, and will honor the local loved ones of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen currently serving, whether at home or abroad.
The term "Blue Star Families" refers to flags that families flew during World War II that marked homes with loved ones in service. Today, the City of Monrovia honors its military families with blue star banners on major streets.
The free dinner is being sponsored by Post 2070, with significant donations from the Monrovian Family Restaurant and Rudy's Mexican Food of Monrovia plus Paco's Mexican Restaurant of Arcadia. However, the Post is still seeking additional donations to make the event complete.
Families of currently serving military personnel from the Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte area who would like to attend should RSVP to VFW2070@gmail.com. RSVPs are mandatory, though the event is free to Blue Star Families. Businesses who are interested in lending support can use the same email address.
Oh, the irony
ANNOUNCEMENT: Colorado Commons Models Open Feb 23
The long-awaited Colorado Commons townhomes in Old Town Monrovia will be available for viewing on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The floorplans span up to 2,133 square feet and include one to three bedrooms and one to two and a half baths. Homebuyers aren't the only ones who are excited about experiencing the models for the first time; future homeowners at Colorado Commons are equally thrilled. Priscilla Harris has literally watched Colorado Commons being built from the ground upright from her own backyard. She says she can't wait to move into her one bedroom flat in March. "I've been excited about this community from the very beginning," said Harris, a long-time Monrovia resident. "I'm dying to move in. It's absolutely gorgeous inside and out. I've never seen another community like this before, especially not in Southern California."Virtual tours are also available online at livecoloradocommons.com.
There's something fun about spotting bits of history like Quonset Huts in the less traveled streets of Monrovia.
According to Wikipedia, "Between 150,000-170,000 Quonset huts were manufactured during WWII. After the war, the U.S. military sold the surplus Quonset huts to the public for $1,000 each." More on Quonset Huts here.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Man on Monrovia Rooftop
Thursday, February 14, 2008
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Monrovia Learns
I have lately gotten more requests for posting announcements on my blog, and will do so under the "Announcements" heading. Here is the latest:
The Monrovia Adult School has an exciting new department! Monrovia Learns is offering some great classes that enrich and support family life in our community.
Located inside the Canyon Early Learning Center, some of the classes include:
* Sign Language With Your ChildThis is only a partial listing. For more information contact the Monrovia Adult School at 471-3035, or Susan Hirsch, the principal of Monrovia Learns, at 471-3085.
* Music With Your Child
* Art With Your Child
* Exercise & Nutrition
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
A New Place to Rant
The website called "Outside.In" has just put up discussion boards that anyone can post to. I started the Monrovia board with one posting, so go ahead, start ranting!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Local TV station needs YOU
This is a little note to let you know that you are wanted and needed by our local TV station ("Monrovia has a TV station?" I can hear some of you saying... "Who knew?"). Not only does Monrovia have a TV station, but this station has a full-time staff who are willing and ready to help you learn all about producing your own video. They have cameras and stuff to check out as well. So go ahead, put that grand ol' idea of yours in motion. What are you waiting for? For more info, contact KGEM.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Monrovia Press Conference
Most of you already know about the recent violence that has erupted in our city. I have posted the KGEM video of the press conference here.
Friday, February 01, 2008
OPEN THREAD: Fresh & Easy
Has anyone been to the new Fresh & Easy market on Foothill? Although their produce looked pretty good, the brands on the shelves seemed pretty standard. Where do you shop when there is no Farmer's Market?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Habitat for Humanity comes to Monrovia
I've always loved what Habitat for Humanity stands for, and am happy to report that they are planning a build in Monrovia. Right now they are in the fundraising stage, and can use both monetary and in-kind donations. They are looking for both local volunteers and four worthy families to receive homes.
For more information about how you can be involved, visit the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity website, or if you are a women and would like to join the Women's Build, stop by the Monrovia Women's Build website.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
OPEN THREAD: Paving it over
I am providing here the text of a recent article by Chet Raymo of Science Musings. I think he raises some interesting points.
