I haven't yet managed to call the city to find out if they'd be interested in some help to get a composting program off the gound, but I'll report back when I have.
In the meantime, it must be time for a food post, since M-M-M-My Pomona seems to oscillate back and forth between neighborhood agitation and dining reports.
For this dining report, we head back to Claremont, and indeed, the new mall, as I have been to le Pain Quotidien twice this week. As you may know, it is a chain, based in Belgium and with outlets in France, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia, the UK, and NYC. I'd give it pretty good odds of lasting, although it's imperfect. (I refer here to an anonymous comment a few months ago hypothesizing that 60% of the businesses in the new mall will be closed in a year.)
The main thing you must know about le Pain Quotidien is that it is PRRRRRRRICY. Most of the things I had were good, but it was still a bit of a rip-off. The coffee is good (not quite as good as Some Crust's, but better than Starbuck's), but it is $2.85 for 11 oz. The hot chocolate is tasty, but a small will run you $4.15. The pastries are $3.75, and you'll drop $5 for a cup of soup and $7 for a bowl. Meanwhile, the service is friendly but inexperienced, which I know will come as an enormous surprise to you. (There are a couple of exceptions: You'll see waiters moonlighting from the Press and Casablanca.)
In general, le PainQuot seems to be imposing a preciousness surcharge, and judging by the custom this week, it looks like they can get away with it. I was pretty disappointed in the Jambon de Paris sandwich, but everything else I had was good, and I've had good reports from friends. In the late afternoon, it's a nice place to read or write Christmas cards, and I don't mind paying a salubrious-environment surcharge, so I'll go back. But it won't be often, unless my employer gives me a 10% COCLA (Cost of Café Living Allowance).