Last Sunday's New York Times had a front-page story on the growing fleets of off-road vehicles that are churning up public lands in the American West. The battle is on between the owners of recreational ATVs and conservationists over who and what has the right to use our national forests and wilderness areas.
The natural contours of a landscape and indigenous flora and fauna are no impediments to piston-powered two-, three- and four-wheeled machines that are designed to go just about anywhere. A pristine dune or purling stream can be obliterated in a trice. Even in my domesticated New England village, public green space is regularly (and illegally) befouled by the idiotic offspring of internal combustion.
Of course, off-road vehicles are just part of the problem. An even bigger menace is road vehicles.
Scrape it flat. Pump tar out of the ground and spread it out on the surface. Another road. Another parking lot. Sometimes it seems as if our ideal planet would be as round and smooth as a bowling ball, asphalt black, painted with regular white lines.
We are hellbent on destroying the uniqueness of places.
The automobile is the perfect machine for obliterating a place, especially an automobile with a cellular phone. "Honey, I'm just leaving the parking lot; I'll be home in an hour." "Honey, I'm on the expressway, home in 20 minutes." "Honey, I'm in the driveway."
One place like every other place. And if it's not, well, we can make it so.
Which is not to say that we can leave natural places alone. We no longer have that privilege. Maybe we never had that privilege. When the first human ancestor crafted a chopping tool out of stone, the wilderness was finished. When the first human struck a fire with flint, untrammeled nature was in retreat.
The entire surface of the planet is inevitably going to be a human artifact. A farm is an artifact. A national park is an artifact. A homey neighborhood is an artifact. The question is not whether we will live in artificial places, but whether we will know and love the place we live in.
"If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently," says a character in Anne Michael's novel Fugitive Pieces. "If you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another."
And that's what place is all about -- learning to love. No one loves a crowded expressway. No one loves acres of asphalt marked with white lines. The automobile is the antithesis of love because it is the antithesis of place.
The place we learn to love can be a windowsill in a New York high-rise, a patch of New England woodlands, or a thousand acres of the high Sierras. Alaskan nature writer Richard Nelson states: "What makes a place special is the way it buries itself inside the heart, not whether it's flat or rugged, rich or austere, wet or arid, gentle or harsh, warm or cold, wild or tame. Every place, like every person, is elevated by the love and respect shown toward it, and by the way in which its bounty is received."
Civic planners and stewards of public lands have a responsibility to ensure that our parks, greenways and open spaces remain bountiful. One thinks back to that grand era of public places designed and executed by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his contemporaries. His was the generation who gave us our national parks, national forests, and great city parks. His was the generation who knew we can't survive without roots in nature.
New York's Central and Prospect Parks, Boston's Emerald Necklace, Chicago's Jackson Park and Montreal's Mount Royal Park are just a few of Olmsted's many splendid urban creations, feeding our need to connect to the natural world. He reshaped the landscape, to be sure, but in a way that lets organic nature shine through. Even such ostensibly wild places as Yosemite and Acadia National Parks show the marks of his civilizing influence.
Imagine what our cities and suburbs might be if those in charge of the planning and execution of public and private development were guided by Olmstedian principles. Instead, we have created landscapes that cater to automobiles, not people, even to the point of sacrificing the aesthetic integrity of some of our forbears' most precious gifts, such as Charles Eliot's system of metropolitan parks and parkways around Boston and Connecticut's Merritt Parkway.
If aliens from outer space visited this planet, they would quickly decide that the ruling beings have four wheels; certainly, the two-legged creatures seem eager to sacrifice to the automobile their time, fortune, and quality of life. Add a lane, pave it over, build a strip mall. If there is a shred of natural beauty left, erase it. All hail to the automobile. The automobile rules.
And now the spawn of the automobile has been unleashed even from the asphalt.
The automobile is here to stay, of course, and properly so, but we are not required to love it, or sacrifice everything to it. A house with a three- or four-car garage is unlikely to become a home. The number of miles on the odometer is a pretty good measure for how far we have gone from where we belong. We might have created a culture that emphasized place rather than mobility, nature rather than asphalt, public rather than personal transport. We chose not to and we are poorer for it